Sunday, March 6, 2016


I have been the recipient of the family plague.  Congestion, coughing, chills, lots of fun.  I am on week 2 and despite the note of whining you may detect in the above sentences, I am not deathly ill.  For the most part I have been able to totter  toddle along fairly well.  But the coughing thing is hard and annoying so I did something I almost never do, and asked for a substitute teacher for my RE class.  An hour and 15 minutes of nearly constant talking in a hot dry room would not work particularly well.  And when the parents arrived to hear me hacking like a TB patient in one of those old movies, they would also be likely to be annoyed.

So although today is a "lazy" day for me, the days up till today have not been.  Thursday was Fiona's team meeting for her annual review and planning.  Her worker from DDS was there, as was her house manager, her behavioral specialist, and others who help along the way.  It was by far the best meeting that we have had.  Fiona did an amazing job advocating for herself and articulating things that she would like to achieve.  The DDS worker and I helped Fiona to open up and explain what made her uncomfortable with the experience. This helped us to suggest changes to the process so that she might be able to achieve success.

The DDS worker also makes unannounced visits to the home that Fi lives in.  Apparently this is mandated so that she can make sure all is as it should be.  Unfortunately, partly due to the way the DDS worker presents herself and partly due to Fiona's own lack of understanding, Fiona hates this. She feels that DDS is putting "her business" out for the other peers in the home to be knowing.  Intensely private, this has caused Fi to have a full blown meltdown and numerous late night calls to me when these visits occured.  I brought it up, trying to frame it in a way that did not embarrass Fi, anger DDS etc.  I thankfully succeeded and there was a good explanation to Fi about what is really going on when DDS visits.  A plan was made on a place for Fiona to go and wait for the worker so that she was not sitting with peers and feeling anxious.  Fingers crossed that it works.

After the meeting, Fiona asked if she could take me to lunch and we went to a sub shop together and chatted some more and just relaxed.  It was really great to see her feeling positive about this and feeling like these were goals that she achieved.

Then yesterday, Cousin N came out to do the maintenance session for Lissa's locks. They are coming along beautifully and it was fun to hang out while she did Lissa's hair. Fiona was home for the visit and N brought her daughter C who hung out with KC and Fiona and Rob while Lissa got her hair done.  I cooked a big lunch for everyone and there was also an epic nerf gun battle.

Blending families, understanding where we all come from and what gifts and challenges we bring to relationships takes time.  N and I have a really blooming friendship.  Lissa considers her her "big cousin" and N is deeply touched and considers us family as well.  Just watching everyone interact together and listening to the laughter and sharing the dreams fills me  with joy.

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