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Adopted Kids Not Feeling the Love

frustrated-teenage-girlMy daughter is sure that I hate her.  How she gets this idea is beyond me. She’s 15-1/2 and all I can imagine is that anyone female reminds her of her birth mother.  Now it’s the holidays and all of this happiness-and-togetherness is a recipe for her to crash-and-burn.

She flipped out once again, becoming mouthy and belligerent. 

A couple of hours later, she felt semi-repentent and I decided to talk with her, wondering if reality therapy could make any type of impact.

“You know, I’m the reason we adopted you,” I leveled with her.

“No, you’re not.  Papa wanted me,” she replied.

“I know that’s what you like to believe.  I know that’s what you tell yourself Crying womaninside your head, over and over again, but it’s not true.”

“Why would Papa lie?”

“Lie?  He doesn’t lie, and I don’t lie.  Neither one of us lie,” I assured her.Do you remember how I came to visit you and your sister?  I came.  Papa didn’t come.  He wanted to, but I was the one who came to spend time with you.

“All was going well,” I continued, “until my last day when you said you didn’t want to come.  Your sister did, but you told me that unless your best friend could come to our family, you weren’t interested.

“So there I was:  either leave you behind, or leave your friend behind.  We already had two boys, and we were approved for two girls, not three.  Our family had spent four years pursuing Petya’s orphanage friend, and we knew the uphill battle that this might be.  We could not go through that again,” I said.

depressed-girl“I called Papa.  It was a cold, foggy, freezing night, and I was all alone.  He said that I should pray, and make a decision.  Whatever I decided, he would go with that.  So now I had the choice to leave you and your friend behind, or force you to come against your will.  No matter what I would decide, you were sure to be angry, and probably still are.”

She was weeping now, strange for her.  Some of her belligerence this evening was over her younger sister who had felt tearful remorse over their behavior, and had begun to cry.

“Why are you crying-?!” she had demanded of the younger one.

Tired of her bullying, I suggested, “Why don’t you leave her alone?  Just because she has a tender heart mother-and-tween-girldoesn’t mean you need to put her down.”

Her own heart was generally hard as a rock.  But tonight, maybe there was a softening.

“The Russian social worker said that you were confused,” I told her.All of us adults knew that you couldn’t understand choosing to stay with your best friend rather than your sister who wanted to come with us.  The social worker assured me that they would discuss this with you, and help you to understand your choices.  I had to trust that your heart would be open.  It was entirely possible that since you had never known the love of a father or mother, that your friend was the best thing you had going. It was entirely possible that you might never love us, and only resent us for taking you away.

mother-hugging-her-daughter-250-thumb-250x250“But we loved you, I loved you, and I made the decision to go forward with the adoption. I don’t know what you’ve imagined, but I’m the reason that you’re here.  It was me, and of course, your father was in total agreement.  We both loved you then, even without totally knowing you, and we love you now,” I assured her.  “You measure up, you fit in this family.  I’m sorry if you want to hate me, and then you come to learn that I’m the one that’s really on your side, because we’re all on your side, but that’s how it really happened.”

I hugged her, and her sister, and then their goofy brother Pasha got in line.  It was a cathartic encounter for her, yet exhausting for me to always be portrayed as the bad guy, particularly after my efforts to make the holidays special for all of the kids.

She was never happy unless it was all about her.  And maybe it was all about her, because she was the oneTeenGirl_Mom_iStock_000002698381Small most in need.  In her head she understood more than the others what had happened to her, but her heart was taking its time in catching up.

Happy and sweet the rest of the night, perhaps she was starting to feel the love, really feel it, for the first time in her life.  If that were the case, it was worth the effort.

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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    I know exactly what you mean when you were relieved to see her cry. I too, have experienced this with my daughter. I hope this is a breakthrough that lasts for her and for you. May I suggest you follow up with little personal signs of love like a hand squeeze just as she passes, a kiss on her cheek, things to reinforce and remind her what you said. Our kids are tough little characters, that is for sure – or at least on the outside. Due to illness, my daughter saw her Dad fall apart for a few moments recently..in all honesty I was happy to see her cry at his moments of stress.

    • avatar admin says:

      Thank you for the tips, Sybil. Touch is a powerful communicator, I believe that. How is your husband? We’ve been praying for his full recovery.

      • avatar Sybil says:

        Thank you so much! He is starting to turn the corner. He had a stem cell/bone marrow transplant hoping this will put him in remission from multiple myeloma cancer. It is a tough go as it totally wipes out the entire immune system and takes your blood levels down to zero before it gets better. He had some complications which is not at all unexpected. But, one of the meds he had to take was a difficult one for him and now he is done with it. He is home and has to stay in the house for a month then in no public places for 3 months. We are so grateful that this procedure was available for him and we are so grateful to family and friends for the prayers. the good wishes, and the love. We will know in 3 months if he is in remission.

        • avatar admin says:

          What a great report, Sybil! We are rejoicing with you that he pulled through and will continue to recover. My own husband’s story is a miracle and he came through very difficult times. It’s hard on the whole family, but makes us thankful for every day! :)

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