Success…for now

THANK YOU for your prayers and encouraging words.

In case you’re just joining us, I presented this week to a group of eleven professionals appointed by the government to ensure children receive appropriate services. They hold the power to choose the best route of treatment for our son.

My meeting went well, although the current residential facility representative maintained the opinion the best option for our boy is a step-down to a group home. After hearing about his current outbursts, the team agreed a step-over to a different facility is warranted. This was our desired outcome. As one of the members noted, he is still not in control of his anger.

The current facility’s mindset is that he’s made great progress since January. However, they’re ignoring the huge swing he’s experienced since admission. In some ways, his behavior is now worse.

We admitted him because he expressed suicidal thoughts, and his actions were harmful to himself and others. When he became angry, he usually expressed it verbally (or in writing, as I often sent him to his room to write in his journal).

From November through January, his expression escalated to physical. He began provoking and fighting with the other children—specifically those he saw as weaker than himself. We worked with the therapist to create a reward/consequence system to eliminate the physical aggression (“TV time” is his most effective motivating factor; an altercation = no TV).

Although the therapist agreed with and supported the plan, getting the general staff on board proved difficult. Part of the issue stemmed from attempting to communicate the plan with the large number of individuals involved. In addition, not everyone agreed with our tactics. They felt barring him from TV made him feel as though he were not “part of the group” and minimized his “socializing” opportunities.

I argued that punching another kid in the face might also limit his social acceptance.

We had very little success. Enforcing rules from a distance is difficult, especially without buy-in from staff.

He figured out that his physical aggression was keeping him in the center longer and occasionally affected his TV access, so he stopped punching kids and started punching and kicking the walls when angry. He hasn’t yet cracked the sheet rock, partly because some walls are cinder block. This week, he bruised his hand badly.

To the center, this is progress. To Hubby and me, not so much. He’s still expressing his anger in inappropriate ways, with the threat of property damage looming just one kick away.

This week, he sat down at a table in the classroom and refused to get in his seat because he wanted to color. When the teacher explained this wasn’t an option, he walked out of the class. Staff informed him he may not refuse school (the center allows them to refuse certain activities) and he flipped out, punching and kicking windows and walls. Call me crazy, but this does not feel like progress.

Thankfully, the team agreed with our concerns; we can move forward.

Next steps involve obtaining admission from the desired facility and sending a description of why this is our best option to yet another government employee for final approval. She knows our story, so I have hope for limited delays. Having the team’s backing also gives credibility to the request.

The road to healing is long and it hasn’t been easy, but I have hope.


I write our story to be a support and to help other families in similar situations feel less isolated. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I write our story to show the individuals who support these families: YOU ARE NEEDED.

Adoptive parents AND adopted children—we learn from those who’ve gone before. Please feel free to give your opinions and guidance.

We need each other.

You have a story. Chime in.







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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 May 5, 2018, in Adoption, Advocate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Praying that the Lord continues to flood your hearts with love, saturate your lives with grace and give you peace and patience. ❤


  2. Anger management is really tough on adults and possibly tougher on kids . I feel it is harder to discipline children in the US because of the nuclear families and the child security system that inhibits care givers from being more strict with children . I was in NJ for a month and actually scared to raise my voice while disciplining my 3 year old grand daughter for dear she’d twll her day care teacher that granny had yelled at her .
    Children are highly imaginative and often accede to suggestions like “ was mommy mean to you ?” in the affirmative .
    In our society where a slight, gentle whack on the leg or bottom is acceptable if the occasion so demands ( like leaning out of a window from the 10th floor or throwing things around , screaming hysterically or generally NOT listening to reason) it is far easier to enforce some kind of acceptable behaviour . One whack is enough to threaten the child with more if bad behaviour continues.. I know corporal punishment is totally against the grain of modern child rearing but believe me sometimes firm handling is necessary.
    Of course I don’t mean to lecture you but I understand your frustration I trying to get your child to control his anger . But you have the patience and faith so I’m sure one day you’ll get through to him in your own way and be able to enjoy your son .


  3. Been wondering how it went , so glad to hear that you did make progress. I really agree with you and your husband’s concerns and so glad you spoke up! Some parents just assume that the “experts” know better and that can be so far from the truth!
    Prayers for a smooth road into the new facility and prayers for strength for you and your husband. I pray you have a good support group around you to hold you guys up and that you find some times to take time for yourselves. Time to breathe!!
    Love and hugs! ❤


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