Foster Parent, Mom Life, View from the chair

The Ghost of Adoption…

The Ghost of Adoption…

What is the Ghost of Adoption?  No matter where I am or what I do there is an invisible person in my life. The car, the house.  Church. Always someone else with us.  We adopted our girl this past February.  Before the adoption, she lived with us for almost 3 years.  She moved in with us just shy of 5 so she has memories.  Memories that are not always accurate but then perceived memories are still memories.

Memories of a birth mom and dad.  Not always happy but not always sad either.  Some days the memories are the retelling of a funny thing her bio parents did.  Other days it is a glimpse into her life before she came to live with us.  A life of yelling, a life of uncertainty, a life that was frightening.

My Reality

Then the reality.  We live in the next town where she was removed.  When we go to town there is a constant looking around.  Looking over the shoulder.  Waiting for the first time we will run into one or both of them since the adoption.  It has been over 2 years since Little girl has seen her biological parents.  She has changed a lot.  I fear they have changed a lot too…not for the best.  I hear through the grapevine where they are and what they are up to.  Sadly their life choices have not left them in a good place.

I am afraid of the first time we encounter them.  What will be said?  Will there be a scene?  Will they even approach us?  I have talked about this with Little Girl.  She has a safe word.  If and when we run into them it is up to her if she wants to engage.  She can and knows if she needs an out she can use her safeword with me and I will make an excuse as to why we need to move on.  What if they are not in a good mind space will we need to engage the police?  I honestly don’t know?

Perhaps they have seen us already and have gone the other way?  Little Girl is bigger and in a great headspace.  She may ask questions they can not answer?  She may regress and the suitcase will come open.  (see here for background information regarding PTSD) This is my reality. Don ‘t get me wrong. Not for one second have I nor my husband regretted our decision to foster and adopt.  We love this kid with every ounce in our bodies and she knows it.  She loves us right back.  There is no fear in our family.  Just the uncertainty of the next time we see them…if we see them.  That is the ghost of adoption.




  1. Wendy

    I have these same thoughts. Yesterday at the mall I searched the crowd with anxiety.

    1. beachchairtracy

      Wendy….you certainly know the scan I am talking about. It is not an easy road we are walking but I know you would not trade this for anything.

  2. I can’t imagine what this must be like for her or, indeed, you. It sounds like she’s a brave, resilient kid and, with all the love and guidance you’re giving her, hopefully, that unhappy past will remain firmly behind her. #ThatFridayLinky

  3. I pray that God will give the both of you the strength to brave through this. God bless you for the love and guidance you’re giving her, Tracy. You are awesome!


  4. This must be so hard for her totally feel for her but thankfully she has your support and love Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  5. As an adoptive parent myself, the thought of running into birth parents terrifies me. My boys are much younger and have no memory of them but i like your idea about having a safe word for when they are older! #anythinggoes

  6. I cannot imagine how this must feel for you, but your little girl certainly has a very safe and loving family now.

    1. beachchairtracy

      She does. It is just part of the process.

  7. I’m familiar with these feelings too, scanning for someone I don’t want to see in an area that I have to be.

  8. something that I’ve never really considered before. Almost everybody I know that has adopted has travelled pretty far for it. I can’t imagine how this must feel

    1. beachchairtracy

      The further we get from her time in foster care the safer I feel. Time will heal.

  9. This is tough for you and her, sending love X #mixitup

    1. beachchairtracy

      Part of the journey. We have each other so we will make it through.

  10. It’s great to read that the little one is in a better place now and that you have a safe word should you need to call upon it, #ablogginggoodtime

  11. I have no idea how hard this must be for both of you. This would be my fear and would make me want to adopt further afield but there is such a great need at home.
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    1. beachchairtracy

      There is a need everywhere!

  12. Being so close and having the possibility of bumping into them being such a constant reality must be very difficult. At least you have a plan. A good plan too. #bloggerclubuk

    1. beachchairtracy

      We try to have a “just in case” plan in place. You never know.

  13. We are just applyuing for our court order. Her borther’s date was last week and mum contested and was allowed a month to present a case that doesn’t exist. Our daughter has been with us 3 months – it feels like a lifetime and this has brought home the stark reality that she may still be placed back with mum. I’m hoping the judge is just covering all bases before he allows it though and will know enough for our hearing to know there’s no point in giving her the month to prove there’s been longer term changes.
    We live very far away so we have no worry about being found but it worries me in later life .

    1. beachchairtracy

      I hope it all works out in your favor! It is a rough ride but worth it!

      1. Thank you. Feel like we’re almost at the end (of the legal stuff). X

        1. beachchairtracy

          Our social worker told us that the initial plan is to reunify but….in the background there is always a plan B. They need to be able to show the judge they TRIED EVERYTHING to help the parents so when the parents fail they can say they did everything. It is sad and it seems so shady but in reality it is to protect the child.

  14. The most important thing is she has found a safe place with you. #BloggerClubUK

  15. I can imagine it being rather stressful for all of you, but I think it’s so great that you have a safe word that your daughter can use if she needs to.
    Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

  16. Oh wow, this is thought provoking. I didn’t think adoptions could happen quite so close to “home” for this very reason. I guess you need to be prepared that it could happen, but when you have kids, you do move in different circles and visit different places. It may be you never come face to face but good that you have a plan in place. #blogcrush

  17. This must be such a difficult thing to have hanging over your heads. I have a friend who has an adopted child and she has often spoken of this worry, especially going somewhere like our local shopping centre at Christmas time because it really does feel like the whole city descends on there at this time of year. But it sounds like you have your daughter well prepared and equipped and I hope that it all goes smoothly for you.

    And this post really struck a chord with someone because they chose to add it to the BlogCrush linky for you. Feel free to pop over and grab your “I’ve been featured” blog badge if you’d like it #blogcrush

    1. beachchairtracy

      Thank you for that honor! I love blog crush! We try and work out a plan in hopes we will never need it.

  18. Marko

    Wow , never imagined , thanks for the story

  19. Rosie

    It isn’t always as easy as it might seem to adopt. But you are giving a child a hope for a future and love and care. I have seen on social media some backlash about adoption; many people do not realize that there are many times no biological parent or appropriate relative can care for the child, it isn’t a matter of trying to reunite them. This makes it harder for the parents who adopt and the child, too, as they grow up. But it is commendable to adopt, you are doing something very special.

  20. This is a hauntingly beautiful post. I see another year or so has passed since you wrote this…I hope that Little Girl is doing better than ever. Loved and safe and knowing that you support her every step of the way through growing up with these ghosts of adoption. I applaud you. Thank you for sharing your journey.


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