My 2 daughters are ages 20 and and 16 and I was blessed enough to birth them and raise them from the time they burst into this world ready to take on everything.My son is 14 and I adopted him at age 12. I met him when he was 3 and had been removed from his birthparents along with his 2 sisters for neglect , exposure to domestic violence and his biological parents drug usage.I recruited for a family for all three children when he was five and subsequently they were adopted.I was there when his adopted parents placed him back in foster at age 8 because he had “anger issues”, where he remained in group care bouncing around the system until I adopted him. I can never comprehend what he has experienced, all I can do is remain constant , committed and never give up.

Let me say I love all my children. I can remember for each one the moment I claimed them, whether I was holding them as an infant or aching from my breast and heart as they were being sent home from yet another failed placement.You just know at that moment …They are yours, no matter what, destined to be your child. As you raise them you cant predict what their challenges will be. If they are adopted ultimately you try to blame their previous trauma, loss and genetics. Not so with your biological children. You just basically blame yourself. You reflect back and look for answers. “Was it the time I was sad, and checked out on motherhood for a few months? Was it the divorce? Was it the time……” and on and on. You parent from guilt because you feel that YOU are to blame ultimately.
What I have learned is that it is not about fault. Our children’s life , no matter how they come to us is supported by us. We nurture, love unconditionally and do the best we can.Each day we go to bed thinking how we can be better parents to meet their needs, so that they suffer not. We cry when they are hurt and our soul breaks when they struggle.There is no difference in how we love, the amount of love we give or what our dreams are for them. Its endless and we pray for each child with the same devotion.

I am not sure how you convince them its the same love, especially for a young man who thinks he is not able to truly be loved. Who feels nothing is forever and most everything can be disposable. A young man who is so resilient but needs nothing more than to go back in time and feel the missing pieces of nurturing and unmet needs being met.I do know though you get up each day praying for the strength to be strong, to find the reserve to help them all. Because bottom line…. they are YOUR children, uniquely different but lent to you love, nurture and guide. They are here and they were given to you to change your life, and perhaps the world one day.

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