Labels

ACR (1) acupuncture (1) adoption (30) Adoption; RAD; emotions; tantrum (1) adoptive families (4) Amazing people (2) anger (6) Anxiety (1) appointments (1) Attachment (4) Attachment therapy (1) babies (1) banging my head (8) Bed wetting (1) beds (3) bedwetting (3) behavior (25) bio families (2) bio parents (26) biological parents (5) Biological parents; adoption (3) Biological parents; adoption; co parenting (1) Bioparents (1) birth families (21) birth moms (1) birth parents (5) birthdays (3) blogging (5) Boundaries (4) CASA (1) caseworker (9) challenges (4) change (2) Changes (2) co-parenting (16) confessions (15) Consequences (2) Court (20) crafts (1) CW Visit (5) DCFS (9) decisions (3) diary (1) dicipline (1) drama queen (2) emotions (130) Fab Four (14) Fab Four: Post Reunification (2) faith (10) family (12) Family fun (9) family outings (7) family support (15) family therapy (4) feelings (7) fertility (2) flowers (1) food (1) foster care (25) foster parenting (83) Foster parenting; permanency (3) fun (1) Gabby (4) grief (9) healing (5) Holiday (8) Holidays (5) Homework (1) honesty (1) Hubby (2) husbands (3) If I'm being honest (5) illness (1) investigation (1) Jelly Bean (4) laughter (1) legal issues (4) licensing (2) Little Mama (2) loss (5) love (8) lying (1) marriage (1) meetings (1) meltdown (1) Mental Health (3) migraine (1) milestones (1) Mommy Humor (5) mother (1) motherhood (46) Movie review (1) Mr. Mohawk (7) music (2) names (2) Neglect (1) neurosarcoidosis (6) Nostalgia (1) nothing to do with foster care (8) Open adoption (2) organization (1) other people's reactions (7) Overnight visits (2) parenting (12) permanency (10) perspective (6) photolistings (1) photos (2) pictures (5) placement (1) Placements (23) Post Reunification (26) Post visit behavior (2) Post-reunification (5) PRIDE (1) progress (1) PTSD (5) puberty (1) Quartet (3) Questions (1) RAD (5) relationships (6) return home (1) reunification (11) safe haven (1) Sarah (3) sarcasm (1) school (10) Sexual abuse (4) shopping (2) sibling (1) siblings (5) Simon (6) sleep (1) Smiley (1) Social Media (2) Solana (5) Stella (1) stress (9) Suicide (1) support (5) tantrums (3) Team Work (1) Teamwork (5) Thank You (1) The Quartet (1) The System (2) Therapeutic parenting (2) therapy (19) TPR (7) training (1) Transition (10) transition plan (10) trauma (9) triggers (4) typical kids (1) Urine (1) verbal abuse (1) Visit behavior (3) visits (38) waiting (2) where to start (3)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fab Four Update

So I mentioned on Facebook that Maria contacted me last week for help with the Fab Four. Jelly Bean was hospitalized for sneaking out and threatening to kill Maria. I imagine there were further statements about harm that caused them to actually admit her as an inpatient. My medical Spanish is spotty.  Meanwhile Gabby and LM took that opportunity to invite boys over to the house and leave without telling Maria where they were going. 

She was at a loss. We had already asked the girls to help us with the party so they came a night early. Hubby went to get them and found boys in the house when he arrived at 9:45PM and Maria had left for work. (Mr. Mohawk was at a babysitters house.) 

Hubby has a really loud, deep voice when he yells and he yelled at the boys to get the Hell out of the house. He was MAD. Which shows how much he still loves the girls. (Big softie that he is.) I'm sure he embarrassed them and that the hour drive to our house was unpleasant.

He took LM and I took Gabby to speak with about their choices. I of course nailed her feeling directly on the head. She was both afraid for her sister and relieved that she had a break from her and then felt guilty about that. I was like- kiddo you've been here before. It's probably been rough for a while. Don't you remember when she was hospitalized while living at our house?

Her answer was, not really. 

I was slightly dumbfounded. Gabby was the most affected by JB's hospitalization last time. Sleeping in her bed and taping herself reading books to her. She didn't remember any of that. 

I offered to dig up the blog post and she was all "YOU BLOG?!?" She actually thought it was pretty cool and didn't seem bothered by it.

