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Monday, July 9, 2012

A birthday and a victory of sorts...

Our boy's requested b-day cake...great for summer!

Today was our boy's birthday, an event he has been long anticipating. Since he's been in an adolescent psychiatric unit since mid-June (his 4th. hospitalization this year), there was a real question as to where he would spend his b-day and we felt his anxiety rising with each passing day. Craig and I made up our minds that our boy wouldn't spend his special day in a locked unit and set out to at least move him to a setting that would allow visits home. It was a struggle as we fought yet another round of insurance battles, this time to get our primary insurance (BCBS) to deny services so that our secondary MassHealth insurance could cover a residential level of care that our Blue Cross insurance doesn't normally cover. Getting a denial over a holiday period was a challenge but we finally got our boy transferred to a CBAT on the evening of July 5th, just 4 days before his birthday...and they agreed to allow him a day pass to join us for a few hours to celebrate his birthday. We aren't sure what comes next or where we're headed but we put all that aside for a while to give our boy some much needed attention and fun.

We picked our boy up from his residential program around 3pm and promised to return him by 8pm. We brought him home where he was able to pet the dogs, watch TV, greet the neighbors, and act like a normal kid again. At dinner time, the 7 of us gathered around the table for his requested meal of takeout Chinese, then had ice cream cake and presents. The other kids were good in spite of some initial nervousness...the girls were welcoming and kind, the boys were cautious but polite and made a real effort to help us all celebrate. Our boy seemed happy but very antsy, couldn't really focus on much of anything for long but enjoyed the attention of his special day.

When all was said and done, he told me he thought it was his best birthday ever. Hearing his perception was heart wrenching from my Mom's perspective. I look back over the past 6 years since we adopted our boy and recall happier celebrations...birthday parties at the YMCA or Pump It Up surrounded by school chums, birthday trips to NH surrounded by family and friends. To me, this year falls short of the mark for "Best birthday ever" but I don't live inside my boy's head. I know the past several months have been very rough for him and I'm pretty sure he's questioned his place in our family and our hearts.  Maybe that's what ranks this b-day as "best ever" for him...the fact that he's weathered the storms of recent times, that we're all still here for him, and that he was able to celebrate his birthday at home with his family. It wasn't a flashy celebration but sometimes normal can be a miraculous gift. I'm so grateful we were able to pull off this little miracle!

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