Hope’s First Playdate

Hope went on her first play date today. It wasn’t that she has made enough progress to try it, but rather that GB had made a friend during Challengers softball. Her friend has a younger brother who is eight and developmentally delayed and their house is set up so it is easy to provide constant supervision. GB and her friend, Jordan, did crafts while Hope and Tyler played with the doll house, swung on the indoor swing, and watched Scoobie Doo. There were the expected rough spots, but with two adults there to intervene, nothing got out of hand. Hope had a great time and didn’t want to leave. Hope’s first social success! I am hoping to give her another opportunity soon.

Change Isn’t Necessarily Good

Some people welcome change. Some people fight change. Change itself is neither good nor bad. It is unavoidable. Nothing stays the same.

This is more philosophical than I am prepared to deal with at this point in time. I find myself with no choice. Hope’s behavior is changing. She has always had a tendency to touch everything. She has always been destructive. Now it is constant. She takes everything that catches her eye. She breaks everything she touches. If she is out of eyesight for a moment, she is found in the middle of a mess.

My dilemma? I am not sure if she has made progress and is now working through her terrible twos or if everything has her so overloaded that she has regressed to that age. I guess it is not necessary to know whether it is progress or regression to get through it. I will say that it very hard to baby proof your house against a six year old. It is also very hard to convince people in the outside world that this very normal looking six year old needs to be supervised as if she was a toddler.

Since I am not sure, I am going to choose to see this as a sign of progress.  

It is Wednesday

My sister and her family left this morning. Organizing and cleaning are the order of the day. I loved having my sister here, even when we agree to disagree. My 19 year old autistic nephew did well. He only needed to be separated from everyone a couple of times. MK did well. My 14 year old nephew with ADHD and a mood disorder really struggled. He clashes with GB always, but this visit he had difficulty self-regulating most of the visit. Hope continued to struggle, no surprise, but GB spent the last four days at the edge of tears. Lots of little things, all out of her control. She just can’t go with the flow. It might not have mattered what we did this year… I think this holiday was destined to be a struggle.

The guys’ pajamas had pockets. I think we might all get guy pajamas next year.

I Borrowed Ralphie

Hope has been doing her best to get us to cancel Christmas. In an uncannily timed post, Christine at Welcome to My Brain, wrote about her family rule that nothing a child can do can cancel Christmas. Hope hasn’t healed enough yet that she could hear this. However, The Dad and I can benefit from the reminder. The passing thought that Hope might be the first child to drive us to canceling Christmas is a waste of emotion, time, and energy. Christmas will come no matter what big behaviors Hope can come up with, so the Dad and I need to focus on the moments that will keep us going. Sometimes the obvious needs to be said.

Strength

Hope is having a tough time. She is angry and lashing out at everybody. My best guess is the holidays are exacerbating our normal, difficult life with RAD. There are minutes when I want skip Christmas completely. It is not reasonable and I never take any action to abolish Christmas in our family. Sometimes, though, it is so tempting.


Hope is just starting to talk about the trauma she experienced in her previous adoptive family. That is a sign she is experiencing some feeling of security with us. I don’t think she wants to feel any security with us. I think she would rather stay in LalaLand and pretend life in Texas was good and she didn’t have behavior problems until we kidnapped her. Hope knows this isn’t true, but is much more comfortable in the alternate universe where it is true. I can’t imagine living through the trauma she lived through and still having the will to  fight the world. I keep reminding myself that Hope’s strong will is ultimately one of her greatest strengths. It just makes the now so hard.

Fun With Friends

We spent two nights taking a mini vacation with friends of ours, from mommyneedstherapy. We went to an all included dude ranch, which happened to be half price this week. There was an indoor water park, good food and great company. The Dads took GB and Noah horseback riding. They all enjoyed snow tubing and ice cream at every meal. My friend and I got mommy time (and a drink or two). 

Hope was too young to go horseback riding. We spent the time drinking Shirley Temples and at a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. It may be the best time Hope and ever spent together. Hope did OK, except for Sunday night. She poked from 8 pm until 2 am in the morning. Overall, it worked out really well and we have already booked a return trip just before Christmas 2012.

Hope
GB

 They are back in schools for two days. I pray Hope can hold it together.

Seeing Santa

Hope spent the last three days within touching distance. However, I made an exception for our visit to Santa. I let Hope visit Santa by herself. It was interesting watching her trying to convince Santa how good she has been. 



GB, on the other hand just wanted to get it the visit over. 


Everybody enjoyed the beautiful lights in Santa’s park.