Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Day I Spent $25

I had a parenting coaching session this morning with Christine Moers. Because, you know, I need to be coached on how to be a parent and everything. Serve me up some humble pie, a great big slice of it. I'll swallow it whole.

Hundreds of dollars in therapy, I tell you the hundreds I spent with Mr. What's His Name could not compare to this one hour segment of sacred time.

I think it may be partly because I am just so ready. My mind had previously determined, demanded of me that 2015 is the year for me to try something radically new with these Ethiopians I treasure. As in some profoundly different and exotic and uncharacteristic thing.

My innate instincts that are so deeply ingrained in the very fiber of all that I am work out pretty alright with the biological brood to which I contributed my fair share of chromosomes. There is a far greater margin for error there. The relationships we hold are steeped in love and affection and mutual adoration until they are golden brown and sweet and bubbly. The dance we share is steady and when we find ourselves spinning off the floor, it's not all that difficult to recognize our missteps and recover.  

But the other ones? The ones with a history of trauma and abuse and three years in an orphanage? Every natural inclination I possess seems to work in direct opposition to my desires, goals and objectives. 


Even after 5 years together. 

Which gets me {right here}. Kind of like a butter knife square in the ticker.

Perhaps never have I felt so incredibly ineffective over such a long period of time. 

I'll let you in on a little secret: It's a real kick in the pants feeling like a colossal failure all the livelong day and the everlasting night because you simply can not connect with your kids in a way that hits the radar as genuine and meaningful and reciprocal. Tiring. It's tiring.

Enter: Christine and my $25.

I'd been a fan of her blog for years. She's written a whole host of posts about therapeutic parenting (among lots of other entertaining things). 

So, I may have been the teensiest bit nervous to talk to her. I figured she had every right to rake me over the coals for my *obvious* lack of accomplishment in the prized adoptive parent category: All Things Therapeutic. 

Plus, I was afraid she would give me homework I would hate. Say, tying our wrists together with a bandana as we go about our daily business. Or making us dress like twinsies. Or drawing my tween daughter a warm bath and washing her hair with a cup of water while softly humming You Are my Sunshine into her ear. Please, hear me when I say this: Ick

Right out of the gate she put me at ease by putting herself in my meek little shoes. 

She was, far and away, simply and purely and exquisitely relatable

She listened like a champ. I mean, a pro. She must have taken notes because she often referred back to things I said, using my name, Tisha. Which is a big deal since I know she works with a whole lotta folks who need a whole lotta help. Then, spoke to me, with me, near me, like a friend to a friend, a peer to a peer, a woman who has been there to a woman who has been there. 

She did not berate, but offered suggestions and ideas and methods to break the cycles we find ourselves repeating as the days wear on. She gave understanding and sincere bits of encouragement and truly useful information. She is, if nothing else, an absolute master at shaking things up and being wonderously unconventional.

Mostly, she reminded me of hope. Hope that things would get better. Hope that I would learn to better accept things as they are. Hope that our lives would continue to intertwine in a way that is not what I initially imagined, but genuinely beautiful nonetheless.

I'm super grateful. 

Best $25 I spent today. For sure. 

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