meet the sojourners..

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bye bye masquerade

Is there anyone that fails

Is there anyone that falls

Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around

Everybody seems so strong

I know they'll soon discover

That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay

If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too

So with a painted grin, I play the part again

So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people

Under shiny plastic steeples

With walls around our weakness

And smiles to hide our pain

But if the invitation's open

To every heart that has been broken

Maybe then we close the curtain

On our stained glass masquerade


Is there anyone who's been there

Are there any hands to raise

Am I the only one who's traded

In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing

And we know every line by heart

Only when no one is watching

Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free

If I dared to let you see

The truth behind the person

That you imagine me to be


Would your arms be open

Or would you walk away

Would the love of Jesus

Be enough to make you stay
I have heard this song SO many times over the last six months and probably shed tears each time because it was sooooooo EXACTLY where I was, and... where I still am, depending on the day, the time, the situation, and the people involved. The difference now is that there ARE those, albeit few, that I trust enough to be completely totally honest with. It's risky, they may think less of me. They may see my weaknesses, they may see my ick... but they LOVE me, FOR ME. These precious people God has given me actually WANT me to be real, and honest, they WANT to be there for me and WITH me... they don't want the pat answer that everything is fine, and our adoption journey has a storybook fairytale ending. Yes there are some people I'll always wear a mask around, BUT there are others who continue to shatter my walls and creep closer to my heart, daily .
 They are the most beautiful people in my life.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another note.

 Show me that my tears will make my rainbow.

I am totally NOT taking credit for the following story, as it was originally posted on another "trauma mama's" blog, and I want her to get the credit. But boy, did it reiterate some things that have been spoken to my heart lately. The original post can be found here: Marty's Musings.

The Blessing Of Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease.

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come.

What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder.

"Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered aloud. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her. "I... I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving?"

"Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. " Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there were no flowers. "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her chest.

"Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she just left with no flowers!"

"Right... I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that?" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk," and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.""So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement... twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?"

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra.

"Nothing." said the clerk. "Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like to read it first."

It read:
My God, I have never thanked you for my thorn! I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorn. Teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed to you by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow. ~ George Matheson

Praise God for your roses; learn to thank Him for your thorns!

-- Author Unknown

And my prayer, God, help me TRUST YOU enough to thank you for the thorns in my life. Help me TRUST YOU in spite of the fact that you have GIVEN, or trusted me with significantly more thorns then roses. Let it be said of me that I have climbed this path, and all the others, and that those and this WILL bring me to you.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Note to self.


'Cause this is not about what you've done

But what's been done for you.

This is not about where you've been,

But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,

But what He felt to forgive you,

And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,

You've been remade.


So you thought you had to keep this up

All the work that you do

So we think that you're good

And you can't believe it's not enough

All the walls you built up

Are just glass on the outside

This is where the healing begins

This is where the healing starts

When you come to where you're broken within

The light meets the dark

The light meets the dark

Someone told me the other day, "you have to let yourself just be. Just getting through is enough. One day there will be more but for today it is enough."

And for today, I'll take it. For today, having permission to stop pretending and "just be" IS enough. And for today, I'm O.K.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I need.

I keep getting asked this question, repeatedly.

What do you need?

 How can I help?

What can I do?

I'm finally going to answer that.

  • I need you to let me be sad. I need you to let me be angry. I need you to let me be discouraged.  If you don't, I will put my mask back on - And if I put my mask back on I can't heal, and if I don't heal, my family won't heal.
  • I need you to stop pushing me. I need you to stop making me feel like "come on already" or "it's time to  just suck it up and deal with it". Just stop it. Grief does not have a timeline, and it is NOT linear. The more pressure I feel from you, the harder it becomes.

  • I need you to understand you are not me. I need you to know that you don't know everything about me. You may have bits and pieces of the puzzle that makes up who and what I am, but I guarantee you, you don't know the whole story, so please don't think you have me "figured out" and please don't talk to me like you know what the solution is.

  • Please DON'T tell me I need to pray more. I have.

  • Please DON'T tell me I need to exercise my faith. My mustard seed has been misplaced. I've looked for it, but I can not find it. Anywhere. So, until I do, this statement from you, just heaps more guilt on the guilt I already feel.

