This week has been one of lots of doctor’s visits. We took Kaki to both her regular pediatrician and a developmental and behavioral pediatrician. Since around May of this year, we have been dealing with some eating issues. Kaki has been refusing to eat at home any type of solid foods. She will eat when we are out or when she is at school, but not here. Then when she transitioned from summer camp, which she loved, to school again this fall, she stopped eating at school as well. So, she just wasn’t eating anything. It was very distressing to us as you can imagine to try to figure out why she was doing this and what we should do about it. So, we decided we would make smoothies for her that have lots of protein in them and give them to her twice a day. That way we knew she was getting at least 1000 calories a day, if nothing else. We weren’t sure what the right thing to do was because she could easily just stop eating solid foods at all and that would not be the direction we want to go. Thankfully, since we began doing this she has been eating more at school than before. However, through all this she had lost a lot of weight and we were very concerned. So, we discussed this with her doctors this week and they agreed with our approach to give her the smoothies and then offer solid foods. So many times with her we are unsure what to do. We have been parents long enough now that most of the time we have some sense of what to do with our kids, but not her. She just doesn’t play by the rules. Kids are supposed to want to eat, and she doesn’t. So, we are glad we were doing the right thing.
Our other major issue is that over the past couple of months since she started school, she has been very upset and aggressive. She is mad because she really enjoyed summer camp and now has to return to school which she doesn’t like as well. So, when she is mad about something in her life she rages. She can be very unpredictable and angry at times. We have seen this before but it was getting worse recently. So, the doctor changed her medications and hopefully that will help the situation. We are hopeful she will settle into her new school and these meds will help her do that.
Parenting a child from a difficult place is just plain hard. There are so many times we throw our hands up in frustration because we just don’t know what to do with her and nothing seems to work. We appreciate so much the people out there who are praying for us, this is not an easy road to walk. We are still fighting against her past experiences and because of her developmental delays we likely always will. She lives in such a world of concrete thinking that change is very difficult and takes ALOT of time for her to adjust to. When we brought her home almost a year ago, most doctors said it would take a year and then things would improve, but clearly she needs more time than that. And that is why we are trying different medications, hoping that will help her. The doctors have told us we are doing the best we can do and none of this is our fault. I can tell you that it doesn’t feel that way all the time. You constantly question yourself and whether you are doing the right thing for your child. All parents do this, but this is a whole new level of that. And well-meaning people sometimes say things that don’t help by implying or stating maybe she is the way she is due to something we did or didn’t do. So, it’s nice to hear medical professionals tell us we can do nothing to change any of this and didn’t do anything to cause it. I know it may seem fatalistic to hear that we can do nothing to change her, but it’s a relief actually. Hopefully the medication will help her and then just lots of time will help, we hope.
It is very difficult,but we have come to terms with our situation. We have accepted that she can not show us love like most children can. She has had a difficult upbringing to this point and that has led to some of her difficulties but also her disability contributes. She does not trust anyone, and you cannot love someone you don’t trust. I hope that in time she will come to trust us, but I don’t know. That’s why we have to accept her as she is now and learn to deal with it. Is it what we wanted and hoped for? No. But life is like that. I have spent a lot of time asking God why he would choose us to raise this child and I still don’t know, but I do know He is working in us. We are not the same people we were a year ago and I think in the end we will be better people. That refining process is not easy and not comfortable. I had these grand ideas that we would bring her home and we would change her, that is not the way it is. God is using the situation to change us. I am learning to love someone who cannot love in return and in fact intensely dislikes me most of the time. I still don’t know why I am the one who she lays all her past grief onto but she does. I may never know and things may never change between us, but I have accepted that. That doesn’t mean I don’t hope for change, but as of yet, there hasn’t been any and doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon, so I have accept things as they are and find a way to move forward. Sometimes God puts us in painful situations to change our hearts. He is forcing me to face rejection issues I have neatly covered over for many years. I am uncovering those and dealing with them, and what I have come to realize is that rejection is not the fault of the rejected person. It’s fault is solely with the person doing the rejecting. When you have rejection issues you tend to blame yourself for everything that happens. It’s just a lie. I have no control over her behavior with me and frankly, I know it’s not about me anyway. It’s about her past. So, I can rationally realize that she is not rejecting me, but her past. Now that is much easier to sit and say not in the moment when she is being ugly towards me, but I am trying to remind myself during those moments and see her as the damaged child that she is, instead of someone who dislikes me. That’s some heavy stuff you really have to put your big girl pants on to deal with. But I am growing through it. Will she ever come around and will things be different? I don’t know. Actually I know they will, but it may not happen until we get to heaven. We have that hope of heaven that tells us we will have the relationship we want with her in heaven, if not on this earth and that makes this worth the pain.
So, how can you be praying for us? Pray that we can find a medication that works for her. Please pray that she will begin to eat solid foods at home again. And just pray for us as parents to know what to do with her and how to help her, and that we would also be able to meet the needs of our other children as well.