Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Aiming higher...

It seems that in the adoption industry, an adoption is considered successful when the family makes it to the finish line - that is, they are still together in some form when the youth reaches age 18 or so. It doesn't really matter that many of us have crawled to that finish line over the debris of broken relationships, stress related health conditions, fractured marriages, financial devastation, social isolation, a devastated sense of self- worth, and ptsd. 

Well friends, I'd like to aim a little higher than that - I'd like to aim for success to include parental health, strong marriage, stable finances, good relationships with our other children and extended family, high self-worth, well developed social networks etc. Is that unreasonable?

I don't know why it's okay for Hazardous Families to suffer. And we do suffer. For some reason, it seems like if we admit that, then we are betraying the industry or some adoption myth that must be upheld. I have never pretended that my family was all rosey - but I have also held back on much of it to protect Junior and because I'm Canadian and we tend to value privacy. 

Well, I don't see how that helped my family or anyone else. The fates still befell us in confusing and terrible ways, and continue to do so. Like you, I can't access the kind of help I need - good respite, effective professional services......... they just aren't there. 

I follow my own advice and strategies for surviving each day, but my family, like yours, needs and deserves more. Our Juniors are entitled  to a family that can maintain the energy to get to that finish line - and we have the right to get there with our relationships in reasonably good shape and with the energy to leap happily into whatever the next years will bring - you know, sort of like neurotypical parents do when they transition into their next life stage.  

So, from here on in I'm not accepting the industry's version of success --I'm aiming higher, and I damn well intend to get that finish line with Junior and myself and the rest of my family in good shape and feeling like it was worth it. 

What about you?Image result for free flower art

1 comment:

  1. People used to tell me that I was just "delaying the inevitable" when I tried to protect my kids from their poor choices. I always felt that life "in the real world" was just a set up for failure because they were always so much younger mentally and emotionally than their same age peers that they would act silly and stand out in negative ways when it came to school/church/community activities. They didn't seem to learn how to act by watching the kids in their classes and they just so desperately wanted to fit in that they would do anything the other kids were doing, without even knowing why they were doing it. I realized that getting them to 18 without police involvement, drugs, smoking, drinking, and sexual involvement had become the goal. It's just sad that it was such a really low standard to have.

    My experience with the mental health system in my state has been simply this: If we can keep them in your home for another day, week, month then we have succeeded. Every single month we saw the psychiatrist with my son - FOR YEARS. Every month I reported one crisis after another. Every month little to nothing changed. If he didn't physically hurt someone outside my home and there was no police involvement, it was, "Great! See ya next month!" This wasn't "help", it was simply maintaining his placement in my home. There wasn't police involvement because the police told us to stop calling unless someone was bleeding and needed to go to the ER, they couldn't deal with a mentally ill child. Honestly, by the time they got to 18 I was so DONE with all the drama, all the fighting and arguing that I wasn't about to force anyone to stay in my. They wanted OUT of here and away from me and all my stupid rules. My home felt like a war zone/prison all the time. It was my husband and I against them and that's no way to live, that's not a family. My goal was to keep everyone safe, that took precedence over everything at all times, but the cost of that was almost every relationship I had. I hate what I have become, I just want my old life back!

    We all need to be able to get real help for our kids without feeling like we're admitting to failing with them. Without fear that we'll get all of our kids taken away when dhs finds out we can't handle the really disturbed one or that the disturbed one (or more) is trying to hurt all of us and we get accused of failing to protect the other kids.