  • Please DON'T tell me to just give it time. I have given it time, and our family is falling apart. Very few, precious few, know how bad things really are. I don't know how much time we have.

  • Please DON'T ask me, What would Jesus do? I am not Jesus. Yes, I am to imitate Him. But I am HUMAN. 100% totally and completely HUMAN.

  • Please DON'T stick your finger in my face and waggle it at me. It just really doesn't accomplish anything. Depending on the day, I'll either want to bite it off or go home and retreat further into my shell and comfort zone.

  • Please DO understand that I am not by nature an open person. I do not typically bare my heart and soul with people. I just simply DO NOT do that. It takes alot of courage, I mean A LOT. Respect that.

  • Please understand, my blog's purpose, one of them anyway, is for me to write out and work through MY thoughts and feelings. Right or wrong, they are MINE. They are REAL, and yes they are RAW. And this is MY blog. It's also a "safe place" for me, or at least I want it to be. Home is not always a safe place to say exactly what I am thinking and feeling, church is not always a safe place to say what is really going on, I NEED a safe place. Right now, my blog IS that place, and I desperately need it to STAY that way.

  • A friend of mine said this just yesterday. "You need to know in your heart that I love need to know that I care about you, you also need to know that I have ears to listen, and arms to reach out" and she is SO right. I need to know that despite where I am, where you THINK I should be, despite what I FEEL and what you THINK I should feel, you love me, you're willing to not just listen, but HEAR, really HEAR me. And most importantly, no matter how long it takes, or what the end result you'll be here when the storm is over and the sun shines for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Esau and Jacob, Lisa and Lorelei

Okay, so I don't actually know a Lorelei, but that's not the point.

I'm convinced I'm Esau. Ok, not really. Obviously I'm not a man, I'm definately NOT a hunter, nor am I  red all over and covered in hair.

However, for no reason whatsoever God chose to hate Esau. It's true. The Bible says so. In Romans. Romans chapter 9 to be exact.

"And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to elevetion might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on who I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."

God also apparently hates me. No really, I'm obedient to what I felt God was calling our family too. Our family sacrifices and sacrifices and sacrifices. And yet God shows no mercy, no compassion.

It's ok. Really. I get it. He's God, he can do whatever he wants. He can love who he wants, and he can hate who he wants. And he can harden whoever's heart he wants, even if that person is asking him not to. He doesn't need a reason, Understood.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Friggin Father's Day

I hate this guy, seriously I do, I hate him. This guy has it all together.

No, really.

Even when he's a jerk, forgetful, says hurtful things and handles things the wrong way. Even when he makes me feel incompetant and like I'm totally alone in my already isolated world...

He has an unwavering faith that I'll never be able to wrap my head around.... sometimes I love him for it, other times I hate his guts because of it....

 But ALWAYS I am grateful for it - for my kids sake.

This man I call husband, works a  50+ hour work week at his civilian job, takes 9 credit hours of GRADUATE course classes a semester, and drills with the Navy Reserves once a month JUST to make ends meet because of RADison's adoption debt. When he comes home he is immeadiately put in charge of RADison because I can't deal with him. He usually attempts to do some sort of cleaning after the boys are in bed. All of that and he puts up with a wife who has lost her mustard seed faith, who is exhausted and discouraged. He never complains that the house isn't clean anymore, that his clothes aren't ironed, that dinner's not ready or that I haven't gone grocery shopping... still. He loves me through it, and in spite of it, and he does the same with the kids.

So, today, honey, even when I don't act like it, even when I don't say it, especially when I can't say it, I LOVE YOU, and I appreciate all you do for ALL of us. You are the best father-Ever.

Disturbing Dream

Not that I don't already have enough problems sleeping. Between my bad back, arthritis or whatever the crap is up with my knees, the stress of the day, neverending headaches and the worst, not to mention OLDEST matress in history... I really don't need to add freakish dreams to my repertoire of things keeping me up at night.

But seriously, besides the reoccuring dream I had as a child about someone wanting to slice the skin off my back... this was the most disturbing and random dream I've ever had. Or at least ever had and remembered.

