Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Guest Post

I received some very interesting responses to the  apology I posted the other day. Thankfully most people were not offended but I am still glad I apologized....as I hate conflict of any sort. While I was struggling with the desire to help people understand RAD but not wanting people to feel as if I were judging them, my friend Becky sent me an email that soothed my hurting heart. I asked her if she would mind if I post her reply on my blog. She replied that she would be honored. So, to all the trauma mama's out there, these words will bless your heart and to everyone else, may you be enlightened and blessed by Becky's words.


​Dear Readers,
​             I feel honored that Sandra would ask me to share my thoughts on her latest two posts (Thoughts November 27, 2014, and the follow-up An Apology.) The following is adapted from the reply I wrote to her after reading her apology post.
            First of all let me say: this is written primaril
​y to​
 moms of troubled children. You will instantly connect with what I say, because it's as though we have our own language and intuitively understand each other due to shared experiences. The rest of you, feel free to listen in, but be forewarned that if you are not the mom of a troubled child, this will probably not make a lot of sense to you. That's okay. It's not your fault.  It's a little like not being able to make sense of all that talk at the family gathering  when your husband and his brothers discussed details of fixing car engines. You d
​idn​
't understand. But it's not your fault. You simply don't have that experience. It doesn't make you somehow inferior or less-than. I think that is the point that many of our would-be-supportive friends get stuck on when we say they do not understand. Maybe you take it 
​that​
 we think you don't care: when really, we mean you don't have a logical working knowledge of the subject, and that's okay. But if you want to increase that knowledge, keep reading. And if this is new to you, then think about it for at least a month before judging, please.
     I read Sandra's post and it never occurred to me that it needed any apology... so when I saw the apology title, I thought I must have missed something, thought for sure now she "had done it" and posted something really awful in a moment of over-tiredness or mental overload! (We "trauma moms" get like that, you know.) So I was relieved to find out that 
​her​
 apology was just this normal thing of--AGAIN--trying to help others understand why and how our world is so
​ ​
different and how that affects us!!
     ​What Sandra wrote (and later tried to explain and apologized for hurting others feelings) is something that every RAD mom identifies strongly with.  We need to keep on hearing that kind of thing! Let's not let the hurt feelings and offenses coming from others stop us from sharing so candidly with each other what blesses our hearts to hear!  
​     ​
​We also need to be careful not to let others'​ reaction
​s​
 take 
​us​
 on a guilt trip for not being more socially involved,  or put 
​us​
 under pressure to prove that 
​we​
can relate to others normally. 
​ Because the truth is, most times, we can't. We would love to, but we simply can't. And we really wish that others would understand this and not take it personally when we can't. ​
You know, if your child had just died, people would give you all kinds of room for not being able to relate to the lighter side of life, but when it's "just a troubled child," they don't get it. 
​Again and again through the years as we have related to troubled adoptive families, there comes one thing above all others: the heart-cry to have friends care and support and to just give them space to be who they are without interference or criticism.​
​      Recently dear friends of ours experienced the death of their eight-month-old baby who had a genetic disorder. It was the third time, out of six, that they welcomed a newborn baby into their home knowing he had not long to live. Eight months of grief and pain, watching your baby suffer, knowing he would eventually die, but not knowing if it would be a few months or a few years--imagine that!!  But somehow, people gave them room for it. And for the most part, understood.
     Brent and Lucia had lived here for a year when he taught school and they were very caring and supportive of our struggles at the time. When their baby died, I flew to Illinois for the funeral and then drove to visit our teenage daughter who lives at a home for troubled girls a few hours away from where the funeral was held. I had not seen her for a year and did not know what kind of welcome I would get, though I was pretty sure it would not be a good one. (It wasn't.) So that trip was quite a time of emotional turmoil for me. 
​     ​
I saw all the comfort and support and space th
​at Brent and Lucia were​
 given--space to grieve and act 
​totally ​
w
​eir​
d
​, to ​
not
​ socialize, not​
 
