Friday, February 18, 2011

Starting from Scratch

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!

12 comments:

Emily said...

oh man did we make mistakes with amy-- as we totally ignored the loss issue-- and yep-- we are reaping what we sowed- and it ain't good fruit.. thankfully God's grace and mercy can restore that-- and he has given her such a forgiving heart. sighh we did much better with noah and ben.

megs @ whadusay said...

I feel like we have made many mistakes with Suhn too. Even though I know better, acting on what I know is still so hard. Like Paul said in Romans I do what I don't want to do... so frustrating, but then if I did everything perfect what did Jesus die for, right? So thankful for God's grace and mercy... we'd be lost without it! Thanks for sharing Emily!

smw said...

i'm obviously not an adoptive parent, but since that was our heart with andie, i just have to say that i think it's so wise for you to be acknowledging the reality of what her life has been. it is something that we grew to really believe strongly through the experience. and you're only a half a year into this, and already realizing it, so i'm sure you're doing great!!

megs @ whadusay said...

Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing Shar, and I should have put the question to adoptive and foster parents because they both deal with the same thing, hurting kids.

Jami said...

i question this everyday with d and i think i fail everyday too. so thankful that God's grace is here!!!!

Jon y Amy said...

I feel like I am in this spot everyday. So I am zero help, but just trying to empathize. Our twins have attached really well but have this deep seated insecurity that manifests itself in so many (trying) ways (and we brought them home at 5 months old).

I just listened to Karyn Purvis, she did an hour talk on parenting "children from hard places" and it had some great info for me.

Here is the link if you are interested.
http://empoweredtoconnect.org/children-from-hard-places-what-everyone-needs-to-know/

megs @ whadusay said...

Thanks for the comment Amy. Suhn has the same insecurity and it definately manifests itself in many trying ways here too.

Thanks for the link too! We got to hear Karyn Purvis speak last Spring before we brought Suhn home - so good then, but I have a feeling it would be even better and more needed now.

alyssa said...

I am the mom of 3 adopted, and 2 bio. kids- so 5 kiddos total!!! And you are soooo right it is diff. parenting my adopted kiddos, and i am not sure why. Our 2 year old that we adopted, has really given us a run for our money, and most days i feel the same way you do. I am currently reading adopting the hurt child and raising the hurt child.....i just wish their was more info. out their on helping to understand and work better as a parent to parent our adopted childern- thanks for posting this- Alyssa

megs @ whadusay said...

Thanks for your comment Alyssa - adoption is not an easy gig, but oh so worth it! It always helps to know you are not alone in the struggles that come with adoption, so thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Megan and thanks for the all the insights(from everyone's comments) as we embark on this journey very soon. It gives me a lot to stop and think about.
Chelby

megs @ whadusay said...

Chelby - SO EXCITED to follow your journey. You are in our prayers. Feel free to call when you get home with anything!! Can't wait to see Abram in your arms!!

The Unruh's said...

I've been struggling a lot with Mia. She is definitely not like our other kids. She can just push me to the brink. I don't know what it is about her. I try to parent her like our others and nothing works. I have never met a kiddo so smart and yet so difficult. It's almost like she wants to push me to the edge to see how far she can push me. I'm made a lot of mistakes and are still making them. I feel convicted all the time about not being the kind of parent that I want to be. So you definitely are not alone in the mistake area.