Recent events, including a nasty bout of stomach flu, have forced me to re-evaluate my life.
As I look at my life with a new perspective, I realize that I have become more and more negative. I've been punishing myself for not being enough. Despite knowing that raising RAD kids is tough, one of the toughest tasks a person can take on, I've always looked at my friends achieving great success like Lisa, and all the hard work she's put into helping her daughter J, and decided that my kids' struggles are because I'm not doing enough. I had decided that it was a failure on my part.
Since shutting down this blog, I have been avoiding my Google Reader. Mostly because I've been too busy, but yesterday I felt it was time. I went to Lisa's blog, and she introduced me to Mary.
Mary is parenting adult RAD kids and in one of her posts she talked about referenced an In Touch article about the prodigal son. Which talks about how the father of the prodigal son, knew his son was being foolish, but had already left home in his heart. When his son left, did you notice the "father didn't go to search for his son? Even though he knew that pain and trouble would follow such a foolish decision, he chose to trust God instead of trying to fix the situation and protect his son from the consequences of his unwise choice."
I have been blaming myself and my own issues (like my own attachment disorder) for my attitude toward Bear and his recent action. The reality is that I can't change the extensive brain damage that he had when I met him, any more than his birth family could. My feelings about him are understandably conflicted.
Bear was almost 14 when I met him, and a very angry young man. I do believe that you can love an adopted child as much as a bio child, but I know that it takes two. I've done everything I can to teach Bear reciprocity, love, and trust. While I've expressed here my feelings of self-doubt and frustration with him, which have increased over the years, I did try. I may not have the feelings of unconditional love for Bear that I have for my other children, but I do care about him, and I will always have hope that someday he will be able to allow love to develop between us.
I have chosen to accept this as enough. If you don't agree, that's your problem.