Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Thing About Toddler Adoption

The thing about toddler adoption is that your child comes to you either in a very difficult phase or about to enter a very difficult phase...or both.  J-Man came into our lives at 18 months.  Not a notoriously hard age, but coming from the things he did and having his whole world turned topsy turvy by being thrown into our family brought out "the worst in him," shall we say?  He arrived on scene with a lot of aggression and a variety of physical ways to expel that aggression.

It startled our seemingly calm little home.

Parenting became about creating trust and love in a toddler who did not want to be held, cringed from affection, and would slap me across the face for just about anything.  It was about correcting aggressive behaviors while somehow managing to help him understand how dang much he was loved and appreciated.

But then while that was all still going on, we entered the terrible twos.  Not even a breather, man!  And the terrible twos bring a whole slew of issues and difficulties.  And then next month, we'll enter the "trying threes."  It's like we can't catch a break!

I look forward to a 4-year-old who has left those phases behind.  I know parenting will never be easy, but if it could just be a little EASIER for a season or two...

Let me just be clear that I LOVE my J-Man.  I love him so much.  He is my son, will always be my son, and I cannot picture our family without him.

That doesn't mean it's not difficult to be his mommy right now.  That doesn't mean it hasn't pretty much always been difficult to his mommy.

I wanted to write this post because there are a lot of toddler adoptions going on, and to me, these are some of the challenges specific to it.

Have any of you gone through a toddler adoption?  Or any type of older child adoption, while we're on the subject?  I'd love to hear from you about some of the challenges and some of the joys!

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