This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Bear graduated high school!!  It was a Saturday evening ceremony and there were 700+ graduates in his senior class so we had to get a picture of him crossing the stage on the big screen hanging down from the middle of the auditorium.  We didn't find him for over an hour after the ceremony and he'd already stashed the cap and gown so we only got the one fuzzy picture.  We managed to get a few pictures of him with the family in the parking lot, but they're pretty bad.

We met the latest Kleenex girl.  Bob overheard him hinting that he was going to ask her to marry him, but we've heard nothing from him on that (not that that means much since he doesn't talk to us much these days).

He did ask if he could go with us the following morning on our first trip back to Nebraska since the kids came to live with us, but we had to tell him no.  First of all, we haven't seen him enough to know if he's stable, but were pretty sure he is not,   Second of all it would be a BAD idea to put him in a car with Kitty for 14+ hours.  We weren't even sure it was going to work as it was.  Also, he'd told us he planned to go up there in a couple of weeks on the bus.

We went to Nebraska for a week!  Nebraska is the state we adopted from and we used to go visit Hubby's family there once or twice a year.  And of course we'd told the kids we'd go visit their biofamily when we visited Hubby's family.  Immediately after we adopted the kids we bought a company which we ran together (although I was President so I was Hubby's boss!  ;) ).  Within a year of the purchase the recession hit and we've spent the last 5 years struggling to make ends meet.  After the company went under, Hubby had been doing contract work so he couldn't take any time off without losing a paycheck.  Luckily in April the big company he'd been doing contract work for, hired him away from the contractor service company as a... contractor.  Yea doesn't make sense to me either, BUT although he gets a smaller paycheck now he gets benefits, including paid time off!!  So we took our first family vacation in 5 years to... NEBRASKA!

For future reference, if you're planning on making a long trip with a kid like Kitty... pack a TON of DVDs!!!  We brought every movie we had, bought new ones and borrowed from a friend.  Each kid got their own DVD player with head phones (Bob and Ponito used laptops with a power converter and we had a portable DVD player for Kitty -she chose it because it made her feel special to have something different).  We spent 40 hours in the car on the way there and back, plus a week in Nebraska.

The first night in Nebraska we stayed in a hotel so we could meet with Kitty's biograndmother and her husband in the morning on Memorial Day.  We had breakfast with them and showed her pictures of the kids.  I knew the visit could be overwhelming for Kitty (and we thought an Aunt and her kids might be coming) so we'd arranged to meet at a hotel with a pool.  Kitty got to swim with Ponito and hang out with her grandparents without having to do too much face to face stuff.

Grandma K is a pretty negative person and it was a little hard to hang out with her.  She did call Kitty down on a couple of her comments and behaviors, but it wasn't too bad, and luckily Kitty didn't get upset.  Amazingly Kitty took the visit really well.  We had lunch with the Grandparents and then drove on to meet Hubby's family.

Kitty isolated most of the trip (spending time in a bedroom watching DVDs), except when she was hanging out with our 17yo niece.  I was a little nervous about that (this is the niece that had a baby a few months ago and had it taken by Child Protective Services),  but the girls got along well.  They're only 3 months apart in age chronologically, but this niece is emotionally only about 10 and has broken up with the baby's daddy. We even talked about the niece spending part of the Summer with us, but she had a court date she couldn't miss.

Grandma B doesn't have internet so I went into massive internet withdrawals.  Even worse, when I got home, my computer died so I spent another week with very little internet access.  OH DID I MISS MY INTERNET!!!!

Tuesday we got a call from Bear saying he'd decided to take a bus immediately to Oklahoma to visit his biograndfather, but the check we'd given him for graduation wasn't clearing the bank.  I told him there was nothing I could do from 3 states away.

I got a worried call from the neighbor we had feeding the pets saying Bear was sitting on the back porch using the outlets and wifi connection.  My guess is that he'd run out of people to mooch off of, and we weren't home to let him in.  We apologized to the neighbor for putting her in the middle, but asked her not to let him in.  He's been known to get in and unlock doors/windows so he can come back later and we did NOT want that to happen.

Apparently the check cleared Wednesday, because we got a call at 4pm on Wednesday from Bear saying he was leaving on a bus in an hour. *sigh*  He couldn't even wait until we got back.  He said it was just a visit and he'd be home in a couple of weeks, but we recently got a call admitting he'd decided to move there and could we please mail him all his stuff?

A friend of the family admitted about a week later when I called to say hi, that she was the one to take him to the bus station.  I didn't mind her taking him, but it bothered me that she hadn't even given me a heads up (until I mentioned it).  This friend has special needs kids of her own that she has legal guardianship of, has her own trauma history, and has been a great resource and source of support over the years, but her kids are bio and she doesn't "get" the RAD/ trauma stuff.  She's made overtures to Kitty about being a person Kitty can call if she's upset.  I think I'm going to stop that relationship, because I can't be sure she'll back me up in a productive way.

There's a lot going on with Kitty, but I'll leave that for another post.  This one's too long already.


Amina J said...

So glad to see you back! Long time lurker, first time poster. You're one of the most authoritative sources on RAD and kids living with the alphabet soup that I know of online. Glad you've decided to keep posting- hope your life becomes more positive and peaceful on all fronts!

Lisa said...

I missed your blog when you were gone!

Augh - the whole situation with the family friend is way too familiar here. Sometimes I have been just blindsided by people trying to "help" my kids in ways that are unproductive at best and just plain awful at worst. You think they understand and you let your guard down, and then you find out that they are clueless. Putting a stop to her attempted relationship with Kitty is a wise call. People don't seem to get that our kids do not need to be saved from us. I wish more people would stop and tell our kids how good they really have it. They just might catch on then that they can't constantly cry victim every time something doesn't go their way.

LH said...

I really missed your blog while you were gone. Although I have no children your blog is my absolute favorite. When I found it I went back and read it from the beginning to understand some of the things you mentioned. One thing I really like about your writing is you show your true emotions. The mark of a good writer is when the reader actually feels the emotions the writer is having. Please keep blogging and if you do ever go private invite me-please?

Natália said...

Welcome back :) I missed your posts.

Katie said...

I'm sooo glad you're back Mary. You are a much-needed voice in this community.

marythemom said...

Thanks for the words of affirmation guys!! I really needed to hear that.