- I totally meant to write yesterday, but here we are.
- I’ve now added mid-week baths to my self-care routine. I add a bunch of epsom salt and some bubble baths. I only stay in for about 20-30 minutes, but gosh it feels sooo good and I sleep so well.
- My condo building had another fire this morning, and now things are smokey again. Second fire in 2 months. We’re fine and no property damage for us, but oy, this can’t become a monthly thing.
- The death of Ma’Khia Bryant has hurt my soul so deeply. She was a foster child. I weep for her biological family, having now lost her twice.
- I’m normally very defensive of foster parents, but where the hell were they? There are reports than the fight against these grown women that day wasn’t the first time they had come after Ma’Khia. Why…how did the foster parent let this happen. I’ve seen reports that she had encouraged the bullying at times. Those folks had one job: to keep this girl safe and as whole as possible if and until her biological or future adoptive family could provide care.
- And yet Ma’Khia is gone. And to hear folks on the web tell it, foster kids are “problem kids”…it’s the same rhetoric we hear the begin to rationalize the murder of a grown man who might’ve tried to pass a fake $20 at the local bodega. EVEN if it were true, does that warrant immediate death?
- My therapist shared that she’s had to disarm knife and gun wielding folks…and she did it without any weapons and with no injuries.
- I’m just so angry and so, so, so sad.
- That could very well have been Hope. I barely know what to do with that thought.
- I’ve been cooking lately. Nothing fancy, but still yummy. We had ravioli with a meatball sauce today. It was yum.
- According to my zoom picture, I’ve gained a few pounds over the last month or two. Got to reign it back in.
- I typed that knowing full and damn well that I’m headed back to the kitchen for another sliver of the cake I made today.
- Judge me or whatever.
- Hope’s allergies are the worst they’ve been since she moved here. Daily I tell her to take her allergy tabs, irrigate her nasal ways, and take a half benadryl at the first sniff of trouble. Of course, she doesn’t, so I”ve been listening to her sniff since about 5pm. She finally just took some benadryl.
- Hope is *still* looking for a job. She hasn’t even had a nibble. I’m not sure what it all means, but we both agree, she needs to get up and out for her overall wellbeing.
- Ok, I’m out…right after I go get that little piece of cake.
Tag Archives: African-American Adoptions
3 Comments | tags: adoption, African American Adoption, african american adoptive parents, African American Moms, African American Parenting, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, Emotions, foster care, Foster families, Self-care, Trauma | posted in Finalization Life
Decisions are really hard for Hope; she’s easily overwhelmed when she has options. Early in my journey with Hope, I learned that I had to narrow her choices if I was ever going to get her to make decisions. She can’t have more than 3 choices and some days that’s a stretch.
And overwhelmed Hope is miserable, and so are the folks around her who are silently screaming
MAKE A DECISION ALREADY!
She gets anxious weighing the options, reviewing and re-reviewing, then she panics and guilt trips herself because she knows everyone is waiting until she’s just paralyzed.
Recently, Hope spent an hour sifting thru burger places on UberEats; I was shocked when the delivery gal knocked and Hope grabbed her McD’s bag.
Me: McD’s? Really?
Hope: I couldn’t make a decision and I was hungry so I just ordered McDonalds.
Even with McD’s she self limits for months at a time: She will order the same, exact order for 5 months and then change to something else for a season. She does this because she makes the decision one time and sticks with it to avoid just sitting there going “um” at the drive thru window.
With Hope now approaching the age of 20; there are more decisions than ever. We recently had a family appointment with a doc to talk about meds. Doc explains everything, lays out 3 options in rank order and asks Hope to say what option does she think is best.
After confirming that she understood the options, and confirming that ultimately this was her decision alone, she balked. We eventually got through it with some coaching and patience; she made a decision. But I could tell that our super mild mannered, even tempered doc was a little undone by the inability to make a decision.
Over the years I’ve become a lot more patient when she hits decision-making snags. I’ve adapted, but I haven’t really seen her skills improve or her anxiety go down. I’m hopeful that we will hit a turning point sometime soon.
