Difficult Week



This has been one of those all consuming weeks.

  • Hope’s teacher wrote home, inquiring if, perhaps, Hope had missed her meds. (She hadn’t) She isn’t raging, but her temper tantrums are still epic, and she is still not safe.
  • GB switched therapists, as planned. She said goodbye to the therapist in the Little City that she shared with Hope. She started with her new therapist. The goal is that GB be able to express her needs verbally in “I” statements. She did much better than I expected.
  • GB and MK had a session together with the family dynamics therapist. I haven’t seen any changes in their interactions.
  • Malachi is still struggling. I enlisted the help of his other grandfather to get Booboo to agree to two days a week in a therapeutic preschool. I do not know yet how successful that was.
  • The Dad realized this week that on his retirement income we can’t afford to live in our current house; at least not while subsidizing J and MK. Duh.
  • We have been consciously cutting costs. We had already started our Food Diet- buying only food in it’s natural state, which helps not only our bodies, but our grocery bills.
  • The Dad started talking to MK about how we would be able to help her, now that we have much less money to live on. She flipped out. She has calmed down, but isn’t ready to explore her options. The Dad is confident MK will be cooperative.
  • I am busy with my new virtual filing cabinet. I finally have it usable and have started filing both girls school records in it. A paper free life sounds delicious!
  • Our rescheduled appointment with Hope’s new therapist is Monday. Unfortunately, it conflicts with my appointment with the neurologist. The neurologist needs to be rescheduled.
  • Hope is saying goodbye to the therapist in the Little City this morning. She is unhappy about having to change.
  • As I am switching to a paper free life, I realize there is a lot of other stuff clutter we do not need. Minimalists may be on to something!

Welcome, 2013

Exactly one  year ago, I wrote this post, https://adoptingspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2012/01/page/3/ . My word for 2012 was going to be “moment“, as staying in the moment. Looking back, I would have to say I failed more often then I succeeded. There was a a 3 month period over the summer where I was unable to start fresh each moment. Getting physically beat up can do that to a person.

The last couple of months The Dad has been Hope’s primary caregiver. Yesterday, Hope raged and got him with a head butt in the face. It looked painful. She kicked me, but it didn’t catch me by surprise, as she had already kicked The Dad’s brother.

Hope is on medication, which she wasn’t on this time last year. Her raging is a little less in terms of frequency and intensity- but not much. This year provided very little healing for Hope.

We have a new configuration of therapists lined up. If you are interested you can read it on the other blog.

I am looking at 2013 as a fresh start, but I decided to use the word “moment” again. I do not want to repeat all of 2012’s mistakes again this year. I still think an RTF is Hope’s best shot, but I am willing to try a new approach. For Hope’s sake, for my families sake, I pray for healing.

Sometimes, It Is the Little Things

With two CSE meetings and therapy, I wasn’t expecting much from today. While waiting with GB for the bus this morning, I noticed a blue sky, with sunshine and light cotton candy clouds. The air was cool, but not cold. The silence before Hope and Joe came down was soothing.

Hope’s CSE didn’t go very well. I let The Dad run it and only contributed data on medication. Mary Poppins was there and the SPOA worker was there. Mary Poppins started her unicorns and rainbow crap and I worked on my breathing. I looked up and Mrs VY Teacher caught my eye and mouthed “Hope has her number”. None of what I wanted was approved, but I knew before the meeting that it wouldn’t happen unless I got involved. I didn’t.

GB’s CSE meeting was 30 minutes later and five miles away. It was a different world. I did not let Mary Poppins come and when the chairperson looked at Joe and I and asked who was running this meeting, I said I was. GB is doing well. They approved 45 minutes a day with the reading specialist, the OT had a sensory diet all set up. GB had shared with all of them how difficult it was living with Hope and the therapist suggested adding another weekly counseling session to her program. Homework was straightened out, as were testing modifications. GB is doing well and everybody was delighted.

I went to EMDR right after GB’s meeting.  It wasn’t fun, but it seemed to go quickly. MK wanted to start Halloween early. I went to the dollar store with her to add a little to our decorations and GB helped MK put them up. Hope and Mali helped MK make our first Halloween  dessert of the year. The Dad took GB to gymnastics and the open house at her school tonight.

The sun is setting and everything is quiet. It is still warm enough to sit on the deck with a cup of hot tea. Sometimes it is the little things.

Therapy to Rider

GB had hippo-therapy years ago. She absolutely loved it. I wasn’t sure how much benefit GB was getting out of it, but the joy on her face kept me schlepping the hour and a half round trip every week. Then my mom got sick, and there was no time any more. A love of horses had been planted.

GB found the television show “The Saddle Club” about girls in Australia who loved to ride and hung out at a stable. It was on PBS and she saw every episode dozens of times. This year her reading advanced enough that she started reading the books. We were looking for outside the home activities that would engage her. She asked to go back to horseback riding. Hippo-therapy was not as good a match. GB adapts much better to new ideas than she did back then and after watching “The Saddle Club”, that is the experience she wanted. She had also ridden a horse on the beaches of Grand Turk when she was six (by herself, but with difficulty) and taken trail rides at a resort when she was eight (easily).

