Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Much better this time around

So our therapy session yesterday was much better than the last one. The therapist apologized to me for "forcing" Kayla to call me "mom." She said that Kayla was stubborn and that she wouldn't do anything the therapist asked her to do because she was told to do it. So the therapist said no more homework assignments. Kayla also told the therapist she would work it all out in her own time and would call me that when she is ready. And I totally agree with all of this. It shouldn't be forced because it would have no meaning then--when she's ready it will happen and it will have much more meaning to both of us. In addition, Kayla said that she is "willing to invite me into her family." That is huge for her and it took her 30 minutes to say it in session. She also made some additional disclosures that will be of benefit to us and told us that we miscontrue her words. The therapy stuff is hard for Kayla because she does not like to talk about feelings or anything personal but she did eventually get the hard stuff out last night and we both left feeling a lot better. Though I'm not sure the therapist did--Kayla must have told her a dozen times that she is mean and she didn't like her. Next time we are going to work on communication. I told her if she wants me to get exactly what she's saying then she's got to tell me exactly what she wants to tell me and not assume that I can read minds. She is fond of saying "You know" or "You know already" instead of saying outright what she is thinking and then gets mad when I don't know what it is she's trying to tell me.

We also had a visit from the social worker last night (yes, we had a busy night--I told Kayla at least we have it all over with for the week) and it appears our finalization date is still set for May. I told her I don't want to be surprised again if it's not and to let me know what's going on so my fingers are crossed that things will go smoothly from here on out.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Back to the grind

Spring Break is over and we are back to the daily grind. Last week was so quiet and I didn't like it! That's the shocker. I've gotten so used to having Kayla in the house that when she is not there it feels very weird. I didn't know what to do with myself but I did get a chance to have dinner with friends and read and relax. Kayla was given a ton of homework over Spring Break so most of her nights were spent working on school work. She was not happy about that but she had a good time getting away for a while. Now we are on the final stretch for the end of the school year and I've got to start figuring out summer plans for her. We see the therapist tonight and our social worker--double whammy. Such a nice start to the week! ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lemonade and gratitude

I was awarded the Lemonade Award from Sheri. And it came just when I needed to be reminded that I am a good mom...thank you Sheri. Go visit Sheri's blog at http://www.sherific.blogspot.com/ and say Hi. She is a great mom and has a great outlook on life. I'm supposed to pass this on to others and I will get around to it. It's so hard to do when all of you who are on this same journey inspire me every day.

Thank you to those of you who commented on my last post. You really gave me some things to think about and I feel a lot better about things. I know it's going to take some time and for a teenager it's got to be hard to close the door on your past and connect with a new family. I can't even imagine what that must be like for her. I know Kayla guards her feelings closely (and understandably so) but hopefully with lots of patience and love she will eventually let down some of that guard.

Kayla left today to go spend her Spring Break with my parents and she is so excited about getting to spend the week with them and my nieces. She loves hanging out with my family and even calls them "Memaw" and "Papa." It has to be a good sign that she enjoys being with my parents and the rest of my family. I had one therapist tell me that it is much easier for older kids being adopted to attach to the grandparents than the parent because of all the issues they have with their own parents, which makes sense to me. So it should be a fun week for her and it will give me a few days to rest and take it easy before I dive back into this thing called "motherhood."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The "Mom" issue

Kayla has called me by my first name ever since she moved in. It was kind of bothering me last summer so we had the conversation that went something like "I will never replace your real mom but if you want to call me Mom you can do so. If you feel more comfortable calling me Kristi then that's alright too." I felt relief after having said it and let go of it for a while.

