Okay, so let me preface this by giving a quick family (or rather, Paxton related) update:
P got kicked out of Summer Camp.
There's more to it than that, but not much. Essentially he wasn't listening at all and had major trouble with transitions. On this past Tuesday he was particularly horrid and actually hit a girl and made her cry. They called me and said he could finish the week but after that he could not come back. Seeing as how I'd received positive progress reports every day (I always asked) I was stunned. I won't go into that, though. Don't want to. And I'm very concerned about making certain we don't lose our well-built relationship with the children's museum in which this camp runs. I will leave it as "I thought it was the right place for P, I was under the impression that certain things would go certain ways, but it was not the right kind of place for P and things were different than I thought. I will do more research next time and hopefully find a place appropriate for his needs." And in the mean time I just cross my fingers that we get our $$ back since, well, there are 7 weeks left that we pre-paid for, $115/wk, and since I need to actually DO things with this child in the next two months before preschool begins....
Let me cut in for a second and state that I just took a "break" from this for a couple hours, not intentionally. Nik's car broke down on the way to the kid's museum and I had to go pick up P, take him and a rudely awakened Brozy there, then do lunch and come back, all while Nik dealt with his car just a few days after it broke down the last time. In the past few weeks we've lost: the ability for me to eat dairy as A is likely allergic (which I accidentally broke today, stupid me!), possibly a car meaning we'll be dealing with another buy/sell and change for P, the thought that we were on the right track with P, the comfort we had at our "second home," and the possibility of a Congolese child. We've lost time, energy, money, hope, convenience, schedule... we're sort of floundering about here, getting angrier at the world and feeling lost and alone. We have the high possibility of help in the form of a new mental health plan for P which we're pursuing, but by doing this we also lose a considerable amount of Nik's time off, time with Ambrose, money, and we have to face up to the fact that his attachment to us may in fact be "illusory" in nature and we could be dealing with a child who right now, and possibly for always, needs a considerable, considerable amount of help. And honestly... I'm. Just. Tired. Been there before, I know, but really I'm just reaching a point of explosion or implosion and let's not even start on the weepiness I always feel around my birthday anyway (which is Tuesday). Can something go right? Please? We've dealt with infertility and troubled adoptions and now a high needs baby and troubled child and OMG can we please just stop seeing fake lights at the end of a tunnel and actually just catch a break? Can we just get there already? Just have it be over? Can we please just be a normal family????
Okay.... okay, calming down a bit....
I know we're lucky. We have each other. Our kids are generally happy and healthy and sweet. We have family and money and a nice house in a nice neighborhood. We're a white, traditional couple and that does have its perks. We have a lot going for us. Many people would kill for what we have and how easy we have it. I need to remind myself sometimes.... at least we have insurance that mostly covers mental health, and at least they're optimistic about Paxton, and at least he is improving if only bit by bit, and at least... at least we have each other and our wider community, which might not always be able to help us but is always willing to support and love us.
Doesn't stop me from wanting to cry sometimes though.... Especially since I've been sooooo good about eating dairy free all week and I completely broke it in a fit of stupidity and now I can't even eat the other half of my sandwich and I'm hungry... :( *pout*
Okay, so this post is NOT going where I wanted it to go. Time to get it back on track.
In trying to get my story straight in regards to Paxton, I've been re-reading my old livejournal, seeing what I wrote and where he was at certain points regarding his development, our bond, our lives, etc.
And seriously, all I can think right now is.... what on EARTH was I thinking???
I thought he'd bonded within weeks! I thought I could force him to fit right into our lives! I forced him to bed alone and left him there! I told people, and myself, that he was doing just fine! And then? It got bad and I didn't seem to know where it came from! Like, duh, where could it have come from?
So lemme get this straight...
The pattern has always been: "P's okay, P's not okay, P's okay, P's not okay." The P's okay posts typically detail how far we've come and talk about his good days. The P's not okay posts talk about how far we still have left to go and his bad days.
And I do have to admit we've come a long, long way, and I'd looooooove to be at the end or close to it....
But what are the odds? What are the odds we're at the end? What are the odds he'll EVER be a typical child?
And on some level I don't want him to be your typical child.
I don't want him to sit back and shut up, I don't want him to follow rules that don't make sense, I don't want him to lose his ability to question and challenge authority. I know this will lead to difficulty in a school setting, but I'm far more worried about a life setting and I would rather he be the risk taking, limit breaking, cutting edge entrepreneur and utilize his God given abilities such as charisma, smarts and wit, than learn to sit back and become a good little employee and spend the rest of his life in an office until his job is outsourced to a robot or something. I LIKE his hard headedness, I LIKE his questioning, I LIKE him having a new perspective on the world that other children don't see.
But I want him to be able to blend in at the same time. This? Is a vital ability, in my opinion. He has to be able to get along with authority enough to stay within the rules, respect the limits that are there for a reason, learn to adapt to our society. He needs to learn to stay with a group without compromising his own individuality.
And no, I have no idea how to teach him that other than simply telling him it's possible, which a 4 year old will not understand.
The fact is that Paxton has a lot going for him. He has the ability to love, he has loyalty and respect, he shows remorse when he does something wrong and pride when he does something right. He can think outside the box as well as learn the normal way. He's social, charismatic, upfront and open. He's vocal. He's thoughtful. He's empathic.
But he's also scared. He's scared of being left alone.
One of the reasons we think this Summer Camp business didn't work is because he's used to going to the kid's museum with Mommy or Daddy, and being there without us brought out a primal fear of losing mommy and daddy. Sure, it's a silly fear... for an American child who has never lost a mommy or daddy. For a child who has been, truly and utterly, orphaned it's a completely logical fear and something I, as his mother, should have foreseen.
Just because he has two parents doesn't mean he's never lost a parent.
Even without seeking mental help for him I could tell you this much: his greatest fear is losing us, because he knows what other children do not know, that it IS possible to lose your parents, that they are NOT always there for you, that they CAN leave you forever and never come back.
My only hope now is that we can assuage these fears enough for him to continue to live life without having to think about them. Once he's secure in the thought that we WILL be coming back, for him, then he can go on to live a happy life. He needs to know we've got his back and that he can explore the world around him without worrying if he'll have a safe harbor to return to.
We met with a doctor yesterday, a medical professional, a mental health expert who says he's dealt with so, so many children similar to Paxton. He says that Paxton has two big things really going for him: a lot of talents, and parents who have truly adopted him in every sense of the word. Also he's still of an age where we can use neuroplasticity to our advantage and create this secure bond, so that hopefully he won't encounter similar problems in kindergarten and first grade, when this normally presents itself and when parents normally contact him.
I know we have a lot on our side. We have a great mental health resource here. We have time. We have the resources.
I still wish that it could be over already.
I still wish I could simply say "we've done enough" and just go on leading an average life.
I still wish... I just wish this battle was over and won already.
And really... what on earth was I thinking, that he bonded so easily, so early.... that it was even possible....
As a side note, this has been in my head a lot lately as I've seen many people either come home with older children or about to come home with older children, many of whom think the children fit right in automatically. Re-reading my journal and seeing that it's almost word-for-word what they're writing in some of their blogs... yeah, that's hard. And I'm fighting the urge to contact them offering support and advice. Guess I'll just have to pray they really have bonded that quickly, and that they don't experience the same problems we have experienced. Fingers crossed for them, and for us!
Lily in a loafing barn
5 weeks ago