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!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Did I just do something really stupid?

Kitty had her first overnight pass from residential treatment, and unfortunately her biomom was in town for the first time in 3 years (they live several states away). This time though she'd brought 2 of Kitty's half-sibs. One of which Kitty hadn't seen since she came to live with us 5.5yrs ago and the 3yr old she'd never met at all. (One of her sisters has been given to her biofather so she wasn't there.)

We knew from Bear that Biomom was on her way through town to head South to vist the youngest child's biofather. Last weekend she'd met with Bear for breakfast. He'd gone back and forth about whether or not he wanted to see her. He'd texted me when he first found out and I offered to be there for him and suggested he contact his therapist to act as an intermediary. (Three years ago at our "closure visit" with Biomom, we'd met with both kids' therapists right there the whole time). Apparently he decided against this.

Bear let me know Friday night that Biomom was on her way back through to go home, and that she was considering staying through the weekend so might be there when Kitty was home. (He also let me know that he was completely off all of his meds, but that's another blog post.)

We decided to let Kitty see the sisters. It had always been our intention to maintain sibling relationships, but it's hard what with them still living with biomom and so far away.

We didn't know that the biomom was traveling with an old family friend and her kids. This woman is part of my daughter's trauma story (She tried to bribe Kitty not to tell her step-dad that biomom was cheating. When Kitty refused to take the dollar and started throwing a fit, the woman slapped her and pulled her by her hair. When talking about this event, Kitty is always more upset over the woman's behavior than Biomom's. I'm guessing part of this is because she Biomom is "mommy" and Kitty can't handle having negative feelings about her since I see this in my own relationship with her. Sometimes "black and white thinking" works in my favor.).

Kitty was shaking like a leaf and obsessing about how "fat" she is now. I tried to reassure her, and managed to get her to do some breathing and tapping. I held her hand and talked her through it. The minute she saw her sisters she was just excited.

She didn't even recognize the family friend until her sister told her who it was. She was polite to the woman and talked to her a little bit, mostly about the woman's children - some of whom weren't there. At the end of the meeting, the woman gave us $20 as a gift for Kitty to "buy a shirt or something." Kitty's birthday is in a few weeks. When I told Kitty about the money later, she decided to save it to help pay for Senior prom (she's a sophomore). She was telling someone else about it and said the money had come from her biomom. I don't think she could hear that it came from the friend.

We spent an hour together at a McDonald's playscape- from 9pm until 10pm (not my first choice in time either, but they were just driving through and leaving immediately after to drive home). The 13yo seemed to be bored out of her mind, but luckily Kitty was clueless. She was hugging all over the sister who just stood there and tolerated it. The 3yo was totally sweet. She let Kitty cart her around some, and Kitty was totally in love. Biomom spent most of the time trying to get the little one to leave the playscape and get pictures taken.

Bear had been invited, but luckily didn't show. Biomom obviously wanted him there and said he'd been texting her all day (which couldn't have been totally true because he was with Hubby and Ponito at a soccer game for most of the day and had broken his phone earlier in the week). He had called me and asked if he was supposed to come. I told him to do whatever he wanted to do. Of course I was secretly hoping he wouldn't come, because Kitty very much did not need the added stress.

On the way back to the RTF, Kitty was bawling, and we realized how little she was able to process all this.

Feeling guilty, but at the same time I know she really needed to see her sisters, even if the timing stunk. Part of me knows the timing is never going to be great.

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