Loss – it’s a very big, much used word in the world of adoption.
Loss is discussed in the preparation groups.
Loss is discussed in the home study.
Loss is mentioned all the time, for very good reason.
I have suffered some loss in my life. The first big loss was my middle brother being killed, our family dog died when I was 19 – for 17 years of my life he had shadowed my every move, as an adult my grandparents died. At school a good friend died very suddenly and as an adult a good friend died very suddenly too. I suffered these losses though from a stable happy upbringing. I was a confident child from a happy home – I had a sound base to help me through in a healthy way.
But nothing compares to the loss that most of our adoptive children suffer before and during adoption.
Bonzo is no exception.
He has suffered the loss of many people, and though most of the losses are for very good reasons, they also explain much of the behaviour that I still get.
Today, he was collected from school by a good friend. As I collected him and went to give him a kiss he violently jerked away, ran off laughing hysterically and told me he wasn’t coming home. He then started hollering at me various insults and being generally horrible. My friend rescued this by firmly telling him to get his coat on and took the control (lack of) from me. In the car he was Mr Nice Guy. At home we had tears. ‘What was all that about Bonzo?’ ‘I didn’t think you would ever come back’.
That is loss. The everyday fear that I am going to disappear. I had written down todays routine for him, I had assured him I would collect him before tea, I had told him where I was and what I was doing, I had prepared him in every imagineable way. But still he didn’t believe I would come back.
But I guess when you have lived with and been removed from birth parents, birth family, a mother & baby unit, another mother & baby unit, foster carers, then it haunts you forever. Not to mention the number of social workers that have been involved then disappeared, and physical things – new homes, new cars, new toys, new clothes, new smells, new foods – all meaning a great big loss of what he was used to.
So loss is big, and it effects to a lesser or greater degree our children – and it effects them forever.