Saturday, August 15, 2015

Broken Places

Kintsukuroi  “to repair with gold”; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
For years I have admired pottery that has been repaired by this technique. Little did I know that this would be a way of life for my family.
Reactive Attachment Disorder is destructive beyond anything you can imagine. In an attempt to protect itself from further hurt, the mind of a child from tough beginnings would rather break everything to pieces than to allow itself to be vulnerable again. Transitions create great amounts of vulnerability for someone living with R.A.D.
I should have seen this coming, but sadly I didn't. Sweetie had been doing so well. The last couple of visits had been extremely successful. Enough to renew my hope that she can really heal from the trauma of her early childhood. We have just one week until she transitions to her IAFT home and she has continued to do well in her program and on the phone with us. And then we heard the words that no parent of a 15 year old wants to hear, "I'm late, like I think I am pregnant".  All I could say was how? She has been in the PRTF or in our home only. And our house has alarms on all the doors as well as cameras. She said she snuck out and met some random guy on the street and they had sex. But it just didn't make sense. There had to be more to it.
Like most RAD kids, Sweetie can cry on command and be so convincing. For a brief moment I actually thought it could have happened. But I still did not respond in haste. I Just responded that we love her and we would get through anything as a family. Meanwhile, I am screaming inside that I can't be a mom of a newborn at 40 and a grandparent at 41.
We received this news on Wednesday evening during one of our 10 minute calls that we have only 3 times a week. We would not get a chance to talk again until today when we picked her up for a weekend pass. So again, like so many times before a bomb was dropped and we were left to try to pull the broken pieces back together. I immediately spoke to my mentor who immediately knew what this was. Sweetie was beginning to feel anxious about her transition and she was also angry because I went to NY with the baby and not her. Unfortunately, I did not get another chance to talk to Sweetie until I saw her this evening. As soon as she saw me she began to sob and apologize for lying.
She went on for a long time asking how we could ever love her when all that she does is hurt us. She talked a lot about not feeling worthy of our love or the things we buy her. Tomorrow we have her scheduled to get her hair done and have plans to take her school shopping. She deep down does not feel she deserves good things. All I could do was grab her face and repeatedly tell her that she is loved, that she is worth it and that we already forgave her. I just poured loved into her. By the time she was all cried out she was melted into my arms. Just like she would after I would hold her through a rage back when she was smaller and I could physically do so. These moments after we get through all the fear and anger is when I can see the real girl inside. This is when our repairs happen. This is when I get to work fill those cracks with love. This is how our daughter becomes a beautiful work of art.
When this all happened, she was expecting an immediate consequence. She thought we would cancel our weekend plans to take her school shopping. But instead, I just said I would pray about it.
Before she told us the truth her consequence was going to be she had to call the boy she has been trying to date for 2 years and tell him that she snuck out, had sex and might be pregnant. But once she told us the truth and we could process with her I felt that she needed to have an opportunity to gain our trust again. We ultimately decided that one day a month for 6 months, Sweetie and I will volunteer with a nonprofit. I have to get it all worked out but I am leaning towards Habitat for Humanity or with Florencd Crittenton volunteering with unwed young mothers and at risk youth.

In the middle of all the emotions of the last few days, we received Spartacus' Adoption Decree. As of August 4th, 2015 we are now officially a family of 4. We also made  trip up to New York to see my family. It was a great, but tiring trip. Everyone loved Spartacus. He handled the travelling fairly well. Better than I expected. He is such a good natured child. For this I am thankful. I am also grateful for all of the family and friends who have and continue to support us on our journey. We love you all.

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