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Friday, April 24, 2015

My Sarah

My Sarah has been having a tough few weeks.  By far she is the most emotional out of the kids right now.  The amazing part,  is that a year ago her therapist was watching her for a possible Reactive Attachment Disorder diagnosis so I have to remind myself that all of these genuine feelings are a good thing.

Gone is the superficial, sugary sweet, charming persona with strangers.  Gone is the avoidance of parental figures. Gone is the avoiding eye contact. The dissociation is a lot less and when she is disregulated she is able to communicate in either sign language or body language. This weekend she threw out "Then you aren't my father" at hubby. She was feeling unloved big time. But she was at least speaking about her feelings.

Tonight we got home from therapy to find Hubby finishing up a project at the house. As we were walking to the door Sarah said to me, "Mom I don't know why but I kind of feel bad for Dad."  And then she began to cry.  She was totally confused by this feeling that overcame her.  If I had to guess it was longing. I was so proud of her for sharing what was going on.  We walked over to Dad and she got some hugs and we went on with our night.

As I left her room she said "Good night Mommy". It wasn't lost on me that this is a name she usually reserves for Sheila.  We had a conversation earlier that one worry for adoptive Moms is that their adoptive kids won't ever really feel like they are "real".  (I despise this term as all of us are real but this is a term kids understand.) She was surprised by this idea and I believe that she was trying to tell me that she already equates me to her "real" mom.

All of these signs of healing are part of the reason why I believe all children in foster care should come in with an automatic referral for therapy to a trauma and attachment based practice and only after the therapist, the foster parent, and the case worker have decided that therapy isn't necessary, should it be discontinued. How many kids are missing opportunities for early intervention because paperwork wasn't filled out?  How many kids are wasting away in treatment with therapists that lack these critical credentials?

Yeah, yeah, yeah budgets, blah blah blah.  Treat the root causes and the budget gets better.  My guess is better psychotherapy will result in less medications, less hospitalizations, less foster parent turn over, less case worker turn over, etc.  Same goes for the parents.  Get them fantastic therapists.  I watched as both Maria and Sheila have suffered from therapists that didn't seem all that interested in helping their clients.  Sheila's therapist actually told the caseworker she couldn't be at the meeting to discuss openness because the night we picked "is my money maker night" and we couldn't expect her to lose income. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen & Amen!! Also, don't allow CPS to dictate the "goals" of therapy. In all of the cases I've had where CPS has assigned the therapist, I've been told by the therapist what it is that they were supposed to discuss in each session. Literally. CPS decides what is important in the legal case and that's all the therapist is supposed to deal with.