Monday, May 20, 2013

Success!!

I have two things to blog about today.

The first?  We have had I.E.P. success.  We had a lengthy meeting at the school, with the school personnel, discussing our dear V, and if she is indeed eligible or not for the I.E.P.  The therapist was hesitant because she didn't want to put a child on an I.E.P who didn't really need one.  She was concerned that they didn't have enough information (b/c V was only in kindergarten for 5 wks) to qualify her for an IEP, and she made it very clear that she could not morally put a child on an I.E.P, unless they definitely qualified for one.  I spoke up at that point, reiterating that V has been kicked out of three daycare facilities, she has been suspended for 5 days in kindergarten due to her behavior, and was pulled out of school and placed in therapy setting that is one step below hospitalization, and still not functioning as a child her age should be.  In my opinion they should have plenty of data to back up this claim.  The therapist reminded me of how intelligent V is (she tested way above where she should be even without having been in Kindergarten for a full year), and that they have to make certain she qualifies.

The parent mentor spoke up and said that they have qualified other children with a lot less. 

The special ed teacher spoke up and said that she thinks that V would benefit from being on an I.E.P. plan.

The therapist then decided that we need to move ahead with it, BUT she will be tested in a year's time instead of three years time.  Which I am perfectly fine with.  I don't want her labled and on an I.E.P. any longer than she needs be.

I also have all of the paperwork mailed back for the psych testing at a local Children's Hospital, and should have that appointment set within the next month.  Hopefully this will rule out any psychological issues, and justify my keeping her off of medications.  If she is diagnosed with a psychological issue, then I will have the knowledge I need to take care of her.

I am excited, and relieved.

Our other success?

DQ has been weepy after spending a weekend with mamaw, papaw, and Z-man.  I asked her this morning what was going on and she shrugged her shoulders.  Here's how that whole conversation went down:
Me: "You have to be able to talk to me about everything.  I can help you."
DQ:  *shrug*
Me:  "OK.  Here's the thing, I need to know if you prefer chocolate cupcakes over vanilla cupcakes.  I need to know which boy at school you have a crush on.  I need to know if you have questions about your biological mom.
DQ:  "why?"
Me:  "Well if I know you prefer chocolate cupcakes... I can make sure you have them at your birthday party.  If I know what little boy you have a crush on, I can ask Daddy not to tease him, and embarrass you.  If I know that you have questions about your bio-mom, I can answer them."
DQ: "I do have one question."
Me:  "What is it?"
DQ:  "When am I going to get to see my real mom again?"
I think to myself, "Bingo.  I knew that was what was bugging her.  She knows that Z-man will be seeing her soon, and she doesn't understand why she can't."
Me:  "I have to make sure you are ready to see her again.  I have to make sure you can handle seeing her once, and not seeing her for a while after that, because she chose to live so very far away."
DQ:  "I'm not OK with that."
Me:  "I wish I could change it, but it is how it is.  She chose to live pretty far from us."
DQ:  "Why?"
Me:  "That is where her then boyfriend, now husband is from.  That is where his family lives.  That is where he wanted to go back to.  He asked your bio-mom to come with him, and she did.  So if you aren't OK with only seeing her once in a great while because she lives so far away, may I propose another option so that we can work our way up to that?"
DQ:  "What would that be?"
Me:   "Why don't you write her a letter?  We will put an envelope with your address, and a stamp in with the letter and mail it to her, and you can ask her to write you back."
DQ:  "We don't know where she lives."
Me:  "You are right, but mamaw does, and she will give us the address.  Would you like to write her a letter?"
DQ:  "Yes.  I would like that a whole lot."
Me:  "OK.  You write the letter, and I will get the address.  I think this would be a good starting point.  Now you need to know she might not write back right away.  Don't let your heart get broken if she doesn't.  It isn't because she doesn't love you, she just might have a lot going on, and we need to understand that."
DQ:  "OK.  I will try.  I miss her."
Me:  "I miss her to sweetie."

I gave her a big huge hug.  She seemed so much happier after the conversation.  I hope I am doing the right thing.  I know that I could be setting her up for failure, but I don't have many other choices.  My sister doesn't have a phone very often - so regular phone calls would be out of the question.  This is also a test for my sister.  Does she care enough to write back on a regular basis?  She has no excuse not to with a self addressed/stamped envelope being provided for her.  This will all be at DQ's pace, because she will only have an expectation of a letter when she initiates one being written.  I will be able to monitor how this affects DQ, while still letting her try to establish some contact with my sister, and I can intervene if it needs to be stopped.  I realize there could be some fall out from this, but I'm putting the ball in my sister's court, and if she doesn't do what she needs to, although DQ's heart will be broken, she will know it is 100% because my sister isn't responding, and not because I am trying to keep them apart.

I will let the girls' therapist know what has transpired, and she can help us deal with any fallout that may occur.  This is big and scary for me, but hopefully I am doing what is right for everyone involved.  And hopefully DQ will feel like she can talk to me more, and will know that she can trust and depend on me.  If my sister writes her back, I will know that I can trust in her more, and DQ will be able to ask her questions, and get to know her biological mother better. 

