Confessions of an Adoptive Mom

Disclaimer – Today’s thoughts might be a little controversial, but they are 100% real and my own.

Feeling a bit discouraged!

Today was a rough day! Luckily there are less of these rough days than before, but when these days hit man are they hard!

Whenever people find out that we adopted a sibling set of three from foster care we always get the comment that we are saints. Boy could that be further from the truth.

Rough days have me feeling like pulling all my hair out!

Days like today remind me that there are still so many walls and barriers to get through. It still does not feel completely natural. I wish more than anything this was not true or the case, but of course it makes sense.  What is natural is for them to be with their biological parents. In a perfect world they would be. Days like today, makes me feel guilty I did not do more. What if I could have gotten to know their family better? Maybe I could have helped their mom overcome her challenges. In our situation, this was not possible.

Recently I watch the show This is Us, as Randall and Beth took in an adolescent girl from foster care. I could relate to all of their feelings. You fall for these kids and as they enter your home, you begin to see the future with them as part of your family.  In the show when the biological mom got her act together and came back for her daughter, I more than anything wished my kid’s parents would have done the same.

Now please, do not get me wrong. I love my kids more than anything. I am grateful for their presence in our home and the constant adventure they are. Honestly there is never a dull moment.

Spending time drinking hot chocolate!

But it is not natural for kids to be plucked from their family and placed in another.  No matter the circumstance, children love their parents. I have shared with you before here about putting yourself in their shoes. Imagine being taken away from your own family. How would it feel? Again do not get me wrong, absolutely I believe that children need to be in safe, loving environment, where all there needs could be met. If there biological parents could provide that, than ideally I believe  children should be able to stay with parents.

Where is this post coming from:

I wish I could be a better mother for my children. I wish I was just as close to my older children as I am to my babies. Ruthy is different, we have raised and cared for her from her second day of life. She feels like she is our own.  I feel incredibly guilty that I do not have the same bond with all of my children.

I shared these thoughts with another adoptive mom and she explained why. When you are caring for an infant, their needs go above your own needs. Suddenly your sleep is interrupted to feed and change a little being that needs your help. Babies are completely dependent on you and by caring for them the bond grows.  Older kids are not as dependent on you, and sadly their own life circumstances have taught them to not trust or love as easily. This creates a barrier in forming strong bonds. This explanation makes sense to me, but does not make it easier.

My Goals to Improve My Relationship with My Kids:

  1.  Drop high expectations – Without really meaning to, I find I put high expectations on our children. Expectations lead to disappointments, which frustrates us all.
  2. Celebrate all of my children’s successes. These kids have made such dramatic changes in their lives. They are continuing to make daily growth. They deserve to be celebrated more often.

    This guy is constantly overcoming hurdles! So proud of him!
  3.  Hug my children more – I recently read a post about how important it is to hug your kids spontaneously. Hugs still do not feel completely natural, and this is something that could be changed.  I just need to pull my kids in for hugs more. The more I do it, the more natural it will become.
  4. Take it one day at a time – Tomorrow will be a new day and I know it will be better. I know my relationship with my children will only get stronger. We just need to take things slow and that is okay!

    Enjoy every moment and take it one step at a time!
  5. Communicate with my kids – I know everything I am feeling, my children feel too. I know this isn’t always easy for them. It just is not fair.  Every time I feel uncomfortable about a situation, I talk through it. The kids and I always talk through our emotions. This did not come naturally for the kids at first, but slowly they are getting more comfortable about identifying how they feel and why.

My kids know that I am blogging and one day I know they will find my blog. I will leave this letter for them:

My Dearest Children,

Please know I love you all so very much. Everything I do, it is for you.

I am sorry I sometimes grow impatient, but you all are my teachers. I did not have a guinea pig to learn with. 😂 You all basically came at once! I know I am making a lot of mistakes, but hopefully I am making them better. I will be patient with you, but please be patient with me as well!

Know that rough days come, but rough days also go. No matter the day, I will always be here for you!

