One of my favorite things to do as an adoptive parent is talk about those taboo topics that we aren’t “allowed” to discuss with the general public, because… well, a lot of people just don’t get it.
How the systems are taxing and the people are exhausting. Those are the conversation most people understand. But it becomes uncomfortable when we start talking about the challenges that come along with parenting children who are adopted. Many people want to paint this picture that adoption is easy. Can it be rewarding? Yes. Is it easy? No.
And it’s hard. It took me a few years of a learning curve to understand my son’s needs and to change my parenting. Everything about parenting him was hard. To be honest, it brought out some aspects of my own character that were really hard for me to see.
- And the reactions that follow these.
Yet, I am so grateful for these moments. Why? How can I be grateful for this part of the journey?
Because it helped me to take a hard look at these things in myself… and change them. It took hard work, really, REALLY hard work. I believe though that I am a much better parent today because of this, for my (adopted) son and my other children. I’m definitely not perfect and I continue to grow with passing time, but I am so much better off today than I was a decade ago.
This Thanksgiving I hope we can all take a look at the frustrations in parenting, the hardships in adopting, and ourselves seeing the struggle we’ve all had in these things but all see the growth from them. May we see how we can and have built our capacity for resilience and acceptance of our adoptive children. And we may we be thankful even for the tough moments. These are our opportunities for growth as parents and as human beings.
As we get caught in the shuffle of parenting and the hardships of our kiddos’ behaviors and heartaches, I encourage you this Thanksgiving to reflect on ways you have grown through this journey and let’s be thankful together for these moments.