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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trust

Monday I had to go out of town for a business meeting.  Kiddo had anxiety again, claimed not to, but it was obvious from her hyperness that she was feeling anxiety.

Tuesday morning I called and hubs said she didn't want to talk to me on the phone.  Apparently she was worried about that because then she grabbed the phone to talk to me.

I came home Tuesday night and she was wound up and wired, but so happy to see me.

She pounced on me on the way in the door, knocking the pups out of the way and saying "She's my momma first, I get the first hug".  She had me read to her and even had me and daddy both kiss her good night. She NEVER wants kisses.

She's been super affectionate and hubs asked her "Do you get it that we're yours forever?"  I love how he phrases it we're hers instead of her ours so she's not a possession and she gets to rule that part of it.

She said yes.  We'll see though.  2 days later and still a little wired and more on us than normal.

I'll take that over January's response though. Improvements!!!

On another note, I was asked twice this week if I was interested in a promotion.  I turned it down.  There is no way I can put myself in a position to spend more time away from home and create extra anxiety for our baby girl.

Still proud of her progress though.  We'll make it.  A week at a time, a day at a time, and some times a moment at a time.

She's a treasure and is so worth all the heartaches we've dealt with over the last few years.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

PTSD and Hugs

My favorite blogger is Last Mom.  She recently had this blog (hope she doesn't mind the link being here,  I'm going on a limb and assuming an extra link to her page can't be bad ;) ): http://lastmom.com/hugs/

It was very eye opening for me.

It never occurred to me that PTSD was the reason for kiddo being a little hesitant on hugs. Since it's more from those closest to her, I took it as purely attachment based and try to adapt to it and give hugs where we can.

I read this to my hubs (since like Last Mom and her family, the resistance is more towards the dad) and he had that lightbulb moment. He also has PTSD from abuse and he said "Ah man, I don't know why I didn't get it before" and he clarified that yes, it took him years to get the whole hugging concept and be okay with it and he's still not okay with it in most situations, so it threw him for a loop that he didn't think about that being her deal too.

Know what? I think I've seen more hugs since that night, freely given and no pressure.

He doesn't reach for them now, but asks instead, and also that side hug recommended in the comments, yep, trying that too.


Hygeine

We were told hygeine would be a problem before she moved in. That's normal for a sexually abused victim.  Being dirty on some level makes you feel like people will leave you along. Likewise with overeating and putting weight on.

We worked on that and it wasn't much of a fight, just modeling appropriate behaviors and giving her friendly reminders. She didn't balk at it (much).

After she got in the habit and became a teenager that takes 3 showers a day at times, I assumed we were past this.....until we got to the orthodontist and he said "She's not brushing her teeth, I can't work with this"

I was beyond embarrassed, but really upset that I didn't see it coming or know there was a problem.

So, this momma is back to staying in the bathroom while she brushes her teeth both morning and night.

I wish I could fix the background thoughts that cause the behaviors, because I know it's not a behavior thing. I can't punish her because it's not about being bad, it's about the perception of protecting herself.

Some days I wonder how long it'll take for her to start trusting that her past is not the norm.

My heart breaks for her some days that she still suffers this much.

She seems so normal most days, that trauma behaviors throw me for a loop now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I HATE DEPRESSION!!

Depression sucks!!

I've struggled with it for years and have pretty much maintained well after getting assistance for it.

Right now, I can tell both my hubs and my child are battling it. My kiddo has been for years and been on antidepressants for years (although which one has changed at times).  I hate seeing her like this (and hubs).

Then the Robin Williams thing shook me up.

Before baby girl got to us, she'd been reported with suicidal tendencies so I watch her moods and when it seems like she's slipping already, so to see her struggling with back to school and not being her normal self at the same time as a visible suicide, I have been completely shaken up.  Hence my blogging after midnight when I should be in bed.

I got a text from hubs about 4:45 that said CALL ME NOW!!

I called and got no answer at first. I was freaking out.  BECAUSE OF THIS!!!

I was so relieved that it wasn't anything like that, but it was relating to her going bonkers.  He had to pick her up from school because she'd hit herself in the head and knocked her braces loose.  She said it was an accident, but these little things at school have me concerned.

