Adoption — 5 Minutes for Special Needs — Page 2

Adoption

Faith and Hope and Love.

The thing about faith is that…it’s not transient. You either have it or you don’t. You don’t have to believe in the God I believe in to have faith either. You can have faith in lots of things–doctors, teachers, friends.

To have faith, you have to trust. A lot. Believe. A lot.

So where does that leave us, as special needs parents? We deal with so many things on a daily basis. We put our faith in things we can’t see–the future, IEP goals, health care reform (heh).

There’s no magical devotion or book or lesson that speaks to my situation.

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As They Grow…

I am the first to admit that March 7, 2007, was one of the toughest days of my life. I sat, holding the baby that only a week prior was declared “mine” in a court of law, while a neurologist told me my son had a diagnosis that changed his life forever.

I felt numb. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt alone.

I bought chocolate. I bought wine.

I had to tell my mom…my best friend…my daughter.

All those years ago, I was sure that getting over the grief and desperation, and finding the point where I felt that I was educated enough to be an advocate was a huge achievement.

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Weddings (and other such events)

Tomorrow my brother is getting married.

In a quiet, small gathering.

On a boat.

At Disney World.

 

Now, while most people think this sounds romantic and lovely, I am a nervous wreck. My brother loves my son no matter what; however, if he decides to melt down or scream or narrate the entire event, I fear he’ll never speak to me again!

So, to make myself feel better, I tried to think of all the ‘What If’ moments that could happen, so that when something minor happens, I won’t freak out. It doesn’t make any sense to anyone but me, but that is OK.

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When I Realized I Needed My Own IEP

Well hello there stranger! I’ve been MIA for a month and I’ve missed your posts and interactions. But as of today, I’m back, and can’t wait to catch up on some great posts here!

What have I been doing all this time? (Besides doing the happy dance upon the arrival of my new escape Kindle?)

I was apparently re-enrolled in Special Needs Parenting 101: Moving Forward Often Means Moving Backward. And it was like that dream I used to have in college – the one where I wake up in class on the day of finals and realize I didn’t attend lectures or read the book.

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The Little Things

(The moving truck arrived so there are currently giant men and 497 boxes all over my house. Jack is in a corner screaming, and the dog peed on the floor. Such is life, eh?

Needless to say, I’m reposting again. I PROMISE to write new stuff next week–you know, when I can feel my legs again (who knew moving would work so many muscles?!). Until then…)

 

 

 

 

This week has been super stressful, for multiple reasons. There have been appointments, life-altering conversations, and…it’s my first week of summer semester (so I had to teach and act professional after getting sorta icky news).

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Romanticizing Adoption and Special Needs

It’s tough being an adoptive parent. And a parent of special needs kids.

I’m both. And today reminded me of one of the most frustrating aspects of our situation: other people romanticizing it.

Sitting on a counselor’s couch at a residential treatment facility where one of our girls has been for 6 weeks, life doesn’t look rose-colored. Discussing the need to eliminate visits because my daughter – who’s lived with me since she was 2 – can’t handle being in a family… that’s not romantic.

It doesn’t even feel unromantic. It just feels wrong, on every possible level.

So why do I feel the need to read blogs that idealize adoption?

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Waiting…. Waiting…. Waiting….

I don’t like waiting. Which is kind of ironic because I’m a mom, and a mom of multiple developmentally delayed kids.

For years we’ve been waiting with one of our daughters – waiting for meds to kick in, for her moods to stabilize, for her mind to find balance. At our meeting with the counselor at her residential facility today, we all saw her treatment there is only scratching the surface so far. These mood swings, PTSD behaviors from foster care, and internal walls will be there for a while. So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how not to get stuck in life’s waiting seasons.

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Soothing An Anxious Child

Some kids just pop out of the womb self-assured and confident. Mine, not so much. Raising 2 former foster kids, assurance is like a foreign language in their minds! It’s been a huge learning process for us to figure out what works and what doesn’t in helping them find confidence in stress.

And I know we’re not alone. It’s a tough world out there. All kids face stress daily! If they’re not struggling to pull themselves up as infants, they’re learning to hold a utensil, or to navigate social dynamics at preschool. Later on, it’s exams, hormones, and jobs. Their special needs add another layer to what’s already a learning process for us all.

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I Went to the Dark Side…

I did it.

I went to the Dark Side.

All this time, I’ve been super vocal about the difference between being an advocate and being a…. well, you know.

Yesterday, all that changed.

(To read the whole drama, go here)

I felt bad about it all day. I felt like I had worked so hard to be well-educated (hello, Master’s Degree in Nursing anyone?) and professional, as well as always prepared and level-headed, when I spoke with Jack’s physicians. When I saw the pain and fear in my son’s eyes, and no one was doing anything about that little fact, I lost my religion and my mind in one fell swoop.

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When I Discovered I Was Part of The Problem

Ours isn’t the usual superhero story.

When I brought my daughters home from foster care I anticipated grief, health issues, tantrums (they were both toddlers, after all). But I didn’t think that 7 years later, one would be healthy and well-adjusted while the other seemed to fall apart emotionally and physically in spite of interventions. I never would have imagined that after thousands of hours of time and care, I’d be walking my daughter into a residential treatment center, and walking out without her.Raising special needs kids feels like a job for supermom... but is it?

Even more than the stress and challenges of raising a child unresponsive to intervention, is the realization that my own supermom tendencies made it worse.

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