Hello and Welcome to the Mom's and Adoption Blog!

Everyone is welcome here. It is an open format to discuss your feelings without judgment. If you have come to judge or say something unkind to adoptive parents, please leave now (yes, I said everyone was welcome, with one exception, however). Thank you.

Otherwise, thank you so much for coming! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comments and feedback. I started this blog to help other adoptive parents not to feel as isolated and alone in their feelings, as I did for so many years. With this blog, I hope to bring together the adoptive community as one. This is so we do not feel so alone and judged as we so many times do; even from ourselves. Please stay, relax and enjoy yourself. If at any time you feel judged, please let me know. Again thank you for coming.

How did you hear about this blog?

Family First

Family First
We love each other!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Putting ourselves first....but listen to God...

Hmmmm... what's that? Putting ourselves first as a mom to our beautiful children? Whether adopted or not. How many of us do that? Isn't that selfish and un-Christian? That is what I told myselft for years and still do most days. But, how are we supposed to be a good mother to our wonderful children if we don't take care of ourselves? I remember as a teenager going to a weekend retreat with my best friend at the time. When I got there it was at the biggest Catholic church in our area, and it seemed half my high school was there as well. The lesson of the weekend was J.O.Y.; Jesus, Others, then You. I still sometimes question that because if we always put others first (I believe in putting God first, however), do we ever truly take care of ourselves? I know I didn't take care of myself for many, many years! It was sooo unhealthy! It became scary. My physical and emotional health faltered in a way I could not have imagined.
Prior to trying to get pregnant, I was in great shape. I was close to 100 lbs. less than I am now and felt great! Now, I have fibromyalgia, I weigh far too much for my frame, I have gone through bouts of depression; all of this since this situation started with putting the adoption before myself. I am not blaming anyone else, I am just stating that I let go completely of taking care of myself, and began to only take care of my family. Part of that was inescapable because I had 4 children in 3 years. Three infants and a very high maintenance child who took a ton of time and care! So, of course at first all of the children needed 24/7 constant care. I have absolutely no regrets; it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I just ended up losing myself in all of it, and now need to find myself again!

I started my own personal therapy 3 months ago so that I could better understand my own feelings and come up with better reactions to Isabella. How I was reacting to her before, and still do now on occasion, is not healthy. It does not do either one of us any good when I am upset and angry. Are some of you with me on this one?
It took me a while to get over the fact that if I let her "get away with something," which is what I enterpreted the situation as when I didn't discipline her, but just ignored what happened, it was sooo much healthier for me. I figured if I did this, she would think she won! How could I let her win when she had hurt me so?! Are some of you thinking the same thing here, too? Man, this was hard for me! Honestly, ladies (hopefully some gentleman, too!), this was one of the hardest changes I have ever had to make! Do you know what, though? It has been the best thing I have done! I can't believe it! I have only had the courage to implement this (and listen to God telling me and urging me) very steadily the past 2-3 weeks. Yes, you would think I could have gotten with the program more quickly. But, I guess my dad says our side of the family is "bull-headed." So, not so smartly I was trying to do things my own way, when God knew better all along! I guess I need to start trusting Him more because He always leads me in the right way!

Further, as I have been told by several other adoptive parents that have successfully tried this change... if we do not like how things are going with our adoptive child, we as the parents need to change how we treat them, react, etc. That is pretty much what I said above. The hardest part for me in that, was I didn't think I should have to change! I felt Isabella was the one causing the problems, so why couldn't we just fix her? I know that isn't the most loving thing to say, but I think you adoptive RAD parents out there know exactly what I mean. We don't feel like this every day, maybe, but I know many days I feel like, in all honesty, my life was pretty darn good before all of this, and the reason it isn't now is because of this adoption. Whew, glad to get that off my chest! So, how many readers did I just lose? ;) Buuuuuttttt, as you know, I said I gave in to changing. So, as much as I would love for Isabella to be able to change, too, I realized it was healthier for ME, if I did so, too!

One other note to that, is, I also just started seeing a nutritionist last month to get myself healthier. Funny enough, the very first time I met her she told me how I had to stop giving my kids my food every time I sit down to eat. I used to feed my kids first, then get my food. As I would eat, somehow the little one's would become hungry again (could they really be hungry 30 minutes later?) and take as much as they felt like. Even though I felt a little ripped off, they were my babies. Wasn't I supposed to give them what they needed? As she reminded me, I had just fed them. I HAD given them what they needed. So, when I sat down, this was my time now. And, because I had measured my food to comply with what she had laid out for me, she told me not to let them have my food. She wanted me eating everything I had for my meal because they were foods my body needed. The point is, this was another lesson for me in putting myself first in this situation. It was hard to say, "no," to my babies. They are my life. I say "no" to them all the time when it comes to loving discipline. However, this was different. Do you know what, again, though? It felt good to start putting myself first here. It was in a healthy way. So, putting ourselves first doesn't mean putting others last, or not taking care of others or anything of the like.

