Mystery Lane

Mystery Lane

Monday, November 7, 2011

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

When I was 14 I started spending my summers babysitting my 3 nephews.  It was the highlight of my teen years.  I loved spending the summer with those boys and some of the best memories of my life are of my wonderful nephews.  Growing up with them made me want to be a mom.  I dreamed of the day when I would have my 3 boys (well actually I hoped there was a girl or two in there) running around filling my home with laughter.  It took me a while to find the right man to marry and my journey into parenthood came a bit late.  Although my little Jackson has a bad brain, I still have a home filled with his highly contagious laughter.  But Kevin and I both want more than one child and since we are both adopted, we always planned to adopt.  That is what led us to the foster parent journey.  There are so many children out there that need homes and we have a pretty good one I think.  When we got the call about Lillie and Vivionna it seemed like a no brainer.  They needed a good home, we had one, they moved in.  If only it was that simple.  What we didn’t know was the extent of the trauma Lillie has suffered.  The effects of that trauma soon took over our home. This is where it gets difficult for me.  One the one hand I want to help Lillie and get her to a place where she okay.  On the other hand, I just don’t know how.  Nor do I have the time with a special needs child and a normal toddler running around.  And my energy level is close to running on empty.  I simply bit off more than I can chew.  So what do I do? 

Last week Lillie had a massive fit.  She yelled, slammed doors, and refused to move.  I had to call the social worker at 9 p.m.  I was at a loss.  She woke Jackson up, her sister was crying, and I was beyond exhausted because Kevin was out of town.  I finally got her to bed but by that point I had lost it myself.  I laid in bed until 3 a.m. contemplating what to do.   It came down to the decision that I was not equipped to deal with this.  Everyone keeps reassuring me that I am making the right decision – the social worker, the counselor, other foster parents. All I feel is failure and disappointment.  I am letting Lillie down and that is just not what she needs, another adult failing her.  I’ve cried a small river over this and can’t stop wrestling with my decision.  The social worker can’t find another home for Lillie because of her high needs so she is still with us.  This week I have two appointments with specialists to help deal with her behavior.  I think she senses I am at my wit’s end.  Since her meltdown she has been behaving beautifully, which makes my decision even harder.  I wonder if she is finally coming around and realizing our home is a safe place for her or if she is just backing off for a while and we are going to be in the midst of another meltdown any minute.  Living with the uncertainty of what will happen every day when she gets home from school is very wearing for me. 

Jackson has had some difficulty with the changes in our home too.  He has started waking up in the middle of the night screaming.  He seems afraid at times to go to bed.  He gets over stimulated with the louder noise level in our home.  He doesn’t have my full attention anymore and I know that is hard on him.  It’s equally hard on me.  Sometimes I feel so sad that we don’t have our time together anymore.  I miss that.  I love Jackson so much and I need to make sure that he isn’t affected negatively.  He already has enough cards dealt against him.

I’m not totally ignorant.  I knew going into the foster parent process that there were going to be tough times and broken hearts.  There is simply no way to prepare yourself for it though.  William Cowper said "The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”  I hope that someday down the line I will find that happiness and realize all of this was worth it.  Right now I can’t.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there Stacy, foster kids do have a lot of baggage thanks to people in their lives and they do tend to take it out on the moms in their lives. Just know that whether you decide to or decide not to you have so much support from people in your life. Do what is right for you, Kevin and J. and don't base it on what other people think or say, whatever your decision you are still the coolest parent out there and whomever you parent is one lucky little dude!!!