Saturday, April 26, 2008
Huge Faith And Assurance
I had to go back and reread yesterday's post to see what had upset Cristy so deeply. My blogging, once poured out, is forgotten as I move on to each day's new challenges.
She came over while I was cooking bean and cheese enchiladas for everyone and directing kid traffic to their various Friday night activities. She started crying and shaking and flung herself in my arms apologizing for each and every problem she'd caused in the past.
OK darling, you know I've long since moved on from our clashes in the 1990s. We've had many bitter battles, countless skirmishes, angry words, police involvement, psychiatric adventures, runaway moments and resentment but we'd put it all behind us. Truthfully the three kids I'm raising, her birth kids, have been so wonderful that often they're the ones who give me enough positive reinforcement to go on each day. What I once viewed as a possible imposition has become a blessing.
A comment about the kid's box of case files got me to thinking. I don't allow anyone to have access until adulthood. I used to say age 18, but I've pushed it back to early 20s as I saw how it devastated Yolie who was the most capable of everyone to handle the info, by then close to finishing her degree in social work.
The case files are sad, painful and deeply disturbing plus disheartening. What I once clinically read before I adopted each sibling group took on a deeper significance after raising these children. These were MY children that someone hurt so badly. After a stable and secure home, after years in our excellent school system and involvement in church, community and sports...the kids in those old case files seemed like very different ones who'd matured and moved on from their origins as severely traumatized children.
Cristy will graduate next week from UGA with a degree in Psychology. She reminds me very much of Claudia's older daughter. Both are very beautiful, rebellious and righteously angry girls. Cristy struggled with a Borderline Personality Diagnosis and Claudia's daughter has involvement with DJJ instead, yet their similarities as I read Claudia and Bart's descriptions are uncannily similar.
I once struggled emotionally for any glimmer of hope that Cristy would change from a hater to a normal person. I cried many nights, I often felt as if my efforts meant nothing, and our head butting arguments seemed to always be so pointless. Last night she blurted, "I can't believe it's taken me so long. I can't believe I'm 31 and now only telling you that I do trust and appreciate you."
Actually she demonstrated that trust when she was 19 and birthed CW, telling me then, "Mom, please raise him," neither of us knowing that Lily and Jack would join him later, but that's another story.
Three months after her 18th birthday Yolie cemented her love and devotion after a brief rebellious streak, Daniel never budged from his deep emotional ties to me, Big Joe's been up and down, some other grown daughters are still acting out, Monica had a brief shacking up adventure but she's back stronger than ever, Carolina never had time to rebel what with marrying early and raising five children, Jesse never really rebelled as his birth siblings put both he and I through the wringer, and several other of my grown children are in varying states of emotional distress and disrepair.
I can foresee another decade of Edgar-Mama conflicts and that goes for Vanessa as well.
Sarah did the obligatory birth -child-raised-in-church reject Mama's values for a brief period, now strong in her faith and a married woman with children.
I share Cristy's actions of last night to give Claudia hope for Salinda. I see such beauty and potential in her; such bitter misdirected conflicted feelings about her adoption and birth family, and contrarily I see such hope for Salinda's future. I know that many of our readers also see this in their own furious daughters.
Mother's Day is coming up, always a time for conflicted and confusing anger. I dread it and plan to spend the afternoon out in my garden. "Can I cook for you?" Cristy'd asked. Nope, any show of love and devotion that day can cause way too many problems around here. Let's just quietly get through the day, let me weed and I'll be happy.
I'll wait everyone out, knowing with huge faith and assurance, that each child of mine was called out by God for a reason. I apologize for my evangelical fervor if it offends anyone but I simply can't describe how or why I do this, where I get my strength and ability to continue forward unless I use God in my explanation. Hey, this has worked for us.
Now I'm running out the door for six soccer games today, index card in my back pocket telling me which team, which field, and what times we need to be where.