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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
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Easy to Love, Hard to Raise

Mar 18th 2014 new
Does anyone else have a child or children that are easy to love but hard to raise? My youngest two fall in this category, and not unsurprisingly they both came from the same foster home facility. We have made a tremendous amount of progress, it's just discouraging to realize that my family has still not melded as a cohesive family unit and that although I view them as MY children, they still have the mentality of foster children. Our adoptions were all completed in China, we were never foster parents, but adoptive forever parents from the beginning.

Other single parents who are parenting children that are ETL HTR, how do you keep from getting discouraged and overwhelmed? I am particularly interested to hear from parents who are "only" parents meaning there is no ex-spouse in the picture who is co-parenting. I'm so worn out right now. I keep dreaming of running away to a fitness spa for two weeks, or taking off on a cruise sans the kids. I have family in town that will take the kids for a night every once in a blue moon, but honestly, I don't feel like I ever get totally recharged with just one night?

Sorry to be a "Debbie Downer." It's been a rough morning.
Mar 18th 2014 new
Kimberlie, you are not the downer! I fell we share some of the same pain . I am a widow with 2 teenage daughter - so no ex spouse but do not have family in town. My youngest, who you have all prayed for, was making really bad choices. I made a big change of schools and she told me last night that she loved school!! I know through prayers and counseling, we are starting to see a change.
check out Bryan Post as he has resources for traumatized children that I found helpful.
May God bless you and the Holy Spirit send you wisdom! Peace, Mary Beth
Mar 18th 2014 new
(quote) MaryBeth-902916 said: Kimberlie, you are not the downer! I fell we share some of the same pain . I am a widow with 2 teenage daughter - so no ex spouse but do not have family in town. My youngest, who you have all prayed for, was making really bad choices. I made a big change of schools and she told me last night that she loved school!! I know through prayers and counseling, we are starting to see a change.
check out Bryan Post as he has resources for traumatized children that I found helpful.
May God bless you and the Holy Spirit send you wisdom! Peace, Mary Beth
Thank you Mary Beth for your encouragement. I am sorry for your loss!

I actually have Bryan Post's book somewhere and should dig it out again. It's hard because we went through a two-week attachment treatment therapy program last year, after which things have improved greatly, but we seem to have become stuck in a negative pattern. One counselor that I recently went to see told me that my children probably don't see each other as "siblings" but simply see each other as they would fellow foster children. They are incredibly competitive with each other. The younger two want everything to be completely "fair" and "even" and the slightest difference I get greeted with a chorus of "you hate me," "you don't love me," "it's not faaaiiiirrrr!" Some days I just want to give up trying.

I do have family in town but they absolutely refuse to believe that I can not parent my children the way that I would parent birth children or as I was parented. They don't get how deep the hurts go, but rather just say that I am spoiling them and that sooner or later, no one will want to be around them because they are spoiled brats. My kids don't like being with their grandparents at all, and I don't blame them. My parents just think kids should be seen and not heard, etc, etc. So I only have my parents care for my children when I really have no other solution or if I am absolutely desperate for a night alone. I have to use that card wisely because sometimes the evening alone can set me back days with listening to the younger two complain about how horrible it was to go to their grandparents.

Thank you again for your words of encouragement. I am going to take them to heart tonight.

Mar 19th 2014 new
Hi, Kimberlie.
Your situation is different than mine in that my children weren't adopted, but I can tell you it took years for us to gel as a family after their father died. I was ready to ship my son to boot camp and literally begged my friend's husband (ex army) for advice. You don't say their ages, but children grieve differently than adults. If they had issues before, they intensify. (For example, perfectionism or anger.) My friend has three adopted children and even though she's had them since they were babies there are always things she deals with due to their birth mother's addictions.
So, with that combination, I can only imagine how hard it must be. I certainly know how difficult it was to walk through my own grief and still have to be fully present for my kids and help them with theirs. Like you, I didn't have the option of someone coming in to give me a break. My focus turned to just making sure that they regained that lost sense of security. We also lost our 15 year old husky a month after Bob so everything was horrible for them.
i will pray for you, because it takes a long time. Stay in church, surround yourself with friends that understand, seek out a counselor familiar with grief, and just hold on. It helped for us to have a basketball net. Boys relate through activity. It was during hoops that my son would open up and become real. (I'd use his spelling words to play "pig".) It's been 7 years for us and things are 100% better.
Mar 19th 2014 new

hug hug hug

No advice to offer. It's a big load to carry even when there are two natural parents. I have nothing but admiration for you and all other adoptive "only" parents.

