Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Awesomeness that is Trenton Sibley

I just read my final post, written and posted in Ethiopia in June of 2015.. my favorite section was "I'll likely be going quiet for 6 months or so while we all adjust"..


By 6 months, I meant 2 years.. and the only reason I'm back now updating, is because this blog is about to have life happening on it because we are on our way back to Colombia for another little boy! But that post comes later.

First, who was this legend Trenton Sibley? What answers did we get? How did we handle all of that transition?

Well, read on, person with nothing better to do.

Another fun part about this post, is that I get to put up all of my cute pictures of Trenton being fabulous and handsome, and I'm not even clogging up someones social media feed, because you asked to be here.

So now you get more

Now, we are going to bring it down, and talk about the real stuff. Then we will pump it back up again.

The down: Trenton has complex cognitive impairment, severe autism, epilepsy, a genetic condition involving chromosomal deletion, crazy hyperactivity with ADHD, and brain damage. He is still nonverbal, although he can mimic 3 sounds and has some signs to get his needs met. He is still in a diaper. His final diagnosis evolved from fall 2015 up to early spring 2017 (now). We are still figuring him out. Yes, we knew we were dealing with an "unknown neurological condition" when we adopted him. Did we know it was this complicated and severe? No. I'm glad we didn't know. We could have missed out on one of my favorite human beings on earth.

Now that is not to say that there are no significant behaviors that impact his ability to have healthy relationships. There are. His IEP at school and care plan through the county are full of these realities. Trenton will need care to an unknown degree for the rest of his life to keep himself safe. I know as you are sitting here reading this, you are getting my rosy tone. Looking back on our story, I can afford to have that now. As I type this, he is sitting in a fully enclosed Pedicraft special needs bed babbling to himself and playing with magnetic blocks while he listens to me read his story to him out loud as I type it.

He and I belong to each other. With each month in the last two years his ability to bond healthily with his brothers and parents has grown. When he is afraid or unsure, some of those old survival strategies come back hard, but we know that now. He isn't evil, he is terrified or trying to figure something out. Most days, I know what I am getting with my little boy, and he knows what he is getting from mom, Dad, brothers, and school. It's only when we change that up, that the fear sets in.

We spent the fall of 2015 advocating for his specialists and to get him into school. We didn't begin medication management interventions until spring of 2016 after receiving his ADMR26 diagnosis when we realized the hyperactivity was part of the syndrome. Since the medical intervention, Trenton has been able to "bring it down" enough to play and enjoy his life, for which we are eternally grateful.

So now you know the story of Trenton's adjustment to our family as we continued to solder forward. In spring 2016 it was time to pull the big trigger for the big move to Minnesota that had been planned before Trenton's adoption. It was a grueling thing to do, but it was right.