Our new children had many needs that were time consuming. Also just by nature they were demanding--what children aren't? There was literally no time for the special little times that I was accustomed to with our biological children. For example, I would sit down on the couch to read a book to the children, and my new aggressive children always took the seats by me and left the others on the outskirts. I would want to say something to correct the situation, but then I would get the "you love them more then me" treatment. In my head I knew our new children were insecure and needed time to feel secure in our love, but it was hard for my heart to understand. This is where my struggle with resentment came in. I resented our birth children getting pushed to the side.
Probably the hardest thing for me was when they mistreated other children in the house. They were physically aggressive, sometimes hurting them. They broke their toys and even stole them. I began to have problems with anger towards them.
Dealing with these situations I had to give myself continual mental pep talks. I would remind myself:
- These are all your children, your treasures. Try to understand each of them.
- Remember none of your seven children are perfect.
- They need taught proper behavior.
- They didn't ask us to bring them here. They didn't have any control over the circumstances in their lives. It is not their fault.
Honestly, I made a lot of mistakes. I had to apologize to the children multiple times because I responded out of anger and resentment towards them. It was hard to say, "Mom messed up."
I hated this struggle. I felt I shouldn't feel this way. I kept telling myself, "If you really loved them, you wouldn't feel this way." My husband helped me with this so much. He was understanding, but at the same time reaffirmed to me that I did love them.
I learned that love is a choice. We chose to love even when it was hard. I Corinthians 13 came to be my motto.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
Whenever I was struggling, I would look at these verses. I would ask myself questions like: "Are you being patient? Are you being kind? Are you protecting, persevering, etc.?" Then I would see that I was choosing love. But in my heart I longed for a stronger feeling of connection. I wanted to look into their eyes and delight in a bond of love that could not be touched. I wanted to feel connected.
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