I’m realizing that while Hope complained about how strict the military school was, she seemed so much more grounded there. The structure, the limited choices, that environment is one that kind of gave her the structure her spirit seems to demand. Her senior year, I asked her if she wanted to consider military service; but for her hatred of any physical activity, I could see her doing well in service. It also would’ve been kinda cool seeing how so much of her bio family were at some time in the military. Hope shot down the military idea hard and fast, proving that the ability to decide was in there, but only when it was something she really had a strong opinion about.
Right now, it almost feels like we’re going backwards. If Hope can avoid any kind of decision, she will. This year at home with minimal structure has not been good for her development. I am incapable of providing the structure she needs to thrive. Tomorrow, she resumes her job hunt. I’m hoping something turns up. An occupied Hope is a happier Hope–the decision-making isn’t much better, but at least emotionally she’s more stable.
I know she will get there; it’s really going to take time and lots of confidence building practice, though.
4 Comments | tags: adoption, Adoption and Emotional Health, Adoption and Emotions, Adoption and Parenting, African American Adoption, African-American Adoptions, Parenting, parenting challenges, Parenting Young Adults, Young Adults | posted in Finalization Life, Parenting
- The family trip was so good. The hotel situation was a disappointment (no room service, turn down service or room cleaning due to COVID). But I got to see my parents, Hope got to see her grands and Yappy got to come (which is all he ever wanted). We had “easter” dinner on Saturday and Sunday breakfast before hitting the road. The grands almost always provide 2 meats–bacon and sausage; which means they are going straight to heaven one fine day.
- Returning to work on Monday was harsh. The demands, the requests. I can legit spend all day just answering emails from the previous afternoon and beyond. Things go on the to do list and seemingly never come off. This time off really showed me why I enjoy traveling so much. When I know I’m going far away, I shut down work ABM immediately upon logging off that last day. I’m done. I’m able to truly unplug. These COVID staycations are rough because it takes me so much longer to unwind. By the time I really hit my stride in relaxation, it’s time to go back to work. Ugh.
- Hope put chopped hot dogs in her ramen tonight. I was buzzing around the house listening to her, and that factoid stopped me in my tracks. I wondered aloud if such a combo made me a bad mother. I mean really…I got 2 things going for me: 1-Hope gets higher end ramen. Her love of Asian food means any old ramen just won’t do. We make a special trip to the international store each month to stock up and supplement with online ordering of more difficult ramen to get locally. 2-I buy chicken hot dogs, which tend to have a little less fat (and Holy Homeboy knows what else); Hope loves them. Hope swears this wasn’t a struggle meal, it’s a college meal. My response? Is there a difference, really?
- Spring has sprung finally. I’m still waiting for the spring rains here. Normally April really means showers here. The lack of rain means things are blooming faster, and the pollen is flying. It’s kind of a beautiful torture.
- Anyone else have a kid who has horrible allergies but utterly refuses to take meds or irrigate so they just snort/slurp/sneeze/sniff incessantly, which really weirds you out because it’s a whole ass global PANDEMIC outside? Just me? Ok.
- I did not have my luxurious, stress-relieving bath this past weekend. I mean, I got to my parents, which was a more than worthy trade, but it’s now Wednesday night and I’m eager to get in my tub.
- I’m seriously considering a bathroom renovation. I can’t change the footprint, but I’m looking for more storage, a taller toilet w/ bidet features, a deeper tub, a heated floor and shower shelving for my Saturday bath candles. You know, simple upgrades. LOL.
- 2021 has officially rained down hot flashes on me. Since what appears to have been hormone changes that made me miserable in January, I hadn’t really had too many menopause symptoms. And then the weather turned nice, but not nice enough for the air conditioner. Monday night I thought I would combust. Last night I threw open the windows and turned on the ceiling fan. Much better. Tonight, I’m adding the floor fan. Seriously, this is some BS. Who do we have to blame for this? It’s really effed up.
