Monday, July 30, 2012

RTC (residential treatment facility) Update

Last Wednesday was very strange for me and Brad, and I'm sure Kishawn as well.  We got to the facility with Kishawn and his belongings, and met with his therapists to fill out paperwork and answer her questions.  Although Brad and I had toured the facility before, I asked if we could tour it again with Kishawn.  I wanted him to feel as comfortable as possible during this difficult transition for him.  The tour went well and we were able to eat lunch with him before we left. 

Leaving was difficult for us all.  Tears were shed.  As Brad and I walked back to the car, I got very emotional.  His therapist told us we could call him that evening.  When we talked to him, he seemed upbeat and told us about everything they had done.  That was encouraging.

They request that during the initial intake while they are deciding on a treatment plan, they don't want the children to have any outside contact for 14 days.  

Home life has been different.  We have been moving homes so that has distracted me somewhat from him leaving, however during quiet times I get very reflective and often emotional.  As hard as it is for me, I really believe that this will be a good thing for Kishawn and ALL of our family.  I have faith in the facility and have heard nothing but good things about them and have seen nothing but positive results in the few kids I know personally who have been in their program.  

An interesting turn of events is happening at home.  Because the kids, as infants and young children, had a feeling of chaos and contention so prominent in their lives, it has become ingrained in their beings.  They seem to need it and seek it out.  Jazmine and Kisahwn especially played off of each other.  When one of them was having a difficult time the other could ride their wave and behave well.  However, when that one that was struggling improved, the other would take over the role of chaos maker.  Now that Kishawn is out of the home life picture for a while, Jazmine is definitely taking over that roll.  She is breaking lots of rules, starting arguments and conflicts everywhere she goes, lies nearly every time she talks and is physically hurting her sisters.  I hope that this temporary separation from Kishawn will help Jazmine to figure out what she wants for herself.  Hopefully she will be able to lessen that need to have and/or create chaos in her life.  

Jada is having her typical struggles.  She uses her urine to express her anger and frustration.  She has an extremely difficult if not impossible time following rules and can be downright cruel sometimes.  She (along with Jazmine) is on medication to help her not to feel so angry and rage so much and for her (although it doesn't stop the peeing or rule breaking) it definitely helps her be more kind to others and helps her be much less agitated at the world in general.  

Kiana is doing really well.  For the most part she is happy and cooperative.  She doesn't seem to be affected either way by Kishawn's leaving.  

Makenzie has asked me several times where Kishawn is and it nearly rips my heart out.  It has been relieving for me though to not have to be so on guard about where she is in relation to Kishawn though.

Another note: car rides are substantially more peaceful without Kishawn doing his silent torture to his sisters.  


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big Changes #3 - Residential Treatment

Brad and I have wondered on and off about the necessity for a more intensive treatment option for Kishawn.  Although he has made lots of ground and has worked hard on getting through his challenges there are some challenged that continue to elude all the effort of him and all those around him trying to help him.  To protect Kishawn, I will leave out the details.

For the last several months we have had several of the professionals that have been working with our family strongly recommend residential treatment for him.  We were both initially shocked and in denial about this recommendation and didn't follow through with their advise.  However, as time went on we too began to see how such a program could be beneficial for him and the other members of the family, and even more we wondered what would happen in the future if he did not receive this treatment.

How it all came together was miraculous.  There definitely was Divine Intervention in the whole process.  Last Thursday I received a phone call from Arizona adoption subsidy within minutes of their review board telling us that they approved part of the funding for the school that the facility has on campus.  We would be expected to pay the remainder of the the fee.  In total we would be coming out of pocket over $1,000 a month.  South Dakota Medicaid was scheduled to review the case the next coming Monday and they were going to let me know the results that following Wednesday.  So, I was surprised to receive a phone call that same Thursday (4 days before the review board was scheduled to meet) telling me that they approved treatment for Kishawn.  I then called down to the residential facility to tell them what I had heard.  She told me that it would be a bothersome process for them to set up the contracts with the State of Arizona and with our family for the educational funding payments and that she was going to look into a scholarship for Kishawn.  (In the past, I was told it is incredibly difficult to receive the scholarship as they only have one available, there is a waiting list for it, and it doesn't come available until the child who is currently using it is discharged.)  She called me back a mere 15 minutes later telling me that my timing was impeccable, he got the scholarship and that they had immediate openings for admission.  She called me the next day, telling me that he would be admitted next Wednesday.  (That's tomorrow morning.)

This has been a heart-wrenching journey for us.  Many tears have been shed and are still being shed.  Although I can see that it will probably be for the best, I feel so sad about losing one of my children for a time.  We will still have contact with him.  The facility is 45 minutes from our house so there will be regular visits and Brad and I will be heavily involved in his therapy sessions.

I hope and pray that Kishawn will open up and allow himself to address those difficult issues he still struggles with.  Our ultimate goal is the health and safety of all of our children.  Currently, we constantly worry about the safety of everyone in our home both physically and emotionally.  I need to be constantly on guard and vigilant of everyone's actions in order to ensure that nothing detrimental is happening.  Sometimes I miss things and then have to help repair what was damaged.  I worry about the kind of childhood my younger children are having and hope it is not scarring them too badly.  As hard as this decision has been and as terribly difficult as it will be tomorrow as Brad and I drop our son off into the hands of other people, I do feel it will be good for every member of our family, especially Kishawn's biological sisters.

I hope that the unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship of the biological sibling group will be able to begin to heal as they are separated from each other for a time and given some breathing room to all work individually on their own traumas and other things holding them back from further progression.

I would greatly appreciate prayers for Kishawn and all of the other members of our family during this time.  I know that He can work miracles and I know that He will.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Big Changes #2 - Moving Houses

We are moving!

So, long story short...
At the end of last year we were looking to buy a house.  We had decided against buying the home we had been renting because of the repairs it needed and the outrageous utility bill we paid every month.  

Unfortunately the owners of that home were anxious to get it ready to sell so they said we had to be out.  It didn't give us enough time to buy, so we had to look for another rental.  We found a pretty good one a few miles from where we were living and signed a 6 month lease with plans of finding and purchasing a home during this time.

And it happened!  We found a house that is GREAT for our family.  It has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and sits on a 1/2 acre lot.  We will be closing on the house tomorrow and are so excited about the family friendly neighborhood the house is in.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Big Changes! #1 - New Baby

We've had a lot of really big life changes happening lately.  I plan on writing about all of them eventually, but for now I'll start with one of them.

We are expecting another baby in November!  This will be child number 7!

We found out last week that it will be another GIRL.  That makes 6 girls and 1 boy.  We should get really good at raising girls.

Most of the family is very excited about this new addition to our family.  Kiana is always unsure of adding new kids to the family.  She has residual feelings from her past and an underlying belief that moms (in general) cannot handle a lot of kids.

Kishawn is understandably disappointed that he isn't getting a brother.

Brad and I are very excited about this new addition and can't wait to welcome another sweet angel from heaven into our home!!!!