A winter wonderland where we are. The kids are a little stir crazy. I bought them each a little snow shovel. Get out their energy, and they can help Andy-the-Great! Hee hee hee. Might as well get them working young! We also bought 4 new toboggan's. That will be fun. I will post pic's of the dig out!
Holy cow! Has it really been over a month since I have blogged? It has been a whirlwind, to say the least.
CT adjusting unbelievably well. Everything that was said to be a "problem behavior", has turned out to be a non-issue. He is mainstreamed ALL DAY , rather than the 3 hours he attend the special needs program at his previous district. He has music, and Phys Ed, Art, and computer lab with all the "normal" children. They have excepted him, and he has thrived.
CT is having speech for an hour 3 times a week. Were were told that he could only tolerate 10 min's at a time.
He has had minimal contact, only twice, with his biological brother and previous foster parents. This is a huge surprise to us. They INSISTED that we be committed to a weekly visit in the beginning, and then NO LESS THAN once a month. We, of coarse, agreed to this without question. A gift for CT to know his brother, and the family that cared for him for 3 years. However, we call and it is not a warm reception. They have never called Ct to see how he is. Never talked to me about his transition. Ct has questioned where they have gone. I fear he thinks they have dropped off the planet!
Now, those of you who have adopted from the HHS system, know that you are required to have in home visits frequently after the child is placed....NOT US! They dropped him, and we haven't seen anyone since. INFURIATES ME TO NO END! We have scheduled visits that get cancelled every time. There has been no documentation provided to doctors or school, that says Andy and I have guardianship of this child. No emergency releases signed. NOTHING.
Yes, I have called. Yes, I have spoken with supervisors.
I think that part of the problem is that people write these children off as disposable. No body has ever vested anything into them. His IEP for school stated that he could be mainstreamed into a normal kindergarten classroom, BUT "he is up for adoption, so he would be disrupted anyway."
So, why bother, huh? Why give this child a better start. Why show him "normal" childhood behaviors? Why let him build relationships? Instead, lets label him Mentally Retarded, and put him in a class room with non-verbal children. Lets keep him secluded from others his age.
Andy and I have begun the fight to remove the labels. To allow our son to participate in all things. The Christmas Concert. The bowling with his kindergarten. The story-time in Library.
We reward his good behaviors, and let him no that bad behaviors make us unhappy. That they DO NOT get rewarded. We treat him like a normal 5 year old (of coarse with some modifications). This boy...our boy...could be so much. And will surprise everyone.
Of that I am sure!!!
So, Andy and I await support systems. We have inquired about groups for parents like us. In home resources for us. Not waiting for state help. CW approval. we muddle through, doing what parents do... The best they can for their kids.
Here it is, Mid-November already. WOW!!! Zippin right along, huh?
Well, we had a team meeting last Tuesday. It was decided that Ct would be with us full time NOVEMBER 20th! You got it! THIS FRIDAY!!!
We are filled with emotions.
Excitement..it is really happening for us. A years worth of time and effort nearing completion.
Fear...we have yet to work out all the kinks. School (he will be starting after Thanksgiving Break). The dynamics between CT and our 3-year-old,Gabrielle. She has a hard time finding where he fits, and how she should have a relationship wit him.
Cannot possibly start to feel any smoothness until a routine is established. Consistency is achieved. Both CT and Gabrielle will benefit from this. That I am sure.
CT has been with us for two weekends, and a mid-week overnight last week. He is starting to test his limits. Tantruming a little. Saying "NO!" to Andy and I. Together we are standing strong. Unified in our expectations and discipline. Clearly giving him limits.
We are also finding how much of a love bug he is. Always giving a little snuggle. He kisses my forehead and strokes my face while I am reading to him at at bed time.
We have started to research his long term diagnosis'. Understand all of the SPED jargon. They speak Latin sometimes, I think. I need to understand EVERY WORD. EVERY THERAPY. EVERY TREATMENT OPTION. This will allow Andy and I to better advocate for him.
PHEW! Still so much to do. So, as my title reads... "In the home stretch till placement, anyway". It is just the beginning. Just the tip of the ice berg.
I have hardly had time to catch my breath, let alone Blog. Thanks to you all for your comments and encouragement. It is soooo important in this whole process, and appreciated more than you know.
Things are moving fast and furious. Because CT can not understand why he is not "home with Mama and Dada", we are stepping things up. What would be a placement of January 1st...is now BEFORE Thanksgiving. We are excited about that. Nervous as well. Trying to speed the "powers that be" along with all the details. School...pediatrician..stuff. We have another team meeting on Tuesday, and all the details will be hashed out.
CT has no focus on school, cries for us at night, and has almost completely detached from his foster family. What good is it for him to prolong the inevitable. Once he is placed permanently, we can build consistency again. Get him back on track at school. Feeling safe in his forever home.
It is hard, however, to wade through all the "MUCK". The feelings of the Foster family, DHHS' input, psychiatrists, and teachers.
PHEW! That has been the biggest learning curve of it all.
I will be leaving shortly to go get our lil man! Can't wait to spend the weekend with him. I will let you all know how it goes....
We picked CT up at the foster families house at 8:00 a.m. His "Nine" (foster Mama) was sick. A terrible head cold and stomach thing happening. So, they suggested we keep him for the day, rather than our scheduled 2 hours.
On Thursday afternoon his team ( Foster parents, DHS worker, and Life skills worker) got together with CT to explain exactly who we are, and what we are to become. So, when we picked him up Saturday I was greeted with a great big hug, and a "Hi Mama".
A "Hi Da" for Andy.
We kept him the whole day. Played in his new room. Carved a pumpkin with all the kids, read a story, and just hung out together. IT WAS AB FAB!
Gabrielle is not sure if she is sold on the idea of a 5 year old sibling. She will warm up to it once she realizes that he is sticking, and she needn't compete. We have some alone time activities scheduled for her, and all of the kids.
We brought him home on Saturday evening.
HE STARTED TO SCREAM! Did not understand why he wasn't staying at his new house. With his new Mama and Da. His new sisters and brothers. He had to be pried off my body. Begging for me to take him back.
I left in a puddle. I am not good at leaving my kids. Especially like that. I called him when I got home. he was doing better. Asked me if I could get him when his eyes were open after night. I said "yes, Buddy. I am yours! I will always come for you!"
We talked to him about how he needed to stay there until we could get him a new school. Gave him all sorts of pictures ...WITH US! Told him that his bed will be there waiting, and we would pick him up for a visit on Tuesday. He had an easier time at drop off on Sunday.
I called him today, to see how school was for him. He said it was good, and asked me if I would be there for him when his eyes opened from night. I told him that when he returned from school, both HIS Da and HIS Mama would be waiting!
We waited for 15, excruciating, minutes for the bus to come. Freezing cold. Shivering. More from nerves, I'd imagine.
It pulled up in front of his foster home, we could see him in the window. The only red head! His little winter hat was on crooked. Smiling out the bus window.
He ran up to his foster Mom, said "Hi". Then right over to ask "who you?" We told him that we were friends of "Nine" and stopped by to visit him.
He brought us inside. Sang to us. Told me his colors. Showed me his room. Ate his lunch.
That was it. 45 min's later we left him to have his therapy. Do some errands with "Nine". We drove away from our son. He waived from the window. Not knowing who we are ,exactly. Just that we are new friends.