It’s been so long since I’ve written here. The last three months have possibly been the most challenging with Mihiretu yet. That said, I’m caught in a conundrum. While I so want to share our story because I know there are many people out there who might get something out of it – adoptive parents, parents of kids with special needs, parents of adopted kids with special needs, parents, people who grew up feeling different, anyone who’s ever faced what seemed like an insurmountable hurdle, okay, ANYONE – while I know this story is well worth telling, I don’t want to tell more than Mihiretu, the future Mihiretu, would want me to tell. He might not grow up to be a blabber-mouth like his mother. I’m walking a fine line here so bear with me.
It really hasn’t been cute around here lately. This kid with a long, difficult history and understandable delays hitting the structure of public school has been downright ugly. The shit has hit the fan, all hell has broken loose, the wheels have come off the wagon, choose your cliché. There has been a lot of screaming, hitting, throwing of rocks, kicking of chairs, chasing of dogs and climbing of furniture. Every person in our family has been deeply affected, every relationship strained. It starts at five in the morning and ends when Mihiretu passes out at seven.
Because of this crisis (of faith and otherwise) we have acquired a behavioral pediatrician, a full-time aide at school, a speech therapist, the talents of the school – and district – psychologists, a male babysitter to run Mihiretu to exhaustion after school, a behavioral consultant for the home and a couples therapist. It’s been super fun. Lining all this up, admitting it was needed, finding the money to pay for it, and continuing to work out the kinks has taken almost all we’ve got. Though I imagine the situation must be improving, I still feel under-fire. Mihiretu isn’t the only one with PTSD.
There came a point where I sent out an email to a few trusted friends. The subject line: “Calling all cars”. The message: Help, help me, any way you can. For awhile there, when things were really grim, I had friends taking my girls for play-dates, giving them rides home from school, dropping off dinner. The very act of admitting that kind of defeat, of showing my need, was out of the boundaries of my character, was certainly out of my comfort level.
Perhaps Mihiretu has pushed us, quite firmly this last time, towards asking for and receiving the help we need. That’s growth I suppose. We have far more support now, from professionals and loved ones, than we did six months ago. Frankly, our lives have been extremely challenging since Mihiretu came home from Ethiopia, three and a half years ago. That’s a long time to be overwhelmed.
It occurred to me the other day that I should have a t-shirt made for when I'm out in public with Mihiretu. It would read "You fucking try it". Might give the old ladies in line at the grocery store pause before offering advice. Might quell the glares at the mall from the perfect blonde moms with their perfect blonde children. Might be a good reminder to me; this is a hard road we've chosen. I'm doing my best. Don't believe me? You fucking try it.