But, all things considered, they are in pretty good shape. They are happy, confident, and healthy. With all the drugs involved in their prenatal existence, they are healthy! When I look at the health issues that my friends' children have (also adopted from foster care), I am amazed that mine are basically ok.
And, William seems basically ok, too. But, not completely. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, then you know about all the drama, last year, at school. How he was bullied until he eventually started to bully back/defend himself. This resulted in his impulsive decision to take a box cutter to school (I didn't even know we had a box cutter?!), get himself suspended, and assigned to an alternative school. We decided to go the home school and counseling route, instead.
Even though, I knew that it was the right thing to do and was totally on board with standing by my son, I wasn't thrilled with losing my me-time. Who would be? But, now that I home school Lizzie and Antwan, too, I can barely even remember a reality that involved me-time. And, actually, I'm pretty ok with that. :) I am keenly aware of how quickly time goes. And, how I'll have more me-time than I want, later.
Anyway, what I worry about is whether he is getting any better. I don't know that the counseling officially helped. Particularly because there were some scheduling changes at the office and once we got comfortable with one, he would get switched to another. And, the worst part was (yes, I said worst part) that the last one had to google what Jedis are! How could my nerdy son connect to someone who didn't know anything about Star Wars? ;) But, to her credit, she tried. I don't know if it helped. But, after taking a several month break due to: the summer, getting our new 3 kid home school routine established, and my naïve lack of awareness of how badly he needed to go back; I can say that things are not better without it.
In the last several weeks, we've watched his behavior deteriorate. While he was staying at my parents' house, a little over a month ago, so Brian and I could attend his father's funeral, he stole something from my mom. Then, a few weeks later, at Thanksgiving dinner, he pocketed a lighter that my sister had sitting by a candle on the bar. It's not because he's devious or unconcerned with his family, it's because he's impulsive. He has always impulsively done things and then not known how to get out of them. This is why he can't be trusted with internet access because he will look up whatever pops in his mind and it's not necessarily appropriate. This is why his lying has always been a problem. Once a lie pops out, he sticks to it, no matter what. It doesn't matter how many "get out of jail free" cards you give him or take-back opportunities he is offered. It doesn't matter how much you explain that he will always get in more trouble for lying, he will stick to it. There are rare hopeful moments when he will fess up. But, the majority of the time, he will let me make a fool of myself first. My all-time favorite will always be going to the school to report the kids who had torn apart his shirt. (In reality, he tore his own shirt.) It took me a long time to get over that. And, yeah, I'm the mom and I shouldn't hold a grudge. But, there it was.
And, you can imagine how successful friendships are when his friends can't trust what he says.
The lighter incident was particularly scary because, of course, he played with it. He played with it outside when trying to light moss on fire. He played with it in a closed bedroom with Lizzie and Antwan. So, so scary!
William's got a good heart. He really, really does. But, he's got issues. And, it scares the heck out of us. He's always been impulsive and, of course, that goes hand-in-hand with ADHD. But, I guess I thought it would get better over the years, but it has just changed. And, he knows it. And, he doesn't know why. When I was lecturing him about the lighter and highlighting all the things that could've have happened, he started to cry. That's not unusual, but then he said "I think something's really wrong with me." And, I was terrified that he was right.
So, we went back to counseling and got another new counselor. And, she really seems to know what she is doing and, almost as importantly, haha, she watches The Flash and Arrow. And she likes Star Wars. ;)
Hopefully, she can help him.
Sometimes, in the midst of the worrying, you have other moments. Last night, we were grabbing something for dinner in Walmart and he was talking about still needing to give me a Christmas present. I hadn't really thought about it, but usually my friend takes them to The Dollar Tree to pick out presents for the family. This year, my friend didn't have time. So I suggested that he just make me something and he agreed. But, at the register, he decided to get me something, anyway. I had to look away as he swiped it at the self-checkout. Then the cashier played along and helped him quickly bag it after she had to come over and unlock it from its security packaging.
When we got to the van, he presented me with my very own portable phone charger that he had bought with some of his birthday money. Since my phone famously dies all of the time, there couldn't be a more needed gift. He picked blue for the Doctor's Tardis and was very excited to show me how to use it. I drove home with a not-dead phone and was also presented with a handmade clay snail, not long after we got to the house.
|I got me some pocket juice!|
In the midst of all of the chaos that he manages to cause, it's sometimes easy to forget what a good heart he has. In that moment, he wasn't a former foster child who impulsively lies and inexplicably steals, he was a kid who loves his mom and wanted to make her happy.
And, you know what? He did.
Whatever is going on in that head of his, we will figure it out. Because that kid who loves his mom has a mom who loves the heck out of him, too.