Poem: Failing


Young boy young boy

how we fail you

Blurry world blows by

brushing busy nonsense

between dark-colored lines

What do you see

when you look off into air

giant pink butterflies

fluttering near

whispering closely into your ear

please listen please listen

I’ve got something to say

But teachers just get angry

so it flies away

Why can’t you sit and be quiet

you twitch and squirm

and touch other kids

waving your arms

run around run around

you’ll never learn

Pupils are huge

you don’t seem to care

you’re sitting all wrong

with your feet through the chair

you talk too much

or you sit and stare

Young boy young boy

what will we do

we’re tired of trying

but it doesn’t seem fair

If we can’t help you

then how will you grow

Into a man

facing issues

I know

 

 

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Clarity


Seeing people for who they really are, whether they are homeless or our closest friends/family, can often be challenging. As humans, we spend a lot of time trying to create comfort around us, and this may include internal comfort also. Living in a world where situations can bring us discomfort, our brain will do as much as it can to remove the ‘bad’ stuff; erase memories or twist pictures before our eyes into something we’d prefer to see.

Seeing the world around us without our rose-colored glasses can often be painful, on a personal and global level. It may reveal our own child as a drug addict or a fellow human as hungry, neither snapshot as something we want to see.

But both these things are truths before us and must be acknowledged. They are drastic cases of what we see when we choose to have our eyes truly open to people around us. How do these things make us feel about these people and how do we react in response? Afterall, it does not change the fact that they are both humans still…

What if what our eyes remain closed to simpler truths about someone else? Things that just make them who they are, but different from you and I? Have we truly listened and accepted what someone has told us about their feelings or needs? Or are we trying to change them to fit into our agenda?

It can be a challenge to accept someone just as they are; especially when they look or act differently. Each day the world seems to become less and less accepting and we drift farther apart from our shared humanity.

Respect and listening. If we felt heard and respected, no matter how minor the role we may play in this game called life, then we can feel here, human and a part of the whole.

 

 

 

 

 

Choices


How does one tip toe around their disapproval of someone’s choice in something they feel is unwise, or even potentially harmful–especially if it’s someone they love? It is so easy to come crashing into this person with all your advice, or even anger when wisdom may have shown you that the other person’s decision to do something most likely will have a negative outcome.

It could be because you know this person, and have for years: maybe it’s a family member and you’ve seen them make unwise choices in the past. Or you know that they are mentally, financially, intellectually or physically challenged, so the thing they want so much may end up hurting them more than helping them.

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But in trying to help and guide them, in the end, only ends up making them angry and defensive. It can be such a fine line one walks in trying to help within one’s disapproval. And I’m not sure I do such a good job…at least not at first.

As a Mother, I certainly come up against this all the time. Most certainly with my middle daughter, who is developmentally and health challenged besides. It has been an ongoing challenge for me to try to help her with major life choices the older she gets. She is stubborn and strong willed, not necessarily a bad thing, but she also can have a hard time asking for help. And sadly this is something we all need at times–and certainly something that would benefit her.

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Because of her fierce determination to ‘go it alone’, she gets herself (with her challenged boyfriend) into some spots that aren’t great, and then we end up bailing her out anyway. But now they have made a huge ‘decision’ that really scares all of the family and I feel they have no idea of the consequences.

When you have two people that have a hard time thinking past today, it makes it tough to plan…to plan for the life of someone else. And as we all know, being a parent is a life long job.

So I am trying very hard to wrap myself around how to best tell her about the realities of Motherhood, without making her defensive or frightening her either. It’s not all about pink dresses and pigtails–sometimes it’s about crying, illness, money and kids not listening to anything you say (even when they are grown).

And it’s also about being a Mother and loving that kid no matter what, even when she’s maybe not making the right choice.

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National Adoption Month-Post 5: The Sisters


I had always known I wanted one birth child and one adopted child, but what I hadn’t counted on was getting pregnant immediately after my adopted daughter came to live with us as a foster child. She was far from being adopted at that time. It wasn’t even on the radar screen as those things are never a sure thing. So I had a three-year old, two-year old and was pregnant. Joy of joys! And the two-year old had no sense of much of anything: right or wrong, who was mommy, how to talk or potty training. Yup, it was quite the challenge. Not to mention, she was medically and mentally challenged also.

Then along comes a baby and then there were three–and all girls! Goodness help me! Thankfully I had a good support system of female friends having no siblings and a mother that lived far away. They were trying times to say the least. Plus we had a tiny farm and lived in Upstate New York and had brutal winters to face.

My oldest daughter had been my constant companion prior to this Tasmanian two-year old waltzing into our lives. Suddenly her life changed drastically. I’m not sure I had completely thought this through prior to taking this task on. I just figured I would be teaching my birth child that we do the right thing and reach out. But really, that was what I wanted to do and she just got dragged along for the ride. In retrospect, that might not have been very fair to her.

Over the years their relationship never really blossomed very well. This was probably in part due to me/us and our inability to see the disconnect. And the difficulties we faced with our adopted daughter. Time was simply spent just taking care of her needs rather than trying to blend the family, something that turned out to be a grave mistake in the long run.

Her youngest sister jived with her a tiny bit better as she came after and didn’t feel the disruption. Her older adopted sister was already there so part of the family that she entered into. But as the years passed, the two birth sisters bonded much more closely. That was obvious and painful for the middle sister. She was most definitely the odd one out. And this hurt my soul too. Because here the good thing I thought I would be doing for her, and teaching my birth kids, simply had backfired. My guilt was rampant.

Everyone would always praise how wonderful I was for adopting her, but all I could feel was that another family would have done better and made her feel more loved.  That our family often made her feel left out and alienated. It made me  sad to see her so hurt. And having no siblings myself I knew how she must have felt. She did have a half-brother adopted by another family that we kept in touch with, but they communicated rarely. My daughter would cling onto those encounters hungrily.

They are all much older now and finding their own ways. The oldest and youngest have recently experimented living together far from home and it didn’t quite work the way they had hoped. My adopted daughter lives near me. My youngest is due to come back nearer to home. Only my oldest doesn’t seem to feel we should all try harder to be closer emotionally and try harder than we have in the past with one another. As we all get older, the rest of us see the value of family more and more. Blood or no, they are sisters and I am their mom. I know my middle daughter needs them and would treasure their love and attention more than anything. And I hope someday they will dig deep and be the people I had hoped they would be when I first had the notion to bring my adopted daughter into our home.