I. Don’t. Like. You.

Four words. Who knew that a 3 year old could bring me to my knees with these four simple words. Uncle!” my heart cried, holding up the white flag. Nearly 90 minutes later and the sting is there. You didn’t mean it though, Little J. I know you don’t. I love you, I’m here for you, and nothing is going to change that.

… dinner tonight was a complete fail… you were mad at me for making you sit at the table and try something new. Stuffed peppers. “It’s Mexican pizza,” I lied, trying to convince you this would be your next favorite meal. After watching you poke at it with a fork, I stuffed some of the ground beef and seasoned rice filling into a tortilla along with slices of the bell pepper so that you could eat it like a taco. And you did… but you were suddenly filled with anger when it came time to finish dinner. So we gave you a time out to calm yourself down. You started shoving chairs, slamming cabinets and yelling. This is the first time I’ve seen you so angry. You were sent to bed for the rest of the night. At the top of your lungs you screamed “I don’t like you!!!” and stomped your feet down on each stair as you went up to your bedroom. Clenching my chest from the slide jab you delivered, I half whispered “You don’t mean it.” Oh my heart.

This became a teachable moment for your brother, Big J, who is 5 years old and remembers and relives the traumas you both have experienced. Life has been confusing for him as many changes have taken place. All you need to know is that you have a biological Mom and Dad that love you very much – they can’t make safe and healthy choices – so your family gave us you.

Life is messy and confusing, and things happen to us that we have no control over. But what we do have control over is how we react. Big J was just diagnosed with anxiety. When we first got you boys, Big J would clench his fist, his jaw, turn red in the face and shake with anger at the smallest changes / inconveniences for him; then he’d fall into a ball and cry hysterically. Over the past 6 months that we’ve had you, it’s been at least a month since his last meltdown (a huge increase from the early days when it happened several times a day). That’s progress.

Here are four words for you: I’M. NOT. LEAVING. YOU. I’m not leaving you. There’s nothing you can do to make my love for you disappear. So push boundaries my little dove. Raise hell. Get mad. Process your emotions. There is so much good ahead of you, I promise it won’t be this hard all the time. The future is bright!

Love you,

Nikki

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