Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I ordered Joselin a new bike last week and had it delivered to Kim's house. Her school is about 1/2 mile down the road and there isn't a bus. So, I decided to send her a bike to help her get to school.

She received it today and Kim had her call me to thank me. I really feel that she shouldn't have bothered. It was the most insincere thank you I have heard, she wasn't happy with the color. I ordered a blue and white one because I know that she doesn't like pink.

I don't know what it is, unappreciative or a sense of entitlement. I guess it doesn't matter, same attitude that she has had since she came home 6 1/2 years ago. When she first came her tantrums at Walmart were so bad when she didn't get what she wanted that I didn't take her there for almost a year. She told me that her biomom let her have whatever she wanted.....hmmmmmm, OK. She came with the clothing on her back and was given everything. Sarah offered to share everything with her. Yet, Joselin's biggest gripe was that Sarah had more pajamas then her. I had talked with other parents who had adopted older children and there were others who acted this way. So, I figured with time it would get better. We don't give in to 2 year old tantrums and we sure don't give in to 11 year old tantrums either.

The tantrums did stop. She just started taking what she wanted instead. She took from Tasha the most. At one point Tasha didn't have hardly any clothing and a search of Joselin's room turned up a lot of Tasha's stuff. She didn't just take from Tasha though, she stole from everyone. One day I caught her wearing a ring that my husband had made for me. Naturally, she lied about it but it was a one of a kind ring and there was no denying. Still, stealing was annoying but it was something that could be dealt with. Although she never did stop. In her boxes that she packed before she left I found my jewelry, Tasha's clothing, Sarah's stuff and general things from around the house.

Boys, whew that was a huge issue. She didn't know how to have a good relationship. She could meet a boy at the water park and next thing you know he is a boyfriend. She didn't just have one boyfriend but many at the same time. We caught her sneaking out of the house at night, didn't trust her to stay after school for activities, didn't even trust her during school. I worked with her on how to develop a relationship, how to treat friends, how to treat your family. All of that was foreign to her. Respect was not a word that she understood. What age is too old to learn those things? She cared more for her boyfriends and friends of the moment then she did her family, she readily admitted it.

Her education was another big obstacle. She came with no formal education, couldn't even count money or tell time. She didn't see the need to learn how to read and write. We got her all the help we could and really encouraged her to learn. She is at about the 3rd grade reading level at this time and we are trying to get just a little more before she is old enough to quit school.

We worked through these things and some days felt we made progress and others thought we were just deceived. We felt that we were her prison guards. We were trying to protect her from herself. However, in the end we had to protect our other children from her. We knew that she had been bullying Sarah for years. We didn't realize what she was doing to the younger kids. She had Larissa terrified to sleep in her own room and she was sleeping in our bedroom. We didn't realize what a role Joselin played in that until I read her journal. We also came to realize that she was having a negative effect on Anthony and was impeding him from healing. It is a hard decision to reach, that your child can not remain in your home.

I am thankful that I have a friend like Kim who lived in an area that had a great educational program for Joselin. I am thankful that Kim wanted to have Joselin live with her. Kim is actually tougher then I am, she has had her challenges in life. She can give the tough love better then I can. I admit, I am too soft hearted.

At some point I fell in love with that hard headed, stubborn daughter of mine. I still hope that one day she will want to be a part of our family. I know that this is just a whining session but I am struggling with these feelings. I find myself coming back to this subject again in my blogging. I hope that by writing my feelings I can accept what happened better, understand it better, learn from it. I think of her every day and struggle with this every day. I try not to write about it every day!

We have two other adopted children that we all love to pieces and they have become members of our family like I had hoped that Joselin would. I think that their young ages made a difference. Older children need to be adopted and have homes as well, but boy, what a challenge they can be.

I do appreciate Kim for taking Joselin in but I miss having my child in my own home. I feel that in some way I failed her. That maybe there was something else I could have done, I just don't know what it could have been. I know that at some point she had to step up and want to become a member of our family and she just never did. I know that her racism impeded that, I just couldn't change that for her.

