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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…!

The Five-Year Focus Plan

N5Y_LOGOThis summer, our girls will have been home for five years, our second son for six years, and our oldest son will soon mark ten years home from Russia.  Only now am I beginning to breathe… and it’s not always easily.

For some years, I was an outsider in my own home.  This one or that one brought drama and tension and tried to pit themselves against me.  In most ways, it’s gotten better.  In one or two ways, it’s gotten fiveworse.  But we’re managing and moving forward.

All that to say, only now, five years later, am I thinking of myself.  I’ve had to put most everything on hold, beyond the basic necessities of life.

For five years.

thFor me, if I were offering advice to other new parents or adoptive parents, it would be to block out the next half decade as your “Five-Year Focus Plan”.  Naturally, they’ll need you much longer than that, but I’m talking about semi-exclusively being there for them.

In our case, we brought home older, preteen adoptees, and it required being vigilant 24/7, if not 25/8.  I mean, the kids could be smiling sweetly at you, while picking your pocket or lying to your face.  Only after five years are things starting to stabilize enough that I can begin giving attention to my own projects and pursuits.

A little.

Mind you, there’s no need to follow the five-year rule.  But I wouldn’t advise it.  Sure, it’s not fair to you, but they need you more than you need you.

And when it’s time, may there still be some “you” left to return to.

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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Leah says:

    Yes I need to regain “me”. Thank you for the encouraging word! It’s time.

    • avatar admin says:

      This is striking a chord with people. I’ve read all of the parenting books about taking/making “me” time, but in the beginning with language and cultural differences, you can’t just leave the kids with “anyone”, whether sitter or family member. This has been a whole different ballgame….

  2. avatar Jeremy says:

    Excellent piece. My wife and I are in theprocess of finding ourselves again. Adoption can take a big toll but then everything in life that is worthwhile usually has a cost. To all considering adopting I suggest doubling your estimates of time and money (not just upfront) that it will cost. But don’t let that scare you. That’s why we are adults to think it through and still take the plunge.

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