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!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Biomom visit - Kitty's visit

The photo on the left was taken during Kitty's time in foster care. It was probably how Biomom last saw her. The photo on the right is a more recent picture.
Because we ran late, Grandma ended up bringing Kitty to the therapist's office - so Kitty was waiting in the lobby when we left the office. Biomom wanted to get something out of her luggage which was being stored in the office so she was behind us a bit. Kitty stood up and began talking to me about something (no idea what).

When Biomom came around the corner, Kitty noticed her, but continued talking to me as if Biomom weren't there. I stood close to Kitty, and told her it was "OK." I wasn't going to tell her she had to do anything, but at the same time I tried to let her know I was OK with however she wanted to handle this. I felt sorry for Biomom who couldn't take her eyes off of my beautiful Kitty during the whole visit. We walked to the restaurant which was nearby, with a small wooded area between us. I foolishly wore heels (my only clean jeans were too long to wear with flats!) so we walked on the side of the road instead of taking a short cut by the creek. I only stumbled twice, but didn't fall!

Kitty walked right next to me, and pretty much ignored Biomom, although she did make a comment to Biomom's back about her hair being longer and a different color (Biomom had highlights and possibly dyed her hair). We talked about highlights and where Kitty got her coloring from. (Bear and Kitty get their curls from Biomom). I told Biomom that Bear had just gotten his curls cut off, and she was surprised he'd let it grow out. I was too! I had told him no buzz cuts or flat tops when he and Hubby went to get haircuts on Saturday so it wasn't freakishly short for once. Bear looked very nice.

When we got to the restaurant I asked Kitty how she wanted everyone to sit. She "didn't care." I ended up across from Kitty with Hubby and the therapist on either side of me. Kitty sat in the middle seat on the other side of the table with Biomom next to her. Ironically the school psychologist who had completed Kitty's assessment noticed us entering the restaurant (we'd seen her at the school meeting on Friday), and came over to talk. We were nowhere near the school (which is in another town) so it was a pretty big coincidence. She said hi to Kitty, and I doubt she realized what she was interrupting, although she'd known about the meeting.

Kitty kept her focus on food the whole time. (Thank goodness the therapist suggested doing this over lunch - it was perfect!). When Kitty's salad came we all sat watching her eat! Good thing the child is not shy. She didn't even notice.

I kept trying to encourage Kitty to ask Biomom questions. We did learn a little more about who Kitty was named after (a cousin of Biomom's grandfather that she called Grandma, and her middle name came from a family friend who was very supportive during Biomom's pregnancy with Kitty. Who she looks like (mostly Biodad although she definitely has Biomom's cheekbones) - still can't believe Biodad was 6'2"! I tried to ask questions (without it feeling like an interview or like I was taking over the conversation) to encourage Kitty to talk and keep the conversation going.

When everyone finished eating Kitty hopped up ready to go. (Her therapist jokingly declared that she was going to make a note that Kitty had finally said she was full. It's the first time the therapist has ever heard her say that! Usually the therapist has to put up with endless complaints of hunger). Hubby and the therapist started walking back because Hubby had to be there to meet Bear for therapy, and the therapist had another appointment. Kitty, Biomom and I trailed behind.

Biomom asked Kitty if she could have a hug. I couldn't hear what they said, and tried to give them both privacy and support at the same time (not as easy as it sounds). Biomom gave Kitty a big bear hug and didn't let go. She talked quietly in Kitty's ear. Kitty hugged back and even played with Biomom's hair a little. I overheard a little of the conversation and it sounded like Biomom was complying with our request to tell Kitty she loved her, but that Kitty was in the right place now. (Kitty told me later that Biomom hugged her so tight she couldn't breathe and asked if I'd noticed. I told her no I hadn't seen anything like that. I'm not sure it was true or Kitty just wanted me to think she was uncomfortable.)

Biomom had asked if she could take pictures of the kids, so on the way out I offered to take pictures of the two of them together (made Biomom cry again although she was remarkably restrained during the initial meeting and with Kitty - wiping a quick tear or two). Grandma got confused again (Bear was "helping" her with the times and directions) and came to the restaurant to pick us up so Biomom sort of met Ponito (he jumped out of the van to hug me). I finished taking pictures and Kitty hopped in the van. I talked to Biomom for a second before she started walking back to the therapists. She was pretty nervous about the meeting with Bear.

Kitty was pretty hyper on the way home, but I'm sure part of that was the fact that she got to eat out! Kitty went upstairs to play with dolls. Bob finished her movie and joined Kitty. They played upstairs for quite awhile. I think Kitty needs this kind of downtime. I sent Grandma home (poor thing has the cold we've all been passing around) and stayed nearby - wrote the previous post!

Bear and Hubby came home late. Hubby had taken Bear to Jack in the Box afterward. Tonight I'll get the lowdown on how Bear's therapy went and post tomorrow.

Everyone started begging to eat out and rent a movie. Instead Hubby made one of his fantastic chicken recipes and we did rent a movie (Journey to the Center of the Earth). Wouldn't have been my first choice, but at least it wasn't too upsetting.

Biomom had brought a blanket for Kitty that Kitty had had as a baby. Even though Kitty's nose was stuffed up she wrapped the blanket around herself like a cape and said it smelled like her old house. Biomom said she had washed it before she left, but that it would probably need another wash. Hubby started to insist that we wash it, but I knew Kitty needed it to smell like her old house so I stopped him. It didn't reek of cigarette smoke or anything. Kitty "wore" it for most of the evening.

Overall Kitty held it together pretty well. Right before bed, Kitty insisted that we cover her new textbooks. When Hubby told her she needed to cover her them by herself, she insisted that she couldn't do it, and when he pressed her she got upset. I just did it myself and sent her to bed. It had been a long day. We've given her a Melatonin every night this week and it seems to be helping. I'm sure she's out like a light.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Sounds like it went well. So glad. Hope this brings some closure for Kitty.