I have definitely gone through the stages of grief with my adult children, at least most of them. I think I am at acceptance now, but I know that this is a journey, not a destination. The family I was attempting to build definitely didn't turn out according to my plans, but I have to continue on from where we are now, not where I wished I was.
I do have signs for some hope. My wife is regularly talking with our youngest, who gave birth to our second grandchild (first for her) a month or so ago. We also have regular contact with our oldest son, who is living in another part of the state with his wife and our oldest grandchild. They have challenges and I want to give more input, but I need to sit back and just pray for them.
The other two children will have nothing to do with us, especially me. My youngest son has decided I am not family at all and feels I am wrong when I tell him he will always be my son and that he is going to change that. While he is almost certain to take the legal steps to remove any connection, I do know that my wife and I are the only ones that raised him and he cannot change that fact no matter what he does.
I expect that he will go through some pretty rough times, given some of the things he is pursuing right now. I do have a spark of hope that he will eventually change, but only time will tell if that is more than just wishful thinking.
Either way, my wife and I can be certain that our children are better off than they would have been if they had been left in the system. While I wanted more, that is definitely a worthwhile goal, even if it is not as personally gratifying.
I still would like to see more support for those earlier in the process. I have a feeling some things could have been different if we had better, more understanding support. That is tough, since the issues involved go against common sense, but that support is desperately needed if we (as a society) are going to provide a good environment for these children to grow up in.
More on that later.