We had another visit with Emma and have begun virtual family sessions since my last update. Unfortunately her counselor left the facility (got a promotion elsewhere) but she likes her new counselor. It just so happens this new counselor is the VP of the facility so she is very well versed in all the ins and outs of what is needed to ‘graduate’.
Our last visit was awesome!!! Emma has really made MAJOR life improvements! I am seeing our Emma, our happy & fun loving Emma again! While we were talking to her about her week she let us know they had an assembly that day. When they have assemblies they have them in the gym and the staff along with the girls & boys attend, while they keep the boys & girls separate they attend all assemblies together. This one was a special one, because they handed out awards. Emma was just beaming when she told us that she was recognized in front of everyone and received FOUR awards!!! To say I am proud is an understatement! This is a MAJOR accomplishment for her and she deserves each one of the awards! Which are, Most Helpful, Award for Self Control!!, Most IMPROVED!, and Resident of the Month for May!
There are 4 phases that they have to complete in order to be successfully discharged from the program. She has really worked so hard at each phase and is currently on her last phase which is the Transition phase. That means she will transition to come home.
Emma is continuing to do a phenomenal job at working on herself and using her coping skills, she put those skills to work at the beginning of last week. While she has been working hard, she did have a minor verbal altercation with one of the other girls & a staff member (because she inserted herself into a situation that wasn’t her business). I got a phone call from the Director stating that Emma was saying she was done with the program and wanted to come home. I was able to talk to her, and we chatted for about 30 minutes about how far she’s come in her recovery and she is entitled to have an ‘off’ day but has to refer back to her coping skills and remember what she is working towards. I also reminded her of her Self Control Award and that she has now set a standard for herself that she has to hold herself to. I am happy to report that she chose to continue in her treatment and we ended the phone call on a happy note. Three days later I got a letter in the mail from Emma thanking me for believing in her and just listening. She said she is very happy that she chose to stay because she has worked so hard and doesn’t want to let herself down. She also realized that she is now in a leadership position and has to set an example for the other residents. By far the best part of her letter was the part where she said she had been praying so much, more than she has ever prayed before! Before she went in, when she was at her lowest, she was questioning how God could let so many bad things happen to one person, and now she says she is going to use this to help other people that have been where she has. And that my friends is the WHY!
This past Thursday we had our first virtual family (mom, dad, Emma, & counselor) session. Madisyn & Will will have their own sessions with her and the counselor. It was a great session. We were able to go over what we expect when she comes home and she seems to be very receptive to our rules. We also discussed what things are going to change on our part when she comes home, because, let’s face it, this is NOT just an Emma issue!
Mark & I took turns telling her what we love about her and the counselor had to keep reminding her to just say ‘thank you’ after we gave her a compliment. I could tell that it was very difficult for her to hear positive things about herself, even though it’s things we tell her anyway. She has had a very hard time seeing the positive in herself. Then it was our turn… She had to say things to us that she loves… And I was not expecting the things she said to me. She said she loves that I put everything on a calendar and write everything down, because it keeps our family organized and she loves that I had the strength to leave my ex and chose Mark to have our family with. She told Mark she loves that he loves her and has always been her dad. And for both of us that despite our health we always make sure we take care of them.
I can’t say that I have done a lot right in my parenting. I can’t even say I’ve done 50% of things right. But hearing those words from her I know that I am doing something right! I see more and more of myself in her each time we talk. She is so strong and resilient! I love that sweet girl of mine! I can’t wait to see what amazing things she does in this world!