Wednesday, January 18, 2012
"Stay off my plate"
Sometimes I stare at a blank page pondering if I should write or not. Especially on a website like this one. Through-out my years of being a Mother, (twenty two years) I've often questioned my parenting skills. Lately I've been insulted in many ways basically coming from different birth family members. It's interesting on how my parenting is questioned and judged while I'm the one adopting their children from care. It's "Ok" ironically because I know my husband and I have dedicated our life, 24/7 to hopefully make a difference and change the course of what "their" children were presented initially. Us as adoptive parents might not be perfect, we will make mistakes but our hearts and determination are in it forever. I haven't written about our recent teenager leaving and circulating through birth family but our approach was completely different compared to our first teenager. Same bio siblings, same birth family, almost identical scenario except with different twists. Our first approach didn't work with actively pursuing our first teenager, trying to convince....it seemed to push away the more we tried. Eventually everything worked out, and there is peace, respect and understanding. This time around we pulled back. We let our teen search, move around and find out the truths........while the adventure continued our home was always open with the condition that if our teen came back, it was under our rules. During the past few months there has been many stories told. So many there is no truth within a single sentence. What happens is some individuals believe stories from the teen and that causes conclusions that are detrimental to the healthy process of the teen coming home. And stories are told to the teen that are clearly fabricated and distorted to attempt to ruin the adoptive family's relationship with their adopted child. Birth family members for many reasons including guilt from the past, "entitlement" because they're a birth member or just because we're the "issue" house and allow the situation to escalate with the teen. BUT at the end of the scenario not many can or will step up and take care of this child. So why on earth get involved and make the situation worse for the adoptive family? At one point we were told that we were going to be taken to court for guardianship rights returned. I wonder what happened to that idea!? We have found out that we can't make teenagers stay home. The best approach I've found is let them figure it out, find their own truths and eventually with time....with experience meeting all these individuals that the last stop is always back home - here, with their rightful adoptive family. I've always stated there is a reason for everything. There is a reason why our children are with us and that's because they need a family. They need a stable Mother and Father. You know, I tell my children that I mean it when I say I've counted your toes, watched you sleep, stared at that first picture presented to us before placement - each and every adoption was a new birth for our family (a new birth to me) and it didn't matter how old they were. I also know that none of our children are perfect, neither am I and neither will be our journey together. Some of our teens will wander but we'll always be right here moving along, waiting and hopefully the right choices will be made. Another statement I keep making is, "It's not about me" This can mean many things in the adoption world but when I say this to our children, it means it's about them and their future because my future is already established. If I didn't care, if I was this horrible adoptive Mother - it would be all about me and reality is, I wouldn't be adopting either. So.....I'm not going to question my worth especially from birth parents opinions; I'm going to do the best I can and proceed from there with my children. On that note - have a great weekend, I won't be writing again for about 4-5 days.