Monday, July 21, 2008

I brought them all back

Somewhere between Lubbock and Albuquerque he lost it. By it I mean any semblance of sanity. We had experienced his psychotic breaks in the past, but never at 32,000 feet with hundreds of others who showed no sympathy for our situation and us with no place to go. It resembled a violent convulsion, with screaming, lots and lots of screaming. Of course I could do nothing but hold him and try to keep him from hurting someone. I'm sure we made it on some sort of watch list, just in case I called several caseworkers upon landing. And the psychiatrist.

That was Sunday. On Monday he was overcome with anxiety in the restaurant, he hyperventilated until he nearly barfed. As the week progressed the insides of his elbows went pure white. The pediatrician says that this reaction happens to post menopausal women after they lose their husbands, he is "dumbfounded". I did not get a return phone call from the psychiatrist until Wednesday, he informed that there were no medications safe for a four year old with these kinds of issues. Maybe I should try talking to him.

Really, I hadn't thought about that. We've been preparing for this trip for months. We've gone over the check in process and the boarding process. We've talked about getting on the plane, getting on the train, getting on another plane, getting on the bus, renting the car and going to the hotel. Apparently all the talking in the world does not override the fight or flight response to the unknown.

The first class we took on our journey to foster parenting spoke of the unknowns that kids come with. Even when placed at birth they may come with issues. Unknown prenatal exposures, unknown genetic histories, unknown psychiatric issues. Unknown unknowns. In a perfect world CPS would sit down before each foster placement and go over the childrens histories, their behaviors, anything that could affect your household. Truth of the matter, a lot of the time it's four in the morning and they just want to get to bed. They may not even know anything more than the adults in the house were arrested and the kids had no place to go. The only known will be the unknown.

I would like to say that I have done it all perfectly or that I have learned something that I can pass on. I haven't. Last week I was in a doctors office with the little boys and one of the assistants asked me what I did for a living, I told her I was a professional parent, I don't think she believed me.

We are home now, and it's like last week never happened. The boys are already asking to go on another "baycation", hurricane Dolly may the answer to their prayers. I'm praying she prefers Mexico, some remote part, I'm not that insensitive. And if another person tells me that next time will be easier, I may need bail money.


Megan said...

Yikes, no matter what they tell you in the classes, I definitely don't think about the actuality of it. I'm glad things are back to normal for you.

Sugar-n-Spice said...

i don't know about your classes, but ours were taught by a counselor. you know, someone who had been with these kids for 30 minutes every few weeks. or maybe weekly. whatever. she was nice, don't get me wrong, but rather clueless about what really happens at home with these kids, and what skills are really needed to handle them....which, by the way, i'm not really sure what skills those are except for hitting my knees a whole lot. ;)

i love how your call them your "born of the heart children". perfect. i will be applying that phrase to mine. i assume parental rights were not terminated?

tears in, too.