When we first were asked to adopt three boys with RAD, FAS, PTSD, and anxiety I had no idea what I was getting into. Frankly some days I still think I have no idea what I am in the middle of. But I have kids all over the place. I have kids who trigger my most intense over-reactions, and then butter me up in the most tender ways. I have book smart kids, and social smart kids, and ones who deeply struggle. Not a day goes by that ends up the way I planned it.
Right now they are all sleeping. They are quiet and sweet and perfect at this very moment. At some point they will wake up and I will start the insanity again. But for the moment the house is clean-ish, and things are fine. We have medications at the store that I haven’t gotten to pick up, and there is more laundry to do than any one sane person should have to face, but it is spring, and the kitchen looks reasonable. The bikes are hung, and the van is magically in the garage.
So What is the commitment a child with too many letters attached to their diagnosis chart needs. In my experience the answer is consistency, a willingness to learn, and patience. I don’t mean with them. I mean with yourself as a parent. Failure is every day. Success is more rare. And there are days when you are sure that you are the worst parent the ever walked the face of the earth. You probably aren’t. They aren’t dead. You might have thought about it, but you made it through, so good work. I am committed to the kids. Come hell or high water. We have experienced both. and here were are, still standing.
I am more humble, more broken, more tender, and a better person for all of it. I think.
I know what I need now and I am trying to see what they need. That is my level of commitment. I love them, even when I want to sell them to the zoo. So take the leap. Go for it. Learn to swim while sinking. It’s okay, you’ll get there. I will get there. Letter are letters, they come with the territory, and eventually when you see your child beyond the letters, you will know them and you will be more than you are. So adopt them anyway. Parent them anyway. Love them anyway. It’s okay. Ignore the common advice and go for it. I did, and it has made all the difference.