Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ann's Story Update 1: Febrary 2006

Ann used to live at the therapeutic foster home for which I am doing respite this weekend. They took her when she was a scarey five-year-old who hid knives under her bed. They tried to adopt her a couple of times but that would push her RAD symptoms to the point that she was a danger to self and others. So they remained her foster family. When she reached adolescence it got worse. Her outbursts of anger would result in physical fights with other girls in the home. After one such fight she spent 4 months with me. . For a while the agency was considering cycling her back and forth between the two homes. Sometimes that helps RAD kids. It keeps life from becoming too emotinally intense at either home. It also helps each family stay sane.

That did not work out. When she was with us she was on parole and knew that even threatening physical violence would land her in detention. That did not mean that she could not wage psychological warfare though. It took me 4 months to realize that it was not just me -- the boys were being pushed to their limits too.

She left us to go back to the home she had had for 7 years. She left there to go to a Ranch where they take troubled kids for 6 months. They get intensive therapy, work with horses, and go back home. In her case social services decided that living in a therapeutic foster home where other teenage girls will all sorts of problems kept coming and going was not good for her. They moved her across the state. She was in a temporary home, and a pre-adoptive placement, and then back to a temporary home at the last I had heard.

Friday I called the agency to see if they could tell me anything about her. They said no, but by some miracle her state worker happened to be in the building! I got a call back and was told that she had been put in yet another adoptive placement at Thanksgiving and it had lasted about 6 weeks. She was now living in a group home.

They can't give me an address, but yes they would take a letter and a present. I ran out, purchased stationery and put stamps on two envelopes (one addressed to me the other to the woman she called "mom" for over seven years). I also got a blank book with pens and a card. I put it all in a gift bag and dropped it off at the office.

I am trying not to hope too much. The bag will be given to the social worker who will drop it off at the group home. Ann will write to me or she will not.

My heart aches for her.

It is odd loving a child like her. She will never feel entrely safe loving me back. If she lives here then she will use every psychological technique she has perfected for so long to drive me away. She knows, of course, that the fastest way to do that is to psychologically torture the other kids. But still I love her.

I will keep sending letters to the social worker. Even if she never writes back, at least she will know that we care about her.

Please her find a home with a parent who understands RAD, where there are no other children for her to hurt, just one or two strong adults who can tell her that no matter what she does she will not be thrown away again.

1 comment:

  1. If only John and Mandy could have quietly completed an adoption when she was still young. I hate to say behind her back, but quietly, without making a big deal about it. Because really, from the little I know, if they would have been able to keep her and make decisions as her parents, she would have been able to go with you and back...but then she wouldn't have gotten respite either, so that scenario doesn't work. With what you now know, what was the right answer?


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