- I am not watching the Chauvin trial. I wait for the New York Times to send me the notification of their daily rundown. So much of the news coverage insists on replaying George Floyd’s death video on a loop. That is traumatic AF. Stop playing the video! I know that once the prosecution rests it’s going to be a real shitshow, and I can’t bear to watch that murderer deny killing this man when we have video that says otherwise. Lock his ass up.
- Beau got me into Netflix’s Who Killed Sara? Quality TV, even if the dubbing kinda sucks. It’s nice ot have something to sink my teeth in. Hope and I are still watching Grimm on Prime. We’re also listening to a podcast on Maria Buttina, the young Russian woman who the FBI alleged was something of a spy. We booted her back home; ironically she turned up on the news this weekend. It was cool because it gave Hope a face to got a face to go with the story; she’s all in on the show now. Podcasts on road trips have always been a cool way for me to teach Hope current events and history on the low. We start a show, I dig up a few articles to rope her in and she totally gets immersed. She knows all about how Las Vegas came to be thanks to a mafia podcast we binged in 2019 on road trips. Good stuff!
Until next time…
4 Comments | tags: adoption, African American Adoption, african american adoptive parents, African American Parenting, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, Older Child Adoption, Parenting | posted in Finalization Life, Hard Stuff
- Today I breathed. It’s not that I think Biden/Harris will solve all the problems, but I certainly don’t think they will cause as many as we’ve seen during the last administration.
- Watching VP Kamala Harris take the oath of office with Justice Sonia Sotomayor with my daughter this morning was…amazing. #RepresentationMatters
- I can’t really describe the relief I felt watching the Troll in Chief and Troll Barbie take flight and disappearing.
- My only sadness is that I couldn’t take Hope down to the mall to watch it in person. Don’t get me wrong: inaugurations are cold (it flurried here this morning) and usually crowded, but the energy is amazing. It’s actually very cool and super patriotic.
- Did y’all see Michelle Obama and that guy she’s married to? (I love him too.) My gawd that woman is gorgeous. The hair, the outfit, the lashes…the gorgeous former president. I live!!!
- I really needed today. It’s like a bright spot in a dark time for me. The pomp and circumstance! The lofty, aspirational charge of it all. The hope. I needed it really badly.
- Things around here are still precarious. I’m still fighting burnout. I’m still trying to prop Hope up in the midst of new traumas.
- I think I’m going to tackle my front closet and my bedroom closet. They are both a disastrous mess. I was always taught that your closets are a reflection of your life, and well, those 2 closets are a disastrous mess. I’ve been consciously avoiding them for months. I know that tackling them will help.
- I also need to do some purging. Things feel really cluttered around here. So, stuff has to go. Of course I’m also still shopping for a new low profile treadmill; so part of my motivation is to make room for new ish.
- I’ve been really trying to be more introspective right now. I’m honestly feeling a bit lost. Motivation is low. I slap on a functional face on workdays and feel like collapsing after 5pm. I really have not experienced these feelings in a very long time. I don’t like it, but I’m fighting through.
4 Comments | tags: adoption, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, African American Parenting, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, Ten Things | posted in Finalization Life, Hard Stuff, Other Stuff
In undergrad I majored in government and politics. I worked on Capitol Hill during my senior year of undergrad. I went on to study public policy in graduate school before switching over to education for my doctorate.
I have loved politics since…well, before I can actually remember. One of my earliest memories is this US Bicentennial dress my mom dressed me in during the summer of 1976; I was 3 years old.
I know the shine started to dull with the 2000 election and the drama with “hanging chads.” As a Democrat, I was heartbroken by the outcome. I lost friends over it.
Today, the 2000 election almost seems quaint.
Today, the US election is taking place, though just about everyone I know personally and professionally has already voted. The stakes for this election feel really high. Will we pull back from the brink of all out devastating crazy or will we push our poker chips all in?
Up until about 2 weeks ago, I really wasn’t fretting much. But having endured two elections where the outcome was completely unexpected, I know better than to trust the polls any more. I started getting a bit worried. This weekend my anxiety really spiked.
Can me and Hope really do another 4 years of this? Do I want to? Where can we go? Do I really want to leave the US?
