That is probably something a lot of parents feel at times but we don’t verbalize it. We don’t want to be accused of being bad parents ore parents that don’t care. Many of us would just say it in jest, with a small smile on our faces. We say it when it’s been one of those days. The days when the milks been spilled, the chores haven’t been done, the walls have been painted on with foreign substances or the children are just making us climb the walls.
Today I’m saying it, because I feel like I failed and I don’t have the strength to be a good parent. Situations have arisen in our house where where the breaking point have been met. We knew adoption would not be easy. We even had one case worker suggest adopting one of our children would be a mistake for us. Ironically, the ones you thought would be the issue isn’t.
I have never been one of those parents who told my children that what happens at home shouldn’t be shared in the public setting of school, neighborhood, church or friends. But I heard myself tell that to my daughter last night. Why? I think it is the shame of having a child you can’t control.
When you adopt, you adopt with your full heart. You adopt knowing love won’t fix the issues that were laid on them by their previous environment, their biological parents and the foster care system. I get envious when I see foster to adopt families that look picture perfect. They have football players, homecoming queens, students with good grades and I have the broken children. Is it my parenting?
The Princess is thriving in middle school, she is making herself shine and is being a survivor. The Teen, well the same can’t be said. He is living as a victim and victimizing others. His diagnosis have changed with heart shattering affects to us. He is violent toward others and he injured his father on September 14, because of him violating a home rule and not giving us his phone when asked. That injury resulted in a torn PLC in the same knee he had the knee replacement on this summer.
Monday, I had to take him to his probation officer for the violation. A violation he committed the same day he went on probation on September 14. Footnote; if parents don’t report an incident within 48 hours it can be five days in jail and/or $5,000 a day fine. I learned something new. My son had to go to what is called 3B, Bonneville County Juvenile Detention for 24 hours. Sadly, I am learning more of the juvenile system than I have desired . He has a conviction of petty theft, a pending felony and we don’t know what the court will do with the latest incident.
I picked up my child from juvenile detention on Tuesday. Not words, I thought I would use in my lifetime. He was contrite, he was humble. Words I heard were, “I don’t want to go back there again” “I have changed” “I didn’t like it there” “I am not going to mess up”. I was encouraged.
Less then six hours later we catch him with an old phone. They took his phone when they arrested him. As huus PO says, “phones are a privikege not a necessity”. A phone that I thought he’d given to AT&T when we got his new onne. Six hours later, less than that if we count before he got caught, he has broken probation. Then the meltdown begin; crying, screaming, yelling and jumping up and down. Attempts at negotiating with us to lie for him, using the finances against us (parents have to pay for the stays in detention). Accusing of us not wanting him anymore. Saying he will just leave. Wanting to wake up his sister at midnight to tell her goodbye because we are sending him away. I don’t know how she slept through all his commotion. I was proud of myself, I only raised my voice once and that us when he went charging toward her room.
The manipulation he uses are both idiotic and masterful. He knows how to hurt.
Wednesday, we tell him that he calls his probation officer or that we do. He calls and leaves a message. I return home from work that night and I get, “can I use your phone to call my girlfriend?”. Not how was your day or hello but all about him. I left and went back to work.
Yesterday, I let him use my phone to call the GF (girlfriend). Twenty minutes and he may sit on the stairs. Without asking he makes plans for Saturday to have the GF come over. I can’t believe the amount of narcissism he has.
To be truthful, I am at my breaking point. I am trying to hold it together. I am exhausted. I am not sleeping well or not sleeping at all. I am on edge, Ron is on edge. Due to his injury, Ron is sleeping in the spare room. So we have that isolation of not being together at night. I am at a spot that is difficult for me. I tried counseling with an intern at Pearl Health but talking to her and being videotaped was disconcerting. Economically it fits the budget but I didn’t feel comfortable.
I am praying a whole lot but feel a sense of isolation. I feel a sense of failure. I want to help him but am not sure how far down the rabbit hole he has gone. You want to be loyal to your child but you want them to have the idea of morals, ethics and basically a sense of right and wrong. I want to be there for my husband. He is in such pain and going through his day-to-day stuff. Ron is amazing . I want to be there for my church and do my duties to them and for them. I want to do all these for everybody else and I know I need to take care of myself.
I feel a sense of Shame. Shame that my child is like this, shame that he’s committing crimes. Not just small crimes but crimes that hurt other people and does not show remorse. He gets upset when he’s caught. So how do I reconcile my morals, my ethics, and my spirituality with him? I’m a pastor. I understand mistakes, I understand my steps in life and I understand sin. But there’s a sense of disbelief that I and the pastor have this child who is the opposite of everything. Are people going to wonder if I’m not doing a good job at home? If I hold it back from Folk, I’m not being transparent. I don’t understand why he does what he does. I’m ashamed of the crimes he’s committed.
My heart goes out to him, he came to us as a broken child. I would like to wring his biological parents necks for the damage they did to him. They wounded this child and it was so early in his life the damage is deep. Yet in the same token he has to be willing to make changes. He has to be willing to know right from wrong, he has to be willing to change and open up so we can help him.
I think I was blessed that I had my other children. Admittedly there were four of us raising two of them. Think it’s that time of my life I was a decent parent. There were times my head where I was up my ass. I admire these people who come off really well. The super parents who have the normal children. The super parents who adopted and have normal children or semi-normal children. Maybe we were too old to start doing this again. I’m tired. Ron is tired. We love these two children with all our hearts. Right now I’m struggling to like one. Parenting isn’t for the weak and tired.
Right now, Ron and I are weak and tired.