Friday, 9 February 2018

Words I Never Thought I Would Write...

So life has all turned a little bit upside down this past month.

I wasn't sure what to share here - but if the point of the blog is to be honest about adoption, then I guess I should really let you know what's going on - not everything, obviously - there is still some privacy - but the bits that effect us, as parents.

TJ, our youngest child, has recently been undergoing a series of genetic tests to find the reasons behind his small stature, his quirky features (he's still beautiful) and his slightly picky nature... he always likes things to be 'just so'.

We had always assumed him to be 'on the spectrum' (horrid phrase) but... it turns out... he isn't only that - he has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome - not the Spectrum Disorder, as many adoptive children have - but the full FAS, at its most severe.

The consultant was brilliant with him (and me). She explained everything to him - that he had every right to be angry - that it wasn't his fault and that it wasn't mine or Papa's fault either. He took it all in his stride - smiling and nodding and seemingly engaged. Until she asked him to repeat what she had just told him... nope... he hadn't actually heard a word - he had shut down.

Not surprising really, i would have done the same if I could.

The consultant then sent him out of the room whilst she had a chat with me about the next step and the potential outcome.... oh, and to let me know that by looking at pictures of our eldest son and from hearing about his recent mental health issues, that her assumption would be that he was also affected by alcohol in the womb - although, because he doesn't have the distinctive features he would be on the FASD spectrum, not FAS... all the acronyms! Yet, from the outset we were told by Social Services that FAS wasn't even in the picture... it was a genetic disorder that caused the facial features... yeah, right. Rose tinted glasses abound!!!!!

The day after the diagnosis KC revealed the truth behind his recent mental upset - I won't share that... but it was tough to hear and as a parent, I was suddenly traumatised myself... it was as if someone wanted to pull the rug from under me - suddenly the future for both boys seems incredibly bleak - how were we going to cope with all this? I don't know.

Papa and I had a long chat - if we had the worst case scenario (as the consultant put it - and as KC's confession seemed to bear out) then there was no way I would be going back to work anytime soon.

So we made the decision to remove TJ from the small private school he currently attends - he had been struggling and we simply couldn't keep paying the fees on one salary.

Then the school let me know just how well TJ was doing - how for the first time, he had not one friend but two! He has never had any friends at school before... How we was seen laughing in the playground and chatting with other children - no longer running away or hiding under the stairs crying.

The sense of guilt was and is huge - how can we take him away from that? Put him into a large state school? I can't home school both - their needs are too different. Plus I spend two days a week in therapy for KC or at the psychotherapist for Papa and I (we are now doing a course in non violent resistance for troubled children - today's blog was supposed to be about that... but my head is full of Foetal Alcohol, it consumes me.)

I worry for the boys future - KC, is definitely more settled now he is at home, but I can't shelter him forever. TJ is loving school but what happens when we remove him?

Our debts are mounting and I can't work. Today I spent the morning on a money saving website learning about how to make money from surveys etc. Anything will help.

Our adoption dream is fast becoming a living nightmare...

Luckily we have some adoption support - which I know is so much more than a lot of struggling families out there. KC now has a tutor - I can't leave the house whilst she is here - but at least I do get a break. I am lucky, I know that - its just some days I don't know how much longer we can all cope...

Hopefully, one day i will read this back and realise this was the worst it got before it got better.

Papa said in our last therapy session that he doesn't know how I carry on - that my sense of optimism and strength was seemingly bottomless... which was lovely to hear. but this week... I can honestly say, I'm struggling...

Words I never thought I would write...