With much angst, we decided to let her try to fit into the world she wanted so badly. We signed her up for an assessment at the local stable. The instructor sent her into the stable to tell the girls she needed “Sally”. The girls took her to Sally, who was a chestnut horse. They showed her two different kinds of grooming brushes, how to use them, and helped her groom the horse. The girls showed GB where Sally’s pad, saddle, and tack were kept and how to put them on. GB led Sally back to the ring and her trial lesson began. She listened carefully to what the instructor did. She remembered lot of what she had learned when she was younger and beamed the whole lesson.

GB will be a riding student at the local stable- just one of the girls. I am praying it works out… she wants it so much.

The Cavalry Signed On

All the required people showed up for our 3:15 at 3:30 today. The Dad and I have all the required paperwork signed. We officially have 24/7 crisis intervention in place. Our waiver worker is coming again on Monday to start setting up skill services and respite services. Mean while, I am looking at attachment therapists. I have had enough Therapy Tuesdays. It is time for a change. The therapist we have is not working. Hope is 6.5 and I hear the clock ticking loudly.

Therapy Tuesday with a Twist

Yesterday was Therapy Tuesday. I received an email from Ms. VY Teacher detailing a complex lie Hope was caught in and the lies she told to get out of the first lie. Hope was not happy… she had told me she had a good day.

We fed them and went to therapy. The Dad dropped the girls and I off and went to get more coffee. As soon as we walked in the therapist’s waiting room, Hope realized she for got her pencil. I told her she could get it when The Dad came back. That started her rage. As she was trying to kick and punch me and I was trying to get her in a therapeutic hold, GB became agitated and tried to defend me. While I was keeping GB from hurting Hope and getting her in her own space, Hope took advantage of the opportunity to head butt me.

I took her down to the floor, which was hard linoleum and dirty, and she started pounding her face into the floor. She ended up with a bruised face and a bloody lip.

In the middle of this, Hope’s social worker from ICM walked in. She was there to work with the therapist and me on a safety plan. The therapist told the social worker that Hope dissociates regularly, with no warning. She said that Hope was severely sexually and physically abused. She also said Hope did not need an RTC, she needed an RTF. 

The social worker’s response was that she thinks Hope requires a higher level of care than she can supply and she is going to speak to her supervisor about transferring Hope’s case.

I am bruised and battered and doubt the cavalry even exists.

Therapy Update

On Tuesday, I spent 25 minutes talking with the girls therapist without either of them present. The therapist was pleased with how well grounded in reality GB is at this time. The therapist prescribed TLC when GB starts to get overwhelmed and suggested I never leave GB alone with Hope (Duh).

Hope is struggling and while the therapist was pleased Hope and I will get bonding time this weekend, she is more interested in how Hope reacts when it is just me and nobody to triangulate. We see the psychiatrist Monday and the therapist and I are both confident that the Abilify, while helping, does not keep Hope stable enough that we can work on her issues.

Besides the door alarm, we now have a lock box for all medication.

The girls both have CSE meetings on Monday afternoon. GB’s should be quick and easy. Hope’s will probably not come up with an appropriate IEP and will have to be tabled. Reading up on Wrightlaw’s Smart IEP goals.

*Therapied Out*

Today The Dad and I went for our 4th therapy session with Hope this week. Thankfully, it was better than yesterday. We spoke about “tricks of the trade”. The therapist reminded us that when are giving Hope options, to make sure the last option she hears is the option we would like her to choose. He reinforced that triangulation needed to be avoided and it was worth the extra effort. He included the school personnel !  Hope and I were given HW for the week- she has to teach me to dance for five minutes three times this week. I left not feeling like it was a waste of time, but rather *therapied out*.  Thankfully, next week has only two therapy appointments.

View from the School

The Dad and I went and met with the school psychiatrist and the class therapist today. I really didn’t want to go, since we already saw the other shrink Monday and had Therapy Tuesday. However, one of the condition of Hope being in the class with so much support is that we meet with the therapist and doctor once a month. Since I haven’t met with them since the beginning of November, I felt obligated to force myself today. Doing things you don’t want to do exercises your willpower.

They discussed how poorly Hope was doing. I agreed with them. The psychiatrist said Hope’s behavior was telling us she is scared… afraid of being abandoned. I waited. I was sure there had to be more coming. I waited some more. That was all he had to offer. I go back tomorrow to have a session with Hope and the therapist (darn, the psychiatrist couldn’t make it). I will try to take an open mind with me tomorrow. I don’t know if I can do it.

We Set a Record!

Yesterday was Therapy Tuesday. I never like Therapy Tuesdays because they tend to be miserable. Yesterday was by far the worse one I have experienced. 

GB bumped her head, hard, on the car door on our way in. She was instantly convinced I did it and there was no way to convince her otherwise. She has a big knot on her head and would accept no comfort from me. She just cried and insisted it was my fault.

The Dad went back with Hope. During the session, The Dad and the therapist talked about conditions under which it would be productive for The Dad and Hope to go to Texas to visit her first adoptive parents. They had this conversation in front of Hope. All Hope heard was “Daddy is taking me to Texas”. She was more hyper than I had ever seen her. 

She never did settle down last night. She was wild and totally out there for the rest of the night… no eye contact, giddy giggling, and total defiance. It was after 11:30 PM before she was still long enough to fall asleep. The Dad didn’t miss the State of the Union speech, though. It is good to have priorities.

Hope woke up this morning with great difficulties, still carrying on about her non-existent Texas trip. I feel sorry for Mrs. VY Teacher,