Birthdays -- Photographs & Memories

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    This last couple of weeks, I've alternated between thinking of our troubled son more than usual to forgetting he exists at all. That's not usual for me. Usually it's one or the other. So, just observing this is rather "fascinating" (thinking about Leonard Nimoy, too). I'm aware of why I'm doing both (which isn't always the case).

    I'm remembering our son because his 25th b-day is in March. All holidays, of any sort, were usually WWIII in prep (the day of was good, usually, because there were often presents involved -- though not in 2014 or 2015, so far). But he's my son...........so his birthday is firmly stamped in my mind.

    I'm forgetting him because we haven't seen him in 4+ months and rarely talk. I hardly recognize him (in photos on Facebook). He seems more like a sad passerby. I have mixed feelings about that. No argument between us and he will write a single sentence to me (on FB) saying, "I love you, too". That's the only sentence (and I appreciate that, don't get me wrong).

    But I heard from one of his old friends yesterday.....and it wasn't pleasant. She wasn't happy. Not much more to say there.

    So, I'm in a BIG PICTURE frame of mind right now -- seeing with my Soul's Eye (and I value that, so figured I'd write this down before it slipped away!).

    When we adopted our son at age 6, my husband and I made a verbal pact to 2 things:

    1) If someone had to "go", it would be our son -- we would not let it break up our marriage. Our son left at age 16 (it was a mutual "leaving" choice).

    2) Whatever happened in his adulthood, we'd look back and say, "At least we gave him a childhood." And we did.

    Here we are in adulthood and both of these things have come to fruition. My husband and I are still together (as solid as ever) and we sometimes acknowledge, out loud, "At least we gave him a childhood."

    His adulthood is filled with battles of mental health, drugs, crime and homelessness.

    But his childhood was filled with fun, experience and love. Don't get me wrong, it was HARD (you all know what I mean). Our fun vacations were filled with his tantrums. Crazy looking back on it now....

    -- In NYC, he had a major tantrum on top of the Empire State Bldg......um.....yeah.....not easy. Security!
    -- In FL, he began shoving me in the Rhino Rally line at Busch Gardens...... Security!
    -- In CA, he ran off into the Redwoods at dusk leading us on a lengthy chase.......No Security... sigh...
    -- In Canada, he had a meltdown about I don't know what in our hotel.....Security!
    -- In CA, he had a MAJOR meltdown on airplane on tarmac (refused to get off plane), then MAJOR meltdown (had to barricade myself in women's bathroom from him), then more MAJOR meltdown at rental car counter (Security called at that point), then led Security on a chase through San Jose airport and parking lot.

    Funny, looking at that now I can see all of those are between the ages of 10-12 or so). Those are just a few of the meltdowns. I think you all know how those are. We opted to quit taking him places after age 14 or so because it was just too hard and police were a regular part of our lives as it was. And by age 16 he was gone..........during a major meltdown. And that was that.

    But, see........AT LEAST WE GAVE HIM A CHILDHOOD. And at least MY HUSBAND AND I ARE STILL TOGETHER.

    A friend who's a social worker contacted me yesterday and asked.... "If you could speak to your younger self, just starting out as a fresh parent (or foster parent) of a troubled child, what would you tell yourself?"

    Honestly? I wouldn't change much. We loved (and still love) the best we know how. I suppose I'd keep my words to our son shorter, clearer, more concise, less rash (at times). But I'd also tell myself, "Hey, be easier on yourself. This is a HARD bucking bronco to ride and everyone gets thrown at this rodeo." We parents are on a learning curve, too, and we ride this ride the best we can.....then AND now.

    When he entered rehab last Sept all sorts of people said, "Don't get your hopes up, you'll just feel hurt later!" Then he was clean in Oct and it was, quite possibly, our BEST MONTH EVER with him. And here we are in Feb/March.....drugs and crime back in full bloom.

    How do I feel now that I celebrated that CLEAN OCTOBER? I feel fantastic! Yes, I wish it had stuck longer. Yes, I hope some day it does stick longer. No, I honestly can't say I expect it to stick longer. Yes, I hope I'm wrong about that.

