Friday, October 25, 2013

Falsely Accused

  I don't even know where to begin. This is by far the most difficult thing to write about and it was surely the most difficult events of my life to go though.
I should back up a bit and talk a bit about Cris' sleep apnea. Per a sleep study, Cris stops breathing about 85% of the time each night. The sleep apnea has caused him to snore so loudly that we could not sleep in the same room. He was able to get a CPAP machine which allowed him to stop snoring, which means for the first time in years we can sleep in the same bed last week. I know that probably seems random... but it plays a big part in the events of the past week.
Follow that up with me going away for a weekend for a women's retreat and add our first family photo shoot together. This was the recipe for the prefect storm for my daughter. The Aftermath of the storm has been completely devastated. But I get ahead of myself.
Wednesday, Sweetie had a rough day at school. For some reason she got up in the middle of class and cut one of her classmate's hair. Sweetie has such a negative self image that she can not handle anything negative being addressed with her. It reinforces that she is bad and no worthless. This makes it difficult to help her change the behaviors when addressing them causes a melt down. Cris picked her up from school that day, so he was the one that had to talk to the Dean of Students about the event. When they were driving to our first family photo shoot, Sweetie told Cris if he told me about cutting the boys hair that she would ruin his life. Of course Cris told me and we found out that Sweetie did indeed plan on ruining Cris' life. She started accusing him of sexually abusing her.
She tried her best to convince me and even went to the point of accusing him to his face. But her story kept changing. My husband immediately recommended contacting authorities. I contacted both of our therapist and everyone agreed it would be best if we contacted DSS ourselves. So we did. They did what they would do for any accusation and we were interrogated. Cris was forced to leave the house and was warned if he was with Sweetie alone that he would be arrested. Cris was devastated. The whole time I just knew in my heart and mind that she was lying. She descried in great detail what happened. But while telling me she would refer to herself as a baby. Looking back on it I can see that she was describing things that someone else did to her. The hurt that she has experienced is beyond anything I can imagine. She kept this story up for 2 days and finally broke as we were driving for her to be questioned a second time by the police, with a therapist and social worker. They were also planning to do a physical including an internal exam. As I drove to the meeting I told Sweetie she need only tell the truth. If you she was lying, we would find a way to forgive her. If she wasn't lying and Cris had done such a thing, I would still stay with him, but we would have to get him help. This infuriated her. She was so upset that I would not leave him. Then I told her if she went through with the accusation and the exam and it shows that nothing happened that I would have no choice but to admit her back into the mental hospital. She immediately started to say "I don't want to go to the hospital!". I explained that it was up to her all she had to do was tell the truth. She admitted she lied, she admitted she was jealous of Cris' love for me. That he loved me more than her. These were the same reasons she gave last year when she hurt Darling. It was this time last year that she hurt her. It was this time 2 years ago when she made a false accusation against her previous foster parents. I believe something awful happened this time of year. Sweetie did go in and admit her lie to the police.
Unfortunately once she did that she felt she should be let off the hook, like it is not a big deal,
My husband has truly incredible. Instead of coming back home full of anger and hurt. He came back full of grace and compassion. He came back and asked if he has disappointed either of us. He asked for forgiveness for his shortcomings. Something that should have driven us apart actually drew us closer together.
Here we are a few days after the most traumatic days of my life. One would think that Sweetie would try to reconcile and at least attempt to be on better behavior. Not my daughter. The event has reinforced her belief that she is bad and evil. She has become increasingly agitated, argumentative, verbally and physically abusive to both acris and I. We are at a loss of what to do now. If we send her to therapuetic foster care or a group home will she get even worse. Will she feel completely rejected and follow the path of her sister? If we keep her home, how much more will she escalate her behaviors? We are heartbroken and truly do not know which way to turn. No one would blame us for giving up. We don't want to give up. But we know she needs greater treatment than we can provide on an outpatient basis. Tuesday I meet with both therapist to discuss our options and recommendations. The last 5 days has been hell on earth for Cris and I. We are exhausted. I am praying for some relief and for some clarity on where to go from here. 
Unfortunately, with everything going on we are no longer allowed to be foster parents. This really saddens me. I know for Sweetie right now it is the best thing. But I am so disappointed. This was the first time in my 38 years that. I actually really felt I knew what. God's plan was for me. But, I guess I was wrong. I am struggling as to what to do next with my life. There has to be a purpose for all of this. I may never know what it is, but something good has to come from it all. It just has to. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Grafting our Family Tree

Grafting is the process of fusing a branch from one tree on to a separate host tree, during which it becomes a living and fruitful part of the new tree, and that tree is forever changed.

