Adopters Guilt

Posted by Gary T. Eckert - April 16th, 2014

Im ready to admit that I struggle with writing about adoption, and the struggle surprises me. I have no mixed feelings to get in my way… no ongoing grief or frustration to impede me. In fact, I have been twice-blessed with adoptions that exceeded even my wildest hopes. Twice-blessed with healthy newborns adopted domestically after meeting their birth mothers, who are two of the most fabulous young women on the planet, and an adoption attorney who is compassionate, wise, and professionally impeccable. No drama. No trauma. No hardship worth counting, other than financial, and that burden is universal among adoptive parents.

So, whats my problem? Ive thought about it a lot, and I finally realize my “problem” is exactly that I have been twice-blessed with adoptions that exceeded even my wildest hopes. I call it Adopters Guilt.

My “problem” is that when I go on the website of the adoption agency we used, I see faces and faces and faces of people waiting to adopt, eager to adopt, some desperate to adopt. Some of these faces I know personally, others I know from reading their profiles online. Though their smiling pictures beam, “Notice me! Pick us! Wed be great parents!”, I know that as day after day slips away Doubt plods in with a heavy step and whispers, “Why has no one noticed you? Why has no one picked you? Perhaps youre not meant to be parents after all. Ever.”

My “problem” is that adoption has brought people into my life. People like Michelle, who of everyone I know is among the most full of love and life and promise, yet she waits and waits and waits, with growing despair. People like Charlene, who waited 7 years for an adoption match and has suffered – since the day she brought her daughter home – with debilitating depression and self-doubt.

People like Dara and Jeff, whose post-adoption experience has been a devastating legal nightmare. People like the birth mothers who write to me about feeling remorseful or inadequate or shut out.

My “problem” is that adoption means gain for some and loss for others. There are winners and losers, chosen and unchosen, the triumphant and the defeated. Some of us are made whole by adoption and others are broken apart by it.

My struggle to blog about adoption is really a struggle to reconcile the irreconcilable. Why me? I have no idea. Why not you? I have no idea.

I cant change anyone elses timeline any more than I could have changed my own. I do believe that everything happens in the right way at the right time (whatever that means), and that we almost never understand that until were looking back.

Im supremely grateful to be one of those looking back. I trust that you will be too.

Writer/Sales Trainer

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