Tonight I read a new comment posted under my "Crushed" post from an anonymous adoptive mom who adopted a 12 year old girl from Russia who ended up having Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD in older children is far more difficult to manage than RAD in an infant like Josh. She outlined her story then stated "Cindy, listen to God. I believe he is telling you how blessed you are now and that too much time has passed and the girls are too old and have lived in the orphanage for too long. If they come in to your home now they will destroy your family.I am sorry but that's what happened to us."
There it is, my unspoken fear spoken loud and clear. You see, it is not unwarranted...anyone who has watched those episodes of 60 Minutes, 20/20 or other news shows over the years has heard the horror stories of older child adoption gone awry. And when it goes bad, it is beyond your wildest imagination just how bad "bad" can be.
How do you know? How can you tell if something is a sign from God, or just a typical international adoption uphill battle? As someone who strives to do God's will in my life, this is the single most important thing to heed, what is God saying to us? Are these delays for some reason that will become apparent later on and are a help? Or are they something that is trying to shove us over the edge to "quit while we are ahead"...as we have already been told by more than one person.
I don't know...I didn't know when traveling to adopt Joshua that we would be bringing home an obviously RAD infant. I don't think that just because it worked out OK for the long haul with Josh that it would a second time around. We brought home Kenny, it should have been a nightmare. Instead it has been a dream come true for both he and us. Not always easy, mind you, but well worth every ounce of effort it took.
I won't be able to shake the fears, I wasn't prior to any of the adoptions...and there are so many...Will they be able to bond? Will they even like us? Is there something there we aren't seeing that will scare us to death once we get them home?
There could be. This adoption business is not for those looking for guarantees, it is a gamble for sure. And at quiet, introspective moments, it is particularly scary. But if we hadn't taken the leap 3 prior times, we wouldn't be as blessed as we are today. I also realize that does not mean that the 4th and 5th times will be as good as 1,2, and 3.
It is the thing that others don't or can't really understand if they have not been in these shoes. The uncertainty that accompanies all of this can kill you. People see the family together with the happy ending and they never think about how it could have turned out so differently...and you as the parent can often think of NOTHING but that. It doesn't really matter if it is an infant adoption or an older child, I remember sleepless nights pondering the birth history of our soon-to-be children worrying about what facts were missing, about what we would never know about their birth families and the implications.
I have felt for many years these were our daughters. What if I am wrong? Or, perhaps a better way of looking at it is what if I am still right and indeed they are meant to be our daughters, but we are meant to walk down a treacherous path with them?
Someone very smart said something to me yesterday that seems to fit this situation perfectly...God will use you no matter the choice you make. You will be used where you are at. There is no "wrong" choice if you are simply looking to be used by God. This was a really different approach for me, and one that will stick with me for awhile. If you want to be used, you will be.
How I do hope though that we are not facing years of heartache. Sometimes you just gotta jump off the cliff and see how God is going to use you. Maybe someone will learn from your success, or they just might learn a lot from your failure.
Hopefully, it will be our success that speaks to others this time around.