That title sounds pretty dramatic huh? Well life has been pretty dramatic around here lately. It was S’s first birthday with us this weekend and she got strep (more to come on all that later). And that wasn’t even the most stressful part.
Let me backtrack a bit. When you are adopting from foster care (and possibly other ways but I don’t know) you fill out a questionnaire about the kind of behavior you would, might, and WOULD DEFINITELY NOT want in a perspective child(ren). When Joel and I filled this questionnaire out we didn’t just breeze through it to get to the kids quicker. We really soul searched and prayed on and thought on every one that we weren’t sure about. In the end it came down to 1 behavior that we as a couple felt that both people could not handle. Only 1 out of a 10 page list. Some others would be hard and guy-wrenching, but still we felt we could do it. Not this one thing. I personally felt sure that if we got this one thing I would break. I would hate the kids and end up in the psych ward.
I will not tell you which one was ours but instead give you some items that were on the list so you get an idea about the things we considered. So, just to name a few, the list included:
Killing or Harming animals
Homicidal thoughts or actions
Sexual acting out
Suicidal threats or actions
Now you may look at this list and think “ya, all that is pretty standard for foster care adoption”. If you do, will you be my friend bc obviously you have adopted from foster care and I could use some advice. However you may look at the list and gasp and think “oh my goodness how can anyone handle these types of severe unsafe behaviors”. To you I smile and nod and hope that you value the blessings in your life in that you don’t have to deal with any of these.
I was somewhere between the two people I talked about earlier. I knew that kids from hardships have difficult behaviors. And I truly thought that with support and Joel and God I could handle most anything thrown at us. NOTE THE WORDING: MOST ANYTHING. Not anything, not heck ya bring it on, and certainly not I think I am superwoman. I was trying to be as realistic as possible and I shared my thoughts with all the adoption workers on the way.
Yet here I sit, 24 hours after IT happened. The one thing I thought I couldn’t take. And I’m still here (and obviously not in the psych wars as they don’t allow computers or phones in there) (maybe I am a bit morbid but I thought that last note was HILARIOUS)
Everyone is now safe, just to calm the worrying family members that are reading this.
I wish I could say that it happened and I handled it with the grace and calmness I always wanted to have. However, I’m not in the habit of lying so why start now. In reality I got kids safe and then texted Joel to come home right away and went to my room to cry. I attempted to explain, in age appropriate language, why it was not ok.
When Joel got home we talked some more and put into place some new rules. Then, in a blur we fed the kids and put them to bed. I collapsed into bed myself but eventually came out to talk to Joel.
Today was tough and I finally figured out why. I had expectations of how I thought my family would be. Things I thought we would have to worry about that things we would not have to. Yesterday threw some of those expectations out the window and adjusting to that is hard.
At the end of the day this is what I know:
These kids, MY kids have brought so much joy and love into my life
With God anything is possible
I am so thankful to have Joel as a partner on this journey
And most importantly: It happened, the thing I thought would break me, and here I am living and breathing and shit! I am not the best mother right now but I am trying and will keep trying to rest of my life.
Everything else will come with time, but for today that is enough.