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OK - here goes. We're adopting a daughter and she needs prayers. - Page 6

post #151 of 414
I have nothing to really add except... Good luck and let us know!
post #152 of 414
Naomi really should write a book after her detox and everything is complete and you should help her. I am glued to this thread and absolutely hooked to your story. It takes some amazing people to do what you and Gary are doing. Can't wait for the next updates.
post #153 of 414
Originally Posted by berylayn
Naomi really should write a book after her detox and everything is complete and you should help her. I am glued to this thread and absolutely hooked to your story. It takes some amazing people to do what you and Gary are doing. Can't wait for the next updates.
I feel that same way!!! I'm stuck at work for another 7 hours today and am *hoping* that there are more updates for me to read!!!
post #154 of 414
I think her writing a book may be good. It would probably be good idea anyway for her to keep a journal throughout this whole experience, as it may help her with her progress if she if able to write down any feelings or thoughts that she shares with no one else right now. It will be a long process, but I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end for all three of you. Keep the updates coming!

post #155 of 414
Thread Starter 
No bed today. We're on the waiting list at Princeton House (a detox/rehab that uses methodone, which we're not that psyched about), Sunrise could be any day, and Carrier gave us a list of facilities that use medication to bring down opiate addicts, so we're hitting the phones again. I also looked up the American Society of Addiction Medicine registered M.D.s and Psychologists in the area, and we're calling them too. Our doctor has said he'd be willing to supervise a personal program if she wants to check into a private room in the local hospital. We may do this as a last resort - we all agree that a complete program, with rehab combined with detox and family and individual therapy will be best though. Sunrise still seems the most promising, though we may begin outpatient rehab/treatment somewhere as a family until an actual bed comes through.

It turns out that the budget in NJ was cut very severly, and if I understood correctly, one of the most densely populated states in the country, essentially a part of the largest city in the country, has 1800 beds for detox - that is the total number, both private and public. No wonder everything has such wait times! The country has what - approximately 300 million people in it? About 3/4 - 1% of "us" are heroine addicts - that means there's approximately 1.5 to 3 million heroine addicts at any given time. And because we kicked out the Taliban in Afghanistan, heroine production has gone from something like 80 tonnes in 1999 to an estimated 2000 tonnes in 2004. (The prior record production was 1200 tonnes in 1978 or 1979). The cost of heroine has fallen from approximately $50 per bag to about $10 a bag - and the heroine is of a much higher quality. So the number of addicts is going up, and the amount of support and detox/rehab available is going down. What a world we live in.

Anyway, big news. I remembered that I forgot to correct something I'd written. When I started this thread, I knew very little about Naomi, and had spent little time with her. Gary had spent most of the initial time with her, and it wasn't until after getting the results that we really became a threesome. We've never pushed Naomi to talk about her past, and we didn't know much. But the information I'd initially written was about Juliette, not Naomi, and I forgot to tell you guys. Gary had simply thought I was talking about one, not the other, and when the physical copy of the background check arrived here, I was a bit confused. Not that the story is much different - though that her parents are alive is pretty big! But that's what she'd told Gary to begin with, so I want to be very clear about that. She also has an older sister, Rachael, but what happened last night/this morning is going to make a lot more sense if I get this straightened out before I tell you what happened. Also, I think I remember posting that Naomi's fear of abandonment is much larger than her fear of abuse - and when I wrote that, I'd forgotten that I'd never corrected the information about her background (which she's OK with me sharing).

Yeah - it turns out her mom and dad are both still alive. They divorced when she was very young. She lived with her mom and sister, and her mom's boyfriend. Her mom's boyfriend was very abusive to the three of them, and as Naomi puts it, her sister and mom were in denial about it, and she got very angry watching them cover bruises on their faces with makeup, and she would always fight back. It got to the point where mom's boyfriend forced the mom to make a decision - me or the kid. Mom chose the boyfriend, and Naomi was sent to her father, who was also abusive, and an alcoholic. She said she wants to be completely honest, so the truth is he worked a lot of hours, she spent a lot of time on her own and resented it. She started acting out, was a "bad" kid (whatever that means - didn't go into it), and started coming home really late. One night he slammed her into the wall, and she ended up in the hospital. She was taken straight into the foster system from there, and she wouldn't go into any details about what happened, but she wound up in a group home and that's where she ran away from.

