How’s that title for alliteration?
To be aware of your child’s short comings is not the same as not loving them. To make hard decisions when there are no good outcomes does not mean lack of effort. To protect one’s self and others from child’s behavior is not scapegoating. To see your child and anticipate a future darker than you wish does not mean you are condemning that child to that future. It means you are aware that if nothing changes within that child the future is grim.
To speak of realities instead of fantasies is not judgment.
Older child adoption is not for sissies.
It is lonely at times. There are no good answers. There are no manuals.
There is the sense of “you made your bed,now lie in it”
We are not supposed to share our fears for our children. It is seen as judgment against that child. After all she seems pretty normal in the short term.
I have been parenting hurt kids for a lot of years now. In parenting,just as in life,it seems the older you get,the less you know. We can only do our best. Unfortunately we live in a culture that is not all that forgiving to those who bounce their balls out of unison. It is better to smile and nod,than to say out loud the uncomfortable truths. Some children do not “get better”. Some children will not be independent. Some children will leave our homes and return to the lifestyle of their birth parents. Some children are mentally ill,. Some have simply chosen a path that doesn’t make sense to us. It does not bring comfort when we are told your birth child has the same issues.
Their angst and bad decisions may look the same superficially. But they are not the same. It is a matter of degree. It is a matter of your child being capable of learning from her mistakes and my child not.Your child can move forward. My child may very well be stuck at this point for the rest of her life. Your son punches holes in the wall. My son brandishes a knife.
I am not quite sure what I am trying to say here. I am sure it is arrogant on my part to think if I work hard enough my children will heal based on my hard work and effort. I can honestly say that if I could will my children healed-they would be. I am stubborn. I am thick skinned and thick headed. I do not suffer defeat well. I am willing to work harder than most,turn any cartwheel,stand on my head,devote my life to my children. I am willing to research,change my approach,give up an income whatever I need to do in order to see my children healthy. The microscopic progress they made as children seemed promising. The same level or progress now that they are teens and or young adults seems damning.
What I am not willing to yet admit (deep down in my heart of hearts) is that none of it may help.
I do know I had better not voice my fears out loud.
I still do. I give voice to my fears knowing how my doubts are perceived. My need to say the hard things out loud is greater than my need for understanding. (Although both would be nice).
I love my kids-all of them. I do not help them if I pretend their issues do not exist. I know this. I do not want them to have these issues. I get no secondary gain from being super mom of hurt kids.
I wish love was enough.
If it was,my kids would be nuclear physicists.