A letter to my freaked out old self.

 hihiIn honor of the anniversary of our homecoming with little Max, I thought I'd write a letter to myself full of information that I wish I'd had a year ago. If I ever figure out how to travel in time, I'll go back and deliver this to myself. Then I'll go pet the dinosaurs.

K. Here goes.

Dear new Mama to Max,
Welcome to the crazy family of people who have adopted a wounded child! It's a unique brotherhood full of other families who won't judge you when your child comes to church without any shoes on, and doesn't believe you when you pretend everything is a-ok. We are a tight family, and we watch out for each other. We'rere so thrilled you've joined us on this crazy ride.

So since you know nothing about this new kid, let me just pass along a few pieces of advice that will change the way you interact with him. First off, your son has an attachment disorder. It affects nearly every social interaction he has, his learning, his behavior, pretty much every waking moment of his life echoes the fact that no one held him as an infant. Don't assume you can treat him like a normal kid, because it'll end in disaster every time.

When your kid freaks out for no real reason, put him in the shower and let him stay there for an hour or two. Or, drop everything and carry him around like a collicky baby for a while. He likes to walk up and down the hall, or swung around like an airplane. Forget the gym. Just carry your seven year old infant around for a while. Works every time.

Don't freak out about the fact that his math skills are that of a three year old. He will realize there is a pattern to counting, and will eventually figure out that 13 always comes before 14. It will take an entire year for this to come together, but it'll come. Don't bother with subtraction, you'll still be working on that when he's twenty. Oh, and he learns wayyyy better snuggled up with you on the couch than he ever did sitting at the table. It's that whole attachment thing. It really does affect everything.

And when you're sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, holding Max in that secure position he hates because you're afraid he's about to cause permanent damage to someone or something, remember that this little boy is a gift. God brought him into your life to show you just how much you judge other parents with ornery kids. He's here to show you really don't know everything about parenting, in fact you don't know a darned thing. Max wants to teach you that love is a choice, and that you can command respect without turning into a screaming banshee. He's going to turn you into a better person, but it's going to be a long and difficult process. Because you, my friend, are sort of a train wreck yourself, and you don't even realize it. You need your new son to point out your flaws, so you can become more like Christ.

Best of luck!
The Mama who knows Max a little better

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