the6parkers

the6parkers

Monday, October 7, 2013

You Don't Have To Be Perfect To Adopt A Teenager. Got That Covered.

Why don't people want to adopt teenagers? Is it because my teenager got mad at me several times the other day for reasons that didn't seem reasonable to me (but obviously to him)? Is it because they come with memories and issues and firmly established personalities? Is it because it's harder to entertain them? Is it because they are more expensive, eat all of your food, and change their opinion of things every 5 seconds? 

Yep.

Is it because they are typical, normal teenagers, but with extra baggage?  Is it because if you adopt a teenager, you are expected to jump right into the tumultuous waters that a typical parent usually has time to ease into?

Yep.

So, when people think it will be harder, they are right.   When they think that it will be frustrating to deal with issues that are not your fault, they are right.

I've been trying to post this blog for a couple of weeks.  When I initially wrote it, I was feeling introspective and positive; despite the fact that he wasn't speaking to me at the time. :) But, when I went back to proof it and post, I was feeling less optimistic and kind of scared that this was going to be a disaster.  So, I changed it.  Then when I went to proof and post that one, I was feeling better!  So, I changed it again.  I don't know what was frustrating me more.  The fact that his moodiness was affecting our home life or that his moodiness was affecting my blogging.  haha.

Then, this morning, it occurred to me.  This is what it is.  It is ridiculous of me to expect all of his days to be good.  And, it is likely that I'm not noticing that William, Antwan, and Lizzie are having good and bad days because I'm so focused on his. 

Patrick has been with us since the end of June. We've been through a lot, but I am aware that it could be worse.   He hasn't tried to burn the house down (he has stuck with the occasional burning of scrambled eggs).  He hasn't attacked the dog or stolen our money.   In fact, he has been fairly wonderful.

In the past month or so, I think we hit the "honeymoon is over" phase.  I want to say that it's just him that shifted, but, in reality, I probably did, too.  He has seemed moodier, grumpier, less patient, and sometimes, just unpleasant.  But, truth be told, I've also been moodier, grumpier, less patient, and, although it seems unlikely, haha, maybe a little unpleasant.  I'd like to say that all my emotions are a response to his, but I'm guessing there's some kind of wacky give and take.  Last week, he bent over backwards to be nice to me when I was feeling stressed.  Today, he's gone to his room twice because I apparently offended him; even though, I've been making an effort to be nice and pleasant. 

I just think, now that it's getting closer to finalization, there's a little bit of a worry (on both sides) that things won't stay the way that they were or that we'll change.  And, therefore, they are.  Or maybe this is just part of it all.  Who knows?  I try to look back on the transition with William.  I remember feeling some similar emotions and concerns, but when it comes down to it, it's just different with a younger child (he was five).

If Patrick's worrying about things changing, it's understandable. In his former adoption, that's what happened. By all accounts, his adoptive parents changed as soon as they finalized.   They went from forming a family unit to leaving him at home while they took their biological daughters out on outings, feeding him separately, and locking him in his room at night.   So, yeah, it makes sense if he has fears.

One night, several weeks ago, I tried to talk to him about it.   As we were in the kitchen, I said to him, "You know, we're not going to change, right? After we finalize..."   Patrick responded, dismissively, with a grin, "I know, I know."   Translation: I don't want to talk about it.  :)

And, I thought he meant it, but now I think I'm wrong.  I think that he isn't nearly as secure as he wants to be and wants us to believe.  And, who could blame him?  So many people have let him down.  It makes sense that he's sensitive to whether he's getting enough attention.  Or whether my tone is positive enough when he asks me a question.  Or whether I answer his voice fast enough when everyone is talking to me at once.  Or whether I can stay awake, too, when I let him stay up a little later because it's a Saturday night. 

It makes sense,  but it doesn't make it easier for me. 

He's spent a lot of time (from my perception) accusing me of not taking his opinions into account, not listening, and just plain being unfair.

I've spent a lot of time telling him that I'm sorry, that I very much care how he feels, or explaining that sometimes he has to just go with the flow and do what I need him to do because I'm mom.   My other favorite response is to remind him that we're both still trying to figure it all out.

AdoptUSkids has a slogan.  "You don't have to be a perfect to be a perfect parent.  There are thousands of teens in foster care who don't need perfection, they need you."  Well, I definitely am not perfect and, neither is he.  So, I guess that works out. :)

No, I'm not perfect. But, I'm the one who tucks him in at night. And, we're the ones who nag him about his homework. I'm the one who he has been forbidden to volunteer at his school, but I'm still the one who was willing.   And, Brian is the one who has him doing wacky impressions of famous people.   Could someone tell me how to make that stop, by the way?  ;)

No, he's not perfect.   But, he's the one who rushed over from across the street when the power went out in the neighborhood to make sure that we were ok.   He's the one who helps me with the groceries.   He's the one who proudly calls me his mom in public.   He's the one who wants me to tuck him in at night and secretly loves that someone cares if he does his homework. (Maybe love is a strong word.)  And, he's the one who makes the effort to speak in a gentler tone to William, Antwan, and Lizzie because we asked him to.


