The state of her heart

April 21, 2012 a father's perspective, Adrian, spina bifida 6 Comments

So this post is a little unexpected. I’ve got a post about Miss G’s B-Day, and that hopefully will be funny. I’ve got a post about some other stuff, again, hopefully funny.

They always look cute when dressed up as a duck

But driving home today, Ping had said something that I think I need to blog about, even just to try to process what happened myself.

Me:  Okay, Miss G, Ping, Bing you guys just sit tight in the van. I just have to run into the store, and I’ll be back in 30 seconds.
*30 seconds later*
Me:  Okay, I’m back. How did you guys do own your own?
Miss G:  Good.
Ping:  *silence*
Me:  Oh, I see. Miss G, what happened?
Miss G:  Well, uh, Ping hit Bing’s car seat.
Bing:  Pbbbthhwa *giggles*  wa wa hahhahaha! *laughing* BA BA!!! WAZ DIZ?!
Me:  Hmmmm, yea, I could see how he would be bugging you. Ping, were you mean to Bing?
Me:  I didn’t say you were in trouble. I’m not even mad.
Me:  Whoa, hold up there. You are getting in trouble NOT because of what Miss G said, but because of how you are acting right now. Yelling at me, getting so angry.
Ping:  GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! (yes, she was actually growling like an angry dog)
Me:  Do you want to tell me what happened?
Me:  Oh baby. I think you should stop talking now. Because Daddy is getting pretty mad. I don’t think you understand how mad you are making me right now.
Ping:  Oh I understand. Because I’m mad! I DIDN’T WANT A BROTHER! GGGGRRRRRRRR!!! WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE A LITTLE BROTHER. I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK! I want it to go back to being NORMAL.

So I’ll be honest with you. At this point, I just calmly told her to stop talking. Not to trivialize her struggles… I understand she is struggling with having a new baby brother. I understand she doesn’t feel quite right in the family, even on a good day, and now her little world has been thrown upside down. 

I’m glad she told me how she was feeling, but I wish it was in a more constructive manner.

Bad Daddy meanwhile, is screaming in the back of my head “You want your life back?! You don’t like it here? You selfish little oooooohhhhhh, you know what, go back to your orphanage is that is what you want. You have two great parents who love you, wonderful big brothers and a big sister who love you, who have been patient with you, who have treated you waaaaay better than you deserve to be treated. If you don’t like you’re nice big house, with lots of toys, and pretty clothes, then fine… you can HAVE your old life back!” And I’m not even going to get into the blaming her sister for her doing something bad… *sigh*

Isn’t that horrible?! But I was just so angry that she would say that about her brother, with him right there.

I mean, SHE freaked out WAAAAAY worse than Bing did. She had tantrums 10, 15, 20 times a day. She was yelling and screaming at me for MONTHS. It was something like 7+ months before she would even give me a hug, or stay in the same room as me. She broke her sister + brothers things, she screamed and yelled at them almost non-stop.  She didn’t share. She didn’t speak politely, she was rude and impatient. She was selfish and self centered.  

… and all her big brothers and sister did was love her and give her room to grow.

And she can’t even extend a little patience to Bing while they sit in a car together and he babbles. His babbling is “bugging her” and she feels justified to “hit him”.  

Oooooh boy… it’s a good thing ! Otherwise I’d have pulled that van over right then and there.

How can he be annoying when he is that cute?

Fortunately, Good Daddy was also somewhere in that head of mine… just waiting for Bad Daddy to finish his little rant. Good Daddy reminded me that my lovely Ping was struggling with her own issues, and instead of being angry with her, that maybe I should try some compassion and love, reaffirm her place in the family and give her love to grow.

So I did stop the van, and got her out of the van so she was standing in front of me, I crouched down so we were eye to eye.

Notice Miss G in the back, plugging her ears.  
Meanwhile Ping is ignoring the requests to stop banging the cymbal.  
I’m thinking, this selfishness has to stop… soon.

Me:  I love you Ping. Mommy loves you. Your brothers and sister love you. There is nothing you can do to make me love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make me love you more. You don’t even understand how crazy in love with you I am. You are my most special Princess, just like Miss G, and the boys are my Princes. You don’t have to worry about Bing, you don’t have to worry about having a little brother. You will always be special. You will always be loved. But what you said was horrible. It was way too mean. Your brothers and sisters never said that about you, and trust me, they had more reason to complain about you… but they didn’t. They choose to love you just as you are. And you have to do the same to Bing.

Now, I’m not convinced I handled any of that correctly, in fact, I’m almost positive that I didn’t. I can tell, because as I’m telling her how much she is loved, she is pursing her lips as if trying to stifle a smile, and all I wanted to do was wipe that infernal smile of her face…  ah well… I guess I’m not doing very well lately.

So here we are again, another blog about Special Needs… except it isn’t the Spina Bifida which is causing me grief. So far, that has been much easier to deal with than her more severe Special Need – and that is the state of her heart.

6 responses to “The state of her heart”

  1. Brandi says:

    I want to say bless your heart. Also, I’ll see your one Bad Daddy and raise you a Bad Mama. Thanks for sharing. Right there with you. Sometimes I wonder if the heart that needs healing is mine.

  2. Kam says:

    Thanks for this, Adrian. I appreciate your honesty. Joel will become a big brother to our new son sometime this fall and I’m wondering if we will see his heart reacting in the same way. I know my heart has reacted the way yours did…so we are all in the same boat. Imperfect but falling on grace every single day. Praise the Lord that mercy is fresh every morning.

  3. Aus says:

    Dude – from my chair you did great! Greatness #1 – you let Bad Dad have his rant – but with you – NOT with her. Greatness #2 – you kept your mouth shut until your brain was in gear. Greatness #3 – you made a response on the level of the child (not giant to mini-human). Greatness #4 – you made a reasoned response. Greatness #5 (and maybe the biggest one) – you let her have her feelings – you made it clear that there’s nothing wrong with the feelings – but the behavior she engaged in because of the feelings was too hurtful! You don’t always like each other – but – that doesn’t mean you can be cruel to each other!

    the rest – it’s just sauce for the goose –

    you did great on this one – attaboy!

    aus and co.

  4. Adrian says:

    Thanks for the feedback. 🙂 I find it scary to post something something this “honest” – where adoption isn’t always “great”, and where we (or I) as parents may “fail”. But isn’t that just true for life in general, adoption or not? I like what Kam said in that we “fall on grace”.

    And Aus, thanks for uplifting comments.

  5. shelley says:

    Wow, wonderful post. I wonder how many kids really never get to scream their true feelings and get help for it. I believe this session will work its way into her heart. You took the time to let “bad daddy” say *which by the way runs thru my head in times like this too* his rant and then let “good daddy” take over..well done. I think this runs through my girls head every now and then…..her brother shadows her still (home for 3 yrs) like a TRUE SHADOW…yet she remains patient and kind most of the time. I know she gets frustrated too at the upheaval in her life.

  6. Stefanie says:

    Bravo, Adrian.
    I have definitely had those moments where I doubt I made the best parenting choice… but when you are parenting out of a ferocious love for your child and your family, that is the best parenting choice of all. Thanks for sharing with such honesty.

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