​do their own ​
work and...etc. etc. etc. I 
​really ​
struggled with anger at that. They understood without me even saying so, and as I wept with them beside the baby's casket, Brent said to me, "We're praying for you, too, what you face with 
​your daughter​
...  This event brings closure to 
​our baby's​
 illness; your pain is constant
​; ​
your grief is ongoing." I wept the more at this touch of sympathy, something we rarely get in so full a measure. Then I said, "One of the ladies at church was praying for you at prayer meeting this week, and she said, '
​O​
h God I can't imagine what Brents are going through, because death is the worst thing anyone could possibly face,' and my heart was screaming, NO NO NO! It is NOT the worst thing, because..." And again I cried and couldn't talk, Lucia crying with me, wit
​h her arm around me​
 as we gazed on the still form of her little baby
​.​
 Brent finished my sentence
​:​
 "Because it's worse than that to have your daughter turning away from you
​, rejecting your love, rejecting​
 God. We know that Karstan died in his innocence, never having done anything against God and Heaven. You don't have that." 
​ I wept a long time, realizing that I was weeping more for my own daughter than for their baby's death, and it felt so good to be free to weep! Instead of being forced into normal life with all its expectations of composure and reaching out to others! ​W
alking this long journey for many years is something that others do not readily understand and is a very lonely road
​; p​
eople give you permission to act abnormally if your child died, but not if your child is a living tragedy. 

​     ​
Which brings me to another thing, and that is: 
​others may try to say to us trauma parents things like: "What's the fuss about, because ​
everyone else
​ has trials too, and they're just as hard as yours."​
 
​ ​
No, they're not
​!​
  Now, 
​we​
  
​mustn't ​
walk around with a martyr spirit or act like others should glorify 
​us​
 for how much 
​we​
 are willing to suffer. That's God's job to glorify you in his own way and time. But I don't believe in this idea that all trials are created equal. They aren't. Try saying that to the Holocaust survivors, or 
​the main character in Joey's Story; or​
​ the parents who buried nine children out of twelve; or the family who suffered years of abuse from a severe RAD child only to have him leave home when he was eighteen, come back, and shoot his father; or ​
children like 
​ our daughter who was horribly abused and neglected for years and witnessed devil worship and other atrocities such as babies being having their arms and legs cut off while their moms were being burned alive. Yeah, she experienced more pain in her first six years than many people ever experience in a life time, and her country is full of people like her. Some people try to say that in the big picture, the whole scheme of things, it will all pan out in the end and the sum of trials at the end of everyone's life is equal even though in the immediate your trial may seem greater than theirs. Sorry, I don't agree with that, either! I'm still making a study of it but there are verses in the Bible that hint at our reward in Heaven being to the degree that we have suffered for Christ's sake here on earth. I wish it would say more about that, but it doesn't--says just enough for us to meditate on it and be encouraged! It is one way that God redeems the evil that Satan tries to overwhelm us with: God will turn around and use it for good. Not that God needed the bad to happen so he could do the good--some people get that part mixed up--but when he sees Satan trying to drag us down with evil, when we yield that to God, He uses it for good! 
​     ​
Now, 
​that doesn't mean we try to explain all this to others when they are going through a trial, though​
. You cannot explain to them that you think you are going through a greater trial than they are
​. That only​
 turns into competition and you appear cold, unsympathetic. 
​ That is not what God would have us to do. He says weep with those who weep. He doesn't say, check first if their trial is equal to or greater than your own, and then weep with them. No! If they're weeping, weep with them!  ​
Fact is, any trial is difficult 
​to the person experiencing it as a trial: ​ some people are stronger than others
​, or have more training, more experience, better support, more resources, etc.​
 so what looks like a huge trial to 
​one person​
 may be insignificant to 
​another​
. For example, my newly-wed sister-in-law with only one child thinks that the worst possible thing about being a mom is to clean up a child's vomit. I disagree, and when she asks me what it is then that is the worst, I can't say, because she wouldn't understand. I just smile and say, "I wonder if you'll still think that twenty years from now." But I do
​n't berate her for thinking it's a terrible trial: I do​
 agree with her that cleaning up after a sick child is very very yucky
​. (However, I don't tell her that 
​while I'm saying that on the outside, ​
on the inside I am laughing and saying, that is nothing compared to_______! 
)​
  