Watching and wishing I could take the pain away from my little family.  I hate this.  As much as depression hurts, I'd take her portion and add it to mine in a heartbeat if it meant she wouldn't struggle.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Panic Attacks

Babygirl had her first panic attack at school today.

The nurse called hubs because she had a panic attack in gym class. DH didn't hear the phone ring because it was last period and he was in the car rider line waiting on her.

I asked what happened and she said she wasn't sure.

She said nothing had happened to trigger it.

I asked if she was thinking of the concussion at the end of last year and she said that wasn't it, that she was just sitting there thinking and all the sudden had a panic attack. I asked what she was thinking about and she said her speech she has to give Friday in English class.

So, maybe my baby had a panic attack over public speaking. Still scary though, because that's never happened before and that scared me to have her scared like that.

What are some relaxtion tips you use with your children to prevent panic attacks?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Birthday Gifts from former foster/adopt parents

While we were visiting with S, S's social worker came by the hotel before S got there to give us a package for kiddo from her former parents.  M (the social worker) put it in a bag addressed to me so I could screen it ahead of time.  In addition, S's former foster family sent a package to us to give to S during our visit.  We let the SW screen it before S got there.

S opened her present and the card had a note to call them sometime and tell them how she's doing. She said "yeah right" and continued to open present and rolled eyes.

I opened S's envelope and took out the letter and gave her the present. Present was more appropriate than normal. She received a purse, socks and $10.  Normally it's random items thrown together with no thought, so I was optimistic.  UNTIL I looked at the letter.  She's not getting the letter until I'm dead.

The letter was addressed to her FORMER last name!!

Then inside the letter, the abuser was referenced to and she was told he's now a spiritual counselor and loving it. REALLY?

I sent them a letter that gifts are not necessary, but if that made them feel better to at least be respectful enough not to use her former name, that she's embraced her new family and she's no longer a "*******"

I don't understand people.  Really? Why would anybody think that was okay?

My 7th Grader

Where does the time go?

Monday was the first day of school and my kid got up nicely, let me french braid her hair and behaved.

She claims she did as discussed and told the boy that was talking to her inappropriately that they would not have further contact and that he needed to tell his parents what he did or she would.

Today that same boy was suspended for talking inappropriately at school with another girl.

Babygirl and her boyfriend helped the girl out of the situation. I'm so proud of her for standing up to him.

On another note, I'm really excited that school is texting homework this year so I can find out every bit of homework she has and ask questions about it specifically as a result.  No more "I didn't have homework" excuse.  :)

Bittersweet

S's profile has been updated with adoptuskids and a photo I took is the new photo. 

See if you notice anything?

S is a loveable, playful and active child who especially enjoys playing outdoors and having plenty of one-to-one attention from parent figures. She loves to read, enjoys puzzles, bike-riding with family, swimming and building things. She loves dogs and hopes her future family has one. She especially enjoys large, outdoor dogs. She needs warm, down-to-earth, easy-going, practical parents who have a very "child friendly" home and lifestyle. The parents' and home's "mood" will rub off on her, so she does not need a tense, anxious, rushed or "don't touch" environment. 

S is generally healthy, but requires a healthy, balanced diet due to a history of pre-diabetes. Fortunately, she enjoys a wide variety of foods, including salads. She can be competetive with kids her age, or younger, so she'd do best in a home with no other kids or only much older kids. Socially, she currently functions as a younger child and this is one reason why she tends to be competitive and have difficulty "sharing", but she does enjoy spending some time with other children. She is a bright child and typically makes good grades, with no IEP. Small, very rural public schools, or small private schools, work best to meet her emotional needs, and also helps her to stay focused on schoolwork, because noisy places and crowds can really be distracting and overwhelming for her. She would feel too overwhelmed in a large, city public school, riding the school bus or attending a daycare center. One stay-at-home parent is preferred in the home, or a live-in or next door relative babysitter if all parents work outside of the home. 

