Sunday, April 3, 2011

In An Adoption World

Little Stan needed some bigger responsibilities.   So we ratcheted up the chores. One of his new responsibilities is to empty the clean, silverware basket from the dishwasher.

He loves it!!!

I noticed a nice improvement in the behavior department.  New added responsibilities have made him feel more needed and important.  Not that he wasn't already.


Even though I had five brothers growing up, I cannot recall all of their male quirkiness.  Then again, one doesn't need brothers to recognize male quirkiness when married to a man. 

And I'm sure David can tell you that he's scratched his head a few times wondering about  me :)


We can not imagine our lives without Stan.  He is above all things, a true gift from God.  We are so blessed that God has lent him to us in this world!

At the same time, there are those moments when Stan pulls a stunt that makes David claim  "he never" did that...which I know isn't true, (and he knows it isn't true)...and one call to his mother will prove it.

I also know that Stan is all boy...and boys are different from girls.  I got that. 

But there are those moments when we ask ourselves as parents to this adopted child, is this a nature or nurture thing?

I think the nature vs. nurture question comes up a lot in the adoption world.  And you know what?  I firmly believe you are a good parent when you scratch your head over it and bring it up, trying to make  sense out of things, while continuing to nurture the bond with your adopted child.

I do not want Stan to use his adoption as a crutch.  I do not want anyone to hesitate in correcting his behavior because they feel bad for him.  He is part of a family.  He is loved.  No excuses. 

While trying to work through nature vs. nurture, I remember that boredom brings trouble - big time!  I've been changing the routine so that boredom is kept as far away as possible from that child. 

Each sister now has to spend X amount of playtime every day with their brother.  Even if it means accepting how baby brother plays.  They haven't complained.

David and I have worked on our patience with him,  (with all the kids!)  trying to carry on more meaningful conversations...(that includes talking about Darth Vader, Anakin, and Luke Skywalker nonstop!)...squatting down to his eye level, hanging out takes effort, but is a good habit to form.

Then there is the increase in chores for him.  Not only is he expected to make his bed and get dressed...he needs to help Mabel empty all the trash cans on Tuesday and tidy up the backyard toys each evening before coming in for a bath.

Other children his age may be doing more chores, but for his maturity, we are at a good place right now.  Most importantly, the chores aid in his feelings of importance and need. 

As parents of an adopted child, we continue sifting through each day's events...making sure to ignore the little stuff and improving on the bigger stuff.  

And if we scratch our heads  a little too much in the eyes of other people....well...I guess that is because we love that boy so much and only want the best for him...and that would be for him to know he is loved.

We do not approach the love for any adopted child in a nonchalant manner.  When someone innocently asks, "How can he not know he is loved,"  or "He is so lucky,"  I gently reply that Stan will grow up knowing that he was given up for adoption...for whatever reason...his tummy mommy had to give him up.

How would that affect you...

So we love him, make him feel important and needed.  BTW, we are the lucky ones!


Feeling needed or important helps us all improve our behavior, doesn't it?  I'm glad God gave me my responsibilities...even though I still need an attitude adjustment every now and then myself!

~ Patty ~


  1. A few years back, after reading "Managers of Their Home", I scheduled 1/2-hour blocks of time each day with my youngest son and each of his older siblings living at home. In the end, it proved to be the most looked forward to time of day. It was good for him and for his siblings.

    Doesn't parenting seem like constant evaluating and then reevaluating?! I can see how adoption does add an extra element to that.

    Thank you for sharing your insights!

  2. Great post! I'm a big believer in chores, it teaches responsibility and yes, keeps them out of trouble!!

    I started out the beginning of our year on a great schedule with kids rotating through playtimes and it usually worked well. I need to get back to it, thanks for the reminder!

  3. Great idea -- the silverware basket. My daughter would love this chore. I shall begin it right away!!! (thanks :)). right now she is somewhat in charge of wiping off the table with the windex which she loves. I've got a friend who also tells me how lucky my daughter is becuase we adopted her. He's an older gentleman, in his 80s, and it doesn't bother me. I know he means well. I just always respond that WE are the lucky ones. that she has blessed US!

  4. As an adopted person and the mother of 7, with the youngest (16 yo) adopted, you might want to read Nancy Verrier's "Primal Wound", and "Coming Home to Self"; also "Journey of the Adopted Self". They have helped us..recommended by a very solid Catholic therapist.

  5. Beautiful reflection to your music, Patty. You are such loving parents to all of your children and it shines through. I just read this quote recently and wrote it down for you, Jen, Gardenia but of course I can't find it, nor do I remember where I read it!? It was something like: "A family is not about blood. It's about who you love and who loves you." Boy do I see that through your adoption blessings. God love you and hold you close!


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