Friday, August 14, 2009

Adjustment, Adaptation, and a Brief Service Announcement

Just a little update on the drama that is the Sanatorium.
Angelo is completing his fourth of four all-day visits with his grandma today.
Tomorrow he has a two-hour visit with Mom.
Monday morning, 6 am, CPS will be here to take him to Jeddito, AZ. For good.
It's gut-wrenching to watch the three little boys separate every morning--all three happy and hugging, no one understanding the ramifications involved here.

And how have we all been doing with this grand adventure?
I don't remember if I've mentioned this before, but Angelo has an attachment disorder (informally diagnosed, mind you)--he will latch onto anyone who gives him more than 30 seconds of attention. He's not afraid of anyone, and he has no deep loyalties. As I pondered this, I realized that this might be a gift for him in his current situation. And it has been. He's bonding to his grandma. This hurts a little, but I know it's for the best. (It did do my soul some good when he bonked his head on his bed yesterday, and all he wanted was "Mama" to make him feel better.) I don't know what that will mean for him, exactly, when he's on the reservation, but hopefully it won't endanger him.
Alas, even my carefully laid plans for his grandma to follow were discarded within moments of crossing her threshold. He's had no nap for three days, and he comes home disoriented and unhappy. But he does work back into things within a half-hour or so. It's hard to watch him struggle between these two worlds. But it won't last much longer.

All the kids seem to be adapting to his absence in their own ways: Tucker, Ben, Lily, and Micah are fine--happy when he comes home, but otherwise fairly unaffected. It's Hyrum I'm worried about. Not only has he lost his "twin," but he's lost all the other kids to all-day school as well. He successfully weaned off the pacifier over the last few days, without even asking at all. But he doesn't know what do to with himself, alone all day every day. He's become clingy, whiny, and dependent on Mom, whereas before he was independent, happy, and mostly wild. We've done lots of stuff together the past three days--coloring, shopping, reading, playing, snuggling. But I wonder if all this attention is going to make him even harder when Baby Sister enters the picture. We'll see.

The most surprising adjustment through all of this has been within me. I no longer see him as my child. I feel like a long-term babysitter, where I NEVER felt that way before. I'm concerned about him, sure, but it's the concern of a good friend or neighbor. At first, this development disturbed me. Why was I acting and feeling like this? However, I've come to understand that it's a gift of the Spirit, helping me let go without the pain and worry engulfing me. And I'm grateful.

I think that when he leaves for good on Monday we will all feel a little differently. I can't anticipate reality. But I must acknowledge God's hand in helping our family let go, a little at a time, since there is no alternative.

We'll see what Monday brings.

Epiphany #86--God's hand works unexpectedly and powerfully to ease difficulty in our lives. He doesn't erase trial or eliminate pain, He just makes it possible to continue on.

. . . And the announcement (completely unrelated and light-hearted, unlike the rest of this post): Only seven days left until my big 40th birthday. Seven days to contemplate how wonderful I am and how best to surprise me!


  1. We all have shed tears and said many prayers for you, with your name in the temple, too. I am so thankful that you have been blessed with a more peaceful, accepting attitude and I know that will help your family. Now our prayers will focus on little Hyrum and all will soon be fine for him, too. With all of your mothering experience and the Spirit that you always invite into your life, you will know just the right things to do to make him happy again. We all admire you so much for your efforts to help some of these sweet less fortunate children and I am convinced that you will reap rewards instead of unhappiness. LOVE

  2. What do you mean only 7 days to plan? I have been planning for a while! Soon you will join the dark side!

    As for Hyrum, he has a loving family to help him out, it will be hard but fine. I pray for Jello, for his safety and that he will be loved like a child should be loved. I am glad you have found a measure of peace - you are an angel to be a foster mom.

    Enjoy 39 for a few more days.

  3. Thank goodness for gifts of the spirit. But, I'm still sad for little Hyrum. Here is for hoping he too will be able to adjust sooner rather than later. And thanks for the late warning on your birthday. What can I possibly come up with in 7 short days? haha If Brad is throwing some party and I wasn't invited, I'll be totally offended too!

  4. You amaze me. You are so strong. I really do admire all that you do. I hope everything goes well. I have a Jakey at home that would love to play with Hyrum.

  5. It's a blessing, pure and simple. You are getting the help you deserve, and I'm grateful.

    As far as the attachment disorder goes, I would have to agree that his condition may make things a bit easier for him in this case. I sure hope so!

    Hugs to all of you. (And I hope you get all the birthday surprises you could wish for...)


  6. That is so good to hear, and that you are seeing God's hand in this separation. He loves ALL of his children, as you do.

  7. So good to hear the way the Lord is blessing your family. I hope Hyrum will feel our prayers for him, and the transition won't be too hard. By the way, if you announce your birthday, and that you want and/or expect surprises, I don't think they count as surprises. Therefore, I think you just blew it my friend! There goes your private jet and trip to a private, tropical island I had all planned for you, good thing it's refundable!

  8. Forgot I wanted to tell you I started a book review blog,it's and I hope you and your legion of followers will help me review books on it. I got frustrated not being able to find a source that would tell me if a book had explicit sexual content, or was full of swearing, or graphic violence, so I started one. Anyone who wants to leave a review, leave me a comment, and we'll figure it out! There's only 1 review on there, I just read Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella and put up my thoughts on it.

  9. Dang it Jamie, You were doing the private jet thing too?! Oh well, I went ahead and cancelled the pilot being it's not a surprise anymore and expected at that. I didn't go all out with the tropical island though, just a relaxing weekend at the spa but oh well, I am sure she can add some bubbles to her tub.

  10. You are an amazing woman. What a wonderful example of faith as you find the blessings and gifts within painful experiences.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers...all of you.

    Love you.