Saturday, July 19, 2008

Love Story

I think that there are many times that I forget the love part of my relationship with Rose and Marie. I spend an inordinate amount of time in this struggle with them. Me always trying to remain in control and to show them love, and they are always trying to remain in control and proving that I don't love them.

I read in another blog about how much trauma and loss are part of adoption. I have to ask her permission before I post a link to her blog, but she is so correct. Loss on the part of my husband and I, as we were not able to conceive on our own and a greater loss on their part. They lost their birth families and everything they hold to be real.

Then the Foster Care system tosses them around telling them to feel happy that they are living here or there....It must be so very sad for them to worry daily whether this will be the day that the social worker brings them to a new family and new family they are supposed to like. Then at some point they are told that they are going to get a new family that they have to live with forever and they should really love them and think it is super groovy that this family wants them forever.

When in fact, the child feels a lot of anger that you want them to live with you and they are even angrier that you want to love them. The world sees their birth family as inappropriate and harmful. They don't see it that way, they see it as the only family they ever had. I feel as though I haven't done this justice and again I am oversimplifying this. But I also don't feel that I can get to personal with some information, as it is not fair to my children.

Both of my daughters have been gifts from God for my husband and I. As I mentioned, we were not able to conceive our own children. I truly believe that God has a path for each of us. It was sad when I learned that I would not be able to have biological children, but God made a way. My children are my destiny. My calling is raising them.

I was very naive when Marie came to us. I was assured that she was not RAD and that she would easily be able bond with us. I said I was Naive! Within two weeks of moving in, her war against loving us began. Again, this is about my romance so I won't go into detail but after much crying we found a therapist that was as committed to her being a part of our family as we were. The day her adoption was finalized was the day it appeared Marie became reconciled with her past and the hope of her future.

Although, bringing Rose and her trauma in our home brought back the many hurts and losses Marie has experienced, she remains committed to her own emotional well being. She still has her many ups and downs, but I know that she will succeed.

As we felt that we had successfully helped Marie heal, we decided to add another child to our home. Seriously one told me that a new kid's trauma could trigger the old kid's trauma....Lessons are learned the hard way sometimes!

We were also reassured with Rose that she did have RAD and that she was an angel. I wanted to believe that they were telling me the truth. I mean, I saw her innocent loving face and I was truly in love with her. And if she was not RAD, that meant she could share that love also. Alas, my peeps, there is no child that leaves foster care unscathed. She is charming and beautiful, so no one ever had an inkling of her trauma and the darkness she felt in her heart.

Again, didn't I tell you this was my love story? Not much for romance....huh? I guess I am learning that our love story is neither happy nor sad alone. It is both....mixed in with hurt, disappointment, anger, joy, victory and laughter. I started this blog wanting to share a story that was like "awwwww, what a feel good story...." I suppose we haven't achieved that yet....

But here is something to think about, if you don't have adopted children. You are all strangers at the beginning. There are social workers that match you that tell you "Mom, Dad, meet your kid" "Kid, meet your mom and dad" " Visit for awhile and then you will live together and love each other and you will share your lives together" When you give birth, you have the child from the moment he/she is born. All of your experiences are shared. Adopted kids have many points of reference that are different from yours....No wonder we have blips! Where did I mean to go with that?

My point is, even with the deck seemingly stacked against us. On some level we are succeeding. Having children with RAD has taught me many meaningful lessons. One of the greatest has been that success has many faces and even the little ones can be the most meaningful.....

Sorry if I was too all over the map today. I wanted to say so many things and I was becoming too wordy.

Be well......I truly appreciate all of you that are reading my blog and sharing with me.

God Bless you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Circle of Life

We can learn lessons from Disney. Did you know that? You can. For instance "The Lion King" taught me about the circle of life. I guess being a human being will teach you the same thing. Life is not linear, it is cyclical and there are good times and bad times. Well, my peeps, I am having a bad time. Please stick with me! I won't use this blog as a way to be a big fat baby, but I am also learning that this is my release. Having a challenging child is quite stressful and this is my release. I am enjoying the comments and I hope that you know I enjoy them very much!

We need each other in this vast universe that we are navigating with our Adopted children who have shared experiences. It is not a failure to share your experiences and to hurt when your child hurts. So please keep in touch with me...I LOVE hearing from you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brain Power!

I literally think this is how my kid's brain looks....I think that there has to be that much electricity going on. Some one so hell bent on being toxic and destructive has to have some serious electricity going on upstairs.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided perhaps we were not doing enough for my dear little tornado. We thought that we have experienced Attachment Therapy which was honestly so very helpful and such a gift of an experience for my husband and I. Tornado girl decided it was of no use to her and has completely checked out of being a participating part of any therapeutic situation.

It must be so very exhausting to be so dedicated to the misery of herself and those who want to love her. I know I am exhausted and I don't live in her head. It makes me so very sad to think of the amount of neglect and abuse that must have been experienced by her for her to be this truly disturbed. But that isn't always at the front of my head when she is screaming and in a rage.

Back to our bright idea. Anyone that has been involved in the life of a child classified as having mental illness or having a psychiatric issue, knows the level of frustration in getting services. In our home state, the only way to really convince them to do a med overhaul or to have any real psych testing done, the patient has to be admitted. And the only way to be admitted is through the Emergency Room. And as everyone saw from the Video of the woman that died in the waiting room of a psych ER, you spend hours and hours waiting to be seen. Sometimes they are truly that busy, but I truly believe that more often than not they have you wait for endless hours because they want the patient to calm down before they deal with them.

