Our Adoption Anniversary and the Dissonance it Brings

                        


Today marks 5 years since our first 3 kids were adopted. A teeny baby girl and two older but small boys became officially ours. Since then we added two more little girls to our family. Adoption days are complicated anyway without our added family trauma. In the past, we have had a special meal or gotten ice cream. 

This time last year our oldest wasn't with us. He had been in residential treatment for a while by then but I was still so deep in my grief over what he had done, and the fallout from it, the adoption anniversary didn't feel worse than all of the other days. Now that we all have truly begun to heal in earnest, today feels like a punch in the stomach. I find myself reliving the moment I found out my oldest son had broken our family. Facebook shows memories of 5 years ago, our beautiful, happy, smiling family.  Instead of being thankful I have children I love living under my roof, I'm distracted.  The one child that is not, and never again as a child will be here with us together is missing. And despite everything, despite the pain he has caused everyone with his lies, deceit, and abuse, we all miss him. So celebrating today in any fashion, even acknowledging it out loud feels painful and wrong. Maybe it always has been wrong. Adoption is always a beginning and an ending, even under the best circumstances. A beginning as a new family, and ending of the old one.  I don't have anything insightful to say. No philosophical thoughts to round this all out. We are grieving. There is a  hole in our family that can't be filled, even though no one has died.  Furthermore, it feels like pouring salt on a wound to remember how joyful we were to finally have our kids safe under our roof "for good". For years I thought my oldest was my healthiest, most healing, most receptive to change one. I thought he was doing so well. I was so wrong. All of us are feeling the loss of a son, brother, and friend. Still. We might always, in some ways. Please pray for us if you are the praying type. 

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