Last week I wrote a blog post called “What Is Love”. In it I talked about how love is an action, not a feeling. One of my friends posted the link on Facebook and got a negative comment from one of her friends about it. She stated that we should love all our kiddo’s the same and to tell my adopted teen that I HAD to love my bio’s but I CHOSE to love him was wrong.
My gut reaction was that I did love all my children the same, meaning I treat them all the same. I’ve thought about that a lot since then and I have had to reassess if that is really true or not. After much reflection I have come to the realization that is it not true. I do not love all of my ten children the same and I do not treat them all the same. GASP!!! Horrible mom!!!
How can I treat them all the same when they are not the same? My 16 year old 6’4″ son LOVES hugs. He would take them all day long and at the end of the day he would still think he didn’t get enough. I show him my love by giving him as many hugs as he wants. My 17 year old ex-orphan hates hugs and tolerates the three that I give him and after almost 2 years home will hug me back as long as I don’t overdo it. So I don’t treat them the same at all. I don’t love them the same way. I love them the way they want to be loved.
We are all different. We have different likes and dislikes and personalities. When we got married I had to learn how to love my husband the way he wanted to be loved and he had to do the same for me. He loves spending time together and if we go too long without time alone he gets weird, very weird. I love how he does things for me and takes care of me.
And we learned a long time ago that trying to keep everything “fair” with this many children is exhausting. Sometimes one will get something and another won’t. That’s life. As they grow bosses will not treat employees the same and they will have friends who don’t treat them the same as other friends. It’s normal. And fine.
And as for my original sentence that I “had” to love my bio’s but “chose” to love my adopted that is exactly true. I chose to commit to adoption. I chose to spend my hard-earned money and raise funds. I chose to travel to Ukraine and spend weeks there away from my family. I choose every day to do the things I need to do to love these new teens in my home. There is not the instant, automatic “feelings” that you have with the ones you labor and give birth to. You must choose, sometimes minute by minute, to love them and do the things for them that love insists you do.
Because loving an adopted teen does not come easy. They don’t make it easy. They make you want to give up and send them back to where they came from. They don’t want your love and they don’t want you. And they tell you that in every word and action. So you have to choose, mindfully choose, to love them anyway. To do those things that show your love even though it might just be thrown back in your face. That is a choice.
Our bio kids are different. They grew up different and already know the boundaries. It’s a simpler kind of love and one we don’t have to choose to do. I wish it were like that with the adopted ones. And hopefully one day it will be. However, even then, I will love all of mine differently. The way they need and want to be loved.
And that is Simply My Opinion!