Love you forever,

Momma

Four times the love!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Jaime says:

    Knowing you, loving you, serving with you I have learned two very essential things. You are perfected through Christ and being a parent, period, requires skills greater than we would or could ever have on our own. You are normal. All parents have these feelings, even with our own biologicals. Does not mean they are less than the other. Each have something that makes them special and different from one another. If you said you didnt want or wished their birth mom didnt both, you then would have pause for how you feel. But because you have that divine implanted role if mother in your make up, it exists. Keep being real. Authentic.Your children KNOW you love them to eternity. They are all amazing! Love you Meli!

    1. Melina says:

      Thanks Jaime! I know you know where I am coming from! Your words truly mean a lot!

  2. Amy Whetten says:

    I am glad for them and for you! Your ability to talk and to love will help. And angels will sometimes be nearby. Things happen for a reason. Very best wishes. Que Dios te bendiga!

    1. Melina says:

      I believe there are angels around to help and believe me in more ways than one I have felt that help! Thank you! We are in God’s hands 😊

  3. Maggie says:

    As an adoptee myself I can’t emphasize enough how much it means to your young brood that you are their “forever” mom. No matter how trying times will get, I hope you know how much comfort it gives them to know this. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Melina says:

      Thank you Maggie! It is very helpful to hear from other adoptees! It brings me hope!

  4. LauraBelle says:

    They are lucky to have you in their life. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Verla says:

    Thanks for the insight into your world. Generous.

  6. Alisha says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. It warms my heart to hear from those that foster and/or adopt. We need more of you in this world. Although it may be hard, you do so much good and it is appreciated by all.

  7. Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Blessings to you!

  8. Noelle Hartt says:

    Great photos! You have a beautiful family!

  9. Heidi says:

    You have such a beautiful family and I can tell that you love them dearly. 🙂

  10. Dee says:

    Thanks you for sharing this. You are doing a great job and they are lucky to have you!

  11. Melissa says:

    Love the honesty and goals for improving the relationships. This is so helpful!

  12. Thank you for sharing such a personal post. When I met my husband, he had two sons (ages 4 months and 2 years at the time), and I was a ready-made-mom and really had NO idea of the responsibility of raising them. Now, fast-forward 14 years, I wouldn’t change a thing and consider them my own sons, but there were many bumpy roads along the way.

  13. freespiritedsinglemom says:

    I’m sure you are doing everything you can for your children. As long as they know you love them, everything else should fall into place.

  14. Parenting is not an easy task. I was adopted when I was 6. My husband adopted both of my teenage sons as his own (legally) – Now, that’s a saint. Who adopts teenagers? Even with my biological children, though, I sometimes wondered “who are your parents and when are they coming to get you?” Parenting is frustrating, rewarding, harrowing… My kids are grown now. And I am proud of the adults they are becoming.

  15. Kristen says:

    Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. Even with biological children, the bonds can feel different from one to another. It is hard not to feel guilty sometimes but I think that feeling shows how much you truly love them in that you want the bond to be as strong as possible! You’re amazing!

  16. Nicolette says:

    Thank you for caring for the “least of these.” Adoption is amazing, and I thank you for going all in!

  17. Awww so special. You’ve got a big heart. Plus you are doing a fantastic job.

  18. sara says:

    It wasnt until I had my own children that I considered the parents of foster children (I jave done CPS for 4 years). Like you, I would think as much as I had grown to love them they should be with their birth family, if it was safe. I ubderdtand your feelings and think its normal and selfless and the way I would most foster parents feel considering the magnitude of what you are doing. But often times it is not and I think you and Bryce (I grew up in the same ward as Bryce.)are saints even with all your faults and mistakes. Because you are there for them every. Single. Day. Every moment of the day. Mistakes and all, just being there for children not biologically yours, is saint hood! I dont know the circumstances but maybe there is a way to keep some contact with birth family? Keep on the amazing work! You are a beautiful family!

  19. Laura says:

    As an adoptive and bio mom, I completely understand everything you are talking about. Your blog gives me comfort that I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings and thoughts with us! They keep me encouraged!

    1. Melina says:

      Oh I am glad I am not the only one! We adoptive moms need to stick together!

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