Loyalty: faithfulness to a person, county, group or cause.
As adoptive parents we have had to come to grips with the fact that our children will always remain loyal to their birth parents. No matter how much they suffered at their bio parents hands, they remain loyal to them.
Dean and I hold them when the rage, wipe their tears and walk them through the pain of feeling abandoned. We clean up the messes both literally and figuratively when the rages subside.
We have the responsibility of portraying our children's birth parents correctly. We want our children to know it is not their fault that they were removed from their bio parents. But neither do we want to portray their birth parents as bad people.
Dean and I need to help our children deal with negative thought patterns, some of which have been passed down through generations, others have became entrenched in their brains when they were to small understand what was happening to them.
We hold them when they are scared, angry, worried or overwhelmed with big feelings. I give them medicine, tissue's and cold drinks when they are sick.
I take them to therapy and doctors of all kinds to help them with the trauma they experienced at the hands of their birth parents, however unintentional it may have been, it still happened. We reassure them when they are upset about going to these places and buy them hamburgers n french fries when we are unable to help them process the deep things they worked through in therapy.
When they fall and bump their heads, scrape their knee's or pinch a finger they come running to mom for a band aid and a hug and kiss.
We kiss them good night and tuck them in bed, turn on night lights and get "just one more drink." When they wake up crying I am the one who comforts them.
We as their adoptive parents are on the receiving end of the "looks" when our children make a poor choice in public.
We are the one's who receive the phone call's from school when things escalate and decisions have to be made.
Our names are on their birth certificates and medical records. The bills for their treatment come in our mail box and Dean faithfully pays them.
I buy them new shoes and more new shoes. I buy them more socks when theirs get holes. I know their favorite kinds of cereal and buy it for a special treat even though it is more expensive, because I love them.
I consider myself their mom in every sense of the word but while they call me mom, they remain loyal to their birth families. At first this really hurt me but now I can honestly say I am okay with it. Yes, it still brings a pang when I spend hours helping a child process what is bothering them and they finally open up and say, "I wish I could live with my birth mom because I grew in her belly, we belong together!" What can I say? It is the truth, they do belong together.
Sometimes it is tempting to feel like I get the short end of the deal. I am the one who bears the brunt of their anger because I am the mom. Their birth mom didn't do what she should have but instead of placing the blame on her and acknowledging who is responsible, they push their pain on me.
But then I remember the "I love You, Mom" card I found on my pillow, the hugs and tears of remorse when my little girl's anger is spent. The little hands in mine when we walk together. When someone praises one of my children, I am the one who beams with pride. We get to snuggle with them while during story time and we are the one's who heard them falteringly sound out their first words.
So while we may not have their loyalty it is okay, because we have them and they are worth more than anything to us.