Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sad and Hopeful

Perfect words to describe my current state. Yesterday was a day of grieving that's left me raw this morning. I did already know about Blossom's condition which is why I had her tested to make it formal and to be able to get more help, especially once she's an adult, but I admit that a secret part of me was hoping I was wrong. I was also hoping it wasn't quite so bad.

In all my reading about adoption and the various issues children may have, none mentioned the grieving a parent experiences with each new diagnosis. I didn't even recognize what it was the first couple times, but I know it well now. I grieve for the struggles that lay ahead for my child, for the things she won't experience or accomplish (whatever they may be), for the perceptions others will have of her and the limitations they may try to place on her, and for so much more.

What comes later is the celebration of each achievement she will have, big and small, but today, I am still grieving for her.

What makes this even more sad is that she's very aware of what others can do and she doesn't yet understand why she isn't allowed to do those things. In her mind, she feels capable, but when she tries, she is not, and it makes situations dangerous for her.

Last night as I dropped her off for her weekly church activity, I saw the leader placing a big cup of scissors on the table. My reaction was physical. My heart rate increased, my breath caught in my chest and I felt something close to panic rising in me. My mind was screaming, Please don't give her scissors! I managed to keep myself under control and speak reasonably with the leader, one of the few I feel compassion and understand from, not judgement. She assured me that Blossom will have plenty to do that doesn't involve scissors.

I can't remember in this moment if I mentioned what Blossom did with scissors the last time she had them, but the path of destruction she wrought is still being discovered. Mostly, she didn't mean to destroy things, though a few items she did, like cutting the sleeve of one of her sister's Sunday dresses, but she honestly believed that if the things were her own, it was okay to cut them up. She cut the yarn tufts off her quilt to use as fake noodles in our little play kitchen (still her favorite toy). This was creative, but terribly inappropriate and destructive. She also cut the leather flowers off her leather sandals to give as a gift, cutting the sandal straps, too. Again, kindness was the goal, but destruction the result. She only meant to cut the tag off of her pillow, but she ended up cutting the pillow as well. And so on and so on and so on...


Sara said...

Sigh, it's frustrating. But as adoptive parents (I also have 4) we accept the good with the tough and move on. I feel funny though, that with a couple years of American schooling, Blossom's IQ may rise- Ive seen it with non-English speakers from south of our borders. Of course, that may not happen, but I truly have seen it. Consider that possibility. And you're doing a great job!!

Doreen said...

Hello. I think you also have to look at the way Blossom was tested . . . . were standardized tests used? My daughter was "tested" with standardized tests and failed all of them . . . and I could have clearly predicted this. How can a child who isn't fluent in the English language nor American culture pass these things? The Chinese method of teaching in the early years is not like traditional American/Western education. Take the services that her "diagnosis" allows, but I certainly would not be surprised if you see her gain great improvements. You're doing a wonderful job!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. That's not a pity sorry, but a "please mourn and know that I support you - sorry."

I can only imagine the frustration you've been feeling as you've told Blossom again and again not to cut things and she didn't seem to listen. I'm sure that is only ONE example of many and it must have been beyond maddening trying to figure out if she is being defiant, stubborn or truly can't comprehend what you are saying.

Like Doreen and Sara, I hope that additional services and special classroom in public school help Blossom. She deserves a happy ending- so do you!

Maureen said...

While I agree with what the other posters say about potential 'rise' in IQ due to better language skills, I say more go with your gut. Even though it hurts. Even though you want it to be wrong. That said, I was born in the US, middle class, with educated parents. As a young child due to my poor performance in school, my IQ tested in the 70's (since my IQ was tested that low, my poor performance was just written off as the best I could do and no extra help was given). When I was retested in high school (due to a very astute teacher- I was in honors/AP classes by that point but struggled occasionally in odd ways) my IQ was in the mid 140s (which it has stayed at when I've had it done again in college and then as an adult) but with significant learning disabilities.

I have 2 bio kids. The one in particular collects diagnosises. Many times, I have argued for the testing, and know in my gut and mind there is something wrong. It is not just normal kid issues (or in your case 'normal' international adoption issues). Each time an 'official' diagnosis is made, I mourn. Even though I knew before it was official. Even though I know getting those diagnosis will help my child. There was one very odd exception to this (and this is not something you will ever face).

K said...

Thank you, all of you. Maureen, your comment made me laugh. Yes, I did tell Blossom, and my other girls, that scissors are for paper or fabric ONLY, but everything I mentioned that was cut, and on and on, actually happened in ONE morning!