Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Anniversary Picture and Rough Times Ahead

We managed to celebrate Pollito's anniversay without incident and everyone participated. I made a giant cookie and asked Pollito what he wanted it to say. He thought about it for a moment and said "Love the Family." So that is what we wrote on it.

Both Corazon and Tortuga will have anniversaries in the next few weeks. I have no doubt we are in for some rough times but right now we are holding steady and taking it one day at a time.

Corazon has made tremendous progress over the past few years but there are lingering behaviors that just won't leave! She continues to have pretty good days coupled with really bad days. On those days nothing works. There is a pattern that is emerging though.Her worst days are the days she doesn't have gymnastics and Mondays. With her advancing to the next level in gymnastics she is now going to the gym 5 days each week--yay! She LOVES it. All the girls come out after a 3 1/2 hour workout looking beat. She bounces out with the biggest smile on her face! It's wonderful to see how much she really enjoys this. On the other hand, schoolwork isn't getting done and when it is done it is dones slowly (4 hours to do a writing prompt) or incorrectly (she forgot how to round numbers to nearest tens and hundreds places). I just smile and say "great job" to which she gives me the most incredulous looks.

Tortuga has made tremendous progress and we had our best holiday season yet. It is still exhausting and I have to make so much effort for some small (albeit important) changes. Yet I can see the healing and the calmer kid and for that I am ever so grateful. He dominates tremendous amounts of our time and energy and the other kids are feeling neglected. Rightly so. We are still struggling with his complete and utter disdain(vehement and violent) for Corazon. It causes him to miss out on many family activities which he resents and blames her for. We continue to explain that everyone in our family is entitled to feel safe and he does not do things to make it comfortable or safe for her when he sits at the table and glares at her for no reason at all. He sits in his room and talks about how awful she is but so far all we get out of him is that she "looks" at him and that she "steals" (only once ever from him and it was half a bag of candy he had lost the privilege of eating.) It's sad, especially because she continues to work to help him every chance she gets.


Lisa said...

Happy Anniversary to Pollito! Love his choice of words on his cookie.

Will be thinking of y'all as the next set of behaviors arise.

BT said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Pollito!

And yay on Corazon's gymnastics. But, dang, that school work behaviour must be driving you insane. And I know what you mean about so much energy and attention going to one kid, with the other kids not getting the attention they need and deserve. It is something I used to worry about constantly when we were more in the throes of things with P. Now it's not so bad, and I have been able to even things up a bit more. So hard to juggle it all and feel like everyone's getting everything they need.

Hang in there with what lies ahead. Any way to amp up some of the therapeutic stuff in anticipation?? We did that with P's December (month of trauma anniversaries for P) 2009, and had the best December we've ever had with him.

Jennie said...

just curious, non argumentative-style, why do you celebrate the anniversary of their adoptions? I know lots of adoptive families to this and I've always puzzled over why, and whether or not it was an idea I should add and I can never come up with a good reason. In fact, I usually only come up with reasons not to.

So tell me some of the pros, please!

Dia por Dia said...

Hi Jennie--Good question. I am not sure I have lots of good reasons for doing that because we don't tend to celebrate adoption anniversaries either. We DO celebrate the anniversary of the days they moved in and joined the family(others call them "gotcha days.") In our family adoption days may or may not pass with acknowledgment depending on the year and the kid. (Corazon was too young to remember the date itself so we frequently don't even mention it. Tortuga was older and when he was adopted he REALLY wanted it and so he remembers it clearly especially because it was a few days before xmas. Plus we have only had 2 of those.) He has wanted us to do a celebration but we usually just acknowledge the day with a meal out.

I generally think celebration of an adoption day is dependent on specific circumstances and significance. For us, joining the family is the most meaningful and the official signing of papers was important but not the most important date in the journey. For some families who have fostered I think the adoption day signals the freedom from regular social worker visits,no more need to get permission to take kids anywhere, legal validation of the role you have played for at least 6 months, etc. and so there is reason to celebrate the adoption and maybe recognize the anniversary of it.

Don't know if that helps... :-)

Dia por Dia said...

BT--Have been stepping up the therapeutic time and will continue to. I think my kids have less of a "trauma" response to this period than other might because in both cases (for older kids) they were taken from foster homes they really, really disliked. But coincidentally their moving in days correspond closely to when they were moved into those previous homes from people/places they really loved. So it all gets mixed in together.

J. said...

we celebrate gotcha days with a family picture and pizza and movie which is what we did the first night they were here. Low key but important to them - especially since they remember the day. I hear you on the few beahviours with C, we have some similar things going on. Hope the next few weeks are smoother than anticpated...

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