Not that life is always easy, but we are really enjoying our little Brianna. She keeps us hopping that is for sure. But in a good way! She seems to want to know the difference between the way we will love or discipline her and the way it's happened in the past. It's difficult to know always what to do with very strong willed children. Can't say I've been perfect at it myself, but we do far more right than wrong. [The approach to parenting traumatized or difficult children, called "Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control," has been a lifesaver. Both for our family, and for the families of those I am privileged to teach at work.]
As a testimony to that approach, Brianna has almost never wanted to go back to her other family, though she has missed them. She occasionally has been afraid that if we were to visit with them, we would leave her there. We have to keep reassuring her that she is in OUR family now, a thought she still seems to find difficult to believe. Twice she's pulled out her suitcase and started packing, in a demonstration of hurt beyond her years, saying, "You don't WANT me here??" Oh yes, Brianna, we want you here. You are part of our life, present and future. She told our good friends the other day, "You know what? I'm adopted and sealed!" I added, "And that means you will always be a part of our family."
There is, however, no shortage of limit setting, constant focusing of attention on her (if we don't want her to destroy something she shouldn't), and frequent reassuring her of our love. It's difficult for her to feel completely safe, given that family settings have always shifted around her. We want to be that constant for her, even when other family members come and go. We hope it's not too late for her to relax into security eventually, even when the world around her is filled with change.
I know people wonder just why we would do this at our age. Truthfully, we don't know. We love the family we already have; grandchildren especially have brought such light and joy to our lives. We have loved our children and their spouses; and we certainly have always loved each other. We just felt compelled to do this; to bring into our home a new child, one whom we could help, and one from whom we could learn, and one more person to love. I just hope this one little girl doesn't detract from the relationship we have with other family members. I don't want anyone to think we love them less because she is in our lives. Once my grandson asked us, "Grandma, [my sister] said to me that you love Brianna more than me." Oh, no, sweet boy, we couldn't do that. We love YOU as much as your sisters, as much as your brother, your parents, your aunts, uncles and other cousins. And when we miss one member of the family, we feel the pain, even while we are loving having others in our lives. We love them all.
And how just how do you measure love? You just love everyone. What part of the ocean is more beautiful? or the sky? It's all one giant living thing, like the the love of a parent for her children, or grandchildren. There is no end to it.
I'm just grateful for someone else to ALSO love. It's a wonderful thing.
Rhubarb Oat Bars
2 years ago