We desire to hide our deepest wounds. And rightfully so. We’ve been taught that wounds equal failure. As parents we fear the words “I told you so,” if we revealed our struggles on this journey. But what if our wounds didn’t equal failure? What if they did something bigger than we could imagine?
I know what you want to do, dear parent.
I know because I’ve sustained the same cold blows from this journey.
You want to hide.
Is it possible to find people who get it? How do I go about connecting with people who won’t judge or criticize me if I’m brutally honest? What about people who will love me and my children even when things get really bad? Where do I find people like that? We’ve had these questions, and more, over the years. Here’s where we’ve found answers…
I heard the bus pull up at the end of our driveway and glanced at the wall clock. My kids were home from school and I had completely lost track of time. I jumped up to unlock the door and smiled widely at my three youngest sons. My 8 year old hugged my waist, my 9 year old threw his backpack across the family room, brushed off my hug and stomped to his room, slamming the door behind him. My 10 year old rolled his eyes and I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him, “Ok, spill it.” He sighed, “Noah wouldn’t leave him alone on the bus. He kept asking about his ‘real’ brothers and sisters. We asked him to stop but he wouldn’t. Noah asked why his ‘real’ mom didn’t want him and then it was time to get off the bus so we all just left.” “Thanks for telling me, I’m sorry that happened to you guys,” I squeezed his shoulder. He smiled a half smile as he looked up at me, “It’s ok, mom, some people just don’t get it.” In our family, we have 8 children all of whom were adopted. We don’t look alike. That fact is usually lost on us until someone else points it out.
The day came. I knew it would. Just didn’t know when or what the age would be or what circumstances would bring it up. Even though I knew it would eventually come, it didn’t make it hurt any less.
He was my first baby and has been my son since he was 3 months old. We’ve had our ups and downs. Some quite painful. The diagnoses. The therapy. The raging tantrums. The many broken things. The IEP meetings. The side talks with teachers.
It’s our Season 8 finale of The Honestly Adoption Podcast and today we’re talking all things new book, and how the Berrys began this whole adoption process in the first place…
We will be finishing up Season 8 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast by celebrating this week’s book launch for our very own co-founder and host, Mike Berry. Guest hosting on the show today is Matt McCarrick, who interviews Mike and asks all the questions you’ve been dying to know about the book, the launch, and where this all began.
On our adoptive and foster parenting journey, we’ve had lots of dark days. Sometimes many more than days of light. The amount of times we’ve felt like giving up and laying down are simply uncountable. But we’ve found unending hope…
“Your son has FASD!”
“This hearing is continued. And we’re reinstating visitations.”
“Hi, I’m your son’s principal. Just wanted you to know that he’s in the office again for punching another student and cussing out the teacher.”
“Ma’am, we caught your daughter stealing again. We have no choice but to press charges.”
Our society prides itself on titles, positions, rankings, and statistics. It’s how we identify pro-atheletes, leaders of major corporations, and our favorite sports teams. Often, it’s how we identify ourselves. But we have learned that, in our family, we are much more than a title.
Ok, Ok I understand our blog is called Confessions of an Adoptive Parent. It’s easy to think that we eat sleep and breathe adoption. Our title is a brand but it isn’t all that we are. Adoption, to us, is more like a surname. A last name is an identifier but it isn’t a person’s sole identity.
As we continue to produce new content for Honestly Adoption, we wanted to share another Encore Podcast episode from Season 2. In this episode we discuss practical insights to parenting children who constantly push you away.
That first real hug. Hearing “I love you mom,” and knowing she means it. Watching him participate peacefully with the rest of your family. Having her not melt down when dad puts a gentle hand on her shoulder to guide her on an afternoon walk through the neighborhood.
Listen to the podcast.
Adoption and foster care can be filled with loneliness, desperation, and defeat. We know you love your kids, but it’s hard when you have to walk through your child’s past trauma with them. Can you really find hope in-spite of this? The answer is, yes. It starts by understanding something powerful and true.
“I don’t think I can take one more day of this,” I said, glaring at the table, with a clinched fist and gritting teeth. My friend agreed. Many colorful words were exchanged between us, that morning, as we sat talking in a restaurant. The steam from our coffee snaked and twisted through the air, disappearing, as if hope was slowly disappearing with it. We shared similar wounds. Both of us had children adopted from foster care and both of us were in very dark and desperate situations. We both loved our kids deeply, but recognized that, out of their trauma, they behaved in certain ways and it caused our exhaustion to abound.