    But........

    See, that's what makes it all the more sacred to me that we had that ONE GOOD MONTH. The beautiful moments are few and far between, but my Soul's Eye realizes the preciousness of that time and reminds me to cherish it. No matter what he's done (and he's done much), I love him. And I CHOOSE to keep loving him (with big ol' boundaries and distance as needed). But love co-exists with boundaries. Love is sometimes better with boundaries.

    Even now, when we're somewhat "estranged".... Even now, when we're not respecting him very much.... Even now, when his life is a disaster.... I CHOOSE to love (with boundaries) and I CHOOSE to be "out-loud thankful" for the beautiful times we have had -- probably even moreso because they are so infrequent.

    I posted a photo of my son and me skiing/snowboarding on Facebook a couple of days ago -- a photo of a FUN day from 1998 (he was 8). We did have moments of fun in there, sprinkled sparsely in the mix of maelstrom. But, as I posted it, I realized we had so few days like that. Many of them were skiing/snowboarding. But we haven't skied together since 2006 (he was in rehab and earned a day out -- so we took him and his friend (our 2nd son, in some ways) snowboarding. What a fun day! When he quit drugs and ate and beefed up, his strength was such that he just kicked my butt that day and I LOVED IT! He kept laughing and saying, "Wanna race, Mom? Haaaaa!" It was a HUGE pleasure to see him thrive and laugh.

    So, yes, all those bad things happened. But I few good things happened, too. AND I AM THANKFUL. I don't kid myself and expect that to be the norm. But when the Universe drops one into my lap unexpectedly, I will enjoy it thoroughly and say "THANK YOU!"

    I'm rambling now. But I appreciate the opportunity to put this into writing. We haven't skied/snowboarded together since that day. Maybe we will again some day. Maybe not. My offer remains on the table to him to do it again........if he's clean and reasonable.

    Lastly, I'm reminded of that day we skied/snowboarded in Canada and he had the hotel meltdown (age 12 or 13? I dunno, the meltdowns mostly blur together there were so many). Anyway, all of our group (there were 7 of us altogether) left to get dinner. I wasn't hungry and wanted some quiet after the meltdown. I sat down on the floor (still in my ski gear - boots off) and leaned back against the hotel couch. The Sound of Music came on TV..........Ah! Something wholesome without drugs and crime (ok, there were Nazi's, but you get the gist!). Something wholesome! To my surprise, our son came back without the others because he wanted to be with me. I was leery. But what did he do? He sat his 12 yo self down (still in his snowboarding gear -- boots off) right next to me on the floor. Sidled up to me and put his head on my right shoulder. He said, "What're you watching?" I said, "The Sound of Music -- something nice." He then said (without looking at me), "We sure do fight big sometimes, don't we?" I said, "Yep....but we love BIG, too." :) We looked at each other for just a second, then went back to snuggling and watching TV. And we stayed like that, sitting straight up leaning against the couch in our snow gear -- long enough to fall asleep sitting up. We didn't move or wake up 'til everyone else returned some time later.

    So, yes, there are many more times with police calls than softness. But, because of those fleeting moments of softness, I am all the more grateful for them.

    Even now. Even in his absence. Even in his chaos.

    My Soul's Eye reminds me of gratitude and seizing the moments (because they are few).

    Reminds me of that Jim Croce song, "Photographs and Memories"........ Feels a little like that today. Not in a bad way, in a Soul's Eye kind of way. I know I don't always see things this clearly and it may hurt at times down the road (as it has in the past).

    But, for today, I choose gratitude for the moments. "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Thank you all so much for listening to my ramblings. This forum is a beautiful place to shine Light into dark places. Thank you all for sharing your Light with me!

    Now, off to brunch with friends and then playing with the grandkids today! :D Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

    WOW......... Pardon the length of this....... I have not had time to be brief! (paraphrasing Pascal here) ;)
     
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  2. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    The whole post is beautiful in it's entirety. Thanks HM. Today you have helped me remember the good times of my childhood and that hasn't always been easy. I can say I did have some very good times/moments. I am thankful for those.
     
