Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the dog had to go

Today I met a neighbor that I've seen around with her dog. I was pulling weeds at the foreclosed home across the street (hey, it's still a house I have to look at) and she walked by. I'm a friendly bloke and said hello. We chatted.

I'm a pretty open book.

She asked where DS2 had gone...she used to see him at the bus stop and noticed he was gone this year. So, I told her. I didn't share gory details, but just that he is at a boarding school and is very happy there. I did tell her about his joining the family five years ago and that so many things about family were hard for him.

Then she tells me a story.

She bought a dog. The dog howled at night. The dog was mean to her first dog. The dog just didn't fit in her, she sent him to a foster doggie home.


She said...

She totally gets what it's like to 'send a child away'.

OK, really?

Hubby and I have a 90-10 rule. Ninety percent of people in America are idiots. Maybe not in all parts of their lives - but at some point. Heck, I've hit in the 90 before. Today, she made me know my rule is right. I mean...REALLY?

I know that I speak 'lightly' about the subject sometimes. That is because it's tough to be sad all the's tough on even him...while he doesn't seem to care if I'm sad - it does something to him. It does something to me when he's sad. I can't tell you the relief I feel when I speak with him and he's excited and happy. Yep, broken hearted on the inside because he can't have that here with me, but so darn pleased that he's got happiness in his life - wherever that means he has to be.

However, speaking lightly does NOT mean that I would equate our situation with my son with the puppy who couldn't stay.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A triangle with a missing side?

Maybe I'm a crappy member of the triad.

Don't know if I care if that is true. I think that sums up my crappiness. I'm simply not in a fight over any of this. I want my children to be healthy and thrive and I don't call that being 'active'...I call it being a mom.

I don't call myself an adoptive mom...ever. I don't like terms that are thrown around that somehow label me as an AP or adopter. And let me add that adopter is just as bad to me as birthmother feels to others. Adopter sounds like a robot set to perform a job. Heck...if I could be robotic about this - well, things might be simpler.

I have been catching up with others in my sphere of 'adoption'. Folks I've met either in real life or in cyber space - they've given me words of wisdom, words of support and vice versa. From time to time I set out to check in with them...because we are all living our lives and that causes some breakdowns in communication!

However, when we's not about activism. It's not about creating change in the foundation of adoption. Do certain things make me sick in this world? Yes. But, they aren't the same things that make most others sick...I'm darn sure of that.

So, since I'm an openly crappy member of the adoption triad - does that hurt my kids in some way? Does my decision to not march on Washington to change the rules in this realm mean that my kids will not feel that I care about their issue?

We don't talk about Russia everyday. There is no first family to visit or really even talk about. The memories of those people for my kids are not positive...and I can't force them to be positive about it. Or...

I won't force them to be positive about it.

Guess what? My kids had a sucky beginning.'s true. Adults wronged them - BUT I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE ADULTS. I've done what I felt was right for each and every moment they've been mine. And yes - they are one gets mad when a mother that gave birth to her child says:

That is MY child. Ownership. Doesn't mean I'm pointing out to you that I bought them or something.

What in the world?

So, am I taking sides? I guess not...other than my side. Mostly my kids side. I don't know if adoption 'helped' them. I know they have basics in life they didn't have before...

I'm not talking about clean beds.

I'm talking about parents. Some would believe that having parents is not the best thing for kids. I'm living in that - I get it. Maybe for some kids having parents is not comfortable...or not the happiest of situations. If you know what's happening in my life - you know I can fathom that...BUT how can you know that until they've been given the chance to try it out?

I'm not an activist. I'm just a mom who's still trying to learn. Ok, maybe I'm not really trying to learn...remember, I'm pretty crappy in that part of things.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The 1750 turnaround

I think it's called the 7 rule. You can break a habit in 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months...7 YEARS??? In my house, the years have it. My children have been home for 4 years and 9 months. I realize we haven't yet hit that magical time of "you've been in our family longer than you were not in our family" - BUT I do believe that 1,730 days should be enough to prove a thing or two.

However, my daughter has spent over 24 hours worrying about something. I know that traditional parenting models would say that I should know what she's worrying about. I should take interest in it and try to alleviate whatever I can to help her feel better. But, DD likes to take tiny things - that are completely non-essential to life - and blow them into life altering reasons to worry. Part of this is her attachment issues and part is her OCD...part is just her. She's a worrier.

