Dear Mr. President,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for listening. Your administration's response and assistance, at your behalf, has shown us how agencies can work together to help families such as ours. When I first wrote to you last fall, about my grandchild's situation and our frustrations in getting the recommended care for her, I did so not just out of frustration but out of bitter anger as well. Since then I have learned a lot. I learned that the resources were already there and had been for quite some time. While it is true that finding these resources is more difficult than it should be, it is up to us parents and guardians to be proactive for our children from the very beginning, not after the fifth hospitalization and out of bitter frustration.
I blamed you and I blamed your healthcare policy for our struggles and i have since learned that wasn't fair. While I am not a member of your political party (no, I didn't vote for you) and have often been critical of this new healthcare policy, I am forever grateful to you sir, for taking the time to listen, to help, and to make my granchild's day when she read your letter.
Since becoming my grandchild's caregiver, and during being the primary caregiver for my parents before their deaths these past couple years, I have lost a lot. I have had to make the choice to give up a job (twice now), I am losing my car due to being financially unable to afford it, and we may have to move soon. Unfortunately. those choices have to be made because our system, both state and federal, does have many gaps. But they were choices that I made fully aware and the only thing that i have lost are just that ... "things", and can be replaced. I cannot replace the time I had with my parents, nor the joy in seeing my grandchild progress daily in learning to cope in healthy ways with her disorders whil still remaining here at home. I cannot replace the gratitude of having one of the best mental health support teams that I have ever had the honor of knowing. And I cannot replace the humbling realization that we can, and are often, wrong in where we place blame. That my government didn't fail my grandchild. My goverment stepped in and provided the professional support for us to help my grandchild.
Again, I thank you President Obama for what you have done for my family. I wish you and your family many happy years.
Michelle R. McRee