Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, October 25, 2010


Loving my children effusively, openly, outwardly was perfectly fine. It was accepted by everyone in the family. To them, it became expected, savored, cherished. I wrote ooey gooey blog posts to them, for them, about them, sharing my heart and theirs. The showering of affection could take place with no threat, no backlash, no hurt feelings.
They were pretty secure, and I was too.

I could drink in the soft scent of the little ones as I hold them in my lap. I could cuddle up with them on the couch with a warm blanket and a book. I was able to listen to the thoughts and words and expressions of the older kids and marvel at how wonderful, intelligent, amazing they are becoming as they grow and develop. I would see them navigate relationships, interact with one another and change with time. I could hear their priorities and ideas and goals and vision for their futures. I could nap with the youngest and play games with the oldest. I had the space to yearn for them and long to draw them close and be with them and to unreservedly savor them with no feelings of shame, no difference. I loved being a mom. I struggled too. But I really craved my children - their closeness - their time - their hearts' connection.

I was free to do so. Without guilt.

Now, things are not like that. There is a distinction. Because I do not naturally find myself inclined toward Meadow and Flint in the exact same way. I have to work at it more. It is entirely unique to meet your children when they are already "big" kids who have a difficult history completely separate from your own. Some women may find it easy to come to mothering children in this way. I have not.

If I show affection for one, I should equally distribute. Little eyes are watching. Taking notes, keeping score. It's easier to carefully avoid engaging anyone too much, as to not offend the under-engaged.

I no longer feel free. And I can not escape the guilt.

I hate that.

I miss the mom I used to be.

I grow tired of seeing my own constantly present brokenness.

I want to be able to just love my babies.

All 7 of them.


Jodie said...

I, too, miss the mom I used to be. And again, I completely agree with your post, and thank you for being able to be open about it!

Carla said...

Tisha, I feel your pain, I do...I was there, I'm still there. I got so tired of constantly being watched by two sets of eyes and ALWAYS feeling guilty. I didn't feel comfortable in my own home. It's hard, it really is. I know that you feel that you should keep your kids at home for now and maybe you should it's not for me to say, but once I sent our oldest adopted child to first grade two months ago I felt a heavy load lift off me, it's like I can relax and breathe again. I know that doesn't sound good, but it has been good because we are now bonding. I don't have to be EVERYTHING to her, I can just be "mom" for now. For me, it was pride that kept me from sending her to school because I have always homeschooled our children, I wanted to be able to do it all, the same way as our bio children. I just assumed it would happen this way with no problems. I worried about her going but not the others, etc., but this is what everybody needed, especially her. I didn't understand until, as I mentioned once before, I came across Lisa's blog, "A Bushel and A Peck". Amberlynn now comes home from school so happy and relaxed. She has mentioned a few times that she doesn't want to go, but we told her that this is what is best for her and she is fine. She really just didn't want to get up early. Her teachers say she walks in the classroom every morning with a big smile on her face and she is a good student. We now only have one set of eyes watching because Amon cannot go to kindergarten until next year. It hasn't really been as bad with him because he is younger, but it's still a challenge catching up with training and discipline. Anyway, I know exactly how you feel and all I can say is that it will get better, it will be a different better, a bit richer, but different. I still find myself grieving for life as it was, but these times are few and far between now. I don't know how long we will send them to school, just praying and taking one day at a time. I'll be praying for you! (Oh, I know several families who adopted older children from ET and they have all had the same struggles)

Bonnie said...

Oh boy - you aren't holding anything back - good for you. Most times I hold it in rather than being open. And yes it is so very hard sometimes when 2 of the kids are keeping score and that score is minute by minute who got the extra cookie the extra story the extra hug...

Tisha said...

Thank you Jodie. I am always thankful to hear from you! It is good to have confirmation that we are not alone.

Carla, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I go back and forth over and over about school - but I do think you may be right. I see the benefit to school for Meadow, and for myself. I am just unsure that our local school is the right place. It is very rural, VERY non diverse, and there are some issues there that concern me (i.e. they have repetative issues with a poo smearer in the bathroom stalls - this has been going on for YEARS!) But, taking her elsewhere has the logistical issues of getting everyone in the car and out the door in the morning and afternoon to take her to and from school, as I can not yet leave them home alone. It's a tough call. Really tough! I am SO unsure about what would be best! We have decided to evaluate again in December - and possibly enroll her after Christmas. Anyway, thank you again for your kind words of encouragement. They are definitely ones that I am taking to heart and considering carefully.

Bonnie, I know! Laying it all on the line, right? I guess it's my therapy. Read at your own risk!

Courtney said...

soaking this all in, friend. thank you...

Tisha said...

Thank you Courtney.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tisha.
I read this post yesterday, shed some tears for you, mourned your loss and just thought lots about your precious family in general. What you said about the mom you used to be really resonated with me, b/c I "crave" my kiddos too and you described it so well. So, anyways, I just have been feeling kind of sad and mourning that loss with you.
Today, though, as I have been thinking about you and thinking about the God we serve, I was thinking about what kind of daughter of the king you are being transformed into. I think you are awesome Tisha, and I think these experiences and "losses" are transforming you into a daughter that really resembles her Dad. And my hope and prayer is that God is going to give you something awesome in the mother department; a gift so sweet that you will no longer miss the mom you were, because you will be so blessed by the mom you are.
I think you are pretty incredible and I appreciate your transparency.

Tisha said...

Tears are streaming down my face after reading that comment. I wish I knew who said it!
Oh my. These are precious words to me.
You don't know how badly I want to believe it. That God will bring beauty from the ashes - restoration, hope, healing. It has been incredibly startling to me to see myself in this way struggling the way I have.
Your encouragement is a true gift.
I hope to be able give what I have been given and speak that kind of kindness into someone else's life at a perfect time.
Thank you.

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