I have five blog posts that are in draft form that I have started and not finished over the past several months. It has been hard to blog. For several reasons.
Akila finished her time in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) on February 15th. She moved into a group home 15 minutes from our home. It is wonderful to have her closer to home. We spend time with her as a family twice a week, and I have seen her more than that with Dr. appointments and from giving her rides after school as we waited for the school transportation to be set up.
It has been going pretty well. She had about a 7 month honeymoon at the RTC. It took her that long to get violent. I have been saying for almost a year now, that the RTC is the exact kind of structure that she thrives in. She did really well there. Many kids do not. She did. It took her just under a week to get violent at the group home. A short honeymoon. More typical of her.
It is a great group home. Group homes just don't have the same level of structure or a similar atmosphere that the RTC had. The other challenge, is that I think one of the reasons that she was successful at the RTC was that her social needs were being met for the first time in years. The two other girls in this home (there is an opening, so there will be 4 girls), are much lower functioning than Akila. This was one of my questions when we first heard about the home. At that point back in December, there was one girl remaining (several girls have just aged out), and she was closer to Akila. That girl just moved out. And the other two spots were filled with very nice girls, just ones that Akila is going to most often have a hard time relating to. This really bums me out. We will see how it goes after a few months.
She was really excited to move into the group home. She is not too excited about it anymore. It is a hard thing to get use to. A sign of how good of a fit the RTC was for her, last week, she asked for their number and she called and talked to some of the staff. She misses it.
She is back at her same school and I am really happy about that. She also started back at the dance studio and she is super pumped to be taking hip hop for the first time. She has always wanted to do hip hop, but it was on the wrong night in the past. We found out that her hemoglobin is all out of whack and she has been started on iron supplements. It was at 8.2 which is extremely low. She has been feeling tired and dizzy, which makes sense with such a low iron level. We are assuming it is menstrual related.
Emotionally, it has been kind of up and down. We know that she cannot live at home right now. She is still too violent and the other three kids are still recovering from the past few years. But it still feels icky to have her not living at home. Still feels so right, but so wrong at the same time. Probably always will.
My job at MOFAS has been going really well, I truly enjoy the job. It has been great to connect with families who are living with FASD and need some support on this journey. I have been absolutely swamped, but in a good way. Yesterday, I spent the day at the Minnesota State Capitol for the annual MOFAS Day at the Capitol. We had a rally and then people met with their legislators. I met with our State Senator and he agreed to help me bring some stakeholders in North Mpls together to tackle FASD. Wahoo!!!
I have been meeting some really great people. Professionals, adoptive families, birth families, kids and I am so impressed with all of their passion. I had a brilliant moment last week when I helped provide the childcare at a seminar we held for parents. We had 6 kids with FASD in the childcare, 5 of them were 8-10 year old boys. Need I say more? It was wild. And I brought the game Operation. What was I thinking? I wasn't. Obviously. With their impulsivity, and sensory issues, it was not fun. Had a hard time getting it put away and out of sight. They kept finding it. The kids were all really cool kids, just a little crazy having them all in the same room (tiny room), for 2 hours!
Imani, Hezekiah and Zeke are all doing great. Imani is in spring volleyball, Hezekiah has been in a Saturday tennis program all year long, and Zeke just tried out for baseball. Baseball is going to make the schedule really busy starting in mid-April, if stupid winter would ever leave!!!!!
God's timing has been good again in all that has happened in our lives. There were so many details for getting Akila closer to us. There were funding issues, school admission issues, school transportation issues and tons of other details. He was in them all. God is good all the time.
I will try not to wait 3 months to blog again. I have missed you all. :)