What I Want You to Know is a series of
reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their
personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the
unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to
this series,
click here. Today’s guest posts is by anonymous reader.

story is different from the ones you see in commercials, in the movies
or on the news. There were no happy crowds of relatives waiting at the
airport. No bundle of sweet baby with black hair and a dirty orphanage
blanky. No grand welcoming celebrations, no templated adoption
announcements, no tears of gratitude for a teen mother who made the
right decision.

Instead of having a sparkly idyllic Baby’s First
Christmas this year, we have made no plans yet because we have no idea
whether he will be in drug rehab or a group home over the holidays, or
if he will be here with us.

Our boy was born the same year we
met in university. In a strange-fated coincidence, we have worked out
that he was conceived within days of our own coincidental
meeting. His birth mother was 40 years old when he was born, the exact
age I was when we adopted him. She was pregnant because she was raped by
her abusive husband. She looked after her son, but she didn’t nurture
him. She never wanted children. When he was a tween, in her first
interaction with child protection officials, she made an appointment and
surrendered him to foster care, asking at that very first meeting to
sign papers for him to be adopted. The next day she moved with her
boyfriend to an apartment with no bedroom for her son.

We met
him several years later, about a year ago. He was a teenager, almost a
man, and he was utterly unprepared for being in a family. He has no
capacity for trust, empathy or love. He still wants to live with his
mom, but also says he hates her. I kind of hate her too. She wrecked
him. He is so damaged that I consider him to be profoundly emotionally
disabled. Like if it was a physical disability, he would be in a
wheelchair and communicate by moving a stick with his mouth.

also jealous of her. At the best of times, he treats me as a pal, a
nice lady, a good source of food, money and electronic access, but she
is the only person he seems to love. At the worst times, he says he
doesn’t want to be our son, and he doesn’t want us to be his parents. He
only wants his mother. Of course he wants his mother. But I feel like
she doesn’t deserve his love, and I’m angry that she gets it and I
don’t. We all have a lot of stuff to work through…

What I want
you to know is that we don’t regret our decision. We love our boy and we
have faith he will love us as and when he is able. What makes it so
much harder is the world not understanding and accepting that we have to
do things differently, and that this difference is OK. If our boy was
in a wheelchair, the world would understand a little better. But because
his disability is emotional, all they see is an angry, oppositional
delinquent who hurts everyone around him, especially us, who love him
unconditionally, and they react like it’s a choice he’s making. They
think he should realize how lucky he is to have us and say that he
should smarten up so he can come home. They say we should give up, that
he’s unreachable, that he may never love us. I already love him with all
my heart, and miss him every single day he is not with us. It’s too
late. We won’t give up now.