So, as you can see from my FB posts, it's been real learning curve with the girl. I feel as though I really am a parent now -- although the boy has been with us for 7 years, hubby has done so much with him that I often felt I was only necessary for rent, bills, and cooking. Hubby assures me that's not true, but I have never felt really close to the boy -- there is a limit to how far he will let me "in", and that will likely be true throughout our relationship. However, I'm starting to see a heart-bond with the girl that I believe will be strong. There are glimpses of it -- last night we started doing some English literacy and phonics exercises and it was quite wonderful to work with her and show her the joy of learning. To see her face light up when I praised her for her work. To see her go the extra mile with the activities and do more than required.
Being an adoptive/foster parent is very different from being a biological parent, I think, especially when the adopted/fostered kids come to you at an older age. One of the biggest differences for me is realizing that the natural undercurrent of love that exists between birth parents and their children may take longer to form between adoptive/foster parents and children or it may not happen at all. It took 5 years for the boy to hold my hand of his own volition. Recently, a friend who had survived abusive foster homes, revealed to me that it took her 10 years to kiss her adoptive mother. My point is that when the storms arise, as they do with pre-teens (and I have two of them now), that undercurrent of love, the memory of the love and bond that was there before, well, it's not there, so it makes the storms harder to weather.
So, yes, I acknowledge that adolescent angst is a thing all kids go through, but for us, when there is no history of love to help shield us from the angry barbs, it's sometimes like getting a face full of vitriol from a stranger.
Happily though, things are changing, softening. There are more days of peace between the storms -- we are learning how to navigate our individual ships without crashing into each other. Our love is growing, and our hearts are slowly opening. We all have to let our guards done and be more fearless, and that's the toughest thing to do, isn't it?
Thanks for your support as always,