Monday, November 23, 2009

Transformation time for.....Alex!!!

I know you've been waiting for this one for a few days of promises.  Well, you'll get it.  I won't tell everything about Alex for sure.  Like I said, one day I'll actually post their adoption stories and how they came to be ours.  For now, concentrating on how they've transformed since they've been home.  Some have been home for 10 years, some 3, some 5, etc.  Alex was actully hosted by us when he had just turned 3 years old.  A rarity indeed!  They never come over on hosting programs that young so we knew something was up.  We hosted Alex and then returned for him 10 long months later.  I will admit, I did not know if I would survive those first few months with Alex and Yana.  Phew, is all I can say!  Being honest here folks so bare with me.  Alex's past is something that you mostly would see on a tv show and can never imagine any human being doing that to another person, let alone a child of 2 years old.  But many things of a traumatic nature happened to our son before he became ours.  It is a part of who he is.  A part that will never go away and most likely, will never completely heal.  Sad, but true.  Alex came to us an emotional nightmare.  Void of feelings, void of love.  He never had experienced trust in his life.  Never had a family or another person that actually cared about him.  Never had someone just touch him lovingly or even speak nice words to him.  He didn't know how that felt.  It was strange for him indeed.  Alex has received many diagnosis over the years.  Some of which are FAS, RAD, PTSD, one kidney, ADHD, etc.  Long list and won't go through it all.  My kids' dx's aren't who they are and will never define them.  However, it is a part of them and does have an impact on their life.  What many don't know is we didn't know what to do with Alex when he got home.  Rages that we weren't used to seeing.  HOld times lasting way too long.  Hoarding of food as he was so used to not knowing where his next meal would come from.  Many, many things were happening with our son. So like so many others in the adoption world, we sought help for our son.  I literally called over 150 psychologists/ pyschiatrists in the state.  Not a one was willing to take his case.  More than that, most told me to disrupt the adoption.  A disruption is when a child is placed with another family.  They told us Alex would become a sociopath when older as he was showing all the signs.  I wasn't going to accept this as a future for him.  no way.  We knew there was much more to Alex and we just had to hang on tight and dig deep for it. 

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I pulled him out of school, did some research and started regression and hold therapy on my own.  Remember, however, I was taught hold therapy by a previous therapist for Irina and Max.  If you do not know how to do this, do ask.  This is something that can be dangerous to the child if done the wrong way.  That was my psa for the day.  Trust me if you think it was easy being around my son for 24 hours a day, you're wrong!  Love the kid but it was so hard to do this.  But knew I had to dig deep.  I regressed him to infant hood.  Bottlefed him at 5yo.  Rocked him, bathed him, soothed him, comforted him.  All the things he missed as an infant and toddler.  I did it until he gave me signs not to anymore.  He actually started talking to me during some of these sessions with him.  I did not nudge him in any way.  I didn't even know kids that young could remember or recall such events.  But he did.  Broke my heart but my job was to listen only & comfort.  This was all to establish the trust that Alex lacked.  The empathy he lacked.  Slowly, I saw Alex change.  He let me know when things were ready to move forward.  I took ques from him.  The biggest healing came when we brought his new brother home.  Most would frown upon bringing another child into the home when one already has Reactive Attachment Disorder.  It was the best thing we ever did.  I think Alex related Bojan's external physical pain to his internal pain.  Saw that Bojan could heal and Alex started to heal.  Just a theory, nothing more.  It was clear, Alex was moving on.  He went to school the next year w/ the same teacher.  Teacher said to me "what ever you did to Alex worked!  This is a totally different child."  Alex does have residual RAD effects.  They will always linger & tend to go in waves.  Lying & stealing is the worst part I would say in dealing with those disorders.  He went through an episode of that this summer.  Thankfully, he's recovered and is no longer doing that.  He has great compassion now for others.  Something that was nonexistent before.  Imagine, a child who was predicted to be a sociopath transformed into a happy, heatlhy, mentally stable, loving 9yo boy.  No behavior problems and get compliments on him quite often.  A child everyone wanted to give up on we saw hope in.  This has been one of our best transformations.  We now know that Alex will excell in things.  He is a gifted athlete for sure.  He has overcome tremdous odds stacked against him.  We are very proud of who he has become.  See for yourself:

This was Alex at 2 years old right before he came to stay with us.  Notice the blank orphanage stare again.  He wore shoes that were too small for him.  Not a happy little 2yo, is he?  Looking at his eyes, you know he has a story to tell. 

This was Alex recently at an event we went too.  Notice the butterfly on his cheek.  More than that, notice the smile & sparkle backin his eyes.  It has been a long road for Alex but he has made it!  He is a happy, healthy, 9yo boy who loves sports and has a "girlfriend."  He enjoys playing and sharing with his siblings and looks out for his younger sibs.  He's a protector for sure.  This is the same person that showed no compassion or empathy before.  Same kid we were told to write off.  Not a chance!  Way to go Alex.  We can't wait to see what the world has in store for him.  Here is another picture of him and Alyona learning some science. 

Do tell us what you think of this transformation.  I know I am impressed with how far he has come over the last few years.  We are proud and very fortunate to call him our son.  All those people wanted to give up on him.  You never give up on your kids.  No matter how hard the road.  You have to fight for them. They are worth it.  Thanks for letting me share.  There is way more to this story but obviously too long to tell.  Recently, Saturday actually, Alex said he wanted to earn some money & save it.  I said "what are you going to buy with it?"  Figuring he'd say soccer ball or bakigan.  Something like that.  No, he didn't.  He said " I want to help get my brother home so I can teach him things."  What more can a mom & dad ask for?  A caring kid who is thinking of others. 

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing kid,just needed someone to love and care and not be scared to help him be who he is. Hard going for all. Way to go guys!