Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Re-Homing Disruption and Dissolution

Re-homing, disruption and dissolution article's are all over the news since Reuters published the results of their investigation. 
   First I want to inform you that those three words do not mean the same thing, there is a huge difference. 
   Re-homing means an "under the table" passing of a child. You essentially give your child to someone else, little or no legal work is done. Sometimes there are no public record's to show what has taken place.
  Disruption happens when a family has been pursuing an adoption and before the adoption is finalized, decides they are not going to adopt the child after all
   Dissolution happens when a child has been adopted and the family decides to end the adoption.
  *The terms dissolution and disruption may both be used to describe terminating an adoption.

One day I would have been among those who wonder how anyone could even consider dissolution and re adoption. What kind of person would "get rid" of their child just because he didn't fit into the family? The child was "abandoned" once by his birth family and now you are abandoning him as well?! Even after our son was diagnosed with RAD and our family was in chaos, we still didn't feel dissolution was the answer for us at that time. 
   So often we were told that God is there for us, we just need to have faith. Or, God won't give you more than you can handle. God will always provide a way of escape so dissolution cannot be the answer. I spouted those cliche's along with everyone else who didn't understand what families were going through. Until one day I was brought up short and realized that yes, God is there for us but just because he is willing to under gird us does not mean, things will be easy. 
    God DOES give us more than we can handle, otherwise we would have no need of him. 
 In the Bible we are promised there will always be a way of escape, so that we need not sin. Is dissolution sin? Maybe yes, maybe no. Each family must decide. God did not give us the right to make decisions for each other and decide if other people are doing wrong. Only God who truly knows the deepest intents of the heart has that prerogative.
      It is so easy to form an opinion on a matter when you are on the outside looking in. But remember, if the situation was as cut and dried as it appears from the outside, the parents making the decision wouldn't be struggling. Often times when we cast judgment it is because we only see half of the picture.
    For instance when Braden was still at home, we got all sorts of advice. Sometimes we were seeking advice and sometimes we needed to be reminded that our son had different needs and needed to be parented differently. Sometimes we needed others to show us where we needed to change. To often however, we were told what we should be doing differently and when we tried to explain our situation, the subject was quickly changed.
   For instance: Braden always seemed well behaved in public and I know it often appeared that we were being hard on him. What people couldn't see was that Braden was doing his best to hold it all together and things were going to fly when we were alone as a family once more. If we kept Braden calm, he was better able to control himself. If we didn't keep him calm, he quickly became over stimulated to the point where he would tantrum for hours. We did everything possible to avoid those tantrums because they hurt both us and Braden. Every time Braden had one of those tantrums, he became a little more ill. .
    Also, as Braden became more aware of what made him feel out of control, he chose to stay close to either Dean or I because new situations were very nerve wracking for him.
   When someone told us, we should allow Braden more freedom so he can learn to control himself. They had no idea what all played into our decision. They couldn't know how much we wished we could do just that.
   "You are always picking on Braden," was something we heard quite often. Children with RAD need boundaries and they need those boundaries enforced all the time. The child will push against those boundaries and act like they are the worst things in his life. The irony is that children with RAD need these boundaries to feel safe. They hate the boundaries but they are absolutely essential for healing. Children will not heal if they do not feel safe.
  Anyway, got off on a bunny trail there.....just as things are not as they appear with a child diagnosed with RAD, just so it might be with a family who is dissolving their adoption. What you see on the outside is only a small fraction of the picture.
  Parents do not adopt a child with the intent of dissolving the adoption down the road. They do not go into adoption thinking, we will try it and see how it goes, if things don't work out we can always dissolve the adoption. Neither do they suddenly decide they are tired of dealing with the child so they are going to get rid of him/her. They do not dissolve because they are mean spirited or seeking the easy way out. No one intentionally does things to cause others to doubt them.
 Usually parents reach this decision after years of therapy, thousands upon thousands of dollars, quite possibly the loss of their other childrens hearts, people will have deserted them because of their child's unacceptable behavior and complete strangers will have made derogatory remarks when they see the child tantruming.
  Some parents do drop their children off at the CPS office. I am not judging those families because I cannot imagine how hard it would be to turn your child over to the state because you cannot meet the child's needs. What is a family to do when the child is a danger and they have no where to turn? When parents return a child to CPS they are charged with child abandonment, not something anyone would choose to have on their record.
  So could it be that those who go the route of dissolution are not as mean spirited and unfeeling as they may appear? Maybe the parents know the child will thrive in a home where he can receive the level of therapeutic parenting he needs to live a productive life. Maybe they know he needs to be away from those he tormented and traumatized so he can have a fresh start.
   Sometimes parents reach the end of their financial resources. Many of these children have been in RTC's. Insurance will sometimes cover the cost of treatment but often the child needs to remain in the RTC for a longer period of time than insurance approves. If you bring a child home before they are stable they can be even worse than they were when they began treatment. 
   There is also medication, psychiatrist's and therapist bills as well. Getting mental health services is not easy and it may take months of waiting before you can get an appointment, meanwhile your family falls further and further apart. 
   The siblings and parents of the child with RAD often have PTSD. How can they heal from this trauma when the one who is responsible for their trauma is in their midst and daily causing them more pain and heart ache? If the child were healed and able to bond, they could work through the pain and trauma. However if the child was healed, they wouldn't be seeking dissolution.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Glow In The Dark Stars


