I was struck by a post at Adoption Coach Blog [link]. The post discusses children who were not adopted, “shadow children”. I find the idea of adoptive parents mourning a child they do not adopt repulsive, quite frankly. But it made me think of the children that were passed over for me.
There was a baby girl from when my adoptive parents lived in Iran; she was named. The child’s mother died in childbirth, and the father was a desperate farmer who could not afford to raise the child alone. Some go-betweening took place, and my father agreed to take the girl. But then the girl’s father asked for money, and my father backed out. (Ironically, the formalized version of this exact same monetary transaction in Lebanon was okay.)
I also left behind twins in my orphanage; the nuns asked my mother to take them as well when she came to pick me up. She thought about it, but then realized she could not make the decision without my father’s okay. Unable to communicate with him in Iran, she decided not to take them.
I always wonder what happened to all of them. Anyone else haunted by such shadow children? Haunted by the vagaries of chance that our adoptions often entailed?