Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reluctant Adoption Update: By Request Only

I really had no plans to talk about the topic of our adoption anymore. I suppose that's because not much has changed. {I know, wince.} That's hard to say. I mean, seriously. It's been 2 years! We should have had many substantial, positively life-altering breakthroughs by now! Everything should be well! We ought to have figured this all out during the course of the last 26 months!  I can sense that's what people want to hear. It's how I want to feel too. Like I can breathe a sigh of relief. As if I am finally at ease with all that has changed in our lives over the past couple of years. ((It's tiring listening to me ramble on about how tough it is to adopt kids you've never met before, sight unseen, from a completely different culture involving backgrounds of trauma and neglect, and bring them into your home to envelop them into your family unit, with the aim of ultimately resulting in one big happy home!))  The 2 year mark is supposed to be a major milestone. That's what I've heard. It's what I expected! For us, I wouldn't say it's the case. That's why I had every intention of remaining quiet on the subject. :-)

I don't really know where I should start. It's difficult to explain why I find parenting in this way so difficult without giving specific examples regarding situations involving the kids, and I'm not sure I want to do that. If we were able, I would sit down with you over a cup of coffee or tea and pour my heart out, telling you the ins and outs of what challenges me to my very core as I try my best to mother these children who have completely, utterly rocked my world shaking everything I thought I knew about so many things.

Speaking generally, I can say that it has taken enormous work to see very little progress (in Flint especially - behaviorally speaking) and that grows terrifically wearying. Meadow was definitely quicker to adapt to the ways and routines of family life. Yet, issues stemming from her traumatic past are always something we are working to deal with and sort through.

Communication is getting better - finally. Especially with Meadow. She is just now becoming someone I feel like I might be able to get to know. Always deferring to Jayla, Meadow was slow to form any kind of opinion/voice of her own. She is just getting to the point where she is willing to hold a conversation beyond answering questions with one word. It's very gradual, but it's coming. Flint definitely has some cognitive delays that hinder his ability to communicate his thoughts, speak clearly, tell the truth, etc. Overall, it's been a long, long haul in this area. I am seeing some light though! So that's good.

As far as attachment is concerned, I would say I have a long way to go. I have been encouraged through friends who are in the same position - finding difficulty attaching to and feeling like they love their adopted kids the way they think they should. I've thought often, that one of our biggest obstacles may be ourselves and our own expectations for how we think we ought to be doing. This is not easy work. Speaking for us, I can say that parenting our adopted children is nothing, nothing, nothing like parenting our biological kids. It is a much more intense, thought provoking, frazzling, painstaking, slow moving process with far less positive feedback. It takes everything I've got, and I nearly always feel as if it is still not enough. Helping them overcome their challenges and limitations in the midst of overcoming my own, (while attending to our other 5 children) leaves little energy for the sweet bonding I hoped would easily take place. So, sadly, that sweet bonding seems to often take a back seat.

There are great strides. Definitely. I am very, very proud of how far these kids have come. They are resilient. They have had such a great deal to cope with. It has not been easy for them. The thought of any of our kids having to go through what Meadow and Flint have brings a tear to my eye.

And so we carry on, carefully coveting hope....


Courtney said...

thank you for your words, for sharing your journey! my heart was bLESSED and encouraged as i read. thank you!!!

Erika said...

Thanks for sharing. I get every word of it, especially, "I try my best to mother these children who have completely, utterly rocked my world shaking everything I thought I knew about so many things." This is the hardest part in the day to day. I'm holding on to the hope that this will also be the very best thing that ever happened to me!

Tisha said...

Erika, are you on facebook? I would LOVE to see your face and your family!! :-)

Erika said... I'm on facebook but my blog has tons of pictures and gut spilling. It would be more voyeuristic-ally fulfilling. :)

Nickole Moody said...

tisha, i just want you to know that u r definitely not alone. i find myself so frustrated and in tears that i seem to ask the question why? i did not think this would be so hard and i thought because we adopted family it would b easier, but its definitely not! it seems as though no one understands! if you ever want to chat or just hang out i am here. i think u are awesome! hang in there :)

Nickole Moody said...
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Brianna Heldt said...

Tisha thanks for this update. The telling the truth thing...sigh. This one is so hard for me to face in my kids. Anyhow, I miss you, and we should have a 3M dinner again sometime soon!

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