One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Parenting

MAR
10
Dealing with Detachment-Moments that Keep Me Going
Guest Author: Karen Adair
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anastasiaToday's guest blogger is sharing about a situation that happened today with her adopted daughter, Anastasia, who suffers from attachment disorder. This is a very trying season for Karen, teaching her daughter how to love and how to feel, and I was moved to tears by her account. Karen says that "sometimes, love isn't enough." But I say, everything Karen and her husband are doing for this child is love, and one day it will all be a demonstration that "love never fails!"

Wow... where do I start ?  The last few days have been tough. Healing hearts is a very tiring, hard, and frustrating job!  When you adopt older kids you adopt all the baggage that comes with them.  Many people don't know how hard it is to parent a child like this. Many people feel that you bring them in and  "just love" them and that will be enough. Even with us adopting kids from dissolved  adoptions  many people around us think... all you have to do is love them. Well, I am here to tell you that "Love is NOT enough."

  Attachment disorder and grief issues are huge...kids don't know what to do with half or any of the feelings that they have...many times they don't even know what they feel and why. This has to be taught...think about babies who as they grow they go through stages and they learn from their parents how to act...what to do and what not to do...and the feeling come from their parents reacting to things that happen. A child gets hurt and the mom rushes over and helps the child... kisses the hurt and helps the child feel better.  What happens to the child in the orphanage when they get hurt...no nurture... no band aid...no kisses...no feelings. The child learns not to feel...that they are not worthy of anything...they don't matter to anyone.

 When these children are adopted by a family they have difficulty especially if they are older adjusting to that kind of life...they want to protect themselves...control everything and everybody.  They don't trust adults because in their mind adults can't be trusted and they don't care. You have to teach everything...all feelings...emotions...appropriate interactions...table manners...rules of the house...even to older children the rules of bike, scooter riding...don't assume they know to watch for cars or what to do if they see one...they may think the car should go around them (actually Michael thought that when he first came). What  a parent does with a small child...the child learns in stages...with an older adopted child...you are teaching years of info in a short amount of time...it can be overwhelming.

With all this being said it takes time to help these kids...I keep reminding myself that they are not mine...God has given me the job to raise them...help them heal. It consumes my day and already Tuesday...I missed 2 appointments because I was in a "teachable moment" with Anastasia and it was too IMPORTANT to walk away from. It takes sacrifice to parent these children...I don't say that to build myself up, because really right now I feel depleted. But there are moments like what I am going to share with you that give me hope and keep me going.

Read the tear-jerker situation that brought Karen hope at A Day in Grace!

Karen Adair has been married 20 years and is a homeschooling mom to 5 children. She and her husband have 3 girls (14, 8, 7) and 2 boys (11, 9). Three of their children are adopted, two from Russia and one originally from China but adopted in the US through a disruption/dissolution. Karen mostly blogs about daily life, including articles like this on attatchment issues and parenting adopted children.

blog tourKaren recently participated in the One Million Arrows blog tour. You can read her review on her website at: A Day In Grace.

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