How to Love Your Adopted Children

How to Love Your Adopted Children

A few years ago while on vacation, my kids and I went shopping. I decided to get everyone a t-shirt as a memento from the trip. I was able to find one for everyone except two of our teenage daughters. I kept pointing out items hoping to find them something they liked, and they kept rejecting everything.

After half an hour or so, I was getting frustrated. I tried to explain to them that I just wanted to buy them a shirt. “Pick something,” I said. But they couldn’t–wouldn’t—make a choice. Finally we left, having purchased nothing.

I probably should have been happy they’d saved me a few bucks. But I was angry. This was not about t-shirts. This was about me offering a gift in love and them refusing it.

The same thing had happened so many times over the years since they came home from Ethiopia. My hugs were met with stiffness. My cooking met with disdain. Games were scorned. Special outings flatly declined.

I expected that bringing home kids at age 9 and 11 would not be an easy endeavor. I knew they’d be mourning their first family for a long time. But I still wasn’t prepared for the level of push-back I got. That day on vacation, my heart felt broken—not by t-shirts—but by years of love offered and rejected.

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Source: Crosswalk | Mary Ostyn

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