Monday, May 18, 2015

one foot in front of the other

The last time I posted an update about Christian was back in November.  The staff at the behavioral health hospital he was in had begun talking to us about discharging him before the end of the year.  I had a lot of mixed emotions about it.  When you have a child that is capable of what we've seen from Christian, you can't just get a sitter like you can for most kids.  I was so overwhelmed by the possibility of him being home before I had the baby and not knowing where he and Audrey would be while we were in the hospital.  Add to that, I didn't feel like he was ready to come home.  I shared my concerns with his therapist, and she assured me that he was doing very well.  She told us to just continue reinforcing all the coping skills he had learned and make sure he was attending his therapy appointments once he was back home.
He was discharged December 19th and the first rumblings came Christmas Day.  He wasn't ready and I knew it.  A lot of kids throw temper tantrums when they are toddlers, but generally as they get older those behaviors wane and with Christian we are continuing to see just the opposite.  When he doesn't get what he wants; when things don't go his way, he throws a fit.  Only since he's not a toddler and has some serious rage, that fit doesn't just mean crying or laying in the floor- it means he also hits and kicks, spits and tries to bite -just to name a few.  And now he's added in trying to get at both his sisters during these episodes.  
We had him home for 30 days before he was admitted for a short stay in a crisis unit. A couple of weeks later he had another. All total it was 60 days before he was approved to return to the hospital where he spent most of last year. 
Once he was settled back in there and we started talking about how to move forward, it was very clear pretty quickly that we needed to change paths.  A little over a month ago we moved Christian to a new facility.  So far, things are going very well there.  When I say that, I don't mean that he is all of a sudden getting better.  What I mean is that the staff there seems to have a much better grip on what is and is not acceptable behavior.  They are seeing what we've seen and are working with us and with Christian to try to move in the right direction, rather than glossing over his aggression...or pretending like taking deep breaths will make it all better.
This is still the most difficult thing we've ever done.  There are days when I try to remind God that this isn't what I signed up for.  Days when I feel like it's too much, I'm too tired, and I can't do this.  In those moments I'm not at my best, but God knows the condition of my heart.  He knows that even when I'm complaining or crying or yelling, for that matter, that I still know His word is true.  
He loves us.
He has plans for us...plans that are for our good and His glory.
For now we just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  

Today our boys turns 8.  
We continue to ask for your prayers for his health and healing, and prayers for wisdom for us know know how to best take care of all three of our babies.

Last year after I made all this public, someone said to me that it was difficult to believe there was anything wrong when our pictures all looked so happy.  Just know that we take pictures when things are going well.  We appreciate those pictures so that we have happy memories to look back on when things are not going so well.
Two weeks ago when we went for family therapy, Christian didn't want to discuss anything difficult.  He turned over the furniture and threatened to punch me in the face.  
Yesterday we had a really good visit.  We shared some cupcakes and loved on each other.  
Those are the days we take the pictures.

"For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19