Okay, so I’ve been gone a while. A loooong while. Reasons for being gone aren’t important or interesting enough to share. Lol. What is important is to let you know where we’re at; we haven’t started the adoption process yet, but we are still working toward it. And so, I’m going to work toward blogging again.
So today’s post is a brilliant and insightful post from another blog that I came across today while searching Pinterest for Foster Care Adoption during lunch. It’s from a blog called When Foster Care Goes Right, and the post is called A Letter.
Something I think about a lot is what challenges we’ll face with our kids when they move in with us. I’ve heard stories that range from adopted children showing mild opposition and defiance to attempts to start World War III. I wonder to myself where we’ll fall. I’ve always been the type to expect the worst and hope for the best. That way if you get the best, or at least on the better end, it’s a nice surprise. If you don’t, you’re not shocked and disappointed. Some would call that pessimistic. To me, pessimistic would be not even bothering to hope for the best because I’m convinced the worst will happen regardless, so don’t even bother. I prefer to think of it as bracing myself for what’s (potentially), to come. I also wonder sometimes if bracing myself will be enough, and if I’ll be up to the challenge as much as I think I am.
I would say I’m prepared for the worst. Well, let me rephrase that to, I’m fully accepting of the worst case scenario being a possibility. I wouldn’t say I’m prepared yet. Heck, once we’re trained and home study approved, I don’t know if you can ever say you’re prepared for the worst. Reading and hearing about it is entirely different than living it first hand.
I’ve read over and over that kids will try to defy you and push you away because they’ve lost so much in their short lives. Partially because they want to test to see just how willing you are to stick it out, and also, part of them figures it’s easier for them to push you away and have you give up, than for them to get somewhat comfortable or attached, and have their world fall apart yet again when this plan falls through like all the others. Better to hurt and not love, than to love and lose. Again. Those are some pretty serious lessons to learn as a kid. Especially when the first lessons originate with your birth family.
When I read this blog post today, I was reminded about how out of control these children must feel. Being moved from case worker to case worker, school to school, and home to home. How it must feel to have all these people making decisions about you and for you because they’re doing it in your best interest, when it seems like your best interest is the last thing they have in mind. It’s no wonder they sometimes lash out. In a life of volatility and upheaval, their only constant becomes perpetuating a cycle of instability. There’s comfort (albeit minimal), in chaos.
For those who think kids coming from foster care are bad kids, or maybe brought their fate upon themselves, I think this letter gives a different perspective and insight into the reason behind their behavior. For those not familiar with the foster care system and what these children go through, again, it offers insight, but also might be an eye opener. For me, I think it will also be a good reminder to reflect on when the wide-eyed newbie version of me, green to the world of parenting, has been worn down by daily battles of seeing who can last the longest. A reminder to remember that my battle is trivial in comparison, and despite their size, I’m fighting a grizzled veteran who’s battled through much worse than I ever have. A veteran that still needs to be loved, especially when they’re doing everything they can not to be.