I can not lie and say I always wanted to be an adoptive parent. I will always have a small part of me that will wonder what my biological child would have been like. Had I been able to have a biological child I would never truly understand real unconditional love. I would have also lost out on knowing so many amazing people through the adoption community. Each child has been grafted into our individual families and then our families have all been grafted together to create a wonderfully complex and beautiful tree. Like the tree above, we are woven together. Individually we were just weak branches, but grafted together we have become  a strong and beautiful creation. At times I am overwhelmed by the beauty that is coming from so many broken branches. I am constantly amazed at the depths of love I have for our Sweetie. I have never in my life imagined being so completely vulnerable or feeling such pain as I have over the last year and a half. But I never imagine how beautiful our family would become or how many amazing real friendships would develop. I am truly blessed with my friendships. They are much family to me as my parents or brother. I love their children as I love my nieces and nephews. For me I see adoption as the closest thing to how God loves us. It does not matter where our kids have come from, what tragedy they have lived through, or how bad their behavior is, we simply love them. We often ask for nothing in return. I guess we are all so used to just loving that it makes it easier for us to love each other, expecting nothing of one another. The friendships I have are genuine and honest. We can look at one another and say "I don't know what I am doing" or "I am messing up". We support each other in good and bad times.
Right now are some pretty good times for some of my beautiful friends. My dear friend is half way around the world, in the Czech Republic with her 3 1/2 year old daughter. Her and her husband are the first US family ever allowed to adopt from that country! What an amazing journey. Today they are legally clear to travel with her. However the US is holding up things. There are always detours in the adoption journey and they are on one, but they have their daughter! Another of my dear friends brought their soon to be adoptive 16 year old daughter to tour her new school today. Things have been challenging, but starting to move along. And the biggest event of the day today was Sweetie's beautiful nephew was officially adopted by his foster parents.  I am so happy for him to have parents who adore him as much as we would have. I had a small moment of regret that we let him go, but that was very short lived. I know in my heart that he is exactly where he belongs. His parents are wonderful people and they are so gracious to have open communication with us and are so thoughtful to think of Sweetie's feelings. My heart is happy knowing that we did not lose him . We just gained a family with him! So our family is growing in leaps and bounds. And then our own home will become fuller soon.
We submitted all of our paperwork to NC Mentor to start the recertification process. We have our Therapeutic Foster Care Class next week and then CPR and medication management the week after.
I have been so pleased with the social worker I am working with. She is quick to get back to us. The process seems to be a lot less complicated now and the agency we are working with definitely has their stuff together. I am not sure where our journey will take us or what challenges we will face as we take on being a family for hurt children. But, I am confident that with all of the skills we have learned and continue to learn from working with our Sweetie, we can handle anything.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Please Be My Strength

Ok so this is a picture of my skeleton after running! Ok, maybe in my dreams. My skeleton is probably larger than that. But it's all good, I own all this! This week I find myself just drained.
They increased one of Sweetie's meds and it is the anniversary of Sweeite's adoption tomorrow. You would think this would be a good day. But not for many of our kids. Many of our older adopted children have big bad feeling surrounding their adoption day. Yes it is great that they were adopted, but think of what they had to go through to need to be adopted. For this reason I try not to say we were meant to be a family. Because if she was meant to be my child, she was meant to be abused and neglected. I don't for a single minute believe that. I like to tell her that God has given all man free will. Unfortunately when people have not been showed God's love and chose to live lives that revolve around sin, bad things usually happen. But God loves us so much, that he makes a beautiful thing out of something broken and messy. He has taken your crappy situation and mine and created a wonderful beautiful family. I am always honest with my daughter. I feel I owe that to her. Most of her life she has been lied to. Now she believes everyone is lying. So when something sucks I say "boy that really sucks". I can tell her when I am disappointed or sad. She may not always accept it at first but she does eventually accept what I am telling her as truth. There is such a fine line with this as well. I do not tell her how angry I am at her parents for not doing the right thing. I always go back to "They did what they had been showed to do". They had not received real unconditional love growing up, they were completely broken and no one cared. I have such pity for her biological family. Her 15 year old sister is now in a detention facility and her 9 month old baby is being adopted next week by his foster parents. My heart is happy! He is safe and loved by an amazing Christian family. I am blessed to know the mom considers us family! That means so much that she is keeping contact with us.
I have digressed. Back to Adoption Day Anniversary. So, I am not sure if Sweetie's constant negativity and defiance is a symptom of that or what. But it is draining. I am trying to keep upbeat, but sometimes I want to just say "Yeah This Sucks" and climb under the covers and hibernate for a month. I know it is not realistic to even consider this but it really is a nice dream. Tomorrow we will celebrate by repeating some of the things from last year, we will get cupcakes from SAS and go to dinner to the same place. I hope it is a good day for her and us. I am in need of some serious relaxation.