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Old 11-08-2015, 07:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My REAL Story, and a Confession


I drank this weekend.

I feel the need to tell you about my primary trigger....

On the surface, it's: Husband gone, dealing with kids all day alone.

However, there's more to it than that.

I don't know if I mentioned it before or not, but we have one biological son and two recently adopted children. One of our adopted children has such extreme behavioral issues, at 4 years old he is on a serious anti-psychotic medication. People tell me how "darling" and how "cute" he is. They don't notice the dilated pupils due to the meds that stop him from his nearly constant rages and incessant antagonism.

Off meds, he would hurt himself, hurt others, steal knives from the dishwasher, hurt my pets (often by choking), choke himself, rip his sheets, rip his clothes, destroy toys, put holes in walls, etc. It was bad. He's better on meds, but he still doesn't respect me like he respects my husband. My husband has a new work schedule that is LONG and hard. (12-14 hours a week, 6 days a week). So he's acting up, to say the least. And "acting up" with this child isn't what "acting up" to a normal child is. It's dangerous and exhausting.

.....And so I drank.

Here's my thing... I don't know how to change that. How do you "avoid" your triggers when your triggers are your own children? When your own children hurt themselves and others, and daily life is just trying to survive?

This has been my life for the past two years. I'm pretty sure I didn't say this in my intro, because who wants to admit this? This is the crap that Dr. Phil makes his millions on. Those "evil" parents who adopt "helpless" children and then "can't handle it." We've had these children for two and a half years. From day one, he was bad. I mean, we got him at 19 months old (and by then, I was a seasoned foster mom) and he screamed in anger all night and choked himself and forced himself to vomit on the floor so I had to get up and tend to him. I thought it was just a reaction to the newness of the place. Keep in mind, I also just completed my masters in counseling. I'm not an idiot at this kind of stuff. But then these behaviors continued for days, weeks, months, even a year later. They escalated. This child was FULL of anger, and nothing we tried calmed him or quieted him down.

I still feel exhausted. I'm STILL overwhelmed. My daughter (also adopted) is manipulative and dishonest, almost everyday. My (biological) son's behaviors have spiraled as a result of their behaviors.

I've tried talking to others, including counselors, and the response I always get is: "Do you really think you should be adopting these kids?" I resent that response so much. These children have NO one but us. In the 18 months of their CPS case, not one single family member or family friend stepped forward asking for custody. The caseworker asked every single week for 18 months if ANYONE related or not-related would step up, and there was no one. So of course when they asked us, we said yes.

They are difficult. They are angry, hurting, traumatized, abused, damaged, neglected. They have broken self esteem. They have trust issues.

I think I may have secondary trauma from these kiddos that I haven't tapped into. I had many very uncomfortable and terrible interactions with their biological mother, who resented me as if I was the one who removed her children. I gave everything I had to these kids, to the point of exhausting myself emotionally, mentally, and physically, and she did everything she could to turn the kids against me.

I have hatred in my heart for their biological mother that honestly shocks me. I'm a Christian woman, and I take my faith seriously, but I am full of anger and hatred for her. I could hurt her for what she put them through. In every single way that my newly adopted son hatefully treats me, I know he doesn't really hate me- it's her he's punishing through me. She will never know his sleepless nights. His anger. His rage. The fact that he now needs psychiatric drugs to handle the damage she created. If she had held him, loved him, NOT locked him in a closet, fed him, talked to him, treated him as a mother should.... He would be a different child.

My daughter didn't say her first word until she arrived at our house at the age of 3, simply because NO ONE HAD EVER SPOKEN TO HER BEFORE THEN. Wrap your minds around that, please. A baby not learning to talk -not because she was learning disabled or deaf- but because NO ONE had talked to her to show her how language worked.

I hate her. I have a hate for her that is unreal. (Not my daughter--- her biological mother).

My drinking picked up after I got them. Two children, non-verbal (when they should have been verbal), screaming and screeching for their needs, digging through my trash for food even when we fed them, screaming ALL night long, sticking their fingers down their throats to force vomiting just for attention, choking themselves until they passed out for attention, screaming at a high pitch incessantly in the car (anytime they were put in car seats), banging their heads on the hardwood floor, scratching their faces, eating their feces...

These children were feral in every sense of the word.

