Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ann's Story Part 1: The Beginning

In 2006 (I think) I started going back through the emails that I had written during Ann's placement with us. I re-constructed that story with the emails and what I could remember. At one point I decided that they should be moved to the private blog. Ann is nearly 18 now, and I am bringing them back.

The background is this. I started doing respite care for Mandy as soon as I was licensed. Ann was a girl I had from the beginning. She came to our house for the first time in the fall of 2000. She was ten. From the beginning she was charming with us. Mandy takes hard girls, usually teenagers. Ann however she took at age five. There were always other girls in the house: girls who fought; girls who destroyed each other's property. Mandy always wanted to adopt Ann, but every time she tried Ann acted out in frightening ways.

On December 8, 2002 I got a phone call from Mandy's. Ann had got into a serious fight with another girl in the house. She had to have a break, and they did not know how long it would be. Could she stay with me? I said yes. For a while we all discussed the possibility that Ann would be passed between our two houses every two weeks or so indefinitely. I wrote the following to her social worker on the 12th.

December 12, 2002
Mandy called last night. She was very sad. She said that she did not want Ann to think they did not want her. We talked for a little while and I reassured her that I wanted what was best for Ann. She said that she would like to get Ann on the 23rd and keep her for Christmas. She would bring her back on the 26th or a couple of days later depending upon her behavior. I told her that would be fine. She wanted to say hi to Ann but Ann was at a ball game at her school with friends. When Ann came home I told her that her mom had called to say hi and she could call her back. She did not give a response to that. I told her about that she was scheduled to go home for a while on the weekend. She asked if she could stay here until after church on Sunday and not spend Saturday night. I told her that I could not make that decision alone, but I thought we could probably work it out. She never did call Mandy.

It made me sad, and somewhat anxious to talk with Mandy. I still think that Ann does poorly there because of the entire environment. Roland, who works with kids with severe attachment disorder, also thinks so. But I know that Mandy thinks that Ann's behavior there is entirely a matter of the attachment problems. If she is right then as soon as our house is identified as the home and not the refuge, we will have the same problems. I do hope not. I know there will be problems, there always are. Hopefully we will not have the constant defiance. I am a worry-wart. Anyway, the Mandy also seemed willing to consider passing Ann back and forth...if it works.

Reflections, April 2008
Can you say "Naive"? How strange it is to read those words now!

Part 2

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this story. I'm eager to see where it goes.



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