If children were born able to get a job, pay rent and live their lives they wouldn't need moms and dads. Right! It's easy when we Begin the Journey of parenting to think of the things like feeding, diapers and teaching our child to walk and talk as the major responsibility. The reality is that childhood is long and parenting is a daily activity, even when they can get their own job, pay rent and live on their own!
It doesn't seem to matter how old and wise our children become, so far the best I can tell is that one of the most important roles I play in the lives of all of my children is to be the one who makes the Hard Decisions. The ones that matter the most.
With a baby it wasn't too difficult to make the decision the diaper needed changed or it was time to start toilet training. But, as that baby starts to become the person they are--it starts talking and giving a parent of piece of their own mind. They take risks, do things outside of your control, and learn to handle life from their own experiences. Sometimes we get lucky and our children are more compliant--other times we find we are parenting a child who--well, has their Own Perspective on things.
Personally, I want my children to become who they are. I want them to have opinions, know how to defend their positions, and understand why they have the positions and opinions they have. Even if, sometimes they have opinions and positions I can't agree with. I would much rather have my child be strong in their beliefs and viewpoints then just follow.
I don't expect my children to fall in line and become what I want them to become. I might have dreams, or have imagined them to be based on watching them develop but in the end I can't live their lives for them. I expect them to have their own lives but at the same time expect them to respect me the same way.
There is so much more to being a parent then the issues of taking care of a dependent baby's needs to survive. Sometimes being a parent means taking risks and making decisions. Some of the decisions we make as parents can be huge and may or may not always be right. We take risks when we love a child and face times when our decisions will impact their lives. Sometimes no matter what decision we make there will be an impact on our child's life.
No matter what we do or what decisions we make the fact is our children will ALWAYS grow up to find some fault in the decisions we made for their lives. They are right--we don't always call it right, we don't always make the best choice, we don't always know exactly what to do and parents always screw something up.
I guess, for me the goal is to keep the screw ups to a minimum and hope that my children always understand I made every decision I made because I love them.
Right or Wrong, the only thing I know how to do is be responsible for the fact that it's my JOB as a mother and parent to be the one who Actually makes the hard decisions based on the specific needs and issues for each of my children. Considering just exactly how often I am forced to make Mom Decisions I am sure I have made some real humdinger mess ups. I am sure I will make more mistakes along the way. I just hope my kids can recognize that I am not super human, can't see the future and have my own opinions and viewpoints which are equally as valuable to me--as the fact they have their own.
Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the "Gifts and Pictures" request. We have made a hard decision about this matter. We have shared pictures and have asked that gifts not be sent at this time. Not because of any "adoptive parent" knee-jerk reaction but, because of all the OTHER important decisions we are needing to make for the children the gifts would be sent.
Our children are not ready right now for gifts to come from where they are hurting so much. They are "dealing" with too many emotional and adoption related issues on top of the special needs they have as a result of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, abuse and neglect...as well as foster care and adoption all well remembered by one child and scary to another who doesn't remember.
If I could have my way, I would much rather communicate with the legal office to establish some kind of communication between me and the children's birth mother. Just as we have with the adoptive parents of the younger biological siblings. I believe with all of my heart that Makala will need to have some kind of something as time goes on. She will look for her birth mother the moment she is old enough and have access to the Open Records offered in Oregon. Marty could be just a teen. A teen-aged boy with Adoption Issues and his older sister will lead the reunion.
For both children it is important we consider the future as well as Right Now. At this time, they are both dealing with intense feelings that are completely different about their adoptions. They are both in therapy and both have special needs that impact them emotionally. They have more toys and things then they even have time to play with and we are advocating for some rather serious education, medical and mental health issues.
We have been working close with our "Counsel" and our support system in order to provide for all of the special needs our children have, emotionally they are just not in the place where gifts from birth mom would be positive. Our decision about this matter is to work directly with the "experts" and service providers and have them assist us and the children in how to consider future contact including gifts. We don't want to shut the door, but we do want to approach this with only the best interest of the children in mind.
The one thing I do know about Decision Making is that it's a fact that a decision made today doesn't mean it's the decision written in stone. Decisions are always subject to review and open to change. The decisions made today do not rule-out the right to make a different decision in the future. It's a long journey to parent a child and parents are the ones who need to make the hard decisions--over and over and over.
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