When Love is Not Enough Pt. 2

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My first post “When Love Is Not Enough” started to get really long and wordy, so I split them in two separate posts so readers could tackle them at their own pace, or maybe decide after they read the first, they have read enough.  For those brave readers who have made it here to this post, and are willing to read to the end, thank you.

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It is really hard to admit my love wasn’t enough to help my son.  It is hard to admit I wasn’t enough.  The other night I had a conversation where it was pointed out to me that I am “mom and dad.” I can’t really be dad but being just mom doesn’t seem enough.  I woke up in the middle of the night crying because I know whatever I can do, it will never be enough, I know God has to fill the void yet it is so hard to let go of the guilt that I have to be more than I am.  This is especially necessary when dealing with a hurting and broken child. Many people have the mistaken notion that kids who are adopted older are somehow so incredibly grateful they were “saved” that they would bend over backwards to show their gratitude.  We labor under the belief that of course every child just wants a family of their own – a mother and father. First of all, we didn’t save or rescue our son. OK, maybe in the most rigid sense of those words for his life was not exactly fabulous, and his future was bleak at best as a child with no family and a serious medical condition. It doesn’t matter.  It was the life he knew and as far as was concerned, we took him away from his life.  My youngest son was almost seven years old when we brought him home, and he was all the more angry.  About 18 months ago we were in a therapy session in a local in-patient hospital for children with RAD, and the therapist was kind of taking my son to task because as she told him, “your mother loves you. She brought you here to the States where you have had a loving home, a good education, medical treatment for your special need, and you are spitting in her face.” Now, let’s set aside how shocking this is from a therapist who is supposed to be experienced with RAD kids.  That can be addressed in another post.  However, let me tell you, my son’s reaction was truly eye-opening.  He erupted and said to me, “I hate you! I hate you! I never asked to be adopted.  No one asked me.  I didn’t want to leave.  I liked Ch*na,” and on and on for the next 10 minutes. The “I hate you” wasn’t a shock to me, he said that often.  What was eye-opening was his anger he was not asked.  Wow. I wonder how many other children are made to feel they should be grateful and happy they have a family, yet feel hurt and angry because it is not what they wanted.  Although I know the future he would have faced had he stayed in Ch*na, he did not know. He’s right.  He wasn’t asked.  All he was told by the people in the medical healing home was how lucky he was to be getting a family, but all he could think was “I never asked for a family.” I heard this over and over from him, “Nobody asked me.” On the one hand, it was incredibly hurtful to hear he resented me for “ruining” his life. What could I say to that?

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To My Brother On the Day You Marry

Joshua, today you are getting married. I am ridiculously happy for you and proud of the man you have become. I know throughout your life it was probably a big pain to have three extra “mothers” and a bit embarrassing to have sisters so much older than yourself. As oldest big sister, I have one last bit of advice before you launch off into your own life as a married man.  I have been thinking a lot about five things I learned while being married to Paul. Continue reading