Thursday, December 6, 2012

My decision

A few days ago I finished writing a post, that I never published, about how wore out I was with RAD and Tator. How tired of this life I was and dealing with her and everything that came along with it. Even though she had not been here for 4.5 months we had still been dealing with her and the the things that came with it.

 Over the week of Thanksgiving she proved she still wanted nothing to do with me or our family and nothing was going to change that. It felt hopeless. The time away from us did nothing for her.

We did go and check out the camp, Shawn and I fell in love with it and thought It could really help her. But we also knew she has to want to work at learning how to get along in a family for those changes to come.
Last week I was in a very low place. I had become overtaken with anxiety and depression about how my life had not turned out like I wanted it too and that I wanted one big fat do-over. I cried at the drop of a hat. I would look at my kids and want so bad to be the mom they deserved, but couldn't and felt like I never had been. Putting one foot in front of the other became a major task for me.
I have been mad at my husband for a while now. I felt that as the head of our house he should stand up and say enough is enough. Make  the decision for our family that we needed to make other arrangements for her. We have done enough. I felt he should see what I go through everyday with the other kids, what I've already been through with her, and realize I can't take on anymore. I felt he should accept the fact that Tator does not want to be in our family and let her go. Stop the fighting. Let's give her what she wants. She's done, I'm done, why go on living like this. Why put ourselves through taking her to this camp and making all these changes for the next couple years.
When I shared this with him he was adamant that her thinks this is going to work and that we need to stick to the plan of sending her there. He knew I was done and that he would take on all the responsibility of it.
Yesterday I had therapy and was sharing all this with my therapist. I was telling her how upset I felt because he didn't stand up and say we're done. I didn't understand why he wanted to put our family through this and continue on with the plan. It was going to be a big strain on our family in many ways. Then she said to me something I had not realized. She said, but he did make the decision, just not the one you wanted." He made the decision to hang in there, keep trying, and figure out how we could make this work.
This week I am doing much better. I realize my husbands heart and how I have to stand by him. As I sit on my couch with my 4 littles playing at my feet I realize how blessed I truly am and that God is still working on me. He has come through in ways I have never imagined. Here a new friend of mine grew up in the same town the camp is at and her mom has room for us to stay at her house so we don't have to drive straight through or pay for a hotel when we go get her for home stays. People have offered to by clothes or pay for gas. Things I never saw coming.
So this morning as I sit here feeling totally blessed and knowing God is going to take care of it all, I have to have peace in the fact that God is in control. This, by no means was my plan. I wanted that perfect family and life to run smooth. I never dreamt in that family I would have children with special need, let alone a child that for 7 years would work against me and fight our love. When we started down this foster/adoption road I flat out told God I would not have a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Ha, don't do that, I imagine God chuckling at me everyday.
I do want to start blogging more about the other kids and not RAD as much. The last 4.5 months that she's been gone have made me see who I am and who I want to be. I'm getting therapy and learning to like myself more and more. The kids are all growing and maturing and I'm learning more and more about each of them everyday. I now can think, I no longer walk around with my head in a fog, feeling like PTSD had taken over me and my mind.
While Tator is gone I will focus on me and what the other kids need. We will become healthier and stronger as a family. We will continue to pray that she makes the choice to change and want to be with us. I will not carry the burden of her decisions or the stress of trying to figure out how we are going to make all the travel arrangements work on my shoulders everyday. I am going to let God take care of that for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

She's Back

Tator made it home last night at about 9:30pm. She can in with 5 large boxes of clothes and a large black trash bag full of stuff. I have not went through them yet. We did dig through them enough to realize her sleeping pills were not there. I called the house she had been staying in and they said we were supposed to pick them up at the clinic before we left. That would have been a nice thing for them to tell Shawn before he left with her. He didn't even think about it. He said he was too busy trying to figure out how her was going to fit all her stuff in the van.

Shawn talked with her on the way home about the camp. She asked a lot of questions. She acted like she is really not sure she wants to go. Very early this morning she picked up right where she left off 4.5 months ago. No violence, just game play, testing us, showing us life is still all about her. She will have to go to camp, she is not ready to be here.

The past couple days I have had a lot of anxiety about us taking her to this camp. My concern is the travel time that is involved. I have no idea how this is going to work. Child care for the other kids is going to be a big issue and none of the time we are going to be on the road is over the weekend. So I am not going to be able to depend on my husband for child care or drive time. I keep asking him how we are going to do this and all he says is, it will have to work.

One of my children is not capable of riding in the car for 18 hours. He just can not handle it. I'm not even sure that Tator can handle it.

