Saying Goodbye

On June 9, 2010 we first heard about our new daughter. She was 10. She had a complicated story and we were going to be her new family to help carry her through.

On May 9, 2011 we sat across a coffee table and said goodbye. She’s leaving our family. Her complicated story gets even worse and we all struggle with dashed hopes and broken dreams.

This has been my life the past few months as our latest journey into adoption has come apart all around us. It’s a little bizarre when life unravels and you’re not sure how to answer the ‘how are you?’ question, let alone blog about it.

When an adoption doesn’t work out it’s called a disruption (such a lovely technical term for a heart-wrenching circumstance). I’m not going to get into the details of our disruption. It’s a matter of privacy and when you’re dealing with an older child who can Google herself that’s just a bit weird. This entire situation sucks for her, and she deserves way better than that kind of indignity.

This whole mess is still being worked out. We don’t know what’s next. We don’t have much, if any, control of the situation and we don’t know all the details. It’s a feeling of powerlessness. Like being lost in a fog.

What we do know is that everything has changed. We do know that our family of five has become something else. We’re not quite a family of five anymore, but I hesitate to say we’re a family of four again. I don’t think you can go back so easily.

While she’s no longer in our house and soon to no longer be our legal charge, she is still in our hearts. I can be clear about that. She will always be our daughter. It’s not for a lack of love or a lack of trying or something else. The choices this process forced upon us are brutal, and I don’t really expect anyone to understand them. I wouldn’t have understood them a few months ago. It just sucks.

I’ve heard a lot of platitudes and I’ve offered a lot of nervous laughter and I’ve given fake smiles and I haven’t been able to maintain eye contact. Sometimes I’d rather not talk about it. And sometimes I need to get it off my chest (hence this post).

I don’t know where we go from here. We’ve asked for a lot of help and we’re trying to find our way.

My hope and prayer is that more than us, she’ll find her way.

6 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye”

  1. Kevin,

    Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family. After having to say goodbye to our foster boys last year I can’t imagine how hard it might be on all five of you right now.

    Know that there are so many praying and rooting for yall.

    Love you guys! Shalom.

  2. Kevin,

    We’ve never been where you are. We’ve prayed about adopting, and we’ve had struggles in the past with infertility, but never what you’ve gone through. I’m sorry, and my wife and I are praying for you and your family! I am glad that, out of all that your daughter will experience in this life, she will ultimately know she was deeply loved by the Hendricks’!

    Brandon & Angie Cox

  3. So sorry, Kevin!

    Marcia and I are totally bummed out by this news, but we both really admire what you and Abby have done and how much you care for your children.

    We’re rooting for you guys. Peace and comfort to you both!

  4. Oh my…so difficult to avoid platitudes and I so don’t want to heap any (more) onto you but please know that you and your family of five are in my most fervent prayers for healing.

  5. I understand. I don’t understand. Thank you, for adopting. Thank you, for trying.

  6. Kevin,
    I understand your feelings. My wife and I have fostered a total of five (5) children, adopting two (2) and in process of adopting another. The first two foster children we had were great kids with some real problems. We knew they suffered hardship through no fault of their own. It was difficult to help them bridge that gap when they fought us at the beginning. But, somewhere in the middle of the four months they spent with us, it all changed. They called us Mom and Dad and accepted their new reality. So, it was hard having them reunited with grandparents who were previously unable to care for them. We wanted to adopt them. It was a long year after that and we did not accept another placement during that time. We subsequently learned they had not found a permanent home and were still in the foster care system. It felt like I was being stabbed twice. Thankfully, our new foster children were going to be permanently placed in our home for adoption. That cushioned the blow. But, we still have their school pictures, family pictures and Christmas pictures. We can’t bring ourselves to throw them out. My wife and I sometimes see kids that look similar and convince ourselves it is them. Simply put, it’s hard. Opening your home is one thing. Opening your heart to someone that comes to live with your family for adoption can open all kinds of heartache. I hear from folks all the time about how they could never be a foster parent. From one foster dad to another, thanks for doing it. She may not live in your home, but you have helped her bridge the gap between her life that was and the life God has in store for her.

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