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  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HLM, I loved your post, thank you for sharing your thoughts and doing it with such grace and beauty. I can so picture you and your son watching The Sound of Music together on the floor. Those moments do shine through the darkness and you always offer them up on the altar of gratitude and remind me (us) to cherish them. I'm so glad you gave him a childhood and that your marriage remained intact and in fact, sounds as if it got stronger and deeper.....

    In spite of it all, he is a fortunate young man. He takes your love wherever he goes and will for the rest of his life. Crime, drugs and homelessness doesn't erase the love, it's still there.....you are blessed that you can see it and feel it. The way he chooses to live is all his, the connection you have with him is timeless and never-ending.

    You're a fortunate woman HLM, to be able to consistently rise above the judgements and the thoughts of how it 'should' be or 'could' be and accept your son for who he is, no matter what. I really admire you for that.
     
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  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is beautiful. Thank you.
     
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  5. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    hopeandjoy66 -- Hey, thanks for sharing that it helped you remember some good times in your own childhood. So glad to hear that! Matter of fact, made my day! :)

    RE -- Thanks so much for your wonderful words (but, then again, your words are always wonderful!)....very insightful and inspiring. Oh, I'm not always that "consistent" in rising above. But, over time, I'm getting consistentER. :D Learning, learning. Much like you, writing it down often helps me sift, sort and solidify.

    CrazyinVA -- Thank you so much!
     
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  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Thanks. You've done better than I have.
     
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    HM your post is a wonderful testament to living in the now, acceptance and detachment with love...all desirable states for successfully living.

    I needed to hear that today, your thought process of looking at reality and appreciating the good times with your son.

    There is tremendous redemption in what you wrote. If your son becomes healthier at some point, what wonderful parents he will return to, people who value what they have had, and accept those times that were so hard and painful as a part of life.

    I am reminded today that the "perfect life, perfect family, perfect relationship" is a myth of gigantic proportions in our culture and world, and weighs us down with tremendous baggage that many of us spend the rest of our lives trying to unload. There is no such thing.

    The more we can accept, grieve If we must, celebrate those good times and keep moving forward, the happier we will be. And the happier those around us will be.

    Thank you for a beautiful stream of consciousness.
     
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  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    HLM,

    That was beautiful, and the Sound of Music part was the best. What a poignant memory to visit and revisit.

    As often as I am floored by the similarities of our experiences, I gotta say....never crossed my mind that others have vacation meltdown stories. Oh boy, do I!! So, your post was filled with sweetness and rising above and also validation for me (with a 33yo Difficult Child).

    It was not just us.

    This is just one incident (and I have more):
    husband's family is in New England. One time, on a trip up there.....lunch at a Burger King. Difficult Child took his sister's ketchup, without asking. husband said, Why don't you get some ketchup for yourself, (Difficult Child's name)? OH MY GOODNESS. All heck erupted. Difficult Child was stood up, started yelling, threw in a bunch of curse words, including GD you this and GD you that. Every customer stared at us. That was the last trip we ever took together. For years after that, when we took a vacation, I would send $$ to Difficult Child in lieu of the trip (because he was not included).

    Enabling on a different level. He could not behave on trips so I sent him money because he was not included.

    ....to help me feel better, because I was so sad we could no longer take trips with all 5 of us. Because? I wanted life back as it had been 5 years earlier. Because? I was not putting the responsibility for the miserable trips where it belonged. Because? I somehow felt it was the fault of husband and myself.

    Thanks so much for your post.
     
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    11001897_783208581753235_3783146025318615010_n.jpg

    I just saw this and thought of you HLM.......you've surrendered, you've said "yes"......and as a result, your optimism and gratitude and joy shine through...your life is working well for you...................thank you......
     
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  10. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    CoM -- Acceptance, grieving, celebrating. I still do all of the above. I think because I have become so keenly aware of the "grieving" portion of the program, I have become even more aware of the "celebrating" portion of the program. There are a great many mainstream parenting experiences we didn't have because our son isn't mainstream. But it doesn't mean there aren't beautiful experiences to be had.

