Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Progress is Painful

I use Dictionary.com every day. I love words and their definitions. I'm kind of weird about it

Breakthrough has been on my mind a lot, lately, so I looked up its meaning today: "any significant or sudden development that removes a barrier to progress."

According to this definition, I would not say we've seen breakthrough, yet, with Sweet Boy. We are making progress (slowly), but not to the point that we've removed any barriers.

I'll try to sum up our last month the best I can without making this pages long. I have continued to journal Sweet Boy's days. This has been an extremely helpful tool that led to many discoveries. Before I get to that. Some changes occurred in the last month that have made a significant difference.

All five of us are home for the summer, now. Being home has offered me the opportunity to really see Sweet Boy. My radar is always on. Praying, thinking, measuring his reactions.

A few things have become clear. Sweet Boy does not feel like a member of our family; he requires time away from his brothers to recharge; and anxiety is not only affecting him, physically, but it is keeping his heart guarded.

We made a few changes to help Sweet Boy feel more ease and we have a child therapist coming to the house in a couple of weeks to meet with him for the first time, in his environment. 

Before this week, Sweet Boy had not had any diarrhea, gagging or throwing up episodes for weeks. This coupled with his small, but outward, forms of affection toward me, led me to believe that he was finally experiencing some peace.

A few weeks ago we sat on the couch together and I told him how proud I was to watch him scale the rock wall at the park (it took him all day to get up the nerve). He beamed with pride and then started crying. I rubbed his neck and asked him why that made him sad.

"I miss my mom and dad."

That statement socked me in the stomach. Not because he called someone else mom - there is no room for insecurity in my life - but because my darling boy has so much turmoil in his spirit that remains untouchable.

Each day that creeps by I feel more and more like his mom and I love him with a fierceness that is new. He is changing me. And I like the change. I like who he is helping me become.

We had Sweet Boy's foster family over, one day, this weekend. I have never seen Sweet Boy so excited. Interestingly, he referred to his foster mom as "Miss [name]" all day, but called his foster dad, "Dad". This made us wonder if Sweet Boy is starting to feel connected to me, but not Ben.

For the first time in three weeks, he threatened to throw-up, again, yesterday. We were coming home from an area that I was unfamiliar. I had told the boys to sit, quietly, and rest so that I could hear my GPS. I, vaguely, remember one of them saying, "Mom is so lost, she is never going to get us home." Insert Sweet Boy's gagging, crying, and warning of throw-up. I pulled over, quickly, looked him in the eyes and talked him through breathing exercises. For the first time, he didn't throw-up and I felt triumphant at our progress.

Today, I had a lot on my mind. Our termination trial is supposed to be on Thursday. I got word, yesterday, that a recent supreme court case is influencing termination trials, from here on out, and that we may not be able to move forward on Thursday. The judge called an emergency meeting with the attorneys, tomorrow, to discuss whether or not our case can be heard, this week.

I'm not anxious over the hiccup; I know that God will move in the direction of his plan (and I believe we are part of that plan), but it is frustrating to be put on hold. I was really looking forward to opening the adoption/forever family conversation with Sweet Boy.

All of these thoughts were rattling in my head on the way to a birthday party this afternoon. Ty and LJ were asleep when Sweet Boy said, "Mom, I have rocks in my tummy, again. I'm going to throw up."

It was probably more stupidity than bravery, but I was still rolling on last night's victory. I reminded Sweet Boy to take big deep breaths, "Honey, you're not going to throw-up...you're going to talk to me, instead...we'll work through it, together."

It worked. But....this was the conversation.

"Buddy, you're not throwing up because you're sick. You're throwing up because you're nervous. Let's talk about that. Do you know what nervous is?"

He didn't.

"It's like being afraid. You might get nervous about something that you're unsure of. Like if you don't know that we're going home, or maybe who is going to be at a party. I think things that you don't know make you nervous. What do you think?"

"I think I'm nervous."

"Okay, well, let's talk about it. Are you nervous about the trampoline party?"

I tipped my rearview mirror down for a better view of him, in time to see a shoulder shrug.

