Thursday, April 19, 2012
Figuring It Out
Eating lunch yesterday with a longtime adoption worker, some 30+ years of experience, hard to surprise her about anything regarding behaviors, I can't begin to say anough good things about how her intellience has guided me clearly all these years, and I was struck by a statement, "We tell our new adoptive parents that we have no resources to help them," in regards to the murderous rages so many of us later face.
"There are no resources," she cleared up.
There's no holding tank to allow for a cooling off period, no sanctions for the crazy with a K behaviors we see, there's no respite, which I'm still not convinced is a good idea anyway, at least not for my household, and there's certainly no bodyguards available for rent. I wouldn't have chosen Kevin Costner when there's men like The Rock that could've helped.
So what's an adoptive parent to do preceding, during, or after these frightening events?
Heck if I know. Seriously. I. Do. Not. Know. Neither does she. Nor does anyone.
But if your worker discourages you, after reading a case file and you've fallen in love with the kid on paper, please listen to your worker.
A kid described as 'obsessed with getting their own way,' sometimes translates into, 'will use force or weapons to fight all control battles.' Honestly, they bring machine guns and assault weapons to a knife fight.
I once stupidly thought that love would win out, reasoning would prevail, my own inner fortitude would be contagiously appealing to them, that these adorable children just needed a loving mama, only to discover I was kinda wrong. And apparently dumb as a doorknob.
I've been blessed with the best: the best adoption caseworker, the best juvenile court judge, the best DJJ, the best therapist/Psychologist/psychometrist and psychiatrist, the best county mental health services in the form of both Advantage and Pathways, the best deputies, the best sheriff, the best outside facilities and resources, the best grandparent/my parents and family supporting me, the best church, the best school system, the best friends, and on and on. Yet this has nearly done me in.
I AM the strongest woman I know, 25 years in the adoption arena, me getting up every single day no matter how tired/sad/angry/upset/heart broken, etc. It doesn't matter. No days off, get up and go. You chose this Cindy, go deal with it.
Which is why respite doesn't appeal to me, the issue would still be waiting on a resolution. Also I don't take off for an annual week alone to rejuvenate myself, re-entry would be brutal, (thank you Lisa A for that term). I'd even wager to say that I've chosen the best kids.
I read through every single home study with a fine tooth comb and brightly colored high-lighters, questioning my own caseworker and special ed teachers about each and every listed issue. What I didn't then fully understand is that the cute, un-labeled then four year old could grow up into his undetected diagnoses, and rage with vile, brutal hatred at me, or that teenage rebellion in traumatized children can include way too much violence and chaos, or that the misdirected anger is astonishingly dangerous. The attachment issues, not RAD, just the middle of the road you're-not-my-real-mother rage hurts everyone, both physically and emotionally.
The fall-out has been enormous, and my other children have all been affected. I remain buffaloed by so much, by the ones that do not break the cycle of poverty, indifference, apathy, lethargy, drug use, alcoholism, and everything else. Claudia's frustration at their family's arrest record mirrors our own.
This post yesterday by a trauma mama venting sounded similar to my own outrage at times. We're a buncha pissed of mothers who've tried very, very hard and have been constantly kicked in the teeth for our efforts, both by the children and, surprisingly enough, by CPS and/or other card-carrying members of The Blame Game Squad, feeding into our children's own misguided victim theory that won't help them get and hold jobs.
Some of my kids flat out stun me by their inordinate successes, incredible achievements for which I claim no credit, it's on them, they pulled themselves up by their Nike laces. I burst with pride though. Jesse, you blow me away this morning as I pray for your beautiful family. I love you so much it brings tears to my eyes.
As I work outside each day, or scrubbing down the inside, I think, think, think, later trying to digest it here, to spew it out, or to laud some of my shining examples, such as Cristy or Gina.
Daniel's Save The Date announcement was a UGA Game Day photo of the two young adults on a magnet now adorning my fridge. I love it. If Daniel still lived with me, I'd beg him to build me this, because I know he could do so.
I just had a 15 year old have a meltdown, crying fit over being bus left. I ignorantly attempted to explain time management principles for the billionith time only to have him scream louder that this was all my fault. The baby of a patently oppositionally defiant sibling group, grossly unteachable, quite mean, and very stubborn at all times. This is a battle I can not win. They have too much at stake emotionally. I've finally learned to back down, to disengage. If I maintain my very logical stance, it'll only ignite their inner fury, likely resulting in me having to call a deputy to restore order and to press charges on property destruction.
These are not neuro-typical children and can not be treated as such. A very difficult lesson for me to finally learn. I remain rather frustrated because I already know how this turns out for adult human beings. I remain committed. I do love them.
I've been his mom since he was a bedwetting, emotionally demanding toddler. Not much has changed since then, although he finally quit the wetting at about age 8, much sooner than a lot of other traumatized children. I've had 15 year old bed wetters. Not a pretty sight, but something that must be dealt with.
Thank God for therapy. I've certainly needed it, and I've greatly benefitted from Dr. Mandy's explanations, guidance, suggestions, and brilliance. Some of my kids have listened to her also.
And my severely oppositional fit thrower? When I dropped him off at the high school he actually said, "Thanks, Mom, love you," after a one-sided, door slamming, loud argument that made absolutely no sense, and would've rivaled that of any other two year old that'd lost their lolloipop.
"You're welcome," I sighed, trying to find any available oxygen left untarnished there in my van. "I love you too." He got out grinning and bopped in the doors to find another adult to aggravate. This principle's cell phone has my cell phone number in it...just in case.
I'll end this post with a Jesse and Isaiah picture.