The issue of drug addiction is close to my heart because I have seen it’s effects up close and personal. Losing physical custody of one’s child as a mother never feels like a happy outcome. Today, I was reading the sad story of a woman who lost 3 of her children when Child Protective Services took them from her due to her addiction.
She was promised by Child Protective Services that her children were going to go into a safe home, a God fearing home, wealthy, and she knew this couple had been the foster parents for the last 2 years she was able to visit her children prior to their adoption. She signed the adoption papers because she needed to survive the addiction. And she needed to save her children from her own self. She believed as she recovered that her children were safe. It was a closed adoption and so she lost contact completely.
Somewhat recently she learned that her children were so severely abused by those adoptive parents for a number of years that they were taken back into the foster care system for a subsequent 2 years. Then they were adopted a second time. These children are now 20, 18 and 16 years old. This woman had 2 more children as she was recovering from her addiction and she is raising them. Though she has tried to reconnect with her older children, they rebuff her efforts.
Some of the things we do in our youth and ignorance will never free of us of the consequences of our choices. The effects are permanent. One can understand how these older children might blame this mom for their difficult, even painful, childhoods. And while, it is sad that there is no happy resolution for this shattered family, it isn’t difficult to understand the damage that has been done.
She asked adoptees for advice on whether she should keep trying to reach out to these older children. One was brutally honest (as adoptees often are if you are willing to listen). “As an adoptee we don’t owe anyone anything, not a explanation, not a relationship, not communication not even a hello. You gave up that right. You need to respect their wishes, don’t reach out again, they know how and where they can reach out if they choose to. From what you have said they have lived a horrendous life and they as adults now deserve the right to make the decision to have any contact with you.”
The fact is – adoptees had no say in what happened to them. They are totally within their rights to take back control when they are old enough to exert it.