20 March 2009

Crimes of a 13-Year-Old and Her Adoptive Mother

I spoke too soon. All is not well in the portion of the humpty dumpty house that is occupied by the 13-year-old. The same goes for any part of the house that I have to occupy alongside her.

This week Bella has had the luxury of attending a week-long program at a local art school. With this great freedom have come copious opportunities to make poor decisions.

Here’s a short list of her (irritating) crimes:
  1. Getting some kid to buy her candy and then not being able to pay her back
  2. Getting me to give her an advance on her allowance to pay back the kid
  3. “Losing” the allowance advance money on the way to art school less than 10 minutes after getting it
  4. Then borrowing money from the art school’s receptionist (who thankfully happens to be a good friend) to give to the other kid
  5. Confessing to #3 & 4 when getting caught on the items below, but with no intention of paying back the receptionist
  6. Biting into an apple (against the requirements of her recent dental surgery) and breaking one of the dental chains (for the second time in less than two weeks)
  7. Taking an enormous box of granola bars to give to her art school “friends” leaving nothing else for anyone who resides in the household
  8. Leaving art school at lunch to wander around the market and being late to return to class in the afternoon
  9. Everything else she hasn’t been busted for yet
I hate lying. I hate dishonesty. I hate that I have to spend all this time dealing with this kid on stupid stuff. I hate that all this stupid stuff is totally able to get my blood boiling. And, I hate that all this stuff makes me like her less than I already do and it’s not like her likability was all that high to begin with.

This is the crux of our attachment issue. We haven’t attached to Bella and she really hasn’t attached to us. She’s nearly 14.

We spend all this time trying to make it work, and I worry that it just won’t. We spend a lot of time worrying and wondering if what’s broken can even be fixed.

I worry that we may want to begin actual work on the Maybe Baby next year and I’m terrified that we could face the same issues with another kid. I’m resentful because the Maybe Baby may never be part of the plan because we may not have the space, food, money to have another kid as what I need to have a Maybe Baby I have to spend on this kid that I’m not all that crazy about. You can’t trade up or out on kids. But this totally isn’t what I thought I was getting into.

I feel awful and guilty about this all the time which really can’t be helping whatever attempts I make at bonding with the kid I already have. I’m consumed by this day in and day out. It’s horrible.


Violet said...

I'm sitting here with my mouth open, literally, after reading just a few of your posts (and oh, I do intend to read more!) A friend send me the link to your blog, perhaps noticing that I'm slowly coming unglued, and I'm just.. well, SO happy to have 'found' you.

I'm an adoptive mom to 3 boys (biological brothers) aged 11, 9 and 5 (they also have a 16YO older brother who remains in a care facility).

And there are parts of your posts that I could have written myself - from the description of the foster home (in our case, it was 2 bio kids, a daycare and constant TV - including in the car!) to the shitty behaviours that make me question if he's bonding at all.. or ever will.

And while I'm sitting here, having had an unbelievably frustrating day with the 11 year old, I actually found myself laughing with relief.

Thank you. And oh, man, I *hear* you. And I'm right beside you. I hope you won't mind me hanging around.. :)

Gawdess said...

I hear you too!
honestly I think it is probably "normal" or at least as close as we can get sometimes given where we are all at.
My youngest is the least attached and that seems to get stronger but then stretched very thin all of a sudden - there have been months where I went through the motions, not liking her at all. It sucks but therapy seems to help. And we are in a not so sucky time right now, so I am living it up. Although I don't leave the house much without her either. Sigh.