Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adoption isn't for sissies

Yep, I said it. Adoption isn't for sissies. It isn't for wimps. We continue to have issues.
It was explained to me that the ups and downs of adoption are cyclical. Eventually the time between downs becomes less and less, however by that point, parents are so exhausted that the downs seem like they are deeper and deeper. It eventually is difficult to find your way to climb back out of the downs. I feel like I need a freaking rescue team sent out to look for me...
So my question becomes:
When does a personality quirk become a personality disorder? When does a fear become something that needs to be addressed by a professional? Is Josh anti-social? I know that this post will probably end up sounding negative, and there will always be those people who say, "but he seems like he's doing so well..." and "it's got to be difficult for him..." We know this. We know that he is grieving. We know that this is not easy, but we are living this. This is my life everyday... wondering if Josh is going to be a part of it or not. And I must say it's different when it's 24/7.
As I have mentioned before Josh often times ends up by himself... living in a sea of people but preferring to be utterly alone. When we do things together, he most often ends up by himself. Yesterday we went to the kids school for their opening ceremonies. It was Justine's first day of Kindergarten... a monumental time I didn't want to miss. And you know what I was doing? Dragging Josh into the church sanctuary to watch the ceremonies.
He has such issues with people. He flat out refused to go in. We have been there before. He has been there before. There weren't that many people there. I literally had to drag him in. He wanted to stand outside the door. How can we make him NOT feel like an outsider when he refuses to stop acting like one? When he refused to walk in, a part of me just thought I'll be damned if I'm going to allow that any longer. Enough is enough. We took him out of school this year to homeschool him in an attempt to get him ready to go to that school next year... wouldn't you want to see what's going on? Wouldn't you want to know what you will be doing before you are expected to do it? We make such a big deal about other kids not treating him differently, yet he's the one who insists on it. When we got to the car, I asked him what his problem was. He replied, "I don't like people."
Well isn't that just a sad, sad statement? I asked him if he was afraid of his soccer team... there were just as many people there and he walked right in. No, because that was something he wanted to do. Well there you go. When it's something you want to do, you do it, but not if it's something WE want you to do. For heaven's sake, we even quit going to church for awhile because Josh was uncomfortable. Well I have had enough.
During our conversation, Josh basically told me that he would rather be alone thinking about "nothing" than to be with us. I told him that all people do things in life that they would probably rather not do, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. There is nothing in life that you are going to be able to do without interacting with people. There will be no college, no life, no wife, kids, family, friends, job... he was alright with that.
Nice huh?
We had a great time in St Louis and enjoyed seeing everyone (which I will blog about later), but it definitely seems like his behavior has been sub-par ever since. Did it make him homesick? Did it make him sad? Who knows? He now has the language skills to tell us things like that, but during our conversation, he wouldn't even make eye contact with me (he was completely turned sideways to avoid it) and would not tell me what the hell he is thinking. He won't ever share anything with us. So how do you even begin to start? Well for one thing, he isn't going to be allowed to opt out of family activities any longer. The expectations we have for all the rest of them are going to apply to him as well.
Adoption isn't for sissies. Where's my rescue team? Maybe I need a GPS to find myself.


Linda said...

Whatever you need from us just let me know. Counseling may not be a bad idea. I'm sure there are some good ones out there. We went when the kids were early teens. Just hang on to your higher power and support system.

Holly Wilgers said...

I saw your blog design on "Blogovers With Love" and I sai, "I know those kids!" They did a phenominal job! I'm so jealous!!!!

Holly Wilgers said...

Oh Gina! Would it help to tell you that I acted like that too for many years? ...And I'm not adopted. I still have tendencies to want to be by myself... Hang in there! I'll be praying for you and Grace.

jamesnancy97 said...


I can second with Holly. I have had some of those issues since I was a child. I have these weird moments of anti-social behavior (and I'm 31!), that flair up sometimes with no warning. I am sure that a lot of it has to do with being in a different situation, but let me tell you, from a guy that loves being the center of attention, some of it very well could be to steal attention in a negative way. I can email you on the side if you would like to tell you some of how I have to deal with my issues everyday.


Amy said...

Gina, I wish I was close right now to give you a big hug. I will be praying for you (and your sanity) and will be praying that Josh begins to see that being an Ellerbee is a blessed thing.


SisterMom said...

Oh Gina I am so sorry.
It is not for sissies and has been so much harder than I could ever have imagined. I live everyday in fear of what it may hold, every time I say no or ask him to do something I hold my breath, knowing that he may totally shut down, tune out and run away.
Send your rescue team my way if they ever drag you out!

SisterMom said...

Tonight we asked Anteneh what Josh said about you guys. He says he loves you all very much. I know it's hard to hear it when you are going through it but, it will get better, it has to. From now on the Pruitt and the Ellerbees just have to be hardasses on these bratty kids and hope for the best.

Julie said...

If it was me I would opt for seeing a professional sooner than later. I waiting way to long to deal w/ some issues w/ my bio 8 yr old and when we finally did I wanted to hit myself for waiting so long. Other than the expense, it won't hurt.

Rebecca said...

Hello my friend. I am so sorry that you are going thru this. I can't even beging to comprehend what you are going thru....hang in there. And, I'm need to write a book for those that come after! I'm sending you a hug.

Family of Six: Going To Ethiopia said...

Counseling might be really empowering, for all of you. You are doing a good job and I hope you tell yourself that often. Crystal