Saturday, September 01, 2007

The beauty of the *stubborn* adopted child....

Today was the North Vernon yard sale..for me this is a YEARLY tradition! Only this year was the 1st year in the past 4 years that I have had to go on my own (Boo hoo!). Brandy and Michele were both supposed to go with and something came up last minute for each of them and they were not able to go. This was supposed to be my ONE day without the ONE day where I am not chasing someone around...the one day where I can feel like a normal person again....the one day when I am not saying "hey! don't touch that!", "What are ya thinkin bud?", "keep your hands to yourself!", "No we are NOT buying that", "I thought you just USED the bathroom!", "DON'T EAT THAT!", followed by "you just ate 30 minutes ago!" can continue to think of more:).....and I really needed that day alone...or so I thought.

This story actually starts over 4 years ago when this beautiful, temperamental, stubborn, pig headed little girl that was starving for affection was placed in my arms. I had fallen in love with picture. Fallen in love with the "image" of her and how life was going to be. The somehow, someway, God places this little "challenger" in my life. I knew all the advice I had been given on conventional parenting was out the window...and I better double read everything I could about parenting the adopted child. I went back and re-read all the posts on the yahoo groups I had "deleted" as..."I" wouldn't need them. I had people around me that had raised children...I will have PLENTY of advice...unfortunately NO ONE here had adopted a child....therefore their advice....useless in her case....On top of that they couldn't understand why I disciplined my children they way I did....or why I was so picky about things (who she goes to for food, comfort etc).Trying to explain to people (even some of my best friends at the time) was like talking to wall to only receive looks of disapproval an non-understanding. I felt alone and I was go glad that God had put Lori in my life, who had raised an adopted 3 year old, and now has a successful, beautiful young woman with a precious, precious heart. I called her many a times (and still do) for advice. An attached child will respond to traditional discipline...why? because they are attached....bonded.....they WANT to please...and don't want to disappoint. The older "freshly" adopted child..doesn't know you from Adam (for a lack of better term). She could care less about you, your feelings, pleasing you etc. *I* was the person who ripped her from everything she had known. *I* not only took away her "home", but I also removed her language, familiarity, and ......power. WHOA! Did I just say that? yep...she lost the power over herself. She lost the ability to take care of her self(something she had done her 3 almost 4 young years). Suddenly she was going to start listening to what I say? What for? I was just her next *stop* until it was time to go somewhere else. She might as well just act rotten and get moved onto her next *stop*....after all life had taught her that this was her one wanted her. In her mind, her birthmom had left her, and was now in several different foster homes, these people come and take me into their home for 2 weeks, then hand me over to yet another home, only to come back and rip me out of my entire world. They take me to this strange place where I know no one and understand no long will I be here? Might as well make this stop short and make myself unlovable. Some of you may think this is outrageous...but later I will share some books with you to read.....Traditional discipline just will not work until that child is bonded and even then there are time you have to step back and say is this a normal kid issue or an adopted kid issue? Many times the end behavior looks the same...the big difference is the reason behind the behavior....*sigh*..............we have come a long way....but there is still more work to be done in this 'ol house.

Lets speed up to 2007.....God has worked in her life and ours. She has become more open...but yet not "too" open (fear of rejection). Trust is still a work in progress and will be for many years. People look at us and we now look like any normal conspicuous family (is that an oxy moron? lol). She calls us mama and papa.....she hold our hand...she cries when she is in trouble....and I feel she is growing up so fast......I am worried that I am not going to be able to "catch up" for all the emotional things she needs to learn... I give it up to God daily...and I pray that I do right with her (and of course my other children too, but in a different way).

Now that I have written a book....lets go back to the Yard sale....I SO did not want to go by myself....Sanite had been asking to go....I said "kyle would you mind if I just took Sanite tomorrow?" He said it wasn't a big deal. So last night....she and I slept in my bed (as to not wake up the rest of the house!) and we were up at 7...out of the house by 7:30. We head to the bank...McDonald's for an OJ/Coffee, then we are off! We had about a 20 minute drive before we found a place and parked....then we walked....and walked.....and The entire day it was her and me (or I..I was never very good at grammar). We took our time and spent 6 hours going from house to house....block to block...we made stops for restrooms, looking (ahem buying) cute clothes, looking (mostly) at toys and other items. She has become so generous...the whole time she hardly thought of things for herself, it was "Maddie would like this!" or "Noah would LOVE that!" We shared pop, ate beef jerky....and had LOTS of conversation...just the two of us. Don't get me wrong...we do mama/Sanite time where it is just the two of us...but there was something different about today....almost like another "stage" has began in her life....another "inch" on the trust-o-meter. What did I do to mess it all up? We came home and I was washing the umpteenth load of laundry...and I told the kids to get their room cleaned and we were running in to town to pick up pizza. I went back in the room and told them to make sure that all the parts get put back into one certain toy, and Sanite said something (don't remember what it was)...and then I made the accusation.....why didn't God give me the good sense to think before I talk most of the time? Here I was ...I thought I was right...then I started to re-think the situation on the way to get pizza.....uh oh.....I think she meant something else by what she said....and it wasn't the way I interpreted it. We pick up pizza and head home............I throw the pizza on the table, ask Kyle to serve 'er up...and bring Sanite into her bedroom. I sit down and asked her what she meant by said comment earlier...and there it was ...I was wrong.....So I apologize...........and ready? My girl came up to me, hugged me, and said "It's alright...I forgive you....we all make mistakes sometimes...." I couldn't believe it....was this my same little girl? anytime I had apologized to her for something I had done wrong (and yes there have been plenty...Hard to believe I know! LOL) I was often times met with a blank stare....but not was met with love, understanding, compassion, and trust.

Cost of Sanites jeans today= $21

Cost of lunch= $12.50

Trust from the "stubborn" adopted child= priceless

1 comment:

me, said...

all i can say angela is thank you (no... THANK YOU) - i mean this from the bottom of my heart, this couldn't have come at a better time - brit's doing great as you know, but today was a day from hell (yes, HELL) - she & i'd been into all day & how did it start, with a salad (don't even ask) - i've screamed at her, she's bawled, i've bawled, we've not talked, given each other 'the eye', etc. & then as i'm sitting her in the middle of a campground, i read this post from my best friend in the whole world about a young lady i love with all my heart named sanite & you know what?... you & sanite have taught me something tonight & i thank you for it - alright, i've gotta get off here as i'm crying & can't see to type

love ya & again THANK YOU