Thursday, July 06, 2017

Visiting Ella

Ella moved into the residential home on May 8th. For the first few weeks we weren't allowed to visit her at all and she can't come back to our house for at least six months. It sounds harsh - and as a parent to go through it, it really was hard - but there is good reasoning behind it. Ella has to accept that it is where she needs to be. The staff told me of another resident that five years later is still homesick because his mum didn't follow their advice. We did, because as we have said many times, this isn't about us, it's what's best for our baby girl.

We first saw her at the end of May, and a couple of times since. We stay near her home and go for a walk then find somewhere to eat. The only exception was Ricki and Kim's wedding, but she seemed to cope really well with it. We go on a Saturday morning/lunchtime and they've been pretty successful. She asked to come home the first couple of times but not since. And her face is beginning to light up when she gets back. She's starting to feel safe there, getting to know the carers and other residents, something which is very important to her. The last few weeks she has been quite calm. They are still having issues, but in between them the periods of calm are stretching.

We decided to have a holiday, just the two of us, (first in 18 years), to just relax and recharge, we hadn't completely recovered from the sibling placement last year before this all started with Ella. So we decided to visit Ella as it'll be a few weeks before we can see her again.

This time though it was in the evening, after tea and before bed. The carers let her know we were coming, the autism in her doesn't like surprises. She squealed when we arrived, as she always does. Played and then just started crying - I mean real sobs. Neither the carers nor us could work out what triggered it. She asked us to go home :( Of course we did as she asked, but it was awful, seeing her sobbing and not being able to console her.

Talking to her keyworker after we all agreed it was because it was the evening. She has her routine when she gets home from school and couldn't cope with it being varied. So we will ensure we never do that again, she has enough going on in her little head at the moment without us unnecessarily adding to it.

Added to her initial outburst, afterwards she was so worried that we didn't love her anymore it took the carers a lot of time to reassure her. Boy did we screw up big time. I know we weren't to know, but doesn't make us feel any better about hurting her :(

ETA We're one week into our two week holiday. And yes, we are slowly unwinding, recuperating and having fun. BUT we never really realised how big a part of our lives Ella was. The boys are all independent young men (we have 5 young men - where did those years go!) but Ella was with us 24/7 and that doesn't just go away. We have both been missing her absence continually. Maybe coming somewhere where we have so many memories with her wasn't the wisest of choices. Another lesson learned too late.

Love this girl so very much.....


  1. Hi Suzanne - oh dear ... but a lesson learnt. I'm glad she's settling in ... and you can relax a little - just enjoy that holiday and break ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary :) I think we're all on a steep learning curve x

  2. ((((((((((((((((hug))))))))))))))) You SO need a holiday darling xxx My heart is breaking for you as i can imagine how hard it is having not been separated from our lot for more than the odd night. Since my sister died we have no respite, please make the most of your time to relax ( as much as possible) xxxxx

    1. Thanks Sue xxx It just is unbelievable you get no respite. I wish the powers that be would realise a little bit of money spent on respite makes us stronger, allows us to recharge. It's all so short-sighted xxxx

  3. You deserve this holiday so much. And you've done the right thing for Ella.


Love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts below. Suzanne xx