So I'm asleep, minding my own business I might add, when all of a sudden the x-boyfriend of a daughter of a dear friend of mine and I are walking up a hill together. Now, the hill exists in real life, I know the hill well, the bottom of the hill starts at a football field and at the top of the hill sits the elementary school the Whizkid attended last year. In real life this young man just graduated high school and is a tremendous athlete. In my dream I, apparently had just graduated from high school as well because as we're walking up this hill together we're talking about the future and what kind of plans we have for the future. In real life I'm aquainted with this boy, but in my dream we must have been fairly good friends. Anyway, we're walking up the hill, that really does exist, except in my dream there are train tracks on the hill (no train tracks in real life) talking, when all of a sudden this guy says "I really need to think about how I'm going to pull this off, I need to pull this off and make it believeable" in my dream I thought well, that's a really odd thing to say, and has nothing to do with what we've been talking about but it didn't really seem like a cause for alarm to my dreaming self...

A few minutes pass and I keep walking up the hill, aparently thinking the guy was a few steps behind me. Then I hear the sound of a train coming and as I look behind me, this young man was PURPOSELY lying face down on the ground with his right arm draped across the train tracks. In my dream I knew immeadiately what was going to happen, maybe I should mention that in REAL LIFE, this boy is an amazing athlete, football is his sport of choice. Unfortunately because of poor grades he did not get a scholarship to his dream school like he had planned, and last I heard he was feeling pretty sorry for himself. Anyway, there I am near the top of the hill frozen and horrified because I know what this guys plan is, and there he is with his arm draped across the track, and there the train is racing towards him. I scream, the train runs over and rips off his arm and he's a bloody mess. He rolls from his stomach to his back screaming and writhing in pain. I continue screaming and start running down the hill...

As I race down the hill towards this boy, I see a vehicle driving up the hill. The vehicle belongs to my  real life dear friend whose daughter used to date this guy, I half mime, half shriek what just happened. My friends husband was driving the vehicle and her daughter was in the passenger seat, her reaction was heartbreaking. They speed away to where I told them said boy was on said hill...

I wake up soaked in sweat and tears... I pray for T.W.

An hour later and I still can't get back to sleep.

So there, now, interpret this for me.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Oh shit.




No, I have not come down with a sudden case of turrets syndrome.

About a month or so after being back in the US the thought crossed my mind that we may be dealing with R.A.D. I quickly dismissed it believing I hadn't given SV sufficient time to adjust, after all he'd only been home a month. And I can't decide if the month he spent with me in Russia counts towards his adjustment period. Now, six months into this I've decided he is going to be adjusting the rest of his life.

About 3 months ago R.A.D. made it's way into my thoughts again. It was the day he punched his teacher in the stomach. And a week later R.A.D. was knocking on my brain yet again because SV got in a fight on the playground. And again I made R.A.D. disappear. I didn't want to think about R.A.D. I mean who does R.A.D. think it is? How dare R.A.D. suggest my child could be a "son of R.A.D." a "RADison"? No way, uhn uh, I am NOT inviting R.A.D. into my house! I told R.A.D. to shut the hell up and get out of my brain. Thankfully R.A.D. left...

Until yesterday. Then R.A.D. came crashing back. First gently into my brain through an email from a new friend who has two RADlings of her own. Then furiously and without remorse like a semi crashing into my chest. I followed my new friends advice and checked out and I looked over the signs and symptoms of R.A.D. in children. The semi truck hit my chest at that moment, it showed NO MERCY and I could hear R.A.D. laughing at me inside my head.

Yep, I'd been avoiding R.A.D. for 6 months, and now R.A.D. was having it's revenge. I hadn't wanted to think about it, I knew then, and I know now if R.A.D.  was what we are dealing with then not just MY life will be forever changed,  but the lives of my other two children, my marriage, even the lives of my friends and in-laws will be forever changed. I don't want that. I DON'T WANT IT. I DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH R.A.D. I do not want my other children to deal with R.A.D. and I do not want my MARRIAGE to have to deal with R.A.D.

R.A.D. however, does not care what I want. R.A.D it seems is here to stay, the univited guest. And whether SV is ever "properly" diagnoised, this is all the proof I need: all of the signs/symptoms that are highlighted and/or underlined SV exhibits on a daily basis. 

