Posts Tagged ‘teenager’

Parenting a Teen that Doesn’t Live at Home


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


Mother’s Day Tribute!

It was recently noted that a current Mom’s salary (if she got paid for everything she did) would be around $123,000 per year.  Here is a link to one site that stated this –Mom Salary.

But for all the mom’s who never got paid a salary here is my tribute–

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s that went through all the joys and pains of pregnancy.  The aches and pains, poking & prodding by doctors for 9 months and then the pain & joy of giving birth.  I know at that moment I suddenly realized the worth of all that pain…holding my new baby in my arms. To the mom’s who waited months or years to adopt a child…for the endless paperwork, the bills, the horrible waiting…who finally traveled to get their child so their lives together could begin…Happy Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s who ever had a toddler.  The getting up at dawn, the constant picking up of toys, the rescuing of the family dog, retrieving items from the toilet, the chasing of little legs that seem to find all the places they shouldn’t go…all those exhausting moments still made you smile when you thought of your little one!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s of kids who still thought you were cool, who gave you hugs and kisses unconditionally, who made pictures for you to hang on the refrigerator and who still didn’t mind spending time with you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s of teenagers who tolerate you only briefly, who occasionally smile at your jokes, who are embarrassed if you talk too much in front of their friends, who slam doors and get angry at your rules and who seem to need you only when they want something.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s who have kids in college that forget to call you very often or respond to your emails, yet seem to discover they miss all those little things you did for them when they were home. For all those mom’s who get a little excited and choked up when their college kid calls them just to talk…Happy Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s who have kids that have left home and are now working and living on their own.  Somehow they will always be those kids you carted all around town to activities, but in your heart you know they are grown and able to do things on their own now.  A part of you misses them living down the hall from you, but the other part is proud of how they have grown to be a fine adult. Your heart will leap when they come home and give you a hug, and your heart will feel a little sad when they leave.

Yes, being a mom is a lot of work.  It is also a lot of fun. Would it have been nice to be paid for all those years of taking care of a home & family?  Sure…and you know, I never got paid in dollars for my job as a mom but the reward of having great kids who I am proud of, is enough pay for me.

It doesn’t matter if the kids in your life are your biological kids, adopted kids, neighbor kids, foster kids…doesn’t matter.  Here are the words of a sign I keep in my home office—

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…. but the world might be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”

So—Happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s who made a difference to a child.  That child may make a difference in this world because of you!


Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption