During the 10 1/2 months that Ezra spent in our home, off and on we talked about, and I’ll admit, almost dreamed about disruption. His symptoms of PTSD were so great that it was incredibly difficult to meet his needs in addition to the needs of our other children. In fact I would have to say that we failed to fully meet everyone’s needs this past year. However, we were committed. God placed Ezra in our family and we knew we couldn’t quit because things were hard. (and trust me we are not disrupting our adoption because things were too hard, I am just being honest) We pushed forward believing that everyone would come out okay at the end of what we believed would be a hard two years at best. We chose love over and over again. We read books, talked to other adoptive parents, tried to piece together Ezra’s past, worked with a therapist, and prayed and prayed. About two months ago, Jonny and I, talking at the end of a hard day, discussed the fact that even talking about disruption was not an option anymore. Ezra was ours for better or worse. Part of our family, our little boy whom we waited to welcome into our home for almost a year and a half. Our little boy for whom we fought for once he was home for almost a year. Our little boy who entered an orphanage healthy, and came out destroyed. Our little boy whom I haven’t seen in over two weeks. Our little boy with whom I was convinced I wasn’t attached. The truth is that I was working so hard that I didn’t know the attachment was there until I was faced with giving him up.
So do you want to know how this really feels?
I feel like I am dying. The pain is that intense at times.
But some days I do feel relief. Relief that I can spend time with my daughters. Relief that we are not all listening to Ezra yelling every day, every hour. Our home has been a very stressful place this past year for our entire family. But, then I sit down to do something like go through his clothes, and then the sobs come and I am dying again. This loss, the loss of my child, is truly the greatest pain of my life. And I am no stranger to pain. Now I know that all my past hurts were just preparing me to weather this one. Of course I have to remind myself that Ezra is alive and well, he’s just not with me.
Ezra is still here in Virginia, living with a friend of mine, an older experienced adoptive mother. We are beyond blessed to have someone willing to keep him during this time of transition. He is having a great time. He hasn’t mentioned us, not once.
Because of that, I haven’t gone to see him. I am afraid to upset him. We are still working out the legal aspects of this, and his new family has not made travel arrangements yet. I am waiting until I have something definite before I sit down with him to explain what is happening. And see, I have to be strong. I can’t cry. I have to inspire confidence and reassure him that just like I have kept him safe this past year, I will not let anything bad happen to hurt him. Only I am going to hurt him. I know that he isn’t truly attached to me. His PTSD has prevented him from attaching to us. He was a reactive mess in our home. It’s not that it would never have happened, it just hadn’t yet. Not completely, maybe not much at all. I don’t know. But I do think he loves me, he told me so just once, many months ago. Maybe he didn’t know what he was saying. That didn’t stop me from clinging to it. I do think he will be sad. Do you know how it feels, to know that you are going to hurt someone you love, but you you know that you have to, that it’s the right thing to do? But then again, maybe he won’t care. Maybe he won’t miss us. I hope that is the case. I hope that somehow he can leave all his pain and hurt and trauma with us and move forward with his new family. He is so much healthier now than he was a year ago. I was just telling his new mom that I believe they are going to have a great honeymoon period with him. We didn’t get that with him. It was boot camp from day one.
Oh, and trust me, I have tried to find a way out of this. But there isn’t. My brain will start working out possibilties almost accidently. I don’t mean to be thinking those thoughts, they just happen. Because my heart wants to keep him. Then I remember that this isn’t about my heart. Every single person, including multiple professionals that I have discussed this with have said that we are doing the right thing for Ezra. My mind knows this. I just have to remind it.
Sometimes I just chant to myself, “this is not about me, this is not about me, this is not about me.”
From the moment we committed to Ezra and Gabriel we understood that this was not about us. I will always feel privileged that we got to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Let me share with you a little about Ezra’s new family:
I’ll start by saying that I believe that God hand picked them for Ezra. I truly believe that.
Ezra will be the youngest of four boys. His new family lives in an old farmhouse in the country. They have a dog and a puppy, some cats, and they have chickens. Ezra’s new mom is very health conscious and even grinds her own grain. They even drink raw milk (something we haven’t managed yet). They don’t keep a lot of toys around. Their boys spend a lot of time outdoors. Does any of this sound familiar? I could write an essay on all the things we have in common. The important thing that we don’t have in common is this: Ezra’s new family doesn’t have any younger children, nor will they be having any younger children in the future. Ezra will be their baby forever. He will remain their youngest child. Did I mention that two of their three children were adopted six years ago and that they are experienced with attachment issues? Oh, and Ezra’s mom has a degree in child psychology, although she no longer works, choosing to live on less money so that she can homeschool her boys. And, she is kind. She is loving. She is humble. I hope that she will be my friend over the years to come because we will be raising brothers.
** We brought Ezra home knowing virtually nothing about him and his past, and what we thought we knew turned out to be false. His new mom is going into this with all the knowledge that I can share with her about Ezra. She is so ready for him. **
And this family cannot wait to bring Ezra home. So my tears are selfish, it’s true. He is going to have a wonderful life with this family, and with time I will adjust to the idea that I was only meant to be Ezra’s mom for a short, difficult, season. I am not convinced that my heart will ever be the same, but I know that I will be okay, because I believe that Ezra is going to be better than okay.
And in case anyone is wondering whether we would go through all of this again…
Yes we would. I trust that my family is going to be okay and I cannot regret pulling Ezra and Gabe out of a place that no child should ever have to know.