Symptoms of RAD in Children

Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate

• Indiscriminate affection, often to strangers; but not affectionate on parent’s terms

• Problems making eye contact, except when angry or lying

• A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as the child gets older

• Hypervigilant

• Hyperactive, yet lazy in performing tasks

• Argumentative, often over silly or insignificant things

Frequent tantrums or rage, often over trivial issues

*Demanding or clingy, often at inappropriate times

• Trouble understanding cause and effect

• Poor impulse control

• Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith

• Little or no empathy; often have not developed a conscience

• Cruelty to animals

• Lying for no apparent reason

• False allegations of abuse

• Destructive to property or self

• Stealing

• Constant chatter; nonsense questions

• Abnormal speech patterns; uninterested in learning communication skills

• Developmental / Learning delays

• Fascination with fire, blood and gore, weapons, evil; will usually make the bad choice

• Problems with food; either hoarding it or refusing to eat

• Concerned with details, but ignoring the main issues

• Few or no long term friends; tend to be loners

• Attitude of entitlement and self-importance

• Sneaks things without permission even if he could have had them by asking

• Triangulation of adults; pitting one against the other

• A darkness behind the eyes when raging

And the very first symptom up there, this one "Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate" that explains how we didn't know... that explains the DRASTIC difference between the child we thought we were bringing home, and the child we actually have.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You know what I want?

Besides to take this all back?

I want my mommy. I want to sit in my mom's arms, I want her to hold me and comfort me and just listen. I want her to cry with me and then wipe away my tears.

I want my daddy. I want to lay my head on his shoulder, and I want him to look at me, smooth back my hair and kiss my forehead. I want him to tell me he loves me, that he's proud of me and that I'm gonna be ok, that I'll get through this.

I don't have a mom. I don't have a dad. Never did. Yet... I miss them now more then ever.

For the record

this isn't fun. I'm not proud of my feelings. I don't enjoy being ANGRY. I don't enjoy being FRUSTRATED. I DON'T enjoy being COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED every day, ALL DAY LONG. It drives me CRAZY that a year ago I could function and get through a day on 4 hours of sleep and not be the least bit tired, but now 8 hours of sleep isn't enough to feel rested, let alone energized.

I am NOT proud of the fact that if I have ANY feelings toward my adopted child that they are, at best, feelings of tolerance. I tolerate him, that's it. What kind of mother, what kind of CHRISTIAN mother merely tolerates her child? What kind of mother has to WORK at FORCING herself to show interest in her child's day, and offer a single hug before bed. No, seriously, I'm asking you... what kind of mother behaves like this?

What happened to the mother I was a year ago?

What happened to this mom? I don't even recognize her anymore? Who was this woman? so devoted, so loving? so sure of herself... so SURE of her LOVE FOR HER SON. NO, I'm NOT proud of my feelings, in fact I'm HEARTBROKEN over them. I'm DEVASTATED because of them....

Borrowing words/lyrics from Matchbox 20...

"This ain't good, in fact it's phony as hell,

but things worked out just like you wanted too (or thought you did)

if you see me out, you don't know me (because I'm not who I once was)

Try to turn your head, give me

some room

to figure out what I'm gonna do.

Everyone here, hates everyone else for doing just what they do

It's best if we all keep this quiet instead (is it? or is it better to be honest?)

It's over now, I'm sorry now

and I don't know how, to get it back to good"

Pretty much sums it up right there, I don't know how to get "it" that is, our family "back to good"...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Forced positivity

Okay, here's a little exercise in uh, well, in some extreme digging and searching and struggling to find that needle in the haystack. Or pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, yes, that's more like it, as everyone knows the pot of gold is fictional and therefore ENTIRELY impossible. Yet, one could conceivable find a needle in a haystack if they had an enormous amount of patience, and spare time on their hands. I happen to be lacking in both of those areas, not to mention, what kind of moron throws a needle in a haystack anyway? Don't they know the minute they do that they'll need the flipping needle to darn their kids socks? Because of course said kids continue to wear their socks outside after being told, oh, I don't know, only A MILLION times NOT to.

Alrighty, off the bunny trail. Today, I am FORCING myself to find something positive, ANYTHING, no matter how BIG or small about our current situation. And, I am going to share it with you, because although things suck, really REALLY SUCK 99.9% of the time, I know there has to be a .1% somewhere that I am missing out on.


