One of the more exhausting things related to adopting older children is the vigilent supervision that comes with the task.  From sun-up to sun-down the work never stops.  Why the full-time, all-time hovering? 

Most children adopted when they are older, have issues related to a background of abuse or neglect.  If you are a responsible parent, you have taught your children right from wrong from birth.  Kids from the ‘system’ did not have this advantage.  Therefore, their behaviors are often times destructive to themselves, and/or unsafe for other children. 

A mild case of this would be the fact that a child has no clue how to dress for the elements.  Wearing a winter jacket when it is 100 degrees, can be just as problematic for their health as not wearing a coat, hat, and gloves when it is below freezing.  They often lack logic for simple things.

A more serious case would be an older child having sexualized behavior (that does not mean sexual assault, but instead an overactive imagination or fascination with sex) around younger, impressionable children.

In our home we have 3 particular children that have needed constant supervision since they were placed with us.  At first, we did not realize we needed to provide this.  Over the years we have learned the necessity for it.  They are not bad kids, they just need more supervision, and more time with parents to learn right from wrong.

Last evening my husband and older children were occupied elsewhere.  The rest of the kids got to have a ‘mom date’.  We played games then watched a classic comedy movie, enjoying popcorn on my king size bed, staying up way past normal bedtime.

During the 5 hours of ‘mom date’ I had to leave my 5 adopted children unsupervised for a few minutes, several times, as I did laundry, checked email, popped corn, and took a shower.  I left my two teens ‘in charge’ of the board games and subsequent movie each time.  This is highly uncommon for me as usually I am there every minute.  My two teens actually had safe behavior (of course they knew I could pop in at any moment), were responsible , and enjoyed being recreation directors for their younger siblings.

This doesn’t mean from now on I am going to leave anyone unattended for more than a few minutes at a time, but it does give me hope that over the years of ‘helicopter parenting’, progress is being made.  Our effort to serve the Lord through adoption is bearing fruit – I thought I would never see the day!

Adoptive parents have a difficult job.  In the day-to-day burdens it doesn’t seem like your sacrifices mean anything.   Over the years, however, the 24/7/365 work pays off.