Monday, January 7, 2013

Lowering the Bar

OK folks,
it has been a while since I last Blogged. Nearly a month.
So welcome, Happy New Year and I pray that you all had a great Christmas and were blessed in many ways.
Many of you know we are smack dab in the middle of an adoption. We have a 12 year old young lady from VA Foster Care placed in our home and we will adopt her in March 2013. She has waited over 7 years for a forever home. This placement has been awesome, scary, nuts, ridiculous, tiring and super all at once. When accepting a child into your home that comes from a "hard Place" you ask for nothing.

You LOWER the Bar-
this is the favorite thing I hear at my therapy sessions with a great man who specializes in attachment therapy. What is attachment therapy? well I am so glad you ask....
you see...there is this koala ....just kidding.
here is the lowdown: read that! :) Our dear daughter to be suffered from RAD- which is this: So you get the picture of what we are dealing with.
I prefer to call our DD (dear daughter) a great push and puller. Basically you never know what you are going to get. a push or a pull. one second it's I love you. the next it's I hate you.
Now in month one it was lovey dovey and lots of testing. far can I push the limits of your parental boundaries. Month one is dicey and also known as the honey moon period.  you are getting to know this child. What they like, what they don't like, clothing tastes, musical tastes. well it's blind dating at it's best. Then as they say on MTV. Shit gets real. yes I cursed. yes I will beg my Father God for forgiveness. But he is working on me with this very issue as we speak!
So poop gets REAL REAL in the second month. Check this equation:
New house, new parents, new siblings, new school, new neighborhood, new church....can it get any worse...oh wait New therapist, New RULES. there it got worse. All those rules she ok'd in month one...Well now those rules are ridiculous. WE are the worst parents in the world. We are not ready to parent...(please know that we have experience in child rearing- we have 2 twenty-one year old children and one 5 year old) She hates me (the Mom) I take all the heat. I get kicked, spit at, punched, slammed, locked out etc. I am the worst mother on earth. But I still keep loving her. Also in the month friends start looking at you strange. You forget to shave and you are constantly cancelling things due to meltdowns. We lower the bar. Expect less and allow for compromises.

Month 3 you basically keep the social worker on speed dial. I am very pleased that we chose Bethany Christan Services, our worker is our advocate. When SS does not answer She always answers. She comes and sits with us as our DD rips up the "meet our family" book that we lovingly made for her. (note to self: never use original pics use copies) whew! She made a one inch ticker tape parade all over the house. Simply ripping it up, putting it in her mouth, spitting it out. then got scissors and tore it up even smaller. for hours we sat while the worker talked to her. When it was all done at 1am I stood up, swept it up made her bed and tucked her in. all the while she asked to be put in a respite stay, or go to the hospital for a "break" I said. sorry. in this house we don't do respite. we do REAL. we work it out and we move on. So that was a very big battle. I think it ended well. She is still here. Normally the last 4 adoptions that disrupted were ended by people being overwhelmed by her physically acting out etc. So what do we do. well. we don't listen to other people who give WACK ideas ....or say I would have beat the living "#$%" out of her. You put the door knobs back on, or put the doors back on...haha, you clean up . But most of all YOU LOWER the BAR (again) AND you Expect LESS and allow for compromises.

Month 4. we are in month four and something alarming is happening. I am having a hard time finding anything to write in the "behaviour" journal. I am getting crafty at ending sibling fights. I am raising the level of LOVE as well as extending more responsibility. I say yes more often than no. The joy is coming back. We make appts now and get to them ON time. The calls from school have gone from 5 in one day to one in a month. I have circled the wagons. All professionals in her life are on the same page. I am directly in charge of placing boundaries in her life that keep her from getting overwhelmed. I know what smells make her "flashback" to old times. I know why she needs tight clothing to make her feel safe. I know that her prayers have changed from I want and God please make my Mom say yes to praying for others in need and "getting it" All this in 4 months. What if we had quit? What if we had called and said THIS is TOO MUCH. What if? I have simply let God lead me. I have stepped out in TRUE faith and NOT listened to logic. My husband and I are a team. He says it is very very difficult to go to work and know what I must pull off in a day to make this house run smooth the minute both girls walk in. My older children still look at me like: are you gonna listen to that? or where in the world did this girl come from. But they also know that if anyone can pull this off their Momma can!

Many moons ago it seems we sat down with an elder in my church. She asked us this question. Why in the world would you want to invite a mentally disturbed child into your home? I have to say when It first came out of her mouth I was livid. We had not even met this child and I had the motherly instinct to smack the living crap out of this woman that I looked up to. But as usual I did not "heed that warning" I proceeded without caution. I proceeded with GOD.
We did it because that is what God calls us to do. We heard him. He told us. We did it.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

God Bless ya'll,