Ok, I got something. SV is at the YMCA-all day, every week day. Because I just CAN'T handle him being home. He is totally incapable of entertaining himself, or playing alone. He just CAN NOT do it. He will flip through books-though he COULD read beginner books-IF HE TRIED. He will pass lego pieces back and forth from hand to hand, he will draw the same picture over and over and over again. He will wander around the house from room to room like a lost little puppy, he will walk in circles like a puppy chasing it's own tail. I know that sounds harsh, and mean and even uncaring. BUT it's TRUE, and it's exhausting, and ok, it ANNOYS me. I admit it. I can't not entertain this child and provide structured activities all day long, I just can't, nor do I want to. Hence the YMCA day camp. He is there from 730am to 5pm Monday through Friday. This is a good thing for our WHOLE family. I feel like I can function like myself between these hours and be the mom that Aidan and Asher remember, I know they miss that mommy. Hell, I miss BEING that mommy. But something that makes me exceptionally happy, is that SV is getting to experience things at the Y daycamp that I KNOW he would have never experienced in Russia, I also know if he was home with me I would NEVER have the patience to take him to some of these places. Take SV horseback riding? Um, I don't think so. I'd rather eat squid, and seeing as how I am a vegetarian with severe food texture issues that should say alot. So, for me the Y is not just positive because I can function while he is there, but because he is getting to experience some really cool things that he otherwise wouldn't.

His language. He uses next to no Russian anymore. Originally we had hoped he would keep his native tongue. Now I am so THANKFUL he has lost it. The communication barrier was SO much harder when you couldn't decipher if he understood you. NOW, I KNOW he understands. On the other hand, that also brings more challenges because then the disobedience is downright defiance because he DOES understand. His vocabulary still needs to grow, and it will, but he speaks full, intelligent, comprehensible English sentences. This is good.

I shaved his head. Yes, I am really digging here, and I said no matter how big or small, I would share the positives. He has CRAZY hair. It actually has a really pretty wave to it, however, it grows at a superhuman speed. I was taking him to get his haircut and within a week he needed it cut again. And while it looked good "longer" he does this obnoxious thing where he rubs his head on the ground.. wait, no POSITIVES... Uh, so for reasons I won't mention his hair wouldn't stay "nice".  Plus, although it has a pretty wave to it, once it started growing back, or got "xyz'd" that I won't mention the back of it would stand up and he looked like a little peacock. The front would lay flat, and the back stuck straight up. So, one day I'd had it with "xyz" and the peacock effect and buzzed it all off. My bank account thanks me, which is a good thing. And he likes it. And I like it, now that he's stopped rubbing it CONTINUOUSLY.

He's slowed down with his eating, some. Not enough, but some. And some is better then none. So, that is another good thing.

Maybe I should do this once a week? Hmm... that may be pushing it. Perhaps once a month. Yes, I think that's a good idea. Once a month I shall sit down and report on "positives". It'll be good for me.

Thanks to those of you who reached out to me after my last post. And a special thanks to Courtney. I wept when I read your blog, especially your posts about older child adoption. Oh my gosh, there is another person out there who's been there, and that feels SO SO good to know.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Six months

Well, here I am. Six months later and I'm finally writing. Writing what? Has as it really been six months? It most certainly has. It has been the longest, most challenging and exhausting six months of my life. And, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. If you are looking for a happy, upbeat, the sun is shining, birds are singing and all is well here in happy-land post, then I would advise you to quit reading. Now.

It’s been six months since we’ve been home in the U.S. but seven months since I’ve had custody. That first month when I was alone with SV in Russia, I had a glimpse of what was to come, but at the time hoped that once Darren was with me, once we were home and he had solid routine and his brother’s example to follow that things would change.

I quickly realized, and am slowly having to accept is that the child we visited with in Russia, the child we thought we knew and the child we fought five long excruciating years for is NOT the same child we brought home. I don’t blame SV for this and I can’t say what caused the change. Perhaps the orphanages drug the children during visits? Perhaps they threaten them? Perhaps he was just scared and nervous and so his behavior was drastically altered from what is normal? I’ll never know. What I do know, is that never in a million years did we anticipate having to deal with the kinds of behavior SV has exhibited since being home.

