Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guilty for not Loving a Troubled Child

The meaning of the word "love," when applied to a troubled child, has been a subject of some debate on this and other foster/adoptive blogs over the years.  The blog talkinrealhere has a really good post on the topic.

Realmom writes:
I hear so many parents of troubled kids say, I don't really love my child. They feel guilty, it's a hard thing to say, and they feel like the worst human being on the planet because they don't "love" their child. Well, I beg to differ, parents.

I do not love Danielle in the way most people think when they bring up the subject of their children.  Still, I don't carry the guilt about it that some parents do.  It was and still is hard to hold warm fuzzy feelings in my heart for a child who was so insulting, so manipulative, so uncooperative, and so violent.

Realmom went on to say:
...Do you do the best that you can in any given moment? That, my friends, is love. That is action.

There's more.  It's worth reading, and it echoed what I was trying to articulate all those years ago.

When I think of Danielle now, I just feel sad.  She was terribly damaged before she ever came to us, and I'm not sure that her troubles are the type that can ever be fixed.  Now that she is a young adult, I rarely hear from her.  She's more likely to contact FosterEema, but when she does, it's generally because she wants something, like a bus ticket or some cash.