It's been a crazy few days for Ronnie. Ronnie has a friend (a girl) - I'll call her Friend Girl for this post - who is rather troubled. Friend Girl is in a foster situation although she is 18 years old. I know almost nothing about her except that she is Deaf, and she was placed in a therapeutic foster home in Virginia from Texas.
Friend Girl has attended a couple of the same events as Ronnie. She also came to Ronnie's birthday party. Ronnie and Friend Girl are in school together, and both are fluent signers.
The middle of last week, Ronnie got some desperate text messages from Friend Girl saying she hated her foster mom and had run away. She said she wanted me to be her mom, and Ronnie, bless his heart, said he would be happy to share me with her.
I urged Friend Girl (through texts) to go back home or to go to a friend's house. She kept wanting to come to our house, but I told her that wasn't possible.
Several days later, and after involvement by social workers and the police, Friend Girl ends up in the mental health crisis unit for our county. The worker there calls me and said Friend Girl wanted to come stay with us. I explained to the worker why that wasn't possible, and I suggested that she get some intensive help somewhere. The worker agreed, and left to try to convince Friend Girl to go to the hospital.
We heard nothing for a day, and then we got some phone calls via an interpreter for Friend Girl. She was indeed in the Mental Health Crisis Unit at St. Mary's Hospital, and she wanted Ronnie to visit her.
I was willing to take him, and asked the on duty nurse if that would be possible. She said no, visitors had to be at least 18 years old. Then a little while later, I get a phone call from the hospital saying that the doctor had given special permission for Ronnie to visit. So after dinner, we loaded up his wheelchair and headed to the hospital.
We were buzzed into the foyer of the unit (there is a lot of security on a psych ward), but were then told we could not visit. I argued my case, asking why first we were told we could and then we were told we couldn't. The nurse on duty at that time said nothing but "I'm sorry, you can't come in."
You know, I can understand not being allowed to visit, and I was surprised that we were told we could. But I'm really not happy that they played with the emotions of two children. Ronnie has been worried sick about Friend Girl, and to believe he would be able to see her and then denied that gift was a horrible blow to him.
As an adult who has had many, many dealings with hospitals, I really wasn't surprised at this ineptitude. But Ronnie has not had to deal with this before, and it broke my heart to see him disappointed.
Please keep both Ronnie and Friend Girl in your prayers.