In the middle of miscarriages and trying to create a typical household for our girls, we still had visits with Thomas. Us visiting him at Andrus and Thomas coming home every other weekend. Life was busy. There were also meetings with various professionals and therapists.
We were fortunate that the psychiatrist Thomas was assigned to was a woman who was wonderful. Dr. “Ellen” never talked down to me, never was patronizing and never made me feel blamed or responsible for Thomas’ behavior. In writing this I recognize The Father’s hand at work. It is no coincidence Thomas was assigned to Dr. Ellen.
Dr. Ellen was very kind when we first spoke. She appreciated my knowledge of all the medications Thomas had trialled without success. Once we agreed to try Thomas on an ADHD med he hadn’t tried yet. Thomas described to his teacher that pictures were “laughing at him”. I became alarmed and asked to stop the med and Dr. Ellen agreed. I was and still am grateful for her in our lives.
Thomas spent 3 years at Andrus. It was not always smooth sailing. There were more than a few incidents. One that comes to mind quickly was me getting a phone call that Thomas had been punched by another resident/student. The person on the other end of the phone didn’t know me and sounded fearful that I would be hysterical. I calmly asked what my son did to warrant getting punched? Lets face it, no child is perfect. It turns out Thomas kept stepping on the shoe of the boy walking in front of him. The boy told Thomas to stop repeatedly, Thomas did not stop so the boy punched Thomas and gave him one heck of a black eye.
Another incident was when Thomas threw a book at his teacher and hit her in the face. This teacher was wonderful and sweet! Oh my gosh, Tommy and I could not apologize enough. We were mortified! The teacher was incredibly gracious and and kept telling Tommy and I she was okay. After that Thomas received a lecture to end all lectures. We dug in, he was not raised that way, he could have really hurt her, we want him home but he has to work harder at controlling himself. Good gravy I can’t think of what we didn’t say to him. Incredibly after that, John the social worker did see a change for the better in Thomas.
What was somewhat amusing is we noticed even with Thomas’ speech impairment, if he cursed you understood him crystal clear. Go figure. I told this to John and he laughed. I returned the laugh, haha. Sure enough a week or so later Thomas was in a mood and when John greeted him Thomas replied, “asshole!” When John called to tell me I do believe I said I told you!
This is just some of what we encountered when Thomas was a resident at Andrus. There is more that I will address in future posts. I want to make it clear that The Lord was with us during this time. He hand picked the professionals who worked with Thomas and in turn worked with Tommy and I. I praise His Holy name.