As I grow older, I am slowly realizing that there is no “mission accomplished!” moment in life. Everything is an uphill battle. Nothing ends. The struggle is ongoing.
My husband and I adopted our youngest child through foster care when he was two years old. Before that, he’d lived with us since he was about two months old, but during those two years the foster care system made every possible attempt to reunite him with his parents. Unfortunately, there came a point when everyone involved had to accept that his parents would never clean up. That point came when they both went back to prison. Their parental rights were terminated, and my husband and I adopted our son.
In the years since, it’s been an uphill battle. As I’ve mentioned before, my son’s biological mother’s meth use during her pregnancy left him with numerous issues, to include asthma, developmental delays, and ADHD. He may also have a learning disability.
For the longest time, I thought that if I could just get him academically “caught up” with his peers, everything would be all right. I did get him caught up, in the summer between his kindergarten and first grade school years. What I failed to realize is that he learns more slowly and lacks the focus required to fully master new content without intensive one-on-one tutoring. His teacher this year is excellent and has done an amazing job with him, but I can see that my work is already cut out for me this summer. We will be reviewing every concept he learned in school this year over the summer so that he can start second grade on level with his peers. I assume that his second grade year will be the same- starting off on grade level, but falling behind as the year progresses. I assume that every summer, I will have to conduct daily tutoring with him to reinforce the knowledge in his mind.
It’s taken me years to realize that everything is a work in progress. It will be an ongoing process. It’s a little disheartening, but as I said before, I’m also slowly beginning to see that the ongoing battle encompasses all aspects of life- not just parenting.
My healing process from my 10+ years of abuse is also an ongoing battle. I didn’t leave my mom thinking I would develop PTSD. I didn’t realize that overcoming the mental scars she left me with would be a lifetime pursuit. I see now that this is something I will be dealing with forever. It will never go away, just like the effects of my son’s prenatal methamphetamine exposure will never go away.
It’s tiring to think this will never end.