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Hello, I am a 61-year-old widow, the mother of two biological adult sons and two daughters adopted from Vietnam, ages 26 1ne 21. My husband and I adopted our first daughter when she was just 8 months old. Two and a half years later, feeling guilty and ashamed for how happy we were with our little family, I decided we should adopt a child no one else wanted. And so we adopted our second daughter when she was eight years old. Since then, our lives have been "hell on wheels." This kid had tuberculosis and refused to take medication. I had to wrestle her to the floor every day when the nurses came for directly observed antibiotic therapy. I hated her from the get-go. She was terrible in school and disrupted everything we attempted to do as a family. I tried for a formal disruption but since no one else wanted her and since she no foster family could be found to take her, we were being asked to pay an unsustainable amount of child support, so we brought her back home. She is deaf. We knew that ahead of time and were enthusiastic about learning ASL and giving her a great academic and relational start in life. Deafness was and is the least of her problems. She was asked to leave a number of academic settings, deaf and otherwise.
She was in a mental health facility in another state for two years. During that time, she made no improvement and we saw her only once, which I was perfectly happy about. At the end of two years, insurance was threatening to stop payment so we brought her back to our home state and to a new academic setting/group home. I was determined never to have her back at home again. What follows is almost unbelievable in its tragic drama. THE NIGHT my husband brought her home from two years in the mental health facility, he was KILLED BY A DRUNK DRIVER on the way home from delivering her to the new behavioral group home. Yep. That was six years ago. Since then, she has spent time in a psych ward, a group home fro which she was asked to leave, and presently she is in a community for deaf cognitively and behaviorally impaired adults. She is miserable, complaining, and depressed there, sleeping most of the time, having strife with fellow consumers, and failing to participate in the program. Calls from her are a litany of the same miseries she has produced since she was eight years old. On top of all of this, she has developed a debilitating and progressive disease called Kearns-Sayre Mitochondrial Syndrome. She weighs 70-odd pounds, cannot walk unaided, has leisons on her brain indicative of developing dementia. Eventually, she is likely to develop heart problems and breathing and swallowing problems. Still, she could live a long time. For some reason, people seldom die early of Kearns-Sayre. They have a miserable quality of life and eventually succumb to pneumonia or other infections. She complies with medicine but eats poorly and refuses to cooperate with physical therapy, which is the only proven course for maintaining some degree of health with her particular Mitochondrial Syndrome. She visits me once a month and on holidays. She vacations with the family in the summer. I pity her. Make no mistake about that. I am well aware tht ther kid hasn't caught a break since she was born in a mud hut in rural North Vietnam. I spend a lot of money on her. I see to it that she is well cared for. BUT I CANNOT STAND HER. She is intrusive, demanding, and increasingly helpless. When she is with me, I have no help and am forced to either carry her around or support her weight as she drags herself along. I lift and assemble her wretchedly heavy scooter. I cannot leave her alone for a second. Now that she is immobile, she cannot do outrageous things anymore. Instead, one week a month and every damn holiday, she is an inert millstone hanging around my scrawny 61 year old neck. I have sime kind of weird "love" for her. I WANTED to be a mother to her. She is quite clingy toward me, texting me if I leave the room, asking me to come sit beside her all day. I know I am a rotten, selfish, withholding bitch toward her. Still, if I knew she was warm, dry, fed, medicated, and unabused someplace, I'd be very, very happy never to see her again for the rest of my life.