Rob filled out his first college appilcation last night. He worked very diligently on it. He has had the info from them for a while. Part of me felt I should nag him to fill it out and send it in. That little voice inside me kept saying "the clock is ticking on this." And it probably is. I know getting into college is a competitive thing. But more than getting in, I was worried that somehow in his mind my concern for achieving that would look like pushing him out of the home.
For so many adoptive kids, this is a time when the trauma from the past makes the plans for the future threatening, frightening and the result is really ugly. I get that. I was not adopted and came from a traditional family set up. Yet, I remember when I had only been living on my own and going to college about 4 months or so. My mom started nagging me to come and dismantle my room at home so that the space could be re-purposed. I didn't want to get rid of my room at home. It was a visual sign of a safety net I thought I wanted and needed. So, like most teens, I ignored her.
Til one day when I was visiting at home she told me I had to get this done. I responded with anger and stormed into my old room, ripping posters from walls, tossing momentos in a box and shoving all in the back of my car. I cried all the way back to my house. Even though I was living on my own, even though I had wanted to get out of the house as soon as I could, I felt bereft.
My point? It is harder often for kids who are adopted. So I am not pushing, even if it means in a worse case scenario, his admissioin is delayed somewhere or he has to rethink a plan. I have told him I will help with any paperwork, and with searching out financial aid (ack!!!!) I think it took him some time to process all that and we are on the road to searching and exploring colleges now. And even when he has fledged, his space will be here for him when he needs or wants to come back.