It has been a very rough five weeks. In the first couple weeks of their arrival, things were tough transitionally but we were mentally prepared with the thoughts of it will get better with lots of love and consistency with them. In their own home, Barbara was the favorite and Sharlene was caged up most of the time due to her unruly behavior and hyperactivity.
As time has gone on and they have become more comfortable in our home, some very interesting things have come to the surface. They both are hurtful to themselves to get attention. They will throw themselves off of furniture onto the floor in hopes of getting attention. They will purposely gouge their cheek and blame it on another person. They can be playing nicely and then out of the blue, scream bloody murder like someone is beating the snot out of them, and then turn around and blame one of our other children.
They both have a fascination with fire on the stove. They know what 'hot' is but yet are drawn to touch a burning hot pan anyway. When I'm cooking, I have to stand guard of the stove so they will not hurt themselves.
They eat until I put limits on their food. For instance, Sharlene had three corn dogs, chips and some apple and wanted more. I told her that I thought that was plenty for now and she threw herself on the floor in a crying meltdown. After she had calmed down, I caught her rummaging through the garbage can eating what she found there. They will both take and eat Kara's food off her tray in the highchair or in her seat. They eat food out of the couch or anywhere they find it.
There is so much more I could tell you about it but until you see it in action, it's hard to grasp hold off. When you are sitting here and something happens, you find yourself asking....is this really happening? Did this really just happen? It's surreal.
After guarding the garbage can, the stove and keeping a constant eye on all the kids all of the time to make sure everyone stays safe, I have asked myself many times, why would people willingly sign themselves up for all this fun? Even though, we aren't receiving aid, I know it's available for those who are licensed but from what I hear, it's not enough to live on so I know it can't be for the money. So I ask....What would possess a person to willingly want to do this?
I know the reason we did it was to share what love we have with two neglected little girls. But it's been one of the hardest things, I've ever had to do.
This past week, I took them to the community mental health facility for an almost three hour evaluation. At the end, the therapist sat me down in her office and said to me, "Do you realize what you've gotten yourself into?" All I could do is blink. She said that they believe Sharlene has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and that both girls are exhibiting symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder. Both are awful. Those little girls who are two and three are very messed up mentally and emotionally.
I came away from there discouraged and in tears. I've been told that it's going to take a lot of specialized training and individual care to work with the girls and that it's not something that ever really goes away. I've also been told to watch my children like a hawk because they could be in danger. How did offering to help to little innocent children turn into such a horrific mess?
I know that God is bigger than all of this. That He, in His power, can reach down and heal these little girls. We are praying for that very thing. Right now, I'm having a hard time seeing past my overwhelmed, ill-equipped and exhausted state, to even think about tomorrow.