In therapy tonight, she got confronted on not calling me "mom" and she kept saying "I will never call her mom." When the therapist asked her why, she said "I can't." The therapist said her homework was to call me mom...she said she wouldn't do it so it was changed to come up with some kind of nickname that wasn't as formal as my name. Right before time was over, Kayla said "I can't call anyone that's not my birthmom my mom." When the therapist asked her what she thought of me as she said "my guardian." We talked some about how it hurt me that she doesn't think of us as a family but it was right before the end so we couldn't really get into it. I'm sure we will get more into it next time. Kayla has very black and white views about her life and how it should be and is very stubborn about things and what she believes about certain things. She also has a fantasy about the perfect family (which is not me, the single mom, by the way). Part of me doesn't want to force the issue because her calling me anything would be just because she had to and not real but on the other hand delving into this issue brings up some important issues like how she views adoption and she and I as a family. It's very painful to hear the daughter that you want to raise and give a home to tell you she thinks of you only as a "guardian. "I don't know if that means she thinks of me as the person who is just going to take care of her until she graduates high school and then she's out of here. More will be revealed, I guess. In the meantime, she knows she hurt my feelings because she is scrubbing the bathtub. Scrubbing the bathtub?! That has never happened the entire time she has lived here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Did you wear your green today? I did because I was reminded by a girl who left the house in three different green necklaces.

Kayla went to see the psychiatrist last night for a check-in and the doctor upped her dose of ADHD medicine to the highest dose. I'm crossing my fingers this will work and we won't have to play the medication merry-go-round game searching for the right one.
Kayla spent most of the weekend doing make-up work and I spent most of it doing laundry and cleaning house to get ready for my parents' and little niece's arrival this Friday.

I don't have much else to say today except thank God the sun is out and the weather is warm...hopefully it's finally Spring.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Finally Friday

Well, I sent Kayla back to school this morning. She has been fever free for over 24 hours so I figure she'll be alright. She also cleaned her room yesterday so I figure she must be feeling better if she actually did that. She's got a lot of makeup work to do, though, so she will have a fun weekend. ;)

We went to our therapy session last night and this therapist is going to be a good one. She asks you those questions you don't want to answer. She had Kayla hiding in the corner behind the couch because the questions got too uncomfortable for her. I think she will be good, though, in getting everything out in the open as painful as it may be. Kayla told her on the way out, "I don't like you today." We'll start seeing her every week from now on. Kayla will have her own session with her and then we will have family counseling right after. So we should be getting down to the heart of all her issues pretty soon. We'll see how this goes.

I am so far flu-free but absolutely exhausted trying to juggle work and caring for a sick child and trying to get all her school work together and doing the regular household duties...not a fun week. Hopefully next week, we'll be back to normal-whatever that is.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's worse than I thought...

Kayla has the flu. They swabbed her nose and it is indeed the flu. The doctor said every kid she had seen this morning has it so I guess it has finally hit our state. The doctor gave me a prescription for Tamiflu to try to prevent me from coming down with it. This is not good. This is when you really find out the joys of being a single parent...


Kayla spent the night with a friend Friday night and called me to tell me she thought she was getting sick. Yep, she was indeed. She was sick but feeling good enough Saturday to want to shop for clothes at Target but by Saturday night she was fast becoming immobile. When I took her temperature yesterday morning, it was 102. She also has a sore throat, cough and stomach ache to go along with it. So I made arrangements to work from home this morning and will be taking her to the doctor soon. I'm just crossing my fingers it's not strep throat and that I won't be next in line to get it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ready for Spring

I survived the weekend but didn't get my much-needed rest. Kayla went to the movies with some friends Friday night but I had to go buy a baby shower gift and replace my comforter that ripped in the washing machine (the good times just keep happening ;). Saturday, after returning with a friend from a baby shower I could not find my keys and ended up calling the locksmith. As I was getting ready to teeter over the edge into a full-blown meltdown, I discovered my keys had fallen through a hole in my purse into some obscure place. Thank God last week is over!

Some friends invited us to dinner Saturday night and we enjoyed a lovely time with them while watching the snow fall down. It was beautiful and we stayed in the rest of the night and watched a movie. Sunday, Kayla finally got serious about cleaning her room and spent most of the day rearranging it and getting rid of all her trash. I also got together several bags of stuff to donate. It amazes me how fast she goes through clothes. She's gone through a big growth spurt since she moved in and clothes that fit her a few months ago are already too small. I was exhausted by the end of the day but we got a lot done and my reward was getting to watch Brothers in Sisters in relative peace and quiet. I've discovered that if she has some sort of project to do she is more calm and more independent. When she gets bored, though, it is constant needing of my attention and for me to entertain her.

They're forecasting highs near 80 by the end of the week and lots of sunshine. I can't wait. I don't think I could stand another month of winter.