For several years I have planned on printing this blog into books for the kids to look back and read like a scrap book. Unfortunately, I also have an older blog out in blog land (on Xanga) that I can not figure out how to do anything with since the book companies do not service them. While I contemplate some solution for that, I printed the first one from Our Plans Multiplied. I hoped to do the entire year of 2010 in one book, but the max pages only got me through nine months. I am planning on ordering a book from time to time when they have a good sale. The kids have enjoyed looking at it, although there are posts about the struggles of raising some of them that concern me to have them read. (This post will be one of them.)
Here is what has stuck with me after flipping through and reading different posts - February 02, 2010 - "Discouraged in the Land of Parenting Little Boys." I don't want to quote the whole thing but it listed the frustrations of living with James and Ben for one week. It consisted of Ben pulling the fire alarm at the Y, resulting in 250 people being evacuated (150 from the swim team). It went on to the tales of stolen food, including sandwich bags packed with rice, that resulted in one boy getting sick and the other just making a mess on the carpet. The concluding story was James leading and LOSING his little sisters in the woods and Ben swinging a large shovel and gashing James' eye brow open. Ben then came in and started school like nothing happened while James came back to the door with his face covered in blood requiring medical attention.
Since this was almost exactly six years ago, when the boys were 8 and 9, you would think we could look back and laugh; but honestly, things aren't much different. Day after day we are still dealing with impulsive actions carried out with little regard to the consequences. Stolen food would be a daily issue if I didn't have a locked storage room for the high theft items. At the age of 14 and 15, the boys require supervision. We do not leave them home alone, nor would ever put them in charge of a younger sibling. There are a variety of reasons they suffer from the challenges they face, all related to the traumatic beginnings - one in foster care in VA and the other in the Bush of Liberia. Unfortunately, I could frequently write a new blog post and title it - "Discouraged in the Land of Parenting Big Boys." And if I am going to be perfectly honest, it is more concerning and more discouraging to me six years later that we are still here.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9
i just wanted to encourage you to keep printing your blogs in to books. i do it every january, using a sale coupon. in fact i am waiting for one to arrive any day now. my grandchildren will be able to read back and see what i/we were really about; perhaps laugh at silliness but most importantly, grasp the values that we have tried to model for them. good luck!ReplyDelete
terre @ Zoomama Speaks...
I have been (and still am) exactly where you are when it comes to the discouragement of seeing very little progress in behaviors. My son was in foster care in MI from age 4 yrs 9 mos (we were his 4th placement in the first 2 weeks he was in care) until we adopted him at age 7. I just read yesterday on a blog that "children are stuck in the age when trauma first occurred". I needed to be reminded of that big time because he's 17 yrs 5 mos right now and is truly stuck at a 3-5 yo level when it comes to maturity and behaviors. My greatest fear is that he'll take off the minute he legally can because he cannot follow rules to save his life. He thinks he can do whatever he wants and he simply ignores any and all consequences we have given him. Our requests/demands annoy him. I think he'd rather be homeless on his own terms than here where he has to listen to any of us. We just started counseling with yet another new person - 5th counselor, too many psychiatrists to mention, social workers at school, etc. Too many extra people in his life, not all of us working towards the same end, but unfortunately, the situation has always called for alot of transparency. I wish I had the answers to help him and all the other kids stuck in these trauma induced states. With another son, we had to lock up all food, including lots of "ingredients" because he would eat anything he could get his hands on (including frozen uncooked food). He was a bottomless pit who never gained weight (I still believe he has a metabolic disorder of some kind, but it's never been proven medically) and had absolutely no regard for anyone elses needs. He's 21 now and still as skinny as ever. Well, I could go on all day here (I have 6 adopted kids from foster care, 4 with significant issues) but I won't bore you....I just wanted you to know that we poured every resource we could find into our kids, we existed to help them, fix them, raise them the right way. Every day, every week, every year....it was exhausting...and we still ended up feeling that we failed. I don't think it's anything you are or aren't doing. All you can do is present them with opportunities to be successful and to be trusted, what they do in those situations is entirely up to them (sometimes I hate free will- lol). It is discouraging because we want the best for them, and we have to put things into place to keep everyone safe from their poor choices as well.ReplyDelete
Lisa, I went into my first adoption really believing that love could over-power trauma; how naïve I was! I wish that were the case but it never is. I think unless they really yield to God, they are not capable is thinking in a manner that allows them to be productive citizens and be in healthy relationships. Unless there is a drastic change that we don't see now (in spite of three counselors), he will head out on his own at 18 because he won't be willing to live under our rules and his capacity will be more like a 10 year old. I feel your pain! Honestly, I am blessed that it's only one of our six adoptees! While the others aren't perfect, I see great hope for their futures! And my other son, while still making foolish decisions, has a good heart and cares about being part of our family.Delete
Hugs to you and I understand!
I'm going to have to check out that site, I've been wanting to print the blog for a long time too.ReplyDelete
Praying for you and the boys.