Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I Made It All About Me

I have two children. One biological and one adopted. The funny thing is, with my son, I never wonder if my love is enough to take him through life. I can honestly say that no matter what, I know that my kisses and hugs can cover his boo-boos and heartache, first crushes or broken bones. Prim, however, leaves me wondering if I can love her as much as she needs to feel whole. For every kiss or cuddle she clings to me tighter and I think, "how can I lover her more?". Lately my little one is more demanding of my time. I will walk by her and she will throw herself in my direction, hanging on to my leg or begging me to hold her. I have begun to cringe in anticipation of her fierce need for my affection. The more she presses the more I feel myself pull away.

Last week I asked Sarah, our counselor, about this. What can I do, how much more can I show my love for her? I feel selfish, insecure in my mothering. Her reply was that I am (at times) parenting out of fear. That my expectations, my validation as a mother is married to how well I perceive Prim to be adjusting. I confessed to her, in the way you might confess your darkest secret, that sometimes I see my daughter and parent her as if she is going down the road of promiscuity and drug use. I see the road before her with only two clear choices-normalcy or inadequacy- and feel ultimately responsible for both. One way I do right by her, the other I fail.

How can I possible think this way about my four year old? She has her entire life ahead of her with as much possibility for success as her brother. Why then do I jump to fear? Mostly I guess because I have seen the stories, read the admissions of some adopted children who go through life feeling incomplete and lost and I see the worst case scenario for my daughter. I see what the trauma of two broken attachments has done to her. I couldn't protect her from the pain. I can't take away what has already happened to her, what she has lost and it breaks my heart into a million pieces. She is beautiful and funny and loving and yet I can see in her eyes that she fears being left. Again.

In these moments, I forget that I am not the center of the universe. I forget that there is a bigger part of our equation. God. He is the love that will bridge the gap. He is Who will fill in for my failures. After talking with Sarah I realized that my pulling away was not because I did not want to hold my daughter, but because I feared doing it and failing anyway. How simple I made Prim's life. Do this and she succeeds, don't do this right and she is lost to her circumstances. I forgot the God Who created her. The God who brought us together and I feel ashamed. He used Sarah as a reminder to me that she will be blessed because of Him, not in spite of Him. Thank you, God, for your mercy and patience during my learning curve in parenting our remarkable gift.


Elin H. said...

Hi, I'm writing from Norway :)
I just came across your blog, and read this one post so far. Thank you for sharing so honestly from your heart. And thank you for that reminder; God is the center of the universe also for the child!! :) Beautiful. And true.

We're in the middle of an adoptionprocess and I'm often surfing around to find information and things that others share from the same experience. I will bookmark your blog :) God bless you.

April said...

Hello Elin from Norway! I commented on your blog but thought I would add something here in case you check back! Thank you so much for reading and I hope your adoption process goes very quickly and easily!
Many blessings, April

Elin H. said...

Thank you April :) We are in the middle of the process. I don't expect us to travel to Thailand and pick up a child until 2011-2012 :) But that's ok. I'm using my time to prepare in every way I know :)


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