Thursday, October 3, 2013

Family and adoption

I was asked "Am I talking to my MOM, when I make comments to (MOM)."

Well, kinda. You see I sadly do not have a good relationship with my "mother" meaning the woman who actually birthed me. (I don't mention a dad because my dad worked away all week and then died of cancer when I was young so I haven't had a dad in my life:( 

Instead MOM is another mother figure in my life who cares deeply about me and my children.  Sometimes it just happens that way.

A difficult childhood (to say the least) and continued dysfunction into my adult life brought me to a place of great difficulty. I asked God, "Please help me understand how You want me to be mothered, how do I handle the connection of blood relations not being a HEALTHY relationship?"

It's a hard place to be. But the more I walked with God the more I realized I did NOT have to have negative/hurtful people in my life, affecting our daily lives. God doesn't want that for me-or anyone. And I CAN break off ties with someone in order to spare me and my family pain. You see, being related doesn't give people the right to treat you bad.

It DOES NOT. There is NO rule that you have to take crap when someone is hurtful over and over. You MUST be polite, do not spew poison and lower yourself to their level. You MUST pray for them, because God loves them too and wants you to show them His love (which is another reason you can't spew poison) but it can mean that happens from a distance that makes it "safe" and healthy for you.

Our adoptions came "at a price" in a way. I don't know if family/people thought we were nuts, that we were "better than them" (we are soooo not better than anyone else), if our love for God's chosen children embarrassed them? I don't really know.

But while most of the adoption community understands our love, our joy, the blessings these children are to us, in every day life we are sometimes met with discomfort (from family) that has grown with the more children we brought home.

Just one example is--we received gifts and congratulations when we adopted Kat. When we announced Chloe's adoption we received 2 gifts on her arrival home and many "Why do you want to do that?"

When we said we were going back for her brothers-- we thought that was clearly a "no brainer" as to why-- but we got NO congratulations, a number of "Wow, how many does this make you?" And many "Glad it's you and not me." This makes me so sad. There's so many blessings these kids bring and so much more that they give US than we give them. I want others to have this!!

Phoebe's and Paisley's adoptions brought about a kind of resignation -- "Well obviously they are going to do what they want" and it did keep most comments away from our ears. And again, no congratulations or gifts for the girls:( 

Now, please understand we don't NEED gifts for the children, and the gifts that really meant a ton were little things like the doll Melissa handmade for Phoebe to look just like her, now that was SPECIAL.  God provides well for our children to know they are loved and special to us and others.

But for us, adopting meant we had love, a home, our family wanting to love and provide for more children. And our kids needed a family with love who would provide for them. Clear reasons to us WHY we adopted. But for some reason people wonder WHY and don't always believe we have the purest of motivations to adopt.

And I know some adoptive families that the lack of support comes from other places- neighbors, even church family:(  

We've been asked "How much do you get for "them"?  Um, nothing. We WORK to support them and do not get any monthly subsidies like people do when they adopt from foster care. 

And honestly, we fostered kiddos, I have no problem with people who DO adopt from foster care and get subsidies to help them with monthly expenses for a child. It's darn expensive to raise kids and often those subsidies help kids get adopted that may not have gotten a family due to funds. I don't think that lack of funds should EVER be a reason a child doesn't get a family.

But it doesn't work that way with ours, we support them just as if they were born of us. And we are fine with that- they are our kids. No different than the ones who are bio kids. We took this on willingly and happily---Again, we are not special people--- we do not have perfect lives, we do not sin less. Sometimes we can't afford to do something we would like to do with the kids, but do I ever think they would be better off left as orphans? No. I do NOT.

God always provides us with plenty for the needs of this family. And some wants are covered as well. And as we have "lost" family, God took care of that by giving us stand in's when we need them, as well as a whole adoption community that is like family, and a wonderful church family. 

Am I sad at times that people who SHOULD be supportive aren't? Well, yeah, I am. But you know, the more you live for God the more you see His hand in the "new family connections" you make in your life. Giving us exactly what we need, when we need it. 

We are honored to have our children, all of them. And we are thankful to share them with people who love them as well, people who see what treasures they are. We hope others are encouraged to adopt because it can be the most wonderful WIN-WIN situation for you and the child. 

It doesn't take PERFECT parents to adopt and we fully get that we are very far from perfect.  We rely on God to guide us day to day with our children He has blessed us with.  We couldn't do it without Him. Just like we aren't perfect Christians and God forgives us and knows our hearts.

So while our "family ties" may look different than we expected we do not lack for supportive family. We do not surround ourselves in negative-- we pray for those people who choose to be negative. That they will receive blessings and be able to ENJOY the blessings God has for them.

Yes, there's a MOM and she tells me things like "Carving your name in a bridge is vandalism, you could go to jail for that, you know?" And "You need to use bleach on your dishes when anyone is sick."  Or "Did you wipe down the door knobs with bleach"-- because the kids have a cold.

Yep, there's a MOM, alright, and she does "keep me in line" as all daughters should be kept in line:)

Just like sons should be too--- just so you know Brandon is now saying he can be "available" to redo the family picture. I'm not holding my breath. Now, I *might* have made him feel bad when I sent him the picture of us all-- less HIM. Might have added some more guilt to his plate.

 But that's what moms are for, right?  Now don't any of you worry, Brandon knows he is loved and I only want him in my picture because he belongs there-- he's a part of this crazy/wonderful/nutty family and who wouldn't want to admit to that? 

And who wants to lay odds on me getting the other 11 kiddos to agree and show up to do pictures again?


Corlia said...

God bless you and your family Vicky! Your posts are such an insperation to me.

Diana said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I know what it is like to have a dysfunctional family and I have had very similar experiences with my family regarding the adoption of my two youngest. In the end, I also keep my distance. You have reminded me once again about how powerful the act of prayer is....t=

Jennie said...

Thank you for the refreshing perspective on "family".

Dawn said...

Thank-you for that answer. I'm glad you have your MOM. :)

irene kegel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wendy said...

So sad that others don't see life for these children the same way as we do. Lately, I have been hearing more and more negativity about adoption. I do not understand it myself. I am so happy that your family is together and that you followed God's plan for you and for all your kiddos.

God Bless Y
ou Vicky!

Hunan Mommy said...

Never stop blogging!