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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Irreconcilable Differences: If Parents Could Divorce Their Children

After reading an account of someone’s amicable divorce in the May, 2012, issue of the Mennonite, I felt moved to write the following tongue-in-cheek letter by a set of imaginary parents to their children:

Dear John and Jane,

We really hate to have to break this to you, but as you know, we have been unhappy as a family for some time. In fact, we feel so distressed we’ve come to the place that we’ve decided we’re better off separating from each other.

When we adopted you a decade ago, we were overjoyed. As you know, we always made a big deal of the fact that you were ours not by mere chance but that we consciously chose you to be a part of our family. Our early honeymoon years were wonderful, and we thought you were the greatest gifts we had ever experienced. We were so much in love!

But life goes on, and after all of the many disappointments, stresses and arguments we’ve been through since then, things just aren’t the same. Sadly, we don't have those good feelings for you anymore. Understand, we still love you, we're just no longer in love with you the way a mom and dad should be with their children. And we figure that if parents have to work this hard to try to get their love back, then the relationship wasn't really meant to be in the first place.

Please don't take this personally. We think you are each exceptional children, and would make a wonderful son and daughter for some other couple wanting to adopt you into their family. It's just that we're not a good fit.

This makes us very sad. We may never understand why God brought us together in the first place, but I'm sure everything happens according to some plan, and that we'll look back later and see everything worked out for the good. Since you do really deserve the best, and since we can't seem to be that for each other, why should we keep up a pretense?

We can only hope and pray you will accept this as being the best way forward. We've already contacted a family divorce attorney and the separation papers are being drawn up as we speak. We are enclosing $1000 for each of you, along with two one-way plane tickets, for you to go live with your grandparents until your adoption by some other parents takes place.

Meanwhile, we hope we can all be totally nice to each other. We want this separation to go through in such an amicable and Christian way that we can eventually at least be friends with each other, with no hard feelings on the part of any of us.

We're so sorry this couldn't be worked out.

Sincere best wishes,

Mom and Dad
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