Cherub 2 struggles with feelings of abandonment. They are strong. They are deep in his core. He knows that we love him and will do so forever. But he will still spend the rest of his life trying to reconcile the fact that his family of origin abandoned him.
This is not easy stuff.
Yesterday, during a writing assignment he completely lost it! Full on screaming fit! Any time he struggles with school, he feels safe enough to let it all out with me. And any time he struggles with school, it triggers his anxiety and his feelings of abandonment.
During the screaming fit, because he was feeling so inadequate about doing his writing, he screamed at me, "It's not my fault I have anxiety!!"
I looked at him and said, "I know!"
Then he screamed, "It's not my fault I'm adopted!!"
If you ask Cherub 2 he will tell you he thinks about adoption every single day. I believe him. You cannot candy coat this stuff. Love does NOT just "fix" everything. He feels a very real pain. All I can do is validate it and make sure he knows he is allowed to feel anything that he's feeling. I tell him that he needs to be honest with me. Even if his feeling is that he wishes he didn't live with us, he's allowed to feel that. It's my job as the mom to handle my own big feelings. He is not supposed to do anything to "protect" me.
We don't talk about adoption every day. We don't even talk about it every week if his anxiety is in check. But when he struggles I make sure to give him permission to say whatever it is that he is feeling.
Yesterday, as we processed through the statement, "it's not my fault I was adopted, " I asked him, "Do you sometimes feel like it's your fault?"
Sobbing, he answered yes. Through incredible tears he told me that he thinks if he had been a girl maybe his parents would have kept him.
I didn't plant this thought. We've never talked about this angle before. These were his true feelings.
Again I say -- it is INCREDIBLY important to let our kids feel their feelings. It is not fair to them to think that if they aren't saying anything they aren't thinking about adoption. I know I think about my family all the time. Why would my son be any different?!
We processed. He cried. I cried. We both moved on. I felt such pain for him. I wish that there didn't have to be such loss in order for me to have the wonderful joy I feel having Cherub 2 as a member of my family.
Fast forward to this morning....
Mr. Amazing got into a motorcycle accident on the way to work. Satan did his best to make everything this morning a disaster. But I kept my cool, made arrangements for all my kids and we made it to the hospital before they even had the collar off his neck.
It was a very scary morning for Cherub 2. Very scary! His daddy is hurt. His mommy was a wreck. And I had to make arrangements for the three bonus cherubs in our home today because I really couldn't have that many little ones in tow at the hospital. (We're doing respite this week for 2yo Angel and I don't have her set up for drop-in daycare anywhere.) When all was said and done it was just Bart & TT with me most of the day at the hospital.
TT's anxiety went OFF. THE. CHARTS. He did the best he could at holding it together. But as we got back into the ER room after Mr. Amazing had his CAT scan, TT struggled! He even threw up he was so upset.
Now we're back home and he is stick poking. Every conversation is an opportunity to argue. Every chance he gets he finds a reason to be angry.
Being angry is so much easier than admitting he's scared because his daddy is hurt.
I just grabbed him and said he's got three options:
1. Keep on fighting and throwing fits.
2. Process his feelings and try to deal with this so he feels better.
3. Run away from it all.
He grinned and said he wanted to run away.
I whispered in his ear that he could go watch TV alone in our guest bedroom.
We'll process tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the day after that. He knows I'm here for him. And sometimes, running away is OK I guess. It's hard work to deal with these emotions head on every day.
I've got no good ending for this post. I just figured I'd share.
Adoption is really hard stuff!!
Mr. Amazing has been admitted to the hospital. He has some internal bruising and a punctured lung. They hope to be able to release him tomorrow. He's in a tremendous amount of pain but things aren't too serious. I appreciate any extra prayers you'd like to toss up on our behalf.