It has been a while since I have posted. I could simply explain that it is baseball season- that alone says enough, but naturally with me it's super sized. I have 4 boys on 3 teams playing baseball. Add to that doctor appointments, dentist appointments, other appointments, random tantrums, unwanted behaviors, a broken arm, a brief hospital stay, unrealistic expectations about what family means, children with less empathy than you would expect, and a husband out of town for work, and well, there you have it.
So many things, both good and bad, are happening. The trick is, how to share those things without violating the privacy and trust of my children. Currently it is not possible, but I am bursting with it all, so I will settle for sharing how it is going for me.
So, good news or bad news, which do you want first? I guess I will start with the bad, that way hopefully I can finish up with redemption.
I am weary.
I miss the feeling of unity our family had. While I believe we will have it again, we are fractured and have not yet healed. It is painful. One of the first things I will tell any potential adoptive parent is that these children do not owe you anything. They do not have to love you, and they most likely won't for a long time, if ever. This is a true true true statement. What I have shared less about is what it actually feels like to live through it.
It sucks to not be appreciated, even just a little.
It sucks that no matter what you do, it is not good enough.
It does not matter that you know that you are dealing with unrealistic expectations.
I know that they do not know what real family is.
I know that what they need is not remotely close to what they want or expect.
I know this.
It still sucks.
It sucks to make serious long term decisions for people who don't trust you when the decisions you have to make are the antithesis of that person's desires.
It sucks to have to do the things parents have to do.
I will be invasive regarding your texts. Your emails. Your phone conversations. And yes, I will ferret out who the jerk is that is not being nice to one of my children.
I will take it when you look at me with those betrayed eyes because my responsibility to protect you, even from your self, ends up revealing what you were doing behind a friend's back.
I will take your despising looks, your feelings of betrayal, and your ire, because that is what a mom does.
It is in my DNA.
It is why I excel at what I do.
I WILL ALWAYS DO WHAT IT TAKES.
Doing what it takes sucks.
If I tell you that I will never let anyone hurt you, you had better believe that I will go the distance to make the pain stop. Even when you don't want me to.
I will shuffle sleeping arrangements, cancel plans, declare edicts about behavior, and I will back them up.
I will stay awake all night listening for shouting or crying.
I will stay awake with someone as they cry.
I will stay awake and cry all night myself.
I will always tell the truth, even when it hurts.
I will always believe you, even when it hurts.
I will always make the tough decision.
I will sometimes make the wrong decision.
I will sometimes hurt you with my decisions because it is the right thing to do.
I will sometimes hurt you with my decisions because I made the wrong call.
I will always love you regardless of your behavior or your reciprocity.
And it sucks.
So where is the good news? What doesn't suck?
I love my children.
With every action, even the despised ones, I add another block to the foundation that they can stand on. They see me going the distance even when it is ugly. They see me risk their displeasure, and although angry, their security grows.
I find the notes left in strategic places that say:
I am sorry.
I love you.
I see those words in your eyes even when you think I betrayed you.
I see that you know I am for you, even as you tell yourself I am against you.
I see the relief in your sobs when I force a hard truth that while so painful to experience, brings you sweet relief.
I feel your arms around my neck holding me tightly.
I cherish your many kisses goodnight.
I am so proud of you when you make the decision against having a tantrum but instead make eye contact and count with me.
The strength and fortitude these children display is amazing.
The bottom line is, life is hard, and God is good.