The other day I was looking at a magazine while waiting for an appointment. The headline read "How Do You Recharge?"
Recharge. It's so important as adoptive and foster parents, but there are times we let it go.
I remember when it felt impossible. At the end of the day, I crashed. I was exhausted. And to find the energy to recharge just seemed impossible.
But...I now know that was a mistake.
Recharging is important. This journey of adoptive and foster parenting is a marathon. We need to refuel and recharge along the way...or we'll never make it.
A week long vacation on a beach or in a hotel room by yourself probably isn't feasible. You need to find ways to recharge your batteries. Even little things can do the trick.
Find some ways to recharge. Make a list of them...so when you're totally worn out, you don't have to try to think of ways to recharge.
Watch a movie, curl up with a good book, connect with a friend, enjoy a cup of coffee on your porch.
Do it regularly. Do it often. It's important.
It's that time of year again. Summer. Celebrations. Fun.
But as we know, it isn't always fun. It doesn't always work.
The other day, this was a topic in one of our coaching sessions. The mom just wanted her child to have a really great summer and especially a wonderful 4th of July, just how she had as a girl. Cooking hot dogs around the campfire, chasing glow bugs after dark, and sitting on a blanket oohing and awing at the fire works.
However, her family's celebration looked nothing like her childhood celebration.
She shared how her child just would not behave. Her and her husband felt like their daughter was trying to wreck it - like she didn't care about the rest of the family at all.
They had given up on celebrating. While she was really sad about that, she was tried of trying when it didn't really work.
Can you relate?
Lots of times we have to do it differently, but that if we meet our kiddos right where they were at, it would be so much more doable.
We went on to look at how the 4th of July probably felt to her child. Her daughter struggled with trigger after trigger, impact of trauma after impact of trauma, misguiding her emotional and mental experience and so much more.
Basic things like a new routine, new sounds, new food, new people around can create questions of survival (emotional and physical) for a survivor. Even many years later.
Then add in impacts of trauma like dis-regulation, sensory issues, and no cause and effect thinking and physical chaos ensues.
Finally, add in the basics like a younger emotional age than physical age, anniversaries, personal experience and her child was standing on very "shaky ground" when it came to sorting it all out and succeeding.
So...here are a few things to put in place to make it doable for your ENTIRE family.
It's part of being a member of the group. It's part of feeling loved and included. It is really important that we find a way that our children can have that kind of experience.
That's where healing happens.
I hope you find a way to celebrate, even if it's just for a moment.