I have, to be honest. December loomed big on our mental calendars this year. With foster kids or kids who have experienced trauma in their short lives holidays, birthdays, celebrations and/or big events can be triggers. For us, November is our wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving. December started right off with us adopting our four ninos at 8:30 in the morning (yes, get seven of us courtroom ready and there by that time!!!), next day was one of their birthdays, throw in all of the regular Christmas time activities, sprinkle in house hunting, top it all of with a child who got triggered by all of the aforementioned and BAM! you have the December from hell. Seriously, it was the hardest December for us ever.
You see our now nine-year-old son suffered the most trauma and came with the most pressing behaviors of the bunch. Tantrums, shutting down, self-harm, every emotion in the book, lying, pooping in his pants (he has no physical problems), screaming, hurting others, failing school, totally absent-mindedness, unable to focus, forgetful, hurting our littlest dog, major fears, calls from school…it goes on, was what we were dealing with, not all on a daily basis but very much more than one per day, everyday. Then came December!! We had been warned about triggers, but getting a warning and living it are two completely different animals. It ALL happened in a huge way in December. After ten poopy pairs of underwear in under three weeks, we gave up counting. No amount of time outs, time ins, very early bedtimes seemed to help. No amount of hugs, reassurance seemed to help either. No one had answers for us. We kept praying and stayed steading on our course.
This December, this year, has been so different. NO, I repeat, NO poopy underwear!!!!! I cannot tell you how much that upended our home and lives. Most of the above behaviors are all but down to normal levels. He has come so very far this year. I wish I would’ve had a crystal ball to see where we, where he, is right now. It is so nice to be able to get to know him, who he really is without all of the trauma induced baggage that was slapping us all in the face.
Our Mr. Bubblewrap is so sweet, a true gentleman, a quiet leader, a very perceptive young man. He is funny, sensitive, smart and a pleasure to be around. The house is quieter when he is not around. This young man is going to have a second Christmas (gifts) in January if he keeps it up!