Hubby said he had the sex talk with LM and I never really found out what the entailed. I also had a conversation with her about sex and protection and putting herself at risk. I guess all you can do is keep having the conversation, right?

The girls were a big help and I think they enjoyed being here. Maria brought MM to the party and all he cared about was the dog. But I did get a big hug when he left. I didn't get to spend much time talking with Maria but I will be calling her tomorrow to see how things are.

I'm so glad Maria tapped into her resources. I'm so glad we could help, even if just for a few days. And I feel blessed that we get to be part of this tribe of people raising these kids.

I'm hoping the docs get JB's meds and diagnosis figured out. It's hard to determine what might help her underlying psychiatric condition with all that trauma on top.

LM turns 15 this week. I have no idea where the time went....


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our State is Broke

I don't where you readers are from and I operate under the assumption that foster care sucks pretty much EVERYWHERE but I was pondering the recent communication we got from our DCFS head guy (appointed by our new governor and recruited from Florida where he did amazing things or so I'm told). The letter went something like this:

Dear Foster Peeps,

Good news I was able to get the state government to approve your payments, even though we aren't paying anyone else money we owe, aren't I amazing?

Or something to that effect....

And then I got angry. Because my tax dollars are paying for so much nonsense in foster care. 10 months the goal has been pending TPR. The kids have had an adoptive home and a signed intent to adopt form for 18 months. So during all those months we've been paying the therapists to work with the kids to manage their emotions while they wait. We've prolonged the needed therapy an additional 10 months, really just trying to manage their anxiety over not being in a permanent home. 10 months times 4 kids times 4 weeks a month is 160 sessions billed because the termination didn't happen. 

Because a group of people in a courtroom that have never met the children allowed delay after delay after delay. Then you add in the day care and transportation/supervision service for additional visits (for 2 parents) and then think about all the other cases that are hanging out there in limbo. If the state could get this permanency thing to happen quicker I think I could help fix the budget and not put all the foster parent's board rates at risk. Let's not even get me started about the money going towards trying to keep the baby sibling safe. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Un-Birthday

I had 30 people gathered in my dining room starting to sing Happy Birthday for Stella. Instead of happiness, I felt sadness. I felt the loss of their 1st birthdays with us and at the same moment, I realized this would likely be the last time they heard their birth names in the song.

I pushed past the thoughts quickly and shoved them down to deal with later.  We had three more rounds of Happy Birthday to get through.

We hosted an Alice in Wonderland Un-Birthday themed combined birthday party but I got each of them, their own cake. The kids did fairly well with so many people. They knew all of the people and we're excited to see some of their teachers from their previous daycare.

Stella was so excited from the day she couldn't sleep. She wanted everyone to come back the next day. It was truly the first time anyone had kept their promise to stay in touch with her. She thanked me several times for the party.

I had hoped that this would be an adoption party but you know, foster care happened. In my mind it was a chance to have the first birthday celebration we would never get to have for them. The irony is that their sibling was likely born the same day.

I know we made the right decision about not fostering the baby but it hasn't stopped me from thinking about the baby cuddles, the idea that this child might look like her sisters, and the sadness I feel for both her and Sheila creep in. Then the hard questions that my kids will likely ask pop in my head and I fear my answers will not be enough for them. 

So far the state has decided to keep the cases seperate. I'm not sure how court next week will impact it all. I'm just ready for this part to be done. I'm really hoping the bedwetting will stop and the hiding the pee pull up being hidden all over the house will stop too. 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Am Not A Cabbage


We met this week with the therapy team. They had a conference call with Sheila to discuss what the kids need to hear at their last planned visit in order to be able to continue to fully attach to our family.  

I am glad they had the call but it left me more frustrated. It was further confirmation that she is not capable of having the type of relationship I so badly wanted for my kids. I know, I know, if she was we wouldn't be at this point. But it hurts my heart.

The therapists also believe that this will be an instance where the bio parent will need the state to take the action to fulfill the victim role (they took my kids). It didn't seem that she fully understands that the trial will happen if she doesn't sign and that there will be not any more delays. After hearing some of the statements she made Hubby and I will not be surprised if she no shows to court. (She has the excuse of just giving birth.)

She is concerned about losing her relationship with Stella but she doesn't really understand that her actions and choices are what determine her ability to see the kids. (She doesn't really mention the other children. This highlights the dysfunction in her relationship with Stella.) It was pretty clear that she is laying the ground work for us to be the bad guys.

