Accentuate the Positive

I realize that sometimes I’m guilty of sharing the hard parenting moments and breezing right over the good stuff. So I’d like to give you an update on our struggles with T and his challenging behaviors, because we’ve had a few pretty amazing breakthroughs. I attribute them in large part to the work we’ve been doing since we attended the Heather Forbes seminar a few months back.

Far and away the most challenging thing for me to deal with has been T’s rejection of me. Even when I’m able to remain grounded and patient and not take it personally all day long (it’s a rare day, but it happens), come bedtime I still find myself lying there with tears rolling down my face, thinking that in a million years I never imagined being a mother would feel like this.

I’ve decided to answer his rejection with yet more affection. Every time my impulse is to walk away, I instead go tell him I love him and offer another hug. Even if it means getting bopped in the face with a train car yet again.

Well, I’m thrilled to report that there’s been a definite shift. I’m still getting a pretty regular smack-down; I got an airplane wing in the eyeball just yesterday. But T has been accepting my love and snuggles lately more often than not. We’re having more fun together when we hang out just the two of us. And he’s been looking to me for comfort, which is major.

I imagine for parents with children without disrupted attachment, this must sound as normal as breathing. But for us it signals a profound shift.

Scott is leaving for tour tomorrow and I dread the fallout of that because Daddy is the star of our show around here. I imagine we’ll have some good old fashioned regression. But overall, I feel tremendously encouraged.

And yes, that’s a whoopie cushion he’s sitting on in the picture. Because I believe it’s important to expose children to culture as early as possible.

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6 thoughts on “Accentuate the Positive

  1. Read this excerpt last night and thought about our kids:
    “When a child first catches adults out- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.”
    -John Steinbeck

    Our kids had their gods fall too early. I disagree with Mr. Steinbeck, though, at the end where he says that they never quite shine again. I’m more optimistic than he was. 🙂

  2. Jill, I really admire your honesty about your adoption experience and raising your baby, T, he is adorable. I too have an adopted child, from China, a girl named Ellie and 4 biological daughters. Lots of hormones and lots of love and kisses at our house!
    My interest was peaked when you mentioned the term “disrupted attachment”. I have never heard this term before, but it sounds all too familiar to me, the distance that is maintained between the child and the parents, usually me, vacillating between acceptance and rejection, so painful for us, but probably a result of past female bonds in the orphanage. Is this definition correct? I have always imagined that my daughter Ellie is a “survivor” and after her being here with us for 6 years she is thriving and our relationship is great, but sometimes when I lean over to give her that goodnight kiss, I can still feel her hesitation.
    Bottom line all we can do is love our children, no matter their beginnings and I wish you all the best, you seem to be doing a great job being a momma!

  3. I am SO behind on blogs.

    But I had to stop and comment because this took my breath away:

    “he’s been looking to me for comfort”

    OH MY COW!

    Happy, stinging tears in my eyes for you.

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