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Family
Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri

2.26.2012

Disruptions

I cannot remember exactly when I was following her blog.  We were either waiting to travel for Joy, or had just returned home with Joy.  Whenever it was, I do remember not understanding why this woman would travel all the way to the other side of world to adopt a little boy, but change her mind once she met him.  She never detailed her reasons, but people on the adoption forums made their assumptions.  I admit that I, too, passed judgment on this lady, albeit quietly, not on forums.  But that was before.

Disruption is a dirty word in the adoption community.  Opinions are very strong on this topic.  Many adoptive moms say that they would never even consider a disruption.  And, I have to admit that it never once crossed our minds.  When we started the adoption of Yang in 2008, we knew that she had a variety of delays.  But, I also believed we could work through them.  I did a lot of research and reading preparing myself for this adoption.  While doing the paperwork, waiting, and doing more paperwork, I never once considered that we would not bring Yang home with us.  Never.  We were prepared.

We traveled in 2009 and met Yang in Nanchang.  She looked just like her pictures with the happiest smile on her 8 or 9 year old face.  Her delays terrified me.  I thought I was prepared, but hindsight, no amount of reading could have prepared me for the face to face reality of the disabilities.  I filled out paperwork, but could not rid myself of this gnawing feeling in my gut, this fear.  We were her parents briefly.  My husband and I talked, cried, prayed all night long as I watched this beautiful child sleep.  Without going into details, we knew that Yang's needs were so great.  We had to make a decision for our family as a whole, not just what I wanted.  We had 5 other children back home to consider, each that would be impacted greatly in one way or another.  We chose not to continue the adoption.  Shortly thereafter, the emails and comments came.The adoption forums started their discussions and judgments about our decision, all without even knowing what was happening in our lives.

It was not an easy decision.  I never thought I would be in this situation...having to make this choice.  We once had to make a decision about removing our child from life support.  We could see our daughter deteriorating before our eyes, but we didn't want to accept it.  We knew we were prolonging the inevitable, unless God intervened.  With both decisions came grief and the loss of a child.  The feelings were the same.

One lady on a particular forum stated that those who choose to disrupt are not "good human beings".  Another stated it was just a wrong decision to disrupt.  These are both judgmental attitudes. No one knows what a family is experiencing.  No one knows their financial or emotional situation.  A serious, unexpected special need could be detrimental to a family financially.  No one knows what is happening with the other children in the home.  One child at home could be resentful of the new sibling that takes mom or dad away many days a week for various therapies.  Everyone has to make a decision based on what is best for their families at that particular time.  If Yang had been our first or second child, I'm sure the outcome would have been very different.
 
With China special needs adoptions becoming more common than non-special needs, there may be more disruptions.  My hope is that the adoption community would be one of support and not one that tears down. If you've never disrupted, you cannot understand what a family is going through.  It would be like comforting a mother who just lost her child by saying, "I know how you feel.  Our child ALMOST died."     I've heard  people's "almost disruption" stories numerous times.  It is not the same.

I've learned never to say "never".  You may say you know in your heart you would never disrupt.  I'm glad.  I hope you are never put to the test.  I've learned that I have limits and am not perfect.  It is very humbling to leave China without your child.

*3/3/12  Many people have sent me very personal emails and comments that I have chosen not to post.  I did not want to put some of the comments on for the purpose of protection.  Some of these families truly do fear the attacks from those who disagree with their heart-breaking decisions.  My post was not saying any one person is right or wrong for their decision to disrupt or adopt.  Most (almost all) of the families' decisions were very traumatic and not for trivial reasons.  My post was meant as an encouragement for those who have experienced the pain of disruption and for those that may have preconceived ideas towards families that make this life-changing decision.

Ephesians 4:29  Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

13 kind words:

Darrell,Cindy,and Liberty

Thanks for opening up your heart to us. You're right, nobody knows what another family is going through.

