Thursday, November 26, 2015

15" Sensory Bead Sale!!

                               20% off sale                              
Order two or more beads from the color scheme's listed below and receive 20% off your order!

Sale runs from November 26- November 30

15" necklace - $15 plus shipping (sale does not include 10" size)

To order: email me @ sensorybeads@gmail.com

Order now and receive them in time for Christmas!






Sensory beads are designed for the child with oral sensory needs. Does your child chew on his clothing, pencils or fingers, try sensory beads! They are also great for teething babies. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Two Years Ago

   Two years ago I was on my way to TAP to pick up Braden for his first home visit. We had high hopes that he would heal and while we were nervous about this first home visit, we thought he was on the road to healing.
  Today I am holding down the sofa, counting the hours until daddy comes home. 
    Here is the post I wrote about Braden's home visit: Bradens Home Visit

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fatigue Times Ten

     The fatigue that blindsided me the past weeks, caught me by surprise. There have been many times through the years when a debilitating fatigue has come and settled in for a lengthy visit. The kind of tiredness that makes me set the cruise coming up the drive and looking forward to surgery because I know I can sleep as much as I wish. 
                     Image result for fatigue
       This week has me envying the animals that have the privilege of hibernating all winter. Wouldn't it be wonderful to sleep for months on end?

    Mom's who have been through similar circumstances said, "Give yourself time, it will get better... maybe in a year." I wanted to cry, a year?!! 
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    I thought handing Braden's care onto someone else would bring healing and I could relax, I didn't think I be so tired I can hardly function. I guess all the years of being strong, of constantly being on guard for the next problem and trying to make everything okay have taken a larger toll than I thought.
    Image result for fatigue humor
    The quote about resting after a shower is meant to be humorous but sadly there is a lot of truth in it.

   My friend had an awesome analogy: If there is an accident and someone is trapped beneath a vehicle, rescuers can lift that vehicle off the victim, thanks to the surge of adrenaline they 
experience, but afterward they are exhausted. Parenting a child with RAD is like constantly lifting that car, our bodies are designed to endure bursts of adrenaline to help us in dangerous situations but we were not created for a constant flow of adrenaline. 
   Eventually our adrenal glands deplete themselves, and most times that is when people crash and get the rest and help they need. But when you are a mom and responsible for the care and safety of an emotionally unstable child, you keep going because the alternative is....well, there isn't an alternative. Mom is the one who must care for the child if he is to have a chance at healing. 
   Then when the responsibility of your child's care is transferred to other capable shoulders, you anticipate, at least I did, more energy and the desire to enlarge your relationships, instead you get debilitating fatigue. Yuck!

                                Image result for fatigue humor

"I am so happy I got this debilitating fatigue so I can stay in bed for the rest of my life instead of participating in society," said no tired person ever.

                                          Image result for fatigue humor
                     Image result for fatigue funny quotes

Monday, November 16, 2015

Blessed By Others

    Braden and the help we sought for him has always been a controversial subject, but one Dean and I, especially me, need to talk about so we can understand and process what we are experiencing.      The subject was met with a variety of responses; skepticism, doubt, pity, sympathy and the list goes on. Not that we blame anyone for their response, we responded the same way to some of the things that happened before our eyes, wondering if what we witnessed was in reality or a dream. 
   Because of our previous experiences, we were hesitant to share that Braden would be moving to a new family, even though we knew we were making the best choice for him. When your heart is hurting it is scary making yourself vulnerable to further pain. Last night I was pondering this and God impressed upon my heart that this fear was the very same fear Braden faced. The fear of rejection, the fear of further pain, only he didn't have a support system ( well, he did, he just didn't view us as such!) like Dean and I do. People we can go to, people who will pray for us, share their concerns and no matter the outcome, will support  and walk alongside us. I can't imagine going through life without that. Add to it the fact that Braden is just a child, one who trusts no one and it is very easy to see why he struggles.
   All that to say, we have been so blessed by the outpouring of love, prayers and support in the past weeks. People have gone out of their way to show they care and it has brought us to our knees in thankfulness time and again. What did we do to deserve such blessings? Thank you to everyone who reached out to us, may you be richly blessed!