​That's just one little example of how we trauma moms need to learn to relate to normal people without hurting their feelings: learn to support them in their little trials, never letting on to them how petty it may seem to you; rather, learn to sympathize out of a true heart of love and compassion without trying to tell them that you are going through something so much worse. Unless they ask and are genuinely able to understand and give you support. Many aren't. That's why we trauma moms look to each other for support, because with everyone else, we're trying so hard to look normal so that we don't hurt their feelings and sometimes we just need a break from that. ​

​     ​
God calls us to weep with those who weep. And to rejoice with those who rejoice. But what I wonder is, what are those who are weeping supposed to do if they are weeping and others are rejoicing? I think that's where 
​Sandra finds herself
right now, and it's really tough. I think it would be scriptural that 
​we​
 need space to mourn and grieve while others weep with 
​us​
, but what to do when you are mourning and no one else is weeping with you, that's what I wonder.
 
​     ​
I find myself there right now
​ too​
, and I find all the festivities of the holidays a little irritating. It helps to be with those who understand what I'm facing, like 
​our pastor's wife​
 at the Thanksgiving church gathering
​ last Friday
 when she found a chance to pull me aside and ask how it's going. And last night when they were here for dinner and we had some fun times with
​ all the​
 children, but then she and I went on a walk in the moonlight and she got deep and serious with me immediately. 
​She knew I needed it! ​
Now THAT is a friend. So I shouldn't say nobody knows how to weep with us right now. I don't want to take 
​our pastor's​
friendship for granted!
​ Just wish there were a few more people around like that...​
​     ​
Have you ever thought about all the Thanksgiving and Christmas songs being so family-centered and relationship-centered? Sometimes I wonder if that contributes to children going bonkers over the holidays. I mean, think about it: "...who from our mother's arms has blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love..." can't you just imagine a foster or adopted child singing that and seething inside, no, no, no, that's not how it was for me! Or "for the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent child..." 
​I​
s human love a joy for them? many times it's pain instead. "for father and for mother who give me clothes and food..." my father and mother didn't; why not? and so on. 
And so many Christmas songs talk about a dear little baby, but they hurt when they think about babies.​
​     ​
In conclusion, God calls us all to different walks of life. Sometimes very different from each other. Those going through similar experiences tend to find each other, and that is how God intended for it to be, to bear one another's burdens. ​
​In our varying trials and experiences, we should not be in competition with each other but rather look to comfort and bless each other without judging. Accept another's experience as being what it is, even if when it is so different from your own that you have a hard time imagining it's that bad. And also accept your own experience​​s without trying to make yourself like others around you.
​     ​
Be not weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Friday, November 28, 2014

An Apology

I think I owe everyone an apology or at least an explanation in regards to my post yesterday.
#1. lesson learned, don't dump your feelings onto your blog without giving it a time to settle. In other words, write it, then wait several hours to post it
#2. I did NOT mean others around me only chatter trivial nonsense. I meant I have forgotten how to relate to others because I have been living in a "me and my trauma house" of my own making. Part of which was due to necessity and part of which was selfishness.
#3. I do need others and I do need my friends and family.....I just don't do a good job of relating to them. Which is my fault not theirs.
#4. Our path is not harder than anyone else's..... I was hoping to assure other mom's who parent traumatized children that it is normal to feel like an alien as you need a whole different mindset when caring for hurting children and it literally (I think) changes the way you view the world. Not that your way is any better or worse than others, it is just different.
I apologize for hurting people's feelings. I did not mean that at all but I need to remember you aren't mind readers and I need to say exactly what I mean.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thoughts

