I Was Not Prepared For This

When you decide to adopt a child in the state of Colorado (and I think the Hague now requires it too) you have to take a certain number of training classes. We took more than the required amount so that we were prepared for our baby to struggle to attach, prepared for her to have public meltdowns, prepared to help her navigate the world of racism and injustice ... but you know what? No amount of classes or books really prepares you for what you may face.

I was not prepared for the anxiety my 8-year old faces every day. I was not prepared for the endless verbal loops she gets in - it's like her brain is on a hamster wheel. I was not prepared for her perfectionism. I was not prepared for her to take every thing so seriously. If I have to hear one more time about the kid who told her "zero voices" in the hall at school somewhere around mid-year, my head just might explode. I was not prepared for her to feel three years later that her little sister is "ruining my life." And she means it. She doesn't tell us this in a fit of pique. She is calm and collected and just says it. Because she is incredibly verbal, I expected her to tell us when things go wrong at school, but she doesn't. She clams up and doesn't want us to know or tell anyone's parents. I didn't know a verbal child wouldn't speak.

I was not prepared for the intense sensory issues that my 4 year old faces every day. I was not prepared to watch her hit herself with ferocity and a smile on her face. I was not prepared to watch her have the quietest episodes of destruction anyone has ever seen. She was angry at me yesterday and quietly pushed the table against the wall and pushed all the chairs to the other side of the room and was about to dump out a box of cereal which I picked it up in the knick of time. I was not prepared to have to work so hard to understand what she is telling me. And her vocabulary is growing daily and it gets harder and harder to figure out what she is trying to say as she attempts new words with no teeth and an inability to make the hard k and hard g sounds.

I start everyday exhausted listening to tales of dragons and Pokemon, and listening with everything I have to ferret out the new string of words my youngest is trying to say before I even get out of the shower.

I may not have been prepared, and I'm still not prepared, but I did sign up for this. I want this fight. I want this battle. I'm searching for therapists for both kids to get them the help they need and I can't provide. My kids deserve the best from me and lately I haven't been giving it. I'm doing everything in my power to get healthy - coughing 14 weeks later. I've gone to MDs, OMDs, changed my diet, tried allergy medicine, probiotics, acid reflux meds, you name it. I'm working on it and still I'm coming up short. My patience is thin and my children know it. Together we are doing evening meditation. Each girl gets an essential oil foot massage before sleep. Maybe over time that will help, but I'm eager to bring in the professionals to help me with my precious babies. It's beyond my skill set.

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