Vicky

I'm sorry for your losses! I cannot imagine having to make either decision. I admire your courage to do the right thing for you and your family despite the pain and loss. Thank you for sharing!

Joanna B

You are so brave to share your story! I am so very sorry that happened to you! You are totally right that no one knows what another family is going through, and no one should be judging another family, especially in these situations. I also have wondered if there will be more disruptions now that so many adoptions from China are special needs.
Thank you for sharing!

Stephanie

As you know, this is a topic I know about...an experience we share. Your encouragement to me when we were under attack meant a lot.
Would you feel comfortable letting us repost this on WAGI? This is a topic that not many dare write about, but I think you did so beautifully.
Let me know your thoughts and thanks for sharing your heart.

Holly

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the pain that you went through making that difficult decision. Thank you for being willing to share a little about your difficult story. While it opens you up to criticism, it provides a very real part of the adoption experience that many don't want to think about.

Kim

Thank you for the post. We should never judge anyone for the decisions a family makes even if we don't understand ourselves. Prayer is very powerful and I believe God understands and directs our paths to the right decision.

Naomi

Well written. You know that I know exactly what you went through in China. That is why the Lord brought us together and your friendship has helped me so much. I cannot imagine your other heart breaking ordeal. Someday we will meet and I shall be able to hug you and thank you personally for being there for me :) And we will be able to share all that Lord has done in our hearts. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ!

Our Faith Walk

Oh, Cheri, I didn't know. I'm so sorry.

I agree, I read tons on Rumour Queen that makes my head shake and my heart hurt.

I also agree, "Never say never." I learned that lesson the hard way.

Liz

Cheri,

I love this post! You are so incredibly courageous! Support for the families going through disruption definitely needs to be talked about more openly in the adoption community. It starts with people like you who are willing to be open and honest and not back away from it. Secondly, the agencies need to change the way they treat families that are disrupting. Thanks for being so honest and forthright.
Liz

withgratefulhearts

Cheri,
Seems you've walked some unimaginably tough ground through these parenting years. I'm so sorry. One day we'll know why we have to walk through the things we walk through, won't we :)
Something must have happened today to spur this writing. Honest writing is good. God gave you the job of taking care of the children He has placed in your care...to love, protect, and train them. With God's guidance, you had to make a decision that, no matter how difficult, was best for all the children God has entrusted to you. No one should ever judge.
I didn't know you had a daughter that passed away. I cant even begin to imagine the pain, yet your heart keeps on keeping on...
Much love to you today my friend,
Cherie

Carla

I still remember a phone call from my friend Cheri where she said, "Did you read?! the other Cheri is disrupting!!" We both judged you in the moments before you said why...then all judgement went away. If you remember, there had been quite a few disruptions talked about...and NONE were for nearly as good of reasons. The one that stands out in my mind is the family that went to adopt a child who was "almost blind" and then shocked when that child couldn't actually see much of anything and needed help navigating their hotel room. ::sigh:: Yes, I still judge that family.


You taught me that it's not always bad and it's not always the right thing to do for all involved to proceed with the adoption.

I remember too, the excitement we felt when you were matched with Ivy...and traveling to get her.

Sandy

Cheri,
I know only too well the heartbreak of adoption. Although ours was not a disruption but a disolution. Both words highly vilified in the world of adoption.

I too thought I would NEVER disrupt/dissolve an adoption. How could someone do that I thought.
I still have not been able to address this on my blog. I just stopped writing about Sierra. Those close to us know and have been surprisingly supportive. But I am afraid of the group that should be the MOST supportive. Those in the adoption world.

Your words have given me a little peace and maybe one day I can finally address this on the blog. As you say, Never say never. Never judge. No matter how prepared you think you are....it just isn't the same as actually living it.

I know that this is the path that God sent us on...I do not understand why...but I am trying to trust Him in all of this.

Many blessings!

Judi

What a difficult time in your life. I admire your courage in sharing.

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