Monday, June 18, 2012

As I struggle with our teen adopted daughter and have been on a difficult journey with my oldest adopted son, I have found one of the hardest things to be the lack of true clinical information in regards to what is normal teen issues verses what is actual adoption issues, and especially information on the reality of what it's REALLY like in a family dealing with both adopted and biological children... especially children who came from Child Protective Services and had a very unfair start in life.

I find it especially difficult to find real information on real families like ours, with both adopted and biological children, where communication beyond counseling "go to's" and politically correct terminology is occurring.  I find it extremely exhausting to continually find myself either reading of one side of the dynamics, or the other, but rarely find genuine information of realities of adoptive and biological worlds collide, especially when the adopted children are broken from their pre-adoption backgrounds.  It is a different world altogether and what I deal with every single day.  And though I do feel isolated much of the time, in what we are going through, I know I am not the only mom in this situation.  Others are walking this difficult path as well.  And we need each other!  

I am raising both biological and adopted children and the experiences with them seem to point to the reality that pre-adoption issues carry over very strongly and rear their heads in the adolescent years in extreme force and it is a balancing act every day to try to cope with those issues while maintaining the normalcy for the ones that are not from that and don't deserve to experience the devastation's brought through it. It is completely maddening at times.  People are afraid to admit it, but this blog, will be a place where the truth, the real, ugly, hurting truth is in the forefront! 

Before I go too deep today, as we are just beginning, I found this article when I was surfing, as I do often, for more information.  More help.  More direction in a sometimes very dark tunnel. It's a pretty good read so I thought I would share it as a starting point for us to see what's out there verses what we are living. Check it out and then leave me your comments on your opinions and additions to what you read.

What I will add.... none of these articles have addressed the issues I am dealing with, to the depth I am dealing with them. I will share more of my story soon. Until then, read the article titled, Parenting the Adopted Adolescent, by Gloria Hochman and Anna Huston at the following link: . Then leave me comments and let me hear your thoughts.

It is so difficult to balance it all sometimes. I love all of my children from the bottom of my heart. I tell them all, some were born from my womb, some came in a Grey Jeep Cherokee delivery, but all were born straight out of my heart. But the road is painful and difficult and I was not/am not prepared for the journey. I am learning as I go... and just trying to survive. Some days I just don't know if I can take another day.

It is on those days that I close my eyes and slip back in time to the days when it didn't matter who was adopted and who was not because we were just enjoying our life as a family. I escape to the "good ol' days" when they were past their difficult start and fully blended into our family, so much so that people would say,"Now, which ones are adopted?" I would find such deep satisfaction in saying, "I don't know. You tell me!"

Those years are cherished memories that I have to hold to because the teen years have been relentless with those adopted children. This article certainly highlights some of the facts, but it leaves off the severity of the pain. Oh, the pain runs so very deep and sadly, the more my adopted children reveal their scars, it becomes, to my dismay, more and more obvious who it is that is adopted.

And it hurts.

Who understands this?

Real Talk Begins....

I am a mom. It is my most cherished title. It is something I longed for since I was just a girl myself. And it is something that took time and a lot of difficulty to receive. It took two different run ins with cancer, a lost pregnancy at 14 weeks, 3 failed adoptions, to finally some miracle births, both physically and through adoption. Yes, I am a mom and not a day goes by that this is taken for granted.

I have been considering this blog for a long, long time. Tonight, on Father's Day 2012, I have embraced what I feel is somehow a responsibility. I have a deep faith in Christ and I have a deep belief in His word. It tells me in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" God has been so faithful in comforting me and my family through some very dark times and I have no doubt, others out there are experiencing a lingering, heavy, dark cloud as well. And it is because of that, I find myself creating this blog, this father's day, when our cloud has become a raging storm... again.

My prayer would be that no one would need this. My dream would be for all who have embarked on the journey of adoption, to be living the fairytale in their family that we all hoped for when we accepted the joyous challenge by saying yes to someone else's flesh and blood to become our very own. My desire would be for the happily ever after where it truly didn't matter from where the child came, just that they came. For many, this in fact would be their story!

But, as my family is living proof, unfortunately this isn't always how it goes. And because of that, a lot of pain and struggles exist in place of the fairytale. Experiences that without some sort of channel to others in our "boat", can lead to gut- wrenching sadness, fear, and deafening isolation. My intent with this blog, is to help myself while also helping others at the same time. I need you. And somehow, even without knowing who you are, I know that you need me too. We are a community... even if we never meant to be or would never choose to be.

It's funny really. This isn't the first time I have become a part of a community that I would never have chosen to embrace intentionally. I buried my precious three-year-old son after a devastating battle with disease and instantly became a part of a circle of people that understand me when others never will. We are a circle of survivors, without any understanding of how, continued to breathe when we didn't know if we could, when our precious children slipped from our earthly embraces into our Father's eternal embrace. I wouldn't have wanted to be in that group for anything, but since I was thrust into it, I am so thankful for the ones that went before me and were able to help me know I was normal for what I feel along the path after his loss and to know it was okay to do what I had to do to make it... that a right or wrong healing path didn't exist as long as I kept moving forward and didn't get too stuck. Man, that circle of people, most of which I don't know on any personal level, helped me make it into the survivor category. They still do.

So I have no doubt, if I am willing to open the doors, I will find myself surrounded by others that have walked or are currently walking the path of shattered dreams in adoption and without really ever choosing to or knowing how, we will help one another make it. We will be survivors of this journey as well.

And in the end, somehow, someway, we will say, "It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was worth it." That's my goal. That's my deepest need. To be able to honestly, sincerely, and whole-heartedly say "It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was worth it!" about adopting my broken children.

I don't know when that will happen. I don't know how it will happen. But if I quit believing it will happen, then the hope will fade. Without hope, it will all crumble for good. And that is not an option. Period.

So, with that, let me say, welcome to my blog. I wish I didn't have to write. I wish you didn't need to read. But we are both here anyway, so lets lock arms and find our way through our darkest days of disappointment and hurt together. And along the way, I believe we will find tiny shimmers of sunlight pouring through the darkness, leading us closer and closer to the light where the darkness will eventually fade forever.... one day. Someday.

I believe.