Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Am Talking with My Oldest Daughter Again

I decided to stop waiting for my oldest daughter to call me and I have talked to here several times in the last few months. She seems open to talking and I try to stay focused on hearing what she is doing and the challenges she is facing. I am not happy that she is living with her boyfriend, but I try to find out about him as well.

I called her on the way home last night as well, with no particular idea in mind and we had a reasonable talk. Hopefully this will help us relate in the long run. I feel I am still not all that important in her life, but the only way I can talk to her seems to be for me to call, so I will do so as I feel I should.

She did claim to have called me a few times in the past, but I can't recall any of these. Letting the past go, including some serious harm she personally caused me, appears to be a vital part if I want to have a chance of developing any long term relationship.

On the other hand, I have talked with my oldest son a few times. Though in his case he is always full of stories and grandiose ideas, so it is not as interesting. I don't really care what he talks about, I just want it to be true. Unfortunately, he seems to need to mature quite a bit before he will hit truth.

I wrestle with how much I should talk with him while he is not telling the truth. I want to build /continue a relationship, but I get tired of all the stories and lies. I could live with just about anything if it was true....


Time for an Update

We got down to 1 at home earlier this year. A few days after my youngest son turned 17 he decided he couldn't handle following any rules at home (like helping mow regularly when the lawn needed it), so he didn't come home from work one Saturday night. On Sunday he didn't want to come home, so the birthfather bought him a Greyhound ticket to his house (in another state) and my son has been up there since.

This was the son who said he was not going to do this! I don't think he fully thought it through, but it was in the back of his mind based on some things we have learned since then.

Several things annoy me here, but a significant part is that this son was learning to work hard and was really maturing through his work at a grocery store. He hasn't had any job since he went to the birthfather's house since it is harder for a 17 year old to work in that state and the birthfather doesn't expect anything out of him.

Ironically, he generally has no trouble helping out around the house up there.

He recently decided to join the Army. He scored very well on the test, but the Army (or at least that recruiter) is choking on his homeschool diploma here. It is as valid as any private school diploma (homeschools are private schools in Texas), but they are different in the state my son is living in and the Army is free to do whatever it feels like doing. He may have to take his GED, but he has to get school board approval in that state, something that is more difficult to obtain.

This son is likely to either do really well or really poorly in the service. If he is mentally committed he should do fine, but he can really rebel if he doesn't think he has to follow some rule. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. We have given him our written permission to join whenever he wants. (That is needed since he is still under 18.)

While it is really annoying that my son has been enabled to leave home before he should have left, it is probably good that he is out. He was getting more violent and I am very concerned that he would have done something really wrong if he had remained here.

It also remains tough to keep a positive outlook for my youngest daughter to stay at home at 17, given that everyone else bailed early due to the ease of that in Texas, but I need to focus on the positive for her.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sibling Group Adoption May Be a Bad Idea

I was all gung-ho for helping a sibling group to stay together when I started this adoption process. I even looked down on those who would split up sibling groups, thinking it was better to keep such groups together.

I am much more skeptical of this now that I have gone through the ringer. In our case, having a family inside a family kept my children from healing. The oldest two might not have healed no matter what we did, but the youngest two got corrupted by the idea that our family was not a "real family" that subtly undermined our own family. The biggest problem is that we didn't realize that it was present until very recently, far to late to do anything about it.

While splitting up siblings and possibly reducing contact can seem cruel, it may ultimately be the best way to give these children a chance to heal.


2 Down, 2 to Go

Our second oldest turned 18 earlier this month, so we are now down to 2 remaining at home. The 3rd child turns 17 next month. He has said he plans on staying at home until he is 18 (and finishes school and achieves his homeschooling diploma), but Texas is weird in that it allows a 17 year old to freely leave home, while still keeping the parents responsible. This makes for a really bad situation.

Society needs to get over this kick that teens are always right. Teens that come with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) definitely do not fit the "good teen" mold, though they may seem to at first. Be skeptical the next time you hear of a wicked, evil parent. Such do exist, but these children have a way of twisting things to make it seem the opposite of what it really is. And many do-gooders end up doing more harm, though they rarely deal with the long-term consequences of their stupidity.

Nevertheless, we only have 2 more to focus on, for about the next 2 and a half years. Then we can deal with everyone as adults. We may or may not be alone, but at least our responsibility will end.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Time to Start This Up Again

Well, I didn't start posting frequently as I planned, but I am going to try this again. I could give lots of excuses, but a lot of it is just getting busy on "life".

I would also lay part of the blame with how much adopting can take out of you, especially when dealing with children with RAD. Going through the many battles my wife and I faced have made me much more ambivalent about adoption.

Fortunately, things are easing up a bit now since the oldest two, and those with the most severe RAD issues, are out of the house. The youngest two are facing their own teenage struggles, but they seem to generally have things together.

Hopefully I can get some interesting thoughts put forth over the coming weeks. :)