So, if anyone still checks in, I thought I'd better let you all know how things went after my last blog post.
I was indeed found to be the most suitable home for young B, who was a little munchkin that I worked with at the group home when I moved back to Edmonton last summer. I spent several 12-hour Saturday shifts in his unit, and got to know him pretty well. It's funny, because when I first met him, I thought he was one of the toughest little ones in there, because he was so stand-offish. But as he became more comfortable with me and got to know me better, he started wanting to be around me more. And he responded well to me as I am (generally) calm and straight-forward, logical in consequencing, and consistent, which always works best with kids in care.
Jonah in the Dominican February 2012Anyway, long story short, after several conversations, and behavior which may have bordered stalking (via phone -- me to the social worker), the social worker was
And it's been a total crazy house ever since.
One of the reasons I haven't updated, is that I'm ridonkulously busy with the boys and my new job (subbing for Edmonton Public! Yay!!!), but the other reason, is that since the end of the really short honeymoon, it's been pretty much awful around here. Yep. Crappy. I couldn't find a euphemism for crappy.
It's not that there hasn't been gains. B is settling in alright. He knows the routines and expectations, and is doing okay with following them. I wasn't much of a parent for routine before, but I didn't have to be with just Jonah. B, on the other hand, needs it. He can be a very likeable little guy, but he can also escalate so quickly and loudly that you'd never have seen it coming. That's tough to deal with: the screaming. There are other things too: pooping his pants, whining constantly, manipulating, ignoring, etc. And it's been really hard on Jonah, which is difficult for me to see. He's easily frustrated by B, constantly being rejected (because everything has to be on B's terms -- he has spent a lifetime having very little power over his life, and so what he can hang on to, he does), and probably feels like B is a threat to his formerly secure spot as #1 kid in my life.
So yeah, it's been tough. And some days, I didn't think I could do it. And so I didn't want to announce it until I was sure I could actually parent this boy. I still honestly don't know. It's been nearly four months, and he seems no more attached to me than when he came. We're in attachment counselling, but I don't know if he'll ever stop loving whoever gives him sweets, and hating those who deny him. That's really how he is right now.
So that's where we're at. The actual adoption of B is on hold until I am more certain of its stability, and Ethiopia is on hold until the family stabilizes. I can see why they make you wait! And the other reason I need to be very sure before signing any permanency papers is that if I do, and then I was not successful at parenting him (like, say when he's a teen), and the adoption were to break down, then according to the government, I would be responsible for causing a child to come into the care of the department, and I would no longer have a clean child welfare check (without which I cannot get a teaching job). It all seems so much more complicated now than it did half a year ago.
I know this seems like a sort of downer update, but it's honestly not. He does show progress and the people who know him well all agree that with the proper upbringing, this boy has loads of potential. I just need to remember that when he's screaming his head off, smelling like feces.
Eye on the prize ;)
B getting ready to wall climb at single moms`camp May 2012
With my boys on the beach May 2012 (you`d never guess by the size
difference that they`re only nine months apart, would you?)
Note: B's face can't be revealed until the adoption goes through completely.