I'm also concerned about the financial strain this will cause on us. Because of pick up/drop off times I will almost have to stay over night there when I go down to pick her up then again to drop her off after her 4 day home stay.

I am trying to have faith that God will work it all out. I feel he has brought us to this camp and this is his will. I'm just having a hard time trusting him right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tick Tock

A couple days ago I told my fellow trauma mamas all I could hear in my head was the sound of a clock ticking. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it sounded more like the sound of a fuse on a bomb becoming shorter and shorter.

I have prayed nonstop. I have asked you to pray and we have felt your prayers.

Today we went to see an attorney. We asked him a lot of questions. From what happens if we give the agency temporary custody to what happens if we throw in the towel and give them permanent custody. And many other things that have to do with insurance and different ways to keep her in the residential longer.

A couple months ago a friend told me about a camp a few states away that works with troubled kids. It's a Christian girls camp that lasts anywhere from 16 to 22 months. Their main focus is teaching the girls respect, getting along with peers, life skills, etc. They said they thought they could help Tator. She has 3 out of 4 of the diagnoses that were listed on the camps site. They have had luck with some if the girls who have come with attachment issues. Some they could not help. I don't believe this will help her attachment to me, but since our last therapy session I have been trying to figure out a way that we can live together weather she is attached to me or not.

I sent in the registration forms last week and called the director again on Monday asking him if he thought she could get in he said they were having a meeting on Tuesday. I should call back Tuesday afternoon.

After we left the attorneys office I knew this was the only choice we had to keep custody of our daughter. I dropped Shawn at his truck and called them. Holding my breath the whole time.

She has been excepted and can go the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are pretty sure we can afford it. Because we have such a large family it will only cost us about 100 dollars more than our subsidy that we get monthly for her. Our main concern is the drive time. The camp is a few states away. A nine hour drive one way. We will have to drive down every 6 weeks and get her for a 4 day home stay. 36 hours is a long time to be driving in a 4 day weekend with 4 little kids. Not to mention Tators road rage that I'm sure has not disappeared.

We are committed to trying this one last thing. I talked with a lady last night who used to drive 12 hours one way to get there. She said it was well worth it. Her daughter left her home as a very disturbed 10 year old and came back almost 2 years later as a totally different child. 

This weekend we will drive 2 hours south to pick her up from res. then 2 hours home. To then drive 9 hours south, spend 2-3 hours checking out the camp. Then turn around and drive another 9 hours back.

The camp says she has to be willing to come there. They are big on that, she has to feel like it was her choice. Now we just have to pray she is willing to go. I have no idea how she is going to take to living in the wilderness. Expecaly with winter right around the corner. I'm really hoping that she agrees.

If not this might be the point in which the fuse reaches the end and everything explodes.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm sorry I have not been able to keep you updated here. I know there are some of you who coming here because you are following what are family is going through and I have done a very poor job at keeping you updated. Sorry.

I am still struggling. Last weekend we had another therapy session with Tator. Shawn and I had separate sessions with her because we took all the kids with us this time. Tator's birthday was the week before and she wanted to go to chuckie cheeses. We wanted to celebrate her, like we do all the other kids.

So to spare you the long story, therapy did not go well. I went first with Tator, then Shawn. Both sessions Tator opened up and cried, true to her feelings, and honest. The problem was she was totally honest in telling us there was no room for me in her life. Some room for Shawn, but not me. She wants her birth mom and always will. She is stuck. Stuck big time and the therapists aren't even sure how to help her out of the fantasy that she has created about her birth family and her being with them.

 I was hurt. Crushed. It was not her anger talking, it was her being more honest than I have ever seen her. There was another conversation with her where I remember her being this honest and It was when she asked me to find her another family. I know her well enough to tell the difference between her true feelings and her need for control. These were true feelings.

You know how people say their heart is broken. I always thought that was just a saying, your heart couldn't really hurt or feel broken. Well it can, I discovered that about a year ago, and that's how it feels now.

We did go to chuckie cheeses after therapy and I did manage to hold it together until the drive home, but it has been a hard week. It wasn't until Thursday that I started to feel like I could function again. I still haven't been able to make it through a day without loosing it and just needing to sit down and cry.

I know she struggles. I know she is hurting. Believe me I know. I have been the one holding her hand (well attemting to) and trying to help her through this for 7 years. 7 years! To see her open up and be so honest about something I have always known she felt. She still believes her coming into foster care was my fault and I stole her from her birth mom.

I have felt a lot of emotions this week. Starting with wanting to give up. Feeling as though I have hit rock bottom and I can do longer do this. I know longer have the energy. I am still there, but am trying to find a way to make this work.

