A 41-year-old mother from Spokane, Wash., knew she wouldn't be able to keep her adopted son after she realized the boy had become a threat to his siblings.
Stacey Conner was a former attorney who dreamed of having both biological and adopted kids.
Conner explained to Good Housekeeping that after she volunteered in an orphanage in Haiti in 2005, she and her husband, Matt, a pharmacist, decided to adopt two children. The process was slow, however, so by the time they were able to bring home a son and a daughter, Connor had already given birth to her own son.
"J," her adopted 5-year-old son, was personable but would throw massive tantrums every time it was time to go anywhere, she said. And then it hit her: "I felt like I loved one child less than the others."
Two months later, J started pinching his siblings, provoking an anger in Conner she didn't know she had.
Conner and her husband had several discussions about what they should do before meeting up with a therapist specializing in attachment disorder. "I felt like the expert was telling me that since I had babies, it would be best to find J another home," Conner said.
She refused, and instead tried a suggestion by a social worker: "24-hour-eyes-on parenting." This lasted for two months until one day, J became especially angry at Conner and hit her with the back of his head, causing her to bleed.
"Forget love. Right then, I didn't even like J."
Fearful for the safety of her other children, Conner started working with an adoption agency that did secondary placements. Conner knew that J needed to be with a family who only had him for a child. When Conner and Matt asked him if he wanted to live with another family, "He was instantly open to it," she shared.
Seven years later, the family is back to adopting, only this time with the rule that they will only adopt children younger than their own.
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