Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Pains...

(Previously posted as The Difficulties and the Pleasures; edited because it was so darn long!)

Yesterday, Brad, Moon Unit, and I were sitting at the dinner table, discussing an email we got from K's caseworker. We were going over her questions regarding how we would handle different difficult situations that may arise. They both brought up that they didn't feel like Dweezil and Frank were properly disciplined. So I asked them about this and what they thought needed to be done that wasn't being done already.

The thing that seemed to come out of this was that it's not so much what I'm not doing right as much as it is trying to overcome the influence (or lack thereof) of being in their father's home, where discipline seems to be severely lacking. They get yelled at a lot but not really disciplined. It seems to just roll off Dweezil's back. Add to that the fact that they are usually only up every other weekend and it's maybe 4-6 days a month that they are with us vs being at home with their dad. Discipline is such a difficult proposition when this is the case. I can't have much impact on their behavior. There have been some improvements but more needs to be made.

I never wanted to put them in a position of uprooting them from their home, disrupting their lives, when they were more or less happy. I think I've made the assumption that they are happy. But when I think of how things are at their house - the frozen dinners instead of home cooked, how messy their house looks sometimes, the way their dad yells at them but never really disciplines them - it really bothers me because I really think they would be better off here. Okay, so my house isn't always perfectly clean (who's house is and are they normal?) and I don't always spend as much quality time with them as I should. But still, I sometimes think maybe I've done the wrong thing by letting them stay where they are. And I really hate second guessing myself like that.

To top that off, part of the email we got from K's caseworker asked why the boys live with their father. We've been split up for 8 years and I have always waited for that question. I guess for the most part, the general population is polite enough not to ask. But the caseworker is not part of the general population. She has to make sure that we are going to be a good family for K so she had to ask. So I answered her question, trying to be as completely thorough as possible while at the same time trying not to be defensive. Because this is a horribly sore point for me. I have never regretted anything like I have regretted not having the boys live with me. And it's just so very difficult to talk about because of the second guessing. But I guess there's very little that's sacred when you're trying to adopt a kid who's been through the foster care system.


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