In 4 days the money runs out. We will have 3 choices. Sign her out and bring her home, leave her there and start to run up a tab we will be paying for for a very long time, or give JFS temporary custody of her and start a case plan.

My energy is truly gone. I am so disappointed in our system and so frustrated that in our area there are no other choices. No other help. If we want to keep custody of our daughter, we are basically alone to do it.

Shawn and I are weighing all our options, praying and talking a lot of things through. We are searching for guidance from God.

Please pray for our family this week as we make decisions that could effect us for the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Under pressure

I have been struggling with this post for days. I have typed, erased, started over, etc. more times than I can count. It's a good thing I don't have enough confidence to publish a post as soon as I type it, because there is no telling what you would get.

The bottom line is we are under a lot of pressure right now as to what to do about Tator in Res. She has 15 days left and then the money runs out.

Child protective service is talking to us about giving them temporary custody of Tator so she can get the treatment she needs. We have and are still giving this a lot of thought, but are just not sure this is the right thing to do. CPS has told us the first thing they will do is take her out of Res and put her into a foster home.(all in the name of money) So already she is not getting the treatment that she has been, thus the reason we were signing her over. She will still get therapy, but not as much or the different kinds that she was while she was there.

I have been reading The Second Time Foster Child by Toni Hoy and it is making me think a lot about this decision. How unfair this whole thing really is.

There are so many things that go with this decision that make us uncomfortable. I am really struggling with this, it just isn't right. I would not have to give up custody of one of the other kids if they had an illness and needed treatment. I don't understand why I have to give up her.

When she was a foster child the goal was permanency, a forever family. Why now, because she has a mental illness, does she have to again become a ward of the state to get treatment?

baking and art week 2

This week we made these Cookie Dough Bites.
I am not at all a photographer and am by far neat about anything,
as you can tell by the drizzled chocolate over them.
But they tasted amazing!!!!
The best thing about them was, there was no
baking involved and they only took about 20 minutes to make.
Perfect for little hands.
The worst thing about them was, they didn't last very long.


For art we just cut out pumpkins and decorated them.
Buster had to decorate one for preschool, so
Bubbas did one too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2nd family therapy session

We had our second family therapy session with Tator last weekend. I was looking forward to it. All week she had been telling me how she had learned a new coping skill, journaling. I thought this was a good idea because she loves to write and tell stories. I had thought of this before she left here, but the fact that she gets upset and goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye always made me wonder how we could get to that place where I could hand her a pencil and paper and have her start writing about what she's upset about. So when we went into therapy she had pretty much decided that journaling was going to be her answer for everything.

The therapist started out by having Shawn, Tator and I all sit at different spots around the table. Tator and I sat across from each other and Shawn to my left. We were to paint a picture of something about us or something that made us happy. Shawn painted a picture of a buck and an arrow. I painted a picture of the eight kids and I outside playing kick ball with Baby Coco sitting on a blanket beside us. Tator painted a picture huge picture of a castle and a princess with a huge tiara.

I don't know if I ever blogged before about the fact that she has always thought she is a princess. I remember one time in particular when she was very young. She had gotten in trouble and I asked her why she thought she didn't have to listen to any rules. She said because she was the queen and that made her special. We dealt with this issue a lot when we were in attachment therapy.

Anyway, long story short the more we talked she made it clear that she still thinks of herself as the queen/princess and she is more important than the other kids in the family. Her very large painting, that spilled down into mine, and I had to paint around it, was proof of that.

Painting was only one part of the session. While talking with Tator the therapist tried to set her off, but Tator is too smart for that. She held it together. The therapist would ask her questions about what she was going to do when she came home and felt herself getting upset. Her answer was always, journal. The therapist asked her how she was going to know if she was getting upset. She would reply, like it was no big deal, I just will. She was clearly not with us and had no intentions of talking about anything. She had gotten a BK crown right before the session and she just kept throwing it in the air or against the wall and laughing for no reason. I had finally had enough and told her she was done with the crown and I took it. That made her a little upset but not enough to set her off. She then sat there ripping up the painting and stomping her foot as she stared at the ripped up paper.

The therapist asked me how I was feeling and I told them. I said I felt Tator didn't want to come home and wasn't sure why I should believe she was ready. This was making her mad, but not enough to show us how angry she was, she still refused to talk just sat and stared.

Her answer to the therapist every time she asked her what she was going to do every time she got upset at home, she answered, journal. I finally asked her what she really thought would happen if I handed her paper and a pencil when she was mad, she never missed a beat when she answered, hurt you with it. The therapist finally asked her if she had any intention of using her coping skills when she got home and she said No.

