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A couple of days ago, my cell phone lost its mind–(a symptom of my life lately.) It stopped responding completely to having its buttons pushed–(something I have yet to achieve.) It started dialing numbers on its own, like 44444444444. Then it would show my ring tone volume, and quickly go up and down. I could still receive calls, but I couldn’t send any. And wouldn’t you know it? After reporting all this to my husband, and asking him to drop it off for repairs, the darn thing worked perfectly for him all day, so he didn’t take it. (You know, it’s the old mechanic’s lament, “Ma-am, I just can’t duplicate your problem. You’ll have to bring it back when it’s acting up.” 

I guess everything around me is strange lately. Nothing’s ordinary–that’s for sure. My entire life feels like someone picked it up and threw it into the air, and when it came down, I didn’t recognize it anymore.  It’s been a gradual thing, but a consistent one.

For 15 years, I struggled to understand and raise my daughter, who we adopted at age 3. Nothing was ever normal with her. She was far more than “strong-willed.” In fact, I bought every book that I could find about our situation. Things like “Your 3 Year Old–Friend Or Foe?”, Dr. Dobson’s classics, “The Strong-Willed Child”, “Dare To Discipline”, “Parenting Isn’t For Cowards”, and on and on. I read about how to use time out, when to spank and when not to, how to handle temper tantrums, what to do about lying, how to deal with arguing and talking back. I read the Bible and all the best sellers.

She’s 19 now (soon to be 20) and things haven’t gotten any better. She recently decided that she wanted to find her birth mom. When the questions came up a few times when she was younger, we told her that we wanted to have our own special family, but when she was older, if she wanted to find her birth mom, we would help her.

Unfortunately, the last few years at home were very rocky. Her rebelliousness increased, and she never saw a rule that she didn’t want to break. It was hell on earth. She wouldn’t do her homework, causing her to go from being an honor student at one point, to almost being a drop-out. She didn’t get to walk down the aisle with her senior class, because she refused to do the make up work, graciously offerred to her by a teacher, in order to pass. We were in total agreement with the teacher aout failing her. (There are just some lessons in life that have to be learned the hard way.)  We made her attend summer school, and my husband actually held her hostage at his law office every day, until she finished the class. (She would have preferred to just be a drop out, but we had come too far for that.) She did graduate (though without ceremony, due to her choices) and actually was able to receive a Bright Futures scholarship, which covered all of her tuition. But she dropped out of college almost immediately. She never could seem to find her way to class, and never connected attending class with a passing grade. Oh well…

We told her that if she threw the scholarship away, we would not finance school for her later. She defiantly chose to drop out.

She always says that she is”working her butt off” at 3 jobs, but the total hours of all of them have not yet added up to 40 hours a week. After doing this for awhile, she decided that she would perhaps go back to school, and get a degree, because she is very materialistic, and doesn’t like not being able to shop and play. (However, she doesn’t at all mind not paying her bills.)

And suddenly, in the midst of the absolute worst time of my life, she decided that she wanted to find her birth mom. (I have been the primary caregiver for my mom for the last 3 1/2 years, since my dad died unexpectedly. In mid June she fell (while I was holding her hand) and broke her right foot, and left leg.) She received physical therapy, while recovering in a nursing home, and was just about to be released, when she fell and broke her right hip. (This changed everything.) She has been experiencing dementia, incontinence, hallucinations, and all sorts of things. So it was not the best time in my life to deal with yet another stressful event.)

But we had promised to help Chelsea find her mom, and we did. It wasn’t really all that difficult, and things initially went well. We knew that it would probably be a time of healing for my daughter and her mother. I took a deep breath, and went on. I was doing fine with it, until my husband came home one night, and told me that Chelsea had invited her mother to move in with her. (This was a bit much to take, and we both thought a little inconsiderate towards us.)

My husband is an adoption attorney, so the world of birth parents is not foreign to us. Many children do not even choose to find their birth parents, but when they do, it is often a special reunion, followed by sporadic calls and occasional visits. (But I have never heard of them moving in together–but that’s just me.)  So this dear child has hammered one more nail into my coffin. (A bit of an exaggeration, I admit. I usually leave the drama to Chelsea.) But how much more can I take? I tend to think–not much.

Apparently, her mother arrived last week, and we haven’t heard a word from Chelsea. When we first talked about it, we had decided that early on in the visit, we would all have dinner with her birth mom (who we had met at the time of the adoption), and then they could have their time together alone, while she was visiting. Chelsea thought she would feel more at ease that way. But then her birth mom decided to live here until at least January. (Surprise..surprise…) Chelsea has basically left us out entirely.

So on we go. Do I feel hurt? Yes. I don’t resent her finding her birth mom, but inviting her to move in was a little over the top for me. (Just being honest.) And this at a time, when Chelsea has little direction in her life, and will certainly see her as a role model. Her mom is a gypsy of sorts-married several times, and never settling down. She is 44, and recently sailed a boat to Guatemala alone.  She was a casino dealer for a good part of her life, though claims to have recently become a Christian. She is British, and presently living in England. What a fairy-tale for a teenage girl! (My counselor calls her an adrenaline junkie, as is Chelsea. LOL!) She wants to take Chelsea backpacking, and on a possible trip to Australia. Chelsea has suddenly decided that God has “called her” to go to worship school in Australia (studying with Hillsongs), which would cost about $20,000.00 for one year’s tuition, and that we should pay for it. (We have other thoughts.)

So, that’s the situation with my daughter. Right now, we are not making any moves. She has not called lately, and we are not going to chase her down. We will just have to trust God with the outcome of all this, whatever it may be. I only know that we love her, tried to raise her according to God’s word, sacrificed much, and suffered greatly. I feel sad to say that it was very, very difficult, but it was. We did the best we could, and we will always love her.

So that’s my life lately. No wonder my cell phone had a nervous breakdown…

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

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