Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Help for the Adoption Journey - Adoption 101 or what no one ever told me.

A conversation was started last week by Living with RAD about the journey of adoption and how we live and survive in world that somedays overwhelms us and that many of us had no idea we had signed up for. A number of other bloggers have weighed in over the past few days. Take a minute and go read Essie, Jennie, and The Accidental Advocate who discuss the journey that we are on, then go read Corey, Tudu and Mom in the Trench who are brutally honest about just how hard doing this each and every day can be.

I wanted to weigh in as well but in a different sort of way. When I started this journey with P, two years ago I had no idea just how hard it would be. I did not know that my life would be filled with anger, rage, poop, sadness, longing, fear and developmental  and cognitive delays that could of been prevented.

I knew it would be hard but no one told me it would be this hard.

No one told me because no one I spoke to had ever adopted kids like ours. There is not worker at our local agency who has adopted older kids. There is no one in my town and none of my friends had done it either. We stumbled through as best we could for the first 6 months. We had hope that it would ger easier. It didn't.

We got therapy for Calvin ( P and I already had are own therapists), we learned about Beyond Consequences, we started using it. We read every book we could find and then one day I found J and through J her Mom Lisa. Lisa saved me. Reading Lisa's blog was like looking into my living room and seeing my life from the outside. I learned that I was not alone. There were other parents waging the same battles that we were each and everyday.

Bloggers became my lifeline, I started spending hours reading and learning from other parents experiences. I started to see that they might be a light some where in this darkness that was parenting these children. I shifted and changed along with my children, learning to be the kind of parent that they needed. There were no instructions, it was all trial and error and most days I am still flying by the seat of my pants. I have learned so much from other parents and from their blogs along the way. They are in my sidebar, go meeat them, they are all strong and passionate people who are doing their best to make it through each and every day.

If you are new to this parenting journey may I suggest that you get your hands on the following:

Wounded Children Healing Homes - I can not say enough good things about this book. Kari turned me on to it and then Jayne ( one of the authors) left a comment on my blog. It is the first time that I have seen a book that talks about all the things we have all been saying about Adoption this week. It goes through just as brutally hard this can be while providing hope and help for the future with your children. I think it should be required reading.
Beyond Consequences - I talk about Heather a lot here. It helps you to understand your kids, it provide amazing insight into why the behaviours exist.
Deborah Gray, Daniel Hughes, Gregory Keck, and Denise Best are all amazing authors who provide hope, insight and some light for the journey.
When you know what a theraputic parent is, go and meet Christine, watch her videos, absorb her brillance.

Know that if you are just starting out on your adoption journey, half way through or feeling like you are drowning that you are not alone. There are lots of us out here, we have lived through intense challenges with our children. We continue to have new challenges, we are learnig and growing and changing.

I will not tell you that it is getting easier because that would be a lie but I can tell you that I am better person and parent than I was two years ago when I started this journey. I find hope in the little things and if I can get these two children to adulthood with some sanity still in tact then I will of been successful.


Lisa said...

Honestly I don't know how we made it before I discovered blogging. Tudu (IRL friend) and she encouraged me to blog. It was such a relief to know that I wasn't alone.

So grateful for you and everyone on my blogging list. Y'all are my lifeline. ♥

GB's Mom said...

You are doing an awesome job! You are one of my heroes.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Did your agency only work with infants? Or toddlers? Just wondering.
I think for me, it mostly boils down to the exhaustion. I never experienced the exhaustion one small child could impose on an entire family (mind you, I had a 2 year old at the time). Same child then woke up the house daily/ nightly shrieking and having fits. There was never a 'win'. She begged to be held, then kicked me and struggled until I set her down. Demanded food, then freaked out when I gave her 6 orange slices because it was too many. Constant set ups throughout the day and nothing even tamped it down. Unrelenting.
Having said all that, yes it does get better. That's my next "big" post, it's coming. In my free time, lol!

Shanti said...

awesome post, and i'm sure incredibly helpful to those adopting older kids!

MomInTheTrench said...

Good post. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I've not read the Wounded Children book. I guess I have to now!