Friday, October 21, 2005
I thought when my kids were adopted by me they'd all excel at school due to the simple fact that I had a degree in elementary education and I'd love them all through their issues. But I was really wrong.
It never occurred to me how deeply harmed their brains were by neglect, abuse, repeated moves, broken bonds, or worse yet, no bonds or attachments, needs not met...a long laundry list of woes.
I've since learned that I cannot expect them to remember, nor recall, what they've been told. Their brain plumbing leaks. Their minds are so full of hurt and pain that there is not enough room to add academic excellence, good manners, personal hygiene and high expectations of the ability to follow rules.
They simply can't. The correct explanation is that grief literally damages the brain. The synapses are missing. I believe it after years of banging my own brain around trying for Plan B-Z since Plan A stunk.
The Bubba's room have crates carefully labeled "shin guards", "soccer socks", "cleats" and "soccer shorts" in glow-in-the-dark permanent markers. The crates are EMPTY and the cleats, socks, shorts and shin guards are strewn about their room. I remind them 100,000 times to pick it all up and, eventually, it is all picked up only to again be tossed around the room.
I've come to picture a colander that lets loose of much of what is put inside it.
What remains however is solid. Stuff can be added to it and, eventually I have a pretty neat kid who is affectionate, empathetic, able and willing to do what it takes to survive, thrive and to prosper. I've brought up all my kids to know that life is tough, but we are tougher.
I have the advantage of my grown kid's successes to propel me through the strenuous times of the adolescent turmoil of the rest of my kids. I've learned patience, or as much as a hyper mom could be expected to have.