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!