Photo courtesy of caleb george morris / unsplash.com
In your early weeks, were you SO SICK AND TIRED of describing your situation to people and having them chuckle . . . “That’s just normal parenting – that’s what everyone goes through”
THIS IS NOT NORMAL.
Who else do THEY know who has brought in a kid with seven years of baggage, who has flashbacks and violent temper tantrums, who has never been taught right from left or how to control his anger or express his feelings or gauge danger or obey street signs, or millions of other basic life skills?
Did they enter parenthood at difficulty level twelve, needing to develop their own skills at the same time that they are compensating for everyone else’s mistakes, neglect or abuse?
Do THEIR kids suddenly recall being left alone all day at the age of three and expect you to address that, on the fly, somehow, without making him feel worse or denigrating his mother?
Did they suffer through weeks of direct, calculated abuse from their child, simply to prove they love them and can maintain control?
Did they have caseworkers and Guardians visiting their homes repeatedly and were they told by the county that – on top of the parenting – they would somehow need to complete another 27 hours of training to be “licensed” to have their kid?
Did they need to orchestrate how they hold their child when the child is out of control, in order to not violate county law or – God forbid – “leave a mark”?
Did they have to explain that no – this is not a “trial period,” we will not be “changing our minds,” or “giving him up”.
And they most likely did not struggle to describe the complexity of loving a child you barely know, who you sometimes cannot stand, and who is a complete puzzle to you.
And how, most often, you are standing in awe of him, amazed at his beauty and strength, that he has survived to be who he is today.
NO this is not normal, but it is not all bad, or all good, or all gratifying or all depressing.
There is too much to explain to ever be understood.