Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm Gonna Be A Star!

It was brought to my attention that there was a little bit of negative activity going on about me on the internet. Little ole me? Yep, several sites are trash talking about my parenting and even me personally. It would've hurt my feelings terribly just 6 months ago. Not anymore. Talk away. I've been amused at several whoppers about me. Did you know that a big network is running a show about me and my family? (I hope money comes with that one) Or how about, I lost all my kids because I was abusing them? (that one's just silly) I'm getting rich of SSI for them? (none of my kids receive SSI but if they did, I'm confident no one is getting rich off SSI) I hope they keep them coming. A girl needs entertainment.

My son is home this weekend and had a rough start. He had a good week at the hospital but is worried he will ruin it for himself. He desperately wants to come home and professes his love for us every visit. I don't doubt him one minute. We all miss him, too. My only concern is how long his honeymoon will be here.

We have had an issue with the length of time my children hold their anger inside for strangers. They spend the week in an inpatient program and do exceptionally well. My 12 and 13 yr old daughters have even lasted a couple months without letting it go on staff. My son has been given an opportunity to stay much longer and has been able to feel safe enough to let it go with them. He has learned to control some of it and attempts to use his some of his coping skills. It was almost a relief others saw it besides the videos I had made of a few episodes. You begin to wonder if you are contributing to his rage or if it is your fault, in some way. The fact he has been dx'd by several professionals with a severe mental illness doesn't keep my mind from wandering to that. It has been helpful to get the RTC therapists' opinions and advice on helping him remain in control or regain control more quickly. They have 4-5 staff members, a separate safe room for him to rage in, and shots to calm him when they can't. SOmetimes their advice isn't possible in a home setting but we are willing to try anything. Unfortunately, they feel this is about as good as it will get for him and we are well educated on his needs.

We are pretty confident he will be returning home in July. I think we are ready. We have some new equipment lined up and the family has been prepared. He is small for his age. He is 11 and entering the 4th grade where he will more than likely be the smallest boy in his class. He is still easily managed physically here. I wish we didn't have to consider that part but it is one of the most important parts. The children's pyshical safety. Since the RTC is still finding the need to restrain him 1-2 times a week, I'm sure we will have to do several a month. They suck big toes. He insists I do them better than the RTC because he doesn't get hurt here. EVER. In fact, none of my children have ever been hurt by either a raging child or in a restraint. E.V.E.R. I am damn proud of that. They are, too. They know I will not hurt them and will not allow them to hurt anyone else. Kind of a silly thing to be proud of, if your living a regular old life with kids that have never been traumatized. It's a big deal to my kids.

My 12 yr old has required my intervention physically several times over the last month. I hate it. I truly despise having to hold her. It's not like she is the child I hate to do that to, I hate it with all 3. No mother should have to hold her child. No child should have to be held like that. It is a necessity. She becomes psychotic and lashes out at anyone that she comes near. We try to allow her time alone but she has a history of self injurious behaviors and false allegations. I refuse to be around her, in that condition, alone. I always have a witness. WHen she is calm, she is a doll. Kind, helpful, generous, and sweet.

SHe has recently begun to notice how others act and react. She senses she is different than most. She says she can not feel love. She is talking about it with me more and more. She gets that she is angry. She is very open that it is at her first parents. SHe is confused about her inability to keep that anger towards them and focuses it at me. SHe sees this. SHe wants to change. Once she gets the slightest bit upset, for any reason, she starts raging towards me. There are times, I have no idea what had happened because I wasn't even in the room. It will still be my fault. SHe can later talk through it and realize where it went wrong but still is unable to fix it or allow me to help her through it the next time. SHe will sob after that she knows I didn't do anything. She knows I am safe. She knows I will never hurt her. She also knows most people wouldn't keep her in their home with her behaviors. She clearly remembers blowing out of foster homes for attacking them. She is trying. I see real effort. I will keep loving her whether she gets it right or not. I hope she she is able to find a way to be happy some day. She deserves happiness.

My hubby is going stir crazy. He lost his job about 6 weeks ago. He wasn't fired nor did he quit. They simply ran out of work. He is someone that LOVES to work. It is driving him crazy to be here day after day. I hope it won't be much longer. Things are getting tight.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Bad Black People"

