The night before adoption, excitement filled our home! Honestly you would think it was Christmas Eve and that the kids were waiting for Santa to arrive. We did not do anything particularly special, but spent the evening as a family listening to our sweet children as they chatted away whimsically. They both insisted in name changes, and both felt giddy using them back and forth. We picked one of our pumpkins to carve as a family. Isabel helped design the look and Elijah was eager to clean out the guts. For once, our kids were anxious to go to bed as they awaited the next day to come.
Later that night, I tossed and turned. My heart began to burst with unexpected emotions. Leading up to this day, I have to admit, I questioned our decision countless times. It is difficult to explain, but I will try to expound upon these emotions more.
I felt guilty that I would be able to keep these children. I felt the blame for our kids parents rights being taken away. I know these thoughts carry no truth, but they kept seeping in. These thoughts might stem from how our children processed their situation. Especially my oldest. He had no one to place blame on and so it fell on my shoulders. For months, I have felt this boy whom I desperately wanted to love, push me away. Hard, would be an understatement. I wish I could say I was patient with behaviors, but closer to the truth, I lost my temper too many times to count. I spent many nights in tears, wondering if we were doing the right thing and if things could ever get better. Things have gotten better. However, with each step forward we take, their are also a few steps backwards. It has felt like a constant battle. Days leading up to our adoption, I pleaded for an answer that we were doing what was right.
As I lay in bed, I was overtaken by what I felt in my heart. I too was giddy for our upcoming adoption. I thought of our journey, our trials, and how we got to where we were and was filled with gratitude. I though of this back and forth battle, and it hit me. I was still standing. My husband was still standing. We are still standing in our kids corner and they are not alone. I became super emotional, as I felt that our efforts are enough. Of course, the goal is to build upon where we are and strengthen the bonds within our family. Earlier in the evening I asked the kids how they felt .
Elijah responded, “I am excited, because I get to be part of the family.”
Isabel replied, “I am excited, cause I get to stay with my family forever.”
As I laid in bed, those responses echoed in my head. Those words touched my heart and I knew what we were doing was right! Whatever the battle may be, we are making a difference for our children and they need us.
Foster parents, parents, loved ones, if I can share one thing it would be to stay standing! Our kids need us to love them no matter what. Believe in them. Parenting is rough. Add parenting kids who suffer from high trauma, the load is tenfold. Stay standing. Reach out for help, but stay standing.
Where to get help:
- Licensing Agency – They know what resources are available to meet a child’s need. This is where doing your research before hand is very important. You want to know how they will support you when the times get rough.
- Department of Child Safety Case worker or case manager – let them know what is going on. They can approve various services to get the ball rolling.
- Your community – It truly takes a village to raise a child. Do not try to do it alone. Let others know how you feel and get the support you deserve. After Brycen was born, I suffered post pardon depression. I will always be grateful for all the play dates my children went on to help ease my load! Community libraries, also offer many free activities for children to take part in. Getting kids involved in activities helps!
- Make sure you have an outlet – I have found mine is writing, which is why this blog is great! My husband has found fishing as his outlet. What are your outlets?
Share your thoughts on how to ease the load the parenting. How do you stay standing?
It is hard for me to share such personal feelings, but as mentioned earlier I could not sleep. I decided to record these feelings on film.