Thursday, March 31, 2011

But they're adopted now, right?



I wish I knew which button to push
Then I'd know how to please you
It's sad but true
So I'll just listen in down the line
While you're busy mixing grape with grain
To sedate your pain

Songbird you got tales to tell
How many times can you describe your living hell?

The sweeping gesture creates a fuss
It's only useful when receiving praise
Relieving no-ones pain
If you'd let somebody love you just enough
You'd have everything you'd need to break
Free from all your pain

Songbird you got tales to tell
How many times can you describe your living hell?

I wish I knew which button to push
Then I'd know how to please you
It's sad but true

If you'd let somebody love you just enough
If you'd let somebody love you just enough
If you'd let somebody love you just enough
If you'd let somebody love you just enough




Anyone who has ever dealt with foster kids knows that they come with a completely different set of rules. You can no longer use the term 'normal' and when you do, it must be with a very loose interpretation. You know that "I love you" may never come. You know that "I want to live here" only means, this place will do for now. You know that at some point they will attempt to disrupt, pushing to see how far they can push you before you 'throw them out' and reject them like everyone else in their lives have.   You know that these kids come with certain behaviors and pray that they learn different ways to deal with their emotions, rather than using these behaviors that have kept them 'safe' all along.
At some point though, you settle into a routine with these rules they have set in place and you learn how to maneuver around them and hopefully at some point they learn that they don't have to keep guard over these rules and that you are trusty worthy.

Many times though, the rules stay the same. Even when they get adopted.
Many times though, the behaviors don't go away. Even when they get adopted.

They lurk under the surface, waiting like a monster under the bed to jump up and slap you in the face.
They are always there, just simply waiting.

While life with these kids is as rewarding, many times if not more than most people's version of a 'normal' child. It's not always a walk in the park, even after they've been given the stability of a home and a family.

So many people say to me "But they're adopted now, right?" Or "But they've been with you for 6 years (or 4 years) now?"

Yes, they've been with me for 6 and 4 years, respectively. But how can 6 years or 4 years, change the past? How can 6 years make a kid who never felt safe, or comforted, or full at night, or secure in himself, or loved; feel all of those things, and trust in those feelings?

And sometimes, I have to remind myself of these things.  Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the behaviors are their defense mechanism. It's what's gotten them through the toughest of times and the worst of times. It's like asking them to cut off their right arm and feel perfectly OK.  When it will never be OK.

I have to remind myself as well as those around me, that these are not 'normal' kids. They are damaged, and they are broken. And yes, sometimes they are purposely trying to make me crazy because they want to see how far they can push. Even all these years later, they want to see when I will cast them out with the trash. And yes, they are intentionally trying to manipulate me. It's built into them, it's who they are right now.

I implore you to look up the terms Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Find out what it means and that it doesn't go away over night, if ever. They will always have rules for those of us in their lives to abide by.

As a mother, I don't know how to fix it. I am not sure that it's even fixable. I wish I knew which button to push to make them whole again. I wish I knew which button to push to allow them to let me love them just enough.

And sometimes, when the "I love you" finally comes, for a brief moment in time you forget the rules. You forget the behaviors. And you realize that this is your life. And you accept the "I love you's" as few and far between as they are. And you relish in the days where the behavior's don't sneak up and smack you in the face. You cherish the moment when your little boy can say with the most tender of heart to his sister "I love you and you have pretty hair." Those are things you learn not to take for granted, and while you want to shout it from the mountain tops how proud you are of him for making that one small statement...You don't because somewhere in the back of your mind you remember the rules. So you quietly smile and whisper "that was so nice of you"...

And then you think, but sometimes love isn't enough.
And then you realize, but it has to be.

1 comment:

  1. Some times your life amazes me, this is one of those times. Im so proud to have you and your crazy, wonderful family in my life. We love you guys

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