Things are so quiet around here without our friends. We are keeping busy with some deep cleaning and lots of time at the lake. We've had a couple of interesting events there over the last couple of weeks. When the Murphys were still here, we had the first incident. We live in a predominantly white area so a majority of the folks at the lake are white. A family/group of 10 or more AA people were there one afternoon. My friend and I lazily sat under the giant tent she brought and watched our kids splash around having a ball. This other family included 2 mid 20 yr old men that were more than a bit obnoxious. They were playing but had already injured a young child in their group and were scaring another. We had asked our kids to move out of their way after the men nearly trampoled our 3 yr olds. The men had a hard time staying confined to the rest of the lake and came crashing into our little area nearly taking out our little ones again. Both my friend and I jumped up began yelling to get them to halt instead of stomping all over our kids. This pissed them off. How dare the fat white ladies tell them what to do? Yes, they said that. We tried to explain we had pulled our kids out of their way if they could just stay to the left, all would be safe. That didn't sit well with them. They began making nasty comments and insulting us. We heard things like, "bad black people", "artificial insemination", "fat lesbians", and so on. We remained calm and polite after I informed them it wasn't artificial insemination, it was adoption. We eventually left. I can't bring Kerry anywhere without a scene. LOL

The kids and I were enjoying the lake again yesterday and as we were cleaning up our stuff I heard a kid crying. I assumed it was my little cryer and looked up to see what was wrong. To our surprise, it was a barely a year old little brown boy. I looked around to see if his mother was heading our way to get him. No one. His tiny feet were burning in the sand so I picked him up and began to search for his family. I looked directly at 3 famiies that were staring at me and asked if he was theirs. You hate to assume because they are white that he doesn't belong with them. No one was claiming him. There wasn't anyone near us or within hollering distance that was claiming him. I began heading towards the wooded picnic area. I saw from a distance that the family/group from the other day were there on blankets smoking and laughing. I yelled out to them as I approached and asked them if they belonged to him. They stared at me. No one responded. I looked back to the beach to make sure there weren't other people of color I missed. No one. I continued walking toward them and asked again. They saw me. They heard me. They stared. Maybe they were stunned after the other day that I was coming to talk to them, I don't know. Finally, a woman jumped up and walked towards me. I smiled, relieved they did know him. No thank you. No apology. She grabbed him and walked off holding her head back so her cigarette smoke didn't get in his face. I stood there shocked for a few seconds before turning around to gather my kids. When I got back to them, one of my kids tried to confirm they were the same family from the other day. My kids have issues with words coming out of order and hers came out, "Thats the bad black people from the other day?" instead of "Is that the people that said they were bad black people from the other day?" Her eyes became very big asshe tried to correct herself. She was mortified. I was so glad no one was within ear shot and quietly helped her correct herself. I can't wait to see how things go the next time we run into each other!

We have had a bit of news about their uncle. He is awake and off life support. They confirmed he had received a traumatic brain injury. He is aggressive and aggitated. It brings back so many memories for me from my husband's 2 previous head injuries. Right now they are worried about getting him home and all I can think of is how much their lives are going to change. How much he is going to change. Memory loss is difficult but the personality change is devastating. You feel powerless to help and things seem hopeless at times. I wish I could help. Instead I sit here reminded of our own history hoping they do not suffer long.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our friends left a few days ago and we have been busy picking up the emotional pieces since. During their stay, a phenomenal thing happened. We found ourselves not being nearly as strict as the kids are used to. I didn't constantly count heads to see they were all accounted for. I made sure the ones that need to be watched were assigned to an appropriate guardian but didn't obsess about every child,s every move. We didn't follow normal routines such as bedtimes and bath times. Meals were by the seat of our pants. My children did extremely well but the aftermath is not fun for any of us.

Patches flew off the deep end last night and told me, make that screamed from the top of her lungs, that I'm a terrible mom because I let her get away with too much when they were here. The crazy thing is that I had been worried that maybe I was harder on her than the others during their stay and if I just let up a little, she would come around. She had 3 rages while they were here. Nothing over the top but frustrating for both of us. In the end, she has been able to share with me that she is just overwhelmed and not sure what to do with her emotions. What a big girl she is turning into.

We have a little more drama adding to their emotional roller coaster. My sib group's favorite uncle was in an accident on Friday. He rolled his truck and was thrown clear from it. He was life flighted to a trauma center and was put on a ventilator. They have tried to take him off twice but he can't breathe on his own. We are trying to minimize things for the kids hoping he will recover quickly.

Please forgive all the misspellings, I can't use spellcheck.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 2

I kinda skimmed right over what happened to our family that caused me to stop blogging. I'm sure most of you heard through the grapevine that we were accused of all kinds of things. Stupid things. What it boils down to is they were untrue. We stopped fighting for the 3 kids that were taken from us because the stress in the house became too much.

The county wanted them in another adoptive home and were willing to make up lie after lie to cover their butts. They had placed the kids here after a home inspection and background check with the intention of reopening our home to adopt them. We tried for months to get our county to follow through with what the other county started. They dropped the ball the kids were here 5 months without ever opening our home. Lots of rules and guidelines were broken and we began to see them back peddle.

