It seems that in the adoption industry, an adoption is considered successful when the family makes it to the finish line - that is, they are still together in some form when the youth reaches age 18 or so. It doesn't really matter that many of us have crawled to that finish line over the debris of broken relationships, stress related health conditions, fractured marriages, financial devastation, social isolation, a devastated sense of self- worth, and ptsd.
Well friends, I'd like to aim a little higher than that - I'd like to aim for success to include parental health, strong marriage, stable finances, good relationships with our other children and extended family, high self-worth, well developed social networks etc. Is that unreasonable?
I don't know why it's okay for Hazardous Families to suffer. And we do suffer. For some reason, it seems like if we admit that, then we are betraying the industry or some adoption myth that must be upheld. I have never pretended that my family was all rosey - but I have also held back on much of it to protect Junior and because I'm Canadian and we tend to value privacy.
Well, I don't see how that helped my family or anyone else. The fates still befell us in confusing and terrible ways, and continue to do so. Like you, I can't access the kind of help I need - good respite, effective professional services......... they just aren't there.
I follow my own advice and strategies for surviving each day, but my family, like yours, needs and deserves more. Our Juniors are entitled to a family that can maintain the energy to get to that finish line - and we have the right to get there with our relationships in reasonably good shape and with the energy to leap happily into whatever the next years will bring - you know, sort of like neurotypical parents do when they transition into their next life stage.
So, from here on in I'm not accepting the industry's version of success --I'm aiming higher, and I damn well intend to get that finish line with Junior and myself and the rest of my family in good shape and feeling like it was worth it.
What about you?