I’ll be honest- it has been a rough summer. Not hopeless or fun-less or “I’m-calling-it-quits” rough, but there have been lots of tears, sleepless nights and prayerful, anxious days.
It turns out that adoption isn’t a blissful process of folding your once neglected children into your arms and feeling them melt into you, loyal and in love with you for the rest of time. SURPRISE!!!
No, it’s more of a two steps forward one-and-a-half steps back deal. There have been those beautiful moments when Aidan lays his head on my shoulder and says, “I love you, Mommy, SO, SO much,” and I know he means it. And there have been nights when he climbs out of his bed in the middle of the night and wanders the house with his broken collarbone outside it’s protective sling while he goes into each family member’s room waking them at 3AM.
There have been weeks of daily calls from the sitter with sweet Sophie kicking, punching, screaming and calling nasty names in the background because the sitter tried to lay her down for her nap.
There have been days that 9PM rolls around and I realize I have yet to have a meaningful conversation or even make eye contact with the bio kids.
But, quite honestly, the worst part has been the mental torment of second-guessing every move I make, every standard, every moment of discipline, because for some reason I feel like I have forgotten how to be a parent. The plethora of attachment training sessions, adoption books and doctors who seem to know more about my child than I do all feel like dozens of fingers pointing at me in condemnation.
“No, not that way. THIS way.”
“Don’t say that. Say THIS.”
“I know that worked with YOUR children, but THESE children need THIS.” (As if ALL my children aren’t MINE.)
Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful for all of the resources and training available to us. But eventually I just feel like having so many voices in my head drowns out the one voice I need to be listening to.
After all- who knows better how to parent my babies than their Creator?
The one place I have found great support and encouragement has been in the online community of foster and adoptive parents. Take this blog by Jen Hatmaker, for example. I also find solace in the Facebook support groups I am part of.
So, we’re taking every day as it comes. Aaron and I are beginning to adjust to turning down lots of invitations and opportunities, because right now our family needs us more than anyone else does. We’re looking forward to the return of school routine, and we are trying to see the beauty in the mess of this crazy life. We didn’t sign up for normal or predictable or easy. We took the path with the warning about blood, sweat and tears with the belief that lower valleys simply mean higher mountaintops.
Please share if you are an adoptive or foster parent- or if you are feeling that nudge that won’t go away to become one. We are here to support and encourage one another as we follow Jesus wholeheartedly.