How Many Chances Can They Get?

For the first time in this ongoing saga, we left court feeling pretty good and expecting good results.  After all, we had just offered conclusive proof that SS had been neglected and abused as a toddler. In addition, SD and TW admitted to not abiding by the previous court order and admitted to having not made any attempt to connect with or financially support SS. SD was rude and snarky to the judge. TW refused to say anything other than blubber something to the effect of “why can’t we all just get along”. (Maybe because you are still doing drugs, have consistently refused to follow any of the court orders, and have not as much as called SS in four years!)

So we had plenty of reason to believe that the judge would finally do right by SS.  They had admitted to failure to support and abandonment.  We had proved neglect and abuse.  The judge would almost certainly advise proceeding with a new Termination of Parental Rights trial, wouldn’t she?

NOPE! All the judge did was continue her previous orders which still allow phone contact (which SS can still refuse) and still allows a great deal of wiggle room for them to continue to harass us, SS and SS’s therapist.

I am so pissed! I am sick and tired of us being dragged to court only for SD and TW to be given more chances to harm SS.  Sure, they aren’t able to harm her physically anymore, but the psychological and emotional anguish is just as bad if not worse!



Mourning My Infertility

I am approaching a significant birthday.  A birthday that, to me, represents the last chance of ever having a baby.  A birthday that places me into the “Menopause Decade”.

Up until this past year, I was handling my infertility with grace.  I gladly attended baby showers, eagerly held all my friends’ new babies, and reveled in my baby nieces and nephews.

But now I cringe at each pregnancy announcement, bail on each shower invitation and am secretly thankful that all my siblings are no longer having babies.

Today, I lashed out at my dad when he was telling me about his friend’s new grandson. (In my defense, I have asked him to not keep bringing up this baby, but he apparently keeps forgetting.)

I think that I am officially in mourning. While I know that miracles can happen; realistically and statistically, I know that the odds are not even close to being in my favor.

Twenty-two years ago, my appendix ruptured, causing damage to my reproductive organs.  I believed that I would be able to someday conceive.

Twenty-one years ago, I was diagnosed with endometriosis.  I still believed that somehow I would conceive.

Nineteen years ago, I had my second surgery to remove the scar tissue and endometrial build up. I still had hope.

Sixteen years ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I still had hope.

Twelve years ago, I got married. We dreamed together about our future family.

Ten years ago, the doctor told me that she couldn’t be sure that I had ever ovulated, but knew for a fact that if I had, it was a long time ago.  I diligently took my meds and kept dreaming.

Nine years ago, I had yet another surgery (4? or 5?) to treat the scar tissue and endometriosis. I was sure that this time it would lead to conception.

Eight years ago, we got our sweet SS. We were thrilled, but still believed that we would someday conceive a sibling for her.

Three years ago, I finally conceived, only to lose my baby. But I still hoped.

Last year, I was rushed to the hospital because of intense pain, inability to urinate and hemorrhaging. More sad diagnosis followed. My hope started to wane, but it somehow still slightly lingered.

Now I am approaching the age that I really thought I would have conceived by. And my hope has all but faded. I ache inside. And then I feel guilty for being so sad.  I have SS.  She is an answer to prayer and I have often told God that I wouldn’t trade her for bunches of babies. I feel selfish for wanting both SS and to experience pregnancy.

I am mourning my infertility. I am feeling the death of a dream. And it feels as though a part of me is dying with it.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12




Adulting is Hard, Parenting Makes it Harder

Adulting is hard.  Parenting makes it harder. Parenting a RADling (a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder)  can seem next to impossible.

I will be the first to admit that I carry baggage from my past.  One thing that I struggle with is rejection.

No one likes rejection; however just the fear of rejection can set my emotions soaring. That can make any kind of relationship tricky.

But it can be a big problem when parenting a RADling. RADlings reject. It is their defense mechanism. (One of many!)

Throw in the fact that I am having “girl” trouble and have been on hormones to try to even things out. However, instead of evening things out, it seems to just be making a bigger mess of my emotions.

That all brings us to this past weekend.  SS had been away on a school trip on Saturday. When we went to pick her up, she glared at me. I have no idea why. I tried to get her to smile. She just glared harder. I felt hurt.  Even worse, I felt hated. And rejected.

I wanted my girl to smile and be glad to see me. She said later that she didn’t even realize that she was glaring.  I believe her.  She is a RADling. She doesn’t know the “thats” or the “whys” of most of what she does.

