It’s an unfortunate, painful event when an adoption match falls through. While most of us adoptive parents believe strongly that a woman should have every right to change her mind and parent her child if she wishes, in many cases it is going to be okay and even GOOD for that child to be with her. A lot of times she goes into an adoption plan thinking she doesn’t have the resources (money) necessary to parent the baby, but with love and number crunching, she often finds she can and will make it work. While that scenario hurts the adoptive parents who had gotten excited and invested time and money, we ultimately rejoice in her decision to parent. We know that the loss for her and the child in adoption is far greater than the loss we suffer when she decides to parent.
So what about the cases where the expecting mother has no intent to place her child? I have run across friends and support group members recently that have had failed adoption matches because of fraud. Women who go through private adoption instead of an agency and prey on adopting couples for money. Then there are women who want to believe that they fully intend to place their child for adoption, but will never end up going through with it. Some of these women are only “found out” after it comes to light that she had a baby shower! Some go all the way to the end of the pregnancy saying they want to follow through with adoption, they “KNOW” it’s the right thing to do, they “CAN’T” keep the baby, etc. But with that scenario there are often so many signs that the adoption plan is not going to go through. If you try to address it with her, ask the social worker to talk to her, or try to help any way you can, she may get defensive and lash out. What do you do?
I have been at a cross road of wanting to tell my FULL story of what happened in our failed match (from my perspective, I’m sure her side of the story is very different), but I still feel very vulnerable. Even though I eventually cut ties with her and try to not interact, social media and the internet seem to have a way of keeping people connected through others. This creates a lot of stress for me, not because I don’t want to run across her, but because I know that everything I say is scrutinized. Sometimes I don’t want to be the bigger person. Sometimes I want to just rant and say exactly what is on my mind. No holding back.
One of my friends did just that on Facebook today. My friend is not Facebook “friends” with that first match nor is her profile public, so the first match will never see the rant my friend posted… but it was GOOD! It made me question, why am I protecting her? Why are her feelings more valid than mine?
Today when I tried to console another friend on her adoption Facebook page with a comment about how sometimes matches fail before the expecting mother even knows it’s failing, because she is destined to keep her baby, but is still insistent that she plans to place that child because it is her “plan”. I said that even though it’s very painful, it’s okay when that happens, because her child that is meant for her WILL come to her. Apparently our “first match” also follows my friend’s adoption page and she didn’t like that I referred to her as my “first match”. She went on to say that I had no clue what she went through, even if I thought I did. What about what I went through in all those months? What about what I went through the months that followed? These are the things I’d like to say out loud, to put my feelings into words, to tell the story.
So do I? Do I say them?
Why should my feelings be less valid than someone else’s? I get it… Adoption is an unthinkably hard decision. But, I didn’t make the decision for her, she came to me after the decision was made. It totally sucks when your friends and family abandon you and don’t support your decision. But, I did support her in both the decision to place her child and the decision to parent her child. Why does she get to lash out and call me out by name on Facebook, when all I did was try to help another person going through a tough time?
Our situation can be a bit more challenging because our story (or a version of it) was told on national television. But, really, the show wasn’t all that popular. Not many people make the connection that we are the people on that episode 6 months ago. So she is only drawing attention to herself as being the one I was talking about, not me. And while we are at it, let’s point out a fact my friend who ranted about this today stated, she signed up for the show, no one forced her to tell the story on national television. No one would have a clue who she was or who my first failed match was with, if it wasn’t for that show.
Part of me wants to protect her and not tell all the dirty things that happened in our relationship and match that failed. Or all the things that followed that prompted me to end the relationship I once cherished. The other part of me says, why should my good name be tarnished and people think that she did nothing to me? Why shouldn’t they know the reasons behind my decision to end our friendship, when so many times I publicly vowed to be there for her? Right now it looks as if I backed out on my word, that I am just a bitter, hurt person that should be thankful for the child I have now (which I am by the way, beyond thankful for Ezra) instead of still mourning the loss of the first baby.
I have a voice… should I use it? (Is this a rhetorical question? I don’t know. hahaha)