October 05, 2009

Can I Borrow Your Shoes?

Being an adoptive mom, I've been asked what I think about the Anita Tedaldi situation. She is the woman would knowingly adopted a child with issues (knowingly being a key word here), and then after 18 months, claimed she wasn't attaching to the baby (and vice versa), and placed him for adoption again.

I learned long ago--especially having been through two adoptions--not to judge anyone unless you have walked in their exact shoes. Cliche, but most definitely true. We, as outsiders, can have no possible way of knowing what someone is going through, thinking, experiencing, feeling, or what circumstances influence the decisions and choices they make.

That said, because my personal opinion was asked, here's how this whole thing makes me feel: disheartened. I believe that when you adopt, that child is your forever child (as they say in the adoption world), just as if you'd birthed the child yourself. And, just like with biological children, you never quite know what you're going to get (for lack of a better way to say it). Some biological children don't attach to their biological parents, and vice versa. Some biological children have severe issues. We just don't have much, if any, control over these things.

But we do have control over how we handle the situations and issues that life throws our way. Maybe Anita Tedaldi really does feel she did what was best for the child; I don't know because I'm not her and I don't know what the situation was really like.

That said, in her own words on the Today show, she said, "I tried to do the same thing [for D] I did with my biological children." I doubt she would have placed a biological child for adoption who wasn't attaching.

Let's just hope there's more to the story than we know and that D has found a loving home. And for the adoption community, let's just hope this doesn't set us back.