This upset me. I'm done being everyone's fall guy. And as I was having a pity party/meltdown about this the therapist said:

"Foster Mom R, it's not you. It's the position. Whoever would be standing in your shoes would be experiencing the same behavior. Swap the word. If she called you a cabbage would you take it personally? Of course not, because you are not a cabbage. Sounds ridiculous and that's because it is. You are none of the things she is accusing you of. This is a person who is very much the same as your children with trauma playing the stay busy with me game because as long as you engage her, you can't lose her and she can't lose her kids. 

It was kind of an a-ha moment for me. I'm not a cabbage. I'm not being difficult or unreasonable in my expectations for a well adjusted adult but for a woman with a long trauma and abuse history my consistency and boundaries and rules seem foreign.  Which equates to scary. She has spent a lifetime triangulating and manipulating and I'm not going to change that. She has no idea what a secure attachment is and she struggles with relationships, especially those of authority and power. 

We will see what happens at court in a few weeks. Meanwhile, we had an unbirthday this weekend for the kids. They had a blast.

Here is my Sarah as the White Rabbit.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Texting

So out of the blue Sheila started texting me yesterday. At first it was about the letter of questions the kids had written and could I mail it to her? Sure. Then I asked if she could follow through with meeting with their therapists as she had agreed. Her answer to that was basically to blame everyone else. So I sought permission pass on her number (she claimed she called and their mailbox was full) and she agreed. Then she said she wanted another meeting with us, with the therapists to discuss the adoption as she had more questions. I said court is in three weeks, your are having a baby somewhere in there and I don't think we'll have time to have it before court but we could meet after. I then told her we will also need to learn to communicate on our own and asked her what questions remained.

I got the following messages back:

Sheila: Yes I just felt like four emails and four phone calls was not enough communication for the kids and last visit Stella was very nervous about not being able to see me she mentioned that she still wants to see me and feels comfortable talking to me and I don't know if it seems like I don't care but I do I am always thinking about them and I feel like them not being able to see me is only going to hurt them more and confuse them more I just want to be able to still have a relationship with them for them to know its not goodbye I don't think I can do that to them

Me: Was there anything else?

Sheila: Yes I understand why you were upset I understand that you care and love my children but it's a very hard desicion for both of us and I know I didn't sign last court and you were upset about it but I just want you to know I think we do need more communication between us as well I think you being upset or me being upset doesn't help the children at all I think we need to learn to communicate better and honestly I never had this problem with any of the other foster parents so this is different for me we were usually very open about talking with the kids and the kids were able to talk to me whenever they needed to that's why I kind of backed off 
And I want to make sure we are both on the same page and doing this more for the children then for ourselves.
********
I didn't send a respose. No response I crafted would have gotten me anywhere. 

We said at a minimum, we would send her updates on the kids. All she asked for was that the kids be able to call her when they wanted. In the year and a half they have lived with us, this has always been an option for us. When we had scheduled phone calls she missed 1/2 of them prior to the goal being changed. Even on those phone calls when I tried to explain how the kids were being affected she would respond in an immature way. She didn't back off- she never started and she did have this issue with the other foster parents, she wants to act like they were buddy buddy. It's re-writing history. Even her psych eval said "she is a poor historian".  

We said if she was consistent then we could increase contact. Stella is anxious because she was told her Mom was going to sign the adoption paperwork and when she didn't it was another time she lied or didn't follow through. She's anxious because she's been stuck in limbo for 10 months and she doesn't trust the woman who has been in and out of her life. (But Sheila spent 18 hours with her in th last 10 months so she knows best.) And what about her actions has been for her children? And what about any of that am I doing for myself? If I was doing something for myself, I'd be on a beach somewhere. 

This is projection. This is the last attempt for someone who has no control to try and fool herself into thinking that she has the upper hand and still has an option. She wants to act like she's got their best interest in all her decision making, nothing I say will change that. I do know she loves them in her own way, it's just not the way they need. She is setting us up to be the fall guy. Her whole pattern is to blame everyone else for her choices.

This was my almost response. I didn't send it. Instead I forwarded the above to the team and said here is the issue. She needs to understand the consequences of her actions where her kids are concerned. 