Over the past year, her attachment with us has grown. We are closer than we have ever been. Which is why her little set backs surprise and hurt me probably more than they should.

I have struggled for years with relationships.  I have a wonderful marriage, but I have very few friends. HD understands my fear of rejection and that I am prone to “lash out” when I feel rejected. He shouldn’t be expected to, but he does. And he can talk me down and love me out of any feeling of rejection. I can’t expect that from anyone else, nor do I.  And I certainly can’t expect a child with attachment issues to understand why her glare (her attitude, her words, etc) causes me pain. And I certainly can’t lash out at her because that will only hurt both of us more.

So what can I do? My fear of rejection screams, “Push her away before you get hurt any deeper.”

But my heart screams louder, “Don’t you dare! She has come so far. Suck it up. Stick it out. You can get through this.”

I want to lock myself in my bedroom.

Instead I hold her, I explain that I know what it is like to feel unwanted, but that she is so very very wanted. Then we cry together and when we have stopped, we watch funny animal videos.



The Power of a Phone Call

Yesterday the phone rang. We answered it thinking it was a friend who has a new number.  We were wrong. It was a bio person who has not called in a long long time.  The last time this person called, SS begged us to never again tell her when they called. That was our plan, until we answered this call right in front of her.

The person on the other end of the line is loud.  So loud that SS heard and recognized her voice before we could do anything about it. Terror washed over SS’s face. We got the person off the phone as soon as possible and went into triage mode.  SS was so triggered by the call that she was shaking. She kept saying, “They are going to try to take me away again.” She kept checking out the window to make sure that no one was out there. She refused to go to sleep. It was a long long night.

It has been a longer day.  She was unable to go to school. She is a sobbing mess. She can’t focus on anything other than her anxiety and fears.

One phone call ripped the scab off of the wound that had been slowly starting to heal.  One phone call left my girl a mess.

No News is Good News

I haven’t posted in a while.  Things have been good.  Christmas and SS’s birthday came and went with no contact from bio fam.  SD calls just often enough to not be charged with abandonment. He is pretty clever for a drug addict.  He continues to not pay any child support or even give any gifts.  SS still refuses to talk to him. She hasn’t seen or talked to him in well over a year.

A year ago, SS was a wreck; however now that there are no visits and no forced phone calls, she is doing fantastic.  She is having “normal kid” problems…like being self-conscious because of zits, figuring out how to deal with middle school girl drama, having bad hair days, etc.  Normal stuff!  It is amazing.  She is amazing.

Her bond with us has strengthened dramatically.  She has made so much progress that her therapist has lengthened the times between appointments. Her therapist said that she is quite impressed by SS’s progress.

We will head back to court this summer. Perhaps the judge will attempt once again to force visits or perhaps the judge will show some wisdom and will keep things the way they are.  Or maybe somehow God will work a miracle and we will finally be able to adopt our sweet girl.  Either way, it is in God’s hands and we are trusting Him to care for all of us.

I Have to Take a Shower?

Could someone please tell me why RADlings don’t like taking showers? It is driving me crazy.  We have set days that SS is supposed to take showers.  Each time a shower day rolls around, not only do I have to remind her, but she also wants to argue about it.

Why?  Why wouldn’t she want to take a shower?  Why wouldn’t she want to stand under the wonderfully warm water and wash her body with the yummy smelling bath wash that I bought especially for her?

I knew that boys sometimes go through stages where they stink and need to be reminded to shower and wear deodorant.  But I just wasn’t expecting to tell my girl the same thing for YEARS! We have always had this shower rule.  Showers are necessary in the evenings on gym days and the night before church. This is nothing abnormal.  There is nothing weird or cruel about this. And yet she acts like we are asking her to stab needles under her fingernails.

But unfortunately, her lack of self-care isn’t stopping at not wanting to take showers.  I have also found out that she is not wiping after using the toilet. I am so thankful that she hasn’t started her period yet.  I fear for the mess that she will be when she does.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to get her to WANT to take good care of herself?

Sometimes Truth Wins

It sure did this time! We finally got the court order back from the last court hearing. It was way better than we expected. Even better than we had asked for. We are still not getting to adopt SS; however, there will be no bio-fam visits, no reintroduction, no reunification, SD can only speak to us for updates on SS (and even how often he can call us is limited) and no court for almost a year!

This is a miracle and we are thrilled!