    Ya know, I work with Special Education kids. I see so many kids (K-12) who are multi-ortho or autistic who can't speak at all. Not ONE word. I sometimes go home at night thinking............ "What would their parents give to just hear their child speak ONE word?" We've had the blessing of hearing our child speak MANY words. (oy vey! Some I wish he'd kept to himself! LOLOL!). But, seriously, we each have a battle.......or a grieving. This gives us each the opportunity to find our acceptance. It's a haaaaard path, but it can be done. Took me years (really.......years). And sometimes I still wrestle with it....slip into hurt, sadness, anger, grief, etc. But the more time goes on, the more I accept -- and the shorter those difficult periods are. They are who they are. And we are who we are. And we are ALLOWED to have joy! Even in the middle of it. Sometimes in spite of it.......right in the face of it. To hell with whatever "box" others may try to put us into. We know we do our best and we know we love deeply.

    One thing about love which helped me tremendously.........BOUNDARIES. Boundaries didn't limit my love or theirs. It grew our safety, sanity, wisdom and respect. Over time, I'm sure it's helped us all.....parents and child. Boundaries don't limit love.

    SeekingStrength --- Wow! I can sooooo relate to your Burger King story! Oh, yeah.... I suspect there's a whole pile of us with crazy stories around vacations, grocery stores, eating out, clothes shopping, waking kids up in the morning, holidays, etc. What a crazy pile of experiences! Really...... I can picture your Burger King story vividly. Zoiks! We did the same thing you did. We had to quit taking him on vacation. Once he was bigger than we were (and I'm only 4'11" and my husband is only 5'6"!), it got exponentially harder. When my 12-yo was shoving me waiting in line at Rhino Rally (really? Who does that while waiting in line for a theme park ride? Who's torturing him? LOL!), he was taller than I already. It was just bizarre.

    You sound VERY strong and wise to me!

    And, much like your Burger King experience (I'm guessing you've got dozens more similar experiences!), it just seems crazy. In fact, it seems SO crazy, that I conclude that it is.......in fact.......crazy. I don't mean that diagnostically (although I could) or judgmentally (although I could). I mean that literally. It's just out of nowhere and, often, seemingly inexplicable. And so it is. It just is.

    Reminds me of our biggest fast food saga. When our son was 14, we owned property in the woods we were clearing. We went out there every other weekend to clear the land (burn slash piles, etc). After hours of work, we always followed it up with hours of either riding quads/motorcycles (we had 2) or swimming in the lake nearby (depended on weather). Some work, some fun and then we headed out for a LOT of food (as we were famished). We usually took 3 kids (younger teens) and 4 adults. One day I had the 3 teens in my car (our son, 2 family friends -- great guys...still are). We voted on where we wanted to eat. 3 of us voted for Crazy Eric's Burgers, our son voted for McDonalds. Majority rules. That's life. We went to Crazy Eric's. In the parking lot, our son just went ballistic. I mean BALLISTIC. We had all gotten back into the car with our food and he wouldn't get in. So we drove in S-L-O-W circles around the rural shopping center trying to wear him out so he'd calm down. He chased the car, but wouldn't get in......just kept pounding on the windows, screaming threats of.......???? Nothing in particular. It was an epic crazy episode. I spoke directly with the other 2 teen boys (both of whom were terrified, but did know our son well enough so they'd seen this happen before). I kept telling them, "We just have to wait it out." They were compassionate and wise and agreed.

    Well, after 30 crazy minutes, I actually considered just driving away. Seriously. So I drove onto the highway (rural highway, but, still, a highway with cars going 55+ mph) and drove a very short distance to the very next parking lot off the highway. I looked in the rearview mirror and could see our son running down the MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY filled with cars. OMG! I was shocked and terrified all at once. "Oh, please, God, please don't let him get hit!"

    I don't know what drivers though, but they did stop for him (amazing he wasn't hit). Scared the hell out of me. I mean, REALLY scared me. I kept thinking, "All this for what? McDonald's?"

    Eventually, he did tire out. He agreed to get in the car, but wanted everyone to switch their seats. "NO. Get in the car where the seat is open or so help me, I'm driving off." (and I meant it). He got in.

