Today was a hard day in our house. Here is the situation (not that days can just be hard for no reason, but we know the reason here) our children are three kids out of a sibling group of 5 kids. My kids knew that there was one other sibling as they had lived with her in their bio home. However there is now a 3 month old baby girl that is being adopted with their bio sister. Our family will have 3 of the children and another family will have 2 of the children. Well, they kids recently found out about the baby and today the SW came to tell the kids more information about the new baby and answer any questions they had. Some of the questions the asked were funny such as questions about the baby’s hair color, why she won’t be living with us, and lastly where she has ever lived. S just freaked out after finding out that the new baby didn’t get to live with their bio mom. This “freak out” included trying to prevent the SW from taking to her siblings alone and when that didn’t work she hid in the bathroom.
I realized that something was up so I went in the bathroom to sit with her and found that she was in tears. She told me that she was angry with all the county workers for not giving her bio mom a chance. I really didn’t know what to say and told her that I can’t imagine how hard it would be and it wasn’t fair. She said that I should do something about it if it wasn’t fair. I told her I agree it wasn’t fair but it was what needed to be done to keep the kids safe and that the whole situations just sucked. Then it was her turn to talk to the SW and she wanted me to tell her what we had talked about. I did that while the bathroom door was open so my oldest could hear. Then she came into my bedroom where we were talking and hid in the closet. She found the wrapped christmas presents and started freaking out about how I bought her siblings more presents and wrapped them in better/prettier paper. I was at such a lose of what to do and so was the social worker. I asked if I could sit in the closet with her. She didn’t yell no (so being the former day treatment therapist I am, I took it for a yes) so I went and sat in the closet (in the dog bed that was next to her) and rubbed her back while she went through her christmas presents and ranted. The SW was trying to figure out if S (the oldest) had any other questions (I think she is new) and then SW finally left.
I kept rubbing S’s back and told her I wanted to tell her something. I was in tears at this point and I told her that it wasn’t right that she ever had to go through anything she did and it broke my heart every time I think about it because I love her and I hate to think of her hurting. That no one should ever have made her feel like someone was more important than she was and I try my hardest to make it equal, but I want her to tell me when she feels its not so we can talk. I told her how glad I was that she was letting us know how angry she was and who she was angry with. I told her it is totally ok to be angry with anyone, even me, and if she needed to yell at me I would sit in the closet with her for as long as she needed. Somedays I just have no idea what to do with my hurting little girl that has every right in the world to be angry. Today I just let her see how broken I was for her and how much I want to help her.
This adoption from foster care journey has been full of valleys and peaks, but by far the deepest valleys are when I am sitting next to my daughter whose heart is broken for so many reasons and I know that there is nothing in the world I can do to fix it and nothing I could do to prevent her heart from breaking in the first place. I feel like the most helpless, inefficient mom in the world. I just want to take away all the pain and hurt and brokenness but I can’t.
With all my children have been through, even with the difficulty S had, I am SOO proud of all of my children. Today was hard with errands and therapy appointments and the SW coming over they handled all their emotions and their overwhelming memories of their past well. We are seeing huge progress, however we have redefined what “Huge” means for our family. Baby steps now means “huge” for this newly build family. We are standing strong on our faith and are continuing to see God do amazing work in our lives and the lives of our children. A post on that to come as today has been a long day and I am tired!
Above: What I wish I could show all my children, especially S
Above: What I need to remind myself when days are hard. Parenting is tough. Parenting traumatized children is even tougher. Parenting traumatized kids with so much change in attachment is hard. It requires every single ounce of energy you have and more (I am so thankful that God continues to give me everything I need in this realm and all others) every second of the day. It requires you to be a detective, counselor, teacher, referee, doctor, maid, limit setter, TV show picker, bed time story reader, bath giver, toilet flusher reminder, and hug giver (the last being my favorite). However, when you see the kids start to feel safe, start to begin to play on their own and let the adults talk with no desire to ease drop, and start to settle into a routine I feel the difference we are making. More than anything when my children look up at me and call me “Mom”, want me to comfort them, ask my help or let me sit with them when things are hard I am honored and at peace in my heart and soul. God placed our family together, through all the heartaches and pain and twisted path that lives have taken both Joel and I as well our children, God brought all of us together to build a life and heal. I have been healed myself during this process. God is doing amazing work in this house and I am in awe of just being able to witness it. I am rambling now so I think I need to go.