We ended up having this outpouring because she woke up terrified from what was obviously a horrible dream. It's a recurring dream where her grandfather locks her in a closet, which used to happen. Her mom would leave her with her grandparents. Again - alcoholic, abusive - grandma an alcoholic in denial - and grandpa would lock her in a closet (in her dream she's four when it happens) - and in her dream, as in real life, she would scream until she had no voice left.

But she really wanted to talk after that, so we let her. And despite all that's happened to her - as a junkie, on the road, as an abused child - the moment in her life that had the most impact was when her mom chose Jeff over her. As she put it "the abuse is just physical, and I was so angry with my mom and my sister for always lying about it and always telling me everything was going to be OK when I KNEW it wasn't - but what do you do when you're 11 years old and your mom doesn't want you anymore?"

Oh my god, our hearts were just breaking.

This girl is such a survivor, and the more time we spend with her (awake), and the more we get to know her, the more I respect and admire her.

Anyway, the huge news is she decided she wanted to call her biological mom this morning. She hasn't talked to her in over a year, but she thinks she worries about her sometimes, and she wants her to know that for the first time that she can really remember, she's happy.

She called from her own room, and spent a few minutes on the phone with her, walked out crying, and said "Dad, would you please talk to her?" Gary spent some time on the phone with her (her name is Regina). It was so weird. When he got off, Gary said she's clearly not a well woman, she's a manipulator, and in her mind everything that happened to Naomi is Naomi's fault. Naomi told her that we are adopting her. Regina told Gary that she thought it's something that ought to be discussed with her, and Gary disagreed. "Naomi is no longer a minor, she's been on her own for six years, and it's her decision to make." She said she wanted to speak to Naomi regularly, and again, Gary told her that will be Naomi's decision to make. She was obviously defensive, told Gary that Naomi is a constant liar, and that she doubts she'll ever be able to kick heroine. Gary didn't try to argue, but simply told her why we think Naomi can be successful, and said that any future contact would be up to Naomi, and ended the call with a "good luck" kind of thing. (I can only imagine what he REALLY wanted to say!)

Naomi was worried while Gary was on the phone with Regina because we could only hear his side of the conversation. Naomi told Gary what she thought her mom would say, and it was pretty much as it went. Naomi was worried for a minute that Gary would believe Regina - but as Gary pointed out to Naomi, she would not have handed him the phone if she didn't trust him to begin with. She had a really, really good cry while we both held her, and then she took her drugs and fell peacefully to sleep while we petted her head.

post #156 of 414
Sigh. With that kind of background, is it any wonder that she sought the "escape" of drugs? Poor baby. She must have an incredible inner strength to go through all that, and still be a kind, good person, still with the ability to trust. Amazing.
post #157 of 414
bless her heart! I can't begin to imagine how much pain and heartache she has been through. Thank God you and your husband found her!!!
post #158 of 414
Tough night! Oh wow, that's a hard life. I'm not surprised why she is so confused about actually being CARED ABOUT!! Well, at least things will get better. ARE already better.
post #159 of 414
Laurie and Gary,

I can't stop crying - I've had so many pages to catch up on, and well what can I say! I feel like I know Naomi, it sounds as though she is a really strong person. Hopefully she will be apart of TCS someday. Even though I have never talked to her obviousely I feel she is a good friend.

Lots of love,

post #160 of 414
What a huge step that was for her to call her biological mother. IMO, biology does not a parent make - you and Gary are more parents to her in the short time you have known her then her "mom" ever was. I think this phone call was a great step for her to start the healing process. Maybe she just needed to talk to her "mom" one last time before being able to say - yes! I can kick this.
post #161 of 414
I am keeping my fingers crossed that a bed where you want her to go into comes open!!!!
post #162 of 414
Laurie and Gary,

