We received a report from his teacher last week, that he would not quit talking in her class or his reading teacher's class, after being told to stop numerous times. He ended up having to pull a card in both classes. As usual, he was punished when he got home from school, privileges were taken away, apologies were written to the teachers, and he did not get to go on the family outing over the weekend. Knowing how badly he wanted to go, we assumed this would leave a lasting impression on him, that would prevent him from acting out again (not ever again, as he is a child, but at least buy us a good bit of time before his next offense). The impression we thought we left, was a failure, as we received a very upsetting e-mail from his teacher yesterday, that read:
From Me: Okay. We will definitely start with counseling and see if his behavior improves. I agree with you that he definitely has trouble with self control. We constantly have to tell him to quit making noises when he's doing his homework, eating, brushing his teeth, and anything else that requires focus. He also has a very hard time sitting still for even 5 minutes. We have a 'no running in the house' rule that he cannot follow at all and constantly has to be reminded. I'm sure if he has a hard time with these things at home, that he does at school as well. We very much appreciate you keeping us informed and as always, please continue to do so, as we are working diligently to teach him so many things that he seems to have never learned or experienced, that most 9 year olds know, such as tying his shoes. He'd never had anything but Velcro shoes before he came to us. He struggles every day to tie his shoes properly and keep them tied...just this morning it took him about 5 tries.
From Teacher: Believe it or not, he is not the only 3rd grade student that I have that can't tie a shoe. It is really quite shocking!! I know that Robert is a work in progress and please know how much I just love him! I will keep you up to date on any changes that I see in him and I would appreciate it if you would do the same!! Have a great day!!
When my husband picked R up from school, not telling him his teacher had e-mailed us, he asked him how his day was. Of course R lied, and getting the whole truth was like pulling teeth, with lots of tears involved. Unfortunately, he experienced his 2nd spanking of his life, and definitely worst than the first. And now this weekend when we go see "Wreck It Ralph," he will not be permitted to go. This is not over though.
I have been dragging my feet way too long now on getting him into counseling. I know it's something I should have done from the very beginning, but I just kept hoping things would get better. My first task this morning, after sending the boys off to school, was to find help. I tried contacting my APAC (Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections) contact, Lisa, at the Children's Aid Society, but she could not be reached. I then decided to e-mail her, because she has always been quick about responding, although it had been quite awhile since we corresponded. Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from her supervisor, who also happened to be the counselor, informing me that Lisa, who by the way is younger than me and petite, had had a stroke and was in inpatient rehab. Lisa and her husband have been in the process of adopting a baby from a foreign country, but she is not letting this stop them, as her husband and parents are there now, visiting the child. This might be the visit where they bring the baby home...I'm not sure though. Back to the topic of counseling, the counselor and I spoke for awhile. She will be coming to my house the week after Thanksgiving, to meet with me at noon, where we will do a patient intake. At this time she will get all of his background information, e-mails from his teachers, and comments from me. She'll then examine all of the information and set up a counseling plan with her and R. I am so thrilled and amazed with the resources the Children's Aid Society offers. Did I mention, this is all free? You can't even pay a doctor to do an in-home visit! The counselor also shared with me that she gets very busy this time of year, because the children always seem to have problems around the holidays. She also said she will talk to me about how I am feeling, to gauge what I may need help with.
I am not pleased with the way I have handled this adoption, whatsoever. My husband handles it so much better, and I'm envious of him for it. For instance, instead of being helpful when I'm astonished that he doesn't know how to do something, I get irritated and angry. I'm angry that no one ever taught him. I'm angry that so many people let him slip by. I'm angry...and because those people aren't here, I take it out on him. It was very apparent of how I make him feel, when him and my husband were in the living room working on his spelling words, and then I walked in and he became visibly nervous, stressed, and couldn't focus to spell the words, whereas he had spelled every word correctly before I walked in the room. I'm a terrible person for being mean to this innocent child. I'm constantly stressed because I want to be better, I want to love him, I want to want to be around him. I know I should and need to feel all of these things and more, and I worry every day because I do not.
I ask for prayers, good vibes, good thoughts, whatever it is that you do, to help my family become whole. I ask for the same that this counseling will be the answer we've been looking for.