The other night I went to my monthly Help One Child meeting. I can't stress enough how important it is for parents of adopted kids to have a group of people that can empathize with you, share the joys and frustrations, and be a source of support. We usually go around the circle and share what has gone on the past month. Some have had it relatively easy, and we get hope that there are good times coming. Some have had bad months, and we know we are not alone. It's one of those places where we can give and receive advice, knowing that each child is different, each situation is different, but it's worth a try. It's a place where people understand that our kids' behaviors aren't a sign that we are really bad parents, but we are parents trying our best to help our kids who are far from typical.
We also watched a training on a video this time. It was good to hear people comment afterwards about how the training skipped what we most needed to hear, and just gave a disclaimer about following state laws in handling a child who is out of control. We agreed that we were pretty good at guiding a child who is slowly escalating, but what do you do with a child who jumps to a rage as soon as you tell him he needs to wait a minute for a drink of water? Yes, I've had kids rage in the car, three minutes from home, because I wouldn't stop the car immediately, on the highway, and give them a drink. In their minds, they were going to die if they didn't get the water now! This is typical behavior for an infant, but not for an eight or nine year old. The other parents in my Help One Child meeting understand, really understand. They also understand how we can fiercely love our kids, no matter how they behave. And no matter how hard things are, we'd bring our kids into our homes and hearts again, if we could do it all over.