Saturday, May 31, 2008

Riding the wave...

First of all, let me preface this with: I do not and have never intended this blog to be an arena to air my grievances or cause harm to any of my children/family members. Secondly, this is my only saving grace at sanity. If I can write about it, I can deal with it. So please bear with me, and don't judge me when you read what I'm about to write.

I have had many other adoptive parents attempt to explain the feelings we have for our adoptive children. The most frequent phrase I have heard is "it comes in waves." I don't think there can be a better way to explain it. You go on through the day to day life, and then there are these waves. Waves of emotion you don't really even know what to do with. Emotions stronger than anything I've ever experienced. Waves of heartache and love you never imagined possible. Waves of fear and pain. Fear of what happens in the future. Pain for what has happened in the past. Waves so strong it's easy to get caught up in it. Waves that come up so fast, you lose your footing. Waves that push you under and hold you under....

Today I got caught up in a wave...

We went to a family wedding today and Josh was the most anti-social I have ever seen him. Jameson was dancing on a cooler and asking everyone if they were related to her : ) So I know it can't be just "adoption" stuff. I know it's got to be personality stuff. And I know I have admittedly admired in the past Josh's predisposition to being quiet and thoughtful. But today... today it just annoyed me.

We took family pictures, and he wouldn't even get in them without a lot of prodding. This was before the people actually even started arriving ... so I know it's not just the fact that there were a lot of people there. When I attempted to get him to kneel down for the pictures ... "What? I don't understand." So I told him to do what Jack's doing... So instead he wandered off, ignored me, pretended not to hear me, and in general do the opposite of everything I said...

As soon as the wedding was off, he was gone. Wandering around in the weeds. He refused to get in line for food ... so when I finally made him get in line for food, they were out of hamburgers. He refused to try the BBQ ribs. OH, they were so good. Jameson had 4 of them. He refused to try anything at all. So he ate potatoe chips for lunch. And I let him.
At this point, I was really annoyed. We tried to get him engaged with us. We tried to get him to be a part of the family. He played in the rain.
He stayed out in the rain, by himself for the rest of the day.
In the rain.
Jeff wasn't annoyed at all. I guess he understood Josh's need to be alone. I guess he understood his need to be a boy and play in the woods. But Jack also played in the woods and in the rain, but he also interacted with people. He would come over for his hugs and kisses occasionally. He was still connected. Josh was completely disconnected from us for the whole day.
Maybe I'm just in an annoyed mood. Could be. Could be that I expect more out of him after almost 4 months...

Disclaimer: Please don't send me any hate mail. I only share here because I know it's safe. I know you are my friends, and I know I can spill my guts here. Please don't tell me I'm being too hard on him. I know that. I know in my heart that I have no right to be annoyed. I'm beating myself up as we speak. I know he's hurt and he's new here. I know he's been through so much. But just as Jameson's emotions that she hurls at me hurts, so does Josh's lack of emotions. I just want to scream: DO SOMETHING. Feel something. Get mad, get sad, get it out and move on.
And so we continue on in our daily battle to make sense of it all. Riding the wave all the way to happiness...


The Wilkinsons said...

I am completely annoyed with Aiden today. I know in ways it not the same and in ways it is exactly the same. I'll ride the wave with you today friend.

GG said...

Thank you.

Julie said...

As always I appreciate these posts the most because they give me a true clear picture of some of the hurdles we will soon be faced with. Thank you for sharing and I'm praying he will be over his funk soon!

Jim & Laurel said...


Oh ... I am so there with you. One of my precious new ones (we've been "family", also, for 4 months) has a totally emotionless mask.

When asked, "Are you sad?" the response is an adamant, "NO".

When asked, "Are you angry?" the same tone of "NO" is heard.

When asked, "Are you happy?" the "YES" response is still the sharp tone, with no hint of a smile on her face.

And .... our kids came from Ghana, speaking almost perfect English (with an adorable British accent). So, it is not that this child has any misunderstanding of these terms. She just chooses to show us no emotion, at times.

During those times, she also chooses to completely ignore the "Hellos" from well-meaning friends, such as our pastor last night. Yes, I was embarrassed. There was absolutely no reason for her to be so rude and disrespectful to a simple "hello". She turned away, wouldn't look at him, and completely refused his friendship.

Praying for you!


Kitchenchick said...

Sorry to hear you are having a rough ride! I have a 13 yr old bio son who acts the same way sometimes....I am sure with the added layer of issues that come with adoption it's harder. I can tell you are a great mom. Hang in there!!


Shawn said...

Wow is all I can say because I can relate to you more than you know. I just went through the same thing with my adopted 10 year old daughter just yesterday. We were at a cookout at a friends house and she just refused to engage in any kind of fun at all. She wouldn't leave the adults alone for some peace. I was completely annoyed and wanted an adult moment to myself yet I was feeling selfish for wanting that. It's a long and windy road my friend but as you say, "let's ride this wave together!" Please feel free to check out my blog site too @

Shawn said...

You wouldn't believe that I've just been through the exact same thing with my adopted daughter. We were at a friends house for a cookout yesterday and she refused to play with the other girls including her own sister. She was driving me crazy. All I wanted was a little bit of adult conversation with my girlfriend but my daughter was going to make sure it didn't happen. I was so annoyed and at the same time feeling guilty for being so selfish. You're not alone. I'm sure you can relate to my blog too @


Shawn said...


You and I have much in common. I've only recently been through the exact same thing with my adopted 10 year old daughter from Ethiopia. We could swap stories and feel better. I have my own blog site too. It's

Would love to chat.