Adjusting To Bringing Home A Teenager

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Submitted by Ryan Lee, A follower of Women’s Right News

I was going through my Facebook memories and I happened upon this particular post that I made three months after my teenage daughter moved in to live with me out of foster care that I was getting ready to adopt. Reading it I remember everything that I was thinking at the time but three years later I can’t even contemplate thinking the way that I did when I wrote this.

“Today in therapy I realized something. I’ve had an…aggression of some kind for at least two weeks. Andrew has always been there for me for over 18 years. And now he’s there for someone else. I had it happen once (more than once looking back) when he jokingly called my mom “babe”. That was what he called ME. And now he’s got this girl, the same size as me and in all reality (in my brain) another woman that he dotes on and sides with. I realize she is in ACTUALITY a child, but my brain has seen her as “the other woman”. I have apparently been growing ever more jealous of her in the passing weeks. I have never been a jealous person, and didn’t understand what I was feeling. So, I’ve had this cloud over me from the time I get up ’till the time I go to bed waiting for the next time he’s going to “put her in front of me/side with her/get her things”.

I was always one of those people who thought that people who get jealous over a new baby are stupid. But this isn’t a baby. This is a 13 year old that is bigger than me. My brain isn’t seeing her as a cute bundle of joy. Its seeing her as competition. And I need to realize she is truly a child in need and respond as such.

I have talked with my husband and gone over my problem. He sees where it can look like that and he sees where he used to be so giving with me and isn’t anymore. Its not that I need him to wait on me hand and foot, its that I need to accept there’s more room in his heart than just for me.

I will be working…hard….on this is coming weeks. Its a hard thing to accept and deal with. And then my brain needs to learn that I have a CHILD with NEEDS worse than my own right now and SHE is the priority. Its all I can do.”

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It took almost 2 years for me and my daughter to bond, not because I didn’t want to but because she wasn’t ready. Right before Covid-19 hit we started to bond. Now my daughter is the most important thing in my life and I love her more than anything. I always did love her but we did not bond in the time that I thought we would. Bringing a fully formed functioning teenager into your home is not an easy task. There’s not a lot of foster homes that even want to take in teenage children because they have all the trauma and all of the issues that they don’t want to deal with. You don’t get a brand new blank slate cute little baby. You get a child that has been molded by more parents than you’ve had, who already have their own sets of ideals, and don’t understand when you try to change their perspective on things or try to guide them in a way that they are not used to. No one said it would be easy, and I knew that. But thinking something in theory, and then actually experiencing it, are two different things.

I’m sure when I wrote this that I really thought that maybe it would never be okay. But through time, perseverance, and love we are now a beautiful family that is now expecting a grandson. Now however, I have also faced the similar issue of now I will be sharing my daughter with her son. I just got to be bonded with her in such a short time, and now I’m going to have to share her with her son, which will be another task to work through. But seeing this post, and seeing how well it has worked out after this time, I am sure that this is just another hurdle in a long journey that will end up amazing.

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