My blog has long been a form of therapy for me. A way to write my feelings down and write them truthfully. If I just write them on a paper that no one see's, it doesn't bring healing like writing on my blog. Yeah, I am strange. Most people would sooner hide their inner turmoil, joys and pain but not me. Dean always tells me I carry my heart around on my sleeve. I can't do superficial relationships. I used to be able to but not anymore. The higher the mountains and deeper the valleys I am called to walk, the less I can relate to the lighter side of life. I hope to someday gain back that ability but for now, God is calling me to feel deeply what I face. I have a very hard time joining in the chit chat that goes along with most get together's but I have spent hours on the phone talking to people I have never met. People who are facing life altering decisions. Things like their  children who need out of home placement, abuse, neglect, mental illness, depression, legal issues involving children.... you name it, I have probably talked to someone about it in the past months. If I haven't Dean has. I asked Dean why God has ever called us to this, this advising people when we struggle so ourselves. He reminded me that God calls those who are weak and small, people like Moses and David and Samuel. People who are insignificant. So we accept God's calling on our life and pray that he would use us to better his kingdom.
So today I am thankful for the people and experiences God has brought into my life (and I will come back to this post tomorrow or whenever the next wave of "poor me" washes over me).
Today I am thankful for:
Jesus
My family
friends
all my physical blessings
my health

And I pray for those who do not have these blessings. In the midst of our celebration's today, lets remember those who are suffering and most of all those who do not know about Jesus and the work he did on the cross to free us from sin.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Life At Our House

This is what happens when little people decide to wake up multiple times a night. 

Joseph and Lia playing office/school. Lia said the table is their office and they have a door on their office and that door is closed. 

The first grade class had Pilgrim Day on Tuesday. The children could dress as either Pilgrims or Indians. Both children wanted to be Indians but since they didn't have suitable clothing they had to be satisfied being Pilgrims. Joseph wore his pants rolled up to the knee and long white socks with black shoes. The teacher supplied the girls with bonnets and aprons.

Nothing very noteworthy has been happening at our house, thus the lack of posts. We have had the usual acting out/talking it out, cycle repeated many times. Joseph got a few more smiley face stickers for doing a good job at school, I drove school children for another week and did the usual housework. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From Sorrow to Gratefulness

I have to be honest and say the past week has been hard, really hard. I am down in the dumps of "why me" land.I wish I didn't know anything about RAD, FASD, addictions, CYS, attorneys and treatment homes. I wish my children wouldn't have to suffer from things they had no control over. Watching my little girl sobbing because of her deep concern for her birth mom and being unable to do anything besides comfort her to the best of my ability....it hurts and I don't like feeling that pain. When my 3 year old see's a multi story building and asks if her birth mom lives there and then says, "Can we go see my mommy_____?" What is there to say? I hurt because she has questions that she is still to little to put into words. She is no longer the innocent baby, unaware of her past circumstances. It is so hard being a mom and helping your children grieve another mom.
     All three children have been having a really hard time processing things this week. I am not sure what is prompting them to bring all this pain to the surface unless they are sensing the heavy weight that has been hanging over their parents and are reacting to it. It has been a long time since we had as many tears flowing as we did this evening. I think we have all the issues worked through and hopefully they can face tomorrow with happier hearts.
  Yesterday it was my turn to drive school children and I was well, pitying myself as I drove. I was drawn from my pity party when I heard a program where the question was being asked, "why me?" Why does God allow us to walk through these hard places? The story was told of a little girl who was praying for her daddy's release from prison where he was serving time for following Jesus. She was beginning to doubt God because he wasn't answering her prayer. Her daddy sent her a long letter explaining how Gods ways are so much greater than ours, He see's the big picture when we only see a small portion. The father closed his letter with this, we should not ask why, but WHO. Who is in control? Who has ordered my steps? I went on my way deep in thought with noble intentions to keep my mind on Jesus. In spite of those ideals I stumbled and fell so many times today. Guilt keeps tripping me up. Guilt that we couldn't reach Braden, guilt that the load feels so heavy when there are others who would gladly trade burdens with us, guilt that I am struggling, guilt for my responses when people ask how things are going and I dump everything that is weighing me down.