It took everything in me to get them to "normal."

We had them both in therapy, and they would come to the house. My son was in Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy. He also had a personal nutritionist, since he was so malnourished. They came out separately once a week every week. My daughter had Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. They came out twice a week, every week, on different days. Then we would drive an hour for therapy for the kids with a counselor once a week every week. Every single day of the week (sometimes doubled up) was full of counselors walking into my home. Some would make critical remarks of how hard I was working with them. ("Have you been encouraging him to use his words? It doesn't seem like he's been practicing...")

My life became completely consumed in getting them "well."

I neglected my marriage, my school (I was also enrolled in graduate school during this time), and my biological son.

I gained 45 pounds.

The only thing I had time for was alcohol. Even over counseling. I was actually seeing a counselor when we got them, but they both needed such help, all of my afternoons and evenings and mornings were booked with therapists of various kinds coming out to my home. I had to give up my own counseling sessions to ensure these kids could learn how to talk and eat.

I lost myself in every possible way.

They are doing better, but from time to time, the old behaviors show up, and I still don't know how to deal. I'm still struggling in so many ways. I'm exhausted most of the time. I'm still struggling to bond with them both. I'm so tired, and it's a tired that has built up ever since we got them 2 years ago. This is a DEEP exhaustion. An emotional, spiritual, mental exhaustion.

They still receive some of their therapies, but not all. I'm still exhausted by the psychiatrist appointments and therapy appointments. I know this is my life now, but dang. I'm tired.

So, there I am.

I know when I introduced myself, I said I was struggling with other things, and those things are certainly there, but there's a daily survival aspect that I haven't figured out how to get past that may never leave....

So I need encouragement and knowledge and help.

Thanks.

BellJar.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Belljar, we don't have children so I have no advice. But I think I can understand the tremendous stress and exhaustion you must experience dealing with this. And I can understand how it lead you to drinking. You sound like you are giving 110% to try and get the mess that has been created straightened out. At the same time, don't forget to take care of yourself. If you become unavailable because of a dependency to alcohol, it will hinder your ability to help these kids (I think). You have my unconditional support and I wish you the best.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Belljar. Welcome. You have an exceptionally challenging environment, as do many of us. I sure do hope you will stick around and let us hold your hand as you find your way back.

XO AO
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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BellJar my heart goes out to you. Such a giving person who knows no end to the care necessary to love these children back to life. I remember when my stepson lived with us who has adhd, that's when I drank the most. Not to compare with your struggles because you'd have to be a rock to conquer that. I offer you my support and my prayers.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My heart goes out to you because of your immense challenges. I am also a newcomer and can only say anyone would feel overwhelmed in your position and I hope others step up to help you out with these kids and can let you be real with them. Maybe this is what the message boards can be for you in the meantime.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow, You're a saint to take on such a responsibility. I have three grown kids and there have been some serious challenges but not to this extent. All I can say is you can't take care of someone else unless you take care of yourself first. The relief from the booze is short lived and ultimately always makes any situation worse. This I do know from experience.

You have my sympathy but mostly my admiration. Wish I had some life changing advice I could give but all I can offer is support.

Please take care of yourself.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow. You have a lot on your plate. You sound like an amazing person and those children are lucky to have you. They need you in their lives. I hope you can make tomorrow your day one. xo
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome, BellJar. It's good to have your on SR.

I can see that my instinct was like that of others, to tell you that my heart goes out to you. A difficult, difficult situation.

It's hard to know what to do sometimes. Is there a way you can resume your own counseling sessions? The one thing I can tell you, though, is that drinking makes things worse.

Stay close. We'll walk the path with you.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Belljar

I'm sorry to read your full story - but I know that you'll hear from others here who deal with issues in their family.

The thing to remember about drinking is it solves nothing - and the more you turn to it, the more you'll find yourself dragged down, your abilities depleted and your capacity to cope with anything, much less your children, will be drastically reduced.

I'm not going to tell you shouldn't have adopted these children - thats's noone's right here to say...but I think it's clear you need to find yourself more help and support.

Parenting is obviously a job that's testing your limits - but drinking will only deplete those limits further.

D
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Belljar

I'm sorry to read your full story - but I know that you'll hear from others here who deal with issues in their family.

