One year ago today our first (Texas) placement joined our family. Our first placement was two beautiful, but very mentally ill (RAD) little girls. I hadn't made the connection all day until I stood over Dolly and Dude while we were praying tonight. Mr. Amazing was holding Dolly and I picked up Dude. It was a total flashback to when we had Turtle Turtle and Miss Argue Pants. We used to hold them at bedtime for about 10-15 minutes every night. It was the only way they could go to sleep. Anyway...I teared up tonight remembering those two girls.
I'm pretty sure they are still in care. I tried to follow their case after they left our home. The first place they went to upon leaving our home was an emergency respite home with our agency. They would have been able to "permanently" stay there except CPS got their panties in a wad over visits and wouldn't compromise with the foster family.
Then they had to leave our agency. Despite the fact they were moved to a home over an hour away, I saw the girls at their family visits a couple times. I heard they were going to be reunified with their mom. (A young woman who, to the best of my knowledge, raised Turtle Turtle for about a year. Her behavior after that time period led to both girls being in some kind of care for the rest of their young lives.)
Then, right as school was getting out, I heard the girls were being separated. My best guess says their behaviors went incredibly wonky, reunification was put on hold and the girls had to be put in separate homes.
I pray for them every time I read a RAD blog. Then I turn and pray for all the RAD moms and dads out there. I did it for two months and it nearly killed me.
As part of this flashback, I'm posting my first blog entry after Turtle Turtle and Miss Argue Pants joined our family.
I don't even know where to begin.
We said yes to our first placement last Friday night (September 10th). Two beautiful little girls who have suffered things I can't even imagine have come to live in our home. Things have been so incredibly busy I can't even think of clever blog names for them. I guess, for the time being anyway, one of them will be Miss Argue Pants and one will Turtle Turtle. I'm not sure how well these names fit but I've got to keep things as anonymous as possible.
Miss Argue Pants is eight years old and Turtle Turtle is nine. They are bio sisters and both are in third grade.
The honeymoon period has been incredibly short. I'm hoping that's because we're actually doing some form therapeutic parenting. I'm not living day to day - but hour to hour. It's not all bad or difficult or deep and therapeutic. There are times when it's actually quite pleasant. But the times when it is difficult - it's beyond difficult! You just don't undo 9 years of trauma in one week. This I know.
The God I serve will see us through this. I'm on my proverbial knees 24 hours a day. In fact, I'm leaving the Christian radio station on all day today. One: it keeps my focus where it needs to be. Two: I'll do anything I can that might help keep Satan out of this house!
Miss Argue Pants is spending almost every minute of her existence trying to find inequities between herself and Turtle Turtle. She is convinced that everyone loves Turtle more than they love her. She has incredible amounts of shame and literally has told me she doesn't deserve good things. You know...things like lunch, or a bed, or clothes. If she can't find an inequity, she'll pick a fight. It is exhausting!!
Turtle is quite concerned with keeping the peace. She's much more of a pleaser and strife makes her very nervous and uncomfortable. However, she too wants everything to be fair.
I've had to "out crazy the crazy" many times already. Every time I hear "it's not fair" the child who says it is instructed to do a dance. There has been LOTS of dancing from all five of the children in our home. (Because...of course...Cherubs 1, 2 & 3 have to see if they can get a rise out of me too!) During a fit/MAJOR meltdown yesterday Miss Argue Pants purposely farted on me. After reading so much of Christine's blog I decided to use her approach (when her cherubs spit on her she rubs it in). I waved my hands around and said, "Oooooo good...now I smell like YOU! And I love YOU!" I was actually surprised how quickly that response helped de-escalate what was happening.
Both girls, since last Saturday, say they never want to go back to "the house they were living in before." (Yes, that's what they call their home.) In fact, Turtle has said many many times that she just wants to stay here until she's a grown up.
It's only been one week and I'm most definitely not the same person I was before. I pray that we're given all the patience, knowledge, skill, etc. to see these girls through this season of their lives.