I really could use a major change of scenery, but essentially going into exile seems dramatic–but so is having a White supremacist as head of state. I am seriously considering heading somewhere at least for a few weeks–but with our COVID -19 cases spiking…I’m guessing no one in their right minds are welcoming refuge seeking Americans in the middle of a pandemic.
So, I’m doing my best to cope here. I’m limiting my news consumption. Staying off of social media most of the day. I stressed shopped (blowing any sense of a budget, mind you) and bought me and Hope our favorite foods, because I needed comfort food. I’m getting my Fitbit steps in, and I made devil’s food cake for dessert.
It’s not enough though. It’s hard enough to suffer through the pandemic and Hope’s challenges right now. I’m usually in my bed by 8pm; and folks have no boundaries. People will still call or DM me. It seems they’ve figured out that my phone snoozes messages after 5pm, so folks routinely text me as late as 10pm. I’m sooooo exhausted. Last night, I dragged my weighted blanket to my bed and crawled under it. I slept soundly.
Today I will rally. I celebrated Hope’s first time voting weeks ago. I was excited for her, but sad that she didn’t get the full experience of going to the polling place and getting her sticker. I will work most of the day, scoot Hope to an appointment late afternoon, use my coloring app, leave the TV on mute or off all together and check in periodically to see what’s happening on Twitter. Despite all of the food I’ve purchased, we will likely get takeout tonight, because I frankly don’t see myself being functional enough to pull together dinner this evening.
How are you practicing self-care today? Are you anxious like me? What’s at the root of your anxiety? What are you telling your kiddos? Do you have a “post-election plan?”
7 Comments | tags: 2020, adoptive parents, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, african american adoptive parents, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, Elections | posted in Coping, Finalization Life, Hard Stuff, Other Stuff, Parenting
We all know that 2020 has been a complete shit show. As we enter the final quarter of this crazy year, I’m frankly wary. This summer has especially been hard for me and Hope.
As a parent you do what you can to help your kids learn to make good decisions. It hurts when you watch them not make the best decisions, and you just hope no one gets hurt and wait close by to help pick up the pieces.
That’s what the last couple of weeks have been, working to maintain our home as the safe space to recover and heal. I thought the crisis was over weeks ago, but it got one last breath of life and as it finally expired, it left a hot mess in its wake. It’s been hard for Hope and for me. It’s so hard watching your kiddo suffer natural consequences.
Hope will be ok with time; I believe that. But I’m guessing like everyone, 2020 has changed her. In some ways I see her having gained some wisdom, which never comes easy. She is strong, and while putting your bad decisions under a microscope is always hard, I see her replaying things in her head, turning them over in her mind, questioning her reactions to all sorts of scenarios. Of course we all do this. Sometimes it’s healthy, sometimes it’s not.
During this time, I have done double duty. I’m mom first, but my daughter also needed a good girlfriend to talk to sometimes. It’s a hard flex to go between these identities, but she needed a friend sometimes. I shared my more of my own bad decisions, and the proof that life goes on. I talked about what I needed to do for me to move on to better choices. I told her she would find her way and what worked for her. I enlisted friends and her godmom to help prop her up. Hell, at one point I actually offered my daughter an edible because I saw she needed help settling down and trying to get to sleep. She declined–Mom ABM was shocked and happy she declined.
And then I mommed. I mommed so hard. I cooked, a lot, nearly daily. I made appointments. I juggled work and parenting in ways that felt like our early days. We watched our binge show on Netflix. We talked. We cried. I got her up and pushed her to get showered and dressed daily. I talked to our medical/mental health squad, sometimes late into the night. These last few weeks have been intense, and soooo reminiscent of our early days.
It made me remember just how challenging it was learning about how to help Hope and how much I needed to learn about trauma. It made me go through my own process of revisiting some of my decisions 6 years ago, wondering if there were things I could’ve and should’ve done differently. I had a breakdown, wondering if the summer of 2020 was my fault. I begged our family therapist to tell me what I did wrong to increase Hope’s risk of being harmed.
End the end, I realized that in spite of our decisions, Hope and I are still standing. We definitely have some dings, dents, and rust spots, but we’re ok.