I asked Joselin if she wanted to come home over summer break and she said no. A few days later she said that she would like to come home for her birthday, she wanted gifts. Well, I don't think that will work out, I can send her a gift card. I guess she is toughening me up a little.


  1. I do hope that Joselin has some healing. I'm sure she has started with your family, but I hope she has more.
    What was her life like in Guatemala? Did she live with her birthfamily until she came to live with you? If she lived in an hogar/orphanage, what was the name of it? Perhaps looking at her life in Guatemala will give you some answers to help her (or help Kim help her) to have more healing.
    I have 2 daughters adopted from Guatemala as infants (now ages 7 and 10 years) and I have one more adoption there underway now of a 5 year old little girl.

  2. awww... My heart is just breaking for your family! You and J will be in my prayers!

  3. Joselin lived with her mom and grandmother at different times. She only lived at the hogar for one year. We do know many of the issues she is dealing with but just have not had much success. Three therapists have not been able to help her. The main person she talks to is me. She is not willing/not able/doesn't even want to move forward. She is not willing to forgive her biomom for things and a lot of that was transferred to us.

    Joeslin's biomom did not help her to transition at all. She told Joselin to never call me mom (she does) and wanted her to go back to Guatemala at 16 to support her. Joselin does not want to go back to Guatemala (although she did for years). She says that Guatemala is not a place for women or children.

  4. Reading this here, Felicia, makes me want to comment a little bit more from my comment this morning on the BF thread. It seems like Joselin's mom did indeed likely set her up with unrealistic expectations about an adoptive family. I'm sure that her tie to her birthmom is VERY strong, even if it is not a healthy relationship. And you are right, that was transferred to you. She loves you, but she is also fearful that you will "send her away" like her birthmom did. I don't know the circumstances of her relinquishment, don't get me wrong, but in a sense (at least in her mind), her mom did send her away.
    I recently read "Adoption is trauma." That's so true. I adopted my first 2 kids because I'm selfish and I wanted to be a mommy (I did not try to conceive, just wanted to be a mommy). I thought MY love would make everything fine. I thought since I picked up my girls before they were 1 year of age (one was 4 months and the other was 9 months) that they wouldn't have any issues. While they don't have severe issues, they do have issues.
    We have an open adoption with my oldest daughter's birthfamily in Guatemala. My daughter had great anxiety about Guatemala and her adoption. After meeting her birthfamily face to face, she had a great sense of relief. I am not suggesting that this is what Joselin needs (or wants). I just wanted to share that so many kids process things so differently.
    I've enjoyed our conversation.

  5. I am praying for this girl of yours, that things will start to click for her during her time with Kim.


  6. I just found your blog on blogfrog. Some of your posts are so heartbreaking? I do have a concern. Does Joselin know you are blogging about her and her current issues? It just seems that these are so sensitive and should she (and hopefully she will) mature and change one day, how will she feel knowing that her past issues are available online for all to see (posted by her own mother)?

  7. Yes, Joselin knows that I blog. Although it may not seem like it, I actually don't blog about many of her issues. However, I know that her issues are not unique. I hope that someone who is contemplating older child adoption can realize what issues they may face and perhaps be better prepared.

    I do hope that one day I can blog about great healing for Joselin. For now, we support her and hope that one day she will want her family. We are her family and won't give up.

    (I also blogged about my son and his struggles, I asked his permission first)

  8. Thanks for the reply. I hope I didn't offend you. I really enjoy your posts and pictures, but that was a question I had and decided I should go ahead and ask :)

  9. Boy do we have a lot in common. Especially wondering if we could have done more. I blog about my two boys with issues, although I don't give specifics, in hopes that others won't feel alone and in hopes that someone will leave an encouraging word for me.

  10. When I go back and read these blogs about Joselin they still hurt. I originally wondered if I should post such personal stuff, but I know that this side of adoption needs to be out there. Love doesn't cure everything, I wish it did.