Posts Tagged ‘adoption therapy’

Parenting a Teen that Doesn’t Live at Home


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Our 19 year old daughter, adopted from Russia at almost 11, has not lived under our roof for about 8 months now.  We have done all that could to help her with her abusive past in Russia.  We have done years of therapy with a dozen therapists, wilderness therapy for 8 weeks, and residential therapy school for a year.  This has cost us lots of time, energy and of course, money.  But we’d do it all again to try to help her.  (It amazes me when people ask if we regret spending all this money on her.)  The therapy is there and sometimes we see glimpses of it.  She will use it when she is ready.

Last May, we made a family contract with simple home rules for her to follow and we would help her graduate high school and then get her into a cosmetology school. One rule was that she had to come home on school nights. (I know, we are tough…ha!) She broke the rule and had to leave.  She chose to go live with her boyfriend and his family.  She has been there ever since. 

We have told her that we still help her with future schooling if she can get a job and her GED.  Neither has been accomplished.  Sleeping until late afternoon each day might play a role in this somewhat.  We do get along better now that she isn’t home with us.  I have a hard time not doing the ‘lecturing’ about getting a job and an education.  I try not to.  She knows she needs to do these things to go to cosmetology school.

I am still her mom and love her.  I wish she was making better choices…but am glad that many really bad choices she was making a year ago are not being done much any more…at least to my knowledge.  I don’t get panicky phone calls in the middle of the night any more, which is a big relief.

It is hard not to think like a mom and worry about your kids though. My older 3 boys have all left home and gotten jobs after college.  I still have my 13 yr. old son who has some learning difficulties but is a great kid.  He seems to want to do the right things, most of the time. He takes his punishments willingly when he gets in trouble and seems to learn from his mistakes.

I pray that our daughter finds herself and finds the motivation she needs to do the things a girl her age should be responsible for.  It is hard to say NO to her when she wants new expensive clothes or boots.  We want what is good for her but she has chosen to live away from us and needs to learn how to fend for herself now.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption

Tough Love


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It has been almost 3 weeks since our teenage daughter was asked to move out of our home because she could not follow simple home rules that we need in place to live as a family.  There have been moments she has called and asked for help and I have offered advice but will no longer drop everything and run out to get her.  She didn’t like this at first, but seems to have figured out that she is living independently (at least from us) and has to figure things out on her own.  We haven’t heard or seen her very much but I get the feeling she is beginning to feel the urgency of how she needs a job to begin paying for all the things she needs.

I hope so!

Our home has been more peaceful with less stress, especially in the evenings when we were used to the phone ringing at all hours from her. We can maintain a normal family existence with our sons this summer..going to ball games, the pool, having sleep overs with their friends, etc.

Am I sorry this had to happen?  Of course.  It was not our choice but we had to put some rules in place to save our family from falling apart because of the stress she was adding when she lived here.  She had the choice to cooperate with our simple rules and we’d help her get to independent living if she cooperated.  She chose not to. 

I am sure this is not the end of the story.  We are still concerned with her well-being and will help her once we see she is trying to move on the right path again. So, in the mean time, we will continue to pray for her to make good choices this summer. Tough Love practices are not easy, that is for sure.

I have had a lot of well meaning people tell me that we are doing the right thing, and a few that have told me how awful I am for posting this here.  I have given it a lot of thought and while I don’t like exposing our life (and our daughter’s) to the world, I have found in most instances by sharing our story I have helped others deal with similar pressures in their lives.

I have faith that our daughter will some day come to her senses and will start using all that therapy we have supplied her with all these years.  In the meantime, we will be strong….for her…and for the rest of our family.

Have a wonderful summer!

Deborah Mumm

Everything for Adoption

The Darker Side of Adoption


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If you read this blog, you know I love my kids…all of them. You know I am a huge believer in Adoption and finding families for kids who need families. I love reading the happy stories of adoptive families who treasure their adopted children.  I watch the YouTube videos of kids being adopted, internationally and domestically and I smile! Our video can be found there.  And, while it is a happy/feel good video, it does not show the whole story of the years after the adoption date.  Our Adoption Video

For years we took our kids to therapy, special school programs and other services to get them help for the issues they came to us with from Russia orphanages or dysfunctional Russian families. Our son has some distinct learning issues but is caring, funny and enthusiastic about life. His issues I can deal with.  This year I am homeschooling him with the hope he can attend the local middle school next fall in a special ed program for kids with learning issues like his. He still sees a therapist to help him with social behavior issues and coping skills…but for the most part is a normal active kid for his age.

Our teenage daughter, coming here at almost 11, is another issue.  She has caused us a lot of heart-aches. The hopes and dreams for her may never be fulfilled.  She has had more therapy than most people would ever give their children.  While this has helped, she may never care for us as her ‘family’. She is more concerned for her friends and the next party or social event…never concerned about the future. We have finally just accepted her as she is and we realize she may never need us for anything more than getting her needs fulfilled from us. It is very disappointing and we are heartbroken that our dream for a daughter to love and love us is probably not going to happen for us.  We still love her, but I almost feel guilty that we can’t wait for her to graduate high school and move out on her own.  I never felt that way with my three older sons.  I actually cried when they went off to college and moved out.  I missed them so much…and still do.  But our lives will be less stressful and happier once this child moves on.

I never wanted to admit this…or write this.  I know there are other adoptive parents out there who are also saying,”Why did we do this?”  I know you take a risk with a biological child too, but an adopted child comes with a lot of unknown factors and some are just not correctable.  I do think the risks are higher the older the child at adoption. 

I am guessing I’ll get some comments and feedback from this post, but I needed to put it out there.  Am I glad we adopted?  Yes.  However, we went for Alex and probably should have not felt the need to bring home his older sister.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Would I go back and change it? Probably not.  We love her too, but it has been an extremely rough path for us and we keep praying we can all stay strong until she is on her own.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption