Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vent - part 2

So, we got Connor on Tuesday evening, March 25th.  We were so excited to be able to finally get him!!!! We knew that it was going to be difficult, and it was.  Connor was so excited that he didn't go to sleep for quite a few hours.  It was nearly 11:30 before he fell asleep.  Jim and I were both so tired, but it was nice to feel like things were finally settled a little bit.

I don't remember much about the next day.  It was spring break, so I know that the kids were out of school.  It seems like it was a busy day, but nothing unexpected.

The next day, however, was a nightmare for me. I am going to try to explain how horrendous it was, but it is difficult to describe everything that I felt.

To begin the day, Jim left very early for an out-of-town trip.  I remember the desparation I felt when I got the text message from him saying that he was going into the zone that had no service and he'd turn his phone back on when they were headed home.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, Jim left at about 6 am, and my day started.  It was rough to get kids fed, dressed, and keep them from fighting.  The tiling guys were about to come to work on the back hallway.  Things were going rough with the kids by 8 am, and I was worn out.  Then, it got sooooo much worse. 

A guy showed up at my door.  At first I thought it was one of the tiling guys so I opened the door.  It was a guy who wanted me to write something for the newspaper.  He was very pushy and aggressive.  I asked him to leave, but at that moment the kids came running from the back of the house to tell me that Connor had locked himself in his room and was breaking things.  I ran back there.  He had taken the rod from the closet and was swinging it around in the room.  He broke lightbulbs, even, and I was so afraid that he was going to step on the glass and cut himself.  I did everything I could to get that door open.  I tried using a screwdriver through the little hole in the door, but it wouldn't open.  I ended up taking off the doorknob, but I still couldn't get it unlocked.  I tried and tried to talk to Connor and get him to unlock the door, but he wouldn't do it. 

Meanwhile, the guy who had come wanting me to write something (I'll call him Trevor) was still there.  He had come in and wanted to help.  I was afraid of letting him help because I was afraid he would expect something in return. I tried everything I could.  Then, when I went to the garage to try to find something else to try and when I came back he was getting the door open by sliding a putty knife underneath the molding of the door and into the locking mechanism and he got it open.  I was grateful it was open, but I was so frustrated that Trevor had helped.

I scooped up Connor and took him to the front room to check his feet and talk to him about locking the door.  I had asked Trevor to leave and he didn't.  I felt very stressed out trying to figure out who to focus my attention on. I focused on Connor for the moment.  I got him calmed down and checked his feet and at the moment I realized Trevor was standing over me.  I looked up at him and he had this frightening look in his eye.  Then, without saying anything he pulled a huge pair of pliers out of one of his pockets.  Then, he reached in his other pocket and pulled out a smaller pair of pliers.  He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I can do anything with these."  I was frightened.  I'll admit it.  I was grateful that I had put my gun on me when Trevor first came. I asked him again to leave, but he didn't.  I decided the best option would be to take the kids outside to play so that Trevor was no longer in my home.

It worked pretty well .... for about two minutes.  I found out very quickly that Connor runs.  And he can run so fast.  I would estimate that I ran close to a mile that day just trying to keep him safe and in view.  I was exhausted.  And Trevor kept talking and pestering me.  He got angry when I told him that I don't write for them anymore.  He kept trying to say that it was important.  (It was a story about something so bizarre.)  He didn't like my suggestion to write a letter to the editor.  He got angry, and, again, I was glad that I had my gun on me. Oh, and one thing that gave me comfort was that the big black guy who lives across the street came over and and asked if everything was ok.  Trevor really backed off when he saw that.  I was so grateful.

The tiling guys finally came, and I thought that Trevor would leave.  He didn't.  He knew one of the guys (Adam) and Adam tried to be kind to him since Trevor obviously has issues.  Trevor stayed and had a devotional with them.  My frustration was higher than I thought was ever possible for me to handle.  Sweat was pouring off of me from chasing Connor and I was close to tears. 