I understand that it is easier to get historical information when some one is calm but once they are calm, they no longer meet criteria to be admitted. Which is frustrating when you have a very clever, manipulative child that knows the system and easily fools ER staff and you make multiple trips to the ER. So, see the frustration....

Darn it...Off topic..This blog makes my mind go so fast...I have so much I want to share....I have enough topics for years of blogs!

Back to topic! We thought that maybe anOther option would be to have an extensive psychological assessment done by Neuropsychologist! My husband thought perhaps she would benefit from Neurofeedback. There was a question about insurance covering the extremely expensive testing...Good News! It does! Yay us! I am sure he wanted to do an assessment on me when he listened to the message I left him. I was so excited that perhaps we can gain more information that will yield more success with her. Someone out there must understand how exciting those types of things can be exciting....

My little Rosie is such a struggle. Even in therapy she is belligerent, uncooperative and generally unable to make any type of strides. She has created such thick walls! When we were leaving her session and she told me that she was walking down the stairs and not taking the elevator. So I said to her.."OK that is good I think that it would be best for you to walk down the stairs. See you downstairs" She looks at me, turns toward the stairs then turns around and gets in the elevator with us. A RAD brain at its best! See, she spends a lot of energy and she is sooooo dedicated to being oppositional....even when it is exactly what I really wanted....

It made us all laugh....Have to smile when you can....Sometimes they can't help but be funny!

Be Well! God Bless you for your support and for reading my ramblings!

PS- Forgive my grammar is late and my husband isn't at home to proof read this....I love you, honey!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hugging a Porcupine!

Sounds like quite a feat, right? Those pesky quills! Loving a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is quite similar to hugging a porcupine. When you get close to a porcupine, it uses its quills as a defense mechanism. The quills are a way to protect it from perceived danger. A RAD kid has quills....deadly quills. So many of them have been so neglected and traumatized that they have keenly honed their talents with manipulation.

I find that my youngest child has deadly quills. To the outside world, she is charming and beautiful. She has deftly learned that people respond to her victim act, so she is really good at appearing to need to be rescued. As a beautiful child, people find her helpless act as being attractive and they want to help her with everything. Which is frustrating to me as I know the truth.

Back to her should see my puncture wounds....too many to even count at this point. She is so keyed in on being in survival mode that no matter what happens, she has her foot half way out the door AND she is making nasty comments while she leaves. She used to just tell me that she hated me and that I was a bad mom...I became quite immune to such silly attempts at provoking my anger. She has upped the ante...Now she goes directly for my jugular.

It becomes the eternal struggle between what I think is good and her determination to destroy it. I know in my rational mind that she is traumatized and it is just bleeding out for me to help her. BUT my emotional mind becomes angry and bitter with the continuous barrage of abuse she dishes on me....Why oh why can I not be more mature about this....Shouldn't I be able to just deal with it and not let it affect me?

Alas, my peeps, I am not perfect and no, I can't always deal with this effectively. I am loving her unconditionally, keeping her safe, and doing everything with in my power to help her heal....Beyond that...nothing else I can do....So as I get frustrated and think I am going to have a brain aneurysm, I have to remember....Lighten up and remember I am doing a good job....

Like my pep talk...I needed it.....

Hugging a porcupine is harder than it looks AND I am tired from it....

Be well....Me

Monday, July 14, 2008

Penguins Rock!

I have a confession.....I haven't written in over a week because I have been in a less than stellar mood. My little wonder, Rose, has truly put me through the paces. To the point that I am .....oh never mind.....Time to move on!

Sunday I was given the opportunity to escape from her perpetual wheel of poisoning for a few hours. The day start quite poorly but ended quite well! We went to the New England Aquarium in Boston.....We started out by taking the "T" in because Rose has never been on the subway...What kind of mom doesn't expose their kid to the subway...Um certainly not a mom that loves to people watch!

The city is working on the specific subway line we were on so we had to leave the underground and get on a bus....For those of you that have not experienced Boston streets....They are even scarier when you and your children are standing up in a bus with a freaky bus drive starting and stopping with CRAZY traffic.....But never the less, My baby sister, my two girls,and I safely made it to our first destination....After a seriously over priced lunch at Quincy Market, we walked to the wharf.

By the way....the weather was to die for! Sunny, warm and breezy...Perfection!

I love the Aquarium....I love animals...I am addicted to the show "Growing Up" on the Animal Channel....and I love National Geographic channel, too...I am addicted to most of these reality shows (another blog) I love sharks, seals, and other cute fishies....Mostly I love Penguins!

We have adopted penguins as our Forever Family mascot. My kids have both endured great abondonment in their lives. At every turn, they are panicked that they will be just be stores, library, in the elevator of our building....always ....So I decided to use penguins....Penguins mate for life. They choose one mate for life and never change their minds. In fact, when their mate dies, they are usually so devastated that they lay next to them until they die. Forever means forever.....Of course, Rose did ask if she had to lay next to me and die when I die...because I might smell yucky....(still makes me chuckle)

So now we are Penguin Mommy and Penguin Daddy....and our Penguin Family is forever...It has been the best way to illustrate Forever to kids that have never experienced that before....I bought them each a plush Penguin and btw, my 14 yo daughter has it stuffed in the bottom of her messy, stinky teen backpack....Just she and I know it is there....

Penguins are awesome....and the lessons they helped me teach is pretty important...Rose doesn't quite get it....Maybe she won't for many, many, many years....But Marie understands and I count that as a win for me!

I hope you have a wonderful day....

Be Well and God Bless you!

PS...I have a couple neat pictures of penguins...but Blogspot is having an internal error and won't let me upload the pics....soon I promise...I need sleep now!