Thanks to my friend and "adopted" Social Worker Lois Soncrant, my heart has found peace about not adopting Sarah.
I think that one of the things that we adoptive parents need more of is honest advice from those charged with helping us through this incredibly emotional journey. I think that a lot of times agencies see the chance to place another child (which means money for them, no matter how much we don't like to think that adoption=money) and will say "okay" to just about any family who wants to adopt a particular child without any thought of whether the placement might be appropriate.
Lois is different. She sees things first and foremost from the child's point of view--not from the point of view of an adoptive parent or an agency professional. She would never place a child into a family just to check one more waiting child off of the list. She only wants to place children in families where it will be good for the child AND the family adopting the child.
I sent Lois my "Sarah in the Soul" post the other night and asked for her guidence. Even in her jet-lagged frame of mind Lois was able to give me honest feedback in a loving way.
She said that even with all of the love I have for Sarah, the guilt that I would feel in causing Taevy trauma by bringing Sarah into our home would be THAT much more. She is so right. That hit home with me.
You see, when Taevy was around 18 months old we left her for 3.5 weeks to go to Vietnam to pick up Samren. It was a big back and forth decision on whether or not to bring her with us and in the end we decided to leave her home (where it was "safer"). What we found when we got home was a traumatized little girl. It was when we realized for the first time that Taevy had attachment issues. In her little mind we had abandoned her--just as her birthmom had done and her foster mom after that. In her mind that was her third abandonment in 18 months of life.
Even though the trauma we caused Taevy was absolutely accidental I carry a tremendous amount of guilt for not taking her with us. *I* caused my baby to be hurt very deeply. She is scarred from what we did.
So how much MORE guilty would I feel if we adopted Sarah KNOWING that it would cause Taevy trauma, but with the plan to "help her through it" (because I do know I could help her through it). How horrible would I feel as I held her late at night and tried to re-teach her heart (again) that nobody can replace her and that we would never abandon her?
I can't do that to my baby. I won't do that to my baby. I love Sarah with a feirce love. But I have a duty to never allow Taevy to be knowingly traumatized again, no matter how much I feel drawn to Sarah.
So thank you Lois. Thank you for telling me the truth (again!) even when you know that I didn't want to hear it. I appreciate your "tough love!"