Thursday, January 3, 2013

THe Fall

Oh the New Year's posts I had in mind but the last few days have been . . .um . . . heartbreaking!

THe honeymoon so to speak is over.

We have had precious items of siblings broken,
toys covered with sharpie,
food stolen and hidden,
and attacks on short people.

We HAD to make some changes.

Griffen is HALF the size of Cavanaugh, and also seems to be his newest scapegoat.

THe one nice thing about Griffen being so short is we know for a fact that he is NOT the one getting into things although that is what is sibling is saying.

This was my breaking point.

(and believe me I know WHY Cav acts like he does, and truly my heart breaks for him) BUT we also have 5 other kids in the house - where one little boy is causing enough chaos for 10 people.

Although our house is large, we really lack for bedrooms.

We have 2 upstairs (besides the master).  Cav shared with Brahm, and Fei had her own room, they share a Jack & Jill bathroom.  Eventually the baby was to share with Fei.

Anyhow, thanks to my dear friend Sarah I was able to see the light and we changed this darling room I did right before we traveled (ugh)

Into a room complete stripped of toys, most decorations (and the babies stuff will also be moved out)

Folks, I was up at 2 am several nights in the row feeling terrible about what I had done to our family.  Then I came across a fabulous article on older adopted children who were orphanage only.  By older they meant 3 - 4 year olds.  It talked about a completely stripped room without stimulation.

It talked about introducing the adopted child into the family, as I read the article in the middle of the night I cried tears of such pain - I had done EVERYTHING wrong.  That is why I am bearing all our dirty laundry.  If it helps jsut one person it will be worth it.

Anyhow, our house has now been turned upside down, but I do have to say that I am proud of Brahm and Fei for agreeing to share a room - in fact they were excited.

Moving everything from 2 rooms into 1 has taken some time for this disorganized momma.

But we are getting there.

The benefit's are already being seen though.  THe biggest is everyone is sleeping.  Before the move (and for the past year) Cav would wonder the house in the middle of the night (I didn't realize how on guard I was during the night) or get up at 5-6 am - feeling the need to wake the rest of the kids.

NOW, we have been able to lock the door of the adjoining bathroom (he still has access to the toilet) and put a baby gate in his doorway.  Everyone, has been sleeping in and he plays quietly in his room with the toys he has earned back.

In addition, without a room full of toys, we have a very tangiable commodity for him.
Good behavior = a 'new' toy.
Bad behavior = removal of a toy.

In addition, it has given me a break.  I can place him in his room - say when I go take a shower without fear he will hurt another child, steal, or the hundred other things he has done for the past year.  In addition, because of the location of the room and the baby gate only door he is still part of the home environment versus alone.

Although he has been here a year, we are slowly reintroducing him to the concept of "family".  Most importantly - and perhaps my favorite part of the article is teaching him about caring.  All along we have taught about love and family.  Duh, he has no concept.  but caring - well do you know when you get down to the brass tacks we do a ton everyday because we care.  The difference is that now I talk about what I am doing and it is because I care.

Oh mommy checks the bath water because I care - if I didn't care it would be cold
Mommy makes this because I care,
mommy gives you clean clothes and on and on and on.

I actually seem to have more time for teaching him, because I am not running after the kids trying to overt disasters or picking up the pieces.  The other kids are happier because they are safe.

And I have calmed because when on 1/1/13 you decide to rearrange the house and you find THIS ~

I had thought for some time he was stealing food and hiding wrappers but couldn't find them **(and I had jsut watched him from the upper landing sitting right in this spot, looking around for his siblings to come up the stairs and hiding the stolen bar as soon as one did, the day before the room move.  I had checked under the coach but the chaise part has a cover you can't see the floor and my hand didn't fit.  So I didn't think there was anything there ~ Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!)

THis is jsut ONE bit we found moving that couch - now I am not naive enough to think all I found was jsut him


When you find this next to some chewed up seeds your heart breaks into a million pieces.

So please pray for us - I know he is worth our time, our effort.  We so desperately want him to be part of our family, he is such an amazing kid with so much to offer the world.  We desperately ache for how broken his very core is.

** And don't for a minute think this is a lack of food issue.  We ALWAYS have grapes, apples, and oranges on both the kitchen table (he can reach) as well as the island.


  1. I just want to send a virtual {{hug}} and let you know that if you ever want to chat please e-mail, txt, call me!
    I never want you to feel like you are alone and I want you to know you are a strong and amazing woman & Mother.
    Thank you for being so honest.
    With a 7.5 year old coming home this summer it's good to hear what we might be dealing with.

  2. I will definately pray for you! One suggestion if you don't mind I give you that my friend used with her children in regards to food is: she gave each child a box with a lid. She labeled the box with children's names on it. Then in the box she placed treats in the box. They could eat these treats whenever they wanted. However when the box wax empty they would have to wait till the next week to get the box filled again. In the box way heathy choices and so indulgent choices . This gave the children control over the snacks. The box was placed where the child could access it without asking. It might help your guy feel in control. It helped her children. If he doesn't eat dinner because he ate to many snack it isn't the end of the world. He will learn though if he eats them all to quickly he will not have any until the next time it is filled. Giving him some control will help him not to want to steal. In the orphanage he had no control over anything.

  3. Yvette, we are going through this SAME EXACT thing with our Sunshine...he regressed farther than I ever thought possible. But he's 8 and definitely large enough to be seriously hurting the littles. He now has a room by himself. We were able to convert a playroom into a bedroom for our other two boys. Its heartbreaking what these guys have gone through and I am praying for Cav's heart to heal. Have you looked into a Trauma Assessment Center? They don't treat, just diagnose, but it helps you get a direction as to what emotionally your up against so he can get the help he needs...we're in the process of having Sunshine evaled.

  4. I will continue to pray for your family and especially for sweet Cav.


  5. this is soooo hard! and good for you! I try to explain to adoptive families - don't buy too much "stuff" before they get home - going from nothing to a room full of everything is sooooo overwhelming! When we brought Jorja home - the girls shared a room and everything was in their room - beds, clothes, and toys! She couldn't sleep - she was sooo overwhelmed! It's hard to not want to shower them with "stuff" but really - it's not good for them. Our boys room still has no decorations - I need to get on that now that they know how to settle themselves a bit and take care of things!
    Praying for y'all! Love ya!

  6. I feel your pain and stress. I also understand how hard it is when you have other kids who are vulnerable and a child who takes things out on them. I have two son's both with trauma issues and the older one struggles with empathy. His trauma history and early neglect have had serious impacts on him. You are taking the right steps but I encourage you to also find a therapist who "gets" kids like your son. The therapist is more for you to guide you in how to parent this child who needs such a totally different style of parenting and to help you and him in dealing with the early trauma and neglect. The problem is its hard to find a therapist who really good, and its not cheap.

    Some how be sure you get time for self care, My son is now 17 adopted at 5 and its finally starting to get to a better place. Its a very long road with lots of set backs, but you are so right that your son needs and deserves your love, support and help. Sending hugs, hoping you can get some breaks and times and ways to keep yourself and your energy renewed, you will need it.