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, March 26, 2015

Family update

I don't usually post info about the kids anymore, but someone requested it. So here goes.

Bear (21) - still in prison.

Might get out around Thanksgiving. If he does, then it's up to him, our state, and the state he's in, whether or not he can move back here. He changes his mind often. Plus, our state may not accept his parole.

Kitty(almost 20) - living at home with us.

Unfortunately beauty school didn't work out. We were told by a state agency that they would cover most of it and grant money would pay for the rest, but when Kitty came back from living with biofamily and we signed up for the school and found out that we/she would owe $14K in student loans! Since we were thinking this might just be a way to make money part-time (at most). It just was not feasible. As this was one of the major reasons we'd given to the biofamily for Kitty to come home, I think birthfamily feel lied to... frankly so did we!

It's "on my list" to go back to the state agency and get her signed up again so they can help her find a job, but I've been super busy, and quite frankly she's so much more stable when she's not under the stress she feels when she's working or in school that it's tempting to put it off as long as possible.

Bob (18) - super happy at college!

She's only 45 minutes away, so she comes home about once a month.

Ponito (16) - still at home.

He's struggling at school. We have no idea why. We've been "bugging" him for the last couple of years, trying to figure out what's going on. He's a very smart kid, but he's been failing classes. We finally started him with a therapist recently. There is a history of bipolar/ depression and ADHD in the family. I'm also wondering if there's some internet addiction, but Hubby and I totally disagree on this, or at least on how it should be handled. I finally wrote up an "agreement" that has very clear expectations for Ponito's game playing on his PS4.

Kanga (19) and Roo (5 months) - living here? It's not official yet, and may not happen, but one of Kitty's friends might be homeless soon.

We'd been angsting about what to do ever since Kitty asked. Honestly we really wanted to say NO(!!!), but felt we morally couldn't (who could put an infant out on the street?). One of our many concerns was what happens if the girl wants to stay forever?! I did do some research and found a local agency that offers residential care to young moms. If Kanga needs to leave (for whatever reason), it's good to have some options to give her.

In answer to my prayer, God gave me a great idea! Instead of putting Kanga in our spare bedroom (which shares a wall with our bedroom), we decided the girl could share Kitty's big bedroom. We told Kitty it's because Hubby sleeps lighter than a cat (which is true)! She doesn't need to know all the other reasons (including the fact that the kids not going to Grandma's every weekend has already put a crimp in date night ;) ).  

Some advantages to having the girls share a room:

  • Kanga is allegedly a neat freak. She'll either want to leave ASAP because of Kitty's disgusting room, make Kitty clean it, or clean it herself. Sounds good to me!
  • Kitty currently is not dating anyone, but living with a baby might make her think twice about accidentally getting pregnant in the future.
  • Kanga'll have chores just like everyone else. This might actually make things nicer around here since Kitty is awful about getting her chores done! 
  • We'll still have a guest room for when family comes to visit, whether Kanga has moved out or not.
  • Kanga probably won't want to live here at all because we have a lot of rules (she'd be expected to sign the Boarder Agreement), which means for one thing her "fiance" would not be allowed upstairs where the bedrooms are, or any other "inappropriate" behavior. We've always made it crystal clear that if you're not married, you don't get to share a room.

No idea what will happen. 

Hubby (50 next month) - Working a lot, but still lives here. lol

Hubby is still working contract (which he hates), and teaching scuba (which he loves, but is getting a little tired of). His Type 2 diabetes is now officially under control and he's lost quite a bit of weight (Mwowrr!). We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary - and still in love. We've survived this!

Me (45 next month) - working 3-4 part-time jobs, which means I rarely sleep. I mostly telecommute so I usually work from home. Every time things slow down at one job, I change my focus to another and pick up a little extra work, but inevitably the job I thought was "quiet," suddenly revs up again. Plus, I'm still moderating a very active group for moms with attachment challenged children on FaceBook so I can't just walk away from FB when I need more hours in the day. The good news is that I've been dieting (doctor has been bugging me about my weight for a long time!) using and I've lost 15lbs since January 3rd. I feel a lot healthier! (Only 50+lbs to go!)

Currently my paying jobs are:
  •  20+ hrs a week working for a telecommunication company as Director of Operations - which means I do a little bit of everything.
  • 2-5+ hours a week designing a website and editing copy for a local attorney. Even got to do a little modeling for her website this week. When I saw the proofs I immediately went out and got my hair cut. Even photo shopping couldn't help it much. Now I LOVE my new do!
  • I have a local resale shop that "talked me into" designing repurposed, reconstructed, refashioned, recycled..., whatever you want to call it clothing for the online boutique they are designing.
  • I still do the occasional prom/ bridal dress alteration, and 'tis the season!
House (21 years) 

We've decided that when Ponito graduates (he's a sophomore in high school) we'll most likely sell our house. It is just too big. Not sure where we'll live yet. Probably won't go far as all my family is still here. Not sure if I posted here that my mom, "Grandma" passed away from ALS in September. I don't want to leave my (step)dad alone. 

This 20+ year old house needs a LOT of work to get it ready to go on the market. We're fixing it a little bit at a time. We finally got the kid's bathroom done (Bear had pulled the soap dish off the wall so many times we couldn't repair it anymore and the wall got water damaged so we couldn't use the tub at all any more). We hid the demolished wall behind a shower curtain. 
3+ years of 5 people sharing the master bath. Doable, but not fun!
Isn't it gorgeous?!
Not sure what the next project will be yet. Bob's tuition has jumped up quite a bit and she wants to do a semester abroad next Spring, so we'll probably take a break from major house repairs for awhile.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. If you don't mind me asking, how come you don't post a lot about the kids these days? Have they asked you to stop? Hope things work out if Kanga and Ru come to stay with you.

marythemom said...

I don't post a lot about the kids for several reasons.

* Biofamily reads this blog, and talking about what is going on with the kids right now often involves them. Some of the things I've blogged over the years has upset them. Some of it has been twisted/ distorted and told to the kids, which really upsets the kids.

* I started this blog for 2 reasons: 1. To share what I learned with others going through similar circumstances - I didn't want others to have to go through what we did without support or information.
2. As a place to vent and ask for advice and support.

One reason I blogged about the kids was as examples of what we did and why we did it. Now that the kids are older, especially now that Bear is in prison in another state, they don't need as much active parenting so I rarely have anything to blog about that I think would be helpful to others.

* I use the blog as a reference when I'm giving advice on FB groups or other places. It helps to be able to link to a post I wrote rather than repeat the same advice over and over. Plus, this allows me time to carefully craft and think about my posts and research, edit, and update.