On this day when my first story, Undoing, is live for sale at Amazon.com, it seems appropriate to add a new blog post on associated topics.
Undoing depicts the challenges of one fictional family, as a married couple seeks to adopt young twins who had been in foster care. I want to stress the word “fictional” here, as some people who know me may wonder whether the situation depicted in Undoing is, in fact, a true situation. You see, my husband and I once adopted out of foster care, a nine-year-old boy, who is now in his mid-twenties.
Let me assure you that the story depicted in Undoing is, indeed, fiction.
That said, there are definitely themes that exist in Undoing that occurred within our household and likely occur in other households where children have previously lived in difficult situations. Themes like anger, testing and fear. We definitely saw these displayed from our son in different ways, and we also felt some of the emotions the fictional parents display in Undoing.
Another theme touched on in the Undoing story, disruption during pre-adoption placement, or even dissolution of an actual adoption, actually do occur more frequently than one might assume. The Child Welfare Information Gateway published a report in 2012 on Adoption Disruption and Dissolution. According to this report, different studies “consistently report disruption rates that range from about 10 to 25 percent” and dissolution rates are perhaps 1 to 5 percent, though data is not always available on this population. If the numbers of children adopted in 2012 represent a typical year (7,000 according to Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute), this means roughly 700 to 1,750 children may experience pre-adoption dissolution, after experiencing the hope of a new family, and another 70 to 350 experience another loss of family, after losing birth family already.
These are incredibly sad statistics.
It is also sad to understand the number of children still awaiting families. According to the AdoptUSKids website, there are 102,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted, and 20,000 children age out of foster care (become adults) each year without being adopted.
If anyone who reads this might find it in their heart to help one or more of these children, I applaud you. Likewise, I hope my story, Undoing, will help anyone who may be experiencing the challenges of adopting from foster care.