Saturday, December 30, 2006

Keeping the Family Safe

We made through Christmas perhaps one of the most difficult holiday seasons I have experienced since the year my older children had chicken-pox's.

Makala was so out of control every day--and raging violently. When I tried to get some help in our new town and state I was told we had to be part of the County Mental health system and that there is no place for us to take a child that is such a safety risk not only to herself but to her family members.

It seems that every phone number I called lead to a voice mail of someone saying they would not return until January something... Every effort to get help in our new state lead to a bunch of empty voice mail numbers. The county mental health lady told me it would take a good 6 months to a year to even get into the system and be considered for "services".

So, left with no other choices we returned to Oregon for residency (paying Oregon Income Taxes) and I let Oregon Adoption Assistance know that we could evict the tenants from the rental houses if we needed to--but, the fact remained that our daughter needs help and we can't help her right now in our home!

The level of violence has gotten to extreme and someone is going to be hurt. The recent issues have been every time someone says something Makala doesn't like she walks out and shakes the staircase banister--which is not fully-lose and a danger to everyone in the household.

We have been trying to use the "Safe-Holds" however our little girl is nearly five-feet tall and at least 100 pounds... Safe Holds do not look so safe or feel safe when the person is so big. I have had a difficult time even getting close enough to start a safe hold--and the last time I really needed to she kicked me right in the mouth and nose. It hurt for weeks and frankly I don't do well when people hit or kick me and I don't have to put up with being hit and kicked by little kids and I don't care why the child is like this--hitting and kicking is something I can't let happen to me.

We were able to get Makala into an Oregon Residential Treatment Center (RTC) not that this was or is something we want--but, the fact is we can't be good parents if our child is dominating us--and if we are in fear. Why can't this little girl just get the fact that we are on her side?

There will be meetings next week to discuss the options with Makala. I still can't believe we are having such a hard time getting the school to understand that she does need an IEP. When she is so out of control all day at school-she can't get her feet back on the ground at home. If the school would just get the fact that our daughter needs more then they are providing--maybe we could get her stable long enough to learn something.

We are do drained from all of this. However, unlike the times we have taken her to the hospital and felt terrible once she was admitted--this time the fact that they have admitted her to the RTC isn't so devastating to us. We are sad it has gone this far--but, no one will ever understand how relieved we are tonight to not be dealing with the scary things...

What a way to start 2007--and have all of our birthdays...and Mom will be here in a few weeks. We don't know how long or what the plans are for Makala yet. The drive to visit is easy and not too far away. We will visit tomorrow and then start figuring out the next steps...right now I am at a loss to know what the next steps should be.

So many people are suggesting we just give up. I don't understand why anyone thinks giving up on Makala would be any different then giving up on my biological children... Those suggestions were never made to be about them--yet, the world seems to leave an option open for my adopted child. Why?

It's hard when I say--"I can't do this anymore" to hear the responce be that I have done my best and it is okay to just give up. Or that sometimes things go this way... or that it might be best for Makala. I am sorry but, there is no part of --Your Family Doesn't Want You Any More--that could possibly be the best for Makala.

We are dealing with the fact that Our daughter may Not be able to live in an ordinary family--she may need some kind of full living situation that will meet her needs. But, there are many families who need the same services and they don't just give up on their children.

I am sick of people thinking Adoption is anything less about my children...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Boiling Point

We managed to make it through the holidays--barely this year. It has been difficult in our home with the stress level being sky-high all the time. Our little girl has grown and we cannot restrain her anymore when she is out of control.

Things are too violent.

There are holes in three walls of our beautiful home, it's strange but the wall kicking and banging didn't start until we moved into our new home...and now...we have holes in walls. Thank goodness we didn't buy the 100 year old Mansion with the Plaster walls... that house would have been shambles by now.

Makala has shaken the staircase banister so hard that it is loose and unstable now. She has taken to shaking it anytime she doesn't like what is said to her and anytime she is angry. Some things I can totally ignore when she is raging...like going to her room and turning on a "band" radio station and blasting the music... She does it just to get a rise from me so I just act as if I cannot hear it... I just wish it wasn't the Hip-Hop junk....

There was a knock-down drag out today. Utter and complete violence attacking me physically... It took everything inside of me not to Win that fight as I don't take well to being smacked around.

The Sheriff ended up at the front door... I got the bag of meds, letter from the doctor, and "current" folder of paperwork from all the services and recommendations and blah blah blah... The officer told me that they don't do anything when someone is "mentally ill."

So I asked, "Are we supposed to allow ourselves to be attacked and hurt? Can we defend ourselves? What are we supposed to do?" I finished my plea with a statement to the fact that it is looking like we need to TAPE all the info about all of our efforts, reports and begging for help on the window facing out so that when they find our dead bodies everyone knows we really did do our best....

The officer said --no Joke-- to slap her around and that we can backhand her too...just be sure not to leave any marks... He went on to actually tell me that we can "lock" her in her bedroom--"...as long as she has access to the toilet and they sell porta-potty's at WalMart...."

In other words, calling the police when your child is attacking you isn't going to accomplish much if the child has mental illness...Not at least in my state, or county. I asked the officer how we could access residential treatment as our daughter was so violent that we were really in fear that someone was going to be hurt....

He told me there is No Such thing in the state of Washington... so I made some calls around the county -- the county mental health crisis line told me this was true... So I asked what do we do? -- I was told it would take Months to complete the process and have the HIGHEST level of intervention... I asked does it matter that we were already there in Oregon...? Apparently not, and apparently it takes a bunch of steps to access crisis mental health services in our new state!

I called Oregon Adoption Services and told them we were evicting the tenants in our rental and moving back to Oregon as Makala was so out of control and violent that we were living in fear.... The residential treatment center recommended in August is only about 10 miles away and it looks like we are at the point we have no choice.

We don't have any other idea except ABUSE that will work to keep everyone in this house safe...

anyway--we will see if things get better tomorrow?

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