I have been asked many times if I regret adopting Joselin. No, I do not regret adopting Joselin. She has been a challenge and has not been able to accept our family but I know that it could have been worse. How do you value stolen material items, lies and such to the salvation of a child?
Today Joselin is literate and she made it to the age of 18 without any children. I know that if she was in Guatemala neither of those things would have happened. Some talks lately have made me realize that she is just not able to attach. However, she does realize that she should. She knows what a "normal" family looks like. She wants that for her kids. She doesn't want them to not be able to attach like she couldn't. For good or bad, I committed to her and she is mine. I still hold out hope for her. I even threw a Bible into her box of stuff she plans on taking. I pray for her daily.
She does not have an interest in returning to Guatemala, she says that Guatemala isn't the place for women or children. She would know first hand, unfortunately. She is also not 17 years old. We assume she is 18 almost 19 years old but even that could be off. We do know that she is older then what is on paper....she knows this too. She knows that we were lied to about her age. When Joselin was taken to the orphanage by her mother she was told to not call her adoptive parents mom and dad. To not accept the family but use them and return to Guatemala when she was 16 and take care of her. Joselin feels that she betrayed her biological mother by calling me mom. Some things we have just not been able to overcome. Maybe time will help. We have only had 8 years and it has not been long enough.
All my kids at times have disappointed me at one point or another. They have all given me their own challenges. I will not reject them. I think this comes from my dad rejecting me as an adult. I did call him yesterday and we talked for maybe 2 minutes (first call in over a year). The entire time he seemed annoyed and was trying to get off the phone. My kids will not know that rejection.
The last conversation I had with Joselin was about attachment and also about how she is not able to live in our home with our rules. However, I hope that we can have a relationship once she is not under our roof. Whether she likes it or not, she is our daughter.
Funny, this baby who came into our home with no attachment helped Joselin to understand that she was missing something. When we realized that the foster child we received didn't want to be held, would arch her back and look away from you when you fed her, we took the time to teach everyone in the house about attachment. About nurturing a baby. How important holding is for a baby. How important it is to answer the cries and meet their needs.
Joselin was very intent on making sure that Larissa was able to attach to the family. She held that baby more then anyone in the house. I do regret that I wasn't there when Joselin was a baby to hold her and teach her to attach.
Frequently on our family trips, where we spent a lot of time together, you would find Joselin unhappy with headphones in her ears. I have come to realize that she found our family trips to be uncomfortable. All that togetherness was hard for her. She felt like she was not part of the family even on the monorail at DisneyWorld.
But, there were times when she did let go and was just happy. At the Grand Canyon.
A rooftop restaurant in Tijuana.
San Diego Zoo.
I wish we could bottle those happy moments because they felt so fleeting. I had to search through a lot of pictures to find ones where she was actually really happy. There were more then I remembered.
We took Joselin away from that orphanage. She is our daughter....... forever. Please pray for her.