Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Conversations

At lunch today, J and I were having a conversation about Special K moving home. (She's been renamed Special K by Torina and I love it.) I asked her what she remembered about moving here. She remembered absolutely nothing. I told her that her FM had brought her here on a plane. A couple of hours after this conversation she remembered that they served food on the plane and related it to G's plane in that there is not a flight attendant doling out food. She didn't remember her first night here or even several nights into the move. She did remember bleeding and the barbie incident. She could probably sense that I was freaking out when that happened even though I was so trying to fake it. After she was sound asleep I went into total freak out mode.

I reminded her of several things that she did during that time and she was stunned. She would walk into things (as in walls and furniture) all. the. time. She couldn't find her way from her bedroom to the kitchen and it's a straight shot. For days all she would say is, "stop, drop and roll" over and over and over. She refused to eat ANYTHING that I cooked declaring that she wasn't hungry. I asked her why today and she said, "I did not want anything to do with your love." Imagine that. She would not hug me up and would constantly play "keep away" and run away from me. No eye contact at all. Wailing for hours on end for the abusive FM. I asked her why. "Because I didn't know you. She was mean to me but I knew her."

Me: When you moved here were you scared of a new home or were you scared to have a mom.
J- I was scared to have another new mom.

She does remember the stuff she did to Puddin. When asked she said, "I have a promise between you, me and Puddin that I won't hurt her ever again. If I break that promise she'll never trust me again. She trusts me now.

I asked her what she thought would make this an easier transition for Special K. These are her ideas:

1. She can't call you mom until she gets better. She needs to call you Miss. Lisa until she decides to be a family girl. Moms are the enemy to a RAD kid.

2. You need to sit in the middle seat (on the plane) and I'll sit on one side and K will sit on the other so that you can keep me safe.

3. K will always be the last person in the house so that we can keep Puddin safe and she can't go in the backyard because she might hurt Stud (cat).

4. I'm going to be really quiet until I feel safe around her.

5. Show her where the alarms are so that she will know she is safe and that bad people can't hurt her in the middle of the night.

6. She doesn't need furniture in her room because she will break it because she will be so mad sometimes. Too much stuff in a room is too much mom. It's scary.

7. I will help protect Puddin because she's my sister too. (awwwww....)

8. I will never come out of my room without getting dressed first.

9. Can I have an alarm on the inside of my door so that I can be safe? (Not sure how I'm going to work that out because I like to check on her before I go to bed and I don't want to be setting the alarm off. But...if I put one on the outside of her door she can't get out without setting it off.) J hasn't needed an alarm on her door in quite a while and now she likes to have snuggle time at 5 AM. Any ideas????

10. If she shows me her private areas I will turn my head, tell her that's not appropriate and come tell you.

I was impressed with her list. Obviously she's more worried about when we get home than when we pick her up. That's totally understandable.

Just a FYI....the matching meeting still hasn't happened yet, the worker still hasn't even called our therapist (which she said she wanted to do) either but I'm still hopeful that it will happen. We're planning as if it were a sure thing but we won't know anything for a while. The worker has a whopping 60 kids on her caseload and I'm afraid if there's not a fire we're kind of on the back burner. Hoping that's not so but you know it goes.....

This afternoon we had to make a trip to the dreaded wally world to pick up my prescription that was I was shorted on. Usually J holds my hand all the way through the store or holds the cart. Today she wouldn't hold my hand. Not in a disrespectful way though. I asked her why she wasn't holding my hand. She said, "I'm eight mom and I'm walking right beside you." Geesh. Then we got to the parking lot and she held my hand. I said, "what? you want to hold my hand now?" She said, "I'm only eight mom." Hee hee....

Sidenote: The intimidating blogger I mentioned last night....she doesn't intimidate me in a bad way...it's more like the I'm not worthy way. Now you can wonder about my complex. I do it all the time. Hardy har.

P.S. J hasn't been blogging because the weather has been too nice to be inside so she's been playing hooky. 78 today and the windows open 24/7 for the last 4 days. Nice. You northern gals can be jealous now. Hee hee.

29 comments:

obladi oblada said...

J is so insightful. I think that is really cool. On intimidation...yeah, I had that problem too at first. Now I just HAVE to check out who you are talking about!

Kristina P. said...

That's a great list. She's a very smart girl.

Meg an Aggie in Frisco said...

Wow! J amazes me, she is so bright! Good job goes out to her teacher… I hope to hear the news that you are on an airplane soon…

SocialWkr24/7 said...

Tears rolling down my face! I just love it. What an awesome daughter you have!

PS - the name "Special K" cracks me up!

Christa said...

That list is extremely insightful. She may say that she doesn't remember much about first coming to live with you, but I kind of think that the list says otherwise. She really knows what will make Special K feel good.

Ashley said...

Amazing- This even gave me a smile. J is great at this. She would be a great therapist, or a great anything else she wanted to be!

Sheri said...

Awesome job J!

I put Dustin's alarm on the outside of the door but at the very top so my little ones can't get to it. Maybe that would work for J, too.

(I see you noticed that I have turned into a comment whore today! LOL)

Sheri said...

And by the way, this northern girl IS jealous. It is so cold here today!

Sheri said...

One more just for good measure.

*wink*

Sheri said...

Okay, I lied, one more.

Torina said...

I am giggling at Sheri right now. Your daughter is amazing. What a great list!

Holly said...

Glad she is able to talk to you about her concern and you guys are making plans even though things may not happen for awhile. Will keep you in our thoughts as you face this new frontier and transition.

reikichris said...

