Pace yourself here. It's long. I know. I don't intend for you to read it all at once. I'm posting again tomorrow and again on Thursday, I don't blame you if you wait to comment. It's a lot. You might not even finish all of it this week. No hard feelings. It's a lot of info, but I'm trying to catch you up.
|Harry learning how to use tape to make|
cool designs with chalk - he's playing
with a neighbor across the
street who is in his class.
So very sorry I didn't share with you as we've gone through the process, but it didn't seem fitting at the time. Too hopeful and jinx-ish, if you get me.
* August 20th the boys had physicals at our pediatrician's office. I'd called in advance to let them know some of the boys' history. They reached out to the boys' social work office in Indiana and asked for medical records. I asked for a medical file. Jo, the boys' worker, told me that she couldn't share it because it had info about their biological parents.
Me: who the hell cares? You think I have time to flip through that huge file to see what those people were like?
At the appointment, I had no file and the doctor's office NEVER received it. The doc was frustrated. As was I. THEY WOULD BE WITH US FOR ABOUT 8 WEEKS BEFORE I FINALLY GOT A COPY OF THEIR MEDICAL FILE. THIS HAPPENED AFTER I SENT AN EMAIL TO JO AND JO'S BOSS DEMANDING A COPY OF IT. I LET THEM KNOW HOW COMPLETLEY UNACCEPTABLE IT WAS THAT I DIDN'T HAVE ONE.
I told the pediatrician what meds they took and I asked her if they could refill them. She said she couldn't. I'd have to take them to a psychiatrist.
First time I'd heard this. I had a top notch therapist, whose waiting list we'd just gotten off of. The pediatrician gave me a list of psychiatrists to call. The therapist made some recommendations.
Riddle me this: how did Indiana send us the boys and not let me know in advance that they'd need a psychiatrist? (um, that word sucks to type).
|This is a few of their pill,|
but not all of them. It looks
like we are running a pharmacy.
* I had yet to find a psychiatrist. And that was taking up so much of my time. I heard things like WE HAVE OPENINGS IN DECEMBER. or NO LONGER TAKING NEW PATIENTS. or WE ONLY SEE PATIENTS OVER THE AGE OF 13. I could NOT believe how long it took people to respond to me, or how many times I never got a call back at all.
I accidentally called a psychologist one day. She was very nice. I needed a doc who could prescribe meds, this wasn't going to work. I told her how that it was our hope that one day they wouldn't need this much medication. The doc told me that most likely some of the medications were overkill. The system does that to be sure that a kid has enough meds to keep him chill so that his behavior doesn't ramp up and cause him to lose his foster placement. She gave me another number to try. No go.
* All you can eat. The boys' appetites were sometimes larger than Coach's. It was a sight to see. Most likely a result of their background. It was pure disfunction. I'd give them a healthy portion of a meal and they'd woof it down and ask for more before I'd even sat down. I started asking them to wait until we'd all eaten our first helping. They did. Then they wanted more, and more, and sometimes more. After a few weeks of this, I finally cut them off after two helpings. I offered applesauce or more salad or bread and butter. They were eating more than they needed, trust me. I wasn't starving anyone, but good grief we could've sat there and watched them eat until they vomited.
As with so much of this, unscripted. Winging it. Hoping for the best.
* Adding the boys to our insurance was another headache. Coach's company said we could add them, but getting the insurance peeps to figure it out was another thing. They kept emailing Coach saying they needed a copy of an adoption certificate. Um, that won't be available for about 6 months. This confused them. I finally told Coach to send me the email. It was time for Big Mama to step up to the plate. Watch out insurance-run-around people, I'm not here to play. I told guy #1 to grab his supervisor and I'd give him the 411 on the deal. That guy was like WELL, WE NEED A CERTIFICATE. I told Coach to reach back out to the owner.
The same woman that left Coach a voicemail in a nasty-ass, tired-of-you, not-about-to-help you tone, called him back. Mr. Owner had gotten through to her loud and clear. Figure it the hell out. When she called back she was nothing but sweetness and how-can-we-help. In reality, Mr. Owner wasn't pulling any extra strings. Coach's work covers what we were doing. They just needed nudging. So wrong.
Why was everything so hard? Remember earlier in the summer, I'd already gone round and round about the school about their grade. I'd said THESE BOYS ARE NO WAY GOING TO BE READY FOR 4TH AND 5TH - THEY JUST FINISHED 1ST AND 2ND. PUT THEM IN 3RD AND 4TH AS WE AGREED. I DON'T CARE WHAT STATE LAWS SAY. THEY ARE THE EXCEPTION, NOT THE NORM. NOT ONLY WERE THEY ILL-PREPARED ACADEMICALLY, THEY WERE STUNTED EMOTIONALLY AND SOCIALLY.
Funny aside: When I was on the phone with the vice principal, Harry came running inside to say a lady on the driveway wanted to talk to me. I grimaced. I peeked outside and saw that it was Jane, the neighbor that hasn't spoken to me since Tank was about 10. The one who yelled at me, claiming I'd told everyone that her kid had issues or something. That never happened. Turned out she was really upset that Tank had been invited to a friend's lake house and her kid hadn't. It set off a shit storm.
The woman standing on my driveway was Jane. She hasn't been friendly to me in probably about 9 years. I cringed, thinking the boys had ridden their bikes on her lawn (something we kept explaining was not really done in polite society - use the dang sidewalk). I was ready to get an earful. I asked the vice principal to please hold. Then I waved to Jane and sort of motioned to the phone at my ear like - I HAVE TO TAKE THIS CALL, Jane waved and said: I HAVE A COUPLE OF BAGS FULL OF CLOTHES THAT A FRIEND GAVE ME. WONDERING IF THE BOYS CAN USE IT.
You could've dressed me up in little boy clothes and dipped me in shit and I would've been less surprised as I was by this. For real. It was a moment. I managed to say, SURE, THAT WOULD BE VERY APPRECIATED. She marched down to her house in the culdesac and came back with said bags of high end clothing.
* I finally bit the bullet and got the boys appointments with a psychiatrist who my friend who also adopted recommended. This woman, Dr. Bernie, was on the list from the pediatrician. I didn't want to use her because she charged $400 for the first 2 hour appointment. Each kid would need a 2 hour appointment. She also didn't mess with insurance. I could submit receipts, but I wouldn't be getting an insurance discount. I just chalked it up to another expense with this whole ordeal. They probably wouldn't need to be seen often - not like the therapist, which is every week.
Once I zoomed with the psychiatrist, I loved her. Sweet, caring, patient woman, Dr. B. I joked with my friend that I'd pay $400 for this doc to chat with me for 2 hours on the regular. Totally worth it. Have I mentioned that I'm a chatty Kathy? I also joked with this friend, that I felt I owed her LOTS of backpay for all the 2 hour 'sessions' when I'd unloaded on her and she hadn't billed me. She assured me that as an introvert, she'd rather listen than speak.
Am I alone or is talking soothing to anyone else, like she wasn't even my therapist, she was just asking me about how the boys ended up with us, etc. - especially talking to sweet older women with a wrinkled forehead out of concern and total interest and focus and a delightful accent, I think she's from the Philippines.