******DID NOT SEND
Sheila- I'm sorry that is how you feel. I agree communication should be better but Hubby and I have to disagree with you that the reason it's not where it should be, is due to our actions. The kids have always had the option to call you when they wanted and they have honestly never asked. They have lived with us for a year and a half so I'm not sure what other foster parents have to do with it. We also don't appreciate the implication that it's our fault that it's this way. We have always been willing to work with you in a kind and respectful manner. We are sorry if you feel different.

You are right we are upset that you did not sign the paperwork but the main reason we are upset has to do with how much it hurt the kids as we were the ones that had to tell them that you changed your mind after you told us you were going to sign the paperwork.  The kids are ready to be out of foster care and they did not handle the let down very well. We have had to handle their sadness, anxiety, and confusion for these past 3 months. The other reason is we feel you wasted our time both with the meeting and court. Driving out to BUFU to support you at your request, only to be told you had changed your mind and to spend 15 minutes learning that the kids were going to have another three months of uncertainty basically sucked.

We do believe you care for your children and as we said in the meeting the amount of contact you have will depend on your consistency. Telling us on Thursday you are going to do something and then not doing it on Tuesday doesn't give us a lot of confidence that you are going to do what you say. Unfortunately, your choice meant that our trust in you was broken and that will have to be repaired. Text messages accusing us of being difficult and not putting the children first aren't going to help repair it though. Truthfully, we don't have to allow any contact with you after they are adopted but don't want that to be the case because we know that it's better for the kids. Accusatory text messages to us seem like you are trying to find a reason that we are the enemy, they don't seem like you want a positive relationship at all.

If you truly don't feel you can sign the identified surrender to us, then don't sign it. It is a difficult decision, one we can't imagine. However, we can promise you that regardless, the decision to be the adoptive parents for the kids is not a difficult one for us and we will take care of the children for the rest of our lives. 

We hope this clears the air, and we hope that we can move forward for the sake of the kids. We would be happy to further discuss with the therapy team as we agreed there are unresolved issues. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stronger

I feel a little stronger today. I know the therapists are working on protecting the kids and so is the CASA. It seems the supervisor can't get ahold of Bio Mom which is an issue for her. At the very least everyone has agreed that they won't go past the original date we agreed on for the visit. And the kids' attorney is going to try and get court orders in place to ensure our request about the supervision of the last visit and not requiring sibling visitation be put in place. 

And to a degree it sounds like the department is too. 

As long as I'm not the only one fighting the battle, I feel a little bit better. Less weary about the next few weeks. If I've done all I can, worrying won't change anything. And in the end, we will overcome whatever gets thrown out way because we have no other choice.

Meanwhile, I've got a kid with strep, an impending acquisition of my company and my school term to finish. I feel like if I can just make it to September, I'll be fine.

We also need to be prepared to discuss adopting the baby if the state does decide on expedited termination. We've discussed in theory, mainly because neither of us believed it was possible. 

The question to answer, is will a baby send us over the edge? Because we are teetering pretty close. 

*****

I so appreciate all of the comments and affirmations. I feel very supported and you have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Keep It Coming

::sigh::

So the therapists suggested Mom have the visit prior to the birth. I called the Supervisor because Caseworker #3 is apparently on vacation (was not aware). They were going to check with Bio Mom to do it this weekend which logistically has like a 2% chance of happening. She heard my concerns. I mentioned my sibling visit letter and she towed the policy line about sibling visits being law...but that they would take all of our supporting information into consideration with the team that makes those decisions. I pointed out that it seemed convenient to reference one policy given that the policy about expedited termination was being ignored and she of course blamed the lawyers. 

Then she totally rocked my world. They may combine the case of the baby with my kiddos' case. Again up to the State's Attorney but it sounded like the department may try to keep the case in the same county my kids are in (baby will be born several counties away) since the judge has all of the history with this Mom. 

Seems to me that could go one of two ways- tack the baby on and terminate her at the same time, or keep the case open and potentially change the goal for my kiddos/delay their adoption further. I don't see the judge changing the goal back but Holy Hell people...

The supervisor also said that Bio Mom was playing games and they aren't exactly sure when she is going to give birth now. The baby daddy was also hit with an additional DV felony charge for the incident that prompted another order of protection.

Of course his family and his involvement could come into play if she lists him as the baby daddy and the DNA test matches.

