Today we got together with another adoptive family and watched chapter 4 of Trust Based Parenting.
Usually we watch the chapter and then discuss it. How it applies to our lives, where were going wrong, what were doing right, and is it working in our homes etc. Not today we were constantly stopping and starting the video to talk about how it worked in our homes. We could not stop chatting about our failures, yup like many other parents I'm sure I'm scarring my children for life, and our successes in the journey our families are on. I really enjoy these times with other like minded families, it's a place to share our growth and back sliding without fear.
We chatted about how other people just don't get it. So often as an adoptive parent, your child displays grief of an unknown origin. If you mention this to a natural mother they often respond, "But they have so much love here in their new home why should they cry?" I love how my friend put it. "Can you picture me responding to this mom, oh so if I took your kid, and moved them into a new home you can just be replaced by another home and love?"
Sweet Potato used to fantasize about her birth mom, then she got angry at her, now she loves her, but it just makes her sad. Today's chapter talked about letting the child talk about birth parents, and how the child will go though many differing chapters of their stories before they get to the heart of how they feel. Often children are incapable of handling the emotion of their life. They do not have all the tools in their tool box yet. Think about it. Somehow we believe this story of everything is better now that the child is in a safe and loving home. When adults who experiences these same type of traumas often need years of therapy, even when they are in a safe and loving home.
Where did we get the idea that children can handle the rough stuff? Ok, yes we see that they can adapt to many unusual situations. I have a sneaking suspicion it's is out of necessity and not out of an inherent ability. If Karyn Purvis is right, the kids aren't necessarily adapting, but rather retreating into a lower level of brain function. So they are walking, but they may not be talking.
I do want to share how I managed to diffused a situation this week... yet again Sweet Potato was purposely messing up the last problem in her math worksheet. She could do it, but was playing dumb. I really get annoyed at this behavior it can trigger my dark side. I so want to praise her success's, I hate to see her fail on purpose. I figured out she was delaying, wasting my time and failing on purpose, she so knew the answer! Instead of raising my voice or flipping out, I told her she was gonna get it... I got an ice cube from the freezer and chased her like a goofy mom around the house, till I cornered her (she let me) and popped it down the back of her shirt. Yeah! instead of me pulling a freak face, and blowing it. I ended up with playful interaction and us in a giggling heap at the end of it.