I know it takes time to develop.
But waiting has never been my strong point!
I realize that I rarely share the stresses or negatives of adopting, especially where Aliya is concerned. As much as I want to be completely transparent and 'real', I also realize that she is 15 years old and we are trying to develop trust with her. There is nothing I would want to interfere with that. We respect her and want that from her, as well.
But today, I think I will let you in on our morning. I always appreciated reading other people's blogs who had adopted older children and learning from their stuggles. So here it goes.
It took Aliya a little while to learn how to wake up with her alarm. She used to get up at 6:15 in order to get ready and out the door by 7:01 to catch the bus. She felt that she had too much time in the morning and I agreed.
It was decided that she could reset her alarm and wake up at 6:25 but not a minute later. Well, somehow now it is 6:30 before I hear her feet hit the floor. We've had discussions about this to no avail. We know that she was very independent all her life (had to be) and it is best that she learns lessons on her own, not by us telling her.
The other issue in our morning story is that Miss Aliya is sick. She has a sore throat. She sort of let me in on that one, but then quickly denied that she was sick, saying, "I NEVER get sick." She even let me look in her throat with a flashlight and it was pinkish AND I can hear it in her voice AND she's not eating much AND is super tired BUT SHE IS NOT SICK! Just want to make that clear:) She did tell me that she was afraid to say she was sick in Ethiopia (even if she was BUT remember, she NEVER gets sick) but if she was, the housemothers would make her go to the doctor. I told her that I'm not the kind of mom who makes her kids go to the doctor if they are sick. They have to be really sick to go to the doctor.
Ok, this brings me to this morning.
She comes down the stairs at 6:30, saying, "I do not want to go to school today."
I say, "Why not?"
Aliya, "I have no idea."
I say (knowing full well she is sick), "Are you feeling sick?"
"Are you sick, Aliya??"
"Nope." When you read this word, you have to emphasize the P and sort of make a popping sound with your lips to get the full effect:)
When I look at the clock, I see that it is 7:00 and she is still in her room. I ran upstairs to tell her. She came down and as she was getting her things together, we hear the bus coming. She gets her flip flops on and as she is running down the driveway (which is long and then she has a 1/2 block more to go) I yell to her that I will drive her. She keeps running. The bus waits and waits but she makes it. I'm sure she said, "No thanks" but I couldn't hear her with her sore throat and flip flops flapping!
I feel so badly that she must feel so alone. She doesn't trust us enough to tell us how she really feels, both physically and emotionally yet. This is the MOST frustrating part of parenting an older adopted child for me. Just being honest here.
She also does not want to take advice about things like allowing yourself enough time to get ready in the morning. Because of her previous level of independence, she feels that she knows what she's doing. She doesn't need advice. She's handled everything fine before.
If she had said to me this morning, "Mom, my throat hurts and I didn't sleep well last night," I would have let her stay home and sent her back to bed, which she would have LOVED! I knew she didn't feel well but I had to stand my ground. She has to learn that there are advantages to share feelings with Mom and Dad. We are safe and can be trusted to handle things for her. We love her. We care about her. We want the best for her.
I know that she has only been home 7 months and she really is doing remarkably well in so many ways.
We have a long ways to go.
My heart is breaking for her right now.