Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wants of a wanted woman

I want to talk to him. Really, really talk to him. I want to have a conversation that consists of more than me asking if he's making good choices and him mumbling an answer I can't hear. I want to sit with him and talk. About something - about nothing...about the fact that we care about each other and therefore can talk about anything.

What if that never happens?

I'm living in guilt world lately. That guilt that I can't do enough for him...I've failed him. The guilt that I hate the people in Russia who did this to him for real. I even hate the people in Russia that lied about his emotional health. I did tell them I couldn't do this. I was honest. The 'good' part of this is that I learned that I can do most things when I have to...I never wanted to - but here I am...doing it. I'll readily admit that I'm doing it poorly, but doing it nonetheless.

We still can't tell him that he's been expelled...we won't be able to tell him for quite a while. I think they said 48 prior to him leaving...ummmm...that's December 15. Goodness. It's hard to think of things to say. I want to tell him what's next. Of course, we need to be sure of what's next.

The program in Utah is in full swing. We've got a spot held for him. I'm struggling with being excited. It sounds like exactly what he needs. It is exactly what he needed the first time. I let a rush of emotions and a rush of actual timing lead us down the wrong path. The school he's at now has done nothing for him. It has simply kept him away from here. That is not good enough.

It scares me to think it won't work...that residential treatment won't work. What is the step beyond that? I hope we don't ever have to find out. On the other hand, it scares me a bit that it may work. We have never lived in a household where DS2 fits. Never had the time of him being a normal member of our family. There hasn't been a time of calm that includes him. Not, at least for a LONG'd have to go back to our honeymoon to find it. Did it feel calm to him ever?

I doubt it.

I realize now that both DS2 and DD have spent every moment in high alert mode. Figuring out if we were safe - if we would still be there after school...deciding whether or not loving us, respecting us and giving us a chance was doable. And, all that leads me to DD.

She is struggling. Does it have a thing to do with adoption or attachment? Not sure. Some of it is normal stuff: I'm never right - she always is. I can't speak two words without her speaking over me...pretty basic pre-teen behaviors.

However, do other kids do it get in trouble? Do they try to be 'bad' so that they feel rewarded? I still sense that is a lot of her reasoning. When I force her to calm herself and listen in a safe way - it nearly kills her. Truthfully - I can feel her heartrate speed up, I can see her eyes tear at the corners. She does not want to be treated fairly. That, I do believe, is based in her past.

I just so badly want my dreams of the future to be more than dreams. I want to talk to him. I want to be trusted by her. I want DS1 to never feel that our choice to adopt changed his life for only the negative. I want all these's all I'm putting on my Christmas list.

Friday, November 12, 2010


We have found a program/school in Utah that can and wants to take DS2 after Christmas break. They actually would like him to come sooner, but I'm trying to just ride everything out right now.

It's more of a residential treatment type program. They live in homes with a smaller group of kids and really work on living in a family environment. Each moment is a teaching moment. The goal of the program is not only academic - although they catch kids up to grade level before they are returned to family...but it's more emotional. They can't make any promise - but they want to return him to our family to live in a functional environment for all five of us.

I feel hope when I talk to them - but I'm tempering that hope. I felt hope that his school in KY was an answer. So, I don't want to hang everything on this hook either. I'm still looking for options because I've learned to have a plan B, C and D at all times.

I continue to be amazed at how many families have the stories we do. Sure, each family has a slightly different twist - but there is so much struggle and so much pain out there. Enough to go around for sure. While I feel a strange comfort in knowing we are not alone - I feel such an empty place that so many have ended up here. So much pain in so many little ones...and I wonder if they will be able to grow up and have normal lives. I'm worried about a generation of lost souls wandering alone.

Stress is weighing heavily on me. I push everyone away and get angry that no one is around for me. I'm trying VERY HARD to show a positive attitude and even harder to not take any of this out on DD and DS1. I haven't really slept in a while. Exhaustion can make a person crazy. I swear that I can't remember anything for more than 15 minutes.

