Seeking Psychiatric Help

August 15th, 2007

A friend of mine who blogs about her challenging ten kids, soon to be a dozen, once wrote about visiting her son who was then residing at boy’s ranch. She found it upsetting, on Family Days, to see some kids with no visitors, no family at all. These were some rather severe children yet they are no less deserving of a family to call their own. As I struggle with a child or two in each sibling group that seems to eventually bomb out of living with us due to safety issues or arrest records or whatever, it is not lost on me that at least I have provided a family for them to reject. Not much to brag, about… [more]

Committing A Child To An Emergency Mental Facility Part Two

August 12th, 2007

Continued From Part One We were just home from church, I hadn’t even gotten lunch on the table, nothing really precipitated this, and nothing ever does. I’ve been documenting his threats over the last year, I’d printed out some blogs detailing his rages, and I had several psych evals in a folder, done three times over a ten year span, as a lot of professionals have tried to determine what his issues are. I had everything right there in one place and fortunately grabbed it as we went. I wish I’d taken a book to read as it turned out to be a long, long day. Seven hours later, he was committed; I was taken seriously by the staff as I was very matter-of-fact, and verbally… [more]

Committing A Child To An Emergency Mental Facility Part One

August 12th, 2007

It started like a million other times, a child’s refusal to accept responsibility for her negative actions. She kept going, stirring herself into frenzy until she’d provoked an older, unbalanced brother into a murderous rage. He stormed into the kitchen, came roaring up at me, informing me that he was going to kill me. He’s my height but outweighs me. I flared up, didn’t back down at all, “You just try it,” I’d glowered, hoping my 20 year old son could get downstairs fast enough. The other brother of that bunch, gifted and very attached to me immediately burst into tears, something he never does, and yet another brother, older and larger was by my side in an instant. My daughter, almost 17 and mean as a viper… [more]

RTC Frustrations

July 15th, 2007

With a couple dozen children in and out of my house, grandchildren coming over, and all my large gardens demanding my attention, my computer time is sometimes very limited. I awake early, drink coffee and often pound out my frustrations, blog style, before I go about my business for the day. I’d come back to see several comments about RTCs and the frustrations involved, I’d sort of answered in advance my perceived ignorance of many of the steps involved as each state, each institution, and often different individuals in charge seem to have countless methods for getting a child accepted. One reader described it best. John says, “Yes I do remember feeling run over at team meetings. As I was at it longer, I became more adept… [more]

Severe Emotional Disturbances in Older Adopted Children

July 13th, 2007

I’m asked, “What’s my secret?” or “How on earth do you do this?” in regards to simply getting up each day and facing the problems, the challenges, and the fun involved in a large family, but I touched a chord yesterday resulting in some long, tormented comments. Y’all I get it, I know this hurts, and I know this is impossibly difficult, sometimes dangerous and head-poundingly frustrating. Please know that I rail against the injustice along with you, I know that having severely disturbed children in one’s home is an abject nightmare, and I have spent plenty of nights hiding our kitchen knives out of my own fear. The lack of community support, often even a ‘you got what’s coming’ mentality from… [more]

Severely Disturbed Older Adopted Children Part Two

July 12th, 2007

I’m facing yet another crisis here at home. A pretty child who joined us at age 5 with little discernible diagnosis has deteriorated ever since. Described back then as a behavior problem, this before some of the other disruptive, oppositional defiant disorder or conduct adjustment behavior diagnoses were widely used, she immediately went to time-out when she moved into my home, 23 times before bedtime for huge infractions on the first day. Nothing got better. Later, when I learned of her sexually abused past, we began to address some issues, but I was in no way prepared for the next dozen years that ensued. She’s spent the last four years in a psychiatric hospital setting where I’ve attended therapy sessions monthly and watched with dismay as she has… [more]

Benefits of a Therapeutic Wilderness Program

June 28th, 2007

An Outdoor Wilderness Program teaches an inordinate amount of skills that are necessary for life. When one adopts older children, one then parents kids who may not even have learned basic hygiene, zero life skills, and often have an inability to make simple decisions or choices. I had one son years ago, be way too emotionally disturbed to function, much less excel at a wilderness program. He’d been sent there by our county’s mental health organization and within five months, at age 11, he was kicked out, eventually he spent four years in a state mental hospital, now at almost 19 he is still in precarious straits, making poor choices, in and out of jail, still blaming everyone and never managing… [more]

Call 911 If Necessary

June 26th, 2007

I’ve had a lot of emails from other frustrated adoptive parents, many are complaining about a lack of available out-of-home placements in their area, leaving these exhausted parents to try and keep their families safe while managing out-of-control behaviors in disturbed children. Bluntly put, there are some children who can not, should not live at home and this doesn’t mean that the adoptive parents failed to parent. Don’t condemn yourselves; there are plenty of others who’ll be happy to do that for you, but no one who’d be willing to live like you’ve been living. Outsiders to the adoption world, especially within the older child adoption arena, do not understand the level of anger that we live with on a daily basis. There… [more]

Home For A Visit

June 26th, 2007

I don’t meet many new people nor do I go many new places. My presence at home is absolutely and constantly demanded by my 39 children. I have too much to get done each day anyway, I need and I want to be home. Yesterday on one of my few excursions out I met a lady who’d seen us at church. “Please forgive my nosiness; I’m just so curious about your family. Where are they all from?” “Texas,” I’d replied, hoping to avert questions, trying to be sweet and polite, but my mind was elsewhere. Our church was hosting a summer supper and she invited me to attend since she knew eight of my children had gone to camp. Honestly I’m… [more]

Criminal Tendencies in Older Adopted Children

June 22nd, 2007

Possibly I should preface this post with the statement, “Not all of my sons have been involved with the law.” I am struggling hard with the concept of criminal activity. I have some very angry sons; boys who were adopted later in life, very traumatized, and they are demonstrating a clear inability to follow rules, no matter the consequences. All of my children came from backgrounds in which there was considerable parental involvement with the police. They learned such erroneous concepts as, “The MAN is out to getcha!” There was no understanding that bad behavior results in arrests, it was always the fault of The Man in Blue. When I have patiently tried to explain to the kids, “If you do this (steal, hurt… [more]