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I can speak from personal experience about the decision of disrupting an adoption. You can read our story here. Although the adoption with B was not disrupted, she left our home to go to an RTC and never came home to live with us again.

I have heard many rumblings from families considering disruption of an adoption. Extreme agony, broken relationships, condemnation and outright heartbreak.

After all, you are their forever family. You are the one who will stay with them no matter what. You will be able to fix their wounds by loving them unconditionally. You promised them, right?

This post is my personal belief about disruption, from a place of great pain and little hope.  I can’t tell you what to do. I can only relate to you our story. Just know that someone else understands and does not condemn.

After our B revealed the se*ual abuse done to her and the abuse she continued in our home, our therapist, a godly woman whom I trust with my life, told us it was time for her to go get help beyond what she, and we, could give her. There was no conscience there, no regret for her actions and a deliberate attempt to continue to hurt our family.

Because our adoption was domestic our kids have Med*caid. We had to involve mental health services, contact the RTC and were interviewed with B. The police and social services, as well as the prosecutor, were involved. She was examined at the hospital for signs of se*ual abuse (that happened years earlier). Her younger siblings had to be interviewed by family services. (They didn’t reveal anything because it took them YEARS of therapy to deal with that piece of their history.) B’s parents were interviewed but the father was not charged because there was a “statue of limitations” for rape in their home state (the state where it occurred.) All B’s history was examined to decide if she was appropriate for this facility.

B was not physically aggressive towards us but she had to be constantly monitored, with alarms on doors and no interaction with siblings. I did not endure the physical abuse that so many of you have, but the mental and emotional abuse was overwhelmingly real. I never knew what she was capable of and the presence of evil in our home was palpable.

Let me just say that if an adult admitted to se*ually abusing a child they would be charged and arrested. They would certainly be removed from the home. As long as B was in our home her younger bio siblings would have to deal with fear, insecurity, anger and threats from their older sister. Lack of safety was a very real concern.

While most would see it as giving up, I view it as valuing EVERY member of the family and making the sacrifice to release a child into another home or facility where healing is a possibility and safety is a given.

I believe strongly in the sibling trauma bond. I fully believe that M and S would never have healed in our home with their bio sib B still here. It has been difficult enough with just the two of them because they share unhealthy experiences and bonds that had to be broken before healing could begin.

No matter what decision is made it will be heartbreaking. You will feel like a failure. God will seem distant and uncaring. Friends will forsake you because their lack of understanding allows them to withdraw from your life. Your finances will suffer, your family will mourn and life will be overwhelming.

It has taken years but I feel God has released me from the job of parenting B. We never truly bonded because there were too many secrets in her life. But we continued to show caretaking love through the years. I hope that one day things will be different but for this time in my life I am content that we made the right choice for US. No one can make the choice for your family but you.

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  1. You explained yourself very well. Such decisions could never come easily or quickly.

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    When we made the most difficult decision to disrupt the adoption of our 13 year old son, a friend told me,

    “It is just like divorce, and I would NEVER divorce my husband.”

    My response,

    “If my husband was s*xually abusing my child, you can bet I would kick his little behind out the door as fast as possible. I would NEVER rely on an alarm on my husband’s door. I would NEVER be able to monitor my husband 24/7. And, the same goes for a teenage boy.”

    While one of my girls is still severely affected by the trauma she experienced at the hands of her big brother, I do have hope that the Lord will bring healing. I do not in any way feel that there could have been healing if the abuser was kept in the same home as the victim. Period.

    Our son had such severe RAD that he was not at all bonded to us. He was quite happy to go to a family who could buy him all his “toys” and give him everything he wanted.


  3. Thanks for posting this! As a mom to a RAD kid, you feel like things are never going to get better and then think at what point do you disrupt. Like you said, you will feel bad and will lose friends, but for the safety of all it needs to be done. Love you! So glad we met!

  4. Very well written. Sometimes I often wonder if our life will come to that. If it does, it will not come lightly. For now we will keep pressing on and hoping that she can heal through the start of therapy. So glad I met you, well through the internet. 🙂 Love you!

  5. for those who judge you for these difficult decisions and ultimately are no longer apart of your life, i say this… “If they left your life God knew you didn’t need them in this season” – Pastor Steven Furtick

  6. Anonymous says:

    I feel like I’m going to throw up. Thank you for sharing this. This is how we were feeling. Still do most days.

    It’s hard to describe the house while M was with us. It was absolutely torture for her and the rest of the family. I never in a million years and would have believed it until I saw it with my own eyes – that there ARE children who being in a family is absolutely NOT the place for them to heal, deal, etc.

    For us, M preferred the orphanage setting. Everything was done for her with no expectation of a reciprocal relationship. Period.

    I’ve never been able to describe the fear the other kids felt. Because M felt fear, she made sure everyone in the home felt fearful, which she absolutely succeeded in doing. When we all said we understood what she was doing and we weren’t going to BE FEARFUL anymore, that’s when the battle REALLY began.

    It’s so sad and literally brings back all those fearful feelings……as for the reader who ‘shamed’ you…..I’m sorry you suffered. Truly, I am. I get it and it sucks, but please don’t bash the families who step up, and try, try, try every stinking parenting ‘technique,’ therapeutic blah blah blah until they are beyond exhausted.

    We tried and some may feel failed as the kids are no longer in our homes, but just like my therapist said: we would have four destroyed kids. M is getting the help she desperately needs, it’s just not in a ‘loving’ family setting. And she would tell you SHE doesn’t want it.

    My prayer is this: she has experienced living in: an orphanage, two families homes and now a group home…..as she gets older she can look back on her experiences and DECIDE which path SHE wants to forge.

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