I have this moment I flash back to often, me and my then, 2 year old daughter sitting at the dining room table eating clementines. As I peeled each piece I held it up to the light to check for seeds, I then passed it into an anxiously waiting chubby little hand. Each time, my daughter would hold the piece up to the light and check for seeds again. At first I thought this was an adorable display of mommy mimicking. It wasn't until years later that I realized she was checking because she didn't trust me, she still doesn't. I know because she has told me so.
As a mother it is a deep ingrained animal instinct to protect our young, and our young should be able to feel that deep connection and trust that we will always do what's best, safe, and most loving for our babies.
For my daughter, and for some many adoptive children having trust is, and will always be a weakness. This is a fact that, as a mother I have struggled with, some times more than others. Sometimes I find myself barely keeping my head above the emotional waters of parenting a child with these weaknesses. I needed to reach out, I needed someone, somewhere to share my feelings with no risk of judgment, and with the safe knowledge that my feeling would be welcomed by other mothers who had been there. For me, I found this support on-line.
A Facebook page that frankly has been true light in the moment of some pretty dark days. Having parent to parent support is something I think every one agrees is a good idea, but isn't always something that is easily accessed. Support groups in the community do not exist where I live, and even if they did, being able to physically attend would take a miracle. For us having a family of parents on line is what has been the most helpful, a group of professional adoptive parents, who have experience, kind words, virtual hugs and compassion is what has made the biggest difference for me.
I don't feel alone anymore, and I feel like every morning when I wake up, I know whatever the day has in store, I have somewhere to turn. Somewhere to share good news and bad, funny quotes and stories only an adoptive parent would get. Peer support is a crucial component to parenting success. I have always loved the term, it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that is true, my village includes the people I have met in my online support group.