"You don't want to jump your brains out????"

He giggled.

"You don't have to honey. Mama is not going to jump. If the jumping makes you nervous, you can sit with me."

"Would you hold my hand?" Progress.

"Buddy, I will always hold your hand. You just have to tell Mom when you're feeling nervous...Do you know how very much I love you?

"...like a hundred?"

"Like a hundred buckets! I love you so much, honey. And I'm going to be your mom forever. Do you know that?"

"Forever? Why?"

"Because your Daddy and I want you to be a part of our family forever. We don't ever want you to have to move, again, or live with another family....Would you like that?"


I thought I might have misheard him so I asked, again, "Would you like to live with us forever."


I was stunned. "Why not, buddy?"

"You're not my mom. I don't love you. I want to go back and live with [foster familly]."

I faltered. I didn't know what to say. As if I wasn't having a conversation with a beyond-his-years four year old, I naively tried another approach. "Buddy, we'd be so sad if you left us. Wouldn't you miss your brothers?"


"I don't understand. I thought you liked it, here, honey. Why would you want to leave?"

"I already told you."

End of conversation.

I was told. And it was too much for my heart to hear.

I thought living with a boy that does not belong to me, was not birthed to me, and I only feel slight motherly leanings toward was an overwhelming challenge.

I was not prepared for the truth in this conversation.

Living with a boy that does not belong to me, was not birthed to me, that I only feel slight motherly leanings toward....that confirmed he does not love me nor want to be in my home feels impossible.

My heart is broken for him.

Ahhh! My Sweet Boy that I love more with every passing day is trapped inside his own turmoil without any authority to make his wishes come true. I have tears streaming down my face as I type this.

The only comfort I have is that my feelings are fleeting. I know what seems impossible today IS possible.

As we drove the rest of the way to the party, I felt the love of God surround me. Into my spirit, he quickened a knowing...that one day Sweet Boy and I will share a bond that cannot be compared.

Until then, I have to lay his life in the Knower's hands. It's all I can do.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tyrus is Five!

How is that even possible?

My baby. My heart.

All of my prayers and dreams laid squealing on Rebekah's tummy, five years ago, today.

I love the bond that Tyrus and I share. We are so similar and like hearted.

Ty is curious and perceptive; tender and forgiving.

I had a work trip, last week, and before I left, I asked the boys if anyone wanted to take a walk with me to the mailbox. They all jumped up in response, but while the other two raced down the road, my tender heart said, "Mom...can I just hold your hand? I'm really going to miss you." Minutes later, we all said our goodbyes, and while everyone headed back to the house, my baby boy ran back and asked for one last hug. I held him tight and choked back tears.

He rubs my back and often asks if I'm okay. He's the first to help, first to show compassion, and the first to problem solve a solution.

God gave Tyrus the exact heart that was needed to be a part of this unconventional family. He openly accepts new siblings without question, argument, or insecurity. He shares his life, parents, and bedroom with joy and never complains.

Hardworking and level-headed, my sweet boy fills my heart with pride.

I smile and marvel at his spirit. The man I know he will become.

One day I was watching him, drinking in the moment, thinking about how sad I will be when he allows another girl to hold his heart. He asked me what I was thinking about and I shared my fear that he would grow-up and not need me anymore. Since that day, he offers reassurance, "Mama, I am going to marry Eva (my best friend's daughter), but I will call you every day" or "Mom, you don't ever have to be sad when I buy my own house, I will always come visit."

My Ty is a built in ego-boost. Everything is extraordinary to him. "Mom, this is the best dinner I've ever had"; "Mom, you are the best painter in the whole world"; "Mom, you are the bestest mom"; "Mom, this is the best day of my whole life." He walks out life with a full heart and positive attitude. It's more than a little contagious.

God used this boy to bring life to my barren heart and to birth a dream in my spirit for our family to come. My gratitude is of the greatest depth.

It's such a privilege to raise these little jewels of treasure. The days go fast, but I hold onto the moments the best I can.

Happy birthday to my lovie! It's going to be a great day full of simple surprises and favorite things!