Hope is taking some time off from school, and after the election, we might pack up Yappy and relocate outside of the US for a few months. We could both use a change of scenery. When Hope was originally planning to be in residence at school this fall before they went remote, I looked into packing up Yappy and going away for a while. Now I’m looking at moving all of us for a few a spell. I’ve joked that depending on the election results, I might just ask for asylum.
This year has a been crazy and this summer…well, it was rough. But we’re ok.
2 Comments | tags: adoption, Adoption and Emotions, Adoption and Parenting, Adoption and Trauma, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, african american adoptive parents, African American Parenting, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions | posted in college student, Coping, Finalization Life, Hard Stuff, Lessons Learned, Parenting
My last post was a lot. As Hope would say, a lot a lot. I learned that my description of my family crisis was really upsetting to some adoptees. I want to acknowledge that sometimes I write things that may be triggering for some readers. I will write more about that sometime soon, but I want to acknowledge that reality.
Today is a new day, and the crisis is over. There are just waves of relief. My daughter is safe.
These last few weeks have really been scary. There are always times when I worry about Hope; I worry about her in some form or fashion all the time. This was different. The stakes felt higher, the threat to our relationship seemed higher, and I was just scared, really, really scared for her.
I know I feel lucky. Parenting is hard; it just is, and some days are just harder than others. And some days, for some parents turn into weeks, months and years.
The thing I’m most grateful for is being so close to Hope.These last few weeks have been an emotional ringer for both of us. We kept talking. We spent quality time together. We ate together. We used good communication strategies. For most of the time we were really patient with each other, and when we were able to articulate why. I feel like we are even closer now.
There are and will continue to be some reverberations from this episode. There’s some monitoring and support that needs to happen to make sure things stay safe. There will probably still be some tears (from both of us). There will be lifelong lessons to reflect on (for both of us).
But this morning, I’m just happy that the sun is shining and that Hope is ok.
7 Comments | tags: adoption, Adoption and Emotions, Adoption and Trauma, Adoptive Parenting, adoptive parents, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, african american adoptive parents, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions | posted in college student, Coping, Finalization Life, Hard Stuff, Lessons Learned, Parenting, Trauma
I’ve been on leave from work for the last week. I had hoped to see my family, mom and dad, sister, BIL and my adorable niece and nephews. Unfortunately, given all that’s going on around Casa d’ABM, Hope and I were deemed at a greater risk than originally thought. We were lovingly disinvited.
I miss my family terribly. Heck I just invited my sister who lives more locally if she wanted to go to this axe throwing place…I’m desperate y’all.
In the end, it’s probably better that we had some time at home. I’ve had more time to devote to Hope and trying to get us back to some sense of stability. What I consider a crisis is still a crisis, but at the moment, things are…in a holding pattern.
I made a request nearly a week ago that has yet to be filled. Until it is, things are a bit frozen on my end.
With Hope now not working and starting classes and me taking a week off from work, I’ve focused on cooking.
During this pandemic, I’ve gone through cycles around cooking. I periodically need fresh bread, so I’ll make that every few days. I’ve been baking cakes, because well, I love cake and I tend to love them even more when I’m stressed. I’ve gone back to a few casserole dishes that are yummy. I’ve tried a few new dishes, though not many. Last week I upgraded my Instant Pot to a new 8qt Duo version with the air fryer. I wanted to make wings, and I did.
So, since our crisis started, I’ve made wings twice, several loaves of bread, 2 cakes, a lot of homemade frosting, chicken salad, chili dog casserole, chili, and spaghetti and meatballs. The freezer is stocked with fixins for any number of dishes and I’m delighting in drawing Hope out of her room for quality time and important discussions with food.
Seeing her grab a bowl of chili, closing her eyes and smiling, commenting on the flavors brings me joy. It also makes for a nice entry point for talking about the current state of things. It makes it easier for me to listen when I’m savoring a meatball that’s been slow cooking in a marinara sauce that simmered for hours.
Yesterday I made Hope breakfast, fried eggs on a buttered toasted kaiser roll, one of her favorites.
