Saturday, May 12, 2012

Last year's story cont.

So, now time to explain it all (part III)

Boy, this is hard to condense a few months of an investigation into a few short words.  Trust me, this is all short compared to all the details of what happened. I left off w/ the second caseworker now wanting to re-interview the kids.  First time for her.  Max's school called me.  Great, they followed the legal docs I'd put in place for them per advice of some folks who've done this before.  Yana's school did NOT call me.  They did not interview Irina b/c she was 18.  I find that interesting as the first lady interviewed her.  I know it's b/c of her age.  Fine by me b/c she really let the first caseworker have it from what I hear.  Irina told them they shouldn't be here b/c my mom  & dad don't hit us.  She tells it like it is.  I don't think the first lady realized how old she was.  Anyhow, that was the way it went w/ the teens.

Younger kids was a different story.  Remember, we agreed they go together.  Lessen the trauma.  Now, Bojan knew from that morning to call us if they were not together.  When he was called to the office, he asked where the others were.  Told they couldn't get out of class due to their schedule.  What?!  Bojan asked several times to be allowed to call us.  He said I have to call mom & dad if we aren't together.  They told him not to worry about it.  URGHH~!!!!  So, they allowed Nik & Bojan together.  Nik had his interpreter there.  Those two did fine.  Of course, the two that should NOT have been alone or together alone, that is just what they did.  You guessed it-- Alex & Alyona.  Alyona is mentally challenged.  It is no secret she doesn't understand a whole lot of things especially, when asked in this manner.  Alex has FAS and multiple dx's that I mentioned before.  The best way to explain his brain is swiss cheese.  It takes A LOT to understand what Alex means.  A LOT.  We've perfected it over the years.  Someone new interviewing him would have no idea.  Alex has many gaps in his language and his comprehension.  He would not be able to understand even a basic question the way they ask them.  It's like his signals are not all firing right & that truly is what is going on.  His reality is distorted.  Plus, he is partially reliving the past he had BEFORE he came here!(documented past btw)  URGHH!!!  Later that afternoon, I get a call from Alex.  He doesn't want to stay for running club.  BAM!  Right then & there I knew, just knew he'd been re-traumatized.  Sure enough, found out he went crying to the teacher after the interview.  Came home & didn't go to running club.  Saddened the rest of the evening.  Now, I had to get my kids back to normal again after this nightmare...again.  I know CPS is supposed to be there to protect the kids but they do not have the knowledge I feel that they need to to talk to or handle PI(post institutionalized) children.  Our kids are not the same as foster care kids.  They have never been in a family setting & if they were, that is why they were removed. 

I told them from there on out, the kids were not to be interviewed alone again.  It was too upsetting for them.  They could do it while one of us was there w/ them or a familiar person but that was it.  Time seemed to be dragging on.  More people were contacted.  However, now things were shifting focus.  Now they were concentrating on Alyona and how skinny she was.  What I don't think CPS realized is that the child was literally DYING in Russia.  We were called just 6 days after returning home from Russia to go back in Russia a week or so later.  It was a whirlwind.  It was b/c the pictures we had of Alyona were concerning to the agency & foundation.  Alyona did not look good.  I could take my middle finger & thumb & form an O.  I took that from her ankle, all the way up her thigh.  Alyona also has a list of dx's a mile long.  But, the ones that contribute to her petite stature are most likely failure to thrive, FAS, microcephaly, and possible form of dwarfism(this one is unofficial but was said to us by one of her docs).  Given all this, she is going to be Ms. Skinny Minnie.  Yes, we do make her eat her food.  You have to.  Why?   B/c if she misses two meals in a row, she gets dehydrated fast, vomits profusely(about a hundred witnesses to this one one year at camp), etc.  She goes down hill quickly but no one could ever explain why to us.  We were told do what you can to make her eat or she will have to get a g-tube.  It was that imperative she ate.  And, as most of you know when orphans get home, it is one of those power struggles with food.  It was no different for her.  The investigator # 1 made it sound like we made her sit for hours on end to eat.  Umm, NO. After she cried and screamed & realized we weren't letting her leave the table, she ate.  This was usually about 20 to 30 minutes later.  Now, I'm sorry but I'd rather she sit there & eat than be allowed to leave the table and a few hours later take her to the hospital for vomiting profusely.  Shoot, when I told many of my neighbors this most of them replied "when I grew up, do you know how many times I fell asleep in my food?!" 

They were really concentrating on if we fed the kids & why Alyona was so skinny.  Now, we spend roughly a thousand a month on food.  If I am not feeding them, where is all that food going to?!  Why do we have a pantry full, 2 fridges full and a freezer full of food.  It's nuts really when you think about this.  See, Alyona has steadily gained weight since home.  Doctors are very pleased that she's followed her own growth curb.  Shoot, we were ecstatic last year that she was finally out of the toddler size at age 11.  If the doctors are happy, if she's happy, if she's eating, if she's growing, than what in the world is the issue?  you know how many skinny people there are in the world?  More than just her, I assure you.  However, I do understand someone wanting to investigate if a child appears really thin.  I just don't feel she's that thin.  She looks very healthy for sure.  But, if it must be looked at to clear us, then I'm all for it.  So, got the dx's out and the list of docs to contact & who had told us what.  Remember, this is from 5 years ago!  I can't remember it all as we switched docs closer to home.

All our people were checked out along w/ their docs.  They came out several more times to the house.  One was the weekend before we were painting Alyona's room.  Lovely.  Everything was shoved in the hallway & the boys' room.  Tools everywhere.  What are you going to do though when remodeling?  This was when the church came to help us out.  We then had to have a risk assessment done.  There were two of them.  Wait till you hear how unfair these things are.   Based on facts that you can't change such as how many kids you have.  the more kids you have, the higher risk you are to commit abuse apparently.  In addition, if you have a child w/ special needs.  Each child w/ special needs is a certain amount of points.  Each certain need such as FAS or Failure to thrive are more points.  Think about this a moment.  I have several kids, each with multiple dx's, many w/ developmental disabilities.  All this meant more points and meant we were more at risk according to their assessment on paper.  That did NOT sit well w/ me as these are facts that no one can control.  What dx's your kids have count against you?!  Who makes up these things?!  So, obviously, that test we scored big time on just given my kids' circumstances.  However, the other risk assessment we did super on.  She did tell me they take into consideration the circumstances and we did have multiple special needs w/ multiple dx's.  Oh, and the age of the child matters as well.  Just never knew they based risk assessments on facts you have no control over.  There is more to share.  The conclusion is next.  Stay tuned for more.  Again, NEVER EVER did I ever think this could happen to us as we live such a public life.  I was stunned.  I'll explain our feelings, how our kids reacted and such in the next post...our conclusion. 

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