It was a very deep and heavy session. I have though about it ever since. When Shawn and I got into the car we both were thinking the same thing. There is no way she is ready to come back here in 3 weeks. We do not have many choices as what to do. The money will run out. The way we see it now we only have 2 options and neither one of them I am ready to blog/talk about yet.

Baking and Art week 1

When we started schooling this year I had decided I wanted to 
make baking and art a priority.

Bunny told me from the start she didn't
want to bake. Although I love it,
she does not enjoy it at all.

Bubbas jumped in right away and told
me he wanted to bake. So we have been
trying to have a baking and art class about every
other week.

I am a couple weeks behind, but I am going to try
to post pics of the projects/recipes here
so I can look back and remember what we

The first recipe we tried was chocolate chip cookie dough fudge.
It was good, but I would recommend you not
use all the sugar it calls for. They were so
sweet they actually hurt our teeth.

You notice Bunny couldn't stay away.

He was supposed to wait until I took the picture
to shove it in his mouth.

For art we talked about primary colors.

I let them mix colors with icing and food coloring.

Then they experimented with paint. 
Mixing primary colors together to see
what other colors they could come up with.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RTC- week 5

We had our first family therapy session a little over a week ago. We talked with the therapist for 50 minutes and Tator came in for the last 10 minutes. I really like the therapist and I think she can really help us. 

We used puppets and acted out a scenario of something that would have happened at home and how Tator would react. The therapist was hoping she would get triggered, but she never did. I know it is going to take more than that to trigger her during a session.

Tator is very honest and doesn't try to hide anything that happens at home. But she was very detached from the situation. She just staired out the window and said I don't know to every question she was asked. It was very obvious that she has not or is not ready to deal with things that involve us. 

Shawn ans I have been very worried about the fact that the rest of the money had not been approved and she was going to have to come home this week. We found out Friday afternoon that the money has been approved and she will be able to stay until the middle of November. Which isn't that much longer but it is a few extra weeks of therapy that she could really benefit from.

We have another family session this weekend and I am excited to see how it goes.

Monday, October 15, 2012


This weekend we had our first party at our new house.
We had a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle.
Their anniversary was actually in the spring, so my mom, other aunt and myself 
started talking about it then. But decided to wait to have the party
until we were moved into the new house.
My aunt and I have always been really close,
 so I was excited to make this our first official party.

The party went really well and they were really surprised.

The big kids hanging out in the living room.

I loved that everyone could hang out in the kitchen
and there was still plenty of room.

Love this picture of my cousin, yes I said my cousin, 
both him and his brother T are the same age as
my 2 oldest boys.
Bubbas and Buster always love talking to T.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A visit and A meeting

Sunday we went to see Tator. We took her out for lunch and to the park to play. She seemed happy to see us. She talked nonstop about residential, how much she liked it and all the different things they do there.

She seemed very tired and distant most of the time. She never asked about home or anyone here. She did say something about therapy that caused us some alarm. She told us that the only thing she was learning is that she needs to keep all her anger in. She talked about some of the things there that are making her angry. My thought was that she is keeping it all in to unleash on me when she gets home.


Monday morning we had a meeting with our Mental Health Board and the res. was on the speaker phone. The meeting is still very much a blur to me and I am still trying to process it. I went in there upset about a number of things, first being that we had not started family therapy yet. That was addressed and we will have our first session on Sunday.

The one thing I remember the CMH worker saying in the beginning was that we only had funding for 20 more days. That was a shock to me, I had been thinking 45 since we had originally been told 69 days. I did know that we needed approval for the rest of the money, but everyone had said we'd be approved and everything would be fine. I assumed that had happened.

This only added to my stress. I don't believe I said anything other than my concerns and was never out of line, but all the sudden as soon as we were off the phone with the res. they turned to me and jumped me about all my anxiety. They said I should have taken care of that by now. Excuse me I had some issues about them changing the dates from 90 to 69 and now to 45 days. Not starting family therapy, her comment about holding her anger in and a couple other random things. You don't expect me to be a little stressed by now. Excuse me, but you just mentioned in passing that my daughter, who has threatened and tried to kill me is coming home in 20 days and we will have only had one family therapy session.

I am numb and tired. I am sorry that I still, after this short time of treatment do not believe she is ready to come home. I wish, with everything in me, one of them could walk in my shoes for awhile. Because, at this point, I would gladly give any one of them my shoes. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

RTC-week 2 and almost 3

Tator continues to do very well and is enjoying her time away. She is very cooperative in therapy and continues to have no problems in school.

There isn't much to report. I emailed the therapist last week asking how family therapy worked, and when we would be starting. She never emailed me back. I emailed her again monday morning asking if we could have a session this weekend. She emailed me back today saying, not this weekend and never mentioned when we would start.

