Adopting so many kids had some costs I did not consider. I knew it would be hard and that we'd have issues with loss and behaviors and a much louder home. I did not expect the cost of my relationships with others including the way I'm treated by neighbors, strangers, and people I thought had my back (some who were who I thought were my closest friends). I didn't expect the loss on our end at all. I guess I was really able to see a difference because I went from 1 that was the only for 5 years to 4 in just a couple months. I saw the dramatic difference. I didn't realize there wouldn't be anymore invitations to parties or that we'd even be uninvited to things. I didn't realize I'd feel unwelcome and uncomfortable every single place I went, even familiar happy places. I didn't realize there would be so much judgement slung at us. Feeling like I should maybe explain our situation to even complete strangers especially with the special needs we deal with or the fact they have ideas about my reputation when in reality I've been faithful to my one and only, but knowing I don't have to explain Jack because it's none of their business! But if I did Maybe people would be more patient or put their eyes, their shaking heads, comments, and sighs towards something else. Wondering why people who don't know my son treat him like a criminal with comments about spending his life in jail for playing with a ball that was in the street and phone calls because he went into someones backyard and it was suspicious even though it was actually a play date and security cameras because they just have a feeling "my boy" will steal something and why people who see how my daughter acts just judges my parenting or worse calls her a name like brat or tell her to her precious 5 year old face that she needs to take medication. And why they don't take even one second to consider that maybe the boy who's growling and hitting and kicking in the middle of the store was treated like he was unwanted until age 4 or that he was actually told that he was a mistake and that he is stupid (that's a very nice edited version) by a person he trusted and depended on and was made known of the fact he made even his foster moms life "a living hell" and that he doesn't even fully trust me yet because he spent the first years of his life knowing nobody truly wanted him. I wonder why even when they're being perfect angels people still expect them to mess up or wait for them to misstep in anyway. I feel like my innocence has been completely lost in this process, like the happy person I used to be just died because I have now seen how ugly the world and people in it can be, including myself. I'm so angry. I don't want to care that some people think I'm a white trash skank or an ineffective parent but I do care. It bugs me that it's automatically assumed what kind of person I am. Or like it's ok to treat anyone like a second class citizen to begin with like so what if I was on welfare or if I did have 4 different fathers for my children. Why would that make it okay to treat my family like we are beneath them. I don't want it to change who I am but I'm having a lot of trouble letting this go. I don't know how to go back to who I was when every day is a battle. Every day it seems a new challenge that tries to squeeze any kindness I have left for people from my heart. And no I'm no angel. These kids have done far more for me than I ever could for them. I am the lucky one to have them in my life. Adding children to my home (take this in) ADDING CHILDREN TO MY HOME has really shown me the ugliness of the world. The impatience, the assumptions, the racism, the exclusivity, the superiority, the belief that adoptive love is lesser than biological, the belief that foster kids are "bad". It's all changing me. My sensitive heart is becoming like stone. Today I've really reflected on one thing, if I had known the true cost would I still have done it? The answer is of course Yes, I would have but I sure wish it didn't have to be this way. I was so naive about the state of this world we live in. I wish I was still shielded from the hatred of the world but I am glad to know who really loves me and my family and who doesn't. It's hard to realize you have far less people in your corner than you thought. This has been such an unexpected painful part of this process for me. I think something everyone needs to remember is that usually when a child is acting out it is because something deeper is going on. A child that is in the situation my children are in did not choose or want to lose their first family. That is grief they will carry with them always. The feelings they feel are much deeper than they are able to express at times and just because a family that WANTS THEM and LOVES THEM adopts them doesn't mean it will be all rainbows and puppy dogs the second they have a stable home life. It is a LIFE LONG process.