Difficult Week

Malachi

Malachi

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.

Stunned

We went to GB’s CSE today. I showed up with my printed agendas, not knowing what I wanted. The people around the table read my agenda and unanimously agreed with everything on it. It seems that the state changed the requirements and what GB’s class is doing is driven by state requirements and totally unrelated to what they did the two good years she had in the class. The bottom line is GB’s IQ of 71. They want to move her out of the academic track into a life skills class- for kids who will not be able to earn a diploma. We agreed on a 30 day trial to start January 2, 2013. GB will transition over the next three weeks. She will change to a third school. change teachers and aides and all service providers.

I am sad, close to tears and over the top angry. GB has to make yet another transition, my baby is being labeled mentally handicapped, and it is all because her birthmother couldn’t be bothered to deal with life without alcohol.

Visiting with J. and Family

We spent two full days with my friend, J., and her family. J and her most excellent husband have adopted three children from trauma backgrounds. Their youngest is very close to Hope in age and behaviors. The two girls became quickly inseparable. GB and J.’s two oldest also enjoyed being together. It was good to spend time with J. and meet her husband. It was good for The Dad to have the opportunity to be with adults who “get it”.

 

Canada is a beautiful country. I have driven through parts of it before as we drove to Michigan, but this is the first time I have seen Canada in daylight. The reds on the turning trees were beautiful. Beautiful old homes and vast fields with wooden fences that were different than any fence I have seen before. I have always assumed Canada was just like the USA, like a  far north state. It is and it isn’t.

 

J. and her family were so warmly welcoming it was like coming home. When Hope’s first trip to the bathroom resulted in a shaving cream cans worth of mess, there was no surprise. Hope continued to be Hope and J. was ready for it and the time flew, with everybody enjoying themselves. The acting out behaviors were just a ripple in our time together.

 

When we had to leave this morning, Hope did not take it well. We stopped at a Starbucks for coffee right after leaving J.s. Hope started raging in the car and continued on the side of the drive thru lane. It lasted for over forty five minutes. Once she was done, it was still six hours to home. She was nasty and miserable for the rest of the ride. When we stopped to eat, The Dad took Hope to sit at a different table to eat. It should not have bothered me as Hope was being so nasty I didn’t really want to deal with her. It did.

 

J. lives in the middle of nowhere. One thing J.’s husband said last night, as we visited over (good) wine, was that they could never raise kids from the hard places  in suburbia.  Living in a place where 12 or more neighboring families hear your kid rage is stressful. Part of it is the knowledge that sooner or later CPS will show up on your doorstep is wearing. It also makes putting your child outside to rage an option we don’t have.

 

J. has offered to take Hope in respite for a while. Other people I trust have also offered. My fear is how Hope will react. It is not yet a rational fear. I still have some processing to do.

 

 

 

I Lied

On Monday, I posted that I had no expectations that the meeting set up by Hope’s ICM worker would result in any real help for us. At the time, I thought that is what I believed. Alas, I was kidding myself, The Dad, and everybody else at that meeting. I only realized it today.


The ICM worker called today and said the SPOA committee turned down her request to transfer Hope to a program that would meet her/our needs- one with on call 24/7 crisis management, behavior management services, and regular respite. I wasn’t surprised, but after I hung up I found myself close to tears.


SPOA wants more records of psychological and psychiatric testing on Hope. They already have all the records of every evaluation that has been done on her. There is nothing else to give them.


Hope had her usual difficult morning, but did make it to school. This afternoon, I do not have it in me. I took her book bag without looking at her communication log or homework and set her in front of the TV, where she  will happily vegetate until dinner. After dinner, it is medication and bed. Therapeutic? No. It is what it is.

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.