On the Edge


It’s time to ‘fess up. I’ve been hiding from my blog for the last several weeks. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, I have, but I’ve been reluctant to post.

It all started when DJ had a particularly bad tantrum over “screen time” (t.v. and video games) that ended in him calling our caseworker and telling her that DH and I are really mean to him and that he didn’t want to live with us anymore.

The whole thing got resolved, including a 90-minute visit from our caseworker, but the incident really rattled me. I think at first that I didn’t post about it because I was embarrassed. In my head, I knew that it wasn’t unusual for a child–biological or adoptive–to declare that they didn’t want to live with their parents when they didn’t get their way. But my heart, well, it wasn’t being logical.

A fear started growing inside me that maybe we weren’t the best parents for DJ. He’s been fortunate to have some great foster families that for various reasons weren’t able to offer permanency  Maybe DJ “really” belonged with them, I started to tell myself. To add to my feelings of dread, the adoption was supposed to be finalized in Feb. but the month was quickly coming to an end and still no official word. The precariousness of our situation suddenly felt very real in a way that it hadn’t since before DJ came to us in June, and for days I felt literally sick to my stomach over the whole thing.

That was several weeks ago now–and the adoption still hasn’t been finalized–but I’m feeling a lot better. In retrospect, I think the waiting for finalization was weighing on all of us so there was bound to be a blow-up at some point. Thankfully, the rough patch seems to have passed for now. Not that DJ doesn’t still say that he hates us sometimes and doesn’t want to live with us, but we seem to have crossed some imaginary boundary. Over the edge, so to speak. And instead of falling and breaking into a million little pieces, we’re still holding on to each other.

And I can finally post about it, which feels really good. I’ve been feeling so guilty about ignoring my blog that I almost titled this post “Confessions of an Adoptive Parent” but I was afraid that sounded a bit too sinister. But I promised myself when I started this project that I would tell the good and the bad–no matter how ugly–in the hopes that my experience might be helpful to someone else going through the adoption process. So with that, I’m going to hit “Publish” and give my sleeping son one more kiss good night.


10 responses »

    • You’re so right about needing to prove everyday to DJ that we’re his forever family. I think he asked me if I *really* love him a dozen times today. If he only knew how much.

  1. Adoptive or not, we all make those calls. I called 911 on my mom at the age of 5 when I didn’t get my way. And a few more times after that. It’s funny no but I’m sure my mom was rather mad.

  2. I know this sounds silly, but do you watch Parenthood? They had a similar scenario on the show this past season. Reading this sounds just like the script. I’m sure he’s just “on edge,” trying to make sure you’ll love him even when things are bad. Hang in there!

    • Actually, since DJ came, I’ve limited my TV almost exclusively to comedies…feels like there’s enough drama in my real life. But the few episodes I’ve seen of Parenthood were great so maybe I’ll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

      • I don’t blame you. It was a sad storyline, but it ended well. I’m sure a lot of adoptive families go through feelings of uncertainty. And waiting for it to be finalized has to difficult. You were meant to be together though. It will happen!

  3. Sharing the ugly days is just as important as the good ones. A newbie to foster care like me appreciates the stories and is reassured that even when you think you’ve hit the bottom, it’s possible to pick yourself up and get through it! Thank you for sharing!

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