Saturday, June 28, 2008

What's on my mind.

It's Saturday, I'm at my part-time job and now setting at the keyboard with the desire to put thoughts down into words but not the least idea of how to start or what to start writing about.

There are really four situations or circumstance that seem to occupy my mind most of the time depending on which one for what ever reason hooks into my thinking processes. The four issues not necessarily in the order of importance are my daughter Candy, my daughter Misty, our foster children, and building horse stalls and out buildings for our animals before winter.

Our Foster Children,

The issues with the foster children are actually the easiest to deal with while they seem to cause the most amount of immediate stress. The current sibling group a challenge as they have never known structure or consequences prior to being placed into Foster Care. Every day is a challenge in attempting to reach each child in a loving manner and instilling some sense of security through structure without going stark raving mad! The oldest thinks she is mom and rules don't apply to her, the nine year old doesn't listen half the time or abjectly violates the rules. We are still attempting to figure out if his behavior is intentional or a side issue of severe ADHD and possibly suffering from mild Autistic symptoms. The six year old is by the most part a semi-normal little boy with a propensity to abuse animals and a total lack of control of temper. The five year old again is pretty normal by the average with an over developed ability to push her siblings buttons resulting in her being attacked verbally and physically much too often. The issue at the forefront is allocation of time and addressing the needs of the children in our home so I guess the Foster Children would be the thing that occupies most of my thoughts but is also something constructive to do with my mind and is totally painless re emotional cost.

My daughter Candy...

How does a father express his concerns for his daughter's decision making processes, discuss the benchmarks set by previous decisions good and bad and not be made to pay for setting the boundaries needed to protect himself from the pain of watching the daughter he loves make what he believes to be negative decisions in her quest for happiness. Why is it that a child has to hold their parent accountable for their misery even when it is the parent that has tried to council them so as to keep them from that pain. I wish my children could accept my advice without dispute, act on what they feel they can use and disregard the rest without attempting to shove it down my throat that they are rejecting my advice with prejudice. One saving grace in the situation with my daughter Candy is that I know she loves me no matter what.

My daughter Misty...

The situation with Misty is still so very raw that it evokes emotional extremes that are still in need of the healing salve of time. I cannot get myself to believe that all the advice, all the promises, all the love of the last five years was for naught. The hard thing to accept with the Misty situation is the total disconnect between the loving memories of the past and the harsh and ugly circumstance of her rejection of my family and I. I understand the circumstance, I understand psychological pieces at play, I accept that the plain facts speak of the irreversible destruction of our relationship with our daughter but I still can't let go. On those solo runs from work to home or unplanned errands to buy milk, bread or butter I find myself remembering when I told her she was special not ordinary, smart not stupid, talented not untalented, beautiful not plain, good not bad. I remember constantly attempting to un-instill the self-destructive precepts taught by an abusive step-father and mentally cruel mother by reminding Misty of her strength and her ability to survive. My pain is now not just the point of loss through rejection but the concept that everything that we attempted to pass on to Misty was also rejected. I had for so long thought as with any of my children that no matter the trial life may throw my way my connection would never be broken, the future would always include her and then I realize...

My Farm...

I have four horse stalls to construct and a Llama and Emu shelter to build before winter. I have a load of old telephone poles and the plans to get everything done. This is the one task and life event that I truly enjoy and need.

Those are the four main things that occupy my mind these days. I'm sure that some of the little things not getting much attention now may grow to major things and time will do it's best to heal those wounds left from the aforesaid turmoil and tasks. I know today that I have the love of my wife and the protection of a power I can not comprehend. I know that in the near future and always in the background I will be dealing with a wayward son who can't come home because of warrants for his arrest, a son who is facing fifteen years in prison after taking a deal to avoid twice the time, another daughter leaving for the Air Force and of course how to pay for Christmas.

I can honestly say that I have no hate in my heart for anyone and have not stopped loving anyone. I wish I had all those I love about me and hope for the day it is possible.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hectic can be fun.

Lately life has been so busy and confusing that it has actually been fun. We have in our home now six foster children that we like to call our vacation kids.

As is a common thread within the norm for foster children they usually come our way with a lack of structure, a lack of boundaries or a familiarity with a nurturing parent with control.

This last sibling group of four has been a real test for both my wife and I. Two of the boys have severe ADHD to the point that if not medicated can not control their behavior and are quite the challenge especially when there is an attempt to get them to do something they don’t want to. The oldest sister is ten going on twenty and motherhood as she has an opinion on everything and is a constant intrusion when attempting to redirect her brothers into more positive behavior. The littlest one, who is five years old, is starved for attention and knows exactly what button to push with each of her siblings to get things going.

We have Raymond who is our newest addition and long term placement whom I have wrote of in earlier blog entries. Raymond is beginning to act out as a normal boy but does still not understand the Quid Pro Quo of childhood inter-personal relationship when it comes to hitting or biting. You hit someone, then you should prepare to be socked. If you push someone then prepare to be pushed etc… He will learn.

We spent over a thousand dollars on groceries for the upcoming month, paid the bills and allocated for gasoline and ended up with a grand total of who knows how much for the rest of the month.

With twenty loads of laundry, discarded juice cartons laying all around out side, board games not put away and the dogs constantly being left in or out when they are not suppose to be saying that life is challenging would be an understatement.

The fun parts though seem to make it all worth while. The backyard campfires, the trips to Magic Wand in Churubusco and watching the children witness the miracle of eggs hatching in the incubator. We get anger after the visits with parents but we also get the hugs when they are most needed by the children. Most of all there is again the sense of family in this big old house.

The family has taken its licks lately but it seems that life if given time will always send the healing salve needed to heal all wounds. We have been reminded that with every rejection there is acceptance and there is no negative in life that can’t be overcome with love and understanding.

My wife and I are so very lucky to have the life we have.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An evening thunderstorm in spring.

The hot summer’s night air was pushed aside so quickly the experience was not unlike dropping into a cool pool of water in the heat of the day. Chills began to run from the exposed parts of our bodies where minute’s earlier perspiration shone.

We sat on the front porch facing north wrapped in blankets and opened sleeping bags watching as a mid-spring thunderstorm rumbled past spiking jagged shards of lightning into the ground and from cloud to cloud with sudden violent beauty. The smell of ozone and wet dust filled the air.

Earlier I had become a little melancholy and just a little morose as I pondered the recent departure of two of my children from our immediate family and my inability to maintain my relationship with them in the close loving way every parent should know and experience. I caught myself wishing that they were there to share in the moment.

With the sudden stab of blue-white lightning zigzagging across the blue black sky my thoughts were brought back to ground and the awareness of those whom I love who by their choice were present in that moment. I consciously took hold of the memory in the discussions of God and Jesus bowling to make the thunderous sounds and the rain beginning in the eyes of the angels crying with delight in the sport.

In that moment a gift was given. The gift was the memory of a warm spring night, a violently beautiful thunder storm and the loving reminder of understanding and appreciation from our most recent addition to family… Vanessa.