Guest Blog: Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall – 850 Miles Away, Is Dad Still There? Part 2
Another honest, real life, older child adoption guest blog from John. He is a retired commercial airline pilot who has adopted five boys, over three decades, from domestic foster care as a single parent. John and his family live in southern California.
Continued from Part 1. Every night he had to fill out a self report on his day. What did he do well, what went badly? What was most frustrating, etc. I was given a copy of them each week. Life was unfair; he was being blamed for things that weren’t his fault. The school sucked. The kids were damaged, and he wasn’t, and the staff was mean. There was another boy there that he truly disliked. Many nights his answer to “What did you do today that you were really proud of?” was, ‘I didn’t annihilate Kyle Goodman’. Kyle was two years older, and somewhat more beefy than Tyler, Kyle would not have been annihilated.
With each week there was progress. He was doing less and less deflecting responsibility, and more searching for answers. It was slow but steady. Nice even happened sometimes. We spent Thanksgiving and his birthday apart. We were going to spend Christmas night together, due to the schedule for the procedure that I needed to do with him.
Christmas night, I picked him up at 9PM, and we drove to the motel. On the way, he told me about something that really upset him.
Tyler has PTSD, a trigger will cause him to erupt and lose it. A staff member was apparently trying to eliminate the eruptions by intentionally triggering anger and distress frequently. When Tyler would start to get nervous or agitated, the staff member would say loudly “Freak out Tyler, come on, freak out.” He would keep repeating it; Tyler was not allowed to leave. That is what you do NOT do with PTSD. It produces panic, and that can lead to an extreme reaction, it’s dangerous, clearly emotional abuse. I was going to have to take care of it somehow, a bad sinking feeling. We had Christmas at the hotel, with a small tree, candy and some presents. It was nice. I could almost pretend we were together again.
Bedtime and he took off his shirt. His upper back had a number of angry red marks, finger sized. He explained the same staff member was impatient with him for taking too long with his after dinner chore. He grabbed Tyler by the scruff of the neck very firmly and marched him around in front of the other boys, saying “Come on Tyler this is just in fun, don’t be so serious.” Tyler got loose, and the staffer grabbed him again, but more firmly, by now all of the kids were laughing at him. Finally he lurched away, but the staffer jabbed him in the side with his thumb, a much larger bruise. Child abuse, Tyler has lived through so much of that, but this time it happened on my watch, what an awful feeling. What was I going to do? No plan and no ideas. Actually, I really did know what I was going to do. I got on the computer and without really thinking about it rebooked the flight home (I had taken the airline), but this time it was for two, and adult and a 13 year old. No plan, no ideas, but God surely did not intend for Tyler to live with child abuse. Next… We are a family, and no plan is the right plan.
- GUEST BLOG: Tyler, Coming Home
- Guest Blog: Tyler, Coming Home, the Visit First 24 Hours
- Guest Blog: Tyler Coming Home, Home Visit
- Guest Blog: Tyler, Coming Home, the Visit the Second Day
- Guest Blog: Tyler, Coming Home, We Are Adopted
- How to Organize a Baby Room While Waiting to Adopt
- How Abuse Affects Relationships
- How to Clean a Teen's Room
- How to Discipline a Violent Child
- How to Homeschool a Child With Cerebral Palsy
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