I wrote the above post last night, when things were looking pretty overwhelming. This morning my first graders went off to school cheerfully without a single meltdown, something that hasn't happened in the past two weeks. The sun is shining and Miss Lia is soon going for a nap because she was up at least five times last night. I love having her home with me but I also enjoy her nap time. Today things look manageable with God's help.

BECAUSE OF YOU  -Jaqueline Buricaga


Because you picked me up when I struggled to get through
Because you healed my heart when I was thrown and shattered
Because you, gave me hope when it seemed so out of reach
Because you filled me with peace when chaos flowed through my veins
Because you showed me the light when there was only darkness
Because you gave me comfort when my voice cried out in pain
Because you reassured me when doubts screamed in my head
Because you kept me going when it seemed there was nowhere to go
Because you sustained me with strength when weakness became all I knew
Because you came and stayed when everyone else turned and left
Because you gave me purpose when life seemed pointless
Because you  restored my happiness when life seemed ready to snatch it away
Because you helped me to let go when I gripped the tightest to hold on
Because you showed me the beauty of life when the world showed me nothing but hate and corruption
Because you gave me a better life when the old one fought to come back
Because I am nothing without you, nothing but a hopeless being
Because only You could tear down my wall of pride and build it back up with love and humbleness
Because of all this, I give you my life Lord
I will put all my fears and failures in your hands, my worry that consumes me, my pain that destroys me
You were always there, even when I rejected You
Because of all You are, my life, Oh God is Yours

Monday, November 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds And Blessings

This rainy day finds me feeling very lazy and unmotivated. I did some laundry and put it in the dryer, something I don't like doing but when your sons' holler that they need clean clothing you wash rain or shine. :)
A friend posted the following recipe on FB and I immediately book marked it for future reference. Try it for yourself, you won't be sorry you did.

Lia was my helper. She poured the nuts into a bowl, poured the sugar into another bowl and stirred it. She also ate a spoonful when I had my back turned! If you look closely you can see the sugar granules sticking to her mouth.


Ready for the oven.

The finished product, of which I ate more than I should have. 

SLOW COOKER CINNAMON ALMONDS
     1.5 cups sugar
                1.5 cups brown sugar
                      3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 egg white
            2 teaspoons vanilla
      3 cups almonds
  1/4 cup water

mix sugar's and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk egg white and vanilla until egg is frothy. Stir almonds into egg white mixture, stir until thoroughly coated. Pour sugar over almonds and stir until coated. Spray a crock pot with cooking spray, add almonds. Turn your crock pot to low and cook 3-4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. In the last hour add 1/4 cup water and stir well. This will give the nuts a crunchy coating. Pour almonds onto parchment lined baking sheet to cool.

* I put mine in the oven since I no longer own a crock pot, I also used a mixture of almonds and peanuts. I poured melted butter over the nuts instead of water. I would decrease the sugar to 1 cup each of white and brown as I had a lot left over.
 here is the link to the website where I found the recipe.

Today I am rejoicing that I have the honor of being Lia's mom. A year ago we didn't know if she could stay. Our hearts broke at the thought of parting and the questions and fears that the parting would give her. We are so thankful to God for allowing her to stay and for all of you who prayed for strength and courage for Dean and I while we waited to see how her case would turn out. I am especially thankful for my healthy little girl when I think of the little boy from church who is the same age as Lia and suffering from leukemia. He has had a rough week so if you think of Avian lift him and his parents up to the Father with whom all things are possible.




Saturday, November 15, 2014

Meet Kaya

Kiana received a special, long awaited package in the mail one day


It is KAYA!!!!


