We are in the thick of the holiday season, and other than desiring to ability to see some family, sleep late and nap with Yappy, I really wish I could hit the fast forward button. Christmas shopping went out of control since I had to buy a new HVAC unit, and Hope wanted everyone in her new family to have some kind of present. I’m dangerously close to just writing checks and putting them in boring security mailing envelopes or finding myself as one of those sad people still shopping at the 24-hour Walgreen’s on Christmas Day.
Clearly the holidays bring about unique stressors like spending cash, spending a LOT of time with other people, year-end reflection and just stuff. Add to the mix a new daughter who misses some of her first family and is reflecting on the massive changes she’s endured during the last year, and it’s just one wave of a meltdown after another. This season seems to be tough for both of us.
Adding to our drama was the recent resurfacing of a legal case against someone who was really ishtty to Hope several years ago. Oh, yeah, that was fun and no doubt shaved a few more years off of my life. #sarcasm Nothing like waking up one afternoon and realizing that you might’ve seen your life on a previous episode of Law & Order.
We’ve been so stressed out that Hope, and I were about ready to claw each other’s eyes out ahead of family therapy last week. Fortunately, Absurdly Hot Therapist is really, really good at what he does. We were both able to acknowledge just how overwhelmed we are; how we aren’t as far along as we each thought and some stuff that we both need to do differently.
(As one of the few bright side giggles lately: Hope has recently become fixated on commenting on how big Absurdly Hot Therapist’s feet are. Every time, I can barely stifle my gleeful giggles, because you know, I’m totally inappropriate. He has big hands too….just sayin. #dontjudgeme)
Today marks the first day of winter break, which means two crazy glorious weeks together. Yay or nah?
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with Hope. Love it!
I’m getting really good at listing to “These are the Days of Our Lives: Middle School Edition.” My patience is growing, though it still has a lot more to go. My ability to try to parse out adoption stuff from annoying teen stuff seems weaker than usual or maybe it’s just that they are overlapping and related. Technology and access to it continues to be a problem—trying to find balance in giving her sufficient access so that she learns how to use it appropriately, particularly is social settings still feels like a slow painful death to me. And feeling Hope’s resentment because Yappy loves me more (he does; it’s a fact) makes me sad, even if Yappy unwavering preference for me makes me love him even more. Yep, it’s all good, even when it’s bad, I guess.
Hope has come so far this year. I mean we both reflect back on the drama of 11 months ago, and it’s shocking how much things have improved. Shocking. And yet we still struggle.
Life: It’s complicated.
So I’m hoping we can pull it together and keep it together enough to not have too many more meltdowns during the next couple of weeks. I am looking forward to Christmas festivities, new traditions and time with family and friends.
Merry Christmas folks!
December 22nd, 2014 at 6:34 pm
Maybe have Hope give Yappy treats a few times a day for a few weeks. It might help Yappy seek out her attention a bit more, and help lesson the resentment. Our dog has recently taken to not greeting us at the door when we come home, so I now after a few weeks of me giving her a treat when I get home and she comes running to me. Mr. MPB does not do this, and he does not get a warm welcoming reception when he comes home. I love it. 🙂
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!
December 22nd, 2014 at 10:25 pm
She gives treats, probably too much attention. She needs to improve on the boundaries though. But he just loves me more.
December 22nd, 2014 at 9:17 pm
I am so here with you. Patience you can do it.
December 23rd, 2014 at 1:22 pm
Whew! I know you know. We can both do this!
December 22nd, 2014 at 9:26 pm
So … ummm … here are a couple of unsolicited suggestions (for Hope, not you.)
1. Carry treats in your pockets. Always.
2. Totally ignore Yappy until he comes to you, and then – if you feel like it – in a very casual sort of way, give him a treat.
3. Don’t try to make him come to you. Puppies are like toddlers – contrary. Pretend you don’t care, smell like bacon, and he’ll be all over you like a rash – you’ll see!
And Mom, he’ll still love you best. He’s a smart puppy – he knows who’s boss of the food bowl! lol
December 22nd, 2014 at 10:23 pm
She’s doing the right things. He just strongly prefers me.
December 22nd, 2014 at 10:23 pm
Ha! He definitely knows who’s the alpha up in here though!
December 23rd, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Merry Christmas, ABM. We’ve had lots of holiday meltdowns in the past. My son Silent One was so preoccupied with his first family during the holidays, he couldn’t give himself permission to be happy. What if they were still in difficult circumstances, sick, or worse?
Have you read http://looneytunes09.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/hold-the-happy-holidays-are-hard-for-foster-kids/ from “I was a Foster Kid”? He provides a foster alum’s perspective on the holidays in this post.
December 23rd, 2014 at 1:19 pm
Thanks so much for the read, the comment and the link. Even though I know what some of the issues are, it’s helpful to hear it from a foster/adoptee voice.
Tough times… she had me humming Swing Low this morning. Smh
December 26th, 2016 at 10:45 am
Thank yothe for being you ABM!
December 26th, 2016 at 10:46 am