(NB: these posts were originally written the summer of 2006)
I have actually thought about posting the various emails I had written about the kids to their social workers since I started the blog. In fact I started the blog when I realized that I may have lost all the emails that I wrote about Carl. I am still putting off talking to I.T. about whether they can help me find them. As long as I don't ask it isn't hopeless.
So Ann is as far as I can go back at the moment. So yesterday I thought, "Now is the time." I'm caught up on a lot of other things. It is summer. I should not obsess about Evan so much. It was when I opened up the first couple emails and started reading them that I realized how painful it was going to be.
See, in the beginning, I was so confident that Ann's major problems were the result of her interactions with the other girls in the house. Ann was living in a house in which there were girls who came and went on a regular basis. It is a treatment home and, in theory, girls are only supposed to stay there for 6 months or less. They are runnaways or have just got out of treatment for drugs, or eating disorders, or cutting. Some are on probabation. They are supposed to spend half a year in Mandy's tightly controlled environment and then go back to their adoptive homes or into a regular foster care home.
So it is not unusual for fights to break out. Girls have come home to find that their clothes have been urinated on. And girls are always running away.
Ann was in this strange place. She was not adopted, but she was not like the other girls. Mandy had tried to adopt her. Mandy wanted to keep her forever. Ann got away with stuff that the other girls could never get away with. And the other girls hated her for it.
I also did not understand the respite phenomena. I knew about honeymoon periods, but I had no idea that the worse a kid was at home the better they would be on respite. On respite they are proving to themselves and everyone else that they are not the problem. And Ann, like S. right now, really did appreciate the relative calm of my house. She loved coming over for respite and always was happy here.
So I thought my house was what she needed. If she was just moved in here, everything would be fine. Knowing how the story turned out, it is now painful for me to go back and read the early emails.
After she had been with me a little over the week the social worker asked about her behavior at MY house.
December 17, 2002
Here is the info you needed.Part 4
Medication: Ann has been here since Sunday, Dec. 8th. She has been taking her medication regularly (though I am not certain that she took it this morning --Dec 17th).
Behavior: Ann has been getting along well with everyone. She has been doing the couple of chores that we have asked her to do, and getting along well with my boys. She needs more sleep than my kids and recognizes that. We have been getting her in bed between 8:30 and 9:00. She is difficult to get up in the morning, but she makes it. I take turns with a neighbor driving her to school, which allows her to sleep later in the morning.
So, other than getting up in the morning, we have had no behavioral issues at all