Meet Kaya! Kiana has been begging for an American Doll for quite some time already. We weren't sure we could justify spending so much money on a doll but when Kiana got some extra special birthday money, we told her if she puts it towards a doll we will pay the rest and the rest is history!




I have been feeling "under the weather" this week. Lia finds it very boring when mom is taking it easy. The other day she said, "Mom, we have a very boring house, there is nothing to do!" Is it possible she has older siblings? Anyway, in an attempt to get rid of her boredom, I made shapes out of meat n cheese and let her make kabobs for her lunch.

We used this tool to make the shapes...one of those special Good will finds.

Kiana made a snowman

She had to hold him because he wanted to fall over

Lia reading a book and eating sunflower seeds. She loves them and carries a bag of them along with her where ever she goes. Which is fine, but she spits the shells on the floor and I get tired of sweeping the up.










Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FASD Tips From An Experienced Mom

This morning I had an endoscopy done because of stomach pain that wasn't/isn't improving with meds. I had to sign a paper saying I wouldn't drive, sign legal documents or make life changing decisions among other things today. Guess I am officially considered mentally challenged for the day. :) Nothing was said about writing blog posts though. However, just to be safe I will write this and then wait a few hours before publishing it, just in case it should contain some inappropriate or untrue information.
   Last night I was listening to a mom who has 2 children with FASD share some tips that made things easier for their family through the years. It was really interesting to listen to a mom talk. So often professionals share what they have learned but it is all book knowledge, not experience. You can tell a mom to just be patient when her child with FASD, who struggles to dress himself, takes even longer because he is putting the second layer of clothing on without realizing it. But you can't begin to grasp how frustrating it can be until you are that mom. I will not say whether the above experience is a true happening or not.
  Anyway here are a few of the tips:
-have a Ripping Box. Many children with FASD get very frustrated and like to tear things. Tell them, "I see you need the ripping box," when they reach that level of agitation.
-Fidget Bag, many of these children need something to keep their hands busy. This mom bought lots of dollar store toys and when a child began picking themselves, touching things they weren't supposed to etc. she would hand them the fidget bag. This bag also lowered the frustration level in their home as she wasn't getting upset as often over things those busy hands got into
-Bedtime Bucket. This bucket contained a few toys that were suitable to play with while falling asleep and in the morning before it was time to get up. Each child chooses a toy before he goes to bed at night.
-Visual Reminders. For instance a STOP sign on siblings bedroom doors. A visual reminder not to go into others bedrooms without permission.
-Role Play. Before going to see Grandma, act out what is the appropriate and expected behavior for such a visit. Do you jump on Grandma? Do you yell? Practice conversations so your child will have something to say that fits the occasion.
-Pack snacks in a fanny pack. The child wears the fanny pack and can feel when the pack is getting empty, giving them a much better perception of how much food they have left and hopefully helpto avoid the, "My food is all gone, now I will starve," panic.
-Avoid saying no. FASD children seem to have a penchant for asking questions that require a "no" answer. Reword your sentence to say something like: "We can't go outside because it is raining but you may play with your play dough."
-Remember just because your child knew how to put his coat on yesterday does not mean he can remember how to do the same today.
-Try different techniques. Just because something didn't work yesterday does not mean it will not work today or tomorrow.
here is the link if you wish to watch the presentation in its entirety.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Phone Calls and PTSD