You two have got to be the most AMAZING people! To feel such a connection with Naomi right from the beginning must have been so wonderful. I want to let you know how inspiring you are but I can't even describe what I felt when I read this thread. I am in awe of you both! Yourselves and Naomi are in my thoughts. Sending good wishes and vibes your way. You have got to let us know from time to time how Naomi's doing...
post #163 of 414
You are amazing. Amazing. I just can't think of anything else to say.
post #164 of 414
I've been following this thread, and I just want to say that I admire your commitment to this young girl! You have the right idea. When you have a biological child, there's no question of - "Do I follow through with this responsibility?". You deal with the ups & downs the best you can--& you keep loving them. In a world where taking responsibilty & committing to it are becoming rarer, it is heartening to know there are still people willing to do so!!! That old phrase -" when the going gets tough, the tough get going"......?......nowadays seems to mean-- they get going, all right-----usually in the opposite direction! . I think your honesty with each other is a very strong point. If done with love, it truly is "always the best policy"! You seem to realize that the only predictable thing about this journey, is its unpredicability! That's the way it is with Life, - I think we can all relate to that!!! I know your time & energy are going to be in great demand, but if you do get a moment to update us, we'd all love to know how things are going. Prayers are headed your way!
post #165 of 414
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by JeDuMiHaMama
....You seem to realize that the only predictable thing about this journey, is its unpredicability! ...
Wow - you can say THAT again, lol! I am now armed with all kinds of parenting books - adopting older teens, troubled teens, parenting skill stuff - most of them at the rec of our family therapist. We had our first family therapy session yesterday, and we're going for our second tomorrow. We also saw our allergist. She is, indeed, allergic to Saboxone, which is a real problem. It is the drug every detox center uses. There are sort of alternatives, but they're not great. And though we were never interested in the methodone option, she was - but NJ law changed, and you have to be 25 now to even be able to use that to detox from heroine. We've been doing a LOT of research on detox, and given the structure of most programs and this interminable wait, we have decided to separate the detox process from the rehab process. I'll update where we are on that after the fun stuff.

She calls us mom and dad now, and it's amazing how comfortable we all are with it so quickly. She's beginning to act like a "normal" teen at home (and shopping) - well - as normal as a heroine addict can be - I just meant the attitude and mood swings... so let's just say - while we still have an outrageous time with her, the nightmare has as well begun . At least Gary and I KNEW we weren't prepared for this, lol! Thank God we decided to get the family therapy going when we did.

Anyway, her room is slowly coming together, and trying to do this while not winding up with a completely spoiled teen because we can't stand fighting or the scenes in the stores is quite a challenge, but we're doing our best. (The funniest of it all is that after it's all done and over and we're back home, she always apologizes for having tried to be so selfish and says things like - "I didn't mean to be such a brat." - and other stuff, like she really does appreciate us being strict with her, so we should keep it up even when she doesn't want us to. How amazing is that? I don't know any parent that gets that kind of feedback. I don't know how long it will last, but at least we get those moments to make up for all the nonsense. We do tell her it's normal for kids to be like that, and we'll all work on her concern over expressing herself, and we'll work with the therapist on expressing herself appropriately, but we're not going anywhere or dumping her anywhere no matter what happens. She's going to test and test and test and test and test, and we all know it. "Naomi, this is just another test, and we're going to pass it, so why don't you just stop it now....").

Before, she had exactly three outfits - which she wore all at the same time, she'd just change which layer was on top. We managed to get out with her to purchase some clothes - and I never mentioned that very first night here we got her into some of my pajamas, and all of her clothes got washed several times. But as to the shopping... of course Gary and I wanted to head to Lord & Taylor or Macy's or something - and we ended up at Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic. We're such uncool parents - who knows what teens are into? They all look like streetwalkers to us (which is so ironic in a way, though her "trade" was panhandling....).

But shopping with someone in her condition is.... quite a challenge. She gets distracted by everything, can't decide on anything - and doesn't really want that much, because she is NOT into material possessions. We bought two pairs of slacks (the kind that sit on your hips), several t-shirts, some of those undershirt things that you layer with, underwear, socks, a short blazer-type jacket, a black cashmere/wool blend sweater (dressy), and a funky DKNY plaid skirt (the sweater and skirt are for "dress up" if we need to go to a nice restaurant or something. The grand opening of the new YMCA here is this weekend, and Gary's a director there and we've been very involved in fund-raising, creating the program to support mentally retarded adults with no family - and we are really debating about whether to bring Naomi to the grand opening or not go. But at least she's got something to wear for it now). Oh - and two "hoodies." ?? This was something new to me. They look like little jackets with zips that you wear in Spring or Fall. So - I must be a great mom, because I'm so out of it in terms of what's cool, lol!

