Monday, May 16, 2016

Adoption is Bittersweet

Many people see adoption posts, read adoption blogs, and watch adoption videos and only see the joy. There is an overwhelming sense of joy, but there is also an overwhelming sense of loss. Many people do not understand why we have not filed yet and looked puzzled when we explain that the kids are not ready. My kids hearts are shattered by abandonment and loss. In our children's eyes when they are adopted, they are turning their back on their birth mom and replacing her with me. The weight is so heavy it's hard to explain the impact it has on our children.

The women who rocked them to sleep (even if it was only one time), taught them their first word, sang lullabies, washed their little toes, and made them food to fill their bellies no longer has a part in their lives and likely never will in the way a mother does. My children see adoption as giving up on the chance to ever live with and be cared for by their mama again. Even though, their mother did a lot of things that we cannot wrap our heads around, she's still their mama. She created them, gave them life, and took care of them the best way she knew how. They will forever wish for her embrace and love. They will forever miss her voice, her smile, and her arms wrapped around them.

Then somewhere in this picture of loss, a new family is created, our family. There are days my children feel warmth in my embrace, melt to my lullabies, and follow me around like little ducklings. Oh, how I feel their love for me in their heart and melt into a little puddle of mush, but deep down I know I will never be their only mother or be able to completely fill the deep hole in their heart. This for me is heartbreaking. I want my children's heart to be leaping for joy in every aspect, but due to their past their is a lingering ache. An ache that cannot be filled by anyone, but their heavenly father.

I pray each day that my children will reach a place of peace that will only be explained by the power of the holy spirit within them. I am already starting to slowly see my children transition to this place and I cannot wait to see the work of God in their lives in the coming days, months, and years.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Relationship Worries

When children come from hard places, relationships are confusing and at times scary. Often times, traumatized children develop a disorganized attachment style, which means that something scary was going on in the home with a caregiver that was supposed to be the source of comfort. This causes a child to become a "push-puller" when it comes to relationships, which basically means one minute they want to be close and the next minute they will do everything possible to push away.

Parenting a child with this type of attachment style is confusing and very difficult. It is hard to know when to comfort and when to give space. Honestly, the child is even unsure of what is needed/wanted. One of our children, does the push-pull often. This child may run up stairs excited to do an activity and then start throwing a tantrum three minutes into the activity. I have found this to be frustrating to say the least, but I have found hope in knowing why this occurs.

From what I understand, anytime my child feels loved in our relationship, fear surfaces. These fears usually have something to do with me leaving forever and the happiness ending or my love running out. My child has learned that people leave, both the good people and the bad people. Therefore, when something good happens, my child is afraid to enjoy it, because it might end AT ANY SECOND. I know, scary right! I cannot blame this child for feeling this way. Every caregiver has left with no return. This means not only physical existence ends, but loves ends too. Therefore, to this child, my love is like a pie. It leaves piece by piece and one day, it will be gone. Therefore, this child feels that anytime without me is wasting my love away on something else and making the love to run out faster.

I know your probably wondering how to help a child overcome this. EMPATHY. EMPATHY. EMPATHY. Reassurance does not work. The thoughts are so big you cannot reassure them away. The best thing to do is show a child from a hard place that you do understand and you know their hurting and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

If you have access to one, it is also a good idea to find an attachment therapist to help you and the child cope and bond. It's a rough road, but I am confident that seeing my child overcome will be one of the most amazing sights I will ever see.

Updates on the Littles

Our knight is growing so fast! I cannot believe he will be eleven this year! He loves sports. He just finished basketball and will be start...