Today, despite having a little chili left and the leftover spaghetti, I likely will make cabbage and sausage because it’s another household favorite.
When I don’t cook, Hope tends to skip meals and snack shamelessly. She’s also taken to ordering food since she has her own cash. I’m not much on ordering or take out; it’s just never been something I’ve done a lot of, so the frequency of her orders seem like such a waste to me. Cooking delicious meals keeps money in her pocket, gets her to the table and keeps both of us engaged.
Food will not solve our problems, but it will continue to bring us together and that’s my main goal right now.
Any good recipes you think we’d like, drop links below or shoot them to me via email. We don’t do seafood, so that’s one limitation. We are also serious carnivores–so while we will do some meatless meals, we get down hard with meat.
Do you use food to bring the family together? What else are folks doing? I need all the suggestions I can get. ❤
8 Comments | tags: adoption, Adoption and Emotions, Adoption and Trauma, Adoption Blogs, african american adoptee, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, african american adoptive parents, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, college life, college student, Parenting Young Adults, Trauma, Young Adults | posted in college student, Coping, Finalization Life, Hard Stuff, Parenting, Self Care, The College Years
I am trying to maintain a relatively flat affect at the moment. It’s the only way I can try to present a sense of calm in the midst of the drama.
And there is so much drama.
I’m so overwhelmed that I can pretty much sit and look out into the void for minutes, maybe hours. It’s not that I can’t emote; I just don’t see a point. A fit of crying is not going to resolve anything or make me feel better. Rage will likely only make things worse and shockingly, things could get way worse. There is no joy, there is no happiness. There is love, a lot of it, but mostly there is fear.
There have been many times on this journey when I felt fear for Hope, but real talk we side-stepped a lot of major trauma drama on this journey, comparatively speaking anyway. Hope is a kid that rarely acts out. With the exception of her room, she’s pretty responsive to rules and structure. I would go to support groups and real talk, feel kind of lucky that some of the drama I heard about had not touched us. I didn’t think my parenting had much to do with it, but I was so grateful that our blues were different.
Now, here we are, and I could tell a story very similar to my parenting pals. It is a stark reminder that no one gets out of this journey without scars.
What makes things even more complicated? Hope is legally an adult and can legally make horrible decisions, potentially deadly decisions on her own. I can make rules for my household, but she can legit just walk away and there is nothing I can do to stop her. I feel there is little I can do to protect her. This has just made me feel despair and kinda helpless.
I had a emergency chat with our family therapist yesterday. I was hoping to get insight, to see a path forward. AbsurdlyHotTherapist basically told me stuff that ripped my heart out. It was the conversation that finally had me back in the bathroom sitting in my tub to cry, like I used to in the early days of parenting. It was everything I didn’t want to hear, and the tentative plan forward is nothing I want to be a part of, but my choices are limited.
The irony of limited choices is not lost on me. I began teaching Hope right away that the more choices you can create, the more freedom you have to move through the world.
I don’t have many choices, so in addition to the sadness and grief around this whirlwind, I’m feeling trapped.
I have come up with a discussion strategy that we’ve been using since the weekend. We have a discussion for about 30 minutes or so, usually over food, and one person gets to do most of the talking to explain their side of things. Then we table the discussion for a 24 hour cooling off period. This has allowed us to avoid too many raised voices and space for each of us to speak with minimal interruption with processing time before re-engaging.
I can’t lie and say that I”m finding it easy not to jump in and screech “WTF are you doing????”, but I am trying diligently to abide by the rules so that Hope feels safe to tell me her 19 year old thinking.
And for the record, 19 year old thinking can be more stupid than a box of rocks. I’ve sat listening to my daughter do her best grown ass woman impersonation and say some of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard since I was 19 and doing my own baby adult stupid shit.
Today is my day to talk; I’m trying to keep it simple, but I’m desperate to build a case that screams NO. But, I know that is not what this moment needs though. I’ve got to play the long game to help us find our way out of this maze.
Talk about 2020 being a whole ass dumpster fire. I’m so over this year.
