The struggle is real.

Kids falling to pieces over what’s for dinner.  Arguments about who gets shotgun that reach fever pitch.  “He said -”  “NO, I DIDN’T!”  thrown about with the ferocity of a championship dodgeball game.  Rampant emotions raging and slammed doors shattering any semblance of peace.

Parenting is not for wusses.  And parenting kids faced with the extra issues surrounding adoption?  Well, that adds several layers of “wait, what?!” to your parenting experience.

On the other hand, it also makes the successes twice as sweet.

I share a lot on the blog about the difficulties raising children who’ve been adopted (although I believe a lot of it applies to parenting in general).  Shoot, those who don’t know better might stumble across Riddle from the Middle and wonder why on earth we took on this parenting journey at all if I was gonna gripe about it.  Well, my personal theory is that the more angsty emotions I pour into my writing, the less likely they are to get all bottled up inside, drastically lowering the odds that I’ll go postal over something ridiculous like socks left on the counter.

Half self-preservation, half survival of the species.

So I put my truth out there because I believe we’re all fighting our own battles behind our front doors.  Parenting is hard work.  It Is Not For Wusses.  And, as such, that means there will be plenty of times when we’re down in the trenches wondering when the mortar shells will stop. Often while wearing sweats and clutching a glass of wine.

But then there are the breakthroughs.  The times between duck and cover when you can almost see the light go on as the kids finally, finally come through with a skill we’ve been working on.

The kid who tried so hard to please, who didn’t want to lose a single friend because it meant he was unworthy.  But then that day came when it just seemed to click.  To see him finally stand up and assert himself?  To set boundaries and sometimes even cut ties with kids who aren’t good for him?  It’s enough to make our hearts sing.

The kid whose heart was broken over why…why didn’t she want me?  Why can’t I see her? Why me?  The one with an empty hole that never could be filled.  It’s not as if the hole magically disappeared, but there came a day when the anguish over those Whys was a little less severe. The despair eased bit by bit until she reached a point when she could hold that pain and tell us when it hurt.  Seeing her owning this part of her journey is beyond wonderful.

Then there are a thousand little moments – when the hubbub stills, the hormones settle, and we find ourselves in a bubble of normalcy.  When no one’s getting the side eye for spitting on the wall or bickering over the radio.  When we actually find ourselves laughing together for no reason at all.  Those light hearted moments are as precious as gold.

So sure, the struggle is real, and parenting through adoption can drop some steep mountains in your path.  But those breakthrough moments?  They make all the difference in the world.