All of the sudden, they had to remove the kids. First they blamed our other kids issues. When we proved we had things under control it changed to lies about drug use, poor health, and no job. We provided proof those were not true. Then they came up with potential psychological abuse caused by my blog. This came up in court and the supervising sw couldn't find any thing in my blog that would do that and claimed it was a feeling. She also stated I complained I was overwhelmed every day and posted that. We provided a copy of the blog and neither her or the Judge could find that I had said that more than a few times over a period of 4-6 weeks. Any one would be frustrated with so many kids and ones with high needs. I would go as far as parents of regular old kids with no issues get tired during the course of their parenting career. It happens. It doesn't mean we want to quit or need to have our kids taken.

In the middle of all this, our attorney asked why they felt the 3 kids were in danger but not the others. That ignited a spark in their county that led to a report being filed against us with our county. They had felt the need to remove our 3 children without notice because they were in such danger but waited weeks before checking on the ones that were legally ours once they found out we had a lawyer and refused to let them in without her presence. Once in, they didn't seem to understand the reason they were there. She did her job of seeing htge kids, talking to them, and looking around but we knew before she left that their attorney would be making this go away. There was no reason for this this visit. We were asked to remove their facebook pages that were not even under their real names and not post anything about them specifically. That was it. They had no issues with anything else.

We were offered a written apology for the way they behaved and treated us but refused to place the children with us since they had been moved to another adoptive home and our county refused to open us. The other county had the option of opening us but they were already in too deep to back off. The catch was we couldn't tell you about the letter. We declined.

It has been tough trying to move on after all that. Depression hit me hard. I have worked through it and slowly have returned to my old self. I will never forget those kids and they will always be a part of our family whether we are able to reconnect or not.

I understand some people read this blog and thought I was bitching and moaning about my kids. They think I chose to parent them for money or that this is some kind of business. I want this to be perfectly clear. I love my children, each one, regardless of their behaviors. I work hard to help them overcome them and heal from their pasts. They are well aware of my blog and have received numerous emails from readers that have found comfort, learned something, or were able to better understand their own pasts or their new children better. My children have found a great deal of relief to know they are not alone, pride that they are able to help others and it has been therapeutic to see their own progress over the years. I share what I share because I know there are other families with similar issues. They are in hiding because society says they should be ashamed of what has happened to them or the illnesses they have. My children have no reason to be ashamed. They are fantastic kids that have worked so hard to move past all that crap. It hasn't been easy on any of us. We have worked hard to include any and all safe family members in their lives and ours. We spend all of our attention, money, and energy on them. They are our world.

Sometimes I need a break from that world. I vent here, I spend time alone with my husband, I chat with a friend, or veg out in front of the TV for a little bit. They can't help they need so much patience or time. It is hard to remember that when they are lashing out at me with all the anger they have stored up for their abusers. It's hard not to take this all personally. It's even worse for them when they realize what they've done or said to me. They want to be here. They want to feel better. They want me to know they really care. It just doesn't come out that way sometimes. After all the hospitalizations one thing has been clear to all of us. They want to be a part of our family and be in our home as much as we want them here. It is our main priority after maintaining safety for everyone. We are a family not a business.

I could go on and on. I won't today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Can't Believe I'm Back!

I'm not sure how this will work out but I'm hoping the smoke has cleared and I can rejoin the world. I have missed this part of my life, you all. Even sitting here now brings up a lot of emotions that are hard to shove back.

A lot has happened. I won't go into much here but I will say that Emma's siblings are gone. There has been no contact. We have tried. We are devastated and can hardly speak of them without tears. I am filled with anger and resentment at the behavior of our county and theirs. Many lies were told and the stress it put on us was almost too much.

All of my kids are back home except Michael. He is still in RTC and showing his rear for them. They have scheduled his release twice and he blew it. They are unable to help him and are running out of ideas. Both of his therapists believe we have more impact on him here and do much more for him than the many professionals at his disposal. It will be tough but we aren't being given many choices. We will manage.

Ruthie returned after Christmas. We had to put many things in place for it to happen safely but she is working hard. She has bad days but she isn't hurting anyone. She feels remorse and is openly talking for the first time about her feelings. She has a VERY long way to go. She can't be trusted. She may never be again.

Patches was only in RTC briefly. She is doing beautifully. Seriously, I never thought we would be where we have been with her in the last 6 months. Amazing. Then school let out and the crazy girl took back over. We increased her meds again yesterday at her request.

The twins and Emma are thrilled to be out of school.

Kiki is my little ht mess. I may cut my ears off if she doesn't stop crying soon. The pdoc thinks it is BiPolar and ADHD with a little anxious attachment thrown in for fun. He laughed at me when he told me. He insists I am the luckiest adoptive mother in the world to have found so many with BiPolar and attachment issues.

I can't wait to tell you all about our adventures. We have one of my long time readers and now Soul Sister here with her family visiting. I hear her cooking dinner so I must run.