Friday, August 20, 2010

Sometimes, it's Just Hard

I dearly love being a mom. Even more I love being the mom to these particular children. But there are times when I feel like we will never see fully healed hearts, minds and bodies. There are times when I feel like a total loser, a wimp, and utterly incapable.

I'm sort of feeling that way these days. And this too shall pass, but today my brain and heart are on overload.

I am having to sit reasonably hard on Kenny right now, something I don't particularly care for but have no alternative until he settles back into himself. And I find myself worrying more this past couple of weeks about his ever maturing appropriately. Will I be living with an 8 year old (on a good day) in a 25 year old body someday? Will his inability to think things through logically and sequentially eventually cause a serious accident or keep him from supporting himself? Where are we failing him, what are we not recognizing, what is the missing component?

Joshua had a scare yesterday, he accidentally locked himself in the garage for about 2 minutes before being found panicked and pounding on the door. The tears went on for almost 45 minutes, he is so totally terrified of being alone in a well lit garage for literally less than 2 minutes. And his tears are not screams or typical kid whining or cries, they are mournful, achingly sorrow filled ones...trembling chin, trying hard not to totally lose it but failing. He doesn't understand the panic either, yet it returns over and over again.

I then found him naked in his bed last night, after a late night bathroom run myself. I was puzzled when I found all of his clothes on the floor, and thought at first maybe he had an accident but all was dry. Went to his bed and found him completely naked under the blankets, the result of more sleepwalking and late night disturbance. He had no idea he was naked, no idea how he got naked.

Then we had a protracted visit to the dentist today, while we didn't get all the work completed in one visit, the end result was 17 cavities, 1 unexpected root canal, 1 chipped tooth repair, 1 narrow miss for a 2nd root canal...5 frightened kids and 1 dental hygienist who was totally not getting it when I explained that I was not "babying" my larger kids whom she thought should be left alone to get their work done. Thankfully, the dentist was a distant relative who offered to help us out and was extraordinarily kind and understanding with each one. Josh almost had to have a root canal at 7 years old because one of his teeth was rotting from the inside out, and the dentist said it was most certainly from improper nutrition in utero and infancy, that it was not the result of poor brushing as overall his teeth looked very good. Josh was in a great deal of pain all the way home, but is feeling better this evening. Angela too is hurting a lot as another root canal was necessary for her failing teeth. 6 cavities were hers, her teeth are in terrible shape. She was tough, but it hurt a lot.

Before we left town, we had to stop and get Matthew new orthopedic shoes, which ran us a whopping $180, but what can we do? We have to do what we can to help lessen the pain, even if only a little.

How I wish it was easier sometimes, for us and for them. I know none of these taken individually is all that big of a deal. But on the drive home today as Josh was sobbing in the back seat and I can't find a doggone grocery store or drug store to get a bottle of Tylenol after pulling off the freeway twice, I was just filled with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. There are times I am just the teensiest bit envious of those mom's whose biggest challenge is trying to figure out what play date to schedule this week rather than worrying about surgeries and memory loss, heartbreak and trauma that lingers.

And it seems that nothing I am doing will ever really help eliminate any of this, like I am merely the Band Aid supplier that helps cover up the wound that lies beneath.

I am grateful this feeling doesn't flood me often, hardly ever in fact. But I am here in my swim trunks being swept away in a tide of momentary despair. I can't seem to adequately parent at the moment, I can not "Fix" even the littlest things, let alone the bigger things that loom so large. The boat is teetering on the edge of capsizing and I will be going down with it, I fear.

It isn't that I don't understand that every family has its challenges and ours are not necessarily all that unique. It isn't that I don't have an appreciation for this amazing assemblage of people I am blessed to call my family. It is an acknowledgement of the moments when you whisper to yourself "What else can I do??" as you struggle to keep your head above the water. I KNOW there are mothers parenting kids who have far worse issues, I KNOW there are parents who have lost children and would give their right arm and leg to be in our shoes, I KNOW I should not ever complain about the gift of these souls in our life and I am not really complaining about them, actually I am admitting my feelings of powerlessness over it all this night, and wishing my beloved sons and daughters didn't bear the burdens of some of this junk that they didn't create.

Sometimes, it is just hard, no two ways about it.

Sometimes, it is glorious.

We aren't at glorious right now, but we also aren't at Doomsday either.

I am just being a wimp and a whiner. I'll get over it, I always do.

And hard or not, damn I love them each so very much.


Lindsay said...

You may be 'only the band aid supplier', but a band aid fastened with a mother's loving kiss is what the surface of a wound needs while the healing goes on beneath the surface.

Best wishes to you.

Adrienne said...

You are doing a great job...Cindy..Sorry things are tough at the moment.. but with your insight you will figure it out

Carol said...

I am always reminded of what a unique and special person you are. No question that you are “human” and share many of the same weaknesses we all possess. At the same time, you really are in the category of “Supermom”. Hang in there... I have the utmost faith in your ability to intuit the best way to help your children. Little by little, the healing continues.

Anonymous said...


