Not Just Any Type of Mother – Parenting Your Step Children and Adopted Children

I knew, at the early age of sixteen, that the only way I would ever have children was through adoption. The funny part of that is, when I was growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a mother. Not just any type of mother, but one exactly like my own mother.

I waited a long time to find my husband and, sure enough, I instantly became the step mom of two boys. Michael was 17 at the time and hurting. He wasn’t ready to deal with his relationship with his father, much less a new step mom. Justyn was your typical 13 year old.

Two years later, there was a knock on our door at 4:00am and there stood Michael, tears pouring down his face after an argument with his mother. He later told me he prayed we would take him in, but was unsure because of his previous behavior. I loved him from the start and wanted to kill him at the same time. I often told him I was throwing away the computer, dictionaries, and encyclopedias because he knew everything. But I refused to give up on him.

Now, five years later âÂ?¦ he is my son and I am his Mom. I look at his face and I see a healed young man. One who has a heart bigger than his body and who is kind, compassionate, honest and now knows how to love. Giving birth to him couldn’t have made me any more his mother.

Not too long ago, Michael and I had words. We were both crying âÂ?¦ My words to him were ones I think about often. “Michael, I don’t know why God let someone else give birth to you âÂ?¦ I only know, I wish you had been my boy when you were little. I wish I could have spoiled you with trips to McDonald’s, and Popsicles when you felt badly, and presents for no reason, and late nights wrapped in my arms. But he didn’t and now all I can do is love you and yes, be your mom.”

Four years after we married, we added our Taiwanese Tornado, Ty, who was four at the time. Then, five months later, we added our Russian Princess, Lydia, who was twelve. People often ask us about their adoption âÂ?¦ We adopted both children via disrupted adoptions – meaning other families brought them to the US but decided not to parent them. In Ty’s case, it was simply because they were ill-prepared to have three children under the age of four in their home. In Lydia’s case, it was a bit more complicated but years in a Russia orphanage later helped with a lack of bonding with her first family. It’s often the case, that in disruptions, the second family is a better fit and able to head off any issues that may be occurring. They ask about bonding – with Ty, we were his Mama and Daddy from the start. With Lydia, we have had to work at it. Many a night has been spent crying together about her past and what we can do to make things better, and the cost- the home study was about $1,500 and then $1,500 for the actual adoptions.

Also, people want to know how we found them and how long it took. Well, you’d be surprised but the Internet. We found Ty on a Sunday night âÂ?¦ we were selected to be his parents on Tuesday âÂ?¦ on Saturday we had him in our arms. I will never forget the first time I saw him. I know he was confused. I knelt down and said, “I’m your Mama and I’ve been waiting a long time for you.” He raised his hand and touched my face, wiping my tears and said, “Mama?” I asked him if I could kiss him and with that, he flew to my arms. I remember stopping long enough to look up at my husband. His eyes were filled with tears. I said, “Ting Wei âÂ?¦ this is your Papa.” My husband lifted him up into his arms and our son placed one hand on either side of his father’s face and kissed him. Then raising his little hands in the air, he questioned and pointed to Brian’s bald head âÂ?¦ he wanted to know what happened to his hair. He then placed his head on Brian’s shoulder and promptly fell asleep. To this day, when we go for haircuts, he always says, “No like Papa, Mama âÂ?¦ No like Papa.”

With Lydia, it took almost five months before she was home with us. BUT that was only because we were in the middle of adopting Ty. She flew into the local airport and we picked her up. It was odd âÂ?¦ I knew our lives were changing forever and honestly, I was frightened myself. But when I saw her frightened face âÂ?¦ still a child at twelve years old and trying very hard not to cry, my heart melted. We wrapped our arms around her and assured her she was home. That she didn’t have to worry about moving again. That there was nothing that would or could take her from us.

Often people make a statement about how lucky the children are, that we adopted them. What they don’t realize is, we’re the lucky ones. All my life, I waited for dirty little hands to reach up to me, for sticky little kisses and for someone to call me Mama. I wanted children so I could teach them to be fine adults, to make a difference to someone, to love themselves and others. My heart melts when my little one snuggles into my chest, breathes deeply and says, “Oh, Mama, you ‘mell just like a Mama âÂ?¦ it’s yummy to my tummy.”

I don’t get dressed up to go to work anymore. My outfit normally includes sneakers and a t-shirt. My house isn’t spotless and more often than not, you’ll find some project we’re working on in the middle of the kitchen table. EVERY night we sit and have dinner together âÂ?¦ even when my husband works until 9:00pm. We talk and laugh. Bedtime isn’t as important as getting in enough love and attention for the day. Be it midnight and we’re making cocoa or noon and we’re cuddling in bed watching movies. It’s more important to me that my kids feel loved and special, than if my laundry gets finished. I’ll always have time to do laundry. But my kids will be grown soon and I can’t get that back.

The next time you see lights on in my house at 2:00am âÂ?¦ it’s probably just us watching movies, eating popcorn and drinking cocoa. You see, we’re making up for lost time and we’re creating memories. Ones that will last a lifetime or two or three if we’re lucky.

I often tell people that nature made a mistake by not allowing me to give birth to my children but God fixed that mistake by making me their mother. The funny part of that is, when I was growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a mother. Not just any type of mother, but one exactly like my own mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × = fourteen