As many of you know, I have a 14 year old adopted son whom we adopted when he was 2 days old. As a result of the trauma of being adopted, he has displayed many behaviors that have caused our family unit a great deal of stress. Now, there's an understatement.
Over the years, I have experienced many different responses, reactions and coping mechanisms for dealing with such an incredibly difficult situation such as ours; in the past year it has been by blogging about my experience as a parent to our son.
I know there are adoptive parents who might feel that the events and feelings that I write about could be considered "TMI, too personal and inappropriate parental oversharing." I know that my son does not want me to post any pictures of him and I do honor his request; you won't see ANY pictures of him, not even from the back, coming from me.
But, in my own defense, and in describing myself as someone who started and finished many days in tears, I have discovered my blog voice as an intensely cathartic experience. My intention is not to embarrass my son in any way nor to "to air our dirty laundry" but to share my experience of a child traumatized by adoption, suffering with severe anxiety disorder and incapacitating sensory processing disorder in hopes that I can help other families in the same predicament who are just starting out.
I really wished that some other parent might have told me that yes, it does get better, just hang in there. Of course, nobody can predict the future and every child is unique. But what I have learned about children with severe sensory processing disorder is that although they don't outgrow it, they do learn how to cope with it so that it becomes less and less problematic for them and for their entire family. Those days when my son refused to go to school because "his shoes were too tight" are long gone... and we are talking about 6 month old shoes. Or understanding why he refused to relinquish all the things he had accumulated from an early age. This was his way of comforting himself when he thought we might abandon him, as well. So many baffling behaviors that didn't make sense but now they do.
A lot of the reason I write what I write is to vent, and to be heard and acknowledged by others. I receive a lot of amazing support from other parents, from other bloggers, from my friends and from my family. And for that, I am truly grateful. My parenting experience is not the typical one. I don't think most parents have called the police, had them turn up, handcuff their 12 year old child and put him in a paddy wagon in order to transport him to a psychiatric hospital. Which parent is equipped to handle that? I know of no one.
This makes me realize that I am not alone on this journey; one that I never anticipated having to make and one that I never thought I had the strength and fortitude to weather all these years. No parent dealing with these types of situations should have to do it alone and yet so many of us have to because we live in a country where respite services are not available. My hope in writing my blog is to help at least one other parent unravel the mysteries of her child's behavior. If I do that, then I consider myself to be a very successful writer.
I would love to hear from other parents, adoptive or biological. How much info about your kids do you share? How much is too much?
If you enjoyed this post, you might like this one even better...
10 Great Things That Happened After My Son's Rampage
Or this one for which I won 2nd prize in the ChicagoNow Best Post Contest
Just Another Day with My Son with an Invisible Disability
If you enjoy my rantings and ravings and don't want to miss a single new post, please sign up for a subscription. It's really easy. Here's how...
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.