S will need to continue to attend counseling appointments, is on some medications and will need regularly scheduled visits with her biological sister


swimming....we have the pool
dogs...we have the dogs
large dogs...this was recently updated, AFTER a visit with us where she fell in love with our husky
rural...we're definitely that and that's a recent addition
stay at home parent....hubs is that
not riding school bus...we already adapt to that with Char and that's a recent addition as well
not a "don't touch" environment...that's added too and something we've prided ourselves on, faults aside, breaking something is more about is Char okay than what was broken.

Every addition to her profile describes us and it breaks our heart to not know what's best for them and how hard to fight for them to be together or if they're better healing not being together.

If only I could get in their heads and or have a crystal ball. Both girls hands down SAY she should be here.  But realistically? I just don't know. Whether yes or no, we have no clear peace either way.  

If only....


Birthday Weekend

Time to get caught up.  Weekend before last we headed out of town for the weekend to spend S's birthday with her. Since she hasn't been matched with a family, we wanted to make her birthday as special as possible and we spent Saturday and Sunday with her.

The girls did a great job together.

I definitely am starting to see a little bit of the ODD in S.  She's also starting to refer to us as her family and called my husband "daddy" once.

She wanted a family picture, but we couldn't all 4 fit in a selfie so hubs took a photo of me with the girls piled on top of me. It turned out so amazing that I had it enlarged to an 8 x 10 and framed.

S's caregiver dropped her off Saturday at our hotel and the girls went swimming in the pool at the hotel (whining a little about how small the pool is compared to ours). Then we took the girls out for pizza at a nice Italian restaurant and the girls jumped on the bed for awhile to wear out the energy when we got back to the room.  S asked if she could stay the night if they forgot to pick her up.  Poor baby.  Of course they didn't forget to pick her up, but when we told her of course we wouldn't put her on the street if they didn't pick her up and she'd stay with us, she was hoping they would forgot.

Sunday morning caregiver dropped her back off. We went to Build A Bear and the girls got matching bears. They recorded their voices on each others bears so they could go to sleep with the sound of each others voice.  Then we went to Johnny Rockets (S's favorite restaurant) and dealt with a little more of the food challenges.  Dave & Busters was next and the girls had a blast.

We loved the weekend and so proud of the girls. Ever prouder that neither of them had any backlash afterwards. PROGRESS!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Trauma or not?

Ugh!! Just when things are going so great.

We had an AMAZING time at the beach. No meltdowns, lots of family fun.

On the way to and from, I let kiddo use my phone to play games and text her friends.  When we got home, I spot checked and her little "boyfriend" had sent her inappropriate messages on facebook and she let him and responded semi-favorably.

I was not a happy mommy. I remained calm and her, daddy and I talked it through and took away her facebook and made it very clear no using my phone during trips since she's willing to do that on my phone.

She said "But I wasn't going to do anything".  My response? If you can't tell a boy no in text, then there is no way you'd have been able to say no if confronted in person.  Texting is the easy way out and this is so concerning.

We went to therapy and her therapist said she was very pleased with how kiddo presented herself about that during therapy and that she understands well.

I was talking to a friend who said her daughter had those issues at that age too, which made me question whether it's normal insecure teenager behavior or whether it's the trauma child coming out.

I got my answer later.  We're going this weekend to see kiddo's baby sister and it's our first unsupervised visit. Normally they prefer her sis have somebody there to de-escalate her behaviors if she goes off the wall, but they asked if we were comfortable handling her and gave us the okay to have time with her without strangers present.  Then we were told to keep close line of sight supervision because of an inappropriate touching incident.

Traumaversary? Coincidence?

It breaks my heart what these girls have been through.  I hope and pray they will both one day heal. I see constant progress with babygirl, but then the occassional step back makes me worry that she'll always have those lingering issues.

My biggest fear is that she'll make bad decisions and put her kids in the same boat she was in in her early childhood and that breaks my heart to wonder whether we have enough time to help her truly heal and have a healthy relationship.

On another note, at what age do you start your girls on birth control? She's nowhere near dating yet in real life, just lunch table stuff, but this girl is not going to date until I think she can say no, but to be safe, birth control will be in her future at that point too.  Call me crazy.