Sometimes this can feel more like one step forward two steps back. I believe most adopted parents can feel like this in periods and also sometimes not be able to see the “light in the tunnel”. I believe this is because adopting can be like a roller coaster due to the background of the children and their needs to re-create the chaotic life they had in the past as this make them feel safe. Like my children, they have moved many times and also been split up for periods – we can never understand how it feels to have lived with five families in your first 6 years like my oldest son has done. I can totally understand that he feels the need to constant test the boundaries to check if we will give up on him, just like what he feel has happened in the past. Behavior can be triggered by the feeling of being rejected. We constant reconfirm that we love them so much and this is their forever family. When we have difficult situations, we use phrases like “I love you so much, but I don’t like your behavior right now”.
Earlier on this week my son went on a four day school trip. They were only 13 children and 13 adults and this was going to be his last trip at this school, as after summer he will move back to mainstream school. Normally we don’t receive any feedback during the trip, but my phone called on their 3rd day. This was the head teacher. My son had not followed adult instructions and had put himself and another child in danger. This was a serious breach. After a conversation with the head teacher and my son, we agreed to give him a second chance. I felt I was able to trust him and that he understood the seriousness. A couple of hours later I received another call. This time the call was a quick one. “You need to come and pick him up. He continued to not follow instructions and he’s now in a violent state. I need to go and help the member of staff to restrain him, so will call you back later” said the head teacher. My husband started the 3 hour journey down to New Forest to pick him up. Phill didn’t exchange many words with him when he arrived – this to keep the situation as calm as possible for the return journey.
We felt that we had just gone two steps back. In situations like this you do get worried. Worried about our son’s future, and what lies ahead for him. How is he going to manage to go back to a mainstream school? He has a very strong desire to be in control of situations, that he goes against all the rules and particularly adult instructions. It seems like he takes rules very personally. This makes us feel very worried and concerned for his future. Our hope is that our son will take the right path in life, we can give love, guidance, help and support – but at the end of the day our son needs to take the decisions and make positive choices.
On Monday we will go into school to continue the repair work after the incident. I’m sure this will feel like two steps forward.