Starting from scratch. That is kind of what it feels like when you adopt. Like throwing out everything you thought you knew about parenting and starting over. Not quite, but kind of.
I'm learning you do parent an adopted child different. It makes sense when you think about it. You pretty much have to parent every child you have, homegrown or adopted, differently to some extent.
But an adopted child, is a child born to you out of loss. And loss is hard and leaves a mark. If you ignore that mark and try to pretend it is not there more damage can be done.
I've been feeling insecure in my parenting of Suhn. Does she react that way because she is three years old or because of her great loss? Is she acting out of 3 year old selfishness or out of fear and insecurity based in her past? Am I too hard on her, or am I not firm enough?
I find myself wanting to react based on the fact that she is three years old and ignore the loss, but I am learning to stop myself and pray for wisdom to better understand her. And then parent from that new perspective.
It's not easy. I've made mistakes. But I'm learning.
I've been reading through a book called The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Sunshine. It is a great resource for adoptive parents, filled with strategies and reminders to parent your child with their past in mind in order to heal their wounds and give them a successful future.
If you are an adoptive parent I would love to hear your perspective on this or any resources you have come across in your journey. Please share in the comments!