I think one of the hardest things we moms face when adopting older kiddos is realizing first off that it's really, really hard work. Worth it, yes, but HARD.
Hard in ways you never expected it to be. First is that when you receive your new teen/ tween, honestly MOST of the time it's NOT love at first sight. It's more of a "mistrust" really on both sides.
They mistrust us because they don't know what to expect and we mistrust them because, well, we don't know what to expect. A slim (and I mean SLIM) file on a child does NOT give you much to go on.
And I think often this is where we start that "Am I enough?"
Do I have what it takes to weather this, to tackle the lack of language, to start from scratch with a teen with none of my language? Will this "ruin" our nice, cozy family? Will we ever be the same?
No, you will NOT. You will be better off, no matter the road you get with this new person, your new son or daughter. Because very often what adoption means to US is that WE learn and grow right along with our new teen.
Grace. Tolerance. Patience. Unconditional love. Acceptance.
Sometimes REALLY HARD to give/ have these things. When you are knee deep in issues and you/your child is bawling you may not feel ANY of those feelings. This is when it creeps in--- the question??? AM I ENOUGH?
Funny thing is-- God NEVER makes mistakes. EVER. So if you are one of the many new /seasoned parents of adopted teens/tweens I want you to understand one thing---
WE ALL WONDER THIS. At some point when we are usually overwhelmed we wonder. ARE WE ENOUGH?
And your answer is-- YES!!!!! YES, you ARE. You will survive your trip to adopt, you will not die of jet lag, you will "get the hang" of their mangled English/ Chinglish efforts. You will learn their dislikes and likes.
You may lose family, friends, because they "don't understand" or accept your family.
BUT you GAIN a whole community out there of "Adoptive Families" that I can ASSURE YOU that you will be accepted. It's a glance in a restaurant, both of your families with very obvious Chinese kiddos:) And you know that look because it's on your face too:)
With our adoptions we have wondered " Are we enough?" There have been tough times with certain kids. We want to fret and worry about how far they AREN'T getting. But.......... again, IT IS ENOUGH.
It's God's timing in their lives. They are HIS. He's got them covered and He showed us each and every one of these precious 6 to be ours. So we KNOW they are in the right family and we aren't willing to "go there"--- we ARE ENOUGH.
It's never better that ANY OF THEM remained orphans. EVER.
Even our tough ones, it's not fun having kiddos with attachment issues. It's just not. BUT-- who better to parent them than folks who have done it before? We know the issues. We aren't perfect at all but our motto is not to ever give up on them. Not going to happen even with crap behaviors.
So, are you doubting if YOU are ENOUGH? Stop it. Right now. Because you ARE. God is with you and can guide you just like He does us.
Take the blessing God has given you of your precious teen/ tween and be THANKFUL for it. No matter how hard today was. Because it really is a blessing. They can drive you nuts in one minute and the next make you crumble with heartache for them. They are an amazingly brave, strong, beautiful individual that will change your life.
And you get the honor of being their parent:)