This past weekend I underwent a task that was both emotionally satisfying and upsetting. As I experienced emotional swings I wondered what it is that causes people to experience different emotions for similar activities, or why one person will ride a roller coaster of emotion over the course of time related to only one activity. What is it that caused me to swing from happy to crying in a split second just by reviewing the photos that were the subject of my project. Emotion can break people down or build you up. With me it does both. There was emotional satisfaction in creating a Shutterfly book of a grandaughter torn from our family by CPS. My husband and I were stripped our of our relationship with her by DHS and the adoption agency who refused to allow us contact during the time she was in foster care and even after parental rights were terminated and we applied to adopt. That lack of contact was then used against us in the adoption process and the foster care parents were awarded the consent to adopt rather than us. There were times when the process of creating the book was emotionally upsetting. It is hard to understand the process and reasoning of destroying a family when there are biological relatives willing to take in a child and raise her as their own.
Emotions can tear you apart or they can heal. The emotions that accompany the experience of losing Kae-Lee to another family have resulted in an emotional determination. There are weak moments, such as during the creation of my photo book, but overall they have left me determined to do something to right a wrong that is done to families all across the country or at least let people know what is happening, that everyone is at risk. That is the reason I have begun writing a book about our family’s experience in dealing with CPS, DHS and adoption. Writing is a healing process. It gives me focus. It allows me to analyze all that happened, to understand where the biological parents failed and where the system failed. Neither is perfect. However, the destruction of a family, the ripping of a child from its biological family and giving it to strangers rather than relatives is something I find extremely disturbing and difficult to accept. Writing is my way of fighting back. I want people to know what happened to us and that similar situations are happening to families throughout this country. It isn’t right. It isn’t fair. That is how I deal with the emotional trauma of this situation. Writing about what happened gives me focus and provides satisfaction in knowing that I have not sat back and let the situation swallow me emotionally. I am stronger than that.
The Shutterfly book is an assortment of what little photographs we have of Kae-Lee from the time she was born in March 2010 through the termination in June 2012, and a few photos we were lucky to obtain taken by others in the year since the termination. There will be no more. We have no contact with the foster care family that adopted her. When you are looking at photographs of a beautiful baby with her family and remember how she was torn from your life, it is an emotional roller coaster. That Shutterfly book of photographs is the only thing we have left of her, plus the traditional newborn memorabilia that every parent saves and the yearly Christmas ornaments we have purchased for her. Maybe someday she will come looking for her biological family and we can be reunited with her and share those items.
If you would like to view the book of photographs I created you can click this link: Shutterfly Book. I welcome everyone’s comments on this blog and/or the book.