Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sick, Sinking, and Helpless Feeling.

I just received an email from our adoption agency. Lots of you received the same email tonight, and I know that many of you are having the same feelings that I am. But I have to get these feelings out. I can't explain how upset I am. Basically, some changes have been made, and CHS is no longer allowing birth family meetings, and no longer providing Post Adoption Services. This means that even though I clung to Charlie Fekadu's birth mother and cried with her and promised her pictures and letters as often as possible, I was not telling her the truth. I cannot fathom that these people will now how to live out the rest of their lives wondering what happened to their son? That those people who they talked to for half an hour were lying and they do not care to think about them ever again?
From what I have read, it looks like this rule has come from the whole debate of the meaning of a "true orphan". All I can think is that someone decided that if a parent is to relinquish parental rights, then they must also give up their desire to care about their child's well being, their future, and the idea that they MIGHT have been able to have some piece of mind that they did the right thing when they see photos of their child, smiling and happy, and read letters from them as they grow older. Maybe I am partly upset because I thought that sending letters and photos would alleviate some of my guilt. I am sure that's some of it, and I am being honest. But how I am supposed to feel, when I cannot uphold my promise? They gave us a gift that I can't even begin to thank them for, and yet, they will never know how truly blessed and grateful we feel. They will wonder if something horrible has happened, if Charlie Fekadu is safe, if we ever even think about them at all. I want her to feel his smile, even if it is gazing at her from a glossy 4x6. I thought that was the ONE thing I could do for her. I put my face close to Charlie's every night and just breathe him in, and pray that somehow, across the world, she can feel him and smell him and sense him. I guess I will have to pray harder.

17 comments:

J-mac said...

My heart absolutely hurts for you guys right now. I can't imagine how you and ALL of the parents must be feeling. I do know what incredible parents you guys are, and just as much of a miracle Charlie is, we can only hope that the same miraculous spirit will somehow be able to find Charlie's birth parents and put them at ease that their son is happy and safe. I don't know what else to say other than you guys have our prayers and love.

Jess Addison said...

I'm so sorry to hear this awful news, Heather. I know you think about Charlie's birth family daily, as I'm sure they do you. I hope that something resembling a resolution comes of all of this and you are able to keep your promise to her. Try to keep your head up and know that the promise you made of loving him with all you have will never go away. In the meantime, I am praying for ALL of Charlie's family and I love you...

Catherine and Dustin said...

I don't understand any of this...it seems that more and more is stacked against the option of adoption. That it is becoming harder and harder...why?

nosmallfeat said...

Wow! That is so strange that agencies are doing this b/c the adoption laws in Ethiopia encourage the continued contact between families. There may be a way to continue the relationship but it would require independence. I meant to call you last night but had family calls from NY I was fielding. I will definitely call you on my way home and can give you some ideas.

I am sorry. It is a painful situation. I know exactly how you feel. I talk to Max's birthmom in the air hoping that sound travels to her village and she can hear my thanks.

XOXO

The Morreys said...

I am devastated by this news also. I have been thinking about Melkamu's mother constantly since we got his referral. Just because she couldn't raise him doesn't mean she didn't want to, and it certainly doesn't mean that she never wanted to hear about him again. I'm sure she would love to hear about him grow. I wanted to be able to do that for her, for Melkamu, and for us.

I wish there were something to do about this, other than pray that something changes. I just don't see how this policy helps anyone, and I don't understand why CHSFS seems to be the only one instituting it.

Heidi Mehltretter said...

I also think it is morally wrong to do this, and against Ethiopian family law. It is better for the agencies in some ways because it keeps them from being in the middle of possible money exchanges that could be misconstrued. How did they justify their decision?

I've asked this same question on my blog - what do we say to our kids when they grow up and want to know what we did to maintain contact with, and help, their birthfamilies?

cathy said...

I can't even begin to describe what we're dealing with in our home. Hopeless.

Virginia said...

I still don't know how to verbalize my disappointment at this change.. I didn't blog about yet it b/c all I feel is negative energy..
I do know H, that there are other ways you can contact them, as Laura mentioned.. so don't give up hope, all is not lost. (Edie on the forum has info)
I just wish we had the opportunity to meet them.. if only we had filed our paperwork just a month earlier..
[[hugs]]
VA

T&S said...

We, too, are horribly depressed and overwhelmed by this change. After meeting TN's birth family we can't imagine renegging on our promise to send letters and pictures. They love her just as much as we do... what thoughts must they be having. And, being able to "see" the post adoption reports IF they travel to ET is just so unrealistic. Our birth family has no such money to do such a long and arduous trip. I am devasted by these changes.

Tiny's Mom said...

We are hurting here too :(
{{HUGS}}

J-Mac said...

Is your agency going to contact these families? Seems to me that they're the ones who broke these promises, not you guys. Guess there isn't a way to be grandfathered in. I don't know crap about adoptions, but it seems to me that this would be a breach on contract (doubt this is the right word).

The Krumwiede Six said...

Oh sweetie... HUGS

Jen and Dan said...

Of course you know I how feel. I can't even begin to put into words how this will impact our children and future adopted children alike. I am just so sad for all involved and mostly my heart breaks for the children.

Deirdre said...

Oh, Heather, we're completely devastated too, but I just KNOW that this is not the end of it. We absolutely will maintain contact with our son's family—even if it's not through CHSFS.

My heart is really aching for the families traveling soon who won't be allowed to meet their birth families. Ugh. I just can't even imagine.

Melissa Jackson said...

I can copmtley understand your feelings but you are holing up your promise of giving that beautiful little boy 2 amazing, loving parents and a life he would have never know had you and Adam not come into it. I can understand how important it is to you to keep in touch with his birth family but you are doing the best thing you can do and that is being that wonderful person who is giving Charlie love and amazing opportunities for his life. Giving him all of your love is the number one thing i am sure him family wanted from you even more than updates and pictures. I am sorry to hear about the situation i defently dont agree with it but you have to remember you cant let the things you can't control impact the things you can. I think it is so wonderful that you and Adam have opened your hearts to this little boy and now he is your own, you are truley an insperation to Steven and I in our thoughts to adopt one day. I love you !

Julie said...

I don't know what to say. I am so upset by this. I am thinking about you guys, and all of the other CHSFS families.

Kerry and Tom said...

I was just devestated when we got that email. The only thing our boys birth mother said to us.. the only words she spoke were promise me you will bring them back when they are older. I have been so upset ever since I read this. I am going to pray with all my heart something changes for all of our children. I just said to her over and over. I promise I promise. How could this have happened??? Please know my heart is breaking with yours. Miss you terribly. Love to all of you.