Smlwoman\’s Weblog

“Waiting for that golden moment when fear and desire die, and only the unspeakable reality of love remains. “

Loving Strangers February 3, 2011

I was reading a friends blog and she mentioned something that I have been struggling with as well.  Kids adapting to new kids in the family. 

My nephew is my love!  He is the whole reason I moved back home.  I cried every time I left and when I would get pictures of him in the mail I would cry.  I wanted to be here to be a part of his life.  And when I moved back home I did just that.  I was the cool Aunt.  The one who took him to the best places, the one who got him the cool toys, and the one who showed him how to play cool things like Gak and squirt bottle tag. 

Then I decided I wanted to adopt and have my own children.  My nephew took this very hard.  A few months after I got Arius, I took my nephew into the bedroom and held him because he was upset at Arius.  I asked him if he was angry that I brought Arius into the family.  I told him he could tell me the truth and I wouldn’t get angry at him.  He said Yes and started to cry hard.  I held him and tried my best to explain how I wanted to be a mommy and how Arius needed a mommy.   I promised to still try to do things with him sometimes that is just him and I.  But when he started school it became a lot more difficult.  I thought this talk would have helped him, but in his mind, Arius is with me all the time, having the time of his life.  Or maybe because he has seen me get angry with Arius he thinks that Arius has turned me into a mean person instead of his cool Aunt.  I am not sure.  My mom said the other day my nephew was looking at pictures she had up of Arius and Reasa and Seany, and she saw him make an X over their pictures.  She said it was like he was crossing them out.  When she asked him about it, he clammed up.  He is only 6 and already bottles up his emotions and thoughts.  It had been a while since I had taken him out so durring break I took him and Jasmine to play lazer tag and just have a fun day together.  He seems to get along great with my oldest girl.  I wish I knew what to do to help him love Arius the way I do.  Or that I could find a way to help them become good friends at least. 

They talk about kids in your family and how they might feel.  They talk of things you can do to help them transition.  But really, they don’t adjust to this invasion of their family as easily as we would like to think.  They don’t have the cognative development to help them to understand this inclusion of strangers as family.  He was king in our family.  The only child so to speak.  Even though on his mom’s side he has a ton of cousins both his age, older, and younger.  On our side of the family he was the only child.  And we did spoil him.  The first grandchild, the first nephew, The only grandchild and nephew for 5 years.  Then I drastically changed his world. 

I wonder if he will ever see my kids as family.  I wonder if it would have been different if I had given birth to a child or if I had started the adoption with an infant instead of a child just about two years younger then him, but just as tall as him?  Maybe part of the problem is that Arius is so tall for his age, that Sean expects him to act like a six year old, and not a four year old.  I do know that he was getting better at playing with Arius instead of bossing him around, and then I changed his world again with two more children.  It is hard to tell, but I love him so desperately, and I hope he will one day understand.  And I pray that one day he will be able to share the unconditional love that I have for my kids. He really does try hard, and some days are better then others as you can see below.  He is only 6 after all.

If you think about it, pray for him and all biological kids who are adjusting to adopted children and foster children coming into their lives, having to share their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and toys with these strangers who are now family.  It is a lot for them to understand and handle at such a young age. 


3 Responses to “Loving Strangers”

  1. I love your blog, it is wonderful, how you really go into detail about what’s going in your life. I love I feel like we are best friends. 😛 I would love it if you checked out my blog and told me what you think. 🙂
    Emily Smith.

  2. Sara Says:

    I will pray for him. I think it might help him if you active listen to him. Letting him express his anger to you might really help him. Most people just want someone to listen to their pain and know that they are still loved, even when they show their ugly side. Jody, you are such a good mom and I think about you all the time!

  3. smlwoman Says:

    Emily, thank you for the kind words. I did go and check out your blog and responded to one of your posts! Thanks for sharing.
    thanks so much! I understand what you are saying about actively listening to him. That is part of what I did the first time and I asked him if he was angry. It is really hard to get things out of him though. That one night was huge, and I may have to do it again, and maybe even a few more times until he feels like he has gotten it all out. First I have to get my family healthy, including myself now, so I dont’ get him or my parents sick. But I think soon I will have another sit down and chat with him. Maybe I will use one of my rave nights to take him out and talk to him over some icecream! Thanks for the encouragement!

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