These four aspects are very important in my life. I feel like I can tackle each of these concepts one by one and pull all the pieces together for people to understand how I’m able to keep my sanity.
Knowledge has been key to keeping my family together. I have to parent adoptive children with trauma and neglect/abuse issues differently than any particular parenting model could be developed. What works for one child is unbearable for the other, and day to day as I’m watching them grow up I know that their needs and level of care changes. That’s why I stay tuned in to the constant update influx of resources, reading up on what I can through the latest books, and always keeping my eyes and ears on the pulse through the internet, message boards, chat rooms and support groups.
Networking has also been a feather in our cap. We are receiving the services that we have around us through the insistence of our asking for help and finding the right people who can lead us along and point us in the right direction. I wouldn’t be where I’m at as a person without the help and support of others. There’s more to learn, there’s more to share, there’s more out there to be able to assist others when they also need support. You can’t be afraid. There are groups in person and online who can give you a wealth of information, insight and help you understand that you are not alone.
I feel power in the fact that I can apply the first two aspects and keep my family strong and in tact. I know that I can do it, even if there feel like certain days where I want to just pack my bags and go live on an island all by myself. My wife and my kids need to know that I can be that rock they depend on. When I see the wheels of therapy and education in motion, I’m happy with the power of purpose and vision that takes shape.
The last aspect that stays in tact is our sense of humor. We’ve learned to laugh at the little things and the big things. We’ve gotten a lot of joy through this current conference we are attending, to know that many families experience the same issues as we do- when it comes to how mental health and disability issues are handled in the community as well as how you are looked at as caretakers. It’s easy for everyone to have an opinion when you are doing something wrong- but I use my sense of humor to get through the fact that I wonder how they would view life if they had to spend 24-48 hours in my shoes?
Day two should be just as interesting. We’ve made some great connections in our local area to receive even more support and services to make our family stronger and healthier. The goal is to have our children become healthy, productive and safe adults. We’ll keep you posted on the progress.