Yesterday I made the first of  series of calls that will determine Bradens future. I left a voice message which was easier than discussing everything at once. One small step at a time is easiest for me. I had been feeling very upbeat about the whole issue, least I thought I was! Denial would be a better description. My emotions after making that phone call were like the waves in the ocean, one moment up and the next in the valley. Sometimes I feet confident we are making the right decisions and that we are following Gods leading but that quickly, I am assailed with doubts and fears that maybe we just think we are following God, when in truth we are being deceived. I asked Dean if I will know if I am getting depressed (mild term for going crazy) or will it sneak up on me without warning? He wise advice was, "You will get depressed if you keep worrying and wondering if you are staying sane." I am so thankful for a calm, husband who understands people. I keep telling him he is in the wrong profession, he should be a counselor. He told me, he does quite enough counseling between the children and I, he doesn't desire to take on more of it, thank you very much! 
   We have been hearing a lot about PTSD beings yesterday was Veterans Day. I am going to put a plea out there for foster/adoptive parents, if you at all suspect your child may have PTSD get help. If you think they should have it due to the circumstances that they endured, get help. This doesn't just apply to children from hard places, anyone who has experienced trauma is at risk for PTSD. I heard a good description of it this morning: PTSD is the normal reaction to an abnormal situation." That summed it up better than anything I have ever heard. Our brains react to trauma and the natural reaction is PTSD. I have my own trauma from our struggle with CYS which is making it all the harder to make decisions for Braden's future. 
   All of our children came to us preverbal, meaning before they could verbalize what they were feeling and experiencing. They do not have the words to explain what upsets them but they do act out when triggered. For a long time we treated Joseph's fear of lights and sirens as a normal childish fear. One day I was reading over his files from CYS where I read about some of his early life experiences. The pieces began to fall in place and I came to understand that Joseph wasn't just afraid, he was traumatized by what had happened and he needed help. Last week the first grader's went to a local fire station for the afternoon. Joseph was a bundle of nerves so I gave him the option of staying home. He wanted to go however so I spoke to his teacher and gave her a few tips on calming him if he panics and sent him to school with an extra prayer. Guess what? He loved it! His dear teacher took extra pains to be sure he felt safe and he had a grand time. Slowly but surely the wounds he received are healing! We praise God for that!

Friday, November 7, 2014

This and That

I am slowly recuperating from the stress overload I experienced on Wednesday. As stressful as that day was, it in no way compares to the stress levels our children from hard places must have felt on a daily basis. They didn't know if they would have their tummies filled or have to go to bed gnawing on their blanket in an attempt to calm the hunger pangs. Would mom or dad hit them or worse? What about the so called friends their parents might bring into their home. They weren't safe anywhere. As much as I dislike going through these valleys we have been walking through the past years, they have certainly given me a better perspective for my children's trauma. 
   Yesterday was a hard day for Joseph. We had spent a little bit of time helping him process his day, when we tucked him into bed Wednesday night. It wasn't nearly long enough however and when he came in the door from school yesterday I knew we were in for a storm of mega proportions. He didn't get his smiley face and when I asked what had happened, he flipped in typical trauma fashion. I couldn't begin to reason with him as he was to far gone to even hear what I said. He didn't want me close to him so I put him in his bed. Sometimes he just needs to get it out of his system. A woman with  FASD said she still gets those fits. Her husband holds her tight and she rages till it is all gone, then she is okay again. I tried to talk with Joseph several times but he just wasn't ready to talk. When Dean came home he got Joseph to tell what part of the problem was. One of his classmates' aunt's passed away recently and Joseph was so sad about it. Joseph said his teacher said this lady taught first grade one time and he really wanted to see what she looked like. His chin was quivering while he was telling Dean, so Dean knew Joseph was serious. I didn't think that was what had made Joseph totally lose it though. When Joseph acts like that, it is because of something that either happened or something he thought might happen to him. While he is tenderhearted he doesn't get quite that upset when the happening isn't directly related to him. I asked if he is worried that his teacher will die but he insisted it wasn't that. I thought it was. Often times he cannot connect the happening with why it might be making him feel so out of control. I said, "If I were a little boy and I heard that a teacher had died I would be really worried my teacher might die as well." "Is that how you feel Joseph?" His face cleared, he relaxed and said, "Yes I am!" Such an ordeal!

I finally bought a 2015 planner. I like the cheap ones from Walmart because they have a lot of writing space for each day of the week. That way it can be a combined planner/diary. What type of planner do you use?

