Who makes major life decisions

for our son?

Turns out, it may not necessarily be his mother or myself.

Quite frankly, it may not be the team of psychiatrists or other professionals associated with his case.

It for sure doesn’t seem to be the psychiatric residential treatment center where he is a resident, or the school where he is in attendance.

So then who is it?  Is it some bureaucratic policy that is defined by people who have no knowledge or understanding of our son?  Yep.  You guessed it.  There is this small thing called a Certificate of Need.  If the certificate gets denied, he gets booted from the facility.

Why?

It isn’t up to the facility.  Since David was a Special Needs adoption, he qualified for Medicaid until he turns 18.  That is in his adoption decree.

We knew going into the adoption that he was a special needs child.    Do you know what was special needs about him?  He is a mixed race child.  Not much of a special need is it?  That one thing qualified him to be a Special Needs adoption.  Everything else about his needs showed face long after the paperwork was signed.

Would it have made a difference in our decision to adopt him?  As much as I love David, I don’t honestly know the answer to that question.

That simple fact saddens me to no end.  If I am honest with myself, I would say no.  Everyone deserves a forever family regardless of disability.

Would I subject the rest of our kids to David, his moods, aggressive behavior and constant barrage of thievery?  I don’t know.  If I am honest with myself, I would say no.  Kids deserve a safe home environment.  Having David at home isn’t a safe option for him, his siblings, mom or dad.

What keeps me awake at night?  What thoughts haunt my dreams?

What happens if the certificate is denied?

There literally is no other place for him to go.  Not until he is older.  There will be a point where he can be adjudged to be in violation of the law, and placed in a penal institution of some kind.  Those places don’t focus on the mental health reasons for a child’s actions.  They assume everything is behavior based.  Sure it is a behavior that gets him into trouble, but what is the underlying reason for the behavior?

If he kills an animal, he hasn’t.. but if he does.  That is an action.  Why did it happen?  Could it be because he has no feelings of empathy, or remorse?  Because he may not value life?  If he attacks, why did he attack?  Is it a defense? If it is a defense, why does he feel the need to defend himself?

In a case like David’s we aren’t stuck.  We will continue to fight for the best possible care for him, whatever that means.  On the same hand, we will fight for the safest environment for all of our kids, including David.  Right now, home isn’t the safest place for anyone where David is concerned.  I think that all of his care team is on the same page about that.  Ultimately, I would love it if David would come home to live.  The one thing that we will not do is – give up on David.  He deserves better than that from us.

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon
Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

To me that seems altruistic.

Is it?

We all have hopes and dreams regarding our children.  I find hope in my prayers that David will continue to be a resident of the facility.  That someone at the state level who decides the validity of a certificate of need will heed our cries for help and continued stability in David’s life.  He deserves that much.  He didn’t ask to have the mental health and emotional disabilities that he has.

In the mean time, we are going to start recording a story to be read to David everyday.  This will be helpful in that he doesn’t sleep like other kids.  So, there is no telling for sure when he will need a bedtime story.  Most of the time, we are going to do it over the phone.  Ideally, as the weather stabilizes into Spring, once in a while I hope to travel there and read to him in person.

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