Everyone wants these kids…

Our caseworker put us in touch with a former pre-adoptive family [further to be known as Woody, Jessie & Buzz] that Donald and Daffy were placed with 3 years ago. I called Jessie today and we ended up meeting for lunch. What a surreal experience. The more I learn about this case, the more I am convinced that the majority of the trauma and loss that these kids experienced is a direct result of the actions of the state. This turned out to be the SECOND  foster family that wanted to adopt. They never had any closure. The foster parents and children fully expected to continue visits and did not learn they wouldn’t until after they had seen each other for the last time. This was the STATE’S decision, but no one ever explained that to Donald or Daffy. They were left to believe that another family had abandoned them. This disturbs me deeply, but even more so to learn that this family has not moved on. They have maintained their foster care license over the past 3 years simply for the hope that Donald & Daffy would one day be returned them. It was not until yesterday that they learned the children had been placed with us and  they were finally able to begin their grieving process.

Jessie was understandably emotional as she shared her family’s story today. Their story is so similar to ours, they might as well be the same. They started the process in much the same way, went through a long transition, and then watched as Donald became increasingly dangerous to both Daffy and their son, Buzz. In less than a week, they had the police at their home twice as every member of their family was physically attacked. Donald was admitted to a psychiatric facility (the same he went to when he left our home) and then moved to residential care (the same he moved to when he left the hospital in February). The only stark difference is that we were able to keep Daffy in our care this time around.

Hearing their story reminded me how fragile our relationship with the children is. The state can pull the plug at anytime for any reason or no reason at all. As we continued talking, I silently prayed that our “happily ever after” will not follow their path, a path which clearly led to sadness and despair.

We decided to set up a visit for both of our families next week at their house. I am nervous. Daffy seemed cautiously happy that I scheduled this reunion. I am hopeful that rekindling a relationship that was so special to her will be beneficial and not something that triggers her sense of loss and rejection. I wish I had a crystal ball, some way of knowing if this is the right choice, but since I don’t, I am left to trust my heart. My heart tells me that if I were in Jessie’s shoes, I would want to continue a relationship with these beautiful children and that these children deserve all the love they can get after the raw deal they have been dealt.

In unrelated news, we received the results of Daffy’s special education testing today. I was quite pleased to see that she was average, above average or even superior in some areas! This means she will not qualify for an IEP, but if she gets an ADHD diagnosis from her doctor, she may qualify for 504 accommodations. The team did a great job discussing her learning style and some accommodations that would benefit her. I left feeling very please with the outcome. Next, I need to drop off copies to the the doctor’s office for review and then wait for an appointment.

Wishes, Visits, Attachment & Testing

Sometimes I get so busy tweeting the little ins and outs of our daily lives, I forgot to come and blog.When nothing “major” is happening, it doesnt seem to warrant sitting down to write, but I know the little things are often more important so I am going to try to be better with posts! 🙂

A few things of note over the past few weeks:

  • Daffy asked her “Fairy Godmother” to grant her a wish… a picture of her and her biological Mom! Her Fairy Godmother was able to grant that wish and it was an amazing moment! Daffy opened the package, saw the picture and was completely overwhelmed with emotion. She told me later that night that she never cried from happiness before. She has been thrilled to show the picture to anyone who will look and is often analyzing it for little details and similarities.
  • Daffy saw Donald for the first time since being moved to the new residential treatment center. Daffy was “bored” within 5 minutes of being there and told me as we left later that she thought the place was “creepy.” I really didn’t know what to say because honestly, it IS creepy.
  • Donald’s former CW and I took him to lunch one day after a meeting last week. I was not happy when his new CW and our SW bailed on going because I had made it VERY clear that I did NOT want to go alone with him, but ultimately I ended up driving him both ways by myself. He scares me and he knows it. I try to put on my “game face” with him, but I know he can see right through it. (I have never really had much of a poker face, anyway.)
  • We received a copy of Donald’s Treatment Plan. I am happy that there are some very specific goals set for him over the course of the next year, but at the same time I feel like only Donald’s needs are being viewed. For example, he is currently physically attacking peers and staff an average of 1-2 times per day. The goal is for him to decrease the attacks by 90% before he moves in. Ummmmm, I am not really okay with my FAMILY (or anyone!) being attacked at a rate of even 10% of what he is currently engaging in. How can the state even ASK us to accept that???? If he were an adult, the state would pull my children for allowing them to be exposed to that kind of domestic violence.
  • Daffy has been sharing all sorts of things with me during our chats. She shared about the last visit she had with her mom and what it was like the day she was taken. Her therapist thinks these are signs that she is attaching. All this attachment talk boggles my mind. I mean, I GET what attachment is, I know why its important, I understand what causes issues in attachment, but what I dont understand is how I will know if Daffy is truly attached. I know *I* am attached to her…. the days that we thought she might be moved, I was paralyzed and physically sick over the thought of losing her. The more I search for answers, the more questions I find myself asking.
  • The process to get Daffy tested for ADHD is well underway. The school has sent home several forms for us to fill out and this morning I picked up additional forms from her pediatricians office for us and the school to fill out. We WILL get answers.
  • Tomorrow our SW and I will be meeting with a specialist to discuss Daffy’s sensory issues. While I dont think she has “major” issues, I feel she should be afforded the same close scrutiny that her brother received to best accomodate her needs. I feel she has been ignored for far too long already because her brother had the bigger (& more dangerous) issues. If one good thing can come from their separation right now, its the ability for us to focus on Daffy to allow us and her therapist to help her flourish.
  • Daffy got her new glasses. The eye doctor had told us the prescription was minimal and there was no need to get it filled unless she started getting headaches while reading. The school, however, wanted us to get the glasses indicating they couldnt test properly if she couldnt see,  so we got the glasses. I was SHOCKED when I tried them on to find how strong they are! She wasnt really thrilled to get them, saying they made her look like a “teacher”, but they seem to be growing on her, especially as people comment how “cute” she looks in them!
  • She had her first sleepover away from the house this weekend. The next day I asked if she forgot what I looked like since she didnt call and she said she was wondering if I was crying because I was missing her. I feel like the fact that I was on her mind was a good thing.
  • I have several trainings coming up in May. I love learning and I can’t wait!

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]