This morning I made an unplanned trip to school. Kiana forgot to take her morning meds and I know she is capable of disturbing the entire class if she doesn't take her pills. While we were on the road I stopped for a few other things I needed, including the ingredients for Autumn Tea. It is delicious, I will need to share the recipe sometime. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Update

Yesterday was hard but we felt your prayers. Thank you so much! I get tears typing this. What would we do without God's people to pray for us when we are to weak to pray ourselves? The meals and babysitting helped make a rough day easier. Thank you!
   We didn't make any firm decisions yesterday. Eddie and Sharon gave us different options and shared the pro's and con's of each one. Sharon gave me the numbers of various professionals to call so we can get their input and advise before making a decision. We feel God is opening a path before us but until we talk to others and hear their opinion we won't be moving ahead. Please continue to pray for us, our children and everyone who will effected by the outcome.
   I woke up with stiff and sore muscles, sore eyes and brain fog. I haven't felt like this since we had our appointment with the psychologist who heard our side of the "CYS story" and ultimately confirmed that we were able to parent, we just had a difficult child and a caseworker who didn't understand RAD.

HEALING LOVE

Oh great God, you alone can ease
The pounding of my troubled heart
Only with you I am at peace
For you make all my fears depart

Comfort me with your blazing love
And pacify my worried soul
Your grace of love from up above
Is healing love that makes me whole

Cast away all my doubts and fears
And lift my downcast spirit Lord
Please let my heart be brought to cheer
By your comforting love and Word

My body and mind may be frail
But your healing love keeps me strong
Your love will never ever fail
So to me, nothing will go wrong



Monday, November 3, 2014

FASD Poem

I Will Never by Vicki Brewster, May 21, 2004

I Will Never

I will never have the children I dreamed of adopting-
But I do have the children
God planned for me to adopt.
So I will adopt new dreams
for my family and children.

I will never be able to be the mom I want to be.
But I am "their" mom
So I will be the mom they need.

I will never have a "normal" day - one without meds,
doctor appointments, therapy, IEP meetings.
But I do have normal moments.
So I will learn to savor the moments
and take each day as it comes.

I will never be able to assume my children can
follow the simple rules, act appropriately,
understand the consequences of their actions,
or be safe.
But I can surround them with a support system
who will think for them,
remind them of the rules and consequences,
and keep them safe.
So I will be their external brain.

I will never know what my children could have been.
But I can celebrate the wonder of who they are
and what they can become.
So I will give them all the love, support,
encouragement, and the tools they will need
to become productive adults.

I will never be able to change the fact that
the birth mother drank during her pregnancy.
But I can forgive.
So I will not condemn, pass judgment or hate her.

I will never forget the damage that alcohol has done
to my children's brains.
But I can make a difference for another child.
So I will share my knowledge and experiences
as often as I can.

I will never see another child screaming in a store
and just assume he's misbehaving due to poor parenting.
But I can sympathize
with the stress and frustrations of meltdowns.
So I will smile
and offer words of encouragement and support to the mother.

I will never hear another horrible news story
about a child in trouble with the law
and not wonder - was he FASD?
But I can pray for them and their families.
So I will pray for the ones in the news
and the ones we don't read about.

I will never know a bigger joy
than watching my children master a new goal,
remember a rule, or sleep thru the night.
But I can lower my expectations of them and myself.
So I will celebrate with them
every mountain climbed and hurdle crossed.

I will never have a day that is not wholly consumed
with the results of a woman who drank during pregnancy.
But I can raise the community's awareness,
education and support
of this totally preventable birth defect.
So I will.
So I will.

I found this poem on this website: http://jodeekulp.blogspot.com/
It contains a lot of information on FASD. Everything from symptoms, tips for how to live with it to teens/adults with FASD who share their stories and give you an inside look at life from their perspective. 


The other Sunday we took a walk on the Horseshoe Trail. The trail goes right behind our place. The children love this resting place someone made. Joseph thought we should camp out here sometime.

We took some pictures of Lia but I can't seem to find them on my computer.