what were we thinking? ……… what are we thinking?

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Two years ago,about this time of year (actually November,but close enough) my husband and I were debating whether or not to pursue another adoption. We had just painfully disrupted a pre-adoptive placement. The boy in question was the most sexually reactive person I have ever seen. I have yet to come across a child that reactive in all my reading and research. He was also MR. He was also RAD. He was also hearing voices that told him to hurt people. He could move completely silently. He was eleven. The ironic thing is, he really only raged twice.
As our grief lessoned somewhat, we decided to cautiously move forward towards adoption. It was in that first month of getting children’s profiles (and never hearing again about our inquiries) that we were told about youngest. After N ,we had told ourselves no children older than ten. Eight would be preferable. We didn’t want to have to race the clock with puberty. We wanted time. Well, youngest was eleven. He was a sweet boy in my daughter’s music class. His foster mom worked in the school office. His foster mom was afraid he was going to age out. He was on the photo listing so we saw a picture of a sad smiled,curly headed boy. He looked closer to seven or eight-not a boy entering puberty.He was adorable. The next six months were fighting CPS to bring him home. Our homestudy was rejected-the previous foster-adopt family wanted him back (They had disrupted,we were told,because of the boy’s propensity to pee on things). That was February. In March we were told we were in fact selected. We then started the battle to read his paperwork. It was a battle. All of a sudden his file had to be de-identified prior to us reading it. (policy is de-identification prior to us receiving it. Reading the file in the office of CPS with a worker present has never been an issue) It might be September before the file is ready we were told. To speed the proccess up we rushed our foster licenses. We have always been adopt only. In June we licensed to foster. Now we would be allowed to read the identified file. It was during these months youngest fell apart. He attacked a teacher at school,had a psych hospitalization, and changed foster homes. It was intimated the school had overreacted. In July we had an appointment to read our son’s file. The day before we were told he was looking forward to meeting us. They told him about us before we had agreed to proceed. He was waiting to meet us on the day we drove two hours to read a very incomplete file.This was wrong on may levels. The only behavior we were told about truthfully was his peeing. His rages were downplayed. We were never told the full extent of what CPS knew was his abuse. The rest of the story is here within this blog.
So,why didn’t we disrupt this placement? We could have after the cleaver. Having a child try and hack you is grounds to disrupt. This child raged to the point of restraints many,many times those first few months. Why did we stick by him and not the other boy?
We didn’t disrupt. We doubled and then tripled our efforts to help him settle in. Perhaps it was because we didn’t want to fail another child. We did honestly think we had turned a corner after Thanksgiving. We believed our son had decided to begin to trust us. We consummated the adoption in February. All Hell broke lose four days later.
And here we are.
Like all parents with troubled children,we have dissected nearly every parenting decision we have made. We didn’t enter this last adoption starry-eyed new parents. We have successfully parented eight other children with some pretty hefty issues. We used to be pretty confident in our abilities. It is little comfort that neither the boy we disrupted on (who managed to perp on a five year old while hospitalized),or youngest continue to act out wherever they are. It isn’t any comfort to find out that youngest has been acting this way since he was eight;death threats and all. There just isn’t any comfort.
With this pain and upheaval-for all of us.with the uncertainty of youngest’s future ,why do we wonder if we are done having children? Our family has had two experiences where we were directly and indirectly lied to by CPS. Files were missing on both boys. We have no confidence in our own ability to read between the lines. We do not trust the state to tell us the truth. We have three teens at home with their own adoption and cognitive issues. Is it some pathology in us? Some deep seated guilt? Some twisted need within us?
Or is God still calling us to parent hurt kids?
I look at the three sitting at my dinning room table doing their schoolwork and I think: I could parent six more kids like them. I look at the grown children who were challenges growing up and I think: It was worth all the effort. They have grown up well in-spite of their trauma. I look at youngest and I think: I cannot handle a child this damaged again. I do not have the abilities to parent a child with a bent towards homicide. I simply cannot do it.
Why can I not get excited over being “done”?
Why do I still feel there are a couple more kids out their who are ours?
What on earth are we thinking?

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About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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