I interrupt all of the blog-silence to bring you breaking news from the little green house.
A couple of months ago I went to a short presentation on Virginia Medicaid waivers. I wasn't going to attend because I am in the midst of applying for the DD waiver and have been hitting some roadblocks. Oliver doesn't test well. Well, he doesn't really test at all. Almost every time we have him evaluated the report from the psychologist says some version of: "the tester could not get an accurate measure of the child's abilities. ..." blah blah blah. But for the waiver they need a damn number. And we don't have a number. And it seems like it might be hard to GET a number. They don't make it easy on us parents. Basically, I've started down this road several times over the years, knowing that I had to do it but feeling like the whole process was impossible.
Anyway, I went to the workshop. I learned about another waiver. A waiver with NO WAITING LIST. I applied. We were screened. We were determined eligible.
Just. Like. That.
The benefits? In-home aides and respite care. I found and hired a wonderful, wonderful, local young woman who loves children and has a natural way with my fair boy. She is with us 20 hours every week and her job is just to help out with Oliver or things related to Oliver's care. The gift to me is ME. For a few hours every week I can do things that I need to do without worrying about who will take care of the boy. I can exercise. I can work. I can browse the racks for a new sweater. (No more hit and run shopping!!) I can shampoo the sofa without having to keep one eye out for the boy.
I had a hard time thinking about what all this meant as the day approached when our aide would start. OK, I thought, it is agreed then. It is understood that my boy needs pretty much constant supervision. We've known this for a long, long time. But now it is written. Yeah. On one hand I was elated to imagine free time. On the other hand it was a slightly bitter pill. I wish we didn't need the help.
But it has been a week now since Rachel has been coming to work at our little green house and more and more I see her as someone who is here to expand the possibilities. And so I think: maybe this is our time for expansion. Maybe we've contracted enough over the past couple of years. Oliver has someone new to negotiate a relationship with. He has someone new to love him. And I have someone new to trust. And yes, I feel that we are expanding. Every day a little bit more. We are growing and learning new ways to be.
I've gone to do my RDI work at a local coffee shop for a few hours everyday. I've gone early for pick up time at pre-school just to watch Sami playing through the window. I've listened from another part of the house as Rachel and Oliver concocted and cooked a yummy butternut squash soup. I've sent them on errands and they've come back flushed and laughing. I started learning German again.
We'll see how it goes. So far, so good. There is a lot to be said for expansion when the time is right.