So why should people adopt teenagers when it is clearly more of a challenge?  Simple.  Because they are children who deserve homes.   They have been wounded by the world and some of the people in it.  And, they deserve to be happy.  Because our children in our country are growing up without actual families and that's not ok.

Since he came to us. His grades have improved.  Moodiness aside, he seems happier.  And, I hope his personal self worth has improved.   Being in a stable home is why he has a better chance at a successful future.   And, in our case, being in a home with three of his siblings is why he will have less of a hole in his heart from now on.  And, when I watch him wrestle with Antwan or strawberry Lizzie's belly, I know this is an absolute good.  

And, I have noticed that there are a lot of advantages to having a teenager. And, it's not just that I have someone to help with groceries or bring me a Cherry Coke at bedtime.  He does both of those things, though, without being asked.  :) 

What I love is the relationship that you can have with a teenager.   Hearing how his mind works. Watching him learn.   Cooking dinner together.  Seeing him play with his siblings and make up for the times when he didn't get the chance to play with them hen he was younger.  It all kind of rocks.


The other night, Brian noticed that there was a new "Teen Titans Go" on that we hadn't seen. He immediately paused it.  In minutes, the kids had brought out blankets, turned out the lights, and we all watched the show together.   Patrick was right there, laughing with us, because the show is hilarious. I looked around the living room that was cluttered with toys, blankets, random snack cake wrappers that no one seems to know how to throw away, and smiling faces; and I felt happy.

So, here's me; officially trying to stop taking things so personally (Brian's advice), be a little more patient, and try a little harder.  Because he deserves that and so do William, Antwan, and Lizzie, for that matter.

And, when I get mad and frustrated and scared that it's always going to be so hard, it's not going to be so easy to do all those smart things that I just wrote.  So, that's when I'm going to try to take a page from Patrick's book.  Here comes a page from Patrick's book!

It was morning time and he was not speaking to me because I snapped at him.  It happens.  I'm not proud of it, but it's not easy for me to stay chilled while trying to get 4 kids to school in the morning.  I had apologized, but hadn't quite been forgiven yet.  But, when I asked him if he wanted to go along on the boys' eye doctor visit (after school) or stay home.  He only pondered it briefly and said "I'll come along.  Because, even though, I'm very mad at you right now, I still want to be with you."

As much as I hate to admit that I kind of got schooled by the 13 year old (Am I too old to say "schooled?"), there it is.  So, if he can be so unconditionally committed to this crazy family, so can I. :)





 



47 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! Thank you for your honesty and wonderful story!

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  2. I am so happy for your family... for your teenage son being in a loving family now and reunited with his siblings, for his little brothers and sister having their big brother with them now, and for you adding to your family. I don't know you, but I'm going to say I'm proud of you for doing something that is considered really hard "adopting a teenager from foster care," and bringing love and family to a hurt teenager, and more love to his siblings and your family. It is so touching thinking of Patrick playing and bonding with his little brothers and sister, and having the love and family now that he never had!

    I'm an adoptive mom to two little girls (who are also bio sisters) and also an adoptee reunited with my birth family and hope maybe someday to adopt again if God blesses us to be able to do so, and I would like to adopt from foster care this time. Hugs to you and your precious family! ♥ twicethelove

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Hugs right back to you and yours! :) Good luck on potentially adding to your family, in the future. :)

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  3. Hang in there momma! You know the rewards are worth it, but sometimes we don't realize what is normal for teens, even though we were there before. It's a difficult time, at times, no matter how we got our kids. I roll with the punches through most things, and within my group of family and friends I was the only one with teens, so I didn't really have anyone to sound off on. I know that made some things seem larger than reality. Keep trudging along, it is always worth it, as you know! Right now my teens are no longer teens. One is married and about to have another child, my other about to go into the military. It has been such a blessing to share their lives!

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    1. Thanks for this. :) My friends have young kids, too (or no kids), so I know what you mean. This weekend was rough and I had to go back and read my post for a bit of inspiration, haha. But, yes, like you said, it's worth it. :)

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  4. Again, another brilliant post! Love reading your story!

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  5. This is fabulous. Brought tears to my eyes. You are a good mama.

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  6. What a great kid! So thankful you honestly post what is happening in your home. Very encouraging!

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    1. Thanks! He is a great kid. Exhausting, but great. ;)

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  7. Hey, I was just thinking you need to change the name of your blog to the 6 Parkers...or the 5+1 Parkers...LOL!

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    1. Yeah, I do! :) Even though, it's not legally official, we're definitely the 6 Parkers! :) I'm not sure how to change the web address, though, so I might be stuck with that one for awhile.

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  8. الاول سيو شركة الاول لخدمات التنظيف
    ومن اقسام الاول سيو قسم الخدمات المنزليه مثل افضل شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    وافضل شركة تنظيف شرق الرياض بالاضافة الى افضل شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالرياض وتغطى خدماتها شرق وشمال الرياض فالاول افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات شرق الرياض تستخدم اقوى المبيدات الحشرية
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف
    شركة تنظيف منازل بينبع


    شركة غسيل كنب بالرياض - شركة ترميم بالرياض
    الاول شركات تخزين اثاث بالرياض
    توفر افضل المستودعات لتخزين الاثاث والعفش التى تتوفر بها كل عوامل الامن للحفاظ على الاثاث وتقوم بتغليف الاثاث قبل تخزينه للمحافظة عليها فالاول افضل شركات تخزين العفش بالرياض ونوفر سيارات لنقل الاثاث من اى مكان داخل المملكة .

