Thursday 30 November 2017


I'm slowly unpacking some of the events of the last year, this is one part of a really tricky story. We're in a much more settled place today. 

'Why don't you send her back?'

What a peculiar thing to say to me:

Where do I start with that question. Yes, I may have been put through the ringer and gone to the very extreme of parenting experience but 'sending her back'? Really, how do you think that question helps me today. The nuance of my life seems beyond explanation sometimes.

The fascination with adoption seems to hang on the questions can you ever love a child that's not 'yours' the same as your 'own'? I don't know and never will.

I don't want to know, that's a terrifying thought and I don't even want to go there. I'd like to think my feelings are as much as anyone can ever feel for a child. Perhaps that's just me who ponders these thoughts, it's all meant to be ok isn't it?

In the midst of our challenge that question, 'Why don't you send her back?' hurts.
I made a covenant and for as long as I can, for as long as I should and as long as she needs I'll keep going. More than that I love her as such as I can. So, is it as much as I'd be able to love a biological child? does it even matter.

In the midst of my own pain, confusion and suffering you wake the protective dad with those words. I become an apologist for poor behaviour, I can list the reasons for it and don't need to resort to excuses. I want you to understand like I understand to love like I love. Don't interrogate me, don't add to my woes. They were trying to help by asking the question but have made it all worse, much worse.

I imagined her leaving and I feel worse than ever, so you have helped. My resolve is stronger than ever, I'm weak and wobbly but that's different to giving up.

She will not be going back, there is no back, if she were ever to leave it's not to a mythical back. There is no back.

I often feel like I'm reaching for ideas that are reflections on water, present but beyond my grasp.
There's a year to the day between that question and me. It still stings a year on.


  1. We've had that comment, in times of crisis. It's a crushing thing to hear. When what you need is a listening ear, empathy and support. Not just throw the towel in and give up. As time has gone on, the comment has empowered me. The one who has said it to me, is looking out for me, trying to protect me, and not looking at the needs my children. Instead of saying send them back, ask how you can help.
    As always, thought provoking.

    1. Thanks for commenting, like you say I doubt there's malice in their words just insensitivity and a lack of real thought.
      Stay well!

    2. My twopenny worth would be - no people do not send birth children back however they do opt out of family, desert, leave go away. And that is not very helpful. I also wonder about the LOVE thing, our culture has made it in to a sort of sentimentally slushy idea. And of course we must not rule out our emotions, however real love is an act of the will, so we CHOOSE to Love, and hopefully in most cases the emotions will come into line. So choosing to unlove, seems a very strange thing to me. So if our mind gets it right and we have chosen to love, the leaving, going back, deserting, seems a very strange thing to even contemplate. (probably not helpful)

    3. Always helpful, the idea of 'unchoosing love' is interesting. Where ever our children live, by choice or not, our love remains.

  2. Yup, we had a similar comment several times from our daughter's former therapist! Not helpful.

    1. I'm somewhat surprised from a therapist! Hey ho, people don't seem to get it!
      Many thanks for the comment.