January 4, 2015 – A new year awaits!

We survived another family pic day!

We survived another family pic day!

It’s been a busy last few months and honestly I’ve thought about writing several times but I waiting for some closure. Well, that closure just isn’t coming, so here I go….

First of all Ana is no longer having contact with her father upon mutual agreement between me and him. Basically, in a nutshell, they are unwilling to do what is necessary on their end to have a good (just good) visit with Ana, and do not want her destroying their home and injuring herself and them. Of course, there is much more going on then just their unwillingness to change their behavior and parenting – a two day visit is hard for Ana ANYWHERE, her anxiety is increasing, she resents her father, etc…

The end result, regardless, is that she is with us for at least the next six months, no breaks. This began Thanksgiving weekend and will end around the time school is out. At that time we will revisit this topic. Drew is still going every other weekend.

So far, Ana is doing impressively well with the arrangement. Her moods have stabilized and now we can begin working on her anxiety.

Ah, anxiety. Over the last few months she has picked off her big toe nail and thumb nail; she picks non-stop at her nails. She will scratch herself (like an itch) until she bleeds. She has started trying to ‘help’ loose teeth come out.

Actually tomorrow is her psych appointment where hopefully we’ll up the anti-anxiety meds!

Other than that things are about the same.

We are interviewing a new worker for her. I’m REQUIRING that all potential workers read Building the Bonds of Attachment so they understand fully what they are getting into. We’ll see how this goes.

It’s about that time to look into summer programs and see if there is anything she qualifies for and we can afford.

Hello, 2015. I hope you are good to us.


July 16 – It looks like no-go on treatment facility (but at least Ana is doing well)

Ana cheesin'

Ana cheesin’

Ana’s doctor changed her medication; she is back on Risperodol. This seems like a good thing. Her agitation is waaaaay down but now the Zoloft doesn’t seem to be working as her OCD/anxiety issues are surging. The self-injuring is down a lot. After our last little ER visit she seems to be thinking long and hard about hitting her head. I was very glad to discover that concussions can last for weeks. She needs a reminder about hitting her head.

So, the treatment facility in New Mexico seems to have hit a dead end. She receives Medicaid due to a waiver and we were told that after 60 days out of state the waiver will be cut. Hence, her Medicaid will be cut. She does not qualify for SSI or straight Medicaid because of our income. That puts us back at square one. I mean, really, in my head we’re playing Chutes and Ladders and we just landed on the real big ol’ slide.

At least summer is half over. Ana’s teacher is coming over twice a week to work on school work with her to keep her busy little brain stimulated (our district doesn’t offer year long school). She seems to really enjoy the one-on-one attention! We also started back with occupational therapy. We had to wait until they had a home-therapy opening because her behaviors were too bad to go to the site for therapy.

For the time we are keepin’ on keeping on. This is one of those times when things are relatively quiet and calm with Ana. I relish these times because I know it won’t be long until we are in another crisis. Parents without kids like Ana just don’t get the constant rollercoaster ride we ride in this house.

I’m glad they don’t.

For their sake anyway.


December 14 – Ana cried

Haiti has a desperate need for adoptive families

Haiti has a desperate need for adoptive families

Yesterday, Friday afternoon, was a little better than I expected. Instead of getting all worked up about going to visit daddy, Ana shifted the anxiety to visiting Nana’ house, which we’ll be doing next weekend. Since I could see he signs that she was getting all worked up, I went ahead and gave her Clonidine, her ‘sleepy pills’.

So, what are the signs she is getting worked up? For Ana it is mostly her internal dialogue. I have no idea what runs though her head, but it is not good; I know that much. She usually will lay in the floor, rocking, and the jump up and scream and start talking about going to see daddy. When she does this you’d think she was telling me the house is on fire. That is how upset she gets.

I’ve read that RAD kids have a certain point of no return and that is so true of Ana. The explosions keep getting closer together until there is no break between them. She is in pure survival mode at that point and there is no reasoning with her. I try to give her the clonidine before that because it really packs a punch on her little psyche and takes a couple days for her to recover.

She must have been sleepy because the clonidine knocked her out cold for about three hours even though I gave her a low dose.

This morning she was in a good mood but slowly the talk about Nana started creeping in. While I was in the shower she was talking about going to Nana’s house and her true motivation came out – she thinks she’ll get to see daddy while at Nana’s.

Her step-dad told her she would not be seeing daddy. The end. And she cried.

Real tears. Ana never cries when she is sad. When she is hurt, yes, the tears come.

I came into the family room and told her, “I heard you crying. Your body is telling me you are sad. Are you sad, Ana?”

She nodded her head yes and continued to cry for a few minutes while my husband held her and rocked.

This is a huge step forward for Ana! It kills me that she is sad over something she has no control over, but I am so happy that our attachment therapy appears to be working. No baby step today. Today was a giant step.