This is just one of Emma's self portrait photos I fond on my phone last week. There is a series of her many funny faces very close up.
The Attachment Center we use sent out our new AT. She is not an AT, in my opinion, and we have to fire her before she really screws up our kids. For those of you who do not even know what AT is I will give you a brief description. It is to facilitate attachment between the mother and child. It involves both at all times, the child is NEVER separated from the mother for any kind of talk therapy or play therapy without the mother at least watching through a window. Children with this disorder are VERY sneaking and manipulative. They are extremely charming and it can be very difficult to determine what is the truth and what is not. My oldest has gone 11 years fooling everyone in her path that she is a kind, caring, responsible, healthy child when the exact opposite is true. SHe has no feelings of any kind towards anyone, she just mimics what she sees others do. The AT we had had lots of ideas on how to get things out of her and force the truth. My children are most comfortable in a power struggle and I need advice on how to avoid them. The AT teaches non-conventional ways to parent, normal patterns do not work b/c you are dependent on the fact your child wants to please you and my children do care if I am pleased with them. Got it?
So this very bright and pleasant lady asks all kinds of questions about the kids and then informs us she will be working with us and will be including her "team" in the therapy. I have heard of teams being used to deal with a child before so I started asking her questions and discovered she had no idea what the hell she was talking about. I assume she would be a very effective play therapist and specializes in Sexual Abuse but she is not an AT. She informed me a member of her team would be seeing the kids at school. Alone. One member was a MAN. Considering my children's extremely poor boundary issues, it is not a good idea for a woman to be alone with a single child and a man is in real danger. She began to brag about how they will be checking my kids out of school and going to McDonald's and for ice cream. AH, HELLO, how is that going to build a bond with my children and I? It is going to build a bond between her and the kids, maybe. So being the fierce mom I am, I asked her this. She responded that she would allow me to sit in the last 15 minutes when she was here. What? Then she told me she would inform the kids that anything they say to her is confidential and she would not share it with me unless they are going to hurt themselves or others. GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, NOW!!!!!! Of course I only said that in my mind but I did end the meeting and call my agency immediately. The Center will be finding me another AT, period.
We met yesterday with both our SW and the kids' CW. They have agreed to support us in keeping our oldest here and getting a psycho-sexual assessment done to determine if she is at risk to offend again. We have put ourselves on High Alert and the cameras in our home and door alarms are back in full swing. We have always had rules and devices in place due to the other children acting out sexually but we allowed her to bypass some of the rules b/c she is so "responsible". She is extremely parentified and had always been in charge of caring for the children in the past so in order to help her give up this role we allowed her access we didn't trust the others with. In fact, one of the reasons we trusted her so much is b/c she had reported other children's behaviors to us in the past.
We had to show how we plan to make our home safe again and keep it that way. Here are a few things we discussed with the workers. We never allow the doors to be closed during then day but recently allowed them to enter another child's room to play karaoke and dance as long as there were always 3 or more children and the door remained open. We do not allow Hide and Seek, blankets to be used in public areas, no sharing blankets or hands out of sight, no sitting on another child's bed, no laying down, bathroom always closed, and a few more. The new ones are the offending child must be in the room with me at all times another child is on the same floor, anytime that is not possible she must be in her room with the door alarm on, she may not be alone with any child, she can not be in charge of any child, she can not tell another child what to do, she can not be alone with friends, she can not go to friend's house, she can not play in the neighborhood without me, she can no longer participate in the buddy reading program at school, every one showers alone (sounds weird but with 6 girls you tend to double up), she must make me aware of her need to use restroom and lock the door, basically she has lost all extra privileges she had for being older like staying up late and allowance. It has only been a few days but so far she understands and is doing well.
The other children.....Michael is a tad aggressive towards her, we understand completely why. Ella is scared and has told me so today. Emma is mad to some degree but really doesn't understand what has happened b/c she has never experienced anything so terrible in her pre sibling group sheltered life. The others are barely responsive but we are confident they were unaware of this situation.
On top of all this fun stuff happening at home, my DH went to work this AM to see another contractor working on the building he is supposed to start on this week. He is devastated. We are not sure what this means for him and his job stability. It is entirely possible the brothers he works for has decided to put him on salary like they have discussed for months. The only issue with that is they didn't give him any warning about the other building and he is hurt. He also has at least 2 job offers that have been on the table for months that he can start with a days notice. All will be fine just more stress until the meeting to get details at 2PM. Keep your fingers crossed.
UPDATE: My agency and the Attachment Center have both called and we have a plan. The therapist that came out will stay on but only as a Sexual Abuse Expert and the owner will be our AT. I am thrilled! We have heard from other families he is great. Everyone agrees we are better off finalizing this week all together instead of postponing it or just her. The county they are from is extremely poor and does not have resources available to them like the state does. Once we finalize the adoption we would pull from the state instead of the county. Our agency does not have to continue with us after we finalize but they have a policy to be here when we need them and they committed to working closely with us and our AT until we had this under control. I feel like things are moving forward even though we are scared to death at moments.