Adopting an older child can be tough. Yes, as everyone will tell you, it is rewarding, they can bond and it can be wonderful. But, it is tough because you don't have all those sweet memories of when they were little to fall back on when times are tough. When Elliot is obnoxious, I can ponder the day he made me breakfast (gummy fish and popcorn) when he was four. Isabella came to our family when she was seven. That is a lot of years that we missed with her. A lot of time for some really bad things to happen in the orphanage. Of course, I understand that some of her behaviors are because of her experiences, the lying, stealing, sneaky, passive aggressive stuff, but it still makes me mad. Everyone says how sweet she is and how beautiful and sometimes that makes me mad. This is unfair. She is sweet, she is beautiful, but the face she shows others is not exactly the real deal sometimes. I struggle to look past these negative things and focus on the positive. Sometimes I feel resentment though. Which I think makes me a pretty rotten person sometimes.
Today, Anastasia, who is seven, told me how Isabella said she wished she was only two years old.
"Why?" asked Anastasia, who always wishes to be older, so she could stay up late like her brother.
"Because then I could start over". Isabella told her.
This broke my heart into pieces.
Tonight, Isabella asked me if I thought her mom in Haiti would mind that she calls me mom. Then, she wondered if we could ever find her mom and dad again since there was the earthquake.
I realized that I just have no idea how courageous this child is. Maybe this is something I can remember when things get tough. Something stronger to bind us together, stronger than all those memories that are lost.