I have been leery of sharing much of what has gone on because those who have not walked in our shoes are so quick to judge and offer solutions, when really they have no business saying anything at all. However, by keeping quiet I feel like I have distanced myself from friends and the support I need, and really the support my entire family needs. I can only “fake” it so long, and then the old saying “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” comes into play. So truth is folks, I’m not happy, ok? I’ll admit it. I feel like we got cheated, I feel like we wasted five years of our lives, I feel like we ruined our happy little family, I feel like we committed financial suicide, I feel like there is no recovery, no hope and nothing is going to get better. And all of this, for what?

We sat out on this road to adoption hoping to bring a child into our family and love them as our own. Truth is, I don’t know if I love him. I don’t feel like I can love him. I do feel like the biggest hypocrite and failure of all time. I truly wonder sometimes if he wouldn’t have been better off staying in Russia, no really, wouldn’t that have been better then bringing him home to a place where mom is sad and angry all the time?

Yes I’m angry. I’m angry that he is so difficult. I’m angry that it took five years to make this happen and now we have eight years of bad behavior to try and deal with. I’m angry that he goes out of his way to be mean, no; cruel to Aidan and that he gets pleasure from it. I’m angry that he is lazy and unmotivated and doesn’t even attempt to learn. I’m angry that I’ve been called into his school more times than I can remember, for reasons such as thinking it would be a good idea to poop on the classroom floor and urinate on the class’s bathroom wall, for punching his teacher in the stomach, for hitting another child on the playground, for multiple food fights, for cornering female classmates and kissing them…. I could go on and on. I’m angry that I can’t have another baby, I wanted another baby but there’s no way I can bring another child into this mess. I’m angry that after six months it’s NOT GETTING BETTER. It’s not. I’m angry that we spent $100,000 to make this adoption happen and still have $30,000 of debt hanging over or heads. I’m angry that even with all our prayers and faith and believing God would provide us with the finances we had to resort to credit cards and now even with Darren working three jobs we barely survive month to month. I’m angry that my husband works his ass off, that I never see him, that we never get to go out because we’re too scared to leave SV with anyone. I’m angry that while we scrimp and save and yank Aidan out of the greatest school ever it feels like everyone around us has abundance. It hurts, it hurts knowing if we hadn’t been persistent in this adoption, that Darren wouldn’t have to work so hard ALL the time, we’d be able to take our kids on vacation like everyone else, that Aidan could continue at a school that was GREAT for him, we wouldn’t be in debt and we’d have a modest amount in our savings account. It’s not fair. It’s not. And ok, you want the truth? The REAL truth? I’m angry at God. Here we are being obedient, doing what we felt He had for us to do, and this is our reward? Doesn’t seem right.

I’ve only just discussed the behavioral issues so far, but SV has had several medical issues as well. His teeth were atrocious, he had hearing issues, thankfully all he needed was tubes, but there was talk of another possible surgery to relieve pressure. He can’t gain weight, and has had several tests to determine the reason for this. He’s seen so many specialists for various things I have lost count. He has two holes in his heart and we’re looking at a possible open heart surgery (yea, we were surprised too). Now, tell me how the heck are we supposed to pay for that when we can’t even pay our bills? His pediatrician wants him to see a developmental psychologist/pediatrician, but we can’t afford $250 an hour and it’s not covered by insurance. Several people, who I know mean well have suggested therapy, but again, it’s not covered by insurance and we don’t have the money.

Well, how to end a post like this one? I typically don’t share these kinds of things, I don’t like disappointing people. I feel like people look up to me and think I’m some great heroine because of what we’ve done… I wish they didn’t, it would make being honest and real about how difficult, and how much everything just SUCKS right now easier. I’m no heroine, not even close. I’m a struggling mom surviving on what must be the prayers of some great friends and a God who loves me despite the fact that I’m royally ticked off at Him. I told Darren yesterday that if it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, then I’d rather it kill me, I’m strong enough, I don’t want to be stronger…. I’ve been strong all my life, I’m tired of being strong, I’m tired of fighting and struggling, I’m just tired. The end.