So one of my last posts got so many people to respond and read it, I am still in shock. I got record number of views and comments that made me feel so validated.
When I went to hit publish on that post, I was filled with self-doubt and worry. I thought that maybe other people would read this and think horrible things, like that I am a terrible parent (my worst fear). I knew that I needed to be open and honest about ALL aspects of parenting children with past trauma and neglect, even the parts that I wish I could hide. I know that going into this journey, there were many many people out there saying the same things over and over. That it is hard, but worth it. That you will never know how much you can love someone until you meet your kids. Yadda yadda yadda.
All that is true, its just not the whole story. I couldn’t find many people really writing about what life is like, how their kids adjusted, how the parents handled the adjustment and so forth. There were a few books and a handful of blogs (of which I read and subscribed to) that were devoted to older child adoption, but compared to the obscene amounts of information written for new parents of biological children or even infant adoption there was more that was needed. I am glad that people have found my experiences to be familiar, both for my sake and theirs.
One thing I found to be extremely needed in any adoption journey is support. The few resources that were out there for older children adoption mentioned this. However, I am here to tell you just how vital support is.
When my kids first moved in, things were so busy with adjusting to all the changes. Going from just Joel and I to a family of 5 is a bit of a extreme transition. Figuring out school schedules, work schedules, then staying at home schedules took up all my time. Not to mention chores and laundry (that was like 10 times more even though we just added 3 people). I figured that I could push seeking support to the back burner. I had busied myself so much with life that I was just seeking support from the closest family and friends. As amazing as these people are, the truth is that my experiences are very different from their. They are amazing and loving, but cannot relate (as hard as they try). There is something special in connecting with people that REALLY get it.
Something that I have been trying to do more in the past week or two is to connect with others. Through online support groups and emails and blog world I am actively trying to put myself out there more to connect with people that GET IT. My goal is to find an in-person support group to attend as well. Not sure how well that will work since we live in the boonies, but I’m going to try.
This work of parenting is hard and having others assist and bolster you up for this journey.