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Friday, April 27, 2012

Mean Mommy

Things have been rough lately.  Luke has been struggling. I have had the privilege of being the one to follow through with what I say.  Sometimes when he is so upset and screaming and yelling and telling me how mean I am because he is upset at the discipline, I look in his eyes and this is what I see (see above picture).  This tiny little guy who is just 2 years old.  My heart breaks on the inside.  I hate it when he cries, or feels pain or hurts. 
I know that pain and struggle are apart of life.  I also know that Luke and Grace have struggled in ways I will never understand.  I want desperately to make it better.  Everyday that Luke goes to school, he deals with challenges I never had too.  You see, I lived a fairy tale school life compared to what Luke faces.  He has to struggle through the many sensory systems just to make it to school (clothes, socks, shoes, toothpaste, hair brushing, etc.)  Then while at school he faces the bright fluorescent lights, auditory stimulus, trying desperately to pay attention, keep quiet and still. All things that are so incredibly difficult for him.  All things that I never had to think about. 
Grace has her own set of special needs.  I haven't really spoke much about hers as I am still figuring them all out.  I do know she goes to school each day and struggles to be understood by her teacher and peers.  Her struggle with speech and speech sounds makes understanding her difficult sometimes.  One of her strategies is to just "give up" when she can't communicate effectively.  I have to come up with ways to get her to TALK even if it is difficult.  I worry about her in a class of 28.  She deals with more on a daily basis at school than I ever had to. 

Part of being a parent is training your children.  I have so many hopes for my three children.  I hope that Luke becomes whatever his heart desires.  It's my job to give him the tools to help him become whomever God has planned for him.  I hope for Grace that she excels in music and art, finding expression in make-up, nails and hair as she already shows so much interest in this area.  That she continues to blaze her own trail and never apologizing for the incredible girl that she is.  I hope for Isabella so many wonderful things.  I am still getting to know her and her personality.  God has a purpose for her and for Luke and Grace.

I also know that in training them it requires correction.  This is difficult for me.  It is challenging to know how much of their behavior is linked with their special needs and how to address the behavior.  I especially struggle in this area with Luke.  He had a really rough week.  He lost his bus privileges for a week because of his behavior on the bus.  He lost his snack sale money because he yelled at me.  He spent an evening crying/screaming because he was having a difficult day and just not knowing how to self regulate.  My heart broke this morning driving him to school.  One because he couldn't ride the bus, and two because he was very upset with me pleading with me to give him his snack sale money.  "Your the meanest mom ever!" he yelled at me over and over. Stone faced, I kept telling him why I couldn't give him his money.  I walked to his classroom, so that I could tell his teacher what happened this morning.  He clung to me as I tried to walk out of the classroom begging me to bring his money back to him.  I kissed him with tears running down his face telling him how much I loved him and I would be waiting for him when school was over.  I took Bella back to the van, buckled her in and sat down and cried.  I cried and cried and cried.  Meanest Mommy ever!

People have asked me what I do when Luke rages or how I handle the fits that Grace can throw.  The absolute best way I know how to is to remain calm.  I use whatever strategies I can to help them get through it.  With Luke walking away, ignoring or letting him scream through it can help.  I also am using some sensory type strategies to hopefully help him before he escalates. 

I admit defeat!  I advocate!  I get help!  I was reminded this week from Luke's previous social worker that I don't have to have all the answers.  Most people think that when you adopt...they are yours now...and everything is going to be rainbows and lollipops!  They are always going to have connections to their birth families (especially their genetics).  You blaze a new trail with them.  Previous attitudes and values can "go out the window" and you embrace new ones and see things in a different light.

I use my support system!  I have an incredible support system for Luke.  Just this week I talked with his previous social worker Beth, Joy his OT (he will be starting back to OT next week), he had a doctor appointment, Family Solutions (another therapy option for Luke), a friend that has adopted kids from foster care, my sister Katie who is always there to listen, and a good teacher friend that has a special needs son. 

People say I am an amazing mom...I heard it this week a few times.  It is so nice to hear, but to be honest I don't feel like and amazing mom....I just feel like a mom with AMAZING kids! 


Sarah Rufener said...

Wow!!! I don't know of anyone who could handle all that you do. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family!! Love you guys!

Jolene Nelson said...

I have been struggling with my inconsistency as a parent, and reading your blog I can see that you could never get away with that. Thank you for facing this challenge and be ing a huge blessing to three of Gods special gifts.

Carissa said...

Sarah~ Thank you for the prayers and encouragment.

Jolene~I wish I could say that I am always consistent but it is not the case. I am right there with you struggling to be consistent with my kiddos. I count it a blessing to be their mom. They are my heroes.

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