I have to say I have been completely knocked off balance by the sheer amounts of fear this adoption has added to my life.
I’m afraid I’m not doing all I should to help them.
I’m afraid of making a mistake while teaching them to be decent humans. (What if I raise a Donald Trump?!)
I’m afraid I am not enough for this, that I don’t have enough to give.
I’m afraid I’m screwing them up, that they will be talking about me to a therapist one day.
I’m afraid my mental health will crack under the strain of all the emotions they cause/need.
I’m afraid I will miss a medical problem, thinking my child is a hypochondriac the one time she isn’t.
I’m afraid I’m pushing too hard on education, or not hard enough. Am I a tiger mom?
I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job, when I have to miss work because Fergie has attacked her principal and been kicked out of school, twice in one week.
I’m afraid my house is not clean enough. I’m afraid i’m too neurotic with the kids about keeping the house clean.
At the end of the day though, the biggest and most devastating fear to the children and I has always been:
I’m afraid to attach to my children fully, knowing at any given moment, they can be taken from me.
I did not anticipate how pervasive that fear would be… for the kids as well as for me. This week it really came to a head. We asked Fergie to be moved to a facility, because she is already as tall as I am and quite a bit heavier, and her rages are not subsiding. If we don’t get this under control, she could kill someone. Her targets have broadened – no longer just me, starting with my husband and then most recently her principal. Felicia is due home in less than a month, and Fergie’s constant chaos is a huge threat to Felicia’s success.
The social worker does not agree. She says I need to adapt my parenting to Fergie’s needs, but then ended the family therapy service we had, where my personal goals was literally to do that exact thing. She has scheduled a meeting with me next week, to “talk about the girls’ futures” because she doesn’t want a “revolving door” of facility stays. She has no idea the weight that decision has put on me – how long I held out, when literally every other person other than my husband was saying she needed to go. She has no clue how scary it is to know your child is so filled with rage. Can I send her to Sunday School? Will she attack her teacher if she is told to spit out her gum? Can I send her to Nana’s house for spring break? Will she attack Nana if she is told to take a bath? Can I send her to grandma’s house for spring break, knowing she has osteoporosis and my child could literally kill her? Can I in good conscience hire a babysitter, knowing the physical damage my child could cause her? (Maybe I should see if the Hulk needs a second job…)
The social worker has no clue how deep it went for me to ask for Fergie to be moved. If I could think of any other solution, don’t you think I would have tried it? She is my cuddle-bug, my tiny best friend. I can’t imagine my home without her. I feel like I’m drowning in emotions from this decision and have no idea how to get through this. And she has the nerve to treat me like I’m just looking for an easy out?!
I’m afraid the social worker is going to say I have irreparably screwed this up, and tell me to pack my children’s things. I’m afraid she is going to say if I can’t keep them without Fergie going to a facility, I can’t keep them at all. I’m afraid of that choice – I’m not sure she can stand another move in the foster system… but I can’t in good conscience keep her without the help she so desperately needs. She’s damaging relationships with her family members, her education, her relationships with other kids,… She’s at risk of intense legal consequences… I can’t let the train of her life rush into disaster, without doing my very best to steer it to a different path.
The road of adoption sometimes really sucks.