The Missing Social Studies Book & What Happened To The Baby?

The Missing Social Studies Book

The last few months I have posted only general updates. Last night it occurred to me that I am missing a critical factor by not blogging on a more regular basis and with details: DOCUMENTATION. I know how important documentation is. I’ve used the information I’ve documented on my blog numerous times as reference for dates and events. It’s time for me to push through the fact it’s uncomfortable and blog more frequently.

On, that note, the ongoing minor drama of the week is The Missing Social Studies Book! Daffy’s teacher emailed me Monday and said that we need to pay $80+ for the book. She said that Daffy had searched the school and couldn’t locate it and asked that we look at home. First of all, Daffy NEVER mentioned any missing book. I have no idea how long it’s been missing. Second, when I asked Daffy about it and said she should spend time looking, she said she had already looked at home but that she needed to check at school. I confronted her with the fact that contradicted what her teacher said and of course she shut down. Per usual. I’ve emailed the teacher about the book and indicated that I DO NOT want a new book issued. I do NOT have the money to be replacing books that Daffy loses. I have yet to hear back from the teacher and Daffy doesn’t seem to be spending any time looking. This doesn’t seem to bother Mickey at all. Maybe he has hidden money that I don’t know about.

I’m sure you are really here, though, to find out what happened to the baby? So last night a friend of mine came over. She comes over on a fairly regular basis and usually brings her littlest one, who is now 18 months. We hang out in the game room and her son usually is in the same area, sometimes going into the dining room which is up 2 steps from the game room. All of us (myself, Mickey, my friend, Tink, Tink’s friend and 9 month old baby and the 18 month old) were in the game room last night, except Daffy. She was in the dining room. The 18 month old wondered over and went into the dining room. Since my friend had already put up the dog bowls, there really wasn’t a lot of concern. Suddenly, there was an ear piercing scream. There was a split second where everyone froze and then my friend raced around the corner into the dining room. She found Daffy standing calmly next to the 18 month old. Daffy matter-of-factly stated “His fingers are jammed in the drawer.” My friend had to pry the drawer back open to get her son’s fingers out (which were already badly bruised) and scooped him up and brought him into the game room.

She walked in to dead silence. I think everyone had realized at the same time the likelihood of what Daffy had just done. Well, everyone except Mickey of course. He maintains that she was “emptying the trash” around another corner and into the kitchen. Since there is a window into the kitchen from the game room, I could clearly see that Daffy was NOT emptying the trash. Then Mickey decided that maybe Daffy WASN’T emptying the trash, but that she had been there but was totally calm because she didn’t know what to do. Ok, Mickey, smoke another one. No matter what Daffy’s behaviors, either she, Mickey or her therapist have an excuse to explain it away. It kind of reminds me when my mother was sick and not yet diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She would say that the muscle weakness was from one thing and the cough from another and other symptoms from other things. As a nurse, she did not want to admit that all her symptoms together would ultimately diagnose her with a a fatal illness that would kill her in two year’s time. I think that Mickey and the therapist are in that same denial. If they excuse away each behavior (drawings, threats, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, etc) they don’t have to look at the reality of the problem we have on our hands and the fact that our mental health system is not equipped to help her.



Calling In Reinforcements

As we approach the one year anniversary of Daffy’s adoption – a day we have dubbed her “adoptaversary”- we have called in reinforcements.

Tink was at her first OB appointment (finally!) and was asked if she had any concerns for her safety, she was quick to reply YES as a result of her fears of Daffy! I decided to be PROactive rather then REactive and wrote immediately to Daffy’s former case worker as well as the adoption specialist on the case. I told them our plans for keeping Tink and her baby safe and asked if they had any other suggestions. I was SHOCKED to hear back within just 15 minutes from the adoption specialist and a half hour from the case worker.  The next day I received a call from the head of the post-adoption unit who quickly assigned a new worker to our case.

Over the past couple weeks, that worker has come out to meet with us, met with Daffy’s therapist and then came back to present her suggested plan. We will be receiving in-home services from a local agency for a max of 90 days (paid for by the state) and they have recommended a neuro-pysch exam for Daffy just to “rule out” any diagnosis other than ADHD. Letting social workers back into our lives to that extreme feels like ten steps backward, but honestly, I am desperate for change. I am desperate for hope that things will be better one day.

I have continued to work on how I deal with Daffy, forcing myself to be quicker to recover when I am angry, providing her with quality time when even the sight of her face turns my stomach. Daffy has continued to be… well…. Daffy. If I ask her to eat lunch, she will ignore me for an hour even if she was hungry to begin with. If I tell her it’s time to get off the tv, she will grunt, stomp her feet and wail at the top of her lungs for hours. The more I try, the more she resists. Then she acts SHOCKED when I am angry. It’s an evil merry-go-round of sorts and I just want to get OFF this ride!! It’s dizzying and maddening.

At the suggestion of Donald’s former therapist (the one I started meeting with this summer), Daffy and I have started to communicate daily in a notebook. It helps to some degree to be able to carefully word my thoughts before responding and allows Daffy to say things she might not otherwise say (without making up lies, anyway). However, it could be just another tool for her to use to manipulate the situation. She doesn’t write her “angry things” in the notebook. I think she knows I would take it right to her therapist and she would be “found out”!

As you might be able to guess, I am pretty bitter with her therapist. She wrote to me shortly before she was to meet with the post-adoption worker and said that she had spoken with Donald’s former therapist and said that she heard some things from her that I hadn’t told her directly. WHAT????? NO WAY! I’ve told her EVERYTHING. She just excuses it all away. In fact, when I spoke with the post-adoption worker this week, she said Daffy’s therapist denied ever having seen the image Daffy drew with the gun and someone’s head chopped off.  Really??? I got right online and forwarded her the email with the image as well as HER OWN RESPONSES to it saying Daffy must be “sad” to have drawn that image. Are you kidding me??????? Don’t try to weasel your way out of it now that there are professionals taking a look at her behaviors, thoughts and actions!!! UGH!

Right now we are in a holding pattern. We are waiting till mid-Oct to start the in-home services. Since they can only last for a max of 90 days, we need to make sure the coverage will include the birth of Tink’s baby and that whole transition.  We’ve got A LOT going on as a family and we need all the supports in place that we can get!

Incidentally, I talked to Daffy’s birth Mom last week, too. Donald is transitioning to full time at “home” this week and she is facing her own major challenges (who didn’t see THAT coming??). The one thing that sticks out in my mind from our conversation is her saying that she asked to be trained in proper safety holds because waiting for the police to arrive takes too long. All I can do is shake my head….. how can ANYONE think that is safe for her or her stepdaughter????

Thanks to all of you who have commented on my blog and emailed me recently. I appreciate your support and it really does help to know I am not alone. I appreciate the ideas, suggestions and links you send to me! Getting through this will not be one “ah ha moment”, but rather a slow process with a lot of small changes over time, so keep those ideas coming! I am open to almost anything!