Response to Anonymous

Yesterday’s post on Hope received a comment from Anonymous Anonymous

Anonymous Anonymous said…
creativity might help. showing her things in the world that are “forever” because a little person doesnt understand concretely, especially a little person that has been dumped before.

show her how MK was little and now is big with pictures and is still there

show her how the pets do something “naughty” and still stay around

show her how your pool gets dirty or needs new chemicals, but it stays.

and for pete’s sake, don’t tell her she is bad. use naughty or some other word. Tell her she is NOT BAD.
BAD is internalized in the self. her behaviors are naughty, she is not BAD.

We have shown her MK’s baby pictures and pointed out she is still her. We do not tell her she is bad. We say she did not make a good choice and point out what better choices look like. Hope’s internalization of “bad” came with her from Texas. All our affirmations are currently falling on deaf ears. The Texas parents said all the same things and gave her away. Hope is doing her best to behave such that she gets sent away. We won’t do that. I suspect we will be riding the behaviors out for a while, until Hope reaches the point she develops some consistent feelings of security.
I am not creative- it is not one of my gifts. I am dogged and I don’t give up. Sometimes I retreat for a while and regroup, but I don’t give up.
I pray  Anonymous is doing well and I appreciate her concern.

Nine Months Today

We picked up Hope from her first adoptive family on August 25, 2010. Nine months ago, today. We were experienced special needs adoptive parents. It wasn’t even our first go around with RAD. So what wisdom have I gained in the past nine months?

Old Wisdom:

  • They never tell you everything. Even if they think they are, by the time an adoption failed, objectivity is out the window.
  • Rages are inevitable.
  • You are the enemy. Everything is your fault.
  • Give up age appropriate expectations. Ain’t going to happen.

New Wisdom:

  • Older adopted kids are like elephants. Each specialist touches a part of them and describes that part accurately. The all miss the elephant itself.
  • RAD hasn’t changed. My energy level has.
  • You do not have to be isolated. You need to put forth the energy to make and sustain connections.
  • Special needs, whatever they are, are real. You gain nothing by trying to convince yourself and others that they aren’t.
  • Even with special needs, your kids need some exposure to the real world. If they can’t handle it, regroup. You can try again another time.

My commentary:

I am not the same person I was twenty years ago. In some ways it is much harder. I am different. I received an email that told me I had changed and that person, who used to think I was wonderful, no longer likes me. The only answer I have is that I am doing the best I can. Hope is here and will remain here. That will have to be good enough.

“Something’s lost and something’s gained in living everyday”   Both Sides Now