    Driving home I was suddenly very, VERY tired. I realized the car was quiet. I looked in the rearview mirror and all 3 teenagers were sound asleep, exhausted. So was I. It was an hour-long episode.........over McDonalds.

    Is it any wonder this is so exhausting?

    However, let me add this....... The next day our son had some recognition of what he'd done. He apologized (he's generally been very good at that.....we're not always sure when it's genuine, but we always hope). During those young teen years he also told me that we should take him to the mental hospital and leave him........he knows he's not "right in the head".

    Foremost in my mind is the day he just flopped onto our living room floor (age 10 or 11?), curled up into a fetal ball and began wailing, "It hurts! It hurts! It's like a hole I can never fill up!" All I could do was get down on the floor with him and wrap him in my arms and cry with him. We did. We stayed there for a long time. We just loved.

    I don't know what it's like to be him. He doesn't know what it's like to be me. But when our worlds intersect in genuine, real, candid love (which may not be often), I treasure those moments. Even when there is grieving. I need to remind myself that he is not merely a ONE-dimensional being. I also need to remind myself that I am not merely a ONE-dimensional being. Nor is anyone else, purely ONE-dimensional.

    Right after our son told me we should take him to the mental hospital and leave him, I said, "I wish I could walk in your shoes just for a day and know what it felt like to be you." He gently replied, "No you don't, Mom. Trust me."

    Everyone's pain, joy and feelings matter. Theirs, ours, everyone's. It's good to remember we're all on this journey of life together. :)

    RE -- Amen, amen, amen! :)
     
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  11. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    IMPORTANT --- Wanted to clarify something. My reminiscing thread here wasn't designed to negate the hard and harsh realities that exist. It's merely to shine a light on the soft and loving realities that also exist -- coexist.

    I think the 2 can coexist.........the key is acceptance (eliminating the "Should's") and boundaries (whatever works best for US -- different for every person).

    I know it can be painful to remember the love amid the sadness. So sorry if it brings that to anyone -- not my intention at all. It just helps me to remember that neither life nor people are ONE dimensional. Life and people are MULTI-dimensional.

    It's taken me a long time (so many years) to get to this understanding that love and joy can coexist amid this madness and mayhem. But I see that they can and I'm not willing to give up my joy any more -- no matter what our son does. Whether our son is here or not, I can still love him. And, more importantly, whether he is here or not, I can still love MY life independent of him!

    Joy matters! Boundaries help my joy -- and, ironically, help my love. That's what's working today, so that's what I'm living today!

    Hope that makes sense. :D
     
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  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When we adopted our son from the East and took him out of his country and his orphanage, where he had obviously never had a stable caregiver or any love, my husband and I knew about attachment problems in older adoptees (and some younger ones and some kids in bio. homes who had very early chaos and a lack of stability). I read all I could on attachment and attachment disorder. My ex-husband is rather a clueless man so I don't blame him for not being concerned about adopting a child from another country who did not end up arriving here until he was nearly six. I wanted to do it so he said, "Ah, all right." I see that now. He had no fear. But I knew. I can't go back in time to wonder why I felt it would be different for us or if I felt it would or if I could just hold him enough to make him bond with us. Knowing what I did, which was a lot, I'm surprised I wanted to adopt a child who was as old as GoneBoy. He did have a great recommendation for him and was brilliant, which just made them more eager to get him out of the country and into a home.

    He never acted up. He was as good as gold. I did try to hug him, but he never seemed to like it much and he wanted to do everything himself from tying his shoes to doing his homework. Yet he did better than most older adopted kids and never ever got into any trouble or acted out or struck out. He held a lot of anger and curiousity about his identity and low self-esteem inside of him. He was going to show everyone how important he was by making more money than anybody else, and he did.

