The Mental Health Care Battle For Adopted Child


Since this is very long, I am bolding the most important parts. For the full story, settle in. It's quite a story!

In 2009, we adopted all five of our children from the state foster care system. When they were adopted, they were: 1 ½ years old; 5-years-old; 6-years-old; 6-years-old; and 7-years-old. They are now: 12 years-old; 16-years-old; 17-years-old; 17-years-old; and 18-years-old.

We have had a lot of issues with the (now) 16-year-old, Isaac, nearly from the very beginning. Over the years the intensity of his behavior and aggression has continued to escalate. We've gone to countless counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrist, prayer teams, etc. We've loved, studied, applied new parenting techniques, etc.

• All total, due to this one child we have gone through 7 CPS investigations over the years- most of them over the last year and a half. Of course, every time we are cleared, and it is deemed false allegations. But the other kids have had to go through these investigations, being interrogated over and over by CPS investigators.

Starting May 10 of last year, up until October of last year, he:  

• Ran away from home numerous times

• Physically assaulted our younger son 

• Threatened suicide

• Had to be placed in  8 short term behavioral hospitals
It was HIGHLY recommended all through last year that we get him into a long term residential treatment center. Since he was adopted through state foster care, we have state Medicaid for insurance. When we adopted, we were told everything we would ever need would be covered by state Medicaid. That is,  until they changed our benefits mid-stream, about 4 years or so ago, from the  specialized care we were promised to the traditional Medicaid that everyone else who applies gets. There is really only one long term residential hospital in the entire state that takes traditional Medicaid, but even at that, it’s a long process to get in, if you can actually get approved.

• We were finally able to get him in to the one place that Medicaid pays for. He was there from October of last year to March of this year. Medicaid and the residential treatment center insisted that he be discharged, even though he was still acting out aggressively and violently.

We finally had to obtain private insurance to get him in a private residential treatment center. This cut into our budget massively!

In March, we were finally able to get him in the private facility. That’s where he is now, “due to increased aggression and needing a higher level of  RTC.”

• But he is scheduled to be discharged on October 28, due to insurance.
- As recently as last week he had to be put in a physical hold by the facility staff and placed on precautions. Yet, they are insisting that he be discharged. We have been reminded that “if we don’t go pick him up we will have child abandonment charges filed on us." This statement has been reiterated to me over and over by various different people we’ve dealt with in all of this, even though we’ve never once said we would not go pick him up.

• He DOES NOT want to come home. He said he cares about us, but doesn’t want a “family relationship” with us. (He has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder). We have been told that with the extensiveness of his RAD, it is very unlikely that he will ever be successful in our home. This is a common problem with teenagers with RAD.

Over and over again we are told that we should do a Joint Managed Conservatorship with the state so that “more resources are available to him to get the help he needs”. Never mind that doing Joint Managed Conservatorship means our other minor children will then be placed back under foster care status, which  tarts their trauma all over again. They will not be taken from us, but a CPS caseworker will come every month like they did before we adopted them. Our children are already so traumatized by the CPS system. This is NOT an option for us!

A couple of weeks ago, I was told we “just need to turn him back over to the state so he can get the care he needs”. THIS is child abandonment! But, if we do it this way, “legally”, it’s all ok! This is NOT who we are, so this is NOT an option for us! God does not abandon us, we will NOT abandon him! But, IF we WERE to do this, there’s a probability that our other minor children would also be taken from us.

The recommendation from his current therapist is that “During his time here, Isaac struggled with aggression, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Isaac has worked hard to learn skills to manage his emotions, urges to harm himself and others. He gained a lot of internal and external coping skills; as well as problem solving skills. Though he has gained these skills, he constantly falls in the cycle of relapse and maintenance with his changed behavior. Isaac can do well for a few weeks, then relapse and be in a physical restraint and be aggressive towards peers. Isaac is one of our leaders on the unit even though he had a recent set back with relapsing. Isaac will soon be discharging; as he needs to move on to an environment that can offer skills to become more independent as he gets closer to adulthood. It is recommended that Isaac transition to a Group Home, Therapeutic Ranch, or lower level RTC that has opportunities for more normalcy. Isaac is still considered an intensive patient at our facility due to his constant relapse rate.

