Sunday, October 26, 2014

Processing Loss

Kiana's 7th birthday triggered a landslide of emotions, feelings and questions. She has always been our "stuffer." She stuff's everything inside and over time the pressure builds up and she begins boiling over. Slowly at first and then faster and faster until she is in a full meltdown. Her behavior has been deteriorating, a sure sign that "something is going to blow." During this period, we can talk to her and try to lessen the pressure a little. It helps but the full meltdown is coming. I read somewhere that people like this are a lot like a volcano. They give off warning signs and eventually erupt. I figured her latest troubles had to do with rejection and loss as those things usually show up around her birthday. Last night she erupted when confronted about something she had done earlier in the evening. She cried and denied everything that was said. Neither Dean nor I could get her to talk. I was frantically going through the files in my brain trying to remember techniques for helping a child work through their feelings and something came to mind! I said to Kiana, "If I were a little girl who couldn't stay with her birth mom, I would wonder if there was something wrong with me, if I did something wrong. I would wonder if maybe she didn't love me and it might have been my fault that she couldn't keep me." Kiana began sobbing so I knew I was on the right track. I explained again that her mom had made some choices that made it impossible for her to care for a baby. Dean was rocking Kiana while I was talking and he explained that her mom loved her enough to know that she couldn't give her the home she needed and she was happy that we could care for her. I asked Kiana if her cousin B who is several months old could do anything to make her mom stop loving her. Kiana had a quick retort for that, "She is to little!" I agreed with her but said, "what if she cried and cried or if she wouldn't let her mom do anything but hold her?" Kiana still didn't think that would make a mom stop loving her baby. I told her that when she came to us, she was even smaller than her cousin. She had nothing to do with being in foster care. Kiana's eye's  lit up and she said, "Because I was to little to know better!" Right! We talked awhile longer and then I asked if she feels ready to go to bed. She didn't so I wrapped her in a fuzzy blanket and rocked her for awhile. When she was ready  to go to her bed she wanted me to carry her. We made a joke out of how she was to heavy for me to lift up into her bunk and she went to bed giggling. I said, "Thank you, Jesus!" 
  The therapist said often times children who are in care or adopted feel that it was somehow their fault. Even older children think things like, if I would have done my homework rather than poking around maybe dad wouldn't have gotten angry and we could still live with him. No matter how severe the abuse or neglect children usually feel a loyalty to their parents and rather than face the fact that their parent's left them down, they blame themselves.

Kiana feeling happy and secure once more.

  Joseph gave us a good laugh today. At lunch he said, "Dad, you should start a war." When Dean asked him why, he said, "So you could be the president!" Not sure where he came up with that logic but we had a good laugh after he had left the table. Some of his comments are so far off that we have a hard time not bursting out laughing. He is totally serious however, and gets embarrassed easily so we try to save the chuckles for later.

roasted pumpkin seeds with mexican seasoning. Tristan cut a pumpkin up and got the seed's out so I could try roasting them. The children ate them just for the novelty of it but I don't think we will try them again.

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