Monday, September 22, 2008

Time Outs, Tantrums, and Trust

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day. It was one of those foster parent, adoptive parent, child is having none of it, all out, hard days. If that makes sense to you, then we are on the same page, or at least in the same book. I couldn't blog about it then, and it's hard coming now.

Olivia does well for a long time, then seems to hit a wall where one time out or consequence sends her into an all out tantrum worthy of a show called "Beyond Supernanny, What to do When You Become the Target of a Child's Previous Past." And two hours of not knowing what is coming next, trying to distract and occupy two little ones, while all of your senses are in tune to what's going on in the next room, and you're trying to let it cycle through, but you want to step in if needed to prevent hurt, and you're making a plan on the spot for the next minute or second of response to her actions and words and her plan - just. plain. is. exhausting. After two hours I felt like I needed to sleep for two days to catch up.

BUT, I knew/know where most of her anger that she builds up comes from. It's from not seeing her brother. Her bio brother she lived with and was her only source of stability for the first 3 1/2 years of her life. her link to "family." her link to her past. her trust. And she just doesn't understand, no matter how many times we discuss it and talk about it and try to work through it, that his foster/adoptive family are the ones who "called it quits" with the visits. Even when the judge ordered visits once a month or more, they didn't do it. I tried and tried and tried. Someone finally did transportation on their end from their agency for some visits, but even that wasn't consistent. I know living 3 hours away makes it hard. I get it. But they are grown adults. A two parent family. A family who took him knowing about his sister and the need for their visits. They agreed. They broke that. And then told him over and over during visits which rarely happened that it was my fault. That I wasn't returning calls.

We do well for a long time, then something like this brings it all out... again. I get so frustrated with these people.

How do you tell your daughter who asks if his family is nice that I don't think they are because of how this is affecting her? I don't. I don't want to color them in a bad light because it's her brother's family. But I also want her to know that I have done above and beyond to try to get visits for her.

How do you answer a seven year old who wants to know why God doesn't make everyone nice? I tried to explain that God loves us SO MUCH that He gave us choices. And unfortunately not everyone makes good choices.

How do you tell a little girl that there isn't a law that says they have to let her visit her brother, when she asks that question, even though you think she's right, there should be, it's not fair.

How do you answer unanswerable questions from a little girl who has had too much happen in her life to understand? I wish I knew. I muddle through.

I'm just glad that after 1 1/2 hours of tantrum, we started to work through trust. The trust that she still doesn't fully have in me as mom. The trust that is always being worked on, but will never fully be built. Maybe when she's a grown woman and has a child herself and doesn't always have answers but tries her best nonetheless. Maybe when she reads this blog as an adult and can relate somewhat. Maybe. For now, I only can ask God to lead. God to direct. God to be my words. Because I don't have them.


Holly said...

I have 2 words for you:
I know you don't have all the answers......but I praise God for your heart, your patience, your wisdom, your compassion and your LOVE. You ARE Jesus to these kids.
I am in awe of Jesus in you.

Been there, done that ... over and over! Praying for you and your daughter. It's not easy, but (one day!) it will be worth it!

Know that you're not alone :)

Emily said...

I have been there, its amazing how sometimes my 7 year just "has" to have these meltdowns, but it always ends up as a trust building experience.

ali said...

can't DSS/DCYF enforce this verbal(written?)plan? can they take the brother's family to court over this? why doesnt anybody(other than YOU & O)think O & her brother's relationship is important enough? why dont they know how huge this is in her every day life & recovery? cant anybody help? her former(i assume) CASA worker? a pro bono lawyer? SOMEONE? a meeting place is only 1.5 hours away,right? they cant do an hour & a half to keep their sons blood sister in his life? this is very sad and very unacceptable. i had read your prior posts about this in the past, but now i am angry for her all over again, sorry LOL NOT FAIR.

Lisa said...

Ali, I know, believe me I know! Prior to her adoption she never had a CASA worker (Liam is the first case I've had with one!). I talked to EVERYONE and her worker was pushing and pushing, until she left and someone else came in who didn't know him and their relationship and it wasn't a big deal to them. I talked to the moderator of the ACR (Annual Case Review) and they didn't say anything about it. I know a lot more now and if the case was still open I would have some more I could do, but it's not. There isn't a "plan" anymore for them. Nothing was written for once the adoptions occured. I am furious at his parents. I wish I wasn't. They only drove the 1.5 hours ONCE. The other times I drove the whole way there, or another person did the transporting. RIDICULOUS! I am starting counseling for her hopefully and found a great one in our area who takes the medical card, so hoping she can go to her. Thanks for your thoughtS!!!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

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