I recently ranted about people saying that "everything happens for a reason". I've had many people (which I chose to assume are well meaning) that will say this in reference to our daughter (Beautiful). "It was God's will" that she be part of your family, they say. "What about everything that she went through before she got here?" I ask. "Well, everything happens for a reason..."
At this point, I usually don't know how to feel. When Beautiful is not with me, I have the freedom to just walk away without challenging their ignorance. However, when these things are said in front of her, I attempt to end the conversation quickly. Sometimes, the individual may be extremely persistent in their assertion and I feel obligated to quickly point out that I don't believe that God would engineer a situation where my wonderful little girl would have to go through hell just to get to live with us. I never want her to internalize the concept that all of the bad things she's been through was the will of God.
In a perfect world, there would be no adoption. It simply wouldn't be necessary. Children would only be born to parents that want and cherish them. They wouldn't be abused or neglected. Nothing bad would ever happen.
This is NOT a perfect world.
My daughter's biological mother (Rahil) is not an evil person. She is a product of an abusive, horrific childhood. She was failed by the same system that seemed to be making every attempt to fail Beautiful. Fortunately, in a moment of clarity, Rahil chose to remove Beautiful from the merry-go-round of the foster care system. The only way to orchestrate this was to consent to the permanent guardianship arrangement. I could tell that she didn't want to do this, as it meant ending any possibility of ever having Beautiful living under the same roof as her.
However, Rahil said that all she wanted was for Beautiful to be happy, and she knew that she was happy with us. We all agreed that the worst thing that could happen was for Beautiful to be moved, even if it was to be returned to Rahil's home, which was inevitable if she remained in care. Finally, at least for the moment, she seemed to reach the same conclusion that the rest of us had...DHS would place Beautiful back with her for a trial period, even though we all knew that Rahil was not ready. Most likely, it would have lasted for a very short period of time before the babe would be removed again. However, the effects on our beautiful little girl would have lasted a lifetime. It would have been a horrible injustice to gamble with the life of a child in that way.
I'm very proud of her for making this decision, though I know it must have been incredibly difficult. Part of me feels like that experience may have played a role in the downward spiral that has become her life. Prior to that court date last fall, Rahil was starting to finally make progress in straightening out her life. She'd gotten her first job, finally passed a drug test, and actually started attending a few of her AA meetings and parenting classes. Granted, the progress was minimal, but it was more than anyone had ever seen her even attempt.
Within two weeks, Rahil was arrested for domestic violence. This was the first of around a half dozen arrests (that I'm aware of ) in the intervening time. At this moment, no one seems to know where she is. She jumped bail and didn't appear at court for her drug charges. I worry about her. i pray for her. I pray for her other daughter. I pray for Beautiful.
Rahil was adamant that she wanted to see her, to have ongoing contact. At this point, she has never contacted us. Until she disappeared off the radar, I sent regular updates to her and her mother. I sincerely hope that she will one day be able to have contact with Beautiful.
I think the only people that understand my feelings on this are other people in the adoption world. In real life, people seem to find it odd when I refuse to let them bad mouth Rahil. Some even get angry when I tell them that I think contact with between the two could be a good thing. People seem to believe that, since Beautiful was only 1 when she moved in, she will eventually forget that she had a life before our family...that the reality of how she came to exist and how she became part of our family will simply dissolve. They seem to expect that she will never want to know...that it will be a non-issue.
The truth is, though, that she will have questions. She already has questions. At 4, she doesn't know how to articulate her concerns but it's clear that she fears that we might not always be there. After all, we were the 3rd foster home, plus being removed from her biological family twice. She occasionally asks about "that girl"--the only way she ever refers to her mother. When she has nightmares about things that happened to her...things she doesn't remember when she's awake...she asks me why someone would do that to her...why they didn't love her. When she internalizes all the bad and assumes, like most abused children, that there may be something wrong with her, it breaks my heart. I hope that someday she can hear her mother say, in her own words, that she does love her. That the bad things that happened are not Beautiful's fault. I tell her, but I know that it will mean more if it comes from her.
As the child of an adult adoptee, I've watched as my mother tried to process all of this. She had contact with her biological mother most of her life and none with the father. I've seen how the two dynamics have affected her and the results of reunions during adulthood. I sincerely believe that appropriate contact is best and hope that my daughter can experience that.
Regardless, though, I will continue to be there for her and do whatever I can to help her become the best person that she can be. Because she deserves it!