Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Forever & Always
Last night I sort of facilitated a discussion between my boys so they could discuss what was frustrating them about each other. I felt like it was a healthy teaching time for me to show them how to express their feelings and needs, how to apologize, and how to solve the problem. J-Man was super frustrated that E doesn't like him in his room and isn't great at sharing toys with him. E was mad that J-Man has been making fun of him for some things. I encouraged them both to explain to each other what was upsetting them. I had them apologize to each other. And we discussed how we could make those things better for each other.
But then the conversation took a turn with one of my boys. He said, "The real reason why I'm angry is because my birthparents couldn't take care of me."
These are the types of conversations that take place at random times when you least expect it. And they always break your heart a bit. For your child and all he's had to come through already in life.
I took my son into his room, just the two of us, and repeated what he said to me, just trying to let him know he could talk more about that if he wanted.
"I wish my birthparents could've taken care of me. And I wish you guys could've taken care of me, too."
That was the first time I've seen those conflicting loyalties with this child. So natural, right? There's a natural longing for those first parents, but also a feeling of loving your adoptive parents and wanting them too. It's healthy, really. To be able to want both instead of one or the other.
I just acknowledged what he said again.
"My birthmom was my forever mom."
I responded, "Well, she was your first mom. I'm your forever mom."
He seemed to be helped by the "first mom" wording.
"But my first mom WAS my forever mom before."
Wow, right? That's a huge thought for a little guy. She WAS my forever mom. She was supposed to be my forever mom. What if you're not here forever either?
"She was your first mom and I'm your forever mom."
"Yeah, you're my forever and always mom."
Big conversations. Big concepts. I know that my job as an adoptive mom is to be there for those conversations. To create an environment where my kids know they can express those feelings to me, where they feel safe to talk about those topics. My job is to listen and to validate their feelings and let them know it's okay to have those feelings. And my job is to reassure them that this family is FOREVER. No matter what. Forever and always.