Saturday, October 01, 2011

Breaking News

We have news. First of all, Salinda is moving home with Gabby today. This brings about many feelings in me because this has happened before and it never seems to last more than a few days. She comes and stays a while, but then she is gone. So I have a dilemma. ANd while she is here she is not doing the things that I think are important for her to meld into our family system, but since it never lasts long, I don't deal with it all.

So I am asking myself if I should her the whole thing and have a long, emotionally difficult conversation to really explain what I think needs to happen if she moves in and potentially waste all that emotional energy because she is back out the door in another 4 days? Henry has broken up with her before, but when she and Gabby actually are away from him, then he wants them back.

But this time is a bit different. She has taken the last of her GED tests. She probably passed. She would like to go to college. SO maybe she will stay.

So if I put off "the conversation" thinking she might leave and then she develops habits of living here that I don't intend to continue, will it then become even more difficult to have the conversation.

I think I have decided that I am going to tell her tonight that in a couple weeks if she is still here we will start to talk about the future and that she can be a guest here for those two weeks. In the past she always acts like a guest here -- as if she shouldn't contribute much but expects to be included in everything the family does.

During this two weeks I would really like to focus on getting to know her as an adult and hearing about what she wants from life. So that is my approach for now. But to say that the whole idea doesn't add anxiety to my life would be a lie.

I am sure that I am not the only one who goes through all this. Lately Brenda, the Adoption Counselor (who I happen to have met in person and I think is a genius as well as just an all round wonderful person (and no, she didn't pay me to write that) has been writing about how parents who have survived trauma need to recover. So I know that there are now people out there writing about those years when things get really tricky -- the years where you have to help each adult child decide what is best for them while still deciding what is best for the kids still at home.

Bart and I were discussing this and talking about how Mike and John had multiple multiple chances at home. They stole from us, they lied to us, and in Mike's case, they refused to obey our rules. Making final decisions after giving them "one last chance" more than once was what was best for our family.

But Salinda hasn't had her chances as an adult yet. And just because we are tired now, and feel a bit abused by her older siblings, doesn't mean that she shouldn't have parents giving her the same chances we gave them. And in fact, the times that she has lived with us she hasn't done anything bad to us. She just hasn't done anything.

So, it's time for me to open my heart and our home once again to an adult child and see how things play out. It makes me nervous -- because the way of life she is accustomed too is very very different from the value system in our home.

But I need to take my own advice and, as one of the chapters in my new book says, I need to break things down into manageable pieces.

Speaking of that new book this is our new news. Not only can you preorder it at our online store (use the coupon preorder to save), you can now download it for the kindle! Also, if you're curious, there is a preview on the kindle site of the first few pages so you can see if you like it. I can't imagine how people wouldn't want to be a book that starts with having everyone join the author in repeating the words, "Morbidly Obese."

SO.... download it or order it today. And if you download it and want to write a review that would be awesome. My other books are also available for the Kindle. A Glimpse of God's Heart: How Trying to Change My Kids Changed Me and the first book, that I wrote with Bart, called "Out of Many One Family: How Two Adults Claimed Twelve Children Through Adoption." There are little sneak previews of each book if you click on the "look inside" feature over the graphic of the front page.

And one more thing. We never did hear a word back about the 16 year old. It's been over 2 weeks since our interview. I'm annoyed that there has been no contact. I expected better practice than that.

But maybe God knew that Salinda was going to be coming home to stay... who knows. I'm just going to try to take all this one step at a time.


2busyannie said...

Would handing her a contract outlining your rules and consequences and then telling her that she has two weeks to sign and abide by it work? Then you could avoid the face-to-face confrontation that might set her off.

Just wondering. I tried a contract with my fourteen year old. She signed it and then ignored everything we talked about. But it made me feel better to have my expectations and consequences written out.

Claudia said...

I have tried this with her several times in the past. She always agrees to everything, signs it, and then ignores it. I'm hoping a different approach that is more relational and based on mutual understanding might work.

But I'm MUCH better at contracts!

robyncalgary said...

i love love love this post. insightful and honest.


"Salinda hasn't had her chances as an adult yet. And just because we are tired now, and feel a bit abused by her older siblings, doesn't mean that she shouldn't have parents giving her the same chances we gave them. And in fact, the times that she has lived with us she hasn't done anything bad to us. She just hasn't done anything"


more relationship approach sounds worth a good try, i remember you saying things in the past (i think it was you) about how if you could go back in time and do things again, you would focus more on relationship then obediance (or something along those lines)

i wish you all the best, gabby is getting so BIG and i hope salinda's stay is long term and college is in her future soon. she deserves success and the confidence it brings

Adoptive Legacy said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. You seem to be a woman after my own heart. Thank you for your honesty about dealing with your "adult children." We are on that side of the fence now and it is so hard to see them making mistakes that cause them more pain. Letting go and giving more chances are sometimes the hardest things to do.