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Picking Favorites

All moms say they don't do it, but c'mon...  Do we really have a favorite child?

There are unique traits I love about each of my kids - my adopted stepdaughter who has lived with us for four years and my adopted son who has lived with us for only two months. But I go through phases where I just feel more connected to one or the other.

Right now, I'm more connected to my son, and I'm not sure if it's out of frustration with my teen daughter or that he's just a "better" kid on paper - he's the one that should have problems, be in turmoil, adjusting/transitioning from his rough life with his birthmom and going through foster care into our family - he's the one that should need the extra help, make me frustrated, feel unattached... right?! But he's transitioned so seamlessly, on-par to make A/B honor roll (so proud!) and the counseling sessions feel so pointless when we go - he is fine! So why is it this young lady I've had in my life for years and years is the one I still secretly dread talking to every night because I know there will be a new bombshell every day?

I guess it took bringing in another kiddo to our family to see just how strained our relationships are as parents with our daughter - she is a mess! I always just thought it was a family issue and it was an equal combination of her past, as well as us not having the right tools or techniques and a her own current attitude/behavior choices. People say, "She's just being a teenage girl." But now I see how we are with our son and how he is with us and I see how it is supposed to be.

I'm sure we, as parents, could be doing things differently with the girl to help with her specific issues, and we are seeking counseling for her ADD and for us to learn what we're doing wrong and right and anything we should be doing to help it/her but aren't.  

But wow, these two kiddos are so night and day - I was sort of starting to doubt my abilities as a mom before we adopted our son because I see how poorly our daughter is doing. But since our son is doing so great, it has me wondering, maybe it hasn't been me all along - maybe it's just her.  I hate to say that because I really do love her.  This isn't about love.  I love all my pets, but I have a favorite. We love our friends, but we have "best friends."

Even my mother has said she just loves her new grandson so much.  I told her I was so happy to hear her say that because I wasn't sure she was 100% on-board for the adoption.  She admitted she wasn't, because she still doesn't even feel very attached to our daughter: "He's just so warm and lovable - I still don't even feel that way about her - she's like sandpaper."  And you know what, she really is!

I'm not ready to give up on her, but my mom is right. This girl just rubs everyone in the universe the wrong way - this is not a "she's having a bad week" or "she got a bad grade, so I like my other kid better" kind of thing. This is a personality and bonding thing. My husband, her father, would say the same thing. None of us feel connected to her these days - we try and fight it and fake it, but she just pushes harder and harder and harder. How hard can she push before I stop trying? Well it hasn't happened yet and I can't imagine anything so horrific that I would, but it's a valid concern I have.

So is this a universal mom-lie? Does everyone secretly pick a favorite child?