8 Comments | tags: adoption, Adoption and Emotions, Adoption and Parenting, Adoption and Trauma, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, african american adoptive parents, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, Child Trauma, Trauma | posted in Dealing with the Past, Finalization Life, Hard Stuff, Parenting, Teen parenting, The College Years, Trauma
I am in the midst of a trauma related whirlwind the details of which are not mine to share.
This moment has clearly revealed Hope’s true vulnerabilities out in the world, and it’s requiring an enormous amount of emotional restraint from me.
I am a mess of sadness, heartbreak and unmitigated rage. That rage is not directed at Hope, but a third party who also has peeped my daughter’s vulnerabilities. It is taking everything in me not to round up my squad and take matters into my own hands. I also know that If I shared what is happening with Hope with some folks in my life, things would get very, very out of hand very, very, very fast.
And trust, I am so tempted to let that ish play out.
But Hope needs me, and I am acutely aware of how much she needs me in this moment. She needs me as a mom. She needs me as a woman who has lived through some things. She needs me to just love her and reassure her that it’s going to be ok.
I am committed to keeping a 30K foot view of what is happening to my daughter. I can clearly see what is driving the behavior and what is driving the emotion and the need. I know that this mess is trying to fill a hole that has existed for a long, long time; I know this has everything to do with her life before me and the pieces of life that are still missing.
I know that there is nothing that I can really do or say to fill that hole; it’s primal. I get it. It’s also breaking my heart.
During the last day, I have tried to reason with her. I listen to her without judgment. I’m trying to keep the lines of communication open. The only way to do that is to keep my own emotions in check.
Last night I had to take a late evening walk just to call a friend to let out my own emotions. There I was out with goofy Yappy walking the neighborhood in the dark, in the rain with a headlamp letting it all out, so I could come back with my own emotional mask on to reengage.
I’m glad I had that chance because I walked back into a whole ‘nother bucket of bs.
There is a silver lining in this moment; this moment could be so worse. It could be so much more devastating, but Hope was already questioning her feelings about her choices. She wanted to talk to AbsurdlyHotTherapist about it but hasn’t been able to get an appointment. I’m encouraged that she was trying to figure out how to work through this mess on her own and in a healthy way. I’ve reached out to him to beg for an appointment and to give him a heads up on what’s happening. I need her to have that unbiased third party to help her.
Hope is a horrible liar; she also is horrible at keeping her own secrets, much less anyone else’s. She almost always tells me or AHT what’s up or creates a situation in which I find out (See stupid games from last month). She told me that her lies are more about wanting to avoid disappointing me than a fear of something like me putting her out.
On the one hand she trusts that I’m not going to threaten her physical wellbeing, but I do wonder if she thinks my expectations of her are too high? It’s got me wondering if expectations are too high for her? I need my own barometer check.
Ultimately, I know that we will get through this, but I don’t know how long it will take. I don’t know what the collateral damage will be. I don’t know…what is around the corner.
I also know, that this could happen again and again.
Trauma stuff is hard.
Adoption stuff is hard.
There are very real wounds.
I know I am not capable of fully healing her; I can only support her, love her, be there for her in these moments. She is transitioning into adulthood, and I worry a bit about how much my protection can extend around her. Before it seemed like a nice little bubble, now it’s just this amorphous thing and I can’t control the environment for her. I know that is normal, that actually aspects of this is normal for kids her age. I also know that as a middle-aged woman, I’m still, *still* dealing with some bullshit from my own youth, and I didn’t any a fraction of the drama in my life that Hope’s had in hers. I worry about where that leaves her.
All I know is that I’m still her ride or die. I always will be, but whew…this phase of parenting is not easy.
4 Comments | tags: adoption, Adoption and Emotions, Adoption and Trauma, African American Adoption, african american adoptive families, african american adoptive parenting, african american adoptive parents, african american families, African American Life, African American Moms, African American Parenting, African American Single Adoptive Mom, African-American Adoptions, Child Trauma, Family, Secondary Trauma, Trauma | posted in Dealing with the Past, Finalization Life, Hard Stuff
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