The thing to remember about drinking is it solves nothing - and the more you turn to it, the more you'll find yourself dragged down, your abilities depleted and your capacity to cope with anything, much less your children, will be drastically reduced.

I'm not going to tell you shouldn't have adopted these children - thats's noone's right here to say...but I think it's clear you need to find yourself more help and support.

Parenting is obviously a job that's testing your limits - but drinking will only deplete those limits further.

D
Thank you, Dee. Despite the awful things I've been through, I still feel like adopting these children was the right thing to do for them. But now I have to figure out how it was the right thing to do for me. I agree with you that I HAVE to find support for myself.

I think tomorrow is a good day to call for a counseling appointment. I've got to fit it in somehow. I can't deal with all of this by myself, obviously.

I do see how me and my husband have made positive changes in the lives of these kids (they have improved remarkably), but I've lost myself in the meantime. I need to find me again, without alcohol.


Thank you EVERYONE for your encouragement. I'll keep coming here, even as I stumble. You guys are amazing.

BellJar
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow. BellJar, just reading that made me exhausted, made me angry, made me sad, made my heart hurt. I can only imagine how you feel living it every day. You ARE a saint for taking in these children. The needed someone just like you and you stepped up to the plate.
First, I do understand your comment about not wanting to admit this. I have felt the same way, not wanting to admit how much my children stress me out, how I sometimes cannot handle it, how sometimes they just plain get on my nerves. It is not what a mother is "supposed" to say about her children. But the thing is, parenting is hard in the best of circumstances. You have absolutely extraordinary circumstances. Of course you are going to have feelings like that and it IS ok to admit them. In fact, getting them out in the open is what will make things even slightly better. Definitely, definitely make seeing a therapist yourself a priority.

Your anger is justified and ok. I think anyone would be angry in your situation. Heck, I am angry at the mother and I don't even know your children, her or you! Anger is a very difficult emotion to deal with, one that will eat you alive from the inside out. You really need to work on this with a therapist. It won't be easy, but it must be addressed. You also don't want this hatred spilling over into your time with your children. It is poison and they can feel it.

I wonder if you also have some feelings of disappointment? I want to be really careful with my words here, because I don't want this to come out wrong, please know it is meant to put you in the best of lights. I'll give myself as an example, I know that I feel like I am a very giving and generous person. I love to donate my time, my money and my energy. I volunteer giving free English lessons to needy people, free courses at the library for kids, work in the schools. I volunteer my time helping refugees and foreign and mistreated individuals. I do a lot and like to feel like and be known as a giving person. BUT, a lot of this volunteering is also for myself. I get a lot from it. I like how it makes me feel and yes, I like how it makes others see me. My intentions are good, but not pure of heart. Sometimes, when my efforts do not result in an experience that *I* want, I feel disappointed. In my mind I imagine sad and tired refugees responding to my hugs and efforts to talk and sometimes they just take my stuff and walk away. I feel like *I* missed out on my part of the experience. But I work to remember that I am not there for me, I am there for them and they have a lot going on and however they handle the moment is up to them and I cannot change that.
Back to you, do you think you feel some disappointment for how this whole adoption thing worked out? Maybe you had dreams of saving these kids and them clinging to you and loving you and appreciating everything you do for them. Maybe you imagined that your community would look up to you as a strong, generous woman. Now you feel like you have to keep all your struggles in in fear that the community will discover that you are actually struggling behind closed doors. Do you feel like if they knew what you wrote above they would think less of you and your efforts? I understand those feelings but if you are feeling them they are misguided. You are an amazing, wonderful, generous woman who has done so much for these two children. Your feelings of frustration and anger are part of this process, not an indication that you are doing something wrong.

I also relate to your irritation at the therapist making critical remarks. My children's grandmother does that, has since birth, and it drives me UP THE WALL. Every single time she walks into my house there is something she has to critique. I have learned, after much work inside myself, to just completely ignore it. Really, just nod and smile and say whatever response is appropriate and don't give it a second thought. My mother-in-law would say something about the baby being too covered, or not covered enough, or needing to eat this instead of that, blaaa blaaa blaaa. I would just nod and say "oh, yes, you are right, ok, I'll do that" and then just let the thought pass right out the other side. Commenting back or defending myself was useless, completely useless. The only response that would stop her from talking was just to nod and agree. Nod and agree and then forget it. Don't take it personally. The therapists are just trying to do their jobs. Sometimes they may have a tough caseload themselves and want to pass the buck so to speak.

