In the eighth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. After a couple of months having the children home, our mom finally admits she's overwhelmed and needs help.
No, I am not writing this from the psych ward. However, there are times when that is a definite possibility. Although things have improved since April, there is still such a long way to go.
I finally had the courage to tell the social worker some of the struggles I am having, mostly with Lynn's behaviour. The first thing she said after my confessions was, "Well perhaps this isn't the right placement for Lynn." I couldn't believe she said that! Here I am asking for help and her solution is to remove the child. No wonder I was afraid to tell her the truth. It took every ounce of strength I had to keep from screaming at her. Instead, I used my patient-but-angry voice to insist that MCFD bring in a professional to help me with Lynn, and I made it very clear that no one was removing this child.
The social worker said she would look into it and get back to me. I provided her with the name of a child behaviourist that other adoptive families have used and made it very clear that we need help immediately. She must have finally heard me because within two weeks Rozalyn, the behaviourist, was in our home assessing what we needed.
I was somewhat apprehensive at first--would Roz related every word and action back to our social worker? Would she believe me that these behaviours actually happen? Would the social worker show up on our doorstep at any moment to take Lynn away?
Basically Roz is keeping me going. She has a great rapport with the kids, a fantastic sense of humour, and really seems to understand the adoption issues, FASD, attachment, food issues, and all the other wonderful pieces that are part of all this. Plus, whatever I tell her is confidential. But mostly Roz is someone I can talk to who understands what is going on in our home and, more importantly, what is going on with me. She can see our situation without all the emotions I have, and can help me identify what I need to do to help all of us.
That's the real kicker. It's not the kids who need to change--it's me. It's my responses to their behaviours--it's my acceptance of who each my kids are--their strengths and their challenges. And frankly, that really sucks. Cause I was hoping perhaps there was some magic word or technique that could make all these problems go away. Apparently not. It's hard work every day, and I have to do it.
Roz has also asked me to start doing some writing for her eyes only. The first assignment she's given me is brutal. She wants me to write down why I wanted more children, why these two, and why I went through with the placement when I could see some of the challenges Lynn has. She wants it completed by next week, and has recommended I sit down with paper and pen, a glass of wine, and a huge box of tissues. I'll let you know how it goes.