Friday, March 28, 2014

Am I allowed to be angry?? (just keeping it real)

I have a chip on my shoulder.  I have been carrying it since 2010.

I don't like that I feel this way but I do.  Its how God has grown me to be His servant.

My nature is to be a nurturer.  Most moms are and they gladly do what is necessary for their family.
(OK...maybe not always... but most know what they are signing up for when they get married and have children)

I just feel like I was duped.  Told one thing but didn't get what I thought I was getting.  I don't mean to sound callous.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I am just dealing with issues I didn't request. It happens all the time in the adoption world....   all.    the.    time.

In the Fall of 2009, our family was comprised of 6 children ages 21, 18, 6,5,4, and 4.  We had adopted four toddlers in as many years.  I completely had my hands full with the "littles" but the Lord had not calmed my heart for the orphan.  (Now, I know he'll never do that!)  My husband and I found a beautiful, smiling, "full of life" little girl on a waiting child list we decided to adopt.  She was 11 when we found her.  Right smack in the middle of the kids we were parenting at the time.  Self sufficient and ready to come into our family with hardly a blink of our eyes.


 My first realization that her file was not accurate was after I met her.  We were on the second floor of a government building which had no elevators.  Our gotcha moment was precious and she was everything I saw in her photos.  Sweet, tiny, and smiley.  At 11 years old, she was barely up to my chest and weighed a bit over 50 pounds.  She was scared and I praised God for allowing us to adopt two older girls at the same time. They had each other for comfort. ( our other daughter was adopted the week before - a few days from her 14th birthday)

After the papers were signed, we were on our way.  We followed the orphanage staff out the door and into the hallway to the top of the steps.  I reached for my daughter's hand to assist her on the steps when the orphanage director said, "She cannot use the steps".  I was floored. Why was I so surprised?
My daughter's file clearly had the box checked that said - CAN do steps.  Seriously?  We lived in a split foyer home....enter and you choose-- steps up or steps down.  I was reeling, meanwhile, I bent over and she leaned on my back to carry her down two flights of steps and out to the ground level of the building.


To make a long story short - she wanted me to do everything for her -- even help her toilet and wipe.
I was shocked but still in love with the idea of this sweet smiley girl.  She had my heart and I had loved her for a long time already.

By the time I had spent 24 hours with her, I found that she needed almost complete care for getting dressed, shoes, socks, hair care, toileting, showering, steps(long distance walking was certainly out of the question), carrying anything that was heavier than a pound or two, and getting in and out of a car.
 The amount of lifting I did the first day was unreal since China is NOT handicap friendly AT ALL.

Today, she is more self sufficient because we make her do anything remotely possible for her to do independently.  She does toilet herself and she can walk longer distances.  She can carry her dinner plate to the sink for washing as well as dress the upper half of her body.  I still do her hair, dress the bottom half of her body, shower her, carry her backpack, and lift her up and down steps as best I can.  She has come a long way and we are very proud of her. 

But - I am still angry.

As I got to know her, I found she was a favorite at her orphanage and THE LEADER.  She was "entitled" and brought that attitude with her to our home.  She would ask for assistance with everything that would involve even a little energy expenditure on her part.  Now, when dad and I aren't around, she gets her siblings to do her bidding.  This makes it even harder to "serve" her as she believes it is expected and is far from grateful.  She doesn't even seem to care that her demands inconvenience us.

I know she has been dealt a terrible hand in life.  I would never wish this special need on anyone; however, she needs to TRY her best to do what she can.  I am not an enabler and I never will be.  My children learn at a young age to do what they can for themselves because I want them to learn independence and self sufficiency.  Its a parent's job to teach the child. 

So, here I am, four years later, still angry.  I pray about this anger every day and hope that God gives me grace.  I pray I give my daughter grace.

 I have to be like Jesus.
 I have to suck it up and deal with it.  HE is teaching me...Its what parents do...

**Disclaimer:  I love my daughter and this is MY issue--not hers.  I love her dearly and I know I have been called to be her mom. Jesus helps me show His light to her.  I am thankful. ***

Just keepin' it real.


  1. Thank you so much for being real. I'm struggling with alot of your same emotions. Being a servant 24/7 isn't easy. It is hard. We are "only" 2 year into our struggle.....Oyi. Praying for you today. Thank you for encouraging my heart that I'm not alone in my feelings!

  2. I relate to your post in m own personal ways..Our unexpected addition of a 1 year old while parenting a 2, 3, 7, 9, 12, and 15 brought things out of my heart that I had NO IDEA were there. May His grace continue to guide you on this path and may a grateful heart continue to take you to Him in your needs. Hugs!!

  3. I have one who was the orphanage favorite also. He was 10 when we adopted him from Ukraine. They told us he was a great helper, and wonderful with younger kids. He is the biological brother of the son we adopted 3 yrs before. The first one is 6 yrs younger. The older is not good with young kids-we can not leave him alone with anyone younger or weaker, nor is he a good helper. 5 .5 yrs later he still expects people to wait on him-even though we do not. He has no physical issues but many psychological issues that stem from being so spoiled in the orphanage. He thinks anything that he wants is his and has been caught stealing over and over, His psychologist says there isn't anything he can do, Real life will teach him and it isn't going to be easy on him. He turns 16 tomorrow. We love him but man is it frustrating.

  4. I like the real. I too have decided to make my blog more real. I have a post in drafts because I haven't decided if I am ready for as real as that post is. Keep it up! We all need to know we are not alone in our journey.

  5. GREAT post Kelly! It doesn't mean we love our children any less (it could mean we love them more!) ... but this stuff is definitely HARD. Thanks for your honesty.

  6. Honest. You will probably get flak for it. But it is time someone stands up and says loving our children doesn't mean we love everything we have face as a parent. Being a parent isn't about making us or our children happy and tying everything up into a pretty little bow. It IS about making us HOLY - the fire in which God refines us into the image of His son. And being honest with other parents is part of that fire. It does none of us any good to hide behind pasted on smiles, comparing ourselves unfavorably to people we think are doing better than us but are really struggling just as much as we are. When we join together we are all better for it.

  7. Well, all I can say, is, DITTO!!!
    2 adopted 2 years ago, and EVERYTHING in their files was way off-
    it is so discouraging, and yes, refining, and yes, HARD!!!!
    Being real is the only way to be, even if it upsets some-keep up the good fight! and thanks for sharing

  8. Karen,
    My daughter Mary-Katherine ( YankLi) was your daughter's caregiver at the orphanage and knows her very well. She agrees with everything you say.

  9. I feel ya, can totally relate. At least we can all be encouraged that we're in this together, we're not alone. Many families are going through these kinds of things.

  10. 9 years into our process with our oldest adoptee and she does not think like I think and still has a lot of anger. I love her dearly but I wonder how she will fare when she has to leave home. Thanks for keeping it real!!!

  11. Thank you dear Kelly! It is hard being "real" and I so appreciate it! I had that same anger in China, anger at someone (I did not know who) for the situation one of our daughters had lived in and anger at the Lord for not making me feel totally and completely equipped for the overwhelming needs of our 2 newest daughters (both with CP). It was a long hard trip and like your sweet girl, our girls are learning that they are capable and I am learning that the Lord equips, day by day! It is a long hard road but I know you know that we would not change a thing. This is His plan and His path and He has chosen you and your sweet family to walk it out and help so many others along the way!