In the shadows of much that is good and right and beautiful about adoption, there is the reality that some adoptive placements don’t last — they disrupt and dissolve. This happens for a multitude of reasons, and each situation is as complex and multifaceted as it is painful and tragic.
Honest talk about the issue of adoption disruption is sometimes mistaken for judgment or condemnation. That should not be the case. In the midst of this all too real reminder of the brokenness of this world and we who inhabit it, grace must always abound. But the sobering reality is that disruption affects everyone in the adoption community to some very real extent (more on that later). And for those directly affected, the impact is deep, painful and longlasting.
Melanie Chung Sherman recently weighed in with her very personal and poignant thoughts on this important subject from her perspective as an adopted person, an adoption professional, and a parent. In the January 2012 issue of Adoption Today she writes: “I must be clear — to end an adoption is an adult decision — as is the process of adoption. It is also the end of dreams and expectations. It is an ambiguous death for all involved and the loss will never truly be repaired. The cruel irony is that disruption replaces the forever, in which adoption could not. It will create a new normal and the lives impacted will never be the same — regardless of age or situation.”
I strongly encourage you to read Melanie’s entire article…and let it challenge you. The temptation with an issue such as this one is to minimize it or, worse yet, ignore it. I believe that we are all well-served if we instead focus on it — and then began to talk honestly about it.