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.