    Sometimes he would talk, frustrated, about how he could not feel like we were his parents. He was bright enough to talk about attachment disorder with and apparently he had looked it up and knew about it. He had no trouble bonding with peers. His famly was different. He was making good progress in his 20's, then he met his current wife, whom I will call nothing because I'd have to censor it. I don't blame her, but he really fell for her and it became all about her. It was easy for him to let us go and switch to her and her family. She was of his origin and very strong!!!! She told us straight up that he was hers now. She didn't like us. She was especially jealous of his sister Princess because they were so close. As silly as this may sound, I think she thought Goneboy and Princess were attracted to each other and that she was a threat to her. In her culture, there is little adoption and to her she was not really his sister. And he used to rave about his sister before he dumped her. That was the end of Goneboy trying to hug us or love us or have anything to do with us. She told us he was hers. And I asked him about it and he said, "Yes, she is. I'm a Christian man and she's my family now." He was very cold when he said it. I had never heard him that way before. He meant it. Totally. He married her and that was the end.

    He has two boys I have never seen and am told I will never see per his wife and what she says goes. I don't see wife so there is no chance to talk. She won't.

    They were both extremely religious, but not in a normal way; most religious folks are not as literal as them. For example, I am positive they were both virgins until they married and she was in her mid thirties and quite pretty and he was a few years younger only. He feels divorce is a vile sin. He won't allow any cuss words in his hearing or anyone to slip and say OMG in his presence. Think of the extreme view, and he has it. I think he feels safe having so many rules spelled out for him. Unlike most Christians, he doesn't relax any rules either. I shudder to think of how he'll feel if one of his boys is ever caught having sex before marriage or if one rebels and becomes difficult. I don't wish it; I just don't know how either of them would handle it.

    Goneboy is no longer in our lives and we aren't even sure why. All we know is, after going to a psychologist for a long time who specialized only in adopted kids and adopted family issues, I was convinced finally what I had denied for so long: This young man has abnormal attachment. His first six years were terribly unstable, then he was told he had a family and he was supposed to love us, adjust to our ways, learn a new language, learn a new culture, put up with Bart's dislike (we hadn't seen THAT coming because Bart had seemed so eager to have a same age brother!). But this wasn't about him and Bart. It was about him and Princess, who he had once been very close to, and him and me and Jumper and Sonic, who he has really never interacted with.

    I have many kids and two grands because I wanted a big family. I feel fortunate for that. It made things easier when I realized it would never work and that I would have to live without him by his choice. Although I had four other kids when it happened (no grands yet), it was still gutwrenching as I had loved him so much. More than that, I had respected the person he was...coming here from so far away, no love before us, and becoming so hardworking and successful in life. It hurt to think that he did not feel we were good enough to be his family. I feel that is a part of this. I don't think I'm wrong. When I think about it, I still get tears in my eyes.

    I hate attachment disorder.

    When people who are younger ask me where/how/what to adopt, I say a dog first...lol. J/K. But I do tell them to adopt a baby, as young as possible. I don't feel the race or country of origin matters, but I do think you have the best chance for it to work out if you get a child who is young enough to bond with you and has not had a horrendous, loveless first few years. I learned that love doesn't heal their poor hurt souls and that we can not make up for those early years where we were not there to dry their tears. We had another older child in our life and it went even worse...he did act out and sexually abused and God knows what he is doing now as we let him go. He could not sexually abuse our babies and stay in our family and, from what I hear, he didn't miss anything about us except "I miss the toys and the money."

    You did a very brave thing for a needy boy and he is a better man for it, even if he fan't show it. It sounds like he tried hard to have a good heart. I can only imagine what he went through in his birthfamily and foster care. I hear from social workers that it is usually not pretty. They don't tell us that though before we adopt them.

    Of all the kids who I know of that were adopted from my son's orphanage, only Goneboy and one other boy were able to live in this world without getting into legal, drug abuse and school trouble. The other boy is still doing well in his family. He is the only one. We have all kept in touch. It is one horror story after another. Adopting an older child is not for the faint of heart.

    If I had it to do over again, I don't think I could take the hurt a second and third time.

    My three adopted kids who are doing well all came young. Sonic was two, which is old enough to be permanantly damaged, but he had a wonderful foster family and never had to live with his druggie mom so he has always been very bonded to us. We lucked out there. We could have had a third heartbreak.

