Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Okay, so tonight I've worked on three other drafts before getting to this one. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to say what I'm trying to say...or even what exactly I want to say. I think the Reader's Digest Condensed Version would go something like, "it's not all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens here. Some days are stinkin' HARD. But I don't want your pity...just your understanding."

As a brand-new family, not even a year old yet, we have our share of challenges. In particular, we have Attachment & PTSD challenges, adoption story challenges, adjusting to each other challenges, new-parents-but-not-of-infants challenges, and all kinds of the more run-of-the-mill stuff that I'm sure everybody else has too.

Some of that last part--the run-of-the-mill-stuff--is actually funny from time to time. Like wrestling a marker out of Finnley's hand because he just decided to taste it and now has a bright teal tongue, teeth, and drool. That was today. (At least it was non-toxic...thank you Crayola).

However, a lot of the other stuff isn't nearly as funny...or fun. What do you do when you are leaving daycare, carrying your younger child and walking next to your older child, when he suddenly thwarts your feeble attempt to grab him and runs away from you in the driveway, laughing (with a deviant laugh...and yes, it IS a deviant laugh) and running deliberately toward the street, oh, and asking the names of every single stranger walking by? Do you drop the toddler in pursuit of the three-year-old and hope the younger one doesn't make it into the street by the time you catch the other? Throw the toddler into the car and hope he doesn't destroy it before you get back? Try running with him in your arms, knowing that any motion toward your other child will cause him to run further away? Do you yell? Threaten? Beg? Bargain? Coax? Ignore? (It's possible that I've tried all of these...not sure any one of them was more effective than another.)

What do you do about biting and hitting? What about screaming? ACTUAL fits of rage? (And let me tell you--this is different from a full-blown temper tantrum...we have those too.) Hurting inside because you see how much hurt your kids are carrying...and although none of it had anything to do with you, worrying now that the ways you're trying to rebuild discipline and structure are exacerbating the traumas? Being so angry and so confused at the same time--so angry at the boys' biological parents who caused so much hurt...and so confused because the logical working-out of that puzzle is that they would never have been mine, had they not been hurt by someone else first? It's so not fair. It just isn't.

But this is the road we're walking. I'm sure it's the right one...in some strange way Gavin and Finnley have always been my children...it just took me longer to meet them than it takes most parents. So please don't misunderstand this post--please don't feel bad for us--just please try to understand us when we decline your invitation or forget to call you back or miss getting you on our thank-you list or go to bed at 8:30 PM or look a little haggard or tell you that things are going well but with eyes that betray our smile. Because they ARE going well. SO incredibly well--I still think of magical when I think of describing this journey--they're just also SO incredibly hard sometimes.

The bad news is, we have nothing else to compare it to. The good news is, we have nothing else to compare it to. Looking back, I can see that we all have come miles and miles from where we started (really!)...and, after all, tomorrow is another chance to grow, heal, and continue on as a family. And that means there's still hope...bright hope for tomorrow.

Thanks for following us on our journey...and for coming alongside us, too.

KH

Comments

  1. Although I have two kids of my own, I don't think I know exactly where you are coming from or what it feel like to be in your situation, really at all. However, whenever I have been completely frustrated with any aspect of parenting I always think of the phrase, "And this too shall pass." And you know what? It really will. Someday, and maybe a day not to far away, you will look back and think, "Remember when "xyz" was so hard? Wow, that was really hard, so glad we've moved past that." It's true, I promise :)

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  2. The Lord is faithful to complete the work which he has started in each of us (Philippians 1:6). This is part of your refining. He loves you all and is making sure that each day you understand how much! In order to make it, you have to rely on Him. :) You guys ARE wonderful parents and it IS hard. While I cannot relate, Jesus can relate to each and every frustration, emotion, and worry. Use his strength. Remember God's economy: Isaiah 61:1-3 Love you very much!

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  3. I completely empathize with what your going through, and although I started with infants which somewhat gives you some incredible patients to endure toddlers, here is a couple of things to remember though your tough times. Consistency is king, through consistency you will persevere, consisency through discipline and more importantly consistency in praise for being good and doing the right thing.(“catch them” being good) I was fortunate to have a mother (your Nana) that also developed me to make decisions she empowered me by giving me choices. I have also done this with my children at a very young age, it does require a bit of prep time as you will want to have pre thought of things that you can offer up in different situations, try to keep your choices both positive ones. For instance you can either play with your brother or you can take this toy over here and play by yourself which would you like to do? (key is being at eye level and getting them to make the decision, then after they have made the decision and a few minutes of execution, tell them what a good job they are doing and how proud you are of them) threatening or giving a negative thing to choose does not work, it may work in the short term but over the long haul it is best to stay away from the choosing of a consequence (you can either share with your brother or go to time out is not effective) hope this helps….remember that there will always be challenges, that we as parents will make mistakes, we will not always be patient enough, we will lose our tempers and say things we shouldn’t say, do things we shouldn’t do, we are not perfect nor will we ever be. Recognize the mistakes and apologize for doing the wrong thing when it happens, learn and grow from every experience, You and Nick are doing a fine job and you are lucky to have these boys as much as the boys are lucky to have you. Remember to have Nick and Kassie time it will give you the strength you are going to need to get through your tomorrows!

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  4. You're doing a great job; I never see you, but I KNOW you are!

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