But this comment left me with a door, that I see needs closed. You see I give a window view into our lives, I do not expect an open door. I give the window because people need to know what is involved when you see that post "child aging out, someone needs to do something!!"
And you feel the tug. I am NOT saying if God shows you this is YOUR child to ignore that, no WAY. But if any family *thinks* any older child is going to come with NO issues, quite frankly, they are gonna get slammed. And THEN WHAT? One of the burdens of my heart is these older kids who are or aren't prepared for adoption, parents that are or aren't prepared for adoption, and the issues cause them to NOT be able to stay in the home.
There are NOT enough resources for these families. There are very few helps, very few choices, and it's wrong. Support, love, understanding, care and most importantly EDUCATION should not end with the airplane touching down. Oh, got them home, now live a happy ever after? For these older children it's not that simple.
So here's the comment-
Let me begin by saying that I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your honesty and commitment to your children. I know this may sound like a criticism or judgment but it is not meant to be. It is a sincere question. How do you think Pheobe's adoption will play into this? In an earlier post I think you mentioned that one of the children might have RAD and you reference attachment issues that are so severe that you mention that the children may not be able to stay in your family.
I do honestly feel it's a little critical. Ouch. But I'm gonna address this 'cause it's more important than me feeling a little judged.
Phoebe's adoption is God planned. God knew what child would fit in this family. It was no surprise to me she was as young as she is. I don't have any doubt that it would be a rare (if any)teen aged child the 3 bio teens would accept in their lives, as they are so bonded. And not feel threatened by their standing in this family. I can't see taking a teen with an unknown personality and trying to get the 3 teens to accept that new teen, no matter where they are from. And how awful would that be for the new teen:( So Phoebe being young is right for this family. As in any family, our littles are treated as littles, different from the teens. She is not competition to them, she's a little girl.
Also she has a condition that one of the teens best friend's has and they understand the issues it brings. They are very willing to help her and are excited to accept her as their sister.
Now as for the kids with RAD. I mentioned they all have signs of RAD and SO DO I. I have no doubts these teens and possibly the adopted littles may have "signs" of RAD forever. Just as God accepts us as is, He doesn't take away our past hurts, our past pains, but He and only HE makes us WHOLE in Him, we don't expect to make our children WHOLE. We expect to help them get as far as we can take them. We expect them to get that our commitment to them is unending. We give them everything they need, we give them God to choose or not, they must make that decision, as we all do.
I want to clarify the "children may not be able to stay in our family" Uhh, did you read the whole post? No offense but I think you took that wrong. I said we told them we thought about if they needed another family because we wondered if WE were the issue, our family makeup, our parenting style. But that was just plain silly and I pointed that out to them because they would take their issues right into another family and no family makeup, parenting style would change that-- we had to make them own the issue, to understand that NO FAMILY would accept them not being nice to each other or being disrespectful to the parent/s.
I even told the boys that them blaming US for their behavior was like me cooking supper, burning it, then blaming them. It was that silly. It makes NO sense. But that's what we get from them, WE cause them to behave with disrespect. They actually SAY THAT.
And I felt we were home long enough and the boys understood enough to see what they were doing. And they DID. They got what I was saying, this was HUGE because it's been an ongoing issue of blame on us for how they act. Which is NOT going to/ has not worked.
We told the boys they are STUCK WITH US. We told them our commitment was to them. Forever. That we want them to be HAPPY and enjoy being here, enjoy being part of a family and all that gives them. Whatever it takes. And it took pointing out to them that they wouldn't be able to be happy and make it even in another family- they HAD to work on these behaviors of theirs for them to get it.
Because with these older ones, it's different. It's not lollipops and roses.
And sometime like any teen, they need a swift kick in the butt (it's a saying MOM, I'm not kicking any kids here) to get that the behaviors they are doing are ruining their happiness. NOT US. Not being adopted, not this family. And they have to choose to work on their negative behaviors or not, we can't force them to follow the rules here and accept being a family member. BUT we give them every opportunity to BE a complete and happy member of our family.
With teen treasures, it's a whole world of difference, some super, some not so super. And if no one addresses how they handled it, then how does anyone else learn? Trust me when I tell you I am NOT the only parent of a teen treasure who blames ME for their behaviors. OIY.
