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I’m growing to appreciate Aaron and Allie’s counselor.  She’s a bit too analytical in my opinion.  For example, she theorized Aaron likes to put his parents on speaker phone because he’s afraid to ‘be’ in a place alone with them, i.e. the phone conversation.  Really, he just likes to press buttons.

But on other areas, she’s spot on, and the kids enjoy their time with her.  I also like that her approach is not focused on helping them, but helping Husband and me help them.  When you’re dealing with little ones like this, that makes so much more sense than individual counseling.

We’ve focused most of our sessions on Aaron and his feelings/communicating, but I think we’ll need to spend some more time with Allie.  There has got to be more emotion in her than she lets out, and, I believe, more resentment towards Husband and I than her smile lets on.  She loyally idolizes her parents.  She also burst into tears a few days ago when Junior told her she lived here.  Even after 5 months, it still pains her intensely at times.

We’ll keep building this relationship as we prepare for the impending biggest pain of their lives.

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There has actually been a lot going on in the background of Allie and Aaron’s placement with us, but I’ve been hesitant to post too much.  I still do worry about being ‘outed’ plus I have a genuine concern for Aaron and Allie’s family’s privacy.

There has been no official change in the state’s plans, but based on some professional reports that are expected soon, the state will likely make their goal TPR.  I know this, the caseworker knows this, the parents know this, everyone knows this but the children.

The kids still see themselves going home, but they are most likely moving to a relative.

The psychiatrists involved say transitioning Aaron and Allie’s narrative as soon as possible will minimize the trauma.

We’re expecting the courts to officially allow TPR to start in June, and then we’ll begin that mental preparation.  The caseworker has promised to look into therapists – she’d better have them set up by then.  I can get these kids to come around to never going home to their parents, but I can’t do it alone.

Mark is still having Mom withdrawal (and Dad too, to be fair.)  No rages, no explosions, but I feel like we’ve come close to that a few times.  I try to give him a wide berth, but over the next month, I’m going to try to get back to where we were before this visit reduction, in terms of rules-compliance and behavior.

Next week, he also gets to have an evaluation with a new counselor.  The team wasn’t impressed with the work of his current counselor, so they’re getting him a new one.  She’s closer to where mom and dad are, so that’s better for the long run, but it increases my drive to 30 minutes one way.

Nikki hasn’t had any real changes.

My new best guess for reunification: late September.