    I feel so badly for you and for your son, but mostly for you because I don't know how your son feels. I do know about the emptiness because Goneboy would mention that too. And I had it myself for many years because my mother, biological and all, had not bonded with me. It's like a horrible empty feeling in the pit of your stomach.

    I hope one day your son heals enough to come back to you.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  13. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    MWM -- Thanks for sharing about your experience with your adopted kids. You have an amazing breadth of experience and heart in putting yourself out there in love, hope and offerings. And, oh, my, yes.... Attachment Disorder is such a difficult thing. It's a way of patchy or non-existent relating to the world which is foreign to most of us.

    Thanks for your kind comments about our courage to adopt our son. And may I just send those same kind comments in multiple (as you adopted multiple times!) of courage to you about your kids! Sometimes all we can do is reach out. If no one reaches back (either out of choice or inability), we can still look ourselves in the mirror and feel good about our open hearts of courage. Way to go, opening your heart to so many kids through adoption, MWM!

    I'm a little confused about something, though.... I think your post is meant for my thread, but not totally sure? Or is it meant to be on Albatross's thread entitled "Gone Boy"? Do you both have a "Gone Boy" in your lives? Sorry, I'm a later-comer to this rodeo! LOL!

    Either way, I appreciate your post and your thoughts! My heart is doing well......I do choose joy and I'm even feeling a larger amount of that than normal recently (variety of reasons.....mostly not related to our son). So, I'm well here! :) But, trust me, when I'm not (which happens at times), I'll be the first in line to have more hugs for my hurting heart! :D

    Thanks, MWM!
     
  14. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    MWM -- Oops! Sorry! I missed it that you have a "Gone Boy" in your life, too. Thank goodness for Signatures at the bottom of posts. Note to self: Read them more often! LOL!
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your kind words. Not many people even understand attachment disorder so it's a relief to be able to share. They feel, like I did and I'm sure you did, that love will heal them. I wish.

    Yes, I call him Goneboy. I know he's gone for good. I was afraid you'd mistake it for the post!!! But that is his name on this site and it fits.

    I'm glad you're doing well now. You can always come to us for hugs and support!
     
  16. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes, indeedy, I do relate to trying to understand attachment disorder. They recommended we (me, in particular) spend hours in a rocking chair with our son for "as long as it takes". Boy, did we do that for.......well, for seemingly forever! Years. Like, from age 6 - 12? No kidding. He drank up every second of it. Had to teach him about personal space (but, interestingly, that one got under control pretty easily when directly addressed). Did it make a difference for him? Maaaaaybe. Maaaaaybe not.

    But it made a very positive difference for me. Reaching out in bonding attempt made me happy (no matter what his response). Seemed to, at times, for him, too. At other times, not so much. But, despite his rage issues, he remains a pretty affectionate guy to this day. Honestly, I'm not always sure how much of that is a "charm offensive" or not. But, no matter. We still say, "No" where appropriate (which, unfortunately, is usually.......but, hey....boundaries!).

    MWM -- Did all of your adopted kids wrestle with Reactive Attachment Disorder (Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)), also? Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a tough, tough, tough nut to crack.....if crackable at all.
     
  17. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I love this. I'm going to try to remember it for my other kids and relationships as well! It is a good guiding light.

    Echo
     
  18. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Seeking, I'm sorry you had to live with the secret shame of thinking you were the only one with failed vacations..cause HAHAH (a little hysterical laughter here) I'm pretty sure if we all got together on that topic that the internet would crash!!!! You are in good company on that one!

    Echo
     
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  19. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Echo -- Hahahaaaaaa! You make me laugh! Love it! :hapydancsmil:

    Oh, and I just re-read my earlier post about how the rocking chair bit.........um........ I really should slow down sometimes when I'm writing! Make that rocked him from ages 6-9 (or so) and for an hour at a time for years (not hours and hours and hours.....though it felt like that sometimes).

    Hey, I like this "animated" emoticons thingy, below. So much can be said with no words! :runcirclsmiley2::wootsmiley: :winnersmiley:
     
  20. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    I'm ready. Just tell me where to show up. :laugh:
     
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