the6parkers

the6parkers

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Just When I Thought I Had It All Figured Out, Our Life Is Changing Again.


If you told me, a year ago, that I would be writing this blog, I wouldn't have believed you....

Wow, that's such a typical way to begin a story, but it's so true.  A year ago, after a challenging two week visit with Patrick (my children's older biological brother), I was confident that we would continue to do occasional visits with him, but that would be the extent of it.  Between his issues and my inexperience dealing with a teenager, it was...not easy.

But, that has changed.

This year, I have learned many things about Patrick and myself.  After learning more about his past, I've come to understand why he acted in certain ways.  After learning more about my present, I've come to understand that I needed to change certain ways that I acted.  I've learned that once you get past his guarded exterior, he has this sweet, gentle soul (don't tell him that I said that because I'm sure he'll deny it!) and an appreciation for the silly, which is kind of a prerequisite for fitting in here.  (I have an awesome picture of the four of them in matching Superman shirts to verify this, haha.  I so wish that I could post it here!)
 


They say that life is about change and I've always hated change. I'm a creature of habit. I've eaten the same breakfast almost every morning for about a decade.  When I wear my shoes out, I go and buy a pair just like them. And, when I go out to eat, I order the same thing - EVERY time.  Sadly, this can result in a near tears Emily when a restaurant discontinues "my" item.  And, unfortunately for Brian, this results in him having to figure out what to feed me. ;)

The same rule doesn't apply to my children. When William and Antwan came to live with us, the agency skipped the required overnight visit and went straight to the placement.  And, I was thrilled.  When Lizzie came to live with us, they called on a Tuesday to advise us of her existence and she came on Thursday.   And, I was thrilled. 

Well, thrilled and terrified.  :)

Talk about change.   Talk about out-of-control.   Talk about being forced to develop new habits.   And, of course, talk about finding out what real happiness is.

So, I created a new normal.  And, things eventually settled into a routine. 

And, now, it looks like I'm adding a bouncing teenage boy to our life.


Because, after a year of having Patrick in our lives: a year of wondering what goes through his head, wondering how he's so well-adjusted after what he's gone through, wondering how he could take offense to certain things, wondering how he could be so sweet, wondering where he puts all that the food that he eats, wondering how to keep a 13 year old entertained...  After a year of visits, of fighting him for the computer, fighting him for the recliner, feeling like I was losing my mind (because 4 kids in a house is like, well, having 4 kids in a house); it comes down to this.  Patrick belongs with us.

Patrick should be a Parker. 

Why?  Because he's an amazing kid who deserves a shot.  Because he's got a really, really good heart.  Because he's their brother.  Because he has had a ridiculous amount of bad luck (to use the term loosely) in his life.  And, most importantly, because we love him.

I was scared to make this decision.   We talked and talked and talked.   Change is scary.  And, as I mentioned, I don't like it.  I'm more of the "if it's not broken, don't fix it" mentality.  And, we weren't broken.  But it's turns out that we could use a little home improvement. ;)  (Did I go too far with that analogy??)

So, soon, he'll be a Parker and I'll stop calling him Patrick in my blog.  Because, it's a cool name, but it's not his.  I'll start buying in bulk because, seriously, the kid's tummy is never full.  I'll keep my promise to downplay the hugs when teenagers are nearby and he'll keep his promise to not hurt my feelings by running away (again) if I try to hug him in public.  Ok, I don't know if he'll keep that promise, but I'm the eternal optimist! ;)  I'll attend his band concerts.  I'll probably cry because I do that.  He'll probably roll his eyes.  I'll do everything that I'm supposed to do and, hopefully, I'll do it well.

I'll embrace my new normal.

And, I will be his mom and I will love him forever.  Just like I will love William, Antwan, and Lizzie, forever.



And, if there was any doubt that we are doing the right thing...

I constantly peek around corners and try to catch moments. :)


Copying each other :)

 



Helping his little brother out in the water.

37 comments:

  1. That is so exciting, I think you have done this the right way. Taking your time getting to know him, and then making the decision. You are a mom after my own heart, you were more interested in being a mom then "getting a baby", not that you didn't want a baby, but you saw past thinking that is the only way to adopt. We have adopted three children who were 6 or older, one that was six months, and our last two came as newborns, but older children adoption takes a special kind of mom. You are an amazing women for loving these kids, and you have the added bonus of the race issue to deal with, you truly amaze me. Thank you for setting such a great example to all of us.

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    1. Thank you! I do feel better this way. Part of me kept waiting for him to "change" or stop performing. Over the last visit, he definitely started showing all sides of himself. Not in a bad way, just in a "he's a teenager" way. :) But, I feel like I have a sense of what I'm getting into. As much as is possible, anyway! :) Wow, you really have a full house! That makes me seem like a light weight, ha. It will be interesting to see how Patrick deals with the race issue. He is coming from an area where he is the majority and, unfortunately, is now going to enter a school where he will be one of the few black children. He said that's his only concern about coming here. Should be interesting. Thank you for your kind words and for reading!!

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    2. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed and need a fellow adoptive mom to talk to, I also have three teenagers, just drop me a line at dkmiller@shaw.ca. I know sometimes other moms just don't understand and it's nice to talk to someone who does.

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    3. That's so nice of you, thanks! :) (emburns29@msn.com)

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  2. i am so so so so so excited for you guys! I have loved following your journey over the last year or so and look forward to seeing Patrick join your family!

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    1. Thank you! I still can't believe it's happening! :)

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  3. you NEVER figure anything out-keeps us on out toes and dependant on God

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  4. I am completely unsurprised. In fact, I knew it from your post's title. :D

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    1. Haha, I was trying to be slightly cryptic, but I guess not. :)

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  5. I am completely unsurprised. In fact, I knew it from your post's title. :D

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  6. This is amazing. Congratulations!

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  7. A cool story with siblings staying together. What a blessing for them, and of course for you!

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    1. Thank you! We're so glad that we can keep them together. :)

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  8. Akkkkkkkk! I'm so excited for you guys. This post gave me goose bumps...I'm just in tears! A growing family - sooo wonderful. It will be challenging, and rewarding, and an emotional roller coaster most of the time but what an exciting adventure this will be for all of you. That's what life is like with teenagers!!! Think of all of the fun you will have together. AMAZING AMAZING news. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. So happy for all of you - complete strangers that you are....thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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  9. YAY!!!!! Every time I read your blog I pray for this! I'm so excited for you all!

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  10. Tears rolling down my face. You don't know me, but your family is already in my prayers. Know that when you have tough days, I'm praying for you. How awesome for him to know that "warts and all" he's worthy enough to be loved unconditionally.

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  11. Congrats to u all

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