We witness a miracle each time a child enters a life. But those who must make their journey home across time and miles, growing in the hearts of those waiting to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny. And placed among us by God's own hands.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heavy Responsibility

It is hard to explain, but I trust that other adoptive parents get the same feeling. That feeling of overwhelming responsibility that falls on you when someone else's child (by birth) is placed in your hands. I have found myself, on many occasions, wondering "Am I worthy?". Because I have one child placed in my life by birth, and three others by the miracle of adoption I find myself overly aware of this responsibility. If any of my children are sick or hurt I am upset, but if my oldest son gets hurt I have that sense that no one is going to question it because he is my own flesh and blood and responsibility. My other three however, had lives before me. They were loved, cared for, perhaps even hurt by others. They came to me with a set of appearances and skills. So if it is now in my hands that they are hurt, I find myself   heartbroken. I find myself questioning, could someone else have done better? Or even worse, what will our new home study social worker think? Will she, even the tiniest bit, question my ability to manage this mind boggling task of parenting four children, two with evident special needs? After all, I did sign for this job right? So how could I be anything less then perfect?

Then like a bolt of lightening, as I take the time to actually sit quitely and listen. To really listen to myself and everything around me. I return to reality. And reality is, that no child whether adopted or biological needs a perfect parent and we cannot raise them in bubbles. Thinking back now to when I taught the Parenting with Love and Logic classes, I know this well. If we overprotect our kids, then we are not preparing them for the real world. This should be the same for adopted kids, probably even more so for minority kidos. The reality is that my African American children are going to face a world that is harsher and more judging then I had to face. I have already seen it, the way people look at them and the things that other kids say to them. I see them ache to be like everyone else. They need to learn to make good choices, to stand up for themselves, and to not copy what others do in a failed attempt to "fit in". Self-esteem does not come from being overprotected, it comes from being loved and at the same time being permitted to experience the world and take responsibility in small safe steps. I just wish that meant that I never had to watch them fall. Because, I am afraid to say that a few of my kids, when they fall, they fall big.

Why am I blubbering about this now? Because last Saturday, I watched my youngest son fall, literally. A trip to the ER confirmed that he needed four stiches for a gash under his chin.. He also likely had a concussion in addition to three loose teeth. Unfortunately, I don't think this will be Leo's last set of stitches. He also fell and cut his head open his first week home. He is just one of those very active little guys who are going to get hurt a lot. Now if I could raise him in a padded suit, helmet and chin guard it would save me a lot of heartache and money!

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