For the past 3.5 years, since becoming parents to Buddy and Missy, we’ve been attending weekly counseling sessions at a local center that specializes in working with families who are touched by adoption. They have literally been the ones to carry us through the roller-coaster ride of the first months and years. Missy attended play therapy and learned to identify her feelings, to know when she’s flooded, to use her “first aid kit for feelings.” She recently completed her trauma work and we were all set to begin on attachment. MrH and I found a safe haven for struggles with the kids, the changing dynamics in our marriage, and also our personal moments of hurt, joy, success, and failure. Most recently, Buddy began play therapy as we work to cope with his anxiety and low self-confidence. They were the ones who facilitated discussions with birth parents, advised us on how to proceed in ways that honored their feelings while addressing the kids’ needs for stability, and held our feelings when it got really hard. Over and over again.
Now, due to changes in governmental funding formulas that are beyond my ability to understand, this incredible non-profit is closing its doors. I just got the news. “Devastating.” The first word that entered my mind. Even after reminding myself that my family is now fine, and as a family we will not be devastated by this, it’s still the main feeling in my heart right now. A piece of my heart is devastated in the truest sense of the word. Shattered into many pieces, confused, angry: what kind of a world do we live in that this incredible resource to so many, could not find the additional $200,000 it needed to keep its doors open? Who are these folks in Washington (or our state, or whatever), so callously making decisions to save a buck, in the meantime cutting off hundreds of pre- and post-adoptive kids from the supportive services they need?
I spent the past hour maniacally cleaning my room, a small vestige of control in my life. See how good they were? I know that when I start cleaning like a mad-woman, I’m seeking control over something in my world. I know, too, that it’s a false sense of control, it doesn’t actually work. This world will still be just what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. But for right now, will you sit with me and just hold this feeling of devastation? Tomorrow I’ll put on the optimism again, tomorrow I’ll learn the lesson, tomorrow I’ll realize that this is a call to action for my own life. Right now, I just feel sad. For me. For the other clients. For the amazing therapists who are losing their jobs. For the world.