What has truly worked to answer these two questions of adopted children?
1. Do you still love me if...?
2. Who's got the power?
Last January, February, and March, I cancelled every single activity for myself and for my children and focused on healing. I gave up three of my favorite things, including a get-away with four of the most fabulous women on the planet. With God's help, together my family and I created a complex system to guide us. It helped tremendously, and I discovered the most valuable tool of all in answering the adoption questions- understanding.
When I took the time to figure out the source of every irk or anger episode in my adopted son, he flourished. Together we kept answering the question, "What am I so mad about?". It was not easy, and still is not easy, to get to the bottom of his pain.
The intense focus had to end sometime, and I think he's suffering a bit from my lack of focus. For me, those months amounted to submersion under water and away from many things I love, and I needed air and refreshing at some point. As a result, I am very conscious about the fact that everything I do outside the home- dance group, homeschool support groups, book studies, evenings out with friends, projects, writing, teaching, come with a steep price tag for my son more than anyone else. I do not stop and help him examine his feelings like we did in those months, because I have other things on the forefront of my mind. I seem to always have an agenda which too often gets in the way of guiding him through relationship.
Blogging about it makes me want to become more aware of seeking understanding with Tater again. I have learned to spot the two questions by a quick observation- Tater looks angry or frustrated by a common circumstance. When I'm busy in any other way, I become impatient with his impatience. When I'm focused, I think, "Hey! Another learning moment for the boy!"
Just today, Buck helped Tater through a selfish moment by working for a solution in which everyone would be content. It took some time. Buck was careful and kind with his words even though Tater was not. Buck and I allowed silence to let the boy feel the weight of his self-centered choice, but eventually Tater came up with something satisfying for all concerned.
I think I'll stop here for today, and write continue another time.
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