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!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How we got the kids Part 3

Look at these gorgeous kids! How could we not bring them into our home as our new children?! What few behavior issues we saw seemed easily handled. The caseworker and the therapist seemed totally comfortable letting Bear watch the kids play outside while the adults talked in the restaurant. -Now I avoid putting Bear and all the other kids in any role that seems "parentified," but back then we assumed he was just as mature and responsible as our Nephew Alan (who really was 16, unlike Bear who just looked that way). We now realize how badly Alan set us up! He in no way prepared us for Bear. We assumed all teenage boys were responsible, mature and trustworthy like he is and like Hubby was as a teenager. Since Bear was so big for his age (just like Bob) we easily slipped into the habit of treating him like he was older. NOW we know that due to his abuse, his length of time in foster care, his mental illness... he was developmentally and emotionally an infant. Oops! Foreshadowing here!

The girls were instant best friends! They seemed to be interested in the same things (playing dolls, watching movies, we went to a Carnival during our visit and the girls were attached at the hip). Bob was a little immature and so was Kitty. We felt like they were twins and maybe the fact that they'd be in the same grade would work out fine. Didn't last of course, but it was a lovely dream!
Ponito enjoyed having a big brother who could carry him around, just like his cousin Alan. Bear had many little sisters, but never a little brother. I think he enjoyed having a little brother to play with - still does. Hubby is not a big sports fan (except the Huskers!) and not a big outdoorsman. Ponito liked playing ball with the neighborhood boys and now he had a built in playmate.

So we told Nebraska that we wanted the kids and then settled in to wait for the ICPC (which is the group that makes sure that both state's adoption laws are met - Ts crossed and Is dotted). We were told that we would not be allowed to tell the children that we wanted to adopt them until the ICPC was done. We were allowed to call them weekly and chat with them - yea, that's not awkward! Calling a child and not being able to tell them you want to be their parent, but expecting them to talk to you every week. Especially since Kitty kept asking if we were going to adopt her! We finally told them that we WANTED to adopt them, and we were hoping we would be able to. Meanwhile, the months are ticking by...
I decide to make a Halloween costume for Kitty. I was going to make a matching one for Bob, but we realized there was no way the girls would be together for Halloween and quite frankly I ran out of time! Kitty wanted a Tinkerbell costume so that's what she got! I wish someone had taken a picture of her and sent it to me. *sigh* I bet she looked cute!

Because of the distance between Nebraska and Texas and the difficulties with traveling with two children (and quite frankly Kitty's raging ADHD made me seriously not want to spend a lot of time in a car with her!), we had decided with the caseworker that we would not plan another visit. The next time we saw the children it would be when they were placed with us for adoption. Crazy I know! I started asking the children how they would like their rooms decorated (if they came to live with us). I had to do something to pass the time! Bear told me he wanted his room done in pink camoflauge!! Yes, that kept me busy! Do you know how hard it is to find pink camo?!! We finally compromised with red camo. Couldn't find it in any fabric stores so I bought several X-large t-shirts from E-bay and cut them up to make pillows.

As the months crept by though, we finally decided to arrange another visit. The kids were getting antsy and acting out. The wait was making us all crazy. The caseworker was going to fly down with the kids for the weekend. Just before we got this arranged, we got notice that the ICPC was finally done and the kids were ours!

On November 4th Hubby and I flew to Nebraska. We got a rental car and drove to the small town where Bear was staying. Kitty was driven in. We picked up the kids, signed tons of paperwork, and drove back to a hotel near the airport. The next day, we loaded up the kids and their 2 suitcases each and took them to the airport. It was their first time on an airplane.
Poor Bear lost all of his fancy cologne he was carrying in his carry-on bag because of the laws about bottles of liquid. In loading the rental car, I accidentally dropped a water globe that had been given to Kitty by biomom. Other than that the trip was relatively uneventful. Kitty was excited about everything!

We had a layover in Colorado (we had to have a layover somewhere so we picked Colorado) so we had told my Dad and Stepmom to meet us there. They got to meet their new grandchildren, and spend 3 hours in the shops in the airport! Guess how well that went over! We were all bored and whiny, but no major outbursts - gotta love honeymoon periods!! Too bad they don't last!

We got home to find that Bob had continued to refuse to pick up her room to make room for Kitty (they were going to be sharing). Kitty suggested a trade. Bob would clean the room and then she and Kitty would play a game that Bob wanted to play. Kitty was so proud of herself for "tricking" Bob into cleaning the room and then not following through on the game as promised. She just didn't understand what that did to her relationship with Bob.

Anyway, that's how it all started. Then the honeymoon ended and the real fun began.

But that's a story for another day.


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