Tristan and Lia enjoying the fresh air yesterday afternoon


Spring just might be coming to the "North Slope" after all! 

I found this glow in the dark bottle idea on a website and have been wanting to try it for quite a while. 
Ingredients:
Hair gel
Glitter
 Glow In The Dark Stars

Mix everything together in a clear bottle. Adding a little water if the gel is to thick. Shake it well and using a glue gun, glue the bottle lid fast. Children can take them to bed as their own personal night light.
We could only find 4 stars to put in Lia's bottle. I ordered more and I will post a picture when we have more stars. 


Lia loved squeezing the hair gel into her bottle


Glow in the dark bottle





Friday, March 27, 2015

Joseph's Allergy Appointment


Joseph had his three hour allergy appointment this morning and every test they did was negative! The doctor said he was surprised Joseph didn't test positive to at least some of the tests, considering how his skin looked.


The nurse gave Joseph two new pencils and a workbook, which more than made up for any discomfort!

Next week Joseph has an appointment at CHOP and I hope we can find some answers and advice. I am thankful Joseph doesn't have allergies however we still don't have any answers for Joseph's skin problems.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

Triggers

I saw this on a special needs page and had to share it with my readers. Wouldn't it be so nice to be able to pick up a bottle and take a pill to help you through a difficult situation? Then I was ashamed of myself because we as Christians have an even better way of having our needs met...our Heavenly Father is just a prayer away. The Bible says he knows what we need before we even ask, what a blessing! When Braden lived at home I was in the habit of praying almost constantly because I simply didn't know how to meet his needs without causing him to go into a full blown rage. Our family needs/dynamics have changed but that doesn't mean I should slack off on prayer. Maybe that is partly why God allows things to come into my life, things to big for me to handle, so my "prayer muscle's" remain in shape.

                     



      Emotional reactivity is a sign of unfinished business.
        Children with RAD are adept at locating their parents buttons and pushing those buttons nonstop. During the time Braden was seeing Miss Laura, his pushing my buttons was a constant issue. Miss Laura helped me see that the reason these things bothered me so much was because I was reacting to a pain from my past. I know that sounds like a bunch of "psychological babble" but it is true. She walked me through the steps to figuring out why "acting dumb" irritated me so much. In a nutshell, I don't enjoy people manipulating me. No one does but it was especially problematic for me for reasons I won't go into.
    So if your child has a behavior that you simply cannot abide, perhaps thinking about why it is such a problem will be helpful. Understanding why certain behavior's trigger you is very freeing. 

