Parenting Can and Will Be Emotional

Hanging onto our Kids


Just got a phone call from my girlfriend who is experiencing the same journey we took with our daughter last fall. She just sent her 16 yr. old daughter to a Wilderness Camp. Like our daughter, her daughter was starting to make bad choices and was not understanding consequences of her actions. She was adopted also…but domestically as a toddler.

But, to make a long story short, today my friend went shopping with some girlfriends and their teenage daughters. Watching the mother/daughter moments at the store made my friend feel all emotional inside. She held it together until one of the girls made a comment about her daughter’s behavior that she burst into tears in the parking lot.

She called me for some support. I have to say that I had those moments too. I remember pulling the car over to the side of the road so I could cry. I remember talking about our daughter to a small networking group of friends and crying. I remember when Spring Prom came and other moms were sharing what dresses their daughters were wearing. It is hard when others know you have a teenage daughter but don’t know your story. They ask questions like, “Where does she go to school?” “Is she going to Prom this year?” It makes me sad as a mom to know we had to take this difficult journey and to know that my daughter is missing some of these things…and so am I!

However, she is making such wonderful progress in her boarding school and we see the day getting closer when she can come home for good. As parents, we want what is best for our kids. We want them to grow up and have a normal, happy life. Sometimes as parents we have to take a stand and do what is the most difficult and know in our hearts that is was the right thing to do. It is just hard to justify this with people you really don’t know very well.

I do think of my friend and the emotional times she is experiencing with her daughter only gone a week now. I also think of the thousands of teens that don’t get any help…ones that have parents that hope ‘this phase’ will just fade away. Sometimes it does, but many times it does not. And then we have a lifetime of heartache to live with.

Please realize that by sending a troubled teen to therapy camp or school is a difficult choice…not made lightly. Have patience with parents who do this. Support them as they are being stressed emotionally as well as financially. However, they love their child so much they are willing to do what most parents would never dare to do!

Deborah Mumm
Everything for Adoption

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