Acadia has been at NIH for two weeks now, and yes, it has taken me this long to get around to updating everyone. I can't really think of an excuse except that maybe I've been trying not to think about it too hard. And that's kind of what blogging is all about.
The first two weeks went by quickly and without incident. Cadi sounded really good on the phone, and especially after decreasing one of her meds, she seemed to brighten up quite a bit and was more talkative. The nurses reported no problems with her and were impressed with how she had warmed up and made friends with the other kids. A 9 year old boy arrived a few days after Cadi, and they quickly became buddies. She's also become good friends with a 13 year old girl and they play, draw, and laugh together. God has been so good in matching these kids up to be there at the same time. It has made a big difference for all of them to have friends while they are away from home. I've also been able to meet all of their parents and had a chance to spend some time talking with one mom while we were staying at the Children's Inn. The Inn is set up to be a "home away from home" for children and their families, and the kids really take that to heart by making friends quickly and running around like they own the place! While I'm curled up in a chair by the fire talking to another mom who's daughter is in the same unit as Cadi, the girls are giggling and playing with toys in the play nook under the stairs, taking a break from being patients and just being kids. It's such an amazing place and I am giving God all the glory for providing it and using it to meet our needs and show us his love during this time.
At home we took a collective deep breath and Lily and I spent a lot of time just hanging out and having some much-needed time together. We made some videos of things we've been doing and I'm going to try to post them on here soon.
I just got back last night from a visit with Cadi. We had a good weekend, stayed at the Children's Inn, went shopping, saw a movie, and played games together. She started getting a little sad at times, thinking about me leaving again. I took her back to the unit on Sunday night, and the next morning she was sad and refused to do her schoolwork. She went to the corner and cried. A nurse talked to her for awhile, and then she went to her room and got her turtle batik that her therapist at home had given her. She wrapped up in it and grabbed her panda and her chewy toy and went back to the school room and finished her work. I saw her later in the morning and she was doing better. We played a game and then I had to leave. She gave me a hug goodbye, and seemed okay with me leaving. The nurses reported that Cadi had a great afternoon, was even bubbly and talkative, and had a great time playing video games with the other kids that evening. But when it came time for phone calls she didn't want to call anyone and then got sad again and refused to take her meds. They worked with her trying to get her to talk about what was bothering her, but she just kept crying and refusing to take her meds. After awhile she agreed to take them and they got her calmed down and into bed.
Even though it's really hard for me to hear all this, I am actually a bit relieved that she is finally letting her real feelings show. We want her to feel safe and comfortable enough there so that she isn't hiding anything. She is coming off her medications so we may see more of this kind of thing as we go along. The great thing is that she is actually using some of the coping skills her therapist and I have been working on teaching her for years and she is learning to talk to the nurses about what's bothering her. I am really proud of her for that.
I'll try to post updates more often and let you know what's going on. Keep praying!