I've been in a haze, exhausted, and ready to quit. I'm not going to lie. Days and days of tears and wondering if I can do this. We can't go to the park because Smash is back to his old tricks. Example: he fell off the slide and it hurt. He cried. Instead of allowing me to comfort him, he tried to hit me and run away. Like, run fast. We haven't dealt with that behavior in months and months. Whistle is back to his old ways as well. Very upset, acting out, when being corrected he attempts to get physical. Hitting. Biting. Pinching. He finally connected last week and bit the fool out of my arm. *Pictured below. During diaper changes, Smash has told Jake and his teachers at school, "no, no, no don't touch me." He also refuses to hold my hand when we are walking. We have limited outings for this safety reason. We've woken up, on multiple occasions, to Smash singing calmly in his crib (at 2, 3, 4am), "No listen, no daddy, no lay down, no no, no mommy." Singing about how disobedient he is going to be. Basically, they feel so out of control, they try to control anything they can. Anyone who has a two year old knows the stubbornness of a child trying to gain control. Well, they are two, and that is a factor, but that is not the root of the issue. Weekly they are ripped from the love and security we provide, and transported to an office to sit in a room with a woman who they have no bond with. It's hurtful and confusing to them. I can tell myself over and over "this is the process".. but, it doesn't make our day to day any easier.
So, they are hurt, scared, and angry. Panic and anxiety attacks, acting out. Constantly rejecting us. I lay in bed and cry because I want to pull away from them. I don't want to love them anymore. I can't do it. I feel like if they can't trust, love, and respect me after 10 months, they never will. But, then I talk to Jake, and get in the Word, and I realize over and over again, the Lord is where I find my strength. I am not capable of showing them the love they need. He provides unconditional love through me. They are lost in a cycle of unhealthy behavior and the inability to love and trust. I am the adult, I am their mother, I am the one who has to break the cycle and give them grace and love. Unconditionally. I've been fighting this in the last week especially. Their trial is coming up (early June) and I've been struggling with wanting them. If the courts say we get to adopt them, sure, I figured I would be able to accept the change and heal our relationship. Because my relationship with the boys has suffered these last weeks. However, if the courts don't go in our favor, if our case is extended, or whatever.. I was thinking, if we can't adopt them, yet they need to remain in foster care, I can't continue. I won't continue. I was considering disrupting this placement (if it came down to it). After a long talk with Jake, we've decided, no matter what, we are sticking with these boys unless someone removes them from us. While this may not even be a factor... the courts may make this a clean termination. Or not. I needed to come to this place in my heart to be able to wake up tomorrow and love them. I'm so thankful for Jake's strength in this. He is patient and understanding, and ready to jump in to relieve me from our stressful days. Really and truly, they act like they hate me most days. I know this may be hard to understand. I love them so deeply and yet still don't. It's because this love is not easy. It is hard. It is messy. It is a love full of rejection, pain, and heartbreak. It is something I have to choose every day. I have to wake up and ask the Lord to help me love them. I have to lay my humility and pride down. And that's what I'm doing. I'm choosing to love them. I'm not giving up on them.. or myself.
Honestly, this song is a little cheesy. But, if you try and listen to it from my perspective, I think you'll feel it pull at your heart strings. As my sweet friend, Raechel, put it, "It's not cheesy applied to all the work going into the love of the Piatt family." Not cheesy at all.
Here is Smash the night he came into care, followed by a few of my faceless favorites..
I won't give up.