Our family adopted the sweetest two-year-old little girl. At the age of four, she began demonstrating behavioral difficulty. We started therapy and mental health services. Things continued to worsen. At five-years-old, our sweet girl had her first psychiatric hospitalization over Thanksgiving. She came home and things were better for a little while, but then by the age of seven behaviors started worsening again and while we were increasing therapy, medication and services nothing seemed to help. In the summer of 2013, when our little girl was just 9-years-old, she had two back-to-back in-patient psychiatric hospitalizations. The recommendations from both hospitals was placement in a long-term residential treatment facility. We were worn out and felt like we had no other choice, especially with the need of protecting her two siblings at home. After one year in two different facilities and insurance saying they were no longer going to pay for her to be in the facility, no progress being made in family therapy or during family visits, and safety concerns for her siblings, we had to make the excruciating decision to have our daughter placed back in the custody of the state. For six months we attempted to reintegrate with her by continuing visits and family therapy. Nothing was working – and we were not getting much support from the foster care agency. We were worn out, physically and emotionally, and were still concerned about the safety of our two children at home. At the end of the six month mark we were given an ultimatum, either bring our daughter home or relinquish our rights. After much discussion, many tears and gut wrenching sobs, we felt like we had no other choice but to relinquish our rights back to the state in order to protect our other children. It was the most difficult decision we have ever had to make.
We truly believe that if Skylight Respite Ranch would have been available to us prior to having placed our daughter in to the last set of psychiatric hospitalizations and ultimately the long-term residential treatment facility, we might have been able to keep our family together safely. We needed to have a break, but there was no opportunity with that with the state other than the psychiatric hospitalizations, treatment facility admissions and ultimately, placement within state custody.
Please consider help supporting Skylight Respite Ranch to help adoptive families in similar situations to ours. No family should have to feel like their last resort is relinquishing their child back to the state. Sometimes you just need some help and a break. The state says they will help you, but then they really don’t help you! We found out the hard way!!!!!!