::sigh::

If I'm Being Honest

Warning: This is a really honest post.  I fully acknowledge that towards the end of cases things get way harder for everyone.  It also gets harder to keep the rational part of my brain the loudest voice in my head.  This is not a "rah rah" post for blended families.  This is not a positive post about biological mothers.  This is my honest to goodness reaction. Its a way for me to attempt to let go of the feelings.  A place to put them so others understand if they have felt the same way.  I may change my mind later about how I feel, they are my emotions and I am allowed to feel them.  I' always telling my kids to let it out, I need to follow my own advice.

I love the feedback and honest reactions from readers - that being said please no flaming.  I'm sharing honestly so others can see how this path can feel at times.
********

We received a request today to move the "last scheduled visit" to a week later.  The request came from Bio Mom for her to "heal after giving birth later this month". (This visit is 3 weeks after she is to give birth.)

Because I'm me, I of course checked to see if we had anything scheduled on the new day.  Then I got really, really mad.

Why should the kids have to delay further? I mean after 3 months , what's another week? But then its the same week as school starting and the kids already had the date on their calendar.

Hubby said "its not an unreasonable request".

I said, "I don't give a sh*t. Don't get flipping pregnant. How about that? How about the last act as their Mom, you put them ahead of yourself. Nope. She's going to be selfish right up to the very last moment."

Even if she has a C-section, what exactly does she need to heal from*, 4 weeks later, that she can't spend  2 hours with her children?  Newsflash - if the baby was going home with her she would need to take the baby to doctors appointments, the grocery store, etc. She would need to be up every few hours for feedings and changing.  But she isn't doing that. Another Mom is going to do that. But I bet money she'll find away for a visit with the baby before she has "time to heal". If she had been successful in working her plan, she'd have 5 kids to take care of. So I'm really struggling with a 2 hour visit being a big deal.

I'm especially pissy about it because of all the promises she made - I'll sign the surrender, I'll meet with the kids' therapists, I'll write a letter to help the kids move on. And if she had - this would be a non-issue. I'm not over it. I'm just not. I don't even really feel like trying to get over it. She was wrong and my kids were hurt and for some reason witnessing it and having to manage the fall out from it makes it so much worse than all other things she did to hurt them in their short lives,

I wanted to bargain with Caseworker #3, sure we can move it back provided its in the therapists' office. Otherwise, no. Then I got mad that she put us in the hot seat. Technically, DCFS can set the visit whenever they want because they have custody of the kids.  They have tried to be considerate to me because I've tried to be flexible and have sound reasoning when I push on something, which hasn't been a lot in this case. I also need to continue to work with these people because we still don't have an adoption worker and DCFS can still force sibling visits if they want.

I instead threw back questions and sent an email to the therapy team and CASA worker.

Because when the week rolls around, I'm sure there will be another excuse. I have a gut feeling she isn't going to have a goodbye visit.  It will be too hard for her and I don't think she has any intention of staying in their life and she's taken steps to ensure that she can paint us as the bad guys. Its self-sabotage.

And you know what, I have enough crappy stuff on my plate and I don't care about what she wants or what is easiest for her.  She's been reproducing children and letting everyone else worry about it and it is literally sickening me.

I had a panic attack in the car on the way home.  I've been shaking all day and I'm having anxiety pains. She can kiss my ass.  That's how I feel about pushing the date.

*I understand that being pregnant and giving birth is physically hard and takes a toll on the body.  I also get that emotionally having your infant placed in foster care will also be hard and so would losing custody of your other children. But women have been birthing and caring for children after birth, for thousands of years. Why does she get another pass?

 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I just searched...

"overwhelmed Mom" on Pinterest. There was a "12 resources" link and I had already tried #s 1-10. 11 and 12 were actually a plug for a headache medication..... and I'm beyond popping some OTC stuff and becoming a new person.

Smiley actually asked me at dinner tonight, "Mom are you sick?".

Because I didn't go to work or because its clear I'm not really speaking to Dad?

OK. I only said the work part.  And I didn't go to work today because I took a day off to do homework.

The highlight of my day? Being able to wear an oversized sweatshirt in July...

Taking a vacation day to listen to lectures where the professor actually yawns while she is talking just sucks....

But when life hands you lemons...go to Starbucks and get a fancy lemonade.

