Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adopting Older, Part 2…A Dad’s Perspective

As promised, I asked Mr. Wonderful for his perspective on the harder parts of adopting older… Of course, he’s much more concise than I am, but insightful as always.

In a few days, I’ll post a part 3…I want to comment on a few of your comments, they were very thought provoking and I’ve had a few more thoughts myself.

From Scott…

“Can’t stress dying to self enough…accommodate them to the extreme because laying down boundaries that are needed will be lasting once they have learned to trust you. Most of what you try to lay down before earning trust is momentary at best and you find yourself further frustrated at having to readdress simple issues.

Husbands must be vigilant of your wife’s needs…give yourself grace to acknowledge you don’t know what to do sometimes either (more often that not for me!). Most of those things you learned about raising biological kids will be used…just not in the first six months. I didn’t like that because I worked really hard to learn all those things. What’s worse is the same is true of your wife. All those things you thought you were beginning to understand about what they needed…toss ‘em out and start with a clean slate. For you wives you can read that as…give your men some grace because now you have to start retraining them, too.

Don’t be afraid to lean on your older kids. They are more resilient, understanding, and loving than you can imagine. Take the time to explain the difference in what you must do for your new child. Compare and contrast and use the process of our adoption in Christ. The richness of that analogy is a never ending well of opportunity for teaching.

Revel in the opportunity to see your kids demonstrate what they’ve learned from you. This is a unique experience to see them in action in a way I don’t think parents generally get until the kids are much older. And usually it’s second hand because they are acting outside the home…in this case it’s every day and right in front of you. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to parent them and it’s not all great and you’ll find the need to exhort right behaviors at times. But don’t miss the moments when their heart shines through and you get to see a bit of who God made them to be…use it to encourage them and be encouraged and blessed by it yourself.”

1 comment:

trina said...

You are doing a wonderful job, Dad!! Your very awesome children are the proof. :)