I went to bed early last night - even before she was in bed. I was watching tv and she came in for hugs and kisses. She was walking slowly, eyeing me...twisting hands. I gave her big hugs and kisses and our typical good night routine...then said, if this is something that matters, let it rip.
She said "No, I'm just being a worrier" and walked out.

This morning I could tell she hadn't slept much. Her eyes were bloodshot and she was dragging. She walked straight up to me and said "when is assessment day?" Assessment day is a day at her school that she doesn't actually go to school all day. Each child goes for a short amount of time to be assessed...tested, prodded, poked...I don't know. I had mentioned assessment day when we discussed my new job and let her know that we'd have a plan for that afternoon.

Apparently my track record of having her where she needs to be is not long-standing enough. She had thoroughly decided that I was not going to remember her assessment day and she would go to the bus stop that day and the bus would never come. Maybe by then I would have run away from home so when she got back I would be gone (the bus stop being a whole 5 houses away)...then our garage door would be broken so she couldn't use the code to get in the house. After scaling walls and picklocking her way into the back door, she would find that our phone system was down and she couldn't call my cell or dad's work to let us know what a let-down we are as parents...

I'm sure the story in her mind went on and on.

I point out to her (for the millionth time) that she has NEVER missed anything...she is always where she is supposed to be - most of the time early. Just the other night I took her with me to run errands before cheer...she knew that I desparetly needed to beat a cut off time at fed-ex. And, I missed it. I realized I'd be cutting her to close to missing the start of practice so I took her first. She was saying "It's ok, I'll be late...I can do the extra work for being late" and I was saying "no...I'm not going to make you late for me...I'll pay the extra to still get it there on time".

She was there with 4 minutes to spare.

I'm not complaining...that is my job and I love that part of my job. I can make jokes and laugh about running all over town. I'll open my calendar and realize that nothing written in there is about me specifically...but it's my life. I like my kids being active...I love watching them do things and succeed.

Apparently, that 1730 day track record just does not speak for itself.

My daugher believes that I'm simply lying in wait for day 1750...that is the day that I'll become my true self...the witch will come out and suddenly she'll never be where she needs to be...she'll never get to classes, gym, etc...she'll have to hitch-hike with very bad men. On day 1750 I will show my real identity...and it won't be good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

searching for part time satisfaction

I think I'm taking a part-time job. I think about it on and off every few months. But, most times, there was a very good reason why I couldn't. Certain kids who couldn't be alone or special circumstances that would keep me from doing this thing...something that I really want to do!

Now, there really isn't an excuse.

I've found a wonderful fit for our lives. I get to work 4 hours a day and it's active work...up and moving. Not a real brain tester at all - but I can't tell you how excited I am. Tonight I'll discuss what it means for everyone in the family. Really, it doesn't mean that much. And...that is why it should, it will, work.

One hour alone for my high schooler...and 15 minutes with her biggest brother for my daughter. Dinner will be, perhaps, a bit later each evening (but, let's be many families eat at 5:30 on the dot everyday?). No one will miss practice or activities. No pantry will be empty and no ouchie will go un-bandaided.

The real change will be for me. I will actually be expected to be somewhere every day. Someone will see me come in a door and say "great to see you". My family is, of course, generally happy to see me. But, you don't get that excited when someone is ALWAYS there!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Leaving so soon?

DS2 leaves tomorrow. His four weeks home have been very trying for all of us. I'm sure most of all, it's been hard on him.

He came back to a family. That includes expectations. That doesn't work for all. He doesn't even like the positive things we think of as family.

Going places with us is not fun for him. No matter where we go. He skipped out on many day trips during this time home. He knew that we didn't want to deal with lots of drama, so he created it whenever he didn't want to do something. That was often.

If given the chance, he would have not gone anywhere.

Tonight we are going to his favorite restaurant for dinner. Not making a big deal of it, it's more for us than anything. When he found out where we were going - nothing. No reaction at all. Ahhh...well...

So, he gets on a plane and takes off for a full year (with 3 small trips home). No sorrow in his heart...and more sadly, very little sorrow in mine.