Saturday, November 3, 2012

Post adoption services

First of all - it is high time that I came up with pseudonyms for everyone. I have always had trouble coming up with clever nick names so I've been using initials, but I find that to be pretty annoying and it's not very anonymous. So, I've given it some more thought and here is what I came up with.

Our Family:

K, age 6, AKA Sunshine

M, age 15, AKA Flower (Rose was a bad choice, I can't say why)

S, Hubby, AKA Professor (this is a joke on his personality, poor guy)

Dragon - currently a very feisty bump.

Ok - so now that I have that - and will probably change it again, back to my post.

I can't say enough good things about the post adoption support we have found. The original agency we adopted through, the one contracted with the state that handles all the adoptions, is absolutely horrible. It took over a year just to get a home study. Matching didn't take a crazy amount of time but the support and information we were promised never appeared. We were given lots of inaccurate information about Flower, we were promised records and explanations we never got, and we were promised tons of services that we never received. We went through 4 case workers in the 7 months it took to adopt her, 2 of those months were without any case worker at all. The therapist that was supposed to keep seeing her at home for 6 months after placement never showed up. We never got her records from California or got to talk to previous caregivers. I never complained because things were going pretty well and we just didn't think we needed all those things.

Now that the honeymoon period is over and we are in crisis, I am incredibly grateful that yet another agency is sub-contracted to handle post adoption support. They have been amazing. We now have an in home family therapist who can come to the house, a referral for a full psychological evaluation - which I have asked for repeatedly and never gotten, we are in the process of getting a different individual therapist for Flower that also comes to the house, and she will be able to see an actual psychiatrist instead of an nurse practitioner. We also have a case manager who can take Flower out to do things she enjoys and is willing to set up supervised visits with her biomom, taking me and the Professor out of that equation. I think that will make a huge difference because we can avoid the whole battle over when and how she sees her mom and siblings. I'm sure Flower will still argue that she should see her mom whenever she wants, but it will take a great deal of strain off of us, and if biomom is not being reliable the visits won't interfere with our plans. I'm not 100% sure the visiting thing will work out, but it gives me a lot more hope. Professor has only taken Flower on one visit and pretty much refuses to do it again, so all of the burden is on me, which right now is just not sustainable. I'm much less stressed knowing there are alternatives.

Things are looking hopeful. I'm sure we will still have lots of hurdles to overcome. The family therapist has mentioned residential treatment more than once. I'm really hoping it won't come to that because Flower doesn't need more separation, but at least there are now several more people in her corner, trying to get some workable solutions. School is becoming a big issue so the timing for intervention is very good. She came within a hair of being suspended and put on probation the other day. Once she starts down that road it's a pretty quick trip to an alternative school (basically reform school), and I just don't see that going well.

I really appreciate all the support and sympathy, please keep you fingers crossed that things will continue to improve.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my. There is just SO much going on for your family right now. I have been reading but just don't know what to say!

    I'm really glad that you have got some support for Flower and the rest of the family. It sounds really good and I hope it doesn't come to residential treatment. I'm sure you would far all rather stay together.

    And I think that is fantastic that the case manager has volunteered to take Flower out to visit with her biomum. It would be horribly unfair to put that responsibility solely on you to sustain that connection. So emotionally loaded and difficult to manage.

    Hope that everything continues on the up, love to you, the Professor, Sunshine, Flower and Dragon. Names are so much more memorable than letters somehow!