Flowers from our church family

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sensory Beads For SPD

Do you need a special or unique gift? Try sensory beads! The perfect teething toy for your baby..... also an excellent toy for your oral sensory seeker. Does your child chew on his pencils, erasers, clothing or hands? Try sensory beads.

Pictured below are some of the beads I made for special orders.

Order your favorite color combo at sensorybeads@gmail.com

   15" - $15
   10" - $10
   Food grade nylon string, silicone beads, break away clasp.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hard Days With FASD

On Sunday we went for a walk on the Horseshoe Trail which cuts through our woods. It was a beautiful day for a hike.

Joseph trudging along, it was tough going for him. Walking on uneven surfaces requires a great deal of balancing skills, something he struggles with. His OT is making a difference though, he seldom complained that his legs hurt or asked to go home.

Joseph is finding it difficult to cope with the social and emotional demands life has thrown his way. We are taking steps so that he will be better able to cope with the demands of life. However good things take time so until everything falls into place we do all we can to help him and try to keep the tantrums to a dull roar.

Over the weekend his eczema got really bad. It was worse than it has ever been, his steroid cream didn't begin to touch it. So I called his doctor who called in a prescription for medication. He has been on it for 4 days now and his eczema is definitely improving but until we find ways to make life less stressful, he will continue to break out. The dermatologist was asking all kinds of questions, trying to figure out what brought on the outbreak. I explained that stress brings on the eczema (for the umpteenth time) so the doctor advised me to take him to his pediatrician and get him on anti anxiety medication. I told him that school isn't going well for Joseph, due to his FASD and while anti anxiety meds may alleviate the symptoms and they may be necessary someday, for now we need to work on lowering stress at school. I know I could home school and I may end up doing that but it is good for Joseph and I to get some time apart. 

FASD is so hard for both the parents and the child. Joseph tries to please us but he simply doesn't understand relationships. He may throw an hour long tantrum and I try all my tricks to pull him out of it without success. As suddenly as the tantrum began it is over and he "loves me like a 
 year old," and I say that with all due respect. He wants me to cuddle and rock him while he tells me how much he loves me. It took a lot of practice to be able to flip my internal switch and be the emotionally strong mom he needs in any given moment. His adoration is what keeps us going when things are tough. In his good moments we are the best parents and in his bad moments.....
Yesterday in the middle of a tantrum he said, "Mom, if you would just learn to obey me....!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Don't Leave Me