I know being confronted about our parenting is a major trigger for me because of all we went through with CYS. So when someone does say something and I feel panic setting in, I usualy have the presence of mind to ask myself, "Am I being triggered? Or is this panic legitimate?"

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Why is it that we feel we have the right to judge other's when we have never walked in their shoes?



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family


Lia giving her cat Midnight a kiss


First bouquet of "flowers" for 2015


Joseph loves The Little Church House books. I bought this book which has all of the stories in it.


Joseph read a few pages in his book then went looking for a rope to pull his wooden barn
 that Dean made for him the other week. He pretended to pull it just like they did the church house in the book


Look what Lia found.....3 nuk's!
The other day I bought Lia some french fries. She told me she wishes she could work at M*Donalds then she could eat all the food she wants.





Lia and her horse Cookie


Relaxing at Cabela's

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Challenges Of FASD

       When a child has Fetal Alcohol, he is not always able to control his actions or should I say, reactions. Neither does he think very far. In other words he is impulsive. The child will also have good days and bad days. So when he does a certain thing on a good day, he is accountable for his actions but he may do the very same thing on a bad day and this time he wasn't being naughty, he simply didn't think. For instance, once he hammered nails in a tire. On a day when he was able to think correctly and did it out of anger, it would be viewed as misbehavior. On another day when he isn't thinking well, he might do it never thinking about what might happen. He saw a nail and he hammered it, as simple as that. We constantly need to take his brain function into consideration.
   The other evening we were in a public place where there were a lot of people. Joseph doesn't due well in crowds, much less crowds of strangers. I am still trying to figure out what it is about strangers that sends him into a tailspin. I know some of it is the noise, the closeness and the unpredictability but I think there is another piece that I haven't figured out yet. Anyway, a little boy I am guessing to be around 8 years old wanted to play with Joseph. The boy's mom was totally involved with her phone and he was obviously bored. The boy had an Ipad and he pulled it out and sat beside Joseph to play on it. Dean calmly told Joseph to come with him cause he wants to look at something, in an attempt to get Joseph distracted and not hurt the boy's feelings. A bit later the boy opened a snack and offered some to Joseph, Dean politely said, "No, thanks he just had something to eat." This went on until we left. 
   When we were home again Joseph was loud and everything he did was over the top. I called him out and asked what was wrong and he wasn't able to tell me. My gut feeling was it had something to do with the boy at the park and so I coached Joseph along, until he figured out what was bothering him. However he still couldn't tell me why he felt angry about it. I said, "I think you are angry because that boy was being nice to you and daddy didn't let you run and play. You don't have many friends and you would have liked to be his friend." Joseph nodded his head and told me it made him angry. I like to have him think through things himself so I asked why he thinks daddy didn't let him run and play with the boy. Joseph shrugged his shoulders, so I offered to tell him why if he wanted to know. "Daddy didn't let you run and play because there were crowds of strangers around and he was afraid you would get lost. Besides daddy knows how it makes you feel when there are so many people around and he wanted to keep you safe."
   We discussed why Joseph doesn't have friends and his answer was, "Sometimes I don't want to be nice to them." I attempted to get him to understand that to have friends you must always be a friend, not only when you feel like it but like the 100 other times we had this conversation it went over his head. Some days he just feels angry and pushes, hits and kicks his classmates. Then an hour later he wants them to be his friend and cannot understand why they are upset with him. He tries to "buy" friendship by giving his classmates little gifts. I have explained over and over that this isn't the way to make friends but it is the only way Joseph understands. In light of all that, I can understand why he was upset when daddy didn't let him run and play with someone who was offering his friendship. 
   It is very helpful to remember that children with trauma/FASD/RAD etc. are usually half of their chronological age. So at 7, Joseph typically acts like a 3.5 year old. Lia is 3.5 and they are very much alike. They play very well together and think it is so much fun to play tag and hide and go seek together. When I remember this, I can understand why Joseph reacts like he does...he is acting age appropriately in a sense. The hard part comes in when he acts like he is three one moment and an hour later he is acting like a 7 year old. I remember Miss Laura coaching me on this very thing when she saw Braden. She said, "Watch how he is acting and treat him according to that age level. The hard part is constantly adjusting your expectations!" 
      Both Braden and Joseph laugh inappropriately. We couldn't make sense of it until I stumbled across this article. It turns out this laughing at inopportune times can be due to FASD. This laughing business is caused by "messed up wiring" in the brain, the same as so many other odd behaviors. Braden used to laugh when he knew we were frustrated with him. He would do something totally off the wall and I would be trying to help him understand why it was wrong or unacceptable and he would laugh in my face. The first few times it happened, I now think it had to do with his FASD. But he soon learned that laughing when mom and dad are giving consequences is a sure way to upset them. Children with RAD love to see their parents lose their calm, it is what they strive for.
  Joseph does the same thing except he laughs when someone gets hurt. I used to get so frustrated with him because he did it time and again. We would talk about it and I would get him to think about how the other person might feel when he laughs at them but nothing worked. I even asked why he does it and he shrugged and said he doesn't know. That is the standard answer for everything he does so I didn't know if I should believe him. However after reading this article, I believe he probably doesn't know why he laughs. Poor boy. FASD makes life so hard for people! Both the little people and the adults trying to help them grow into upstanding citizens.
    Here is another link to an article about laughing inappropriately. The author has autism and she writes what it is like to laugh at things that she knows she shouldn't be laughing about. She said he brother calls this laugh or smirk, "The Dead Hamster Look" because she laughed when her pet died. Autism and FASD have many overlapping symptoms which is why I sometimes share links to autism sites.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Snapshots From Our Week

