Saturday, April 10, 2010
The 'Normal' That Never Came
Hello to all my faithful readers, all 5 of you! I thought it might be time to post another update if anything else, to let folks know that we are still alive : )
We passed our one year mark in January and there's good and bad that comes with that. On one hand, I'm so thankful that I've become a turbo-mommy-machine in this past year. Life forces you to change sometimes, in some really good ways. I remember back in April of last year when my last meal was delivered to me and I remember thinking, 'how in the world am I going to do this on my own?' The madness of mountains of laundry, the volume of groceries etc. But now I do all of these things without really even thinking how much harder it is. As I told someone at the grocery store the other day (a notorious peanut gallery of commenting about my family always ensues there) that you really can get used to anything.
So on a practical level, I've go this down. The hard part.... the sad part.... is that we are so often discouraged and even depressed about the way attachment has progressed. You have to think that the way the adoption classes prepare you to attach to just ONE child means that trying to attach to four, all at once, is going to be tricky to say the least. I can say without a doubt that attaching to the twins (adopted at 9 months old) has been a completely different experience than with the older kids. I assumed it would be but didn't realize how profoundly distinct the experience would be. I love all four of them but it's not the same. I think we had thought that time, especially a whole year, would really bond us together with these kids. We know them-- their habits, their likes/dislikes, insecurities, sin issues etc. But I am astonished some days, and then depressed over it, when I recognize how easily I am annoyed or angered by them, in a way that is different than my biological children. I want it so badly to be the same and to treat them justly, but I don't and sometimes it scares me to see how I think I'm becoming numb to it- 'oh well, that's just who he is and that thing he does is always going to bug me.' I think my biggest fear is that I'll give up trying to make it better.
This post was not meant to be so introspective but after talking with other adoptive moms over the past year, I am amazed at the silence I see regarding these hard, overwhelming issues - no one is talking about them. Maybe they're afraid people will think they're awful parents, maybe I would have thought that too had I not adopted and walked this road myself. But I think it's helpful to say, 'you know, this really stinks. (!) This is really hard and some days I don't believe it will ever be what it should be.'
The good news is I have a few friends who are much further down the road than I and they testify that God DOES bring new life and growth in your relationship with your adopted kids. But that it takes more time than we might have expected or hoped for. So for today, I remember that 'He who began a good work in me, WILL carry it on to completion'. I'm counting on it : )