Our house hasn't been the most pleasant place to be this past week. Simple request's such as, "Please set the table," have been met with stomping feet, loud voices and angry words. Jobs have been done half way or not at all. Ears don't hear what mom said, commands are ignored....all signs that something is wrong the question is, what, besides the obvious, I mean. Little Miss refused to talk, "Nothing is wrong!" She insisted while tears clogged her throat and ran down her cheeks. We tried cajoling, begging, pleading, writing, cuddling and consequences nothing worked. Oh she talked but she only gave excuses, the answers she always gives when she doesn't want to tell me the whole truth.
   Last night she came to me sobbing and showed me a page in the book,  The Night The Angel Came. She held up the book and pointed to a page, without saying a word. I told her to use her words because I wasn't sure what she was trying to tell me. She pointed to a phrase that goes something like this; "And then her mother turned and walked away and she never saw her again."
  Dropping the book she flung her arms around me and wailed, "Please don't leave me! I love you and I don't want you to go away!" I sat on the rocker and held her as she alternated between crying and begging me not to leave. 
   After a lot of talking, sending silent prayers heavenward and asking questions I finally began making sense of the tangle of thoughts she had been brooding over for the past week.
   She was thinking about her birth mom and now that she is growing older, she can understand a bit more of the circumstances surrounding the need for her to be removed from her birth parents and their subsequent failure to meet the criteria necessary to get her back. She has been battling feelings of anger, betrayal and worthlessness. As with many children who are adopted or in foster care, she wants to remain loyal to her birth family, but her increased understanding has brought her face to face with the messy reality that they did fail her. As an adult I can look at the big picture and take into consideration the problems they were facing, making it virtually impossible for them to care for her but she does not have the maturity to reason as an adult would and she is hurt. Naturally she is angry with them. Anger feels like betrayal to her, so guess who get's the brunt of her conflicting feelings? Yup, mom and dad, especially mom. 
   She is also old enough to know she hasn't been treating me right and felt guilty about that as well but she was powerless to sort out her conflicting emotions, so she bottled them up. Only they refused to stay bottled up and spilled over into her behavior.
   Reading the book about a little girl who was left at an orphanage brought a rush of guilt and fear to her heart and the dam broke. "I don't want you to go to another country and leave me here all by myself!" She wailed. I asked if I have ever left her before and she had to admit that I hadn't but her birth mom had so maybe I would too, she reasoned. I assured her I would do everything I could to keep her safe or rescue her if she were in an unsafe situation, no matter how much it cost me. I knew I had to be careful how I worded my answers to her questions because she was very vulnerable right then and I knew she would grab onto any new fears, real or imagined. 
   "What if someone were to come take me out of bed and I would never see you again?" She asked. I told her how Kobi walks around the house during the night barking at everything he hears as well as a host of things he thinks he hears. "Kobi wouldn't let anyone come into our house," I assured her. "But what if he were locked up in the shop, then someone could come," she countered. "True but you can make lot's of noise (she smiled at that) and I am sure mom and dad would hear if someone came into the house," I said. Obviously I can't be sure about all this but I needed to reassure her. However she wasn't reassured, she still felt unsafe. So I said, "You are forgetting one thing, GOD. He see's everything and he will keep you safe." She had an answer for that one though, "Then why didn't he keep me safe when I was with my birth mom?" 
  "He did," I said, "He had another mom and dad (us) all ready to take care of you. He was watching you all the time!" Thankfully that seemed to calm her, she asked if we could pray together and after we prayed she jumped into bed and whispered, "I will try to trust you."

   As always after such a conversation, my mind went to my relationship with Jesus. I knew my little girl had nothing to fear, I won't leave her, I will always love her, she is my daughter and nothing can change that. But she had experienced a great loss and though that hinders her ability to trust me, does it make me love her less? Absolutely not! In fact it makes me want to love and protect her even more. Jesus longs for us to trust him, just like I wish my daughter could trust me. The difference is, I am human and I may let her down, in fact I know I will sometimes but Jesus never will fail his children. He knows all about the pain and sorrow we face here on earth, he was here and experienced it first hand, plus he can see the big picture, he see's what us in our human reasoning cannot fathom. Why wouldn't I trust him?

Shared on: No Bohns About It

Monday, November 9, 2015

Q's Race To The Top

Look what came in the mail today!

   I can't wait to play this game with the children. I don't remember where I saw the game advertised, but the reviews were excellent. The game is designed to teach children interpersonal skills, an area where Joseph really struggles. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this game could help him?
    I know the girls will enjoy it and since it was designed for ages 3+ Lia will be able to join in, something that isn't always possible.

    You can buy the game here.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Picture's and Daily Life

Here is what have we been doing besides the daily  "trauma work." 
Guess what is in the backpack? Eggs!

Enjoying french fries after Tristan's dentist appointment. 

Joseph reading to Lia before his therapy appointment

3 kinds of popcorn and books make for two happy girls

45 minutes into our 1 hour wait for a 10 minute appointment.