So, I am not saying that we should put our family or chilren at the bottom; not by any means! However, as most of you parents know, if we don't take care of ourselves (usually that means first), how can we be a good mother or father to our beautiful children? There is a reason why when we fly on an airplane that the flight attendant(s) tell us to put our own oxygen mask on first before our child(ren). The first time I flew with Isabella only- as flying with my first child (coming back from the adoption in Russia), I thought, how awful. Not give my child oxygen until I do? That doesn't sound like a good parent! But, how it makes sense doesn't it? We can't give our children life unless we are living! Take care of yourself mom's and dad's! Please! You are worth it!

I would love to hear what others are thinking after reading this! Please share your comments below or ask questions!


  1. Not so much thinking, but I can tell you that reading what you had to say makes me angry. Not angry at you by any means, but angry that this seems so complicated, and angry that it feels like we did so many things wrong, and angry that I don't know if I have it in me to change anything at this point.

  2. Lisa, I know exactly what you mean about things being so complicated! I was just saying that exact thing to someone (probably my husband)just last week (I can hear myself saying it, just can't remember the exact recipient). This whole situation has made me feel like I have lost my mind in a lot of ways!
    And, Lisa, I sooo know what you mean about not knowing if you can change. The only way I am able to change an inch is if I, #1, take things not even one day at a time, but even (I think it was you who said this, if I am not mistaken, sorry if I am wrong about who) situation by situation, hour by hour, minute by minute. And, most importantly, because God is on my side. That is the actual real reason. I couldn't do any of this if I didn't pray like crazy. Because let me tell you, as I try to "change the dance" as another adoptive mother, Cheri, told me, Isabella seems to be two or three steps ahead of me! How's that? Am I not the adult here? Shouldn't I be in control?
    And, doing things wrong. I cannot tell you how many hundreds, not an exaggeration, yes, hundreds, of conversations my husband and I have had about if we had only done this or that, or started things out differently. Oh, I know....
    And, you know the scary thing? I'm not convinced I'm changed! No, of course not. I have to rely on God for this. I have no energy left and no will to do anything anymore. People tell us to go to this or that place for therapy. Why? Nothing has worked so far.... That is truly where I am at with regard to her changing. Yes, it is sour. But, she has gone backwards with regard to change in the past 5-1/2 years, never forwards, so what do I have to believe in or hold on to? I feel your pain, Lisa. Maybe that is not what you wanted to hear. I feel bad. You probably needed to be brought up and I just made you feel worse! I am sorry. I am one of those people who are honest to a fault and say things like they are (if it's appropriate).
    Please don't stop sharing. You are so brave to share your honest feelings. You are helping others that might be too afraid to say exactly the same things you said, as they are thinking them, too. I will pray for you. I wish I could help in some other way. Let me know if I can....

  3. Thank you for the encouragement, Kristina. Your response didn't make me feel worse...I'm actually relieved that you are understanding what I am trying to say. It is so hard to know what will/can work. You are not the first parent who has told me that no therapy has helped their RAD child. I have heard that over and over. It really makes me sad for these kids. I know that God has a plan for every person who He gives life to; I am almost desperate to know what His plan is for these kids who seem to have such a disadvantage through no fault of their own initially. Yet, on the other hand, there are plenty of people who are disadvantaged and would have plausible reasons for not living their life for the best; yet they overcome and do well! I do not understand where RAD kids fit into this picture. Are they really not capable of making good choices and figuring out right from wrong and moving past the pain and issues? Is there really no way to help them grasp that they are valuable human beings with great worth? That seems to be the basis of our daughter's poor choices is the fact that she doesn't see that she's worth making good choices, that she will ever be good enough to have a good life. She picks people to surround her who will never challenge her choices, who will go down with her without a fight, who will never ask her to reach for more out of life. It is so painful to watch her destroy her life. Do we have any influence in this anymore? Can we help her when she doesn't include us in her life much? Is the effort, expense and time that we are planning to pour into this RAD counseling going to be productive? That's what I'm tossing around in my heart and mind.

    I do understand what you are saying about changing your dance. I read recently that A+B=C and if we cannot change B (the other person in the equation), then we can still change the answer (C) by changing A (me). I've thought about that a lot not just in parenting, but in other relationships as well. Interesting concept.