In the ninth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. This time, mom loses confidence that she can cope.
The past ten days have been an absolute nightmare. The foster parents came for a visit last weekend. We'd planned this a month ago, and we all through it would be good for Grant and Lynn to see Susan and Mike. We believed this would help cement the concept of foster parents always being part of their adoption story.
There was lots of excitement when they arrived on Friday night. Grant and Emily were caught up in it all, but Lynn was very quiet. On Saturday we spent the day around the pool at their hotel, and I had to recuse Lynn from the shallow end--she couldn't find her footing and was going under fast. While Grant and Emily had a blast, Lynn's anxiety level steadily increased. By the time we headed home after dinner, she was chewing on anything she could find. Then, to make the evening a complete success, she threw up all over the inside of the van.
By this time, I was a basket case. Grant gets out of the van and makes a run for it across the yard and is heading off to the neighbour's. Emily has run to the house, standing at the door waiting for me to unlock it doing the "I have to pee now" dance, while Lynn is refusing to get out of the van. She is covered in puke and has peed and pooped herself. (Yes, it was a wonderfully aromatic, hot July evening).
I took off after Grant and brought him back. Then I unlocked the house for Emily, and told Lynn that when she was ready to come inside she could. I was an emotional dishrag. The next day Susan and Mike stopped by on their way out of town. Lynn finally "got it", that she's here to stay and is not going home with them.
The next day Lynn would not get out of bed unless we physically got her up and dressed. Then she would alternate between complete lethargy and physical attack son her siblings. She refused to comply with even simple tasks and regularly soiled herself. After two days of this, I snapped. I couldn't take the stress anymore.
In my logical mind I know how important it is for Lynn to understand that she is with us, forever, but it all seems all I do is cry, eat, and referee. I know I'm supposed to be working on building attachment with this child, but how is that possible when all I want to do is get as far away form her as I can? I don't even like her.
Just this morning I was siting at the kitchen table (crying as usual), and Emily asks me why I'm so sad. I tell her that is because I'm not being a very good mommy. She says, "Yes you are Mommy. Please stop crying." As I cry even harder, and hug her with all my might, I promise myself that I will do whatever is needed to get back my self-confidence and learn the skills I need to parent all three of my kids.
I'm worth it and so are they.