Sometimes I am just so disappointed in both B and myself on behalf of our children. Ideally, no child should be a child of divorce but our kids have even more compelling reasons than most not to have to their parents split up.
Our youngest three children are all adopted. Obviously adoption involves loss and children who have been adopted have already lost their first family. They already have certain holes in the hearts and as adoptive parents we do everything we can to try to patch them. But as hard as we try, for most adoptees, something is still missing. Some don’t examine these feelings or loss or abandonment until they are 20 30 or even 40 years old. Some, like my son Paul, live with this wound their entire lives. Always wondering who they are and who they come from. Always believing there was something “wrong” with them rather than something wrong with the situation they were born into. None of these kids deserve to have their family severed again. My heart aches for them should we divorce and the guilt is tremendous. I mean, we willingly and lovingly brought them into our “forever” family, as the adoption community refers to it. But we may not be forever to children who desperately need the stability of forever.
Both Andre and Paul have autism while Paul also has some mental health issues. In talking to their psychologist she says that divorce would devastate Paul and could take him to a place from which he cannot return. Who does that to a child? Who knowingly divorces knowing that this is a possibility? I don’t even know how to wrap my head around this and I don’t understand how B could either.
And Gracie is at the age where losing her family could impact her ability to sustain her own relationships. According to studies older children remain profoundly effected by vivid memories of suffering due to their parents divorce. They are concerned about the unreliability of relationships and fear of betrayal when they are older and divorce happens.
I know that there are good reasons for divorce and I know that not all kids suffer because of them. But I also know in a family like mine that divorce will be most likely be catastrophic because of the special issues that are involved. It seems so ridiculous and selfish to be talking divorce just because a marriage isn’t “perfect.” Nothing is perfect in this world and I hope our children don’t internalize it as this divorce is occurring because they are not perfect either. Although we would sit down with them and try to convey that it has nothing to do with them, I suspect that they will not buy into any easy platitudes.
So I sit here and hope with a heavy heart that things improve for us and for the sake of our children. For if we divorce they have the most to lose. They are the innocents.