My little girl tonight said something to me that wrenched my heart.
“Mommy, I wish I had always been yours.”
“Why is that?”
“Than I would have known your love forever. And my big brothers would know me more.”
Adoption is a blessing for these foster kids who have born in the system for years. And it is also a curse.
Our son was in seven different foster homes and was in a pre-adoptive home with a week to go before his adoption was finalized when he came to us. The foster mother adopting thought it wasn’t fun anymore. He was 8 and had gone into the system at the age of 5. His parental rights were terminated at the age of 6. But because of circumstances in homes, sibling issues, and behavior issues he was not adopted. His birth name was Angel after the television show and the name did not fit him nor did he act or look like it. In the home prior to us he had picked the name Brandon. That is a good fit.
We adopted him at the age of 9. He was baptized on a Sunday, adopted on a a Monday, and turned 10 on a Thursday. He is an alphabet kid; ADHD, mild ODD, sensory and sound issues. He went from failing and struggling with school to being an honor student. We still struggle with lies but that is used as a protective mechanism. He has come a long way. He is now 13 and we see a young man arriving. He will still have the issues he has but we have him in counseling. We also know as the date comes closer for his biological parents release from prison we will have anxiety, nerves, paranoia and tons of questions.
Hopefully he will feel secure enough that he will turn to us and not away from us. That is our prayer.
Our Rose, we met doing respite for 10 days for her foster mom, Rosie was six. We got her on Christmas Day. Tiny little blonde pixie, she almost had a look of some Down’s Syndrome. She called me Mrs. Turner and Ron, Big Guy. She would cuddle up to him and fall asleep. I got to dress her in cute dresses and clothes and have a little girl around. She was a life size fashion doll. After the 10 days, she returned to her foster home, we said if she ever needed a change or a new home we’d be interested.
Things disrupted at the school where she was going and the only foster mother that Rose had ever had made the decision to let her go for her best interest. We received a call and asked if we were interested in backing up what we had said. We talked to Brandon and he gave his approval. So on February 8, her 7th birthday we received our newest foster child. Then we got the FULL (or mostly full) history.
Rose was delayed socially, physically, emotionally and mentally. She was borderline special needs with a very low IQ. She would have meltdowns and have to go too the safe seat, safe room or even home. She was still having accidents and an extra set of clothes needed to be sent to the school. She had an IEP for her learning and was and is in counseling. Rose is ADHD, PTSD, Anger issues, Anxiety disorder, eating and food issues and was probably molested.
Rose was a roller coaster. Up and down. Rages, screaming, throwing things and biting herself. Than she could be amazingly sweet and cuddly and full of life. The anger we felt was never directed at her but at her bio parents for their treatment of this child and her sibling.
Rose was taken into custody at the age of 4. Her parental rights were not terminated until she was 8 years old. This is very unusual as they usually terminate or begin termination of parental rights if the parents are not complying with the parenting plan at about 18 months. Rose was finally able to be adopted by us in July of this year–2014.
She has shown some great strides in her behavior. We still have a long way to go. She will be 10 in February but she is delayed by a few years. So she acts 6 or 7. She is tiny and do so skinny. She weighs a mere 49.7 lbs. In the nearly three years we have had her she has only gained 2 1/2 lbs. She does not like meat, nor veggies..lol. Hard kiddo to feed. She hates food or fixates upon a certain food.
Ron and I are almost old enough to be their grandparents (well maybe just Ron is), but raising special needs kids in older years is a blessing and curse.
1. You know all the tricks already
2. You are more patient in some areas
3. Your tolerance for some noises are not what they use to be
4. They make you smile
5. Special need kids make you appreciate your “normal” kids a bit more
6. The love of an adopted child and biological child is no different
7. People wonder if you lost your mind
8. House is filled with love
9. You find yourself doing things you never did with your older batch of children (example: alarms on the door for the child who sneaks out and eats a whole container of frosting)
10. Physically you can’t play like you did before
11. Asking God’s guidance at the same time praising him for the child giving you gray hair
12. Being more appreciative of your older kids
13. Nice to have ” Littles” for holidays
14. More kids to take care of you in your Golden Years
Our his and her biological children and children of our heart have thought we were nuts but supported us and accepted their younger siblings. Brandon and Rose hero worship their brothers and sisters, taking qualities from each they want or wanting jobs like them.
To my big kids, thank you for accepting as they call themselves “The Younger Turners”. “You are great examples–from housewife to feminist to businessman to soldier. I am proud of all of you. Am impressed that my children look up to my children.
I am a blessed woman.