The one thing she did have a surprising amount of (and which she couldn't carry with her, which is why she had to round her stuff up from all her various stashing places) is books. Her room is quite small (we like to think of it as cozy), so we thought she ought to go with those "ladder" bookshelves (like we have in our living room) - you get a lot of shelf per horizontal space. But she fell in love with this baker's rack. So... so far, we've got a futon platform type bed with drawers under it (spacesaver), a baker's rack, a saucer chair and a funky 60's end-table. She is completely obsessed with how much everything costs, and she doesn't want us spending "too much" money on her. She's terrified we'll "get rid of her" if she costs us too much, though we're working on this too. The only other thing she really wants is a vanity - large enough to be a desk too. This should be interesting to find.

So we had two somewhat hellish shopping trips (though Gary LOVED running around with her and responding to "Hey Dad, what do you think of this?" "Honey, I wouldn't be caught dead being seen with you wearing that." So, of course we're complete prudes, but we achieved a happy medium. ...and then there was, of course, Naomi wandering around in a daze, and saying - "this is just so hard! I get so distracted by everything because of the heroine, I just can't focus" - then looking up with those huge doe eyes saying - ooops! Did I just say that out loud? .... and about a million heads turn. Gary looks around nodding - like - OK - and says - yes, my daughter, working on becoming a recovering heroine addict....

OK. So.... detox. I can't be sure, but I think we're close to having called every rehab facility in NJ, and certainly a large percentage of the detox units. Of course a lot have combo programs, but what we decided to do because of her allergy to Saboxone is find a psychiatrist with a specialty in opiate addiction, dual diagnosis (treat the psyche, not the addiction), and someone who's a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to counsel us in what to do apart from sit here and wait for a bed.

We found someone amazing, and what we are going to do is pretty unconventional. (Of course, this IS us we're talking about in the end). There is a detox network run by former junkies that uses a very nontraditional combination of "drugs" that do not require FDA approval because they are herbs, not drugs. I found several studies on this one particular treatment, and it is being used conventionally in Europe, which is why there are some longer term studies available. The side-effects and problems with toxicity are low. This particular network doesn't have someone locally available until Feb 9 - but because we are willing to have a - I forgot what they call them - counselor, guide - whatever it is fly here, we should be able to start detox within a few days. They have centers near here, and we will be at their facility, because it's right next to a hospital in the event that there are any problems. Our ASAM psych/doctor will be prescribing some of the traditional stuff - colonpin (relaxant), colondine (to stop that feeling like you're crawling out of your skin), xanax (anxiety)... This network does does work with the hospital, though aren't officially part of any hospital program. (The problem with this detox option isn't the physical space, it's the availability of personnel). We should find out today or tomorrow when someone's going to be available to fly out here, and we were told to expect that it could be as early as tomorrow or Friday, but not to get our hopes up. Our ASAM psychiatrist (PhD and M.D.) is familiar with this network, but can't officially recommend it - but unofficially says that given the right circumstances coming out of this detox program, it has been known to be very successful. The important thing is that we will be with Naomi (even though every "normal" detox program prohibits this and says we don't want to be there - Gary went through detox 30 years ago and agrees that we don't want to be there, but from experience knows it'd be so much better/nicer for her if we are), and her opiate specialist psych in combo with our family psych are working out a rehab program that combines something like narcotics anonymous meetings (group therapy), individual therapy, and family therapy.

We will be heading out to Canyon Ranch in Massachussettes after detox, and both psychs think this is a good way to get back on a schedule of being up in the morning and going to sleep at night, getting some much needed exercise, fresh air, saunas, swims, yoga, acupuncture, etc. - and without us being the "bad guys" enforcing it (which was our thinking to begin with!).

