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Monday, September 15, 2014

Familiversary

For my adoptive peers out there, what do you do to celebrate? Do you celebrate?

It seems almost counter intuitive to celebrate. Adoption always has some loss involved.  In Char's case, loss of birth family, loss of first adoptive family, loss of her sister S.

At the same time, we all feel strongly connected and like celebrating anything and everything. So, we asked Char if she'd like to go somewhere and celebrate and she said yes. We gave her a choice of several places and she's chosen Atlanta.

We're going to go to the aquarium, which her and hubs have wanted to go to forever and maybe to Covington and go see movies/TV shows being filmed and get good food.

Hubs suggested beach and she said "We go there all the time, let's do something we don't get to do".

lol....all the time, really?

Also, we've invited her BFF.  It's not just about being family but about her being in a normal atmosphere and getting to be a kid.

BFF's mom said "Char, you're a very lucky girl that you always get to do so many fun things".

Char said "even luckier than I get to do so many of them with my bestie"



Ortho Visit

Char called me all pitiful sounding today and said "Momma, I've been trying to call daddy and can't reach him".  One of the wires on her braces got loose and her mouth was bleeding, so I went and picked her up at school and took her to the ortho.

Good report....we're still on schedule and potentially may get her bottom braces next week. He said teeth look amazing this time and good job brushing!!

I'm always so puzzled when Char calls, she sounds so little and young.

My baby, growing up so fast, and sounds like such a little kid on the phone. I can almost pretend for just a moment that she's been here forever and have a flash back to how she must've sounded then.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tantrum, tantrum

I hate homework. HATE homework!!!

I don't know why homework is such a trigger, but I got home the other day and hubs told me Char had run away from home to the back yard because of homework.  Apparently she got upset when hubs had her do her homework and more upset when his math rules didn't match what she thought they should be.

Mind you the homework was correcting a failing test, so obviously the math rules she thought applied didn't match, but that's another story.

She got mad, threw a tantrum and a half and left.

I got home and went outside and the pups came running and showed me where she was at.  She was not amused when I suggested she may want to not run away with the pups because they'll tell me where shes at (if she was really interested in running away, I would never say that, I was trying to lighten the mood)

Afterwards, I always ask how running away helps, that math will exist here or somewhere else. Everytime she says she doesn't know, that she knows she's not thinking rationally, but at the time it makes sense.

This happens EVERY time we do homework that is difficult for her. EVERY time.

I just wish I knew why that was such a trigger and it's not like we get into it or anything before the tantrum starts, just the mention of it starts it.

She calmed down after 3 hours, came back and did her homework in the kitchen with my help while I cooked dinner and then got me to fix daddy ice cream for her to serve him to apologize for how she spoke to him before I got home.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Home Study Time

reopening home study and getting background checks redone, medical, etc and social worker will be calling soon to schedule coming out to talk to all of us on our reevaluation.

So nervous.

We got an e-mail to go ahead and proceed, because worst case scenario we've done this for nothing, but this way we'll be ready in case S becomes ready to be a family girl in our family.  If she gets ready, we'll be ready and not have to start over.  If she doesn't, then we can always go inactive again.

So nervous.

and have I said I'm really nervous?!

I can't imagine life with 2.  I want her here if they need to be together. If they shouldn't be together, I want things like they are. I'm so scared.

I can't do this blog justice because I can't even form a coherent thought.

For those that have been there, done that, how was the transition going to a second?

S says she's not getting adopted by anybody but us, which makes me believe that maybe she'll do the work to make this work, but what if she's the terror that she is with others and it's harder.

If it's worse than we imagine, and she's full blown rad instead of the issues we know about, we're screwed because once she's here, there is no going back regardless of why, because of the damage that it would do to Char, not to mention baby S.

S was only 4 when they were removed from the bios and 7 when removed from the first adoptive family, so she can't verbalize her stress as well and it comes out in behaviors. I have to remember that, but it's tough.

Imagine if you were taken away from all your family for something you didn't do, just to be put in a home with strangers. I can't imagine what that's like and I'm sure my behaviors wouldn't have been good either.

Imagine not being in a permanent family and not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

I keep thinking I KNOW deep down that S would be better off for it to be here, at the same time, if things were to never get better, will we be okay as a family unit or will I end up in the funny farm?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trust

Monday I had to go out of town for a business meeting.  Char had anxiety again, claimed not to, but it was obvious from her hyperness that she was feeling anxiety.

Tuesday morning I called and hubs said she didn't want to talk to me on the phone.  Apparently she was worried about that because then she grabbed the phone to talk to me.

I came home Tuesday night and she was wound up and wired, but so happy to see me.

She pounced on me on the way in the door, knocking the pups out of the way and saying "She's my momma first, I get the first hug".  She had me read to her and even had me and daddy both kiss her good night. She NEVER wants kisses.

She's been super affectionate and hubs asked her "Do you get it that we're yours forever?"  I love how he phrases it we're hers instead of her ours so she's not a possession and she gets to rule that part of it.

She said yes.  We'll see though.  2 days later and still a little wired and more on us than normal.

I'll take that over January's response though. Improvements!!!

On another note, I was asked twice this week if I was interested in a promotion.  I turned it down.  There is no way I can put myself in a position to spend more time away from home and create extra anxiety for our baby girl.

Still proud of her progress though.  We'll make it.  A week at a time, a day at a time, and some times a moment at a time.

She's a treasure and is so worth all the heartaches we've dealt with over the last few years.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

PTSD and Hugs

My favorite blogger is Last Mom.  She recently had this blog (hope she doesn't mind the link being here,  I'm going on a limb and assuming an extra link to her page can't be bad ;) ): http://lastmom.com/hugs/

It was very eye opening for me.

It never occurred to me that PTSD was the reason for Char being a little hesitant on hugs. Since it's more from those closest to her, I took it as purely attachment based and try to adapt to it and give hugs where we can.

I read this to my hubs (since like Last Mom and her family, the resistance is more towards the dad) and he had that lightbulb moment. He also has PTSD from abuse and he said "Ah man, I don't know why I didn't get it before" and he clarified that yes, it took him years to get the whole hugging concept and be okay with it and he's still not okay with it in most situations, so it threw him for a loop that he didn't think about that being her deal too.

Know what? I think I've seen more hugs since that night, freely given and no pressure.

He doesn't reach for them now, but asks instead, and also that side hug recommended in the comments, yep, trying that too.


Hygeine

We were told hygeine would be a problem before she moved in. That's normal for a sexually abused victim.  Being dirty on some level makes you feel like people will leave you along. Likewise with overeating and putting weight on.

We worked on that and it wasn't much of a fight, just modeling appropriate behaviors and giving her friendly reminders. She didn't balk at it (much).

After she got in the habit and became a teenager that takes 3 showers a day at times, I assumed we were past this.....until we got to the orthodontist and he said "She's not brushing her teeth, I can't work with this"

I was beyond embarrassed, but really upset that I didn't see it coming or know there was a problem.

So, this momma is back to staying in the bathroom while she brushes her teeth both morning and night.

I wish I could fix the background thoughts that cause the behaviors, because I know it's not a behavior thing. I can't punish her because it's not about being bad, it's about the perception of protecting herself.

Some days I wonder how long it'll take for her to start trusting that her past is not the norm.

My heart breaks for her some days that she still suffers this much.

She seems so normal most days, that trauma behaviors throw me for a loop now.