Caring for Kyle

I have debated for a long time as to whether or not I should write about our 10 year old, Kyle. I have decided that in order for others to understand the need for adoption that the truth needs to be known.

The truth is, this is the hardest thing that Misty and I have ever done. Kyle is an awesome young man. He is one of God’s greatest creations and he is also hurt. We don’t have the privilege of knowing everything that Kyle has been through but after living with him for almost a year now, many things are obvious.

When we first brought Kyle into our family in June of 2008 he couldn’t read and he could barely write his name. He was 9 years old and you could understand very few words that he spoke. Kyle was on several different medications for ADD, ADHD and Bed wetting. The only problem was that he still wet the bed every night, he had a facial tic and he was just as ADD as anyone you could ever meet. Kyle had no appetite and was very small for his age. The medications would cause him to lay in bed at night until 2 or 3am and unable to sleep.

The first thing we did was to make an appointment with a pediatrician and get his advise on the medications and his physical health. After lots of thought and prayer we took away all medications and in just a few days the facial tic was gone, Kyle slept like a rock and his behavior was actually better. The biggest problem was that Kyle had taken so much medication that he felt it was a trophy to take pills. We had to keep an eye on cough drops and antacid tablets because he would take them and eat them.

Over the past 10 months Kyle has grown to his normal size and weight without the medications. We can hardly believe the growth. The clothing and shoes he wore just 10 months ago look impossible. Kyle is reading so well that he voluntarily read the scripture that I was preaching from last Sunday night, the Beatitudes. Almost without missing a word.

We have to constantly remind Kyle that we are not going to take him somewhere and leave him. He lives with the fear that he is just going to be dropped off and never remembered again. For the first several months Kyle would talk about wanting to die, this is from a 10 year old. I tried to use psychology on him and ask how he would feel if I died and he said that would be cool, we could die together. He no longer talks about wanting to die.

For the first 6 months Kyle would throw tantrums to the extent of throwing up. There were a couple of times that I had to sit and hold him to keep him from doing damage but only a couple of times. At this point there are no more tantrums, however as with other things I know they could return. We have taught Kyle that he will never get his way by throwing a tantrum. When he would get to that point we told him go to your room on your own or we can help you, he always chose to go on his own. Shout as loud as you want, just close the door. If it got too loud we would ask him to go outside and continue. That stopped it, when his audience was taken away that took away his leverage.

Hygiene issues are tremendous. Kyle is learning that it is important to stay clean. Of all the battles this has been a constant one and still at 10 years old in order to make sure he is clean we have to treat him as if he were much younger and check behind him and many times redo the wash. We have had many bathroom accidents and we have had to learn to go prepared or leave places early.

Kyle loves to sing and he wants so bad to someday play in a band. He loves people and many of his troubles come from wanting to help but not understanding that sometimes his helping is not needed. He has a great big heart to help anybody and everybody.

We have learned that Kyle can never be left alone in the house unless he is sleeping. Lots of things tend to get broken and lost if he is alone. When Kyle came to live with us we soon learned that Misty was pregnant and Kyle wanted to know when I was going to have a baby. I explained to him that men don’t have babies and he seemed to understand. A couple of weeks later we were in a restaurant having dinner and Kyle says “dad, I know men don’t have babies and then he pointed to a gentleman in the restaurant that was heavy and said “but that man is getting ready to have one.” It was not in his quiet voice that he said it, as a matter of fact Kyle doesn’t have a quiet voice.

Just last week we were going over Kyle’s vocabulary words and the word brook came along. Kyle thought this was a persons name and I explained to him only if that word is capitalized was it a name. I explained that a brook is like a creek. At 10 years old Kyle doesn’t know what a creek is. We are going to take a walk through the woods soon and just explain everything that we see. We are learning every day that things that are so common to us and so foreign to Kyle. We have to always go to extra lengths to make sure Kyle understands because the simplest of words mean nothing to him but he will tell you he understands to keep from being embarrassed.

Adopting a kid like Kyle is not an easy thing. He will go to school and complain to the teacher that his dad (me) is mean because I put him on discipline. Yet he will come home and complain about the mean teacher who makes him work. I have taught Kyle the story of the boy who cried wolf because he has a hard time with telling the truth but he is learning.

