09 August, 2012

Disrupting Grace

Title: Disrupting Grace
Author: Kristen Richburg
Genre: Memoir
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - Personal Copy

From Goodreads:
We have two children. We used to have three. Our third child didn't grow up and leave home, she didn't die. We relinquished her. Aren't adoption stories supposed to have happy endings? While there are many adoption stories that do have happy endings, this is not one of them. And we've come to learn we are not alone. More and more families are finding themselves in situations similar to ours, feeling like there is no way out. This book is my story of adopting a child who was unable to attach. It is a chronicle of investment and sacrifice in our daughter, the pain and loss we experienced, the grief of darkened hopes and loss of a dream. It is also a story of grace and healing, of relinquishment and new beginnings. 

What I thought:  I first discovered this book about two years ago over at Life in the Thumb and knew I wanted to read it.I taught a child who suffered, among other things, attachment disorder and I can tell you they are hard, hard work.
I admire Kristen Richburg and her husband so much because they did two really hard things - they relinquished a child they loved and had wanted so much because it was the best thing for her and the rest of the family and they were brave enough to share their story. It's easy to sit and say "I would never" or "They wouldn't have if she had been biologically theirs." Both statements are lies. I truly believe you cannot say what you would and wouldn't do until you are in the exact same situation and I believe biology makes no difference once you have accepted a child into your heart. In fact I'm sure it wouldn't take much searching to find documented examples of people relinquishing their biological children.
This book was heart wrenching to read. The trauma experienced by all involved is unimaginable. It's not an easy read and I wouldn't suggest it to anyone who upsets easily. It also reminded me a lot of Jessie Mei Mei which was written by two Australian journalists who adopted a child with issues that they did not know about. Either of these books are a good look at the not so happy ending side of adoption.