Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I want my mommy

I remember, very distinctly, the day I walked into my kitchen and looked at a boy torn between holding back and letting loose. He'd lived with us for a year and a half, the previous weekend he "lost it" over a game boy. We are very limited in how we discipline our borrowed children, but the level of disrespect shown that day had to be dealt with. We packed him up and sent him to Camp Alston. Ms. Alston is the worlds best respite provider. She was an officer in the Army for 20 some years and no kid was going to get the best of her. I am a lot more nurturing than she, and at times dreaded leaving my babies with her, although I knew it was best for all involved. Even as I type this I am worried about where my hands are, I was scared to walk down her hall unless my hands were firmly at my side.

But, back to the kitchen. He'd returned home that morning, and we were off to a debriefing with the counselor. He stood there so wounded and hurt, but unable to overcome the compulsion to be the man he'd had to be since he was born. He had it all together, he was in control and he needed a mommy. I let him down. I let the hurt and anger and rage and confusion and crap that had been hurled at me for the past 18 months keep me from giving him what he needed at that moment. A mommy. I walked right past him, probably sealing his fate. He would not be vulnerable again.

At the debriefing he held back. He went to stay elsewhere while a team of professionals, most who'd never met him, decided that this wasn't working. Within a week I had to pack up his things and the things of his siblings and wait for them to come home from school. I had to look a little eight year old boy in the eye and tell him, something he'd been through a dozen times before, that we were no longer his family. I watched helplessly as he allowed himself one tear before he wiped it away, along with his hope.

Then an hour later I had to tell their sister. She had worked so hard to be with us, and now we were letting her go. The next couple of weeks would bring her at least three moves.

If I had it to do again I wouldn't have walked by him that day in the kitchen. I would put away my hurt and emotion and be the mommy he needed me to be, but I can't undo that. So, I have to use what I learned there, and apply it to my life today. I don't know if it's just the fact that the preschoolers out number me and it's the age that they are, or if there is something more sinister lurking, but there are very few days that this season doesn't completely exhaust me. I've been advised to tell the state that we are done, and if they don't get their stuff together they can have the kids back. I'm wondering where they learned bargaining. When you can't walk away you can't threaten to.

The state isn't concerned with their welfare. Maybe as a collective, "I believe in education" kind of way, but when it comes down to these three children living in our home, no one cares. No one, but us, and somedays it is tempting to stop. We are truly giving our life to do this. And Satan would like us to believe that we have received no benefit from it. Just think of all we could do if we weren't doing this. But when they are feeling alone, or scared or hurt and they scream "I want my mommy" they are speaking of me and I have to be a mommy like I'd never imagined, no matter what I'm feeling.

1 comment:

Susie said...

Wow, I had never heard this story before.

Still cannot imagine all you have endured through this journey. Keep believing friend! Keep trusting in what is unseen!

These kids need you because despite what may occur, YOU ARE THEIR MOTHER!