The Other Side

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support! It is, in many respects, an exciting time for us.  Stability, hope, permanency, future – its incredible.  Though my mind hasn’t fully accepted it yet, I can still tell how incredible it is. 

But it’s not all joy and light and hope and excitement.  Sadly, the upcoming months will be filled with heartbreak and struggle.  The cracks are already beginning to show. 

Sprout, for the first time in his life, is fighting going to visits.  There have been tears and talking back and “I’m not going!”.  His daycare teachers report that he lost it yesterday when his social worker showed up for pick up.  I would have known it even if they didn’t tell me…his SW arrived at our house last night looking war-torn.  From the looks of it, he pulled out his big guns.  The poor thing just shook her head and said, “I’ve never seen him cry before.”  Which hurts my heart in so many ways. 

And can you imagine the stress (bio) mom is under?  She’s not pleased (holy understatement) with the department’s goal change.  Its been made clear to anyone who matters that she will be opposing and appealing and fighting as hard as she can.  As I’ve already said to some of you, I’m glad for that.  These children deserve to be fought for.

She seems to be holding it together well enough during visits, but Sprout can see though anyone, especially her.  He’s uncomfortable with the anger and with the feeling of impending change.  He’s starting to crack. 

I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of the bumps and bruises he’ll gather – the ones that may never heal.  I’m afraid that I don’t have the skills, knowledge, neutrality, grace or compassion to best guide him through this. 

Why did I think I was going to be good at this? 

I don’t think its possible to be good at this.

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11 Responses to “The Other Side”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that it’s not possible to be good at what you are going through. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, being a wonderful mom to these kids, and all will turn out well.

    Sprout, RB and Daisy will thank you for being there for them when they needed it most.

  2. After meeting you and seeing your wonderful kids, you are more than good at this. You are wonderful at this. Sprout’s cracked before and you helped him put his pieces back together into a kind, generous, and gracious boy (heck, he is so much better behaved than my 2!) 🙂 You are right, there will be bumps and bruises. Hurt feelings and tears. But you and A are a team and can do it – for them – for your family. 🙂

  3. good at this? No way. There’s no way. BUT we have found with Simeon that the very best thing is to be honest. We found that after all of the changes were official. I don’t know how on earth I would have been honest before hand. I guess maybe I should have talked to his social worker. But in any case… The amazing changes we have seen in him, the incredible, unrecognizable boy he’s become all began the instant we told him the truth (albiet the cushioned, coded four year old version).

    And since then, we’ve continued to be honest (filtered of course) about his feelings, his parents’ feelings and our feelings.

    He wants to be our son. He still misses his mom. He loves me. He loves her. He knows this isn’t natural. BUT he knows we’re working hard for him. To make it the best it can be. I can tell that he knows that.

    Your kids will see it too. So, no, there’s no way to be good at this. But you can be honest about that, at the very least. They can hear it. They’re stronger than anyone can imagine them to be. And, by the way, so are you… mom.

  4. The fact that you are thinking and writing about this, the fact that you are afraid, the fact that you acknowledge that for your children (and Sprout in particular) this goal change and possibility of permanence together is not just pure joy, the fact that you are thinking of what bio mom is going through, are all indicators that you are in fact good at this.

    You don’t have to be perfect to be a good (foster/pre-adoptive/just plain) mom. You don’t have to know all the answers. You have to love, and you have to be willing to ask the questions, and you have to be willing to listen to your children’s answers.

    You have given him the space to love you and your wife and to love his bio mom too. That’s an amazing gift, and no matter what happens, in the long run he will benefit from it. I’m sure it’s heartbreaking to watch him crack, but he has already shown how strong he is and how much heartbreak he can rebound from.

  5. I know that you are right, that there will be bumps and bruises along the way for all involved. But just from the little snippets you provide here, it is so evident that you are such an amazing mom to your kids. It comes through how tuned in you are to them and their needs. And you will continue to be an amazing mom to them, even though it will be hard and it may feel like you’re “not good at it.” The connection and attachment and understanding that you’ve built with them is so strong – I believe you WILL be able to guide Sprout through this process with grace, love, and sensitivity, just as you have guided him through all that has come before this.

  6. Being a mom is rarely easy when it counts the most. Hang in there.

  7. I agree with CJ, wishing everyone, especially sprout lots of strength.

  8. You got Sprout off the ledge he was on when he came to you one day at a time. You’ll get him through this the same way. I wish all involved lots of strength, especially those that have some control over deciding what is best for the kids.

  9. You are all doing an amazing job with Sprout, RB, and Daisy. I can not imagine how challenging this is. You are an amazing family to work on this with such love and compassion. Sending support…

  10. You are good at this. It’s just a hard situation, someone is always hurting and it is so hard to reconcile that with your own happiness at moving forward.

    Sprout should never be forced to go on a visit, if he is protesting that much I’m not sure why he was dragged kicking and screaming. I hope your SW makes a better choice next time, forcing only makes the situation worse.

    I hope the rest of this process moves quickly and there is as little hurt as possible. Big hugs to you, I know how hard this is.

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