Lastly, the drinking. You know by now it does nothing to help or change the situation, in fact it only makes it worse to deal with. I cannot imagine dealing with your son's screaming episodes with a hangover! More than just the acute results of drinking it goes a lot deeper. I was having issues with my youngest child. He was angry, distant, never wanted to be hugged or touched and seemed to hate me. He talked in a baby voice and had a lot of weird quirks. This was worrying at 4, 4.5 years old. We took him for all kinds of testing, going to the top doctors all over Italy, sent him to therapy, a psychologist, etc etc. Honestly, the biggest change in his behavior came when I quit drinking. Even if I avoided getting outright sloshed in front of them, just being tipsy or mildly buzzed changed the way I interacted with my kids. I didn't think anything of it. I still got them up in the morning, tended to their needs throughout the day, got them to school clean, fed and kissed, made them hot, nutritious dinners, was there for them if they woke in the night, I went through all the right motions. But I wasn't really there and they felt it, particularly my youngest who for whatever reason is much more sensitive and proud. I know you drink to escape for a while, as a way to handle the stress and pain and anger. But look at how the drinking is fueling the situation. It will require even more effort and dedication at first- god, is that even possible you are already wonder woman- but I really think the result will be a let up in problem behaviors and a slightly easier path for you.

I am really sorry for what you are going through, but I know that someone as dedicated as you will continue to do the very best possible. Thank you for what you are doing for these kids. It is a gift to them and a gift to society.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
What's the world coming to when you can't trust an recovering alcoholic ex degenerate gambler huh ?
 
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Damn.

Well it's like Dee said, drinking will only reduce your ability to cope with this situation. I know those are some enormous triggers; even a well-behaved child with no issues is pretty hard work.

You must make time out for yourself. We're here to support you
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Old 11-09-2015, 02:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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BellJar, I can't stop thinking about you and your situation. I am exhausted with my own two sons who are healthy and relatively well behaved. Your exhaustion must run so deep that you don't even know where to begin to get out of the hole. I do know the thou cannot care for your children or your marriage without caring for yourself.
Some ideas would be to start with taking drinking off the table. You see it is bad for you mentally and emotionally. It is also bad for your energy levels, it just zaps the energy right out of you. Do you take vitamins? I would talk to your doctor about this. A few that are usually recommended for energy and uplifting your mood are magnesium, vitamin B, iron and a good multivitamin. Do you have time to take a walk? Try to make time. It seems counter-productive when you are so exhausted, but getting the blood flowing really does help with energy levels and of course will help you start to address those 45 pounds you put on. If you have an iPod or music device, put on some great tunes that lift your mood- there is a thread here about feel good music, or maybe you would like to listen to some Christian rock or gospel songs, whatever gets your head in a good place and helps you escape the madness for a while. Walk it off!
I assume you are being followed by some sort of child protective services people, the folks who helped arrange for the adoption/foster care. Do they have case workers who can come out? I remember when my sons were born we had the very incredible service (thank you socialized medicine!) of an obstetrician/nurse coming to make house visits in the first month. The nurse would come by anytime, day or night. Sometimes she would check on my baby, other times she would look at me and say "take a shower, get yourself dressed and get something to eat, I'll stay with the baby" Is there anyone like that who can come and provide you with even an hour of relief from your duties as mom? Just a moment where you can take a shower in peace without worrying that one of your children is choking themselves?
Another thing, and if you want help with this use message me your location, I'm happy to help google if you don't have time, can you look into any charity organizations? There has got to be something out there for families like yours? Maybe they send you and your family to disneyland for a few days? Or they work with local businesses to provide you with a fun, and paid, day out with your kids. They have been through a lot, as has your biological son, as have you and your husband. You deserve to be helped and/or pampered a bit. Something like "make a wish" but instead of sick kids they help families like yours.
Keep checking in here when you need to, any hour of the day there is someone to listen.
Thinking of you.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add my own deepest respect, sympathy and admiration for the extraordinary task you've taken on to try and repair the damage from what sounds like horrific abuse of those poor children.

