Even a child with a healthy open adoption (meaning we enjoy regular contact with her birth family) will grieve as she understands her story better. Destany has had periods of intense grieving off and on since she was three years old. As she began to realize that the wonderful family she has now came only through the loss of her first family, she has had to grieve her idea of what that first family would have looked like and what her part would have been in it.
Grieving doesn't scare us. And the fact that pain is inherently a part of adoption doesn't mean that adoptions should never occur. Pain and sadness is a part of life. We all experience losses, and learning to grieve well, and let others be a part of your pain, is very important. I wish our children who came to us through adoption didn't have to experience loss so early in life. But that is adoption. It is bittersweet. I wish that their birth families didn't experience this loss either. But sometimes that is just the way life is.
Adoption has brought us together. We will grieve the hard parts, and celebrate the amazing parts. And we'll do it together. All of us.....Destany, her Dad & I, and her birth mother, who has stayed true to her commitment to stay a part of her life. God has taken us on this journey, and directed our steps along the way, and we are all stronger because of it.
Today I was at a loss for how to help Destany process her sadness in a way that would empower her, and help her feel like there is a way through it. As I prayed about it, a new thought came to mind. She is old enough to write her own story! We sat at the computer, and she told me what to write. We only did the first two pages, and then she asked if she could write more tomorrow. I printed those pages for her, and she pulled out the paints to illustrate them. She was peaceful. She sang while she painted. And she was proud of the result. I am, too!