 

Inside Out

We saw Inside Out tonight. I had read a few reviews of the movie and at least one that was foster care related. I knew it might be triggering but all of the reviews said the movie did a nice job of laying out how your emotions interact with your brain.

Since we've been dealing with a lot of "big feelings" as we refer to them, we felt this would help the kids understand their emotions better.

Plus, we are huge Disney nerds so it's a pretty safe bet that we'll be seeing the latest Disney/Pixar flick. 

Warning: Plot info
The major event of the movie was that the main character, Riley, moves cross country. Her emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust in the central command center are in charge of her daily interactions and responsible for her memories (which look like marbles). The memories are stored during sleep and some form Core Memories which form her personality made up of Islands of experiences. 
*********
The moving piece reflected the loss my kids have been feeling so powerfully.  The move part didn't register so much (which is funny because we did actually move). I think the kids are genuinely happy in our new house and weren't in the other one long enough to be too attached. The missing of friends was the biggest trigger for the kids and several of them cried.

I think it will be a great spring board for other conversations. I also really liked that it showed there was room for all of the emotions and all of them had their purpose, including fear which keeps us safe. Such an important lesson for our kiddos with trauma and attachment issues.

I would also add that this movie has subject matter material that will mostly be lost on those younger than Kindergarten. I'm not sure how much Smiley absorbed although she did find certain parts sad.  There were a lot of younger kids in the theater and they were not paying attention to the movie. Lots of talking- this is not a Frozen/princess/song movie.

It was very cute and aside from the "moves"/loss aspect, not too triggering. In fact, both parents are in the movie and neither of them die. I give it 2 thumbs up.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Today's Trigger Brought To You By Mangos

I spent a lot of time this weekend rocking my children. It's a little more difficult to do when they are 10 years old but that's what trauma looks like.  Today's trigger was a mango.  Like the fruit.  It reminded one of a former foster home and all of the loss came crashing down around her.  Then the other one felt the loss and it all came crashing down on her.  It was a repeat of a few days earlier, post visit with Sheila. The letter with the questions was left behind and hat caused upset. Then Smiley and Simon decided to scratch and spit on each other in the car on the way home from the visit.  (They spend an hour driving each way.) So they went to bed crying while the other two cried about the letter and the loss of their Mom.  Stella was also upset about the baby clothes that she saw in the closet. Complex feelings for kids all under the age of 10. 

We went over again the reasons the kids are being adopted, "Remember how we discussed your Mom's problems with depression and how she choses relationships where people got hurt? The judge said she didn't fix the things that she needed to prove she could take care of you?  She loves you, she just can't take care of you like she needs to."

Stella isn't sure she wants to be adopted today.  And that's ok.  We reassured her that she can feel that way.  We went over the importance of sharing those feelings and reminded her that we understand that and that she won't hurt our feelings. 

She has lost so much. siblings, family, culture.  She's never had stability for more than a few months.  All of this is scary. "I must try and control everything and be perfect" kind of scary.

Sarah had a tough weekend with loss but also with her PTSD.  Loud noises and sirens are a big trigger for her PTSD.  We know she struggles with fireworks so we tried to prepare for that. We talked about it, we bought her ear plugs and we gave her the choice to stay home from the fireworks show (special time with Dad). Nope. She was going. And she decided that she wanted to try to watch without her ear plugs. She was a little skittish but as we waited for our town's show to start we could see 3 other neighboring towns.  She started out sitting and watching them on her own.  When it got to be a little much she came and sat on my lap  She had no issues until the finale. I think the noise was just too fast for her to calm herself down between the booms. What I love, though, is as soon as she's regulated she's like "that was awesome".  She just get right back up.

After his sisters melted down at dinner, I checked in with Simon.

"Simon, how are you feeling about all this stuff?"

"I'm kind of excited to be adopted." It's that simple for him.

Smiley, she acted out about the visit in the car and that was about it. My guess is she didn't get much attention and whatever attention she did get was negative as the kids fall into bad habits at visits. Of course everyone was like "Little miss smiley scratched someone? I don't believe it!" She's generally happy and smart and a little lady. Seriously, the kid wears a dress or skirt all.the.time. Most mornings she tells me she has nothing to wear. She has a great giggle and a beautiful smile and so its hard to believe she's the most stubborn kid I've ever met.  When she doesn't want to do something she doesn't do it.  One day she will use her powers for good instead of evil. :)  
 

Friday, July 3, 2015

No Pain

I was feeling no pain this morning. Largely due to the gobs of anxiety medication I took yesterday and the pills the doctor prescribed. In fact, I was downright chilled out. It still wasn't enough to get me into the special MRI so they needed up putting me in one slightly less powerful but with a bigger opening and I was able to handle that just fine. (I can't do open MRI because they are scanning my brain.)