I am having a hard time understanding how we are supposed to work through a lot of our problems in only a few weeks before our funding runs out and she is released.

I got a copy of her assessment in the mail that they did on her when she first got there. There were some new mood disorder diagnoses that I had no idea what they meant. There was no mention of Reactive Attachment Disorder so i'm wondering if they even know what they are dealing with.

When I call and talk to her she has no interest in me. I'm hoping that is just her way of coping, but I wouldn't be surprised if she really doesn't want to be bothered by me. Boy will she be surprised when she is released in a month and is stuck with me. Of course I know, I am going to pay for it. It meaning both, putting her there, and what she will perceive as me making her come home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paniced and Frusterated

We have been told sense we started talking about RTC for Tayler that our funding would only be good for 90 days. There was the possibility that we could find funding somewhere else, but there were no guarantee's. Our CMH board also talked with us about the possibility of giving up our parental rights to JFS for the time she is there, because by doing that it will cost the county less and she would be able to stay and get the help she needs. They talked like this was not really a big deal and we would get custody back when she was discharged from RTC. Of course we have never had to deal with anything like this so we have no idea how it works.

We questioned our adoption workers about this and they said it is a bigger deal then they made it sound and it's not that easy to get custody back.

Our CMH worker called yesterday and said that the funding will only cover 69 days instead of 90. I have been in a panic thinking about what will happen in 90 days, now I have to think about 69. No one ever told us 69 days.

We are in a panic and have no idea what to do. In 69 days I feel they will have only scratched the surface of her problems. 90 days would be a stretch.

I am scared I'm not going to be able to get the other kids the help they need before she comes home and takes up every minute I have. I'm still trying to figure them out and how they have been effected through all this. I am scared she will come home and have not worked through some of her issues. Raging and violence being the main ones. I am scared that my PTSD will take over again and I will no longer be able to think straight.

So for right now, I am trying to remember to breathe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feeling clueless

Buster is loving going to preschool. He is making new friends and doing a lot of new things. He only goes 2 days a week so he is constantly counting down the days until he can go again.

BUT he is really having a hard time when he comes home in the afternoon. From the time I pick him up, until we can get him into bed at night, he is a mess. He is wound so tight he can't relax and I usually end up sending him out to jump on the trampoline just to get him away from the other kids. He is loud, rough, throwing things, jumping off/on furniture etc..

With Tator being gone there are a lot of things that have become magnified at our house and Busters issues are one of them. He is so sweet and loving and I enjoy him so very much, but all the sudden his switch gets flipped and he goes wild. This is something we have been struggling with for a long time. I always blamed his behavior on what he has grown up seeing from Tator. I always thought if she was not here and I could focus on him his behavior would get better.

From about the time he was 2 I was sure he had Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I would tell him to do something and he would tell me No. It was so tiring fighting with him and I was so exhausted from dealing with Tator that I would just ignore it and go about my way, doing whatever I had told him to do because it was easier than fighting with him. Yep, I know, horrible parenting mistake.

Now that I have more time to fight with devote to the other kids, and energy determination to get it right with them, I am following through and things are changing. And I have to say for the most part things are getting better in that area, but i still have concerns.

Along with the total over stimulation that he is going through after school we deal with things like, total fear of loud things, from the sweeper to the mixer, getting completely out of control in stores. I've noticed that if I raise my voice to him or one of the other kids he will laugh hysterically, or yell and start to go crazy. He does best when you talk softly to him and redirect him somewhere else.

I have been struggling with this for a few weeks now not sure if this is a behavior thing that he can control or something else. He has been the one that has been impacted the most by Tators behavior, he has grown up watching it and sometimes was the one who took the punches. I can't imagine what that has been like for him. I know that nature verses nurture could override on this one and the aggressive strand of DNA he has from his birth family could play a big part in this. So could this be a behavior thing or could it be an overstimulated sensory thing? I'm not sure I don't know that much about sensory disorder.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I would love to hear them. I feel totally clueless on this.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

RTC-one week

I talked to Tator a couple times this week. She is doing good. When I call, I talk to one of the house staff first. Both times I have asked them how she is doing and both times they said really well. The second time they even said she likes it here. I wasn't sure how to respond to that. I mean is that a good thing, that she LIKE it there. I don't want it to be miserable for her but really.

I was very upset after the first phone call. I know she said the things she did to upset me. Things like so and so went to Kohl*s and bought me new clothes (I had just bought her clothes from Goodwill and she had commented on that when I gave them to her) they even bought me spongeb*b pj's (she knows I hate sb) and I have them on right now. So and so is going to take me and one other girl to Chuckie Chee*ses for my birthday. (that is where she asked us to take her) There were many other things like this that she said ending with, after about 5 minutes of talking, are you ready to go now because I am.
I was upset, but I didn't let her know that.

