We have not disrupted our adoption (or actually dissolved is the more accurate term I hear) of our son. However, he has not lived in our home since 9-2-09. That was the morning he came in and very calmly and dispassionately told me,"I'm having thoughts that I need to hit you." Which he did. Just on the arm this time, definitely not trying to inflict real damage but more a scream for help. So I took him down to the ground and got him in a restraint and yelled for my husband to call the sheriff. I could no longer keep my family, including my son, safe from his escalating level of violence.
Going to Orlando meant being able to share my story and not see judgment...not see horror in the eyes of others.....not feel like I needed to touch myself to make sure I had not suddenly sprouted a second head. That is what I took back to my sucky situation at school when people who cared asked how it went I would say,"You know, I was able to look other mothers in the eye and say that my son had kicked me in the face and tried to strangle me with the seatbelt all while my husband was driving 70 down an unfamiliar upstate New York highway because of a failed attempt at respite and they weren't shocked! They didn't look at me like I was just making it up because surely this charming twelve year old wasn't capable of doing that. THEY.GOT.IT!"
To get to the title of the post, our sweet daughter Hannah, adopted at birth via domestic, open adoption. She was having major anxiety issues, stress breathing and even heading down the road of building her own explosive anger. I knew we had hit the edge when I saw our son laughing maniacally and jumping off of the deck with our daughter chasing him with a broom raised over her head. For the other moms at the conference, they get it. He is what I call a shit-flicker. The behavioral manifestation of Chinese water torture, get on your last nerve and dance a jig because it makes him feel powerful. We had come to the point where she would end up with legal troubles if it kept on. She would hurt him or get hurt. His behavior had imploded our formerly fairly happy family.
Today, he sits in a state hospital for the manifestly dangerous. I can no longer count on both hands the number of times he's assaulted staff, mainly female as we represent the orphanage "caregivers" from the orphanage in Sumy, Ukraine. This will be his eighth placement in the last three years including stints in juvenile detention for assaulting his teachers, five state hospital placements (we have no mental health insurance coverage) and two residential treatment facilities (the last one was for just about twenty four hours until he punched me in the face twice at a court-ordered psyche eval). I speak to him everyday. He's doing better lately, no restraints, mechanical or manual for about a month. I can no longer sit next to him at visitation because he punched me in the face in June. I dreamt last night that I held him in my arms and went,"See, we can do this!" It felt wonderful. I will see him on Friday and I can't wait. He's my son.