If you've ever felt like you don't have what it takes to parent or care for a child who has faced trauma, Paulette's story will give you the encouragement you need to hang in there--no matter what.
“I have three biological adult children and I have adopted eight children from foster care. There was a time when we brought our one son into our home who was seven and there were many nights that I would cry myself to sleep or cry in the shower or need to take a break because I thought to myself, ‘I’m never going to be able to do this, I made a mistake. I’m not capable of handling a child with this amount of trauma.’
“And there were days that he would spit in my face and scream at me. Tell me I wasn’t his mother. Tell me how bad of a job I was doing. And further made me doubt my capabilities of being able to parent and love this child. And even though those were the darkest, darkest days, I’m so very thankful for that. But it forced me to realize, that if I was going to make good on my promise to parent this child forever, I better do a better job than I was doing. Be an open book to say, ‘I can’t do this on my own; please help me.’ And they came rushing in.
“Every single day as a parent, we think that we’re not good enough. Every single day as a parent, I screw up. My goal for raising my children isn’t to make it through the day. My goal in raising my children is I will have as healthy 35-year-old children as possible. And so I’m always looking forward. I’m constantly reevaluating and changing the way that I am parenting each one of my children depending upon where they’re at. And I oftentimes think that I can’t do this. But then at the end of the day my 13-year-old guy who we got from really a bad place, wrote me the most beautiful Mother’s Day card letter and thanked me for adopting him and thanked me for having rules and thanked me for loving him when there were times that he was less than lovable.
“When they call me mom and they know that we are in this together, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. The next day I can up and we can start over.”Transcript