Trevor finally left, and I was able to take the kids inside.  My day did not get much better at all.  Connor has a lot of energy, and when he couldn't play outside because of the tiling work it was ten times worse.  And with all of the kids home from spring break there was a whole lot of fighting.  A whole lot.  I cried so many times that day.  It was the most painful thing I've ever been through. I can't even describe how painful that was.  The tiling guys prayed over me twice that day.  I was so embarrassed to have to have people help and worry over me like that.  I kind of survived through my day and cried myself to sleep that night around 11:00 when Connor finally fell asleep.  I dreaded waking up the next day.

The next morning I realized that I hadn't given Connor his medicine the day before.  I made sure I gave it to him on Friday.  Things went better that day for the most part.  It was still really difficult, but we did go to the library and the park without much incident.  Then, at about 5:30 everything went bad with Connor.  We were in the park and i was loading everybody up to go home.  Connor completely freaked out.  He ran from me.  I chased him quite a long ways.  He ran to an old man, grabbed his leg and screamed, "Help me!"  I was so humiliated.  I scooped up Connor and headed to the car.  He hit me and spit on me.  I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I got him all buckled into the car.  He was sitting next to Violatte and he kept slapping her and spitting on her.  I felt so badly about that. I didn't want this decision to affect our kids in such negative ways.

We ended up picking some McDonalds and trying to make it through the evening.  I cried myself to sleep again.  I know if anybody is reading this, it can't be fun to read, however, I need to write it all out for me.

Saturday morning I woke up exhausted and worn out.  I was completely drained.  Facing the day by myself again with all of the kids was just too much for me.  I ended up crying first thing in that morning.  I just couldn't face everything that day.  I called Rachel (our social worker) to ask for some help.  She was in training so we began texting.  She was very irritated with me.  I said I could wait until her training was done, but, honestly, I didn't know how I was going to be able to do it.  She showed up about an hour later.  I was relieved, but I could sense her irritation as well.  I tried to explain my struggles with Connor.  She explained some things about his medication that we had not been told before.  Apparently, with the ADHD medication, it is like a legal form of speed.  And each day when he comes off  of the medicine he has withdrawl symptoms.  I didn't know that happened.  I knew nothing about that kind of medicine.  Thinking back on everything that happened, though, it all made sense.  I could see how about give hours after he took the medicine each time, things went crazy bad. 

We talked for a while and even called the previous foster family.  I found out that we had been told the wrong times to give him the medicine, which was why things were so bad. I was frustrated that we had not been told anything correct aobut his medicine or the effects at all!!!

Saturday was another rough day, but I made it through, and Jim got home earlier than I thought he would.  I was so relieved!!! I got a call just before he got home from the vice president of the foster family agency.  He said that because the paperwork hadn't gone through in LA county, we had to take Connor back to the previous familky.  A huge piece of  me was incredibly relieved to not have Connor go back.  I was exhausted and drained.  But, the other piece of me was concerned that it would be undoing all of the progress that we had made with the adjustment process.  But, the law is the law.  So, we took him back.  The hardest part about dropping him off was that the family was very obviously unhappy to have him. It made me feel like a horrible person for putting him back in that situation.

The next day, Sunday, Jim and I fasted about what to do.  Then we sat down and wrote out every issue that we had seen about having Connor.  In the next column we wrote out our ideas and plans for dealing with those issues.  I felt like we had a good plan in place, an I was feeling a bit better about everything.

The next morning I called our social worker and told her we had talked about Connor and had made a plan to make things work.  She seemed surprised and said that she wasn't sure we should have Connor.  She said that she didn't think I (Celese) was capable enough.  She told me that she needs to consider what is best for the child.  She would consider it and decide if she was going to give him back to us.  That was very frustrating for me.  I had a very difficult day.  Some of my other friends had told me that I wasn't doing good taking care of my own kids.  Another friend told me that she didn't think I was supposed to be a foster mom because it was more than I could handle.  With so many people telling me that I was no good as a mom, I was very depressed.  Poor Jim.  I even let something little he said really get me upset because of how I was feeling. 

I just didn't know what to do.  I began to think maybe we shouldn't have Connor.  But, the Lord directed us in so many ways to get here.  It's just hard to believe that this isn't right.  It's just so hard for me.  But, I will talk about that more in my next post.

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