A New Philosophy

It’s a tangled web you weave when you have adopted children. How much they want to face their past, live in the present and set themselves up for a great future. The biggest struggle you face as a parent is disclosure- at what times do you help your children come to terms with what they know about their past, the choices that were made and help them realize they didn’t have any fault in the proceedings.

Sometimes the words and actions do not match up. Our youngest daughter spent a lot of time in our household struggling to gain a foothold with us as her parents. Her brain focused so much on the grass being greener in her birth mother’s life. Although she knows why she couldn’t live with her anymore, she didn’t fully resolve in her mind and heart that she could lead a good life with another family.

We thought phone calls and more pictures and letters from her birth mother would help, and eventually lead to some supervised visits. Apparently, the thought of this scares her. She wants to know if her mom is doing well and has a happy home these days, but I believe she’s enjoying the view from a distance. As a result, she was bucking our structure, our love and our support because she feared that if she loved both her birth family and her forever family, we would cut ties and let her loose.

For the past two days since lifting this weight off her shoulders, we’ve experienced a calmer, much happier person. She’s willing to accept instruction without quarrel. She puts her feelings out there without sarcasm or a vicious tone. She’s even handling the fact that she needs to build enormous trust back with all parties, including our oldest daughter who really has had enough of the temper tantrums.

I’m enjoy this new journey with my daughter- but I’m not firmly sure this is the last bump in the road we will hit. The real change will occur when she’s placed in future panic or crisis overload situations- because if she handles it in a safer way, then I will believe firmly that she desires a better life. No matter what the case, I want her to know I support her, I love her and I’ll be there for her through thick and thin.

Being open to the love and care of all family members- birth and extended- will help her in the long run understand that she is not alone in her struggles. You can’t hide or run away from your childhood- the baggage of unresolved issues carries an enormous wave of guilt that festers as an adult. It can hold you back from achieving success in your career, your relationships, your finances, and your personal health.

Time is so limited and we don’t want to spend the majority of our lives feeling bad about ourselves or living in regret. So I will embrace this new philosophy and help her navigate this journey peacefully. I will keep the doors open and not shut myself off when a struggle hits her that she fears she can’t handle. We don’t often know why or how a person comes to a point in life where they accept what is and figure out what to do next, but I believe my youngest daughter is ready for this stage of her life.

I’ll keep everyone posted on the progress- never a dull moment in my family, that’s for sure!

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3 Responses to A New Philosophy

  1. inlovewithbooks says:

    (Random comment) I am dealing with adoption from the other side. I hope that the older he gets, he will understand that it was the best decision for me to give him up for adoption. I know that he is loved and I do get to see him sometimes.

    Did your daughter always know that she was adopted? Did she understand that “birth mother” is not always the same as “mother”? I know I am being nosy, but I really am curious. I have a long while yet before I have to deal with any those questions, but my mind is running away with the possibilities when and if he finds that I am his birth mother. Will he understand? Will he resent me for not keeping him?

    And I have rambled on long enough. I wish you and your daughter luck on your journey!

    • msc2471 says:

      inlovewithbooks: I have two adopted daughters from two different birth families. Both knew they were adopted because we chose them when they were older (one officially adopted when she was 10, the other when she was 9). Both understood that birth mother is not always the same as mother- but the confusion still exists relating to trust and love. A lot of times they believe there’s not enough love to go around for both parties- and the loyalty usually sides on the birth family.

      The more open you are about why you made the decisions you did and the more you work at it from his side of things, the better off you will be in the long run. You need to help him understand that he personally did nothing wrong when it came to the gift you gave him of adoption. These kids usually believe it was their fault- so you need to make sure his self-esteem and self-confidence are in tact. Continue to emphasize his greatness, his special qualities that he gives to life and how happy you are for him.

      Understand this will be a roller coaster of emotions for him. There may be times where he isn’t a big fan of yours. There may be times he wants to punish his foster mother and father by having you a constant presence in your life. Be consistent and understand the adoptive parents are the ones you entrusted to care for him, nurture him and provide for his needs. Good luck, thank you for reading and if you have more questions, read onward. My wife also does a blog (My Radical Family) about our journey, you may want to read that to. Can I add you to my blog roll?

      Matt

  2. inlovewithbooks says:

    Thanks for your response! I must admit a lot of that has run through my mind, but like I said, I have a long while yet before I have to deal with any questions (he just turned one a few days ago). I want to be honest, but I think I can be too honest if he asks why I gave him up for adoption, but am still involved in his life. I like being to see him grow up–I just didn’t want to deal with motherhood and all that it entails. How can I tell him that it wasn’t that I didn’t want him, I just didn’t want a kid and never will? And here I am unburdening on you again.

    I will definitely check out your wife’s blog and feel free to add me to your blogroll.

    Chrissy

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