After the Honeymoon:
We met Jewell back in May 2018 – a super smart 10-yr old, bursting with personality, smiles, hugs, and jokes.
Oh man, did she have the jokes!
One crazy coincidence is that she actually looks like us, mostly like me. And her extroverted people-lovin vibe matched me perfectly as well.
We were off to a fantastic start… so my husband and I made the big decision that she was the ONE!
We wanted to adopt her eventually, and so she would live with us for 6 months until that became legally possible. We would be the ones to break the pattern of flaky adults in her life. We would be her 11th and final home.
So, she moved in permanently with us in August of that year, just a few days before school started.
And that’s when the honeymoon started to fade.
About a month or so after she moved in, we all began to notice “the sticky bits.”
Places where the culture of our home began to rub up against the internal messages she had received throughout her life… here is one moment of heartbreak I will never forget:
As we were getting ready for school one morning in September, I started urging Jewell to hurry it up, and (though it had been a great morning before that and she was looking forward to a field trip that day) she suddenly had some pretty harsh words for me. Our mornings often end like this, even if we’ve had a great rapport at the beginning.
This time, however, I insisted that we patch it up and apologize and such, even if we were late to school.
I just couldn’t leave it like that Again.
Even though she knew what I wanted to hear, and said the right words at all the apology parts, there was one real thing she just couldn’t help but tell me. She said I was rushing her “out of meanness”.
??? What the heck ??? How is rushing “mean?” I asked her, genuinely curious.
She said, “Cuz you’re trying to get rid of me. You want me out of your house.”
I had no idea that’s what it meant to her, and OF COURSE she would instantly turn on me like I was tossing her out on the street. I am sure I’ve even used the phrase “come on, we gotta get out of the house quicker.”
My heart was broken all day long, thinking about how all these days of rushing have re-triggered that feeling, no matter how sweet I’ve tried to do it, it’s that feeling of someone wanting you gone.
So the last few mornings have been much different. More hugs and cuddles, less urgency, more reminders of good things coming up that night, and saying “I will be thinking of you today and sending you love.”
As I write this, in May of 2019, we have finally had our very first Good Monday Morning together AND gotten to school on time!
We have been s-l-o-w-l-y, and I mean s–l–o–w–l—y getting better and better at mornings.
I am celebrating a wonderful morning today!!
The road from Foster-Care to Adoption can feel like a Roller-Coaster ride.
Do you have Roller Coaster moments that you would like to share?
Please feel free to share in the comments below.
I would love to hear about your Journey from Foster Care to Adoption.
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In Amanda’s perfect world, she would eat pineapple at every meal, never go a day without swimming, and most disputes would be settled with a feisty game of Connect Four.