Christmas was better before you

One mom with multiple kids adopted out of foster care is constantly reminded through the holidays how “wonderful” Christmas was ‘before’ her, how many toys they got, the trips they made, the decorations, the tree, the food… all fantasy.  None of it real.  Of course adoptive mom is hurt, because she’s done so much for these kids, and has worked so hard to make every Christmas and holiday a special time for them, but it’s never “good enough”.  Why bother?

My word to you is this:  DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSONALLY.  This fantasy life they have built up is not because you have made life so miserable for them, it’s not because you as parents are inadequate.  Really, it’s NOT!  It’s because they feel, deep down, that THEY were inadequate for their bio parents which is why they are where they are.  It’s innate that children blame themselves when their parents screw up.  Of course the parents couldn’t be the ones who were wrong, to blame, high up on the pedestal children put their parents on.  And once they lose their parents, that pedestal becomes so high it’s out of sight.  You can’t compare to a fantasy.

My gut instinct is to address appropriately the fantasy, and not play into it, but how that works for your kids may differ.  I would seek help from a qualified person to know what that way is to not enable them to continue in this fantasy life of perfect bio parents (which then equals them being bad children and unworthy) without causing more trauma and pain.  Whether it’s addressing it directly, and slowly bringing them around to the truth, or talking about what is good about your past holidays and events with them, whatever is what is right for your kids, do it.

And hang in there.  It’s not about you.  It’s really not.  You are doing GREAT!