Fiona finally called tonight! She sounded great. There is a tendency lately to get a little manic, but I have to say I prefer a bit of manic to the flatness that she has had for so long. She did really well on the call. She and KC were hysterical exchanging jokes together, and she was very proud of the fact that she made Lissa laugh.
Fiona shared a memory of a former RTC friend from back when she was at the school near us. I remember the girl. The truly odd thing was that both girls knew each other before they were at the school near our home. Since they both come from a significantly distant community from my city, I thought it was really odd. But they had a placement together years before our lives came together, back in the community they are both from. Then out of the blue, they had been living separately and wound up in another RTC together. The girls were very close. Fiona's friend shared the name of her sister, Krystal, and in some ways I think stood in for Krystal as the age difference between the girls was similar to her birth family.
It always helps Fi when I too remember the story she is sharing, but tonight went even one better. Amazing Jane said that it was possible to talk with Fiona's sw and see if they could work on locating Krystal the friend. That Jane believes (as do I) that families are formed in many different ways in our lives. People can be important and special to us and not be related by birth to us. She spoke to how hard it is to make a connection and then have it ripped apart by a move. Fi spoke to the fact that she knew at one point she had contact info on Krystal but she had lost it and felt really badly about that. (Given that she has had 3 placements since their last shared time together this is not surprising!)
The other thing that was cool was Jane asked Fiona if she would be willing to include me in the "phone plan." I hear about these a lot but have never really heard what it is. And I probably should have asked. Because I have had a bit of underlying annoyance over "phone plans." From my parent perspective, I rarely have a phone call that can't be handled. I have been Fiona's mom since she was 9 and it seems like having a 10 year history should make me relatively competant to talk with her. That is what we parents do, right?
And of course, like most of life, this is not about me. Duh, Lee! :-) It is about a concrete way to help Fiona process emotions that surface from talking with us, from remembering things as a result of the conversations, and helping her have a strategy in place to make sure that things are handled in as positive way as possible. They are also a way to help my daughter learn that you can feel more than one emotion for a situation. (for instance, she can be excited that she might be in contact with Krystal and nervous that Krystal won't remember her or be the same, or even feel anger over the system that split the friendship.)
I got to hear some impressive insights into my daughter's thoughts and feelings tonight, and I officially "heart" phone plans! LOL And not only do I like phone plans now, but I am wondering if an adapted strategy of this could be of benefit to Chet in helping him enhance his understanding of emotions and his overall social skills. Hmmmm