The 2nd time she was very distracted and busy shoving cookies in her mouth as I talked to her to really pay attention to me. I would ask her questions and she didn't answer or say an answer that had anything to do with the question so I finally just told her maybe she should do the talking because she certainly wasn't paying attention to me. Then she had no problem talking and telling me about all the fun things she was doing there. When we were done talking I told her I loved her and she said Bye and hung up.

I emailed with her therapist and teacher this week. The therapist said she saw her a couple times this week. She said she was very cooperative and is very respectful to the staff. I'm not surprised.

The teacher said she was tested this week and she is at the beginning of a 2nd grade reading level. Which surprised me because she is starting 3 grade and I thought she was a very good reader. She also said there were a few very minor problems with her paying attention and trying to make things about her. This didn't surprise me because this was a complaint her teacher last year had. But I think for the most part he just let it go, she never had a consequence for it.

I think if this is a minor problem already, it will soon become a big problem.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A day of firsts.......(a couple weeks late)

Duckie had his first day of a new job.
He decided not to go back to school this fall
because he wasn't sure he wanted to stick with his 
accounting major. Then got hired as a full time
teller in a bank.

Buc's first day of 9th grade.

Bunny's first day of 6 grade. Still homeschooling.

Bubba's first day of 1st grade,

and not happy about getting back into the swing of things.
He's also still homeschooling.

Buster's first day of preschool. 

This is definitely not Sissy's first day of being cute.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

I haven't had a lot of time to work on my blog lately, well actually for
 a very long time, but I'm hoping to get better at it.
Here are some things we did over Labor Day weekend.

The boys did a lot of fishing in our pond.
Bubbas caught the biggest fish out of it so far.
17 inches

We went to a picnic and Buster caught his very first fish.
He had never caught one in our pond.
He was pretty happy.

I bought a new rug for our kitchen, so Duckie and Sissy thought
they should wrestle around on it.

Duckie turned 19.

Buc turned 15.
Six months and he can get his permit.

Took some pictures and goofed around.

Enjoyed spending time with grandparents.

Some of us did more goofing around than others.

On Sunday afternoon Buster was supposed to be taking a nap.
All of the sudden we heard him crying, when we went to his
room he said he had shoved a toothpick up his nose.
Once we got him calmed down he told us it was just
a little piece and we couldn't see it.
We pieced all these pieces together that we found in his bed.
No, we don't usually let him have toothpicks expecally
in his room. He had gotten them a church with a craft
they were making and had them in his pocket.
We now do a pocket check on him before naptime.
With Buster there is never a dull moment.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mixed emotions

Friday was a day of many emotions for me. We checked Tator into a Residential Treatment Center. When I got home that night and got everyone settled into bed I logged on to the computer and there was my whole trauma momma community asking me how it had went. It felt so good to know they were all thinking about me.

Some of them had said that today would be a day of many emotions and they were so right. I never had though about it until then.

The car ride up was full of anxiety and frustration for me. Anxiety because Tator has a lot of issues in the car, I don't think I have went into it a lot on here, but having her in the car has taken my PTSD to whole nother level. She was fine on the way up, talked and was in a good mood. But every time she was quiet and I would try to relax I could hear her moving around and It would make me nervous, wondering if she was getting out of her seat. Shawn had taken the afternoon off to go with us so I felt somewhat better, but I was still nervous.

I was also feeling very frustrated. Forgive me because this will sound very selfish, but I could think of a million other things I wanted and needed to be doing. I was frustrated with the fact that I had to inconvenience 2 other moms to keep my kids for the day so we could do this. I was also very upset with myself because I was feeling very pessimistic about the whole thing. I really feel like Tator will do very well in the treatment center and thrive on the structure there. I think she could adjust to the way of life there very easy and have no desire to come home. With that being said we also realize we are at a point where we have no other choice as to what to do with her. She is not safe in our home right now and she is not welcome here until she is. It is not fair to the other kids. Anyway she will be getting a lot of therapy there so i'm hoping that helps her and she does want to come back and be part of our family.

When we got there the first person we met with was the intake worker. She introduced herself and shook our hand looking right at Tator and saying "you are so adorable." There again more frustration. As we filled out the paperwork and answered questions they gave Tator a doll and blanket. I was glad. Tator doesn't have anything that is special to her at home and being a foster mom for many years i'm used to that being the first thing that happens when the kids comes into care. So I figured it was what they do with all the kids that are admitted.