Why not take a ribbon and thread some bells on it? Then hang it either on J's doorknob or the top of her door. That way, whenever the door is opened, it will make noise. Both J and you will know that the door is being opened, but it won't set off any real alarms. You could also do the same with wind chimes - brass would be quite loud.

J's comments are fantastic; she sure has matured :)

Jo said...

The stuff about when J came home makes me soooo sad. She was so traumatized and so gone in heart and mind.
J amazes me, her ability to put words on what was/is going on her heart both breaks my heart and inspires me. Too much mom, who knew...

MamaKate said...

#9 what about a small bell instead of an alarm. like on a store door?

Tracey said...

What an amazing little girl you have! What a difference from "stop, drop and roll" to this. Can't wait for you both to start working your magic on Special K!

Muppet Soul said...

You are a strong, strong lady. Hope to be a quarter of the Mom.

Umm, and "Special K" is friggin adorable.

Oh and #9 - I'm going to think on this - there has to be something, if not official, that you can McGyver together.

Dia por Dia said...

She came up with a great list. Good for her. My thought on the alarm thing is probably a little different. If it comes up again I would suggest telling her you are putting the alarm on the outside of her door because it is your job to keep her safe as the mom. I found that my first RAD child really did need her alarm once my other ODD/RAD/...son arrived because it made her feel safe from her new brother's meltdowns AND we saw some slippage in her behaviors so I say better be preemptive now. Also, I gave her a stuffed animal "sprinkled" with mom-love and protection on the same day that he moved it and that seemed to help.

BTW I think I am supposed to tease you and tell you Sheri commented on my blog! :)

J. said...

what a brillant list!She has come so far in such a short time. As for the weather I must say that I am jealous! I had to get snowpants out again this morning because the spring like temps disappeared last night and it was frigid this am!

BT said...

Delurking. First off, I love your blog, and I greatly greatly appreciate your daughter's blog. Our son is newly 9, adopted as a 5-year old from Ukraine, and recovering from RAD. Just wanted to let you compare notes with us: Our son, like J, doesn't remember much of anything about his initial arrival in our home, including any of the two rage-filled weeks he spent with us in Ukraine, or the 24-hour transatlantic trip from Ukraine to Canada. He does not remember much from his first whole year with us, except for some of the holidays. He does not remember biting me, licking me, vomiting on purpose, etc. etc. He looked at me mystified the other night when I recounted for him the months-long string of his thefts from his classmates' lunch boxes that he did through almost all of grade 1. It was as though he couldn't believe he would have ever done that -- he couldn't believe anyone would ever do that. He looked at me like I was crazy. It was a weird mix of feelings for me: saddened by the realization of how much of a scared haze he must have been in throughout that time, relieved that he feels that he now sees that behaviour as completely unappealing, somewhat laughing at his utter disbelief. When we talked again about these things yesterday, his explanation for why he must have done them was "I just didn't think anyone would ever really love me. Now I know I deserved love all along even though I didn't get loved when I was a little kid."

It is amazing to see J being able to articulate how she envisions K will feel about and react to joining your family. She has developed true empathy. She really is amazing, and I am in awe of the job you do as a mother -- you have been inspiring me for a few months now since I discovered your blog. Thank you.

In terms of the alarm issue for J's door: I'm with Dia -- this is a great chance for you to reassure J that you will keep her safe no matter what. Perhaps the two of you could have a secret code word that K isn't privvy to, and J could use this code word to call to you whenever she feels unsafe in her own space.

Alyssa's Mom said...

What a great list!

You know, you can enjoy your nice weather without rubbing it in! It was 5 - yes 5 - degrees when we woke up this morning!!!

There are words I could call you (like the B word) - but I'm too much of a lady!

So instead - I will give you the satisfaction of saying I AM JEALOUS!!!

Oh and I think I hate you a little bit right now!

Rose Adoption Journey said...

Lisa, thanks always for the encouragement. You rock! Im glad we have "met". Have a blessed day!

Dinah said...

Sounds like everyone is a very excited and a little anxious. I like the idea of "Special K." J is doing great...what an awesome list!

Hannah_Rae said...

Yes, Lisa. Very jealous if the weather! :) It's only 7 degrees here right now. :(

I am so impressed with J's list. I don't think I could have come up with half that much. Awesome, J!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

yeah, our weather is awful. Unbelievably I am looking forward to tommorow when it is supposed to be 40. Yes, 40 is a good number here.
Awesome list from J, like someone said, it is startling to realize how fear hazed they were in the beginning.
Amazing!

Kelly said...

Wow. I am really impressed by how aware she is of how far she has come. That list really shows that she has thought about all this alot and is truly ready to add another child to your family. It also shows that she will be a great help in the healing of this little girl. Bless her sweet heart. I am just so excited for both of you.

Carol E. said...

I'm so impressed. I am new to this learning curve... have followed J's blog for a while, and just realized that here YOU are, her mom. Love your blog. And I know exactly what you mean about being intimidated by someone to whom you don't feel worthy. But you are VERY worthy so go for it.

jenniebee said...

I like the string of bells on the knob idea, but if it isn't enough for J, I wonder how she would feel about a baby monitor? Now that she trusts you to keep her safe whenever she calls for you, a baby monitor would be like a cool walkie-talkie so that during the night she let you know if she needs your help. It just feels like something that has more of a human involvement than an alarm system.

Linda B. said...

I am trying to catch up with reading blogs and finally got to this posting. yes, I am jealous up here! My sister in Macon has been rubbing it in how warm it is and having the windows open.....not fair. I am so amazed at the list J came up with. Just amazed at how she is thinking of someone else and their feelings in a positive way. I wish I lived closer so I could just watch you two interact.