Friday, June 27, 2014
Reality. This is the hard part of adoption
I have been silent on my blog for quite some time. There was a family situation that was much too difficult to write about, and it still hurts. It has made us feel like horrible parents, although we feel completely right and supportive of each other about the tough decisions we made. I don't want a discussion about what we have gone through, but I am ready to start blogging again. In retrospect, I wish I had been more open about what we had been going through since adopting one of our children. As adoptive parents, we constantly feel as if everything we do is ridiculously open to speculation by those around us, whether they know our home life or not. Taking in children through the foster care system is quite risky, and with each adoption, parents feel more vulnerable and judged. Usually that doesn't matter, but comments made to our face or behind our backs can cause such painful turmoil in our hearts, because our main concern has always been for the children who already come to us "broken." It is our duty to love them unconditionally and fight for them even when no one else does. Our situation was hard from the get-go, because this particular child came to us at 9 years old, after other attempts at being part of a family fell apart too many times. The wounded heart and the way her was carelessly parented before us caused severe reactive attachment disorder (RAD) in this young life and we tried many types of counseling, along with several different types of medications but none ever really "hit the nail on the head." Rules were ignored. Attempts to love were unsuccessful and house rules were always a struggle. There were many things that happened over the years, but it came to a point we felt unsafe in our own home, and we decided to put the child out. Toughest decision of our life, and this 17 year old had broken every rule that was established to keep all of us safe, healthy and together. My oldest daughter took him in, which created even more family friction, so we sit here several months later knowing we did the best we could do with the hand we had been dealt. Yeah, loser parents. Gave up too soon. Not strict enough. Too strict. Didn't love enough. Time for tough love. You never cared. You have no idea how to handle teenagers. We have been beat up enough. It's time for this child who knows everything to live his own life and find out how little he knows. It would have been wonderful to finish this family story on a positive note. We miss him. We could not reach him. If the judgements had been less, and the support more, could we have held on any longer? How could we ever know? He sounds perfect in his new setting. Doing good in school and his job. Getting off of medications he never felt he needed anyway. He has privileges now that we had revoked. He sounds like he is being the model kid. But no one knows what it was like here. We are simply shell shocked and wondering if the bomb will explode or perhaps we really are the worst parents in the world. Either way, we continue to pray for his safety. We ask God to guide him in his decisions. We miss the rare good times we had when he was here. But the other 8 kids at home are worth protecting. It's calmer here and there is no worry about their safety anymore. Parenting doesn't come with manuals. I often wish it did. Especially for the kids who come from difficult places and everyone thinks we are suppose to "fix" them in a short time and send them happily ever after into life. Blame me if you will, but I refuse to accept any more negativity about why we did what we felt we had to do. Come parent for a few days under our roof. Then tell me how much better you could do. Until then, I will keep walking in my shoes, doing the best I can, and keeping my eyes on Jesus. Prayers flow freely here, sometimes with laughter and sometimes in pain. I hope you can pray with us in our journey. We don't take it lightly. Ever.