I’ve been parenting for over 19 years now. I kind of thought it would get easier and that I’d be a total rock star of a parent. Now, I’m not sure about either one of those. Parenting is one of those things that makes me question myself more than anything else in my life.

This will take more than one blog post so let’s start by introducing you to the family!

In the picture above are Christopher and Christopher. My son is the big guy on the left, the little one is his brand new baby. {Eeek! I’m a grandma!!!}

My Christopher made his way into this world via C-section after about 36 hours of laboring at home. He is my only biological child; I consider that a miracle in itself. He loved it when I would read out loud to him, sing to him, and play my flute at night as he was drifting off to sleep. He still loves those things. When I sang to baby Christopher recently my own Christopher kept saying how he always loved it when I sang to him. Through reading we’ve explored many cultures, some of them were even real. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried. When he was 9 we brought 3 kids into our home to adopt. He never once complained or asked me for more of my time.   His dad left us when he was 12. He quickly stepped into the role of being man of the house. It was hard for him. He wanted so much to fill that role, but it wasn’t meant for him so he couldn’t fill it in the way he wanted. He makes me laugh a lot, even when I’m mad. He’s been so good at seeing me when I’m struggling and grabbing me to hug me until I laugh. For many years he was my biggest cheerleader.

This life hasn’t been easy for him. Fostering and adopting kids is a hard road. I chose it for him. I didn’t know how hard it would be. I didn’t know how much it would cost me…or him. I tell you what, he’s really good at loving people.

When looking for a picture of Dusty I couldn’t really find a good one. She isn’t around much these days. She runs away and there’s very little I can do about it. It’s hard being an adopted kids sometimes. I was also adopted so I can personally talk of the difficulties. Nearly 10 years ago when I brought the younger 3 into my home I was told by a therapist that Dusty was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder [RAD].   I looked at that sweet therapist and thought, “Oh honey, I’m a good Jesus loving woman. Have you seen my amazing 9 year old son? I’m a fantastic parent, I’ve got this. Keep your psycho-babble to yourself.”

Woah! Well, was I in for a surprise or what? _MG_0620

Next up is my little man Sage. He is a reliable, hard working kid. Sometimes. Other times, he is sullen, angry, and raging. It’s hard being a teen boy raised by a single mom. His brain has some challenges, too. He’s on the fetal alcohol spectrum and has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s. I don’t know much about either and how it affects him. There’s always something to learn. All I know is that I feel like I’m not doing a good job parenting him in such a way that he’ll be successful in life.

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Finally, comes Ireland. The firecracker in our family. She made breakfast for me today and made me stay in bed while she brought it to me. She’s also a RAD kid. She’s fun and vibrant, she’s also controlling. Most of her poor behavior shows up in the classroom.

I lay all this out for you, not to give you the dirt on my kids, but to give you a glimpse of where I’m coming from. When I started this journey of parenting them there weren’t a lot of resources out there to tell us struggling parents that we aren’t alone. It’s been a tough road and I’m still learning so much. Learning and trying to implement them is the challenge.

While in my best moments I think that I am the very best thing for these kids. God put us together and has brought us so far. Many of my own hurts have been healed through this journey. Yet, there are moments like today when doors are broken and hearts are hurt that I wonder if I really am the right one. Who am I to think that I know anything about parenting when I was raised by a single dad who really didn’t know anything about parenting? I have all these doubts about whether or not I am any better for them than where they were before. I think of all the mistakes I’ve made. There are behaviors I simply can’t stand to have in my home, but they’re always present. I want them to get over it already, isn’t 10 years long enough to prove that I love you and want the best for you?

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