As the process when on and we met with her teacher and nurse she started to regress and act like a baby. Taking the doll and blanket and cuddling them to her face. Looking with such sad eyes. I realize she was very unsure of what was going to happen, but I wanted to puke. Everyone kept looking at her and Ahhing over her. Come on, really???? Have you not seen this 100 times with these kids. If this was really her, would we be here??? Would you be doing the paperwork/vitals to have her admitted into a residential treatment center????? I wanted to run out of that place so bad. I was so angry.

Then we went over to what they told her would be her "cottage." Ok, now she is not totally deprived of the outside world, she knows what a cottage is supposed to look like and that was not it at all. The house had ugly colored walls and absolutely nothing on them. The table and chairs were bolted to the floor. And there was only a couple pieces of very large furniture. My first thought thought was, well she definitely won't be able to shove these chairs and table around like she did at our house. There were about 7 staff standing around and one of them looked right at us as we walked in and said "oh, she doesn't belong here." As I mumbled to her "don't let her fool you" I was thinking the same thing. What had I done??? There were a number of girls sitting around, just kinda stared at her. I couldn't stop wondering what they were thinking as they checked out my very small, beautiful big blue eyed 8 year old daughter. As we toured the upstairs, which was just plain bathrooms and bedrooms, a girl was raging in her bedroom as a staff worker sat in her doorway reading a magazine. It made me think of all the times I sat in the doorway reading as Tator raged in her room, just like this girl was doing.

The smell of the house was just like Tator's bedroom at home and I knew I had to get out of there. I wanted to cry, it was horrible. This was not a cottage. Why would they tell her that? I knew it would be very different but it wasn't what I had expected and I had wished they would have know what these places were really like. But I had no way of knowing, I had never been to a place like that. No wonder Tators old attachment therapist used to tell us it was too bad we couldn't take her for a tour of one of those places.

The part of  me that wanted to rip her out of that place and take her back home with us, knew this was where she belonged. For right now anyway. She had to stay, she needed the help they can give her.

When we came back downstairs she came out of the room she had been in and she just clung to us. We went and sat down at one of the tables and said to her again, "you understand why your here?" She said she did and we talked about what we were all going to do so she could come back home.

It was all I could do to get out of there without busting into tears as she walked to the door with us, not listening as we kept telling her she was staying. Until finally a staff worker moved over in front of her so we could move passed her to leave.

I cried all the way home. Not wanting to admit that she needed to be there. A child with her behaviors, no matter how old, needs to be in a place like that.

I hope she accepts help this time. I hope she wants to be part of our family enough that she works through her stuff so she can come home. But only she can do that and no one can make her. Her length of stay there will be up to her and only her. We have tried and after this I don't know what else we can do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Some of us canned peaches on Saturday.

Some of us just found trouble.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Friday I saw Tator for the first time in 7 weeks. We had an interview with a lady from the Residential Treatment Center. Tators therapist recommended that Tator and I not be in the room at the same time so she met with Tator for the first hour, then Shawn and I the second hour.

Tator is very excited about going. She says she thinks It would be a lot of fun to live there. When I got to talk to her later about it I tried to explain that it was not all supposed to be fun that she would be in therapy and working on helping herself get better so she could come home and live with us. While she was gone we would also be working on things here at home. She was very excited and said it was no big deal, she would go and work to get better so she could come home.

When we left I took her out to lunch which went really well. While we were eating  I realized I still have a lot of feelings of anger about all that has happened. She would make comments about "her new family" (respite home) or how they took her shopping for new clothes. I told her, do you realize I would have bought you new clothes if you didn't ruin everything I'd buy you. She'd just reply with, yea i know.

It was very hard for me, as the day went on I could feel the tension growing between us. There were times when she would try to bait me and I had to really watch what I said. I wanted this time to be fun, not full of blame or criticism.

When we got back to the (respite) house I could tell she was ready to be back. She jumped out of the car and gave me a quick hug not even realizing I was going to follow her in to talk awhile.

She looked so good. I think she has grown some and her face is healing real well. I dropped off some home school things for her to do this week. The RTC said they should be ready for her by the end of this week or defiantly next. I know this transition will be ok for her. I think the RTC sounds like a good place and she should get around  15 to 17 hours of therapy a week. Whether it helps is all up to her. We will certainly do our part.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Some random thoughts

* Tator has been gone 7 weeks now. I have talked to her on the phone many times. Last week she was climbing a tree with another girl and a tree limb fell and hit her in the face. She needed to get 7 stitches. Her respite provider took her to the ER to get stitches, but Friday I am taking her to have them taken out. I'm not sure how it is going to go.

