The Beginning

Day 1 of this crazy attempt to blog our adventures! ……. I sit here scared, baffled, and wondering if I need the next psych eval! My name is Misty and my nuc family started this crazy adventure 11 years ago. We grew from 4 to 6 in one signature on a page, or so it seemed to the distant outsider. Our family decided we needed to help out and Child Protective Services brought us two of the cutest “normal” boys. Each boy had issues that we still live with and discover new issues 11 years later. We knew the youngest child had autism and we were enduring 5 hour long (no that is not a typo!) screaming tantrums along with such a high need for stimulation input the he was ripping his nails off and the older child had experienced such neglect that he would panic if you could see any portion of shelving in the pantry or fridge. We fostered these two amazing boys for 1 year before adopting them. Yes I did say amazing! This journey has been so overwhelming, exhausting, fulfilling, and inspiring that we would not change it for the world! Okay, so I would be lying to myself if I didn’t tell you about those days. You know the ones in which you sit alone in the closet or the bathroom sobbing about how your desire to help a child in need has ruined your ENTIRE world! …… Okay I am breathing again, I think. No one ever tells you about the daily disrespect (I am talking so far above an average child’s puberty rollercoaster), continued hours of therapy each week ranging from behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy , etc., the countless declined invites to social activities that will undoubtedly trigger behaviors that will linger for days afterwards, and the overwhelming stress of “will they ever be successful with us”. I would be lying if I said that it was always a happy family, because learning you have to lock your bedroom doors to keep these children safe and when the third or fourth new behavioral therapist asked “where do you see your son in five years” you truthfully answer juvie on the way to prison due to feeling defeated was never mentioned in trainings for this job.
Some how our family came to terms with this new version of life and ….wait for it…..decided we needed to foster teen boys because of the needs of our county and the skills God had given us. See what I mean! We have lost it right! 22 boys later we have (we think) crossed our finish line. Oh did I forget about the part where we started taking in therapeutic level boys just prior to or right after admission to a mental health facility. Boy our first two boys were just the tip of the iceberg! Let’s all face it as a parent we say statements that we never thought would come out of our mouths, however it has become second nature to say “you have the choice to say mean things and even swing at me, however you will lose all your television privileges for the day and longer if the police have to come out”. There are some amazing opportunities and experiences on this journey as well, like taking a boy from “move to a different school where you won’t fight or you will be expelled” to B honor roll and active member of his youth hockey team (yes we gave him a stick!). We see the demeanor of a child change from out of control fight or flight response to smiles, slowed breathing, and tell his teacher he is okay now and apologizes for his behaviors, but wait for it …… he was able to voice what was causing the behavior! Along this adventure we have adopted another kiddo with ADHD and explosive disorder, oh don’t forget the moderate cognitive delay. It’s always a good day when he starts your day off by punching his brother or telling you he is going to kill you as he puts his fist up looking like Olive Oil from the old Popeye cartoons but unable to hold his fist up for long.
We often here people say that we are special people to ride this rollercoaster, however with our bums in the seat I have to admit that it doesn’t always feel like we have special powers or “the patience of a saint” instead it feels like we are failing these special children, like we are letting them down as well as our own children. When these days come we work hard to not take on the child’s issues. This is so much easier to say than to do, I have resorted to the phrase “Not my monkeys not my circus”. Usually I say this to my husband as we tag out of a situation! The big thing I guess that’s keeping us together as a family and continuing to help children is that we work well as a team being able to rely on each other for support during the tough times, to laugh hysterically at stories that would make the average parents hair curl, and to beam when a boy that could not hold a fork or climb the stairs catches a football while running for the first time!

Published by Misty

Mom of 8 AMAZING children, wife to a saint, retired nurse, and now a blogger!

2 thoughts on “The Beginning

    1. Thank you my beautiful friend! I have a lot to share and I know it can help someone to give them a glimmer of hope makes everything worth it!

      Like

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