Today is the anniversary date of the removal of one of the seven dwarfs from our kingdom. Last year at this time, I was a mess. I was faced with a decision which required me to finally back up my three plus years of words, with actions.
For almost four years, the prince and I kept telling this particular dwarf that his life choices, his inability to do the right thing, to be a productive member of the family, was drawing neigh.
The parts of the story that are the in between, started over thirteen years ago. The meet and greet, smiles, reuniting of siblings, the adoption, the honeymoon period, the start of inappropriate behaviors, failing in the classrooms, questions on our end, testing, evaluations, twenty-six months of a therapeutic treatment facility. The RAD diagnosis and therapists, wrap around services, IEP meetings, behavioral specialists, phycologists, psychiatrists, medications, an inconclusive FAS diagnosis. Walking through our days on egg shells for fear of setting him off, holidays, birthday's, fights over homework, manipulation, fights about nothing and all things, his cursing, his tears, our tears, the growing anger, the lying, the continual battles of wills, the lack of being tethered to reality in his life, his inability to make good choices. All this pushed us, pulled us and challenged us to become his biggest advocate, his biggest supporter. Yet, nothing made the impact in his heart or mind to promote healing or growth in any lasting, tangible ways. Still we carried on with equal parts determination, and hope.
If you had told me when we started this process of parenting "special needs" children, that were classified as "special needs" because of the number of siblings in their grouping, I would have thought you were crazy. After all these years of living in the trenches, battling daily, an existence that very few people understand or even try to understand, I sometimes feel like I am the crazy one.
While I am secure in the knowledge that is a path that the Lord has equipped me(us) for, there are certainly times in this journey when I have not relied solely on Him or His promises. There have been times when for the sake of self preservation, I have gotten in my car and driven away. I have yelled until I was hoarse. I have cried. I have locked myself in my room. I have shuffled kids off to friends homes in the middle of the night so they would be safe so that we could spend hours de-escalating a situation. The number of hours of my life spent in negotiations, battles of the will, steeped in worry and fear and the struggling with the unknowns for this one dwarf alone, are unable to be counted.
In the reflecting of those minutes, hours and days we did all this and more clinging to hope. We battled in the trenches for his spiritual, mental and physical being. Hope for the next hour, the next day and for his ultimate future.
When it became apparent that this was a situation that was not changing for the good, only deteriorating, we were faced in that moment in time to say, enough is enough. That day was January 2, 2018.
In the midst of this past year, I find that there is nothing harder than knowing the name of the homeless man on the corner. Being torn between helping again, or running the risk of being an enabler. Knowing when to walk away. Knowing to not answer the phone. When to ignore that pleas of strangers and police that want to reunify because they only have one skewed side of the picture. Remembering when faced with the stories about the worst of times that he was enduring, that at the end of it all he is a liar and a manipulator, who has had countless chances to change and has not. How challenging and difficult it as been to stand firm in our decision to have him to leave our home.
Even in this, when the path for him seems hopeless. We, as his parents have hope. In the midst of the past year, there has been growth in the other dwarfs, in the absence of the one. Healing has begun for me personally. The stressors in our home has been dramatically been cut. As I write this update, tomorrow there is hope for this one too. It is going to take a monumental effort on his part. He will have to conform, and while he has agreed to this two year program, the hard work is going to have to be done by him. If I(we) could have fixed his broken parts there would be no need for any of this past year to happen.
Please join us in praying for our dwarf. While he has said with his words that he will participate, he is not yet there. The journey is going to difficult. He will be doing this alone. It will be at least 13 weeks or more until we hear from him, and even at that, the responsibility of communicating with us will fall on him to set up and organize, with the staff of the program.
"The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those that seek Him." Lamentations 3:25
May this time away be for our dwarf the final stop in his tormented existence. May he find peace from his past, come to terms with his current and find his own hope for his tomorrows.
Sometimes, I do wish that I was making this stuff up....