Saturday, November 10, 2012

New worker

Over a month ago, our social worker passed away.  I was very surprised, and very sad for his wife and son. I didn't know him super well, but he was a very nice person with a lot of experience who we got along well with.  I have been nervous since his death, having to get a new worker is always nerve racking.  Especially with our current situation, and not knowing what lies ahead.

Akila has started the last two or three weeks to get violent at the RTC.  Took her 7 months to get comfortable enough.  I should not be shocked at that, it took her nearly 10 years at home.  She is still super happy, positive and upbeat.  It still feels icky, crappy, yet right for her to be out of the home.  I struggle just writing that.  Right is not the right word.  Ha.  Well, it is and it isn't.  Just the hardest thing in the world to describe.

We know that we have tried everything possible to make it work with her living in our home.  She just can't stop the violence and it is too hard on the other 3 kids.  I absolutely hate the emotions that go along with this situation.  We know that it is better for her, and for the other 3, for her to be placed out of the home.  And with this knowledge, we have this underlying anxiety that the county is all of a sudden going to pop her back in the home.  We know from experience, that it takes less than a week for her to get out of control again.  This is part of what makes us anxious about this possibility.

I met our new worker this week.  She is amazing.  She asked me what I would like in a social worker.  Wow, that threw me.  What a great way to start the meeting.  I rambled on and on.  Probably scared her, but it didn't seem like it.  She has a personal interest in FASD, has since college.  Has a lot of kids on her case load with FASD.  Knew more about it than any other professional I have ever met.  I was stunned.  I instantly felt some of my anxiety letting loose inside.

She had not met Akila yet (she did yesterday though), but already had a better feeling for her than any previous worker.  Akila is approved through January, and I asked what the next steps are.  She said she already knows that she would like to ask for another 5 month extension.  More anxiety melting away in me.  I then told her, that Michael and I have come to a point where we know that it is not in her best interest to live at home anymore.  I told her this has been a horrific decision to come to, and that it has taken years.  So, I asked what happens at the end of the RTC stay.  She said she would be working on finding the appropriate group home placement.  I was stunned.  Now things can always change, but the fact that she knows this is in the best interest of Akila and our family at this time, is huge.  Super huge.

Now, I know that it is possible that Akila could get better, but only with an intervention from God.  Seriously.  We have tried every human option to help her improve behavior.  It is in God's hands if He so chooses to heal her brain and the storm that brews inside of it from time to time (more like from hour to hour).

I can tell you, that this social worker is straight from God.  I have been praying for 4 weeks for a worker who understands FASD, is experienced, and easy to communicate with.  The Lord answered my prayers and then some.  And wow, what a difference it makes to work with a professional you trust, and have confidence in.  The amount of anxiety and fear that have been alleviated, is amazing.  It has given me hope, and again, all this is to the glory of God.  Only He could have worked this out like he did.  And the timing was good also.

So, this has been a good week.  I will not lie, it has also been hard.  Make up your mind Barb!!  I learned many years ago, that when it comes to raising a child with FASD, the feelings are rarely clear- it is almost always a mixed bag of emotions that comes with most of the situations we find ourselves in.  Like I can't wait to see her for Thanksgiving, but I am not excited that it will be 5 nights in a row.  This is going to be hard, and we would love some prayers.  Back to the first two sentences.  It has been good to find out some answers, and know a little more of what will happen in the next few months and year.  But it also has made it more final.  As much as we know it is not safe for her to live home full-time, there are days when I think we could do it.  There are many days when I long for it.  But I guess I long for a lot of things I know are not right.  Back to that word again.

So, if you are a praying person and feel led, thank Him for providing for Akila and our family.  Thank Him for his wisdom and the fact that He never leaves us, even when we are weak and full of anxiety and fear.  Pray that He would work out the details of her next placement, and that it would be in close proximity to us.  That she would be able to go back to her school that has been such a good fit for her.  These are my prayers.  I also thank him for stunning me.


Hilltrain said...

Wow! Praying. :)

NoMatterWhatMom said...

Praying for you. Our kids' last case manager was wonderful, but she went to graduate school out of state. I'm not feeling a lot of confidence in our new one. She doesn't seem to understand our kids and keeps suggesting "quick fix" kinds of solutions--most of which we have already tried and failed with. We need an ally who gets it. It's hard enough to raise three severely traumatized children, who were affected by in-utero drug and alcohol exposure, when everyone on our team is able to pull on the oars together.

Every once in a while, we have an ideal team for a few weeks before someone leaves or gets promoted.

I am encouraged by your getting such a great case manager. It is a respite just to have someone who truly understands and can do what needs to be done.

AKBrady said...

Hardest-best decision we ever made. I will keep praying for you.

Blessed said...

Thank you for the great update, Barb. It was so cool reading this, and praying while reading, so when you mentioned the new social worker I found myself immediately praying that she would be a gift straight from God--and then continuing reading and hearing how amazing the visit was, and she will likely be for your family. It was like having a specific prayer answered the moment it left my lips. : ) But I will keep praying for your family and for Akila, precious to Him.

Sammie said...

I totaly understand how hard this is but also taht there comes a point where you know that you just can't make it work. With my son I finally realised that not only was my son going down the tubes but that so was I and my other son.

I am so glad to hear you have a social worker who really understands you and your daughter. Its sad there are so few like her. Sending you a big hug.