thumbsup

Mar 19th 2014 new
(quote) Kathy-635104 said: Hi, Kimberlie.
Your situation is different than mine in that my children weren't adopted, but I can tell you it took years for us to gel as a family after their father died. I was ready to ship my son to boot camp and literally begged my friend's husband (ex army) for advice. You don't say their ages, but children grieve differently than adults. If they had issues before, they intensify. (For example, perfectionism or anger.) My friend has three adopted children and even though she's had them since they were babies there are always things she deals with due to their birth mother's addictions.
So, with that combination, I can only imagine how hard it must be. I certainly know how difficult it was to walk through my own grief and still have to be fully present for my kids and help them with theirs. Like you, I didn't have the option of someone coming in to give me a break. My focus turned to just making sure that they regained that lost sense of security. We also lost our 15 year old husky a month after Bob so everything was horrible for them.
i will pray for you, because it takes a long time. Stay in church, surround yourself with friends that understand, seek out a counselor familiar with grief, and just hold on. It helped for us to have a basketball net. Boys relate through activity. It was during hoops that my son would open up and become real. (I'd use his spelling words to play "pig".) It's been 7 years for us and things are 100% better.
Kathy,
Losing your Husky so soon after your husband's death is something I can relate to very much. When my husband and I married, he brought three cats with him into the marriage. They were all male cats from the same litter. One died in 2009 (15 yrs old), one in 2010 (16 yrs old) and there was just the one left. I really think he just knew that Paul died, because less than two months later, Zulu died at age 18 yrs. That was so very hard for my kids to lose a link to their dad that was precious to them.

You are right, it will get better. Just when I think things couldn't get any worse, the kids will show me that maybe they are just a little more bonded than I thought. Case in point, my RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) kid had a huge blow up at me because I took electronics away from him for the rest of the day due to disobedience. He ignored my request by continuing to play on our xBox. So I grounded him. Well, he went all "you hate me, you don't do this to the others, you just don't like me as much as them." I told him that I had in fact taken away electronics from another brother just 15 minutes earlier. He stormed out of the house and went and sat in the middle of the road so he could be run over. My other two boys immediately went outside and stood about 10 ft away on either side of him so that no car could accidentally run over him. Then when he went running down the street, they followed him. I got in the car with my daughter and she said, "Mommy, I am very worried about N. I am seriously concerned he's trying to suicide himself." (she's 8.5) I reassured her he was not but was feeling angry and what he really wanted was for all of us to come after him to prove we love him. Sure enough I got half a block down the street and I saw the three boys walking up the road, laughing and carrying on. It seems that finding a dead squirrel, with a missing eyeball, bonds siblings like nothing else. It made me see that some day, there will be more moments like this and less of the other kind of moments we have most of the time.

Thank you Kathy!
Mar 19th 2014 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said:

No advice to offer. It's a big load to carry even when there are two natural parents. I have nothing but admiration for you and all other adoptive "only" parents.

Thanks Marge. People do ask me how I do it. I tell them, "it's just about survival at this point. Survival is the highest I can hope for right now."
Mar 19th 2014 new
See, all you needed was a little road kill! That's funny. Another tactic I used because my kids, who would get rave reports from everyone else, would fight like crazy when I was home with them. I realized they were jostling for attention, but I hated how they went about it. I loved the book "Raising Your Spirited Child." It really taught me how to say positive things when they were stepping on my last nerve.
Your banning electronics reminded me of the fights before school. My son just had to stir things up in the morning, so for his punishment, he had to run laps in the back yard. He always liked that we would all watch him. I was just hoping to put some of that energy to use in a positive way! It happened so often even the neighbors would watch him, knowing he'd been at it again!
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