Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, August 11, 2014


You know, incidents involving Flint.

They number themselves greater than the stars in the sky.

Oh, I kid. There's not that many. But almost.

That boy is two handfuls and a box of chocolates.

On my good days, I maintain a healthy sense of perspective about it all. I am a blend of gracious and strong. I keep things light and offer up my most compassionate heart as a gift to his very soul. I remember his past, his wounding, his pain and his loss and his grief and his far less than fair shake that began when he was but a tiny little tyke. I recall that he is just a boy, a child, that repetition and correction are a way of life for a parent. I see him and smile in the way that make my eyes crinkle with hearty gladness. I look at him and well up with tenderness, love. A gentle giant, my boy, An African Prince.

If I were to decide to trust you, dear friends, with my fragile innermost self and lay bare my honest soul before you I would have to confess: Those days don't happen often. Not as often as I would like. Not as often as they should.

In my less than glimmering moments, I just want rest from the relentless labor of parenting a child that challenges me to the depth of my core nearly every single day of our lives together. I long for ease and respite. I yearn for change, relief.  I don't like the mother I've become, who I've allowed the stress and strain Extreme Parenting to make me. I can't believe the voice that rises out up out of me, booming, thundering, scary I'm sure. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and all at once fathom the palpability of the anger in the room. I shudder at my own thoughts, harsh and unkind. Bitterness and resentment bubble beneath the surface. Straining, I push them down again and again. Grief over the loss of life as I once knew it with the babes I gave birth to washes over me. I romanticize the years where things were simpler and parenthood resided firmly in the category labeled Fulfilling Joy. I reminisce over the days before multiple Flintcidents every 24 hours stretched me thin.

I doubt the wisdom of this placement with me. I fear a different person, woman, mother would be better equipped, more aptly suited for this role. I mourn for the perpetuation of his troubled lot, being placed in my care.

I wonder where the person I used to be has gone? The one with abounding compassion that would take every penny she could scrounge and save to throw caution to the wind and fly halfway across the world to bring two children she had never once met and knew next to nothing about into her family to make them her own. Was she ever real or was she only imagined in my mind, based on a lofty ideal of "orphan care" that had no bearing in real, actual life where the draining work of raising hurt children is involved?

I cannot be sure. It's all muddled together now.

All I know for certain is that I have given up waiting for normal to recommence, which I actually think is a kind of natural progression and a good thing. It's a continuous effort, but the loss of expectation helps me ward off crushing disappointment. There is a constant reawakening in progress to the acknowledgement that I, as a grown woman made these choices to step directly into the realm of Adoptive Parenting, come what may.

I took an extraordinary leap of faith that led me to Ethiopia, and this boy.

I will continue to summon the strength to give my all on his behalf, to honor my commitment and provide him what is due.

No matter how many Flintcidents come my way.

* Full neuro psych eval is scheduled. Stumbled upon it serendipitously through a friend. It was also recommended by our former counselor. Maybe it will give further insight that will help me understand how to better parent the boy.

1 comment:

Erika Stanley said...

I hear ya. I hope you find the answers!

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