April 12th, 2007
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Stepping into the reader’s shoes, I’m wondering aloud what adoptive parents want to read in my adoption blogs. I want to meet your needs, to cover what may have confounded you. I may not have answers, but likely I’ve had a similar experience. I simply share how we have handled these situations that are unique to the world of parenting older adopted children.

The word ‘validation’ screams at me. We dearly want someone to notice our efforts and our dedication to older children. We didn’t get the cute little babies; we chose the older, but still cute, righteously angry children.

The emails that I receive and the comments indicate that I’ve touched upon a nerve; the agreement that you send me, the “that’s happened to us, too,” in astonishment as y’all thought you were the only ones going through these trials, this teaches me too.

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We, adoptive parents, often live in social isolation, afraid to venture out in public with our acting-out children, and many of our children have the laundry list of diagnoses that explain why they act this way, yet in public gatherings we’d feel right foolish trying to explain all this to others. Who wants to talk about enuresis at a church dinner?

So we stay home, we research online; we ponder our daily ventures and forays into the normal world that we used to live in as well. When I write about punched in walls, poop decorations and the pervasive smell of urine, I know I’m speaking to a receptive audience.

Yet I can also exclaim excitedly over the small progress a family member may have made in therapy, or the drooled-on note some child of mine wrote to me telling me that they love me, even though they just broke my watch, or my sofa.

You have been there and done that as well. You understand and this validates me also.

I can pull myself up from our family’s serious events and remind myself aloud that this too will pass. I put on my mental cheerleading outfit and find something positive to focus on while my minds careens around corners searching for solutions to what has happened.

I have plenty of material to use in my writings. Thirty nine children give a mother a great deal to mull over in one’s mind; we’ve had many experiences together over my more than three decades of parenting, we’ve encountered and overcome many problems, yet we still know that many more are ahead of us as well.

I plan to continue my encouragement to you, to also try and prop us all up in this wonderfully challenging world that we entered in when we started adopting older children. If there are areas you’d like to see me expound upon please leave a comment

10 Responses to “What Do Adoptive Parents Want To Hear?”

  1. BEACHLADY says:

    You do a great job with your blogs!! You are an inspiration (as I comment all the time)!

  2. sandykassia says:

    Hello,

    I have a question:

    I am getting married in 3 months and my future husband and I have decided that although we are both capable of having kids, we will adopt 2-3 older kids first, and MAYBE wrap it up with a bio child.

    Problem is, we are not even married yet, and his family is already doing bad remarks about our plans. Things like:

    “Why would u adopt if you are not sick and can have kids?”

    “Are you crazy? bring an older kid to your house? this kid is only gonna bring you problems!”

    “Why dont u want a normal family like anyone else?”

    So… I wonder… how was your family and friend’s reactions when u started to adopt? How did u deal with bad comments?

    Any tips? (I don’t want my kids to come to a family that wont accept them, AND I am not going to give up my adoption dream!) Does it get better?

  3. John says:

    Cindy, you provide more than validation. You live through the frustrating and the disappointing, and you let us know that you feel those things and sometimes your actions show the termoil you are in at that time. Yet you parent so many very needy kids. If it is ok for you to be human, then its ok for us too.

    You show us just how frimly you remain committed to driving on despite feeling great disappointment at times, or fear that the future may not be at all what you might hope for a prarticular child. Maintaining hope is the key to what we do. You face more issues in one week than any of the rest of us, and you let us know you are very human. But you don’t quit. You are the real person that does what we are trying to do. Thanks Cindy. John

  4. blueschiz says:

    For Sandy – My father-in-law was against our adoption and very vocal about it. My parents were less vocal, but not thrilled. All three now ADORE our adopted child. It just took them time to get used to the idea.

    For Cindy – I love your candor about good and bad, emotional, physical. You have the unique perspective of having kids in adulthood, as well as at home.

    What I find myself really appreciating and wondering about are the boring, day to day logistics of a large family. Feeding them (love the pantry photo) – their response to your meals, chores, allowance?, driving, just getting them dressed and to the bus.

  5. Cindy Bodie says:

    Thanks Beachlady and John. I try and remain positive and heck yeah I’m human and volatile. An answer to Sandy is going to require a post response, she poses some great questions. I’ve been doing the laundry and thinking…

  6. Robyn123 says:

    I would also love to hear more boring day-to-day details. I’m especially interested in your vegetarian meals. What do you cook and eat everyday? What does your grocery list and grocery bill look like?

    Thank you for your inspirational blog. I love that you let us hear about the good and the bad.

    - Robyn

  7. akmyilee says:

    Ditto the logistics questions……. When I think about bringing our 5 into our 3 I spend most of mytime thinking about how is this going to look. How are we goign to get things done? Stuff like that.

  8. Cindy Bodie says:

    I’ll try and cover stuff in my blogs. Before each group joined our family, I spent months thinking hard about the logistics. I only backed out of one group, years ago, when the oldest boy had more issues than I felt capable of handling. It was the right decision and I made it before I even met the kids, they never knew about me nor my decision.

  9. sandykassia says:

    ZThank you Cindy!

    I will wait anxiously for that! I really like your blog by the way! GREAT for us who are starting… to have an idea of what do expect, what is reality, what is not…

  10. Cindy Bodie says:

    I’M still hunting for reality…

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