    شركة صيانة مكيفات بالرياض
    بالاضافة الى خدمة نقل اثاث بالرياض فنحن نمتلك اكبر اسطول نقل بالرياض يوفر لك افضل خدمة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    بالاضافة الى ان اسعارها في متناول الجميع فهى فالاول شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض رخصية بالمقارنة مع باقي الشركات بالرغم من جودة عملها ودقة المواعيد فهى تقوم بتغليف العفش للحفاظ عليه اثناء النقل وتقوم باستخدام سيارات مغطاه مخصصة لنقل العفش للحفاظ عليه من اضرار الشمس والامطار والاتربة فالاول افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض وتغطى كافة مدن المملكة
    نقل اثاث بالرياض - ارقام شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف اثاث بالرياض - تخزين العفش بالرياض
    وان كنت بحاجة الى شركة شراء اثاثك القديم المستعمل فباتصالك بنا تحصل على افضل شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض والخرج
    حقين شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض

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  9. شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض
    عند انتقالك عميلنا الكريم من مكان لمكان قد تحتاج الى شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض فكثيرا عندما نتقل من مكان لاخر او من منزل لاخر نحتاج الى مكان تخزين اثاث بالرياض لنقوم بتخزين الاثاث الزائد عن الحد واحيانا نقوم بالانتقال الى خارج المملكة لفترة خصوصا الاخوة المغتربون فيحتاجون لخدمة تخزين عفش بالرياض فشركة الشمس توفر افضل مستودعات تخزين اثاث بالرياض وافضل مستودعات تخزين اثاث بالرياض فلا تردد في الاتصال بالشمس افضل شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض وبالمملكة فنحن الافضل دائما
    شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض
    شركات تخزين الاثاث بالرياض

    وان كنت تريد الاستغناء وبيع بعض الاثاث القديم فشركة الشمس تقدم خدمة شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض بافضل الاسعار لانها افضل شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض تتميز بتوفيرها عدة ارقام محلات شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض وخدماتها تغطى جميع احياء ومناطق الرياض وتوفر ارقام شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض

    شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل شمال الرياض
    شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل شرق الرياض


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  10. تنظيف المنزل يحتاج الى ادوات تنظيف و مواد تنظيف عالية الجودة و هذه الامور لن تجدها الا فى افضل شركات التنظيف المختصة فى ذلك المجال و شركة قصر المملكة تقدم لك فرصة اكثر من خيالية و خدمة على اعلى مستوى فى تنظيف المنازل و الفلل و البيوت و القصور و الشقق الصغيرة
    شركة قصر المملكة لديها اكبر فريق عمل متخصص فى التنظيف كما ان الفريق الذى نستخدمه فى التنظيف على اعلى مستوى من الكفاءة و الامانة التى من اهم الاساسيات التى تبدأ بها عند انتقاء شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    فى شركتنا قصر المملكة نستخدم افضل مواد التنظيف ذات التاثير و الفاعلية و جميع مواد التنظيف التى نستخدمها فى عملنا مستوردة و غير مكلفة فى نفس الوقت و لكن لها فاعلية كبيرة فى تنظيف المنازل و من افضل الخدمات التى نقدمها فى
    قصر المملكة
    شركة نظافة بالرياض شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بخميس مشيط
    شركة نقل اثاث بخميس مشيط

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  11. افضل شركة خدمات وصيانه منزليه بالمملكه حيث شركتنا تعتمد كليا علي كفاءه العماله وخبرتهم وكفائتهم علي العمل .
    نعد افضل شركة رش مبيدات لمكافحة الحشرات الخطيره المؤذيه التي تسبب الكثير من الاضرار بالمنزل والامراض لاهل المنزل
    نعمل جيدا للحفاظ علي سمعتنا في سوق العمل.
    لذلك نعمل بافضل الطرق والاساليب ونستخدم افضل الاجهزه لنؤدي الخدمه علي افضل وجه ممكن
    شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
    شركة نقل اثاث وعفش بالطائف
    شركة تنظيف بالطائف
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف
    شركه كشف تسربات المياه بالطائف
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف
    تهمنا سلامه صحتك ونتمني لكم حياه خاليه من الامراض

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  12. شركة ركن الخليج
    افضل شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بالمنطقة الشرقية
    نعمل علي كسب ثقة العميل
    شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بالجبيل
    شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بالقطيف
    لايهمنا المقابل نعمل فقط لاجل السمعة
    شركة تنظيف وصيانة مسابح بالقطيف
    شركتنا تعمل 24 ساعة لاجل راحة العميل

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