Here is my thought. Maybe if we had known how hard this was going to be we would have said we can’t do this. I don’t know for sure we would have done that. Maybe if we had known how hard this was going to be we would have missed seeing a hurt little boy growing into what God created him to be. No, he doesn’t like the discipline but neither do I when I do wrong things. No he doesn’t like to go to school but I don’t like that either. It is hard cleaning up after him when it looks like he is big enough to do better. It is hard being on guard 24/7. It is so hard teaching and reteaching simple things. But, what happens to the Kyle’s who are left in the system until they are 18 and on their own? Who teaches them these things?

Misty and I do not regret taking Kyle into our family and we will likely do it again someday. Not tomorrow! But someday. We desire your prayers, with all the hard stuff comes a lot of laughter and to hear Kyle laugh is a joy. He has actually had to learn to laugh and to cry. I am glad that God has allowed my family to be a family for Kyle.

I will write again to let you know how things are progressing and someday I hope that Kyle will write to let people know how God has cared for him.


6 comments on “Caring for Kyle

  1. March 19, 2009 godw1nz

    God is right there with you in the good stuff and the bad. Kyle is a real blessing to me and my family, and you and Misty are a blessing to Kyle! Keep up the great loving and parenting of Kyle, your son. We love you all!

  2. March 19, 2009 Tyler Carpenter

    Hmmm, I have yet to meet Kyle. I would love to meet him sometime as I love kids . . .most people don’t know that. haha. It’s really great what you have done Ronnie. God is watching over you.

  3. March 19, 2009 Laura

    Most people don’t get to see this, as Kyle sits in the back with you guys during SNL. but one of the greatest Joys for me is looking back and seeing him sing along to the songs with his hands raised straight up in the air. He has such a sweet, sweet, loving spirit of worship… I pray that NEVER changes for him. Everyone notices Samuel coming to the front to dance.. but we (souledout) get to see the special blessing of kyle in the back. It touches me every single time. He stretches his hands completely out, raises his head back and praises God with the biggest smile spread wide across his face. wow. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

    I love Kyle so much. He is my example of unconditional love on earth. He’s always happy to see whoever walks in the room and talk to them about whatever he’s doing.. or invite them to his house, church, or ANYTHING that comes across his mind. He is such a special kid.

    You and Misty are such an inspiration Ronnie. I pray that my house will be a house like yalls when I am older, and that my relationship will have the faith yours does. You two are such an example…

    actually… Ray and I were just talking about that about 35 minutes ago before he left VT to head back to Radford. We were talking about Godly relationships and praying together, etc. We talked about you and misty specifically.. you two are one of our role models as a couple.

    I’m really glad you shared this about Kyle. Now I will be able to pray for you guys.

    I Love you all so very much.

  4. March 22, 2009 Beth White

    Thanks for sharing this. It was just beautiful.

  5. March 23, 2009 Bob Welsh

    I echo what Laura said and I actually welcome him coming up and helping put my guitar away at the end of SNL. But what SouledOut doesn’t get to share with me in Kyle is how much he enjoys learning in Sunday School. If there was only ONE thing I could do at FUMC and I had to stop doing everything else there, I think most people would assume it would be SouledOut. But its not. Its Sunday School. yes I LOVE playing music, anyone who sees me knows that. But I love teaching the kids even more, and if I had to choose to do ONLY one thing at FUMC, I would choose to always have the chance to be involved in the lives of the kids as a teacher. I have been there in that class into my 3rd year now, and in all honesty, the things I cherish most are the hugs I get from Adrienne, Kyle, Emily, the short conversations with Sean…… I would not trade that for anything other than my place in heaven when my time comes.

  6. March 25, 2009 Judy

    Reading this was tough in that you can’t help but feel so happy for Kyle, even though he’s had it tough, just look at how great he has it now. My brother & his wife adopted a son so it sounded familiar in so many ways. They got him at a younger age so it’s been easier in some respects. I remember one of the things that stood out was he didn’t understand what presents were and didn’t know what to think of them. He also was diagnosed as ADD and they originally had him on medicine and it was like he was a zombe. They eventually realized he was better without the medicine and he’s such a happier, healthier kid right now because of it. Keep up the good work ya’ll are doing and just know how much everyone loves him.


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