I’m thinking about acceptance today as this is one of the things I think I struggle with. My life is very different from how I imagined it would be when I decided to adopt Kitten and Bunny. On paper both girls were fairly unaffected by anything that had happened to them in their past. I guessed that in reality this was unlikely to be the case as I had met many adopters and read up about attachment theory etc prior to approval. I knew that the girls were likely to have issues some of which would only become apparent as they got older. But many facts were omitted from their CPRs; some of them very important facts about their past, their birth family and about their lives in foster care. Nothing could have prepared me for the level of their needs. So the first part of acceptance is the fact that my girls’ needs are much more significant than I was lead to believe and I accept that I have to let go of my anger at the fact that this was not disclosed prior to or even after placement.

In my career I am someone who is good at getting results. I work with some very difficult young people. I know what works, have lots of ideas on how to help them and often make a big difference to their outcomes. It’s very satisfying and I love that aspect of my job. If that sounds arrogant please don’t read it that way! It is simply something I know I can do, and can do well. But at home…well I find that it’s a different matter altogether.  The issues that Kitten and Bunny have cannot be fixed so easily. I find I am not able to work my magic on them! The successes in terms of progress are tiny and few and far between. This has been a big blow to my confidence and has changed the way I perceive myself. Learning to accept that life is not going to change dramatically tomorrow or next week or next year; that progress in my house would be Kitten letting me touch her without recoiling – not all the time but once in a blue moon. Progress would be Bunny having a night when she doesn’t cry herself to sleep. Progress would be being able to leave the girls in the same room together for longer than 2 minutes without something going horribly wrong. I need acceptance that although some adopters may be able to do all sorts of things with their children, our situation is such that those things are simply not going to be possible with my children for a long time – we are not suddenly going to be able to manage soft play, or a Haven holiday, or Rainbows or any number of other things.  And I have to learn to be ok with that or the frustration will overwhelm me. So I accept I am not able to fix everything, and I accept that at the moment this is the way our lives need to be.

Please don’t believe that anything here means I am without hope because I do have hope for the future. Hope that things will slowly improve over time. Acceptance for me is to let go of frustration and anger, to let go of wishing things were different. It is to find joy in the small things we are able to achieve and it is learning to love my tricky but amazing girls for who they are now, not for who they might become in the future.


14 thoughts on “Acceptance

  1. underbrella

    So much of what you say here is recognisable to me and my girls. You express the reality of your lives (not that its the whole reality of course) so well. I completely agree in term of needing to accept where we are now. I hope for the future, and work hard to help my girls but find life easier all round if I accept the here and now. Thanks for such a great post.

  2. Adoption Journey Blog

    Saw your post on the #WASO. Looking forward to reading your blogs. Last time you worried about seeming too negative on your blogging. Don’t confuse negative with honest and realistic. I remember one of our adoption prep grouplsaying to me soon after she’d been placed with two girls… “But, but, but… when I was at work and I told someone what to doe they… well they DID it…” I’m so glad that you are willing to be honest about the challenges you face, I’m sure that will be the most important thing and that will be where real insight lies.

    As Underbrella said, this was a great blog and I will so look forward to your next one.

  3. Purdy2233

    Brilliant post, I totally understand this and even at almost 6 years of being a family I still have to step back and think about why things haven’t gone the way I hoped they would.

    It’s the small things that mean so very much, keep those things close to the front of your mind when things are hard.

    Said it before and will say it again, your girls are lucky to have found you x

  4. Threebecomefour

    Like you I have worked with hard to reach teens and have strategies coming out of my ears….none of which work at home. I think we have more responsibility at home towards the outcome. We can’t go home and walk away for the evening. I think you’re right that acceptance is important. Being mindful and in the present will ensure you don’t miss those successes when they come….and they will come. Great post.

  5. toddling along (@toddlingwonder)

    lovely post – my hubby is a therapist and works a lot with ACT – Acceptance Commitment Therapy – I couldn’t do a good explanation although one of his key phrases is about holding onto the thing that you aren’t finding easy while moving towards your values, its about accepting pain or difficulty, but moving forward, rather than trying to eliminate pain.

    Worth a google if you’re interested in more!

  6. frogotter

    Acceptance is a great word to be pondering. So often I find the boys suddenly improve when I try to be more accepting of them as they are.
    I find my own anxiety about how I want things to be and how I want them to grow up can make everything worse. The best moments always start with me accepting the children as they are. I should do that more!

  7. Sezz

    Hope is a great thing. Where there is hope, there is possibility.

    Don’t be too harsh on yourself that your strategies aren’t as effective on your children. When we work with clients we are objective, we don’t get emotionally involved but when we try similar strategies with our children we have an emotional investment, we (without realising) put our will onto them, our energies change because it becomes personal. It sounds like you are doing a great job as a mum as you are recognising and appreciating the small things which are so important. Xx

  8. Katie L.

    Oh my goodness, this is just what I needed today. I too am having to learn acceptance, and sometimes the hard way. You know, the way where you are so angry and frustrated but not really for a good reason and then you think (like really think) and realize that you are having trouble accepting life the way it is. Uff da, that is tough

  9. Pingback: What does Acceptance actually mean? | 3girlstogether

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