Finished sensory beads for an order. Christmas is coming, order one for your baby/child in his or her favorite color. Send an email to sensorybeads@gmail.com to place an order. I can send you a picture of the colors I can order and you can choose between a large (necklace size) or  small which is app. 2/3 the size of the large ones.

Our building project is moving along nicely, Dean and I are getting tired of sleeping in the family room and I am ready to have everything in it's place instead of scattered throughout the house. 
The children are still battling the fear that comes from having their home change. Their bedrooms are part of their security and they haven't taken to kindly to the changes we are making. We painted one wall in the girls room purple. Think bright, splashy purple. Wasn't my choice of colors but they were thrilled with it and that is what matters. After one particular teary episode Dean left Lia help paint the one corner of her bedroom. That made her smile but the next day we were back at first base.

Thanks for the prayers, gifts and meals that have come our way during the past two weeks. We feel blessed to know you care.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What We Feared Has Come To Pass

    I have written this post countless times only to delete it because I failed to find words to adequately describe what we have experienced during the past few weeks. I wrote even more posts in my head, a scramble of words that never made it onto paper, much less onto my computer because they were so jumbled together. The biggest reason of all though if I am honest, is denial. If you don't acknowledge something it doesn't exist, right? If I don't see the dirty dishes, perhaps they will go away.... 

    That kind of logic doesn't work for long in any situation, most certainly not in regards to the burden that is weighing on my heart. So good bye denial.

     You see we just said good bye to Braden. We are passing the baton so to speak, on to another set of parents. Giving the privilege and responsibility of his care into their hands, even though our hearts are aching and the tears flow unbidden from our eyes. 

   I see his picture and a great pain weighs me down, someone asks how many children we have, I say four, and try not to cry. 

   There are so many emotions swirling through our home; sorrow, love, fear, guilt and relief are foremost but there is so much that is hanging on each of those feelings that it is impossible to separate them from one another. I feel like I have to separate them in order to process what has happened but first I must understand it all, pack it in neat little boxes, categorize each emotion so I can feel them one at a time and work through them one by one. But grief doesn't work that way. Sometimes I laugh and cry at the same time, my head pounds with the intensity of it and my children look at me, wondering what has happened to their mom.

    I don't have the heart to go into detail, maybe I never will but for now all I can say is that we made this decision with Braden's best interest in mind. Don't you hate the phrase, "best interest?" It sounds so cold and callous but in this situation that is the best I can come up with.

   Braden couldn't come to grips with his past and in his childish mind, he blamed us along with his birth parents for all of his troubles. We adopted Braden through the local county foster care system where we were court ordered to take him for visit's twice a week, one hour with mom and one hour with dad. Braden would cry when he realized we were going for a visit. Big tears would roll silently down his cheeks as we drove. When we arrived he would cling to me, wrapping his arms around my neck in an attempt to avoid the visit. I had to pry his arms loose and walk out the door while he screamed and banged on the glass. Several times the supervisor called me on my phone and asked me to come back because Braden was inconsolable. Eventually Braden stopped fighting, he developed a resigned air and went to the visits without a fuss but oh how sad, he looked. We didn't understand trauma and attachment and thought he was settling into his new routine. 

   In Braden's eyes I was not keeping him safe, I was taking him back to the people who hurt him. Any thoughts of allowing us into his heart were banished when I took him for visits and then left him, ignoring his cries. Is it any wonder he feels he cannot trust us?

  That pain coupled with FASD made it impossible for him to move forward in our family. As much as it hurt us, we came to realize that for his good, we needed to let him go. Our hope and prayer is that a fresh start will give him what he needs to overcome his past. Isn't this what parenting is all about? Giving our children the best we can, despite the pain we experience? It would be far easier for us to hang onto Braden but would that be fair to him? 

   God has been so good. Years ago, before Dean and I or Braden's new family knew anything about him, God was preparing each of us to meet Bradens needs. We stand in awe, albeit with tears and heavy hearts and praise God for his goodness and grace.