* We have decided she needs to go into a RTC and are waiting on approval. I am not sure how things work in a residential or how long she will be there or what I'm going to tell her on Friday when she wants to know when she is coming home.

* I am praying that I don't have a problem finding babysitters while she is there and I need to go and meet with them and visit her. She will be 2 hours away, which means 4 hours on the road plus visiting/meeting time.

* I am hurting because it seems being away from us is not bothering her at all. I'm afraid she will do just fine in residential and not see any need to come home. Then what will happen when she does come home.

* Buc started school yesterday. Home school for Bunny and Bubbas starts on Monday. Tuesday Buster is starting preschool. I think it will be good for him.

* Since I am not so occupied with Tator I am realizing Sissy has some major problems. She still isn't talking, which we had originally blamed on being spoiled and everyone talking for her. Now I am noticing how weird (for lack of a better word) she is acting around different noises. I looked up Sensory processing disorder and she has all the symptoms in the auditory category. I'm waiting on early intervention to call back with a time they can come evaluate her.

* I became an Avon rep. again. I sold about 10 years ago and decided this was one of the things I was going to do for me. Like I needed to add one more thing to my list of things to do. I'm hoping I can really make a business of it by working out of my home with all the kids still needing me so much here.

* I'm ready for home school to start on Monday. I need the routine.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

5 weeks

In the last 5 weeks Tator has only been here 4 days. The 4 days she was here were after the first week. It was when she had come home from camp.

The week she was at camp we all breathed easier and enjoyed the peace. I knew something was going to change with her. I knew things couldn't go on like they had been, it was taking too big of a toll on our family. My littles were suffering, as well as her, and I could not watch it go on. I needed to find my voice, a voice that has been hidden too long.

Our community mental health board was helping us come up with a "safety plan" but to me it was not happening fast enough. Things were getting too out of control, so I really started to push.

After her being gone the first week at camp the plan was for her to be home the next week with us, then I had someone that had offered to do respite for her while we moved so she was going to go there that weekend and stay until we were moved and settled in. I also thought by then we would have a safety plan in place so when she came home and she got out of control we would have back up.

That didn't work as I had hoped. She came home from camp on a Saturday morning with the flu, which pretty well knocked her out for the weekend. Then on Monday I could tell she still wasn't herself, but did fairly well at holding it together. Then Tuesday came and we had an appointment for Buc. To make a long story short, It did not end well and we were left 45 minutes from home. Me standing beside the car in a parking lot with Buc and Bunny trying to calm down all 4 littles in a locked car while they watched Tator hit, kick, scratch and bit me. When I tried to call for help she would hit the phone out of my hands and it would go flying across the parking lot.

That day I know this could no longer go on. I could not do it anymore. She had to get help. We had to get help. The emotional damage this was doing to the littles and myself was way too much.

The next day she went to the respite providers. While she was playing, swimming, and having a good time, I started to pick up the pieces here at home. Like I mentioned before we started family therapy, Bubbas and Buster and going the most. They both have some issues that really need to be worked on. They think violence is acceptable and ok and that creates a big problem. I am spending more time holding, rocking and reading with them. Trying to repair some of the damage and feelings they are having.

The community health board is looking for a therapeutic foster home for Tator. She will stay there and get the therapy she needs to learn how to deal with her emotions and learn cooping skills as to what to do when she is upset. These are things we have all worked on before. I'm not sure how this time will be different, but I want to be positive. I'm trying. Her violent behaviors make the other RAD behaviors feel like a walk in the park. I can deal with the behaviors, but not the violence. I'm tired of being a punching bag!

She is doing good. There have been no problems in respite. 4 weeks in that home and the honeymoon should be over. She should be showing some behaviors, but as the respite provider said " her level of self control is amazing." I always knew that.

I am feeling a lot of feelings. Anger, because she chooses to act this way in our home. She choose to let fear take over every time she felt love. Guilt, for way too many ways reasons to list right now. Peace, because everyone is doing well and the chaos she brings is gone. Sadness, overwhelming sadness for her that is hurts her way too much to bond with us. It's just way to easy to push us away. Fear, of the unknown and how this might play out. And last but not least, failure. I know I did not do this to my daughter. Someone else did, that person that gave birth to her and was supposed to love, care for, and protect her didn't. I now I am paying for her sins. But after 6.5 years I couldn't help her heal. I couldn't help her be the person I totally believe she can be. Failure because, I like so many other adoptive moms, thought love was going to be enough.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Some July pictures

Bunny turned 12!!!!!
Our little turtle we rescued from the middle of the road.
Actually he wasn't real little.

Yes, we caught this white mouse in our old house.