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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Anger, Resentment, and Bitterness in the Carnival-Like Adoptive Home

The rollercoaster life. It’s not something to which most adoptive parents are willing to admit. But you have chosen to tune into “The Voice of Reality” here at 3-D, and we will state for the record: it happens.

“Who is this child(ren), and why is he/she destroying my home?”

You may argue that the same happens upon occasion with a bio child. True, but generally, you have years of love and cuddles, diaper changes and spoon-feeding to lay down a protective layer of insulation against any angst of later years.

For those of us with older adoptees, we have none of the above. We’re building on the hot, hard asphalt, with no foundation beneath and no padding under the rug. Plus, in the back of the child’s mind, there’s the sneaking thought that you are somehow related to the neglectful birth parents or the abusive orphanage workers.

You can feed them three, homecooked meals a day. (Check.)

You can clothe them like they were “to the manor born”. (Check.)

You can educate them to give them the best advantages in life. (Check.)

You can give them boundaries and guidelines to help them know proper behavior and socialization. (Check.)

You can give them extracurriculars and fun times as a family. (Check.)

You can give them spiritual insights and prayer. (Check.)

And if they don’t want to change, it may take years of penetrating that hardened armor to get through to their core. And you will suffer in the process. And if you don’t, your mate or other children will.

(This is my personal rant today, thank you. If you choose to disagree, go right ahead. I will banish you to utter darkness. You have been forewarned. I would not have agreed with this assessment with our first son who has not a problem at all, and other adoptive parents told me I had to be lying about his wonderful behavior. I was not. The other three are a different story entirely. Your mileage may vary. So let me rant, realizing that I simply feel like whining… and we don’t even have any “Major Problems”.)

I guess the real idea is that: here you are, coasting along on Normal Street. Life is good.
Then you adopt.

High drama on the high seas ensues. Most of us don’t need that. We’d rather watch a movie.

It gets old, it gets tiresome. Occasionally, we’d like to have a fun time… on vacation, out to eat, a little field trip, a birthday celebration… without the self-sabotaging behaviors that tend to drag down the whole enchilada or flotilla, if you will. It’s not enough to sink your own ship, you need to crash into everyone else and bring them down, too. Like plastic ducks in a tub at the carnival, they hope to blow the whole family right out of the water.

Lately, we’ve had one with a rollercoaster ride gone wild. Around each bend, we think we’re over the worst of it, now the serial offender seems to “understand” their PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or PI (post-institutionalized) behaviors.

Right. And I’m the Queen of England.

That rollercoaster starts to make its free-fall, or whip us around another bend. Frankly, somedays I feel like throwing up, or jumping off. And then we’re on the ground enjoying cotton candy or a slushie. (Not that I would feed either to my children, nor enjoy them myself, but you get the idea….)

We’re a family, all is well… and then they crash us again, this time on the bumper cars. Tossing someone overboard from the round and round ferris wheel has also crossed my mind upon occasion, I’m not happy to admit.

I try to focus on the good. They are trying, usually. They are good, usually. They are calling out for a lifeline, usually. The cup is half-full, usually.

And then….

One or two slip into the house of horrors. They see themselves in distorted mirrors. They have lost sight, or never had sight, of who they really are. They are carnies gone crazy, sideshow freaks who feel they don’t fit in here, or there.

We are in a spinning teacup, going nowhere but in circles. At times, they seem to enjoy it.

Thank you for tuning in to today’s edition of “The Voice of Reality”. Usually, our reality is much nicer for 90-95% of the time,, and actually it is very nice today. (Things have already improved, which is why I can write about it.)

I pledge to face today not anticipating any free-fall drops, not gazing into any mirrors of distortion, and not resenting a child who seems to love raucous rides, only to collapse in a pile of tears later. I promise to remember that we will “get there”, even if it’s on a choo-choo train skirting the perimeter of the park at two miles per hour. We will get there.


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11 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar meant2be says:

    I am always amazed at how parallel our lives run…..since the day we met!
    For us too, older child is a dream come true 99% of the time. Can count on one hand the “issues” we have had.
    Younger child, well ….. sometimes I love her to pieces, other days I envy those parents with “empty nest syndrome!” lol!
    Let’s just say the asphalt has been rather hot the past two weeks and I have shin splints from running on it.

    • avatar admin says:

      Others are writing me privately, too, saying the same thing, Meant2be. I think maybe end-of-school or start-of-summer may add to the triggers. All of us should should get together and write a book on “Birth Order in the Adoptive Family”, lol–we might unearth some real insights-!

  2. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    I live this life, and when it feels like “The Wild Mouse” (at Seaside) or “El Toro” (at Great Adventure), I wonder where I put the Dramamine. Oh, that’s right: there is no Dramamine for this particular kind of disorientation!

    • avatar admin says:

      Gwendolyn, that’s a good way of looking at it: disorienting! I just went to DMV to renew my driver’s license, not even realizing for all this time that it had expired 6 weeks ago on my birthday-! There are days that make you upside-down and inside-out….

  3. avatar Kate says:

    Thanks for the honesty and reality. It was just what I needed to read today….after a very long, battle-filled day. Even though our little guy was younger when we brought him home, I think there are many similarities on a younger scale…today definitely felt like a house of horrors 🙂 grateful that His mercies are new every morning…

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks for the input, Kate, from the younger adoptee side. (I have no experience there, so it helps to hear-!) I am so thankful for the Lord’s help for all of us. We are not alone.

      When each child came home, I felt I had a very high tolerance level. With time, it seems to have lowered, or my expectations for change have been raised….

  4. avatar Phyllis says:

    So excellent! It comforts my heart to hear other adoptive moms say things like this. Many days, it is “Oh, Lord, it’s morning.” instead of “This is the day the Lord has made!” I will also probably be the lone one to say that my oldest adopted is not the easy one. Matter of fact, he is the one I struggle with the most. And as Meant2Be said, sometimes I linger on those thoughts of the empty-nest that I had for 1 year. BUT…I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God brought them to us, so He will equip us to parent them.

  5. avatar Sarah says:

    Thank you for speaking the truth. I am a mom of four, three from Russia. Oldest a dream child….then a bio son…poor third son from Russia…dear god help that poor little guy. He is such a angry little guy. His behaviors are just getting worse and worse. His IQ is gifted but emotionally the poor guy is a wreck. I am working hard to get him help and have my fingers crossed I have found a good match. The baby adopted 6 months ago is the princess diva of the earth. She is gorgeous and attracts attention wherever and I mean whereever we go. I love her but I think she is going to be my biggest challenge yet. What I woudl give to have seen how she was manipulating everyone in the baby home as she tries to manipulate us all day and night. I too think whoa! This has to get better then wham here we go another round. The kicker is the night before court in December they tell of us of the princess’s newborn sister who will be available in January 12! Really? Are you kidding? All I could think when I found the baby TOTALLY covered in her own poo in the crib yesterday morning was how did I get here?!?! Thank you for being real and the issues aren’t just with older adoptees all mine have come home from great baby homes under 17 months. Please keep the real posts coming! I really needed it!

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Sarah and Phyllis. I know a lot of bloggers use their writings to make into printed love diaries for their kids…. Our children might do better with photo books-! Call me a whiner, but sometimes we all just need to vent…. (Thank you, friends!)

  6. avatar Kathleen says:

    I am SO right with you today. Thank you for affirming that I am not the only one feeling this way today. My older one and my younger one seem to take turns crashing, except of course when they both decide to crash at the same time. Totally dreaming of the empty nest earlier this week, but today I’m back on top of it and feeling hopeful again.

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