Photo credit: Dustin Spengler

Continued from Excruciating Ride, Part 2

If you asked for a one-word description of my internal landscape during early fall, I would use the word desolate.

Desolate, synonyms: miserable, despondent, depressed, disconsolate, devastated, despairing, inconsolable, broken-hearted, grief-stricken, crushed, bereft

Dark storms on the horizon and a long, lonely road ahead.

His six-day stint in acute psychiatric care only seemed to magnify his behaviors. He literally came home worse than when he left. Although he fed us lies about some aspects, we observed serious lack of supervision in the acute facility. He came home with a softball-sized bruise on his arm from playing a “punching game.” Roll the dice, the other kids punch you. Granted, there’s a good chance he willingly participated, but there’s no reasonable explanation for kids getting away with that kind of assault under true supervision.

He hid his shoes in the gym and blamed another child (we found out after); they still hadn’t found the shoes when we came to pick him up, so they led him outside in stocking feet. The nurse couldn’t fathom why we were upset. It never occurred to anyone that perhaps a pair of flip-flops (or a call home so we could bring shoes) might be necessary.

Peripheral concerns like these made us more concerned about the true level of care and supervision at the center. We began to hear stories from other families whose children had bad experiences and became determined to keep him safe at home until we could find a better solution.

I slept about 4 hours a night, making sure he was sound asleep before I went to bed and waking before he stirred. Thankfully, Hubby made it possible for me to stay home starting mid-summer (as we were planning to homeschool). I don’t know how I’d have survived trying to work as well as fully supervise the boy.

We instructed the girl to stay out of his way as much as possible. It was now early September, so each day included school work; he generally complied with the intent of “beating” his sister. Normally I discourage competition, but in this case it kept him focused so I didn’t fight it. Surviving the day was my only goal.

After schoolwork completion and some time in the yard to run around (and outside the fifteen hours of time per week with the in-home counselor, psychiatrist and office-visit counselor), I allowed him to play with Legos or let the two kids watch movies (a complete anomaly; our normal TV schedule included almost no screen time other than a Friday night movie). The only time I could guarantee no violence were the minutes his eyes were glued to the “bug light.”

Meanwhile, I spent hours on the phone with our insurance company, the social workers, a county government team and his in-home counselor. I called and researched longer-term psychiatric facilities within 6 hours of our home. Most wouldn’t take him as they were not considered locked facilities. They couldn’t protect other children from him, and they couldn’t prevent him from running away or hurting himself.

I prayed we could find a place for him; Hubby and I were completely exhausted. He took over much of the supervision in the evening so I could get a shower and make dinner, which meant he was basically working two jobs.

Finally, I found a facility within reasonable driving distance. As I researched further, I found that the original trauma counselor who saw our family in the beginning of our journey wrote the program for the facility and continued to consult with them. They utilized Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, something we’d been advised to pursue.

Every conversation gave us more certainty this would be our best option.




About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'm determined to give my kids the chance they deserve. Adoption isn't always easy. I promise, you're not alone in this. Join me at - we're in this together.

Posted on January 4, 2018, in Adoption, Foster Care, mental health, Mental illness and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. You are deeply and profoundly loved, Casey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been thinking of you and keeping your family in my prayers!! Hoping that this place did work out for your son, can’t believe all the crazy hoops you guys have had to go through to find a safe place for him. So sad! (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been here, too. It’s insanity to try and run a residential center out of your own home, isn’t it? We used TF-CBT for the littles. It was amazingly effective. The problem with our daughter was that al of her progress disappeared with the onset of puberty. I hope this facility was beneficial for your family. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that the other places said no because they couldn’t keep your son and the other kids safe. If the children are safe in the first place then wouldn’t they be home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly; we’ve used the same and had the same issue with puberty. :p Guess it’s impossible to fight hormones.
      Yeah, I guess it was more of a step-down type place for kids who weren’t violent and who were actively working toward getting better. Unfortunately I didn’t know that going in and wasted time…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope and pray things get better for you. Sending thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Survivors Blog Here and commented:
    Thanks Casey for sharing Chapter Three of your families wild ride. I pray for the best. I want him to be a good boy somewhere deep inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Casey
    I hope above all you and family are healthy……happy. I’ll reblog. I behind on my reading, if meds haven’t been tried, this would be my limit. You are strong, stronger than you know. God has big plans, he’s preparing you and your husband for the next step. I hope it’s not more hell like this.
    I read this and just cried for you, this to shall pass.
    Hugs and lots of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I do hope things will get better. Somehow. There’s always hope. X.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Trying to be patient as your story unfolds. (It’s not easy as I am anxious to hear the rest!)
    You all are in my thoughts and prayers! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I appreciate the prayers, for sure. I’m having a hard time writing about it and finally figured out why…I think deep down (although I know this isn’t true) I’ve been feeling there’s no hope. But there IS hope. I know it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is extraoridinary, Casey. Just reading your account is exhausting, I can’t imagine what this has been like to live through. Lesser parents such as myself would have broken under the strain. Thinking of you x

    Liked by 1 person

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