Wednesday, November 18, 2015

ABCs of Adoption: P is for Patience

Being around screaming children can try anyone's patience, not just parents.  The waiting at the beginning may seem like a big test of patience.  You have to patiently sit through hours of training, you have to wait patiently while the home study is completed, and then you have to wait for your match, you then potentially have to wait for termination of parental rights, and finally you have to wait for finalization.   Basically you have to be a very patient person during the process.  This isn't always the easiest thing to do.  For those that have battled infertility having to be even more  patient this can be incredibly frustrating.

But the true test of patience comes after placement, as the child and parents attempt to navigate having a new family member in the home.  Routines are changed sometimes with very little time to prepare.   With a biological child there are 9 months to plan and adjust, with adoptees you may have less than 24 hours before a child moves into your home.  We had a whopping 4 weeks from finding out about junior to him moving in.

It sometimes seems like junior has the magical ability to find our buttons and push them non-stop.  There are times when I just want to scream, but I know that is not the answer.   Biologically junior is 7 years old, but lately he has been acting more like a 3-5 year old.   Where I once had a very independent boy who had no fear and felt no pain there is now a whiny, needy, cries at the drop of a hat and is afraid of everything little boy.   Today I heard cries for help from the bathroom, what was the emergency that needed my attention... the toilet paper had fallen off the holder onto the floor.  Is he capable of picking it up and putting it on himself, absolutely.  Did I have to do this for him today yes.   Did I want to tell him just to fix it himself, absolutely.  Instead, I had to take a deep breath, comfort him and put the toilet paper back.

This is very trying and exhausting.  It is also very common as adoptees navigate through the sea of emotions they are feeling and start re-living years where they were neglected as they are now getting their needs met.  The regression will be pass, for now we will be as patient as we can and figure out how to cope with it.

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