So I had a full 45 minutes to lay still and think while the machine clicked and pounded and vibrated. 

The first few minutes I though of Sarah and the noises. We'd have to knock her out for something like this. Then I thought of Stella and all the questions she would ask.

I thought of my conversation with the doctor that morning when she asked me if I was foster parenting little babies. I answered No but in my head I thought- not yet. And then the fact that I was lying in the MRI with pain brought me back to a conversation with my Grandma. One of the last lucid conversation I had with her- "you can't care for a little baby if you are sick".

This disease brought me to foster care. Maybe it's poetic that it's reminding me of that as we near the end of the adoption process. Apparently I woke up hopeful that the end is near which is a step in the right direction as in the last few weeks I felt like we were never going to get there. 

But that's what 2 1/2 happy pills will do  for you. And a really good nights sleep. 

Of course then Simon decided to loose his sh*t this morning because it's a visit day. He totally lied in an effort to avoid asking for help. Then he lied again and then we were in meltdown mode. My 7 year old refused to use any of his tools . He was angry and scared and I stayed calm and therapeutic. It breaks my heart every time I gather him in my lap and he physically stiffens and fears the loving contact. We will keep at it. Like everything else.

This *should be* the 2nd to last planned visit. The kids came up with a list of questions for Sheila that they wanted answered. Hubby said he had to bribe Smiley to participate. I said to him, "Maybe she doesn't care. Maybe she is done. Maybe she doesn't need this lady she's no longer connected to to tell her anything."

I have no idea if she'll answer the questions. Despite telling everyone she wants to help the kids move forward her lack of action has proved otherwise.
 
"Sure I'll have a family therapy session with the kids." (Her attorney actually tried to make a lack of family therapy an issue in court a few months back.) but then she never called to get the appointment scheduled. Meanwhile she's posting on facebook about everything having a consequence so you better make good choices. 

Yeah. If only she would follow her own advice. 

It makes my head hurt. Which is an improvement over my face on fire....


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's Baaackk

I took a really important step today and scheduled an appointment for myself with a new therapist. One of the joys of moving is assembling your people-dry cleaners, pizza place, doctors, so that they are close to you. My hair stylist is actually already close as I've been going to her for 16 years and I've traveled to see her. So I'm set there. My therapist is over 45 minutes away and I need one that's closer.
*******
I woke up today feeling like the left side of my face was on fire. And I knew deep down, that I will no longer be able to pretend I don't have a chronic illness. One sided face pain is generally a bad sign. So I called the neurologist and got orders for a dreaded MRI. And after 4 phone calls I finally got that scheduled. Within a minute of getting on the horn I was reminded of all the stress and frustration that comes with being sick.  The new rule is you can't schedule the appointment without the precertification number. That requires a facility. How can I pick a facility if I don't know what their availability is because they can't look at the schedule without a pre-cert? Maddening. And I have insurance. It's not the Medical Card I'm trying to use. (And all the foster parents nod their heads in understanding.)

The thing is, I know what's in store and it's no fun. Appointments, tests, medications with yucky side effects. Having to explain over an over that my condition is rare. As in, the nurse I spoke to today at my doctor's office had never heard of it. I don't have time to be sick. I have too much to get done and that probably the cause of the "flare up". 

And because I know that the meds are likely to cause depression I needed to get out in front of that piece. I was headed there anyway to deal with my weepines over my kids lack of permanency. And to add insult to injury the first person that I called told me she had no room for me.

It might all be interrelated. I just know my face feels like it's being stabbed by hot pokers and it's making me increasingly crabby.
*****
 I'm long over due for a flare up. In that regard I've been lucky. And where my disease presents itself could be worse- I could be paralyzed or blind. It just really burst my bubble today. 

I'll be fine. This go-round we know what it is (last time I was in pain 18 months before anyone figured it out). Hopefully I will respond quickly to the treatment and move on. I'm over my pity party and just ready to move forward.