This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The First Time Ever I Saw Their Face!

Here's the first picture I saw of my Bear and Kitty. She's 11 and he's 12! Yup! I said 12! I even wrote and told them they'd obviously made a mistake (they do often - can't tell you how many times they had "girls" named Henry or Edward). They said, "Nope, he just turns 13 later this month." I didn't argue, but look at the kid! I was sure he was at least 15 or 16! Maybe you can't see it, but he was already shaving!

Here's the description that went with the photo.

About these Children
D is a charming young man whose smile lights up the room. D has native american in his heritage but his tribe is not federally recognized, therfore, the laws of ICWA do not apply in his case. He has a little sister, C, who is such an important part of his life. When they are together, you can see how much they care for each other. He takes his role as older brother seriously and wants to grow up with his little sister. D loves sports and he has been involved in numerous activities such as baseball, wrestling, and boxing. D also enjoys hunting, fishing, and just hanging out. When you ask D what he is looking for in a mom, he says "a mom who can cook" and "someone to just take care of me". D is looking for a dad that will enjoy the same activities he does and who wants to spend time with him. Where as they would like to have both a mom and a dad they will be happy with a family that provides them love and support. D has so many positive qualities and is looking for a forever family to call his own. He needs loving guidance, support, and structure to grow into the young man he can be. He is looking for someplace to call his own, someplace where he doesn't have to leave, where he can be with his sister, and be her big brother.

C is a beautiful little girl who will light up your life and keep you going and going. C has native american in her heritage but her tribe is not federally recognized, therfore, the laws of ICWA do not apply in her case. C is not yet legally free for adoption but her caseworker is in the process of getting this completed so C should be legally free soon. C recently celebrated her 11th birthday and was very excited to get a Bratz doll with her Bratz cake. She told me once that it was really hard to decide what she likes better, my little Pony or Bratz. She is a typical young girl who loves all sorts of dolls, Barbie or Bratz, swimming, playing outside, and being adored by her older brother D. C's older brother plays a significant part of her life as she pretty much idealizes him. C loves to be with him and you can see the geunine love they have for each other when they are together as well as the typical sibling rivalry. C wants a family to call her own. She doesn't completely understand why she needs another mom when she already has one, but she knows that she wants a family with her brother. If you ask C, she will tell you that she wants to live in town, but D wants to live in the country. As long as they are together, they will be happy. This little girl is in need of a family that will give her the affection and attention she needs. She needs consistency, structure, and lots and lots of love and support to grow into a young girl. Both kids desire to have a mom and a dad but they would be happy with any forever family that will commit to them and give them the love and support that they both deserve to have.

Here's what it doesn't say.
Bear is a very aggressive child who lies, manipulates, steals, intimidates with his large size (yes, he was already 5'9" and over 200lbs). His foster dad doesn't cook so he's used to eating out for every meal. His single parent foster dad loves to hunt and fish and Bear was the youngest of all the kids. He uses chewing tobacco and is a gang-banger wanna be. He was diagnosed with a mood disorder and PTSD.

During a six month stay in a residential treatment center (RTC) we've discovered that he has RAD, PTSD, has been physically and sexually abused, ADD, cerebral dysrhytmia and is bipolar. Luckily for us, the RTC finally got him on the right meds and his out of control aggression finally stopped. He's still rough around the edges, but at least he's safer. The family is still recovering from PTSD symptoms during the 8 months he was with us before going to the RTC. We waited 6 months after his release from the RTC before we felt secure enough to adopt him. Just before his release he'd been assessed by an experienced caseworker who gave us an 80% chance of disruption. I finally feel secure in thinking that this might not come to pass.

Kitty is very hyperactive (untreated ADHD) and moody. She hates school and frequently threatens suicide, she fights with her foster siblings, she only recently stopped pooing her pants to get her way, still wets the bed, and is actually terrified of her brother - she'll do anything for him, because she fears him, not worships him. She was also convinced that when (not if) he was kicked out of the house she would have to go too (just like with biomom). She is now diagnosed with ADHD, PTSD, ODD, physically and sexually abused, depression and has major attachment issues. A year and a half of attachment therapy has done a lot of good, but she's having a tough time right now.

It's been a long year and a half.



Kelly said...

They know just how to word those photolistings don't they. I read a post a few weeks ago where an adoptive parent interpreted the phrases as they REALLY should read. It was Busy Intersection. You would probably find it interesting.

Unspeakable Joy said...

boy what they don't tell you eh?? mine were COMPLETELY normal and i was so lucky. i'll agree that i'm lucky, but normal? uh no! :) glad i found your blog. i look forward to catching up!