So.... for now, we're just to let her sleep as much as possible (which running at about 18 hours a day). She's using half of what she did before she got here, and quite frankly, her ASAM psych is amazed, given the level of anxiety she must have knowing what's coming down the pike, all of a sudden having a home and family and stuff - and that she's being vulnerable enough to be taken care of is apparently one of the most amazing things.

So there you have it. Naomi is now the one calling the rehab network every day to remind them we're waiting for someone ( ) (of course they know this very well, but they are quite used to working with heroine addicts who can't wait once they've made the decision to detox) - so we HAVE to believe she is committed to doing this. We'll see when push comes to shove, but at least for now........
post #166 of 414
Oh wow, even though it must be a lot of work, it does seem rewarding for you both!

I am thinking nothing but the best for you three - and a great future together!
post #167 of 414
Renewed vibes and prayers for the three of you, Laurie This is all so mind-boggling -- you guys are amazing!
post #168 of 414
Hang in there--we are all praying for the three of you!
post #169 of 414
i am so happy that she is getting better.
she is still young and hopefully you will get to share so many more years together
post #170 of 414
Aw neat update.
post #171 of 414
Thanks for the update! It is understanding that Naomi is the way she is with what she is going through now, and never having anyone truly care about her, but now she does! You'll all get through this together!

post #172 of 414
Thread Starter 
I'm just so glad we're starting family therapy for real. It is SO difficult to remember that she is so mature in many ways - far too mature for her age - and so well read (her books include most of Hesse, several Gunter Grass, lots of poetry, etc.) - and yet is emotionally basically somewhere between 10 and 13. So we have to remember to talk to her as an adult but deal with her as a child, and it can really get confusing!
post #173 of 414
Oh Laurie... I wish you and Gary and Naomi the best of luck. I'll be keeping the three of you (and all of the kitties as well!) in my prayers. (=
post #174 of 414
Thread Starter 
Good news, good news, good news, I hope, I hope, I hope......

We met with the detox counselors yesterday evening after our psych appt. (Big day!) We were so impressed with these people, and Naomi was immediately comfortable. They have such a "whole person" and holistic approach - and they've been there.

Next step: she has to independently pick up the phone and call today. She has to meet with one of them and set the date. It can be as early as Sunday. A traveler friend of hers (non-user) was coming into NYC this morning on his way to Europe, and Gary drove her in this morning to meet him. She already had plans to spend the day with him. Convenient she'll be in the city today - available to meet with Chris if she really is committed to doing this.

We'll know tonight, I hope. Though my guess is that just like with the H.I.V./AIDS test result incident, she gets scared, doesn't call Chris today. Misses being picked up at the appointed place and time by dad. Probably calls us at 3:00 or 4:00am. We haven't discussed whether he'll wait in the city or head home. Probably wait there. Bring her home at the usual ungodly hour when things like this happen. When she's feeling safe again, back at home Saturday, then she'll call Chris - and then we'll have to drive her back into NYC to meet with him - probably right in the middle of the 12 to 18 inches of snow we're expecting in the snowstorm headed this way Saturday. It has to be as difficult as possible it seems.

We can't force this. She has to want to do it. C'mon Naomi - fight this addiction! Please, please, please find it within yourself to do this! There is now an entire LIFE waiting for you once you clear your head and body of this horrible fog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #175 of 414
Oh you have all of my good luck wishes Naomi!!! Please be strong and give your Mom and Dad a break!! They deserve it and they love you!!!!
post #176 of 414
I'm staying tuned to your dramatic story, and keeping my fingers .
post #177 of 414
oh my gosh!!!! Now the waiting begins!! Its going to be such a lonnnnng dayyyyy!! Well my fingers and toes and anything else I can cross is crossed for you!! Good thoughts!!
post #178 of 414
Push comes to shove now, only it's the pushing and shoving within herself. I'll definitely be keeping her in my thoughts and sending her all the strength I can - as well as you and Gary!!!
post #179 of 414
Naomi is in my thoughts today - I hope she calls. Fingers crossed!
post #180 of 414
thanks for all of the updates! I only hope that I can be as good a parent with my new baby (whenever he gets here) as you and Gary are with Naomi!
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