Adoption is a great option, but nobody has ever said it will be easy. During our training, many years ago, the phrase “parenting plus” was impressed upon us. I think this sums up the additional challenges of parenting children with attachment and trauma issues.
As we daily meet those challenges, I’ve spent hours reading and listening to podcasts, striving to find a better way of parenting; a magic formula which will turn things around for our children and take some of the pressure off us weary parents. Certainly it helps to have a background understanding of the reasons why children react in ways which may take us by surprise, and this can help us in our responses and planning.
However, I also increasingly realise there are no quick fixes. Adoptive parents are hugely intentional about the way they parent, they are very committed to their children, who are very much loved. Yet despite this, most of us still struggle! In our instant society I wonder if there is a tendency to feel we have failed if we don’t see results quickly. We’re not wired for patience in the same way previous generations were.
As I listen to friends with adult children, their overriding message is that parenting is for the long haul. It takes perseverance and stamina. It’s a marathon not a sprint. There are no quick fixes. I actually find this reassuring .
I also think we underestimate the huge healing nature of simply being part of a loving, stable family. One where unconditional love is shown, where grace and forgiveness are offered daily; one where there is the reassurance of a daily rhythm, where boundaries are set and the consequences of overstepping these are understood. One where home is a place of familiar traditions and heartfelt belonging.
Families have been the building blocks of society for millennia. They are where we pass on values to our children, which in turn will be the values of the next generation. They are where children watch and learn how they are to relate to others. They are where children learn the value of hard work and of perseverance. It’s where they learn the power of forgiveness and the daily need for grace. It’s where they can flourish and grow on firm foundations. Maybe we need a revival of these ancient pathways.
The Kite’s Tale gives us a glimpse into the healing and redeeming nature of family. My prayer is that as you read it with your family it will lift your spirit and give you a fresh hope and vision for our future.
It’s available through all major book sellers and on amazon here