We have decided to take the kids camping this weekend.  We found a nice campground near where we live that has a swimming pool AND a dog park.  So everyone is happy!  We are surprising the girls with the trip.  They have no idea what to expect yet, and I love to see the happiness and surprise on their little faces when we do things like this!

I feel like we have come so far with things, and will only continue to go further.  I hope your day today is as wonderful as mine has been!

Aunt TT

Friday, May 17, 2013

Purge

The last few years Mothers Day weekend has been miserable.  I have spent most of the time feeling guilty that I am now mother to these two amazing little girls, and feeling sorry for my sister for having made the choice to leave them.  Every time someone would wish me, "Happy Mother's Day" I would cringe.  It was almost a representation of my guilt.  I mean I took these kids from my sister.  I knowingly went to a court, ratted her out that she left them, and took permanent custody of them.  I knowingly have kept letters that she has written instead of reading them to them.  I have accepted phone calls, told brought her up to speed on things, but not had her talk to them.

Why?  Well she is just too inconsistent.  They deserve stability.  They deserve to have someone who is as constant as the sun.  Someone who will call once a week... month... etc. come hell or high water.  Someone who will write once a week... month... etc.  Not just now and then when the mood strikes them.  They deserve to know that regardless of what happens, their mom will always be there for them.  At present, my sister can not provide that.  So I have been their shield.  I absorb all of the damage that could be inflicted.  I filter out all the anger, pain, distress, and pass along only love and understanding.

My sister isn't a bad person.  She just makes bad decisions sometimes.  One of them is not putting her children first.  So as much as it hurts me to hurt her... I have to shield them from her, and put them first for her. 

Because I have resolved myself to doing what is best for the children, and I have accepted this is my walk in life, this Mother's Day was fantastic.  I spent it with DQ at the Greater Columbus Convention Center for the Starpower Talent Competition.  The girls danced their hearts out, and placed 1st out of their division for their Ballet (also winning a platinum), they placed 8th in their division for the jazz (winning high gold), and they didn't place with their tap, but they did win high gold.  They also ended up being Regional Champions for aged 11 and under, all lines, divisions, etc. for THE ENTIRE WEEKEND.  Meaning they had the highest scoring routine aged 11 and under for the WHOLE WEEKEND!  The average age for their group is 8, so they really did an amazing job.   The older girls in our dance company were also named Regional Champions for the entire weekend for routines aged 12 and up.  So our dance company was the Regional Champions!   We are so proud of the girls.



Every time someone wished me, "Happy Mother's Day" I just beamed with pride.  I guess I feel like I've finally earned the title.

V has started the "ED" (Emotionally Disturbed) program at one of our local schools.  She graduated from the day therapy program as well yesterday.  We find out the results on Monday from the I.E.P. testing.  I also have the ball rolling for Psych testing at Children's Hospital, and have mailed all the paperwork back.  They assured me that once they receive it, we will have an appointment w/in a month.  I am really hoping that her Psych testing comes back with no results, and we are just better informed to be better advocates for our sometimes difficult little angel.

In a side note, I wanted to touch base a little bit about how difficult it can be to have a relationship while parenting a child with RAD.  I've touched upon how intelligent my little V is.  How manipulative and controlling she can be.  Well she has begun using those highly developed skills to play M and I against each other.  How you may ask?  Well I will ask her to go brush her hair, while finishing my shower in the morning.  Instead of doing as I asked, she will go into the kitchen and ask daddy what he wants her to do.   He (not knowing I said brush hair), will tell her to go brush her teeth.  So she will come into the bathroom and ask me to get her toothbrush ready so she can brush her teeth.  I (not hearing M tell her to brush teeth), then remind her that she is supposed to be brushing her hair.  She then says, "Daddy told me to brush my teeth."  I'm sure you see where this is going.  This usually doesn't end well, she usually is in time out and M and I are usually upset with each other.

So M and I have had to be extra careful.  If she goes to him, he will ask her what she is supposed to be doing, or check with me before telling her what to do, and vice versa.  She is such a smart and crafty little child.  It is sometimes difficult to stay one step ahead of her!

M and I are emotionally exhausted, and overwhelmed, so my mom has agreed to keep the girls for the weekend while we head to the great sometimes white north to be with M's family for his grandmother's memorial service.  It will be nice to have a weekend away from the chaos.

The next few weeks are going to be hectic!  My parents are headed on Vacation next Friday, and we will be keeping Zebo for them.  I am trying to find child care for a few days next week while my folks are gone as school is out next Wednesday.  We have dance photos next week with the studio, then photos with a photographer friend of mine the 3rd weekend in June.  We have to head back to the great sometimes white north on the weekend of my birthday (6/8) to pick up M's neice so she can spend the summer with us and help us with the girls while we are at work.  Dance recital is 6/23 at 4:00p (Local friends hit me up, I will get you place/tickets).  In all of this I need to get the psych testing done for V, a vision appointment scheduled for V and DQ, and keep dentist appointments of my own.  Then we have Nationals in MYRTLE BEACH the week of 7/15, where we can defend our Regional Champs title!  I will do my best to keep up with writing, but life is about to get a little crazy!!

Have a fabulous day today!

 Aunt TT