adoption, family

When the Chickens Don’t Come Home to Roost

I’ve heard that every night chickens come home to roost. Mine do not seem to have this homing instinct. Early trauma and adoption have taken such a toll on my kids that I’m not sure they understand the concept.

Mary isn’t home. My little girl is flourishing in her residential therapeutic school. I am so glad she is making progress. I am also so heartsick that she couldn’t get better here in our home. It shouldn’t matter as long as she is healing, but somehow it still matters to me. I am grateful but I am also resentful.

It isn’t as if they are doing anything different than we ever did. It isn’t as if they are even using a different treatment model. It’s literally the same language, same sensory tools, and the same coping strategies. It’s just that when she’s removed from the pressure of a family structure, Mary is able to respond to treatment. I can’t even put into words how much that hurts me. Aside from this blog, I’ll never even try.

Marcus still hasn’t returned home for his visit. At this point he’s refusing. Now he’s got some kind of extra person he’ responsible for. He seems to be somehow taking care of his new girlfriend’s baby and one of her friends with no place to go.

I get the impression they are all living in his car or in motel rooms when they can afford it. He doesn’t even know these people and yet they are more to him than his real family right now.

At this time he’s refusing to visit us unless we allow this extra person into our home. I dug in my heals. I know how poorly he decides who to associate with. I am aware that he is dealing some low level drugs in his current city.

His last Toxic Girlfriend was an addict who stole, lied, and showed up unpredictably high anywhere. I cannot let people like this into my home. I cannot re-expose Carl to the scenes that comprised his early childhood.

Maybe I’ll except the girlfriend and the baby. I don’t know if I can but I will try. I won’t take the stray unpredictable new friend into my home. I’m trying to accept some of the people he associates with. I just know too much about some of the people he associates with.

We also have some hard and fast rules about no fire arms or drugs in the home. Older associates know this, at least the ones we allow here. I wonder how I would feel if my daughter someday brought home a person like Marcus as a date?

I tried to make a compromise. I offered that we could meet him at a neutral location halfway between the states. He could bring this random friend and girlfriend and baby and we’d buy everyone lunch. If anything inappropriate goes down or anyone is high we can take Carl and leave.

If all goes well we can celebrate our oldest son’s 21st birthday and give him his gift. He’s a survivalist. He’s coming for the gift. A large part of me just really wants to throw it at him.

The only consolation here is that my mom thinks this is a good compromise. She’s pretty good at this parenting stuff so if she approves my plan then it must be worth something.

I want to scream and yell at him that he should care about this family. Check on us. Come and see us. His real and actual family that has been through so very much recently!! But Marcus doesn’t really get family. He thinks he is protecting his “family.”

I try so hard but sometimes I don’t want to. It sucks and I hate every picture perfect Facebook family. Well, at least I hate them until I realize I post the same shiny family to the rest of the public.

I just want to give up sometimes. I really do.

However, I have to let the wayward chickens find their way home as they will. For now I should snuggle into this mostly empty nest and hope that Carl stays.

**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

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12 thoughts on “When the Chickens Don’t Come Home to Roost

  1. I’m with your mom. I think it’s a good plan. It looks good in writing, anyway, because it protects you, Carl, and your home. I’m sure negotiating for a demilitarized zone feels less than loving. You aren’t responsible for your “adult” son’s actions or attitudes….but how can you not feel resentful?! And fearful for his future? He doesn’t know how good he had it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. skinnyhobbit says:

    You’re drawing firm boundaries and that is definitely needed! It’s loving to set limits to prevent harm to self or others, you’ve a whole brood whose safety needs matter. YOUR needs matter too and a neutral place is definitely the right step. ❤ It’s OK to feel resentful, it points to your longing that Marcus will see the love freely offered to him. It points to your pain that he’s treating your family like you’re not his. *hugs*! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. silveryew says:

    Oh Herding I am so sorry. Good on you for staying firm and enforcing boundaries, even though it feels horrible. You have to, for Carl’s sake and for your sake as well. Don’t forget about yourself in all of this. Even though it can be difficult at times. You’ve just had surgery. Luke is still recovering. And Carl still struggles with memories of the past. I think meeting somewhere halfway is completely reasonably and as you say, if it escalates you can remove yourself from the situation. Something that just won’t be that easy if the meeting takes place at home. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Am I Tough Enough For Tough Love? | Herding Chickens and Other Adventures in Foster and Adoptive Care

  5. I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying reading you blog. It is so honest and heartfelt. I have never been a foster parent but have several friends who are. It really takes a special person (couple) to have that kind of unconditional love. I am not surprised that you want to give up. Who wouldn’t want to, but somehow I believe you won’t. You will continue to stand strong and do whatever you can to help your family. I admire you for that. God bless.

    Like

    • Thank you for reading. Don’t worry, I’ll never give up. It’s nice to have a space where I can write my true feelings, though. It’s therapeutic for me. Your blog always makes me smile and remember a time when some of these chickens were littler. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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