Sunday, February 21, 2010
Stepping Into Hell and Being Blindsided By It
It's a good thing I'm patient, plodding along, headstrong, driven and determined, and still aiming for some very specific, intriguing goals. Some have taken me nearly 40 years and I'm not there yet, some I've accomplished along the way, some will always be an ongoing process, revised and reformulated as my circumstances evolve situationally.
Writing them down, putting a finish date on them, all the techniques I've learned, kinda do work. My mind is abuzz constantly, it's later gratifying to hear some of these ambitious, purposeful remarks and thoughts come out later from the mouths of my children.
Obviously a proponent of higher education, inordinately proud of kids who can accomplish this, prouder later when others consider adding it to their personal goal list, me usually following up with, "Don't tell me what you're gonna do, do it." Show me.
I'd long ago proven I'm not the least bit graceful, last night slamming my knobby shin bone against a coffee table that's been there some 17 years, speed means little when combined with cloddish injuries. I wondered if I'd broken it, a monster purplish egg immediately swelling, my teenage sons blanching at the sight, "Dang, that's ug-ly," they consoled me. Good thing I take mongo vitamin doses to amp up the healing, always unnecessarily caused by my elephantine gait and maladroit tendency to fly without any wings, as opposed to careful and thoughtful stepping.
Chuy, on the other hand, is an impressive athlete. The middle school team aced the pre-season soccer tournament, three games in less than 24 hours, won them all, and it was a beautiful day in which to cheer him on, later swinging by the high school as the Nike reps had 10% off and no sales tax for the track shoes CW needed. My 13 year old son wearing a size 10, the half Anglo side of his background is obviously tall.
Girls facebooking him, "Meet me at the movies," and me responding, "I don't think so."
He's 13. Ya gotta be kidding me.
Do these girls' parents really think that's appropriate? Am I a total dinosaur? Well then, so be it. He has the rest of his life to be dating, let's enjoy childhood while it's still here.
The few kids who didn't want to go to the tournament got a dose of my formidable mother's nearly 80 year old energy as she organized a kitchen mopping event. 24 years older than me, that woman is amazing. Sarah's got Grandma reading the foodie books now, both Grandma and I've always been dirt diggers, not really liking to cook, but this genre is fascinating now to us both.
I have a big day, a great day ahead of me, a fun afternoon planned, gotta get everyone ready for church this morning, really glad that I have no drama to divulge, glad for an evening and a day yesterday full of niceness and fairly obedient children.
I still receive emails about waiting sibling groups, sometimes I even read them, and I'd read this cryptic description, "We are looking for a family who will adopt all five children together. These children are very bonded. Being consistent and following through would be in the best interest of these children. We are searching for a strong, experienced family who can deal with multiple behavioral issues of five children. Behaviorally, these children often have temper tantrums and require strong parents who can provide guidance and supervision through these times. These children receive academic help in school and will need ongoing help throughout their school years. They need parents who will be advocates for their education and support them in every way. These children will require parents that are committed to them into adulthood."
Very cute sibling group, but, now after decades of these 'temper tantrums' that I call rages - that summarily destroy a home, a parent's ability to not be secondarily traumatized, and eventually all these explosions cumulatively cloud the child's judgement past any reasoning ability - I remain cowed by my experiences, stunned even, that once-normal naive parents are not given more emotional support along the way by professionals, who also still do not comprehend that these were descriptions regarding the child before they came to us.
We didn't cause this and we need support in helping the children recover from their pasts. I wanna scream aloud about it. Parents, you WILL need therapy in order to cope and to recover.
Parents who will be advocates and support them in every way? These last 3200 nakedly emotional posts I've written, alarmingly illustrate the massive amount of support that will be required in the shocking face of constant humiliation, court dates, therapy sessions, vitriol and venom, hatefulness, massive destruction, irrational behaviors, mind-numbing emotional abuse, physical danger, police visits and debilitating drama.
Puh-leeze, social workers, those who know these children who've been so tragically damaged by others, please be brutally honest with the new parents who are innocently, happily, and of their own volition, dumbly stepping into the jaws of Hell, unarmed and unprepared. You, the parents, will lose friends, partners, property, and your own self-confidence, inner peace and much of your health.
My experiences are hauntingly similar, if not absolutely identical, to all of y'all's. Your letters, comments and emails tell me so, your pain and anguish I feel.
Would I have done all this, had I known what I was in for?
That's why God doesn't let us know what's ahead, honey, we wouldn't get outta bed, now would we?
But, at the risk of being the broken record that I am, yes I'd do it again, because I'm 100% positive that was called to do this...and equipped...and I'll see this adventure through to completion, but I am very, very positive that I wouldn't now ever adopt again, that 39 children are surely enough.
Now I crave peace, there's no part of me that still wants action and adventure, I only want to get myself back, to simply enjoy life, to move on in a positive forward manner, to continue achieving interesting and rational goals. I wanna never again shake in utter heart-stopping fear, I want to smell the roses and enjoy life, not dread each phone call, each cross word that may result in meteoric mayhem,...and all these tears I've shed? Oh, brother.