Disclaimer – Today’s thoughts might be a little controversial, but they are 100% real and my own.
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.
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.
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:
- Drop high expectations – Without really meaning to, I find I put high expectations on our children. Expectations lead to disappointments, which frustrates us all.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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,