We had dinner out last night and we truthfully had a nice time. That was a relief. We talked about normal family stuff and laughed and shared veggies. So, life goes on with a zombie for a mother...a zombie trying to pretend to be normal.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The squares

I hate not being able to tell him that he's coming home for good at Christmas. It's lying by omission. I get the reasoning I suppose. Kids that know their time is up there can act up physically and become even more disruptive. The list of things they are worried about - well, it's still hard for me to fathom DS2 falling into that category. I just wish I could promise them he wouldn't do those things. I know I can't. I don't think I know what he will or won't be able to do. I would have never thought that he would do the things he has done. I truthfully thought that getting away from us would be the answer to his behavioral problems. I thought that being back in a dorm setting and not having a 'mom and dad' would be the answer. It wasn't. We are back at square one.

I realize now that he was passing school and flying under the radar because I was basically sitting on him. I would stand over him and force homework to get done. I would give him a million daily reminders about how to act out of my presense and he knew the consequences for not following those rules. Not that he cared about the consequences. He was very good at not getting caught. He's not good at that, it seems, anymore. No one there is sitting on him to make him do work. That was what I wanted for be responsible for himself. I truly hoped that he would choose to take care of his own business. He hasn't.

Our options:
1. Keep him home and find a homeschooler (not me) that can come into our home and catch him up, keep him caught up and knows how to deal with troubled kids. File all the paperwork to make that legal. Quit my job to be able to supervise him 24/7 and have a lot of lockdown to keep him away from the other kids.
2. Keep him home and send him to public school. I've called them to ask about the discipline protocol and the fact that he's so behind in school. No one has called back. I'm viewing that as not the best plan at this point. I would still need to quit my job in order to drive back and forth and be here whenever he is home.
3. Keep him home and try to get him into the alternative school. Not sure what that solves other than stricter structure. The quitting thing is all the same.
4. Find another school/program. We have one we like - but the cost may make it out of range. I'm trying to nail down more details. It's a more RTC type setting, but they work through school issues as well. Their goal is to bring him to a point, both behaviorally and academically, that he can return to home life and public school. There is no magic number for how long that takes - anywhere from 6 months to 3 years is average.
5. Well...I don't like to talk about this option - I'm sure you can imagine what it is.

I am not sure if I am ready to live in a prison setting for the next six years. I would love to say that we could go back to him earning privileges and becoming a more 'normal' kid...but I don't think that is the case. So, all options of him staying home would be hard on the other four of us. I want this to be about him...but it's hard to remove everyone else from the equation. Heck, it's hard to not think about myself.

We're just back at square one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's official. He's out.

They are doing us a 'favor' by keeping him until Christmas break.

Worst part is that there really wasn't a reason for why he's been expelled. No reason at all.

Panic at the inbox

The email came. He may be asked to leave the school.

Then, the panic attack came.

Full on. I've only had 3 in my life...but it was wholly real this time. It scared my daughter who happened to walk in the room. Breath wouldn't come, heart wouldn't slow.

All from hearing that my son may be coming home - and we don't have a plan B.

The communication hasn't been good between the school and us it seems. I continued to hear that he was a good kid who was struggling. They said that there was nothing that would have him close to being expelled. They still won't say expelled - "asked to leave". I think those are the same thing, yes?

I sent an email to address his recent punishment. Their answer included the fact that he may be asked to leave at Christmas break. Shocking...we need more time. My response was quite raw and I think it took him completely off guard. I believe we'll have to jump start the search for somewhere else, but I do think they'll be understanding of needing more time.

We just wanted it to work. We wanted DS2 to be happy (which he still claims to be) and to grow (which is obviously not the case). We wanted time to figure out what needs to happen here, in our home - that is something that we haven't done. It's just been quiet - for the first time in five years. A calm has fallen over our home in general...we just are.

So, I let the planning fall to the bottom of my list. I let go of trying to figure out the next step because I just wanted to sit and rest on this step. I still have to shake myself sometimes to realize that our house is happy and relaxed and calm. I can't help coming back to that word. It's a place I didn't know if we'd ever be again. Now, I'm not sure how to keep it.

I've been busy this morning. Looking into other programs and schools that had made our short list before. The admission that he's been 'let go' from another boarding school program doesn't bode well for his placement the next time. But, I've found a couple of places that are open at this point.

One of the places I spoke with today said that their goal/their job is to help a child through the troubled spot they are in so that the child can return home and become a part of the family again. Most places talk like DS2 will simply be there until there isn't a chance of him returning. It was interesting to hear the difference.

Could these people help us find calm with all FIVE of us at home? It seems like a dream right now...but if we get to that point - I'm going to choose to sit on that step and wait for it. I will wait for it and fight for it and do whatever I can to make it happen.