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Reminding Myself to Never Give Up

Current Mood:hopeful emoticon hopeful

Current Music: “Broken & Beautiful” Kelly Clarkson

I wrote this up on Facebook yesterday and thought I would share here with an update:

Yesterday, after a lot of thought and research into the eventual PCS home, our family decided to go to the stray pet facility on base to see if any of the cats currently awaiting adoption would be a good fit for our first family pet. It was a big deal for me to open myself up to the idea, and we all agreed we would only bring a cat home if it was the perfect storm of qualities for our household needs. Not so playful and vocal it causes issues with our sensory problems, but not too shy or skittish to love on the kids and be patient with their excitement.

We were shown a cat that had been at the kennel for a while but would require eye drops and constantly hid under a table, obviously terrified of the kids. The staff was trying really hard to sell us on this pet that was visibly not meshing with our family. We asked to look at others and found the perfect cat. She is beautiful, sweet, and didn’t mind at all that the kids wanted to constantly be in her face. Out of an entire kennel of strays, she was the only one with the right personality. We fell in love with her.

We asked what the process for adoption would be, and we were told that we would fill out an application and get a call by 3pm so we could pick her up before the end of their free adoption event that was apparently going on this past week. The person we gave the paperwork to made it sound like a done deal and even agreed it would be fine for us to go ahead and take the kids to lunch and supply shopping while we waited for the call. The call never came. We spent all day out and spent a good chunk of change on things we would need before finally calling the kennel ourselves at 3:30pm.

It was at this point we were informed that another family had also put in an application and been chosen over us in a “tough decision”. They had already been notified the cat was theirs. We went back to the kennel and asked what happened. They just said sorry it was their policy to accept multiple applications and choose from them. When we chose the cat we did, and our small children excitedly realized they were going to bring that particular cat home, no one told us this was a possibility. No one, despite knowing we were out shopping for items for this cat, bothered to call and tell us that we were wasting our time, money, and emotional investment. I don’t know that they ever would have called if we hadn’t made contact ourselves.

I’m not going to lie, Anya and I both had an autistic meltdown right there in the building, crying and stimming, that continued long after we were home. Marie was angry and kept saying how mean and rude the staff were to give our cat away, and poor little Ben was so confused when he could see the cat still in her cage and didn’t understand why we weren’t picking her up like we promised. The staff said we could take the other cat we had seen, and I began to feel like we had been purposely bait and switched so they could get rid of this cat they want gone, thinking we would just take any cat we could have if they gave the cat we applied for to the other family. It was obvious they did not expect us to be as upset as we were.

This was a very major event for our family. We didn’t want just any cat; we were willing to adopt because this cat has the perfect qualities to be a pet in our family. Myself and my kids are traumatized by having what already felt like a member of our family ripped from us in an arbitrary decision and then blindsided with the news with no warning. This has kept me up most of the night with panic attacks and nausea. My kids are a wreck. We have to take all these supplies back to the Exchange at some point.

We will NEVER go back to that kennel for anything. Their business practices are unprofessional at best, and, honestly, the way they handled our specific situation was appalling. If this is how they treat special needs families and can sleep at night after having kids that young emotionally devastated in this way, then I pray they develop some empathy.

We will not recover from this like some minor, disappointing setback. It will cause me issues with functioning, sleeping, and eating for weeks. It is keeping me from finishing grad school work that is due this weekend; it will haunt the memories of my kids as a trauma for years, and that really guts me the most. I regret ever going in to look; I wish I could undo it all. I wish I could stop crying. I wish I could stop believing that something in the way myself or my children present our autistic personality traits is the cause of the way we were treated. I just wish the intense pain we all feel was over. 💔

At first, I was so angry that I wanted to give up entirely, but my husband reminded me that we had already now opened the door to the idea that we were getting a pet for the kids. It is only right to keep moving forward and give them a happy ending to this situation. So that night, we e-mailed an application to a local rescue organization that fosters their pets in homes until an adoptive family is available. We have already heard back from them with a recommendation for the cat they think will be a perfect fit for our family, and we will be meeting her later this week to hopefully begin a trial period of her living with us. I will, of course, share more about her and photos once everything is solidified. We learned our lesson from getting too attached too quickly this weekend and are being more cautiously optimistic this time around.

I think having this cat join our family will help us begin to heal from the horrible experience we had with the base kennel. I was sick to my stomach for a good 36 hours afterward and could barely function yesterday as a result. Thankfully, I’m feeling better today, and I think just putting some distance between that day and myself is helping, along with knowing not all hope is lost. We can provide a loving family for another cat who doesn’t yet have a forever home.

Despite being the type of person who believes that everything happens for a reason, I struggled with accepting it when all of this happened. I was just caught so off guard. Now that I’m able to process it a bit more, I know that maybe it was just meant to be that that cat ended up with the family that she did, and whatever happens with our future pet is exactly what is supposed to happen. It will be alright. My faith has kept me sure of that in much larger, more devastating situations than this. This is small potatoes for God. He always comes through; just not always the way I expect. Thankfully, He is gracious in giving me time to adjust to his plans, no matter how obstinate or ungrateful I am in the meantime.

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

Current Mood:grateful emoticon grateful

Current Music: “Startin'” 浜崎あゆみ

So far this week has been busy; full of the usual homeschooling and running kids to activities. Unfortunately, yesterday things came to a screeching halt when my car decided to act up. I’ve known for a while that I need to take it in for an oil change and to check on the fact that my emergency brake light keeps flashing on at random. As I was leaving a parking garage last night, I heard a popping sound and then the front end just wasn’t sounding right at all. Then I figured out while looking at the paperwork before making an appointment with the garage, that I misread our mandatory inspection date per Japanese law…it was yesterday. So…I can’t drive until that whole process is done. Thankfully, the garage is working with me and towing the car in to get looked at next week so everything can be repaired and inspected properly. It’s a great place that will literally take care of everything if need be, and I’m thankful the owner was willing to answer my frantic questions yesterday evening via messenger when I wasn’t sure what in the world I was going to do with an expired inspection. Heh.

These are not typically the kind of mistakes I make, but life has sure been a bit hectic lately, so I’m not honestly surprised. Just super frustrated at the time as it was all happening. I had a full-on meltdown in the car, crying and making panicked noises that I’m pretty sure scared my kids into silence in the back seat. Thankfully, we’re all very open about our different neurotypes and how sometimes traits manifest in positive ways and others not so much. It’s a good opportunity to discuss afterward how they relate to feeling that way sometimes, too, and even adults get overwhelmed. If nothing else, living in a house full of autistic and ADHD family members certainly leaves us all a little more understanding and supportive when things get difficult for one of us. We’ve all been there at some point ourselves.

I feel better about the situation now that I know it will all work out. Just might have to miss some activities and errands in the meantime, which really isn’t the worst thing ever. We’ll all survive! First world problems and all that. Personally, I think something more pressing going wrong with the car was God’s way of forcing me to look at my paperwork before I was driving around with an out-of-date sticker later this week, potentially ending up with my car impounded at one of the base gates when the guards noticed. While the whole experience wasn’t pleasant, and I was exhausted last night from the aftermath of my meltdown – I know how much worse things could’ve been had I not realized my mistake on the last possible date I could even be driving the car around legally. I’m a firm believer in divine intervention and things happening for a reason. Thank you, Lord, for putting an obstacle in my way…but not too big of one. 😉