“Will you still adopt me?”
Missy has been having a tough time for the past week or so. Volatile, explosive. Any little thing can be cause for a tantrum (yes, she’s 8), she withdraws to her room, and has been sneaking stuff into school on an almost daily basis (stuff like fancy shoes and her DS). At the same time, she also writes me little love notes and is an angel child for parts of the day. Frankly, it’d be easy for me to focus mostly on the impossibility of living with her. But, well… wallowing doesn’t really move us forward does it?
Today we were walking back home from school. I’d been thinking all day about her behavior as of late. When we had our big conversation last month, telling her we’d adopt her and we’d be her forever parents, I knew that we might have some tough behaviors. Somehow though it still really got to me and I felt completely lost and unprepared about how to respond to her. I decided to use her therapist’s advice and approach her behavior as a mystery that needed to be solved. During her sessions, they put on pretend night-vision goggles, detective hats, and use a pretend tape-recorder. Looking at the whole scenario from a more objective viewpoint really helped and I came up with what I thought might be the cause. It wasn’t anything too earth shattering, but I decided to check out my theory.
So as we walked home from school, I told Missy about what I’d been wondering and asked her point-blank. “Missy, I’m wondering if you have been making choices that you know daddy and I don’t like, kind of on purpose. I’m wondering if you’ve been thinking about whether we’ll still adopt you, even if you make lots of choices that we don’t like.” Missy didn’t answer right away and I almost regretted my approach, but then with a small voice she said “well, yes. Actually, that’s exactly it… I really do want to live with my birth mom, I wish I could live with her.” I reminded her that the plan has been made and that her birth parents and her dad and I all together agreed that this was the place where she would live, that this was the safest and best place for her to live, and that that wouldn’t change no matter what choices she made. I told her I could understand her sadness and felt sad with her for it. I also told her that I know God made her just right, and that I love her dearly, and that I want to be her mom forever.
It broke my heart, because I know that these words will sound hollow to her for a long time, that the only way to really prove the truth of them is to actually live it, day in day out, and to continue loving on her even when it feels almost impossible. I’m so grateful that with God, all things are possible.