Thursday, July 9, 2015

In The Trenches

The bishop at church tonight (who is a public school principal) essentially told me to focus on the positive things my girls can do, stop talking to everyone about the girls' problems (I'm just trying to get advice and insight from more experienced moms), put them in school, that there are programs where I can leave them even up to 6pm (I became a mom to leave my kids all day in the care of strangers?), that his 14 yr. old daughter also has temper tantrums (when I asked if his daughter throws furniture he said he's not going to get into the one-up thing), that other moms don't follow their kids around at activities telling them to go talk to kids their own age (after prying Blossom and Sissy off an 18 yr. old girl who has problems of her own with attachment in her bio family and has totaled 2 cars this year, who Blossom passed inappropriate notes to with sayings copied from greeting cards), and to just let my kids fail and work things out for themselves because kids learn through failure. Not one person has shown any care or alarm or compassion for Apple when I say, "My older kids hurt my 3 yr. old." Not one. Thank heavens our geneticist warned me that this would happen so I was on the lookout for it and can protect my child.

Here's the kicker. His sister and her husband (also educators) adopted a sibling group 6 years ago. The youngest was 4 and the oldest 12 at the time. The 12 yr. old just turned 18. First thing he did was leave his adoptive family and return to his birth family, despite their drug abuse issues that caused the kids to be removed in the first place.

I re-read THIS article about moms like me in the trenches. I guess I'll shut up at church now and realize that no one is ever going to care that I'm in need here of a little compassion and understanding and that maybe an "I'm so sorry. Please know I'm thinking about you and praying for you and your kids," would go really far to helping me get through the week.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

So sorry your church colleagues offer no support. Not unusual though in my experience. Unfortunately, there are very few church leaders who have stepped up to the plate and adopted the most difficult children to place - older children. Or for that matter have ever adopted at all. Most church leaders live a charmed life, fully (and many times lavishly) supported by their congregations, doted on, and frequently flattered about their wonderful children even if it's total exaggeration. They don't have a clue what you are doing, why you do it, or what it is personally costing you. And they don't care. They don't want to be reminded of what they will not do because it would cost them something from their comfortable lives. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. Ask most parents who have adopted. Your real support will come from other parents in the trenches with you. This older adoption thing is usually only understood by those experiencing it, or those whose hearts want to understand it by becoming educated about it so that they can offer support to adoptive parents. You are doing a wonderful job with your girls. They have only been with you for a few years. They are still going through the difficulties of attachment. Hang in there. Just don't be discouraged by those who don't care what's going on in your little family. Just learn not to look for support where you will never find it. Nothing about what you are doing will ever move them. You have many fellow parents in the trenches with you who fully understand your situation. Prayers for you today, and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I don't purport to know what your life is like, other than what you write on this blog. But based on what you've written over the years, I actually agree with what your bishop said to you. I like the man's thinking.

Did not know the other girls were hurting Apple. That's alarming.

Kate said...

Your Bishop sounds like a wise man and you sound like you are in way, way over your head.

You chose to adopt 4 unrelated kids inside two years (against all sane advice), you are not currently capable of supervising the oldest 3 adequately (evidenced by the girls hurting Apple), you show incredible favoritism towards Apple (ugh), do not provide any of them with opportunities to make friends outside of your church and, to boot, complain they're making no academic progress.

Your way isn't working. Your Bishop's way might not work either -- but at least there's a chance it might work (versus the status quo: guaranteed failure).

The trauma mama blogs you refer to are the ones by parents who have given up completely, who refuse to listen to actual medical advice or advice from skilled professionals in favor of seeking advice from other moms whose kids are just as much of a non-improving mess as they are! Who post fake definitions for "RAD" that don't line up with the DSMV.

Kids have a habit of living up (or down) to expectations!

*****

And, to be clear, you're not going to take his advice or even consider doing so, because he has a relative whose adoption of older kids didn't go so well? Really??

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

:sigh: We really have to build our tribe from people who truly get it. I can never fully grasp the complexities of older child adoption, since my "oldest" adopted child was 3.5 when we got her, but I can empathize with certain behaviors and frustrations. I've found that networking with other adoptive moms really does help me feel not so alone in my challenges. I'm blessed to know several local families who've adopted, and even though I don't get to see them IRL as often as I would like, it's friends like those who I can be real with and not feel judged. I pray you'll have other local A mamas cross your path, so you can get the support you need, too. And you're always welcome to come visit again. :)

Jennie said...

In my mind, you are an AMAZING Mom! I read your blogs regularly and am constantly inspired by how you patiently parent the girls, foster multiple cats, and create incredible items through your sewing. God-given strength and fortitude - He has and will provide!

May our Lord continue to strengthen and encourage you. And may the girls continue to flourish under your thoughtful care and love.

The naysayers - who have not walked in your shoes, so to speak, can never fathom the complexities of adoption, especially older child adoption.

Cassandra said...

We're about to travel at the end of the month to bring home our 13 year old daughter. Sadly, I suspect we are going to run into the same issues you do with people are involved in our in-person lives. They just don't get it. *hugs* The online community has been great and I've been able to make friends who I will probably never meet in person but who are a lifeline and just an email or a phone call away.