Fun Like a Root Canal

So, I registered Hope for school yesterday and today will be her first day even though we’ve got a two hour delay because of more in the southeast/mid-Atlantic region.  I knew both of us were anxious about this step but I didn’t think it would blow up the way it did.  Unfortunately, I had to move my plan to say “yes” to today and later this week because I had to white knuckle not strangling Hope while we were at the school.

So here’s the good news:  Hope took her ADHD meds which meant that she was not bouncing off the walls.  Her school counselor is very, very nice; I’m glad we took a tour and got to meet her during Hope’s earlier visit.   Mrs. Counselor was patient and kind to us, and very reassuring to me about this whole transition.

The bad news?  Well it really was like going to nicest dentist with a great staff and knowing you’re going to get a balloon and some cool stickers before it’s over, but first you’re going to have a root canal without any pain relief.  Enjoy.

Hope struggles with ODD; a lot of great people have really helped her during the last year, and I’ve studied, and I really am trying to not reinforce those behaviors (we take lots of timeouts to not feed the monster).  She’s come a long way, but she still has a long way to go.

Hope’s frustration with the different curriculum and the limited options for half year electives made her lose her ish right in the counselor’s office.  It was painful, embarrassing and just miserable.  My heart broke because I knew this was hard for her; but I was also furious because we discussed the options available to her 3 times before going to the school and I made it clear that I would give her choices, but if she refused to make a choice, a choice would be made for her.  That’s my job.

Of course my apparent expectation that she would be reasonable in retrospect was apparently too high.  The fact that I did my job only infuriated her more.  Then I sent her out to the lobby couch while I discussed her courses and her behavior with the counselor.

It really sucked.

Royally sucked.

The counselor is aware of our new, transitional family status and was reassuring and supportive.  She guessed accurately about my girl’s history of trauma and loss.  She was gentle in asking could she give the teachers a head’s up about this transition so that they try to not overly judge my girl.

I don’t want her labeled; she has so many labels already.  I just want to give her a chance.  But her behavior was so over the top yesterday that I thought it was in her best interest to give them a head’s up.

She really is like an angry feral cat sometimes.  You’re trying to save her and she just keeps hissing and scratching.

So, I’m going to pray that today goes smoothly and that she’ll keep it together and that she’ll have a good day.

That said, I would not be surprised to get a phone call.



About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

8 responses to “Fun Like a Root Canal

  • thefamilyof5

    Fingers crossed it all goes/went well x

  • SerialAdopter

    Transitions are so tough. Hoping it all goes well too.

  • justmyluckylife

    I hope that her day goes smoothly and you aren’t punished for the change at the end of the day. In our home we have “Punishment Mondays” because the transition back to school on Monday is a difficult one, so I get punished for it.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Justmyluckylife, thanks for the read and thanks for the heads up. The possible punishment at the beginning of a week had not occurred to me. You’ve done me a huge favor in educating me about possibly having this kind of transitional issue. THANKS!

      • justmyluckylife

        You’re very welcome. Change is very hard for our special kiddos, and it is hard to decipher the triggers sometimes, but the transition from weekend to work-day/school day has definitely been a challenge for us. Her knowing our “routine” and what to expect the next day helps us the most, but as you know its not always possible (in the real world).

  • Caitlin

    A quick note about labeling – I have coached hundreds of youth soccer players of all ages, and I 110% appreciate when a parent gives me a heads’ up about things going on at home. It makes it MUCH easier to figure out what is going on at practice or school to know that a kid needs a little extra patience, encouragement, time, etc. I would worry little about labeling and help teachers/counselors understand how they can help! I know it’s a tricky area, since you want to respect Hope’s privacy. You are an incredible mother doing great things for your girl!

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Caitlin, thanks for the read and the reassurance. In the moment it’s hard to feel like you’re making the right call because I just want her to have a clean slate, even if that is maybe too high of a goal. I just want to protect her; I know I did the right thing with the disclosure because then these folks can help me help her. Thanks for the kind words and support. 🙂

  • AdoptiveNYMomma

    I agree with Caitlin keep everyone in the loop. As time goes on and she adjusts you will share less but in the beginning she is going to need the allies who understand so they are less likely to judge or assume

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