Thoughts on Mothering

Or more accurately, Thoughts on Mothering a Child Who Speaks a Different Language.  But that’s a mouthful, so I’ll leave it as it is.

I’ve found myself lately to be revisiting feelings I had when Bubba was in his most difficult years.  The feelings of not being good enough.  The feeling that God should have chosen a better mom; perhaps someone with more experience with special needs kids.  This time around my doubts come from my identity here as a foreigner.  My Thai language experience is lacking.  I don’t always understand the customs or rules of the country we live in.

How do I tell our new foster son that we’ll be here for him when he’s sick?  When he has a special award in school?  How do I express how very grateful I am that he always washes his own dishes, or plays Uno with Calico?  It never feels like a simple “thank you” really expresses it.

In times of doubt I flash back to a radio ad that often played around the time we were preparing to move here.  In an effort to get more people to sign up as foster/adoptive parents, there was a whole series of ads that told of parents making mistakes.  These people were far from perfect.  The slogan was, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.”  (Can I insert a Praise Jesus!?)  In these times I feel a little bit better about not remembering to get his regulation brown school shoes for two weeks, or constantly having to use Google translate for more than a basic conversation.

We are learning more each day about showing love in a variety of ways.  Big smiles, homemade treats after school, high fives, pull-up contests (that would be with Ethan, not me!), inclusion in all family activities, and teaching him how to ride a clutch motorbike.  I pray we are filling his heart with what has been missing from his life before this.

And when I take a moment to lift my eyes away from my own shortcomings, I see the beauty that God has surrounded us with: six unique blessings.  I’ll never be a perfect person — and that’s okay.  And maybe with LOTS of practice and self-discipline, I’ll someday be able to speak the same language as all of my kids.


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