A little over a year ago Dean and I went to TAP (The Attachment Place) to discuss B's future. We as parents take our children's future into our hands every day when we make decisions for their care and schooling, but this was different.
We knew the words that were said that day would make a huge difference in B's life, they could shift the scales towards healing or take away his only chance of healing.
When do you say, enough? Is it morally right to hand over your child to another set of parents? What is our obligation to this child, especially since we promised to love and care for him....or could finding him a new family be considered loving him?
We analyzed the situation from every angle, prayed over it, talked to doctors, psychiatrists, therapists and "experienced parents."
Here is what we came up with, in part:
-B did not trust us, because I took him for visits with his bio parents who had hurt him. In his childish mind, I wasn't protecting him. He was guarding his heart when he came to us and those visits proved what he knew all along, adults are not to be trusted.
-The other children were losing trust in us because we weren't keeping them safe from B.
- 4 years of therapy, 2 of those years were intense therapy hadn't been enough to break through his barriers.
- Children with FASD cannot understand cause and effect so he didn't have the ability to link his behavior with consequences and felt that the world was out to get him.
-Medication didn't help his anxiety. Children with FASD metabolize medication differently than you or I, which makes it very difficult to find something that works.
-Nurture helped as long as it wasn't Dean and I offering the nurture. Remember he didn't trust us.
-He knew he had wronged his siblings and even though they forgave him, they couldn't trust him and he wasn't emotionally healthy enough to work at regaining their trust.
In the midst of it all was the fear that we had failed him. God knew how hard we tried, how many prayers ascended to the throne on B's behalf and how many gallons of tears we cried. In spite of it all, B hadn't healed, that meant we failed. Such a bitter word, FAILED!
We knew that for B to heal he would have to be in a place where he was able to take in love and nurture. A place where he could make a fresh start........ But that meant letting go of our hopes and dreams..... it meant a future without us playing a major role in B's life, it meant we had failed.
RAD is hard, tough, yucky, stressful and among the very worst of childhood mental disorders. We have very few good memories of B but he was ours and even though many days found me in tears and pain, we had hope that things would get better. Maybe a new therapy would be discovered, something that would reach the little boy locked inside...maybe B would open his heart just a bit and we could wiggle inside and help him heal....
That November day found us facing the bare facts, B didn't and most likely would never trust us. We had tried medication, therapy upon therapy, out of home treatment, taken him to more doctors and for more evaluations than I can count and we still couldn't bring him home.
Now what? We had tried harder for years, was it time to look away and pass on the responsibility?
The weight of the decision we knew we had to make concerning of B's future, felt overwhelming. We felt inadequate to make the call that would forever change our lives as well as B's.
We prayed that if it was God's plan for B to move on, that he would have someone step forward. We laid out our fleece before him, then stepped back to see what would happen, we stepped back while fear bit and snarled at our heels like a wild animal. What if no one came forward? What if....???
Several weeks later, the call that changed our lives and B's future came...there was a family who met all of our specifications and more and they wanted to give B a home. This family was as perfect as humanly possible. God had provided. For so long we felt like Abraham, offering our "Issac," wondering how God would provide and when he did, we were awe struck. Like Dean said, "It makes you feel really small, when God comes through and gives you more than you even thought to ask for."
B has been with his new family for several weeks and now we are trying to piece our lives back together. Trying to find a new normal amidst the feelings of relief, guilt and grief. Like every other grieving person, we have days where we praise God for his goodness, days where the sun shines and our hearts rejoice. But then there are days where the sun is hidden behind black clouds of pain and we battle the inevitable emotions that flood over us. There is also all the trauma from the past years to work through. When we were too traumatized to process it, the pain got stuffed into corners and now it is coming out in force. I am continually amazed at the clarity of the memories. I literally feel like I am in the midst of the scene's I remember. My heart races, I break out in a cold sweat and panic sets in. My hope is that as time passes those scene's will fade and we can move on.
But for now, we still cry and I write jumbled blog posts..... signs that we have a good deal of healing ahead of us! :)