I had to run up to TLP today to drop off a swimsuit, towel, and sunblock for thank you. He comes off total restriction on Monday and things are going ok - both his PSP and DS were stolen, breaks my heart that he is in that type of environment but it's unfortunately also been par for the course in most of his placements. Staff is encouraging him to file police report. There are also some peer issues - carry over from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #2 and a couple of peers who were there with- him during his "I'm gay" stage. He's handling it well, though. Is not terribly excited about upcoming freedoms but is very motivated to come home - I told him to give us 6 good months without major issues, and he *must* take advantage of new freedoms, and I'll advocate come 1/2008 for his return home. But he must do the majority of advocacy. He looked *really* good - still can't put my finger on it but he was clear eyed, clear headed, funny, and very appropriate, especially considering the fact that we woke him up, LOL. I think he's grown another 2" - he just towers over me. Anyway, took Diva along with- me. She's so funny, an old woman in a little girl's body in many ways. As we're sitting at the dining room table (TLP is a converted 3-flat building, very much a home as opposed to institution), she glanced at the floor, leaned over to me and whispered in absolute horror "Why is Tyler here? It's so *un*sanitary!!" Which is really kinda funny because I'm not going to win any Good Housekeeping awards in the near future. But then she moved on to why he has to keep moving around. I shushed her at that moment - not a discussion to be held in front of thank you, I think, but the trip home was filled with many tears from her. He left when she was 2. I doubt she remembers his first homecoming but no question she remembers the last. I explained the rationale behind placements, why he came home each time, why he couldn't stay. Told her that I really don't know if husband and I have made good choices but that we have done our very best, trying to keep thank you's needs as well as the siblings' needs in the forefront. Told it that sometimes it really bites being a parent and having to make these decisions - that placements were *not* what we wanted but *were* what we felt was best for thank you. Explained that this placement is actually a very good thing for thank you, is progress. Explained that thank you's mental illness may always make his life more challenging but that at some point it has become for the most part his choice - learn to live with and accommodate the illness or let it rule his life. She's so very worried that he will get used to living in TLP and won't ever want to return home. She's one smart cookie - gets the whole "institutionalization" concept without realizing it. I told her that yes, that may very well happen, but that we really have no control over it. What we want, in the long run, doesn't matter. It is up to thank you. She's angry that it's so unfair, and horribly saddened by it. I could only agree. I told her that it's okay to be sad and angry, not only about thank you but also Boo. It's not fair and there are days when it just is the pits, the whole darn thing. I told her that it's absolutely okay to allow herself to give in to the urge to just stomp her feet and pull her hair out but also that she needs to recognize there are some things that cannot be changed by the sheer force of our will (and this girl has an amazing will). Told her that beating head against brick wall will only give you a headache in the long run. Change what you can, make peace with what you can't, and grieve occasionally but don't let it consume your life. Thinking about it, I don't think we've had the Diva drama (it is warranted in this case) over thank you in probably 4 or 5 years. I don't know if it's just been building, or if the new setting just flipped her switch this morning. Our family life is really pretty bizarre when you think about it but at the same time I *think* husband and I have done a decent job of making it fairly "normal". We don't kvetch about it. It is what it is. I do wonder how both Diva and Weeburt will view things as adults. I can only hope they're not too messed up and hope that, while I'm sure they will think husband and I did some things wrong, they'll see that we tried our hardest. It was just so hard, watching my beautiful girl cry silent tears. She absolutely idolizes thank you and I don't know how to explain him to her in a way that will at least bring her peace. I emphasized that he is *safe* (thefts notwithstanding) and that he is now able to learn the things he needs to learn to be able to function as an adult. He may come home, he may not. We can't predict. In the meantime, we can love him and support him and encourage him, but we also need to let him find his own way a bit... won't do anyone good if he comes home for her or for me. He has to do it for him. Hard to explain to my Diva.