My daily existence never included much down time. No real quiet space in the day where I could reflect and try to figure out what's what. Mix in a crazier work schedule than ever, a child with high order special needs, two other kids, and a marriage to maintain and you have yourself a real zoo.
Here's the problem--I'm faced with people attempting to make something black and white that is rather gray at the moment. I'm usually the person who is very black and white. Either/or. One or the other and not a combo. No hesitation. Pull that trigger. End the cognitive dissonance and be done.
Right now, though? I'm seeing how others have become frustrated in the past with my doomsday, worst to the nth degree conundrums where they would ask, "Why does it have to be this or that? Why do you have to decide NOW?"
We have made no secret either in virtual or literal reality that M3 is above our pay grade. Until the end of 2010, we had no idea what we were working with or what was needed. We had, in fact, been receiving advice to deal with her in ways that were wholly ineffective and, in many instances, counterproductive to her healing. Now that we know we're dealing with and we're still coming to terms with/scared crapless/angry as hell about it, everyone wants to be helpful.
Not so much helpful in parenting our daughter, but more in helping us find the right family to parent her as we, after expressing concerns regarding our abilities, don't appear to be The Ones. While I appreciate the resources and information (as I do adore my Plan Bs), I don't appreciate the jump from my inquiry about such arrangments and how it works to the conclusion that disruption is definitely 100% in our future.
I'm glad there are families that adopt from disruptions. I'm also glad that there is a family our social worker knows who has done it successfully. I'm happy for that family that their latest adoption went so well that they are looking to adopt again. Truly. That's terrif.
My belief in my ability to parent M3 changes on a daily (sometimes several times a day) basis. I realize I need to be both feet in or both feet out, but there are so many variables and to do what is best for her and everyone else in the equation, it isn't just a matter of committing myself to it.
I need to think.
I need a minute to determine what path we are on right now and what that path looks like.
I need to know that if I'm fine trying to work on things the way they are now, that others will back off and let me do that. It would also be helpful if others could be on board with that, but I understand if that can't be on their agendas.
I appreciate that this other family would provide respite care for M3, even if we decide to continue parenting her. However, I don't know them. And, they don't know M3. They could have a conversation about her, what they think about her, whether they think she'd be a good fit for their family, etc. during a respite weekend (where, let's face it: they'd be trying this idea on) and think it is completely confidential and private. But, M3 could hear a fly sigh from three miles away and even if you aren't talking about her, she thinks you are, so she pays strict attention to all things she should not hear/be concerned about and nearly none to things that would actually matter. I don't trust total strangers to do something that I don't think I could probably do. Therefore, I'm not comfortable with the idea of her being out in the world with people who think she might be a match for their family and their desire to adopt again soon.
I have a new appreciation for birth moms who are conflicted, especially if they have many things in their corner that suggests they just might be able to pull it off--especially if it were just a question of them and their own resolve/experience, they could do it. However, decisions aren't made in a vacuum and they do have consequences for many--as we know all too well at this point. I understand how difficult it must be when those who are tasked with helping you and working in your best interest make the situation feel dire and that they can help us...but we need to act. Go or get off the pot. Seriously.
That's where we are now.
All things aligning to make this process of handing M3 over to a new, more experienced family so easy. Except I'm not 100% sure that's best. To make a lifetime decision, especially when I thought I already had done that, I need to be 100%. I can't be doubting it.
The social worker said that to make our decision, we'd have to honestly answer whether or not we could parent this child in this manner, accepting all kinds of potentially horrific things as the years pass. If the answer is "Yes" then let's get on with it. If the answer is "No" then we need to take the steps to move her somewhere so that she has her best chance to heal.
The answer to that question at this moment is: I have no idea.
I think I could.
I'm not sure about my husband or my older girls.
Ask me after therapy today and I may change my mind.
I just know that when we have a little victory, it feels almost as awesome as when I passed the bar exam.
I'm not ready to throw in the towel.
Maybe I'm stubborn. Or stupid. Or naive. Or any number of other things I've been rightfully accused of being.
Or, maybe I'm just a Mother. Who, for whatever reason, has seen this child as her daughter since she first laid eyes on her. And, for whatever reason, can almost completely ignore that this child definitely does not see it that way.
Not sure. But until I am, I need a minute to think. I need people to just back off and quit trying to be so "helpful."