As others have said, what I'm sure is clear to you as well is that alcohol is adding to the difficulties, not helping resolve them. I know my relationship with my own non-problem children is stronger since I quit drinking. There are many, many much better ways to relieve stress that don't lead to hangovers, guilt and all the other negative consequences of drinking.

I can't imagine volunteering to take on the responsibilities you have, particularly given how they could easily push you beyond your breaking point if you don't find a way to look after yourself as well. It sounds like what you are doing has had a huge, positive impact on your adopted children, even if there is still a long road ahead to their full recovery. And I hope you find a way to carry on this journey in a way that puts your own health and well being firmly in the mix as well.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add my own deepest respect, sympathy and admiration for the extraordinary task you've taken on to try and repair the damage from what sounds like horrific abuse of those poor children.

As others have said, what I'm sure is clear to you as well is that alcohol is adding to the difficulties, not helping resolve them. I know my relationship with my own non-problem children is stronger since I quit drinking. There are many, many much better ways to relieve stress that don't lead to hangovers, guilt and all the other negative consequences of drinking.

I can't imagine volunteering to take on the responsibilities you have, particularly given how they could easily push you beyond your breaking point if you don't find a way to look after yourself as well. It sounds like what you are doing has had a huge, positive impact on your adopted children, even if there is still a long road ahead to their full recovery. And I hope you find a way to carry on this journey in a way that puts your own health and well being firmly in the mix as well.
Lovely words OpenTuning. BellJar, read this message again and again. You are doing a wonderful thing and are making a difference even if it doesn't always feel that way. Thank god for people like you. Cutting out the alcohol can only help the situation.
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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BellJar,

I wanted to let you know how much I respect your sacrifice. You are a better person than me. Sadly, I have no advice to give because I cannot even conceive of your situation, but I did want to tell you that my thoughts and best wishes are with you.

KP
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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In reading your profile this morning you post of seeking faith and if only the size of a mustard seed. This reminds us of the scripture from the book of Matthew - 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

I found for me that when I drank for many years I had been cut off from the sunlight of the spirit. I knew of God, but did not know God - that relationship was blocked.

As soon as I made a decision to change, to have faith I could quit and stay stopped that mustard seed began to flourish. Slowly at first, then more and more each day. I found He had given me renewed strength to carry on and daily seek His will for my life.

We don't know why God put us in the most difficult of circumstances - but He does. However, He doesn't leave us there alone! I have learned that God can move mountains and will, but we need to grab a shovel and do our part too. That shovel is for drunks is to put the cork in the jug and stop the insidious insanity of drinking.

My daily reading comes from here
http://utmost.org/

Time to get to work, for many of us
Glad you're here - you're not alone, I promise
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Meraviglioso (11-09-2015)
Old 11-09-2015, 08:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
 
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Just thinking about you this morning belljar.

And thinking how lucky this world is to have someone like you in it.

Stay close and lean on us.

XO AO
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~ The soul would rather fail at its own life, than succeed at someone else's. ~ David Whyte
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Meraviglioso (11-09-2015)
Old 11-09-2015, 08:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow! What a response. I'm humbled by all of your comments. Thank you all so much.

I was honestly afraid to say my true situation because part of me worried someone might think, "Oh my gosh, they let an ALCOHOLIC adopt children in need!!??" But then I guess I was forgetting that we're all here for the same reason, and that one commonality doesn't make any of us "bad" people.

I think if you all heard the frustration and resentment that sometimes floats in and out of my head, you wouldn't be calling me a saint.

Meraviglioso, you asked about disappointment, and there certainly is some there. I don't feel disappointed because of how others might perceive me, but rather because I had a dream for the children I might adopt and they aren't it. I've always wanted a daughter, and my daughter doesn't feel like my daughter at all. She manipulates me and is very moody. She's sneaky and lies often for attention. I'd love to see more of myself in her, some influence I've had on her, but she keeps trying what worked in her relationship with her biological mother (they had a toxic, terrible relationship, but it's all she knew, and to her that was "love). It doesn't work on me, and then she resents me. For instance, she might come in pouting and say something like, "You didn't cuddle with me today. You don't love me!" I don't like to be manipulated and I can't stand emotional extortion, so I just respond by saying, "I would love to cuddle with you. If you wanted snuggles, please ask. Don't pout or say I don't love you. That just makes me angry." And then she pouts out of the room. With her biological mom, that absolutely would have worked. Her bio mom would have melted into a puddle of apologies and say over and over "Oh no my baby! Don't say that! Mommy loves you! Mommy loves you!!! Come over here!!!" I want a healthier relationship than that. It's so frustrating.