It's hard. These children are very precious, no doubt, but they come with pasts that give them heavy burdens to carry. We have to lighten that load, give them big shoulders to carry the load for them, but often they won't hand it over. They keep the burden and let it bury them. We willingly take the fears, the pain, the lack of feeling worthy, to be the parents. But some of them don't WANT to be parented. They are too used to carrying that load.
We have Chase who has been that child. BUT we see him trying so hard to figure out, can he trust us, can he possibly hand over some of the load? And with each TINY step we make with him he is making it. NOT just living here, getting from us food, shelter, clothes, education till he can get out. That's how he HAS been living. A huge struggle. Hard for us to take. Hard for the other kids to deal with him not caring about anyone but himself and what he can get. His survival has been his life. And at times he has been miserable with hanging on to just surviving, not thriving. Because thriving is enjoying his life, understanding he CAN let his guard down.
And honestly I'm so excited we are getting there with him. We WANT him to be happy. We want him to heal and find his way. He is our SON. We love him so much. We want to see him be able to have normal healthy relationships in his lifetime. We want him to know he is worthy of our love, God's love, a woman's love.
We also know that there may be parts of his life we can not heal, we can not get to him in time but that he may see later in life what we were trying to do for him. Just as sometimes we stray or need to grow in years to understand God's love for us. How we are meant to Love Him.
But even as I shared this struggle, our children have continued to work together, to work at being family members. Even their ESL teacher e-mailed me and said "What happened, Chase is speaking to Chance?" Because I haven't shared this because it was a "sibling" issue more so between our 3 that I didn't think could help anyone else, but Chase decided a while back that Chance was blending into this family and he was mad AT CHANCE.
He hasn't spoken to his brother except for complete necessity for MONTHS. And I have spoken to both of them with no change. Chance even came to me and said he thought "Chase hate me" and I assured him it was Chase's issue NOT him. Can you just see how hurting my sons were? Chase hurting because Chance was "making it" here quicker and easier, Chance hurting because his brother was jealous of him but him not understanding that or being able to change it.
And this talk with them, this breakthrough, has brought back their brotherhood. They chatter in their Chinese. They laugh with each other. The tension released from this being resolved is soooo good.
It's ongoing, it's taking work. But I share because I want people to see, even these tough ones, they are worth it. It can be done. They are our children. For good. Even thinking of them in another family makes me want to vomit. Seriously. And that would be the sound of a door closing. It's not our road. And these 3 know that.
They know they MUST give their all here, because this is it. It's make it here, we are offering it all to them, or not make it here, just live here and "hang out" till they are adults. They WANT to make it, they WANT all it means to be FAMILY. They WANT to be able to accept they are LOVED.
As for Phoebe, she, like Camden and Kat, would have been asked to go play in their room, Kat and Camden found a fun game to play together in her room and they had no issue doing it for the 30 minutes it took to address the issue with the teens. Chloe was in on "the talk" just as a help for me to tell them she has made it here, she will help them in any way to make it here. They couldn't say it was not possible with her sitting right there:)
And the littles were thrilled at the end result of the teens being willing to work to be a part of this family. They got treated better by the teens, as they started right away making efforts. It was a win-win situation for this family.
And that, my friend, is what we are all about. Helping these treasure make it. Helping them take the past, accept that it was but moving them forward and not letting it cripple them. Too many people we know have "some" issue that they use to cripple themselves for LIFE. Something that happened to them. And we are not without "things" that have happened to us. Things we don't know how to get/how we got through without God. But taking that "issue" and using it to learn, to grow and even give back to children who need it to help THEM overcome and become good people who can give back-- well that's just plain amazing.
God paired us up PERFECT with these kids. Not one doubt about that. And I for one, thank Him every day for them and thank Him for using me for His purpose with these children as well as in every way He wants in my life.
Note to all: Chloe and I (and once in a while the boys chip in) are working together to assist families who have adopted teen treasures, to offer calling, video calls, for older adopted kids who are struggling, lonely, scared, unsure of what is expected of them. Chloe said "It's like being a missionary at home!"
It's something we see a huge need for, and as our kids are bilingual and have such wide differences in personalities, needs, struggles, it could turn out to be a HUGE help where it's badly needed.
Yet again, we see God using our family in a positive way:) And we are very thankful to Him.