All mom's have feelings of inadequacy.
At least adoptive mom's can blame it on someone else.
We also spend a fortune on our eldest teeths, according to the dentist she had a malformation and all her molars look like beach stones and not like proper teeth with all the layers. Birth daughter, I had a good nutrition, no alcohol, no smoke, nothing that could justify it.
We have twins who needed to spend 2 weeks in hospital at birth, I was next door but only allowed to see them every other feed, so 6 in 6 hours. We took them home one of them still had breathing problems and was turning blue several times a day. I had to keep an eye constantly to touch her and "remind" her to breath. She is fine now at 4 years old.
But at 18 months old I realized the other "healthy" twin, because was so fine and healthy and I was a busy mum of 3, was left too long with no one to one care and she had develop an attachment disorder. Refusing me sometimes, not coming to me when hurt, etc.. So I've been madly working on her and she "looks" from the outside eye a perfectly healthy 4 year old, but she finds it very hard to deal with what she understand to be rejection and she is a work in progression.
All my kids have things I would love to heal and improve. I have regrets beyond imagination over little things I would/could have done differently if time went back. I can not blame it on an orphanage, not birth parents, just my own failures as a mom.

We are waiting parents waiting to adopt our N.4, and sometimes I feel very undeserving of being handed a 4th child when I cleary am not a perfect mom to my 3 first ones.

But we have to do our best and learn from our mistakes and hope God helps us heal our children.
All children have pains and birth children have them too, I just wish I could blame the pain and sorrows of mine into someone else.

You are a fantastic mom and you have been doing a great job.
Hang in there.


Anonymous said...

Praying that this morning dawns brighter for all of you, after the extensive visit to the dentist and all that overwhelms you, Cindy. You do have more than many of us have to deal with at one time. And it's hard not to look ahead and wonder how are kids will handle the future, knowing their struggles and weaknesses as we do. And I know I always do that more at night, when I'm tired. Isaih 41:10 is full of reassurances that God will be strength. Sounds and is very good, right? That's one of my favorite verses. And the verses before, though speaking to Israel specifically, certainly sounds a lot like how the LaJoy family came to be and who it is that God called to do the job! And for added encouragement that God will complete this work in progress (your family), Phil 1:5. Though it's Paul talking in those verses about the Phillipians, I can believe those words with great confidence about you, Cindy. You love your kids and are committed to them and also to doing what God has asked you to do. I know He's your strength. And as my husband always reminds me, you only have to make it through today. That's not usually the most comfortable way we'd like to live each day, but it's so true. I'm trusting that you'll feel renewed by your wonderful kids soon, too.
Nancy in the Midwest

Anonymous said...

i am a waiting parent for our first child. Yours is one of the blogs I read daily it is a total inspiration.

Karon said...

I am sending huge hugs and lots of compasion your way. I am the adoptive parent of two 3.5 year old boys, both with different stories, both with special needs and both with lots of hurt. They also, like your kids, amaze me with their will, their laughter despite everything, their beauty, and the joy they bring me. One of our boys has only been home a month and when people ask me how it is going I say it is going "real." Things in our house are exactly as the experts said they would be, rocky slow with lots of twist and turns and reversing then lurching forward only to have the floor fall out the next minute. I too envy families at times with easier stories. Not too often, but it does happen especialy when they are both melting down at the same time. But like you, if I had it to do over again, I would make the same choices to parent these two little people who have taught me more than I knew I could learn.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't feel overwhelmed, inadequate, disheartened, and disoriented, I would be concerned. The dental visits alone would send any parent into tailspin, but in addition you are a thousand miles from home, from support, from the loving care of friends and husband. You have five kids in a land that only faintly resembles here, and they are meeting relatives two have never seen before.

I ache for Josh and Kenny, but I know that every time I visited my mom right here in Colorado, we would have at least one meltdown or disaster. We willingly walked into a joyful but stressful situation, and it told mightily. My ability to cope and stay parent to children, adult to mom would be tested by old patterns, old ways of relating, and I didn't even have dental visits, big city traffic, ROOT CANALS, and two children with their pasts looming up like monsters and three others carrying their own pasts into this strange land of Southern California.

Yes, I know it is still America. My daughter lives there with her family. It still is a different way of living, a different pace, a different set of values that are visible. Underneath, in neighborhoods, that may be different, but you only have time for exposing kids to the surface.

With all that plus other family dynamics, I would be surprised if you didn't feel wimpy. Thanks for letting each of us share not only your journey, but also for being honest and vulnerable enough to let us share our support and love for you and for the children.


Dean and Janie said...

I am so sorry you are feeling this way right now. I have felt that way myself and not even with adopted children. I really think we all feel that way sometimes, for whether our kids are raised in the "perfect"environment or not, they all seem to go through extremely difficult times. And it leaves us feeling powerless and fatigued to help them.
We will be thinking of you.

the askeance said...

Cindy, I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time right now. You are being very hard on yourself, I think that you are a wonderful, loving and gentle mother, your children are blessed to have you.

We are all blessed to have you in our lives, you rock baby!

Peace and blessings,

Lori said...

I don't think you are whiny or wimpy. You are honest and persevere even when it's hard. And we know life is hard. To present it differently isn't giving your children a realistic view, and they are blessed to know that though the going gets tough, the tough (aka Team LaJoy) roll right on through!!!