Sometimes relationships are hard. Do you have a relationship with someone in your life who you would really rather not be around most of the time, but have to be? It could be a for just a period of time or it could be that this person is hard to get along with all the time. It could be a spouse, parent, sibling, child or friend. We are just people and sometimes other people who we are supposed to love, get on our nerves. I have experienced a number of these types of relationships in my life. Right now I am struggling with one of my kids.
I have moments when I don’t necessarily like all my kids all the time. Gasp! Oh, if you are honest you know you have those times when you love your kid but really don’t like them at that moment. Like when your 7-year-old gets put on restriction from his brand new tablet for being mean to his brother and promptly takes said tablet and throws it on the ground and it breaks. Yeah, I don’t really want to be around that child right now, for fear of killing him. I sent him to his room so I could cool off before dealing with him and because I really didn’t want to see his face right then. Who raised this kid? He is a brat!
Anyway, we all as parents have moments when we don’t like our kids, usually it’s a passing thing, but sometimes it’s a more chronic condition. Sometimes you have a kid who you just don’t get along with as well as you do the others. I am just being honest. I have a very introverted personality and it can be a challenge to spend time with some of my chattier kids at times.
Right now our daughter and I are having a hard time getting along with each other. It’s not either of our faults, but it’s both of us. Again, I am just being honest. I don’t want people to misunderstand that older child adoption is always easy. In fact, it’s hard. It’s hard because you bring this child with past hurts and issues into your family and they often have no idea how to be in a family because they have never had one. They have a personality all their own and certain habits and expectations on how things should go. Babies don’t have those feelings or issues. I can intellectually tell you why my daughter has a hard time getting along with me. Things like she has experienced so much rejection from females in her life and she doesn’t want to attach to me for fear I will leave her. However, when you are in moment of being rejected by your child it is much harder to really believe all that, all you feel is hurt.
Adoption is hard. It’s hurtful and difficult and I don’t pretend it is any other way. I see glimpses of her allowing me in, but within seconds she puts back up the wall around herself and literally pushes me away. That’s hard. I feel compassion in those moments for her and the past hurts she has experienced, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel hurt. I don’t deal with rejections well, and she is constantly rejecting me. It’s not easy. I wonder if she will ever allow me in, but I know these things take time. It’s because of all this, we have issues. I put a wall around myself, not wanting to be hurt and then she does the same. It’s a cycle. She is not easy to love, it’s like hugging a porcupine a lot of the time. She does annoying things and has horrendous manners and that doesn’t help the situation. She starts to grate on my nerves and then I find myself having less and less patience with her. That’s where I was this morning. I will admit I was happy when she left for school, I needed a break. I was feeling sorry for myself and irritated that I got myself into this situation, what was I thinking adopting this kid? What made me think I could do this? She hates me and I have to say I am not too fond of her either, at that moment. Then her school called and I had to come get her, she was sick. Great! Just what I wanted to do. NOT! So, off I go to school to get her, begrudgingly.
In the car on the way to school I flipped on the radio and there was a preacher talking about the book of Ruth. She was talking about Ruth going through adversity and hard times when her husband died and then she moved to a new country with her mother in law. Yep, sounds like my life right now, adversity. The preacher went on to talk about what to do in the midst of a trial. Get up and keep moving. Do something to distract yourself from your trials and be the bigger person. Yeah, God was talking to me. I cannot wait on this trial to get better, or in other words I cannot wait for our daughter to like me, I cannot change her. Only she can change her behavior, but I can change my attitude. I am the adult, or I am supposed to be, and I need to be the bigger person and grow up.
Is it easy to have a child not like you? No, and that will not change but I can try to look on the situation for what it is. She is rejecting not me personally, but she is rejecting love. It’s sad really. She is afraid and that makes her act out toward me. I take it too personally. I just have to be patient and keep working with her until some time has passed and she realizes that she can trust me or I wear her down, which ever comes first. lol. In the meantime, I am going to find something else to distract myself from my issues. Get involved with some project or something that keeps me from dwelling on it.
Adoption is hard. I think I have said that about a million times on this blog, but it’s true. It’s not a fairy tale, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. She will come around and love me at some point, but for now, I will just keep trying to scratch away at that wall she has built around herself and realize God has given me this trial to better me for his sake. He wants to make me more like himself. He loved people when they hated him. I don’t think I would have said what he did while dying on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. I think it would have been more like, “Father, strike them dead with lightning because they are mean and hateful people.” But this whole experience of adoption is teaching me what it truly means to love unconditionally. That is hard stuff, but I know it will be worth it in the end. God will take this mess we are in and make it into something beautiful like only he can.
Wow this one hit home today! I’ve been struggling with many of those feelings as well with my kiddo. Thanks for the redirection!