Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm not sure I'm a good adoptive parent and what makes me angry is that there has to be differentiation. I read a incredibly moving post today at Grown in my Heart. It's by a woman that works in China at a foster home for special needs children. Her viewpoint is something that I've obviously never lived and the article is poignant and touching. You can find it here:
Then I felt an attack. I can't tell if I really felt 'attacked' or if it was internal. Am I really a failure parenting my children because I can't continuously live in a place of tragedy or redemption with them? Does it make me a bad mother because I just want there to be normal in our lives? Does living through their pain, neglect and trauma nominate me for an award in the adoptive parent category?
I really don't know...but I don't do it. Not every day...sure, it pops into my head quite often. I talk with them and try to relate the struggles we are having to the things that have happened. But, I don't come at every situation in the 'you are hurt so badly and I need to nurture your pain' standpoint. So...maybe I'm part of the problem - not the solution.
Boy, that would suck for all involved, huh?


  1. Dont be so hard on yourself. I too employ more of a "this is today-lets make it good"
    as opposed to dwelling on the past. I dislike people with "victim" mentalities. Of course you listen when they want to talk & show them with love & discipline a better way but I think leading by example will prove beneficial in the long are a GREAT mom and have stepped forward to parent these hard to parent children. Stay strong we are seeing progress just in reading your blog Huhs!!

  2. You are an amazing mother and a beautiful writer!! I always check out your blog.

  3. I completely agree with Rainy!
    Just reading your blog I see progress. I know I am not there living what you are living every day but believe me I understand.

  4. M, I don't know the answers and I have no idea where I rate on the adoptive parent scale (I probably do not want to know on most days) but I do know how my own history has impacted me. Everything I am today as an adult is a direct result of my history and how it continues to play into how I relate to people. Its not pretty but it is so ingrained and hardwired that it literally controls me. I try to fight the impulses but it just keeps happening over and over. I am in therapy and have been most of my life, I have good days, months, even years but then something will happen and trigger a setback, its uncontrollable. I think if it had been dealt with when I was a child I might be further ahead today, who knows but I still suffer the guilt of not being able to control my thought process at times. Progress is in babysteps and takes years, this may be your new normal in life. It may suck for you but believe me when I say it will probably suck for them the rest of their lives. My guess is that you might also be suffering from issues that are unresolved in your own history and also expectations that have not materialized in this adoption. Unfortunately it is not up to them to conform to your "normal life" its up to you and your husband to learn everything up can and do whatever it takes to help them (that's the commitment you made when you went to court). There is progress in your words over the years, it may not be moving fast enough for you and you may be questioning things or maybe your just tired of it all but it is what it is and this is where you are right now. Sometimes you have to look at things from where they are and not just where you think they should be, its not that easy but their history is who they are (they do not know any better). Only you can decide where the line in the sand is and maybe that is why you are struggling so much (maybe the thoughts of giving up and returning to your old life keep racing in your head?), only you can decide what the next step is. God bless you and your family and give you strength to deal with whatever needs to be done.

  5. I know for a fact that you are an excellent parent and an excellent adoptive parent. Being an excellent parent, however, doesn't mean you win every battle or ooz perfection, especially with our adopted kids. As you know, "we" continue to face challenges, too. I've thought about it a lot, and those challenges are not because we have not done or tried something. They are there because they are something that "we" cannot fix ourselves. We, along with various professionals can only do our best effort to help a child overcome history and their present. Will we be successful? There is no way to know it. So we will just have to take joy in the effort, knowing that we will have tried our best.

  6. I don't think we need to make our kids feel like victims, but I do agree that we need to acknowledge their past trauma in order for them to heal. Parenting older adopted kids is much different than parenting our kids from birth because we did not control what they endured from conception until the time we adopted them. I don't think allowing our kids to grieve is the same as making them a victim. I agree with you, sometimes it's just kid stuff and not past trauma related. We have to walk a fine line....but I believe that it's imperative that we teach our kids to pick up and carry on, no matter what the past handed them. Keep up the good work, you're an inspiration to me every day.