I guess that's what's so disappointing. Wanting the mother-daughter relationship I've always dreamed of, and neither of us "getting" each other yet.

I also feel disappointed because I have so many other friends who have adopted and their kids and stories look like fairy tales. Mine is a hot mess. I had one "friend" say the ultimate insult to me recently: "I have a friend from college whose family adopted two kids from foster care, and they all just blended so seamlessly and it fit so perfectly, and your family isn't like that at all- yours is a huge struggle. Maybe you weren't supposed to adopt them."

Um, thanks.

It's done. And we're committed to them. So enough with the "maybes" and the "what ifs" and the questioning. I'm not gonna end up on Good Morning America for sending them off on an airplane with a $50 taped to their shirts and a note saying "I just can't." So that kind of talk gets me NOWHERE except deeper in fears and anxiety over what a crappy job I'm obviously doing.

The pressure I put on myself to meet ALL of their needs is unreal, but at the same time, they aren't meeting any of my needs to feel like a Mom. I am a professional therapist, and that hat doesn't come off in my home. I want to be MOM. I don't want to be the LPC at home. Does that make sense?

I'm constantly having to navigate their reactions and behaviors. Why did she lie about what she did in school today? Was that for attention, to make her brothers jealous, or just to be mean? What was that all about? Why did he steal and hoard a box of cereal under his bed? How can I address it? How can I prevent it? My husband and I have to be two steps ahead of them at all times, and that's hard and exhausting.

I feel disappointed because on the outside, my family looks beautiful. The children are beautiful. They really are. Yesterday after church, someone came up to me and actually said they wanted my 4 year old (the little boy) because he was just SO precious. Obviously she didn't realize how defiant and awful he was being during the service. I was a nervous wreck trying to keep him in his seat and keep him still and quiet! On the outside, everyone comments on how "lucky" we got. "Oh those kids are so beautiful! You got lucky!!" Like adopting ugly kids is a curse? Ugh. I really hate it when people tell me how "lucky" I got because of how CUTE they are. I'd rather them be kind and generous and respectful over cuteness any day. Trying to impart that into them is so draining. And it almost feels futile. I would love to see more of me and my husband and less of "her" (the bio mother) in them.

But nobody who comments knows those things that go on. Or they think "that's just kids." A lot of people have distanced themselves from me because they see the changes I've gone through over the past two years, but they think I'm either full of it, trying to get attention, or I'm just depressed (and who wants to be around a depressed person?). They see the weight I've put on, the dark circles and bags under my eyes, and how easily I cry when asked how I'm doing. My true friends have stuck by me, despite everything I've gone through and how pessimistic and burdened I've become, but those on the fringes (neighbors, some church members, etc) have pulled away because I'm a downer.

I think I don't present to them the lovely image of a foster adoptive mom that they all wanted. They thought our story was beautiful when we first started fostering, and they were very supportive. But then when we got these two and all hell broke loose and my husband and I both started changing just to try to survive, people fell away. The support lagged. I even heard from my pastor that someone had mentioned to him that we never make fostering sound good. He said someone told him "Why would ANYONE want to take up fostering after watching or listening to them? They act like it's the worst thing in the world. If they hate it so much, why are they doing it??" That hurt a lot.

We live in a very small community and were the only foster parents in the area at the time, and I honestly think everyone was psyched for us to be the poster child of fostering. A happy, rosy, sweet story full of happy endings... And I guess we didn't live up to that.

We take our faith seriously, and no matter how hard this is, I still think this is what God called us to do, and I have hope that it will get better.

I'm going to try to get an appointment with a therapist and I've started making changes in my diet. I'm eating healthier, but I haven't stopped the drinking. I want today to be a new day one. I've recently started taking Lexapro to deal with some of the anxiety and depression. It usually takes 4-6 weeks for the full effects to hit, so I'm not really feeling the benefits of it yet. Hopefully that'll help me get some sleep too.

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support. I really feel like I've come to the right place.

BellJar
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