Thursday, May 08, 2008
Jack, with Mae's pinata, has lived here every minute of his life; stable, secure, and emotionally strong, demonstrating to me every day how hard my other children must have found their lives to be. How challenging each day before foster care when they were abused and neglected resulting in the emotionally broken children I am now parenting and trying to help heal, knowing it takes at the very least a life time.
Asked if we had 'transitioning problems' at the end of each school year, I gotta respond with a big ole, "Heck yeah, we do."
Tabby's winding up to have the hardest time. In my commenter's case, "In his black/ white thinking this means NEVER SEE FRIENDS EVER EVER AGAIN." In our case, friends aren't the issue as their best friends live here with them. A side benefit to a large family but because we have such awesome teachers in our county, my children lose it over them. Ms. Carr is retiring. "What? We'll never see her again?" That may have been the case in the past, in their chaotic childhoods moving constantly from pillar to post, but I guarantee Ms. Carr will remain in their lives.
Tabby's leaving Pre-K to come over to the big school (elementary) where her siblings will be, but in her mind she'll never see Miss Donna again. Yes you will darling, I'll say over and over. This is a small county and duh, you see her at church. Doesn't matter, facts are useless when dealing with traumatized emotions.
My most emotional child, JoJo, leaving fifth grade to go to middle school is likely to be difficult all summer. Tony and Lily also are moving up but Lily is super secure and Tony has a million other issues to focus on.
The day he turned six, I showed up in El Paso to adopt Daniel, Joe and Yolie. Daniel was crying on his foster mom's lap, didn't want me, a stranger, to crap up his life. He'd finally gotten somewhere stable and all he could see was that he was losing what he loved. Joe was happy to see me, showed me around his foster home proudly and was raring to go, only to later give me a very hard time in his teen years. Yolie was shut down, sad and angry, afraid to allow herself to comprehend that this would mean permanency for herself and her two beloved brothers that she'd then parented for 11 years.
Now Daniel remembers nothing of his life in Texas. Yolie and I returned to El Paso for another adoption six years ago and looked up her foster mom. This wonderful woman took us on a tour of everything Yolie'd spent 15 years telling me about, validating it all to her. Yolie'd also called up her retired worker and updated her on their progress which was impressive. Thankfully Yolie'd made that call as a couple of years later we were told of her passing away. It then hit us both hard, a very positive memory for Yolie, the fact that Maureen had cared enough to make sure Yolie was adopted with her brothers.
On that return trip, I'd invited Joe and Daniel to come along but even after all these years and they were grown, they both adamantly declined.
JoJo remembers nothing of his former life, he's been here for almost eight years and feels free enough to act out every single negative emotion as opposed to either Miriam or Edgar, his parentified siblings, who were just glad for the help I provided. JoJo finally finished his very overdue CHAMPS project, turning in a pisspoor rendition of homework after many tears, rages and hissy fits. Middle school doesn't look like much fun looming ahead for him.
He got up early with me, "I love you Mama," sitting on the sofa waiting out the few minutes in which I read the Bible before starting my day. I didn't reply as I was deep in my Romans 12 when he mimicked me, "Then act like it son!" Giggling like the monkey he is, bouncing on the sofa, snickering and acting like he was picking fleas outta my hair, he snuggled like the toddler he truly is in reality.
Warning, warning Will Robinson! Or better yet Miss Judy, Miss Ellen, Miss Kimberly and the other MBMS teachers...here comes a handful in the body of a silly little boy.
(PS - Millie, email me please, my email to you keeps returning.)