His therapist has told me that this will continue to be his behavior. This means that unless we are able to get him into a recommended place, we will be on this traumatic merry-go-round, with him going backwards.
• This also means that our family has to endure the trauma. When he is home, we have a doorbell on our youngest son’s door so that we know when his door is opened. This means every time my son goes to the restroom I am startled awake, jump out of bed to go watch to make sure he gets safely back in his room without being attacked.
• Right before he left the last time, back in August (2019), we finally just brought our youngest son’s mattress into our room. By this point, I was so exhausted with all that was going on.)
• We all sleep with our doors locked, and have to put our kitchen knives behind a locked door in the office for safety reasons, as he has gotten into the knife drawer and threatened harm (to himself at that point, but, with his history, the whole family is at risk)
 • We have called and/or applied to more than 40 different facilities, or ranch-type setting place trying to get him into a place like his therapist recommends. Over and over again we are told that his case is more than they can handle. His therapist says that he has improved, but they continue to look at his history, and even his recent behavior does contribute to the concern.

• But, if we can’t get him into a place, we have to bring him home.

Even though is therapist has recommended more care, several of the facilities, and because he’s been out of our home for more than a year, they “want him to come home, and when he acts out, they will consider him”. This makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to us, when he is still displaying aggressive behavior!

 • There is one place we are waiting to hear from, but the problem there is funding. They typically take CPS placements, but will take private placements. We still do not know how much it will cost, we are just waiting to hear back from them.

 • One place that was recommended to us is a private pay Christian boarding school that deals with intense situations like this. The problem? It costs more than $100,000 a year. When the admissions counselor told me the cost I broke down in a mixture of laughter and crying. It truly is laughable, for us, because we could NEVER afford anything like that! However, it’s heartbreaking, because we continue to pound our head against the wall, looking for help.

 • At the time of this writing (Saturday, October 17, 2020) we are scheduled to do a podcast with a dear friend of ours- James Howells, with Watchfire  TV, tomorrow, to tell more about our story. I believe it will be posted Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. This is his YouTube channel:

• It’s been recommended that we start a GoFundMe. I don’t really like this idea, but it looks like we have no other choice.
The purpose of the GoFundMe is multi-faceted:

1. We are PRAYING AND HOPING for a place that will take him that is funded by donors, etc.
2. If we are not able to find a place that fits in that category, we are PRAYING AND HOPING for a scholarship at a Christian place that will be able tto take him that will fit his needs as recommended by his therapist.
3. If this is still not a possibility, we are PRAYING AND HOPING for the necessary funds to get him placed privately.
4. ANY AND ALL funds that are received that are not used for his direct care will be used to FIGHT this system! The reality is this: it is actually the job of the body of Christ to care for orphans, not the government. BUT, because the government is so entrenched in the care of orphans, I believe it  is our job to shed light on the reality of what is going on in this very corrupt and very lacking system. The truth is that we are only one family of literally THOUSANDS that are in our exact situation! Our post-adopt case manager said the majority of her case-load is like ours. She has 68 families! I know of two other families, directly, who are in the same situation we are.

I’ve said for years that this system has to change! In the last year and a half I have written our:
- Governor
- Lt. Governor
- State Attorney General
- Our State Representatives and Congressmen
- Our US Representative and Congressmen
- Our oldest daughter even wrote President Trump about our situation
- A local news station reporter. He was very interested in our story last year, but it appears as though he was shut down by his producers.

My goal is to EVENTUALLY make it all the way to Washington, DC to make changes. I don’t know how in the world this is going to happen, but, in God’s timing. I know without a doubt that He has called us to this. Because I am such a fighter, our case managers, etc. have asked me to speak to other parents who are going through the same thing. So God is using me (us) already in this.

I am currently writing a book about our story. We plan to self-publish it, with all funds from the book going to continue the fight for orphans. Again, I
don’t know how or when it’s going to happen. And, I have to have time and energy apart from the daily phone calls, emails, applications, etc. But God
has called me. And where He calls, He will provide. He will open doors. And I will follow Him through every open door, for HIS glory alone!

1. That God will open a door for us to get Isaac placed in a safe, godly place that is what he needs.

2. Two other families I specifically know that are going through the same thing. They are the “L Family” and the “M Family”.

Organizer and beneficiary

Cindi Appleberry
Boerne, TX
Adrian Appleberry

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