It’s a beautiful Saturday. Winter here in the rain forest has been uncharacteristically gorgeous this year. Our lack of rain has left the days primarily sunny and clear, crystal and cold. It’s been perfect for race training, which is what I should have been doing this last month. I’m meeting my best friend from grade school in Seattle the first weekend of March so that we can race together. The plan is to do a 15k, and I’ve never run that far before. Add that to the fact that my life has been so insane, I hadn’t been running much in general. But that was going to change. Starting when I signed up for the race the beginning of January, I had a training schedule in place. And it hasn’t happened. Each afternoon I mentally prepare for that day’s run. And it has rarely happened. Each Saturday and Sunday morning I’ve pulled on my running clothes in anticipation of the long run I would make that day-preparation for the race. But it hasn’t happened. At this point I’ve averaged on run a week and as my race day approaches, I am more and more certain of how unready I will be. It’s not for lack of trying, or wanting. I just can’t. Because I’m stuck. Because I feel like my family is falling apart.
If you’ve been round the blog at all you’ll know that all of our kids are adopted. The oldest three all came to us through foster care. And while we knew things wouldn’t be easy, there are definitely things we haven’t expected. We’ve had our oldest for five years. And they’ve been rough until these last six months or so. It’s like she’s suddenly found her inner peace, and she’s settled. Thank God. But honestly, what I really think has happened is that she’s seen her brother. And she’s seen what he’s done to us.
The twins came to us when they were three. Right off the bat we knew that X-Man had more significant concerns than Lil’ Girl. He was violent at times, towards his sister, and definitely defiant. We tried to get help from counselors, but were unable to based on where we lived. Then things got a bit better, before they got worse. When we moved to the rain forest and I was working more, the twins started going to a home-based daycare. I LOVE their provider. She’s got the same parenting style as we do and so things were very consistent. But he struggled. It got to the point where picking them up after work was the worst part of my day. I dreaded it. And then there was the bus. And the green slips. And the calls from the school when kindergarten started. When we made it through that first year of school we took a sigh of relief. Over the summer things seemed to be okay. When we went home for a few family events he did remarkably well. (A shock to us all as any change was not typically tolerated).
When first grade started we hit the rock slide again. We received daily calls or text messages from his teacher. He was in trouble again on the bus. Finally, we were able to get him into counseling, and then to a doctor who wanted to rule out ADHD. So we tried meds. They didn’t work. By Christmas time we were panting for a break in this marathon. And when we went home for Christmas, he was like a new child. He was calm, he was kind, he was respectful and a lot of fun to be around. And then school started again. This time though the reports from his teacher were stellar. He had stepped up in class. He was becoming a leader among his peers. And while we are eternally grateful for that, at home things have quite literally been hell. His defiance knows no bounds. He screams at the top of his lungs when he doesn’t get what he wants. He slams his door so hard that the pictures on the wall rattle. Everyday is a battle. Every day is a test of our patience. Trying not to feed into the poison. Trying to walk away when he is trying to reel us into his mania.
My hubby has been amazing. With my work he is the one to get them ready for school and often pick them up. His mornings and afternoons have become a constant battle. While we are both at our whits end, this time he is taking the brunt of it. And I hate it. So each morning I get up and I pray for peace. And chaos rains down. Each night I look at my running clothes and collapse into bed instead-exhausted physically and emotionally. Each weekend morning I wake to the hope of hitting the pavement, or going to the beach, but we are stuck-unable to take them anywhere because we cannot trust him. Cannot trust him to be civil in the store. Cannot trust him to not scream in the car. Cannot trust him to be the boy we know he can be. Cannot trust him not to lie, not to manipulate. And we’re so tired.
And I mourn for the family that I had longed for. And the family I will never have. And as selfish as that seems, as terrible as it sounds, it is the truth. When all you wanted was to be a mom and what you receive for that hope, regardless of your parenting, regardless of your prayers is being screamed at, lied to, manipulated, told to get out of their life, told you’re mean, when it is a constant battle just to survive, I mourn. And I don’t know what else to do.