Lia wasn't feeling so well one day last week. I thought it was the stomach flu but she was able to eat normally within a few hours. Whatever it was no one else got sick and it was short lived.




I bought some finger paint for the children. Lia had fun with them and when I wasn't watching she dumped them out on her paper and mixed them all together. I need to get some more because I am sure Joseph would love using them as much as Lia did.



There is something odd about seeing all this snow and hearing robins singing!





Dean made a little barn for Joseph and it is his pride and joy. It doesn't take much to make Joseph happy. He is having a really good morning so far and I am praying it last's. He is happy and carefree, like boys his age should be. 

Joseph holding his newest cousin Brandon. He loves babies!

Have a blessed weekend!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Missing Daddy

                                                                                                                                                                             This week has been tough for the children, Dean has been gone for the past three evenings and they are feeling neglected. Isn't it amazing how you can pour weeks of love into them but their old fears are right under the surface waiting to pop up when they feel their safety and security is threatened.
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       Tuesday evening Dean had a meeting and the children weren't to upset. Joseph had a tough day at school on Wednesday but I passed it off because he has had so many good day's I figured he was due a rough one. Wednesday evening Dean had to work late to get a piece of equipment up and running for the next morning. He called me a little before supper time to tell me things weren't going like he planned so I decided to let the children eat awhile. 
   When he wasn't home in time to give Joseph his good night hug n kiss, Joseph declared he was not going to bed. I called Dean and told him Joseph needs a little reassurance, could he talk to him a few minutes? Joseph told his daddy about his day and they said good night. Joseph was then able to cheerfully go to bed. Just hearing his daddy's voice calmed those fears.
   Tristan and the girls were playing in the basement and Kiana was being loud and obnoxious. I called her upstairs and when we talked she said she was missing daddy. So we made yet another phone call, which eased her fears as well.
  Everything should go better now, I thought when Dean came home from work. Not so, there was another little girl who wasn't happy that her daddy was gone most of the evening. 
   Lia didn't want to give Dean a hug and kiss before bedtime so I tucked her in. She lay quietly for a few minutes then said, "You are kind, mom but dad isn't." When I asked her why not, her lips trembled and she said, "We eat without daddy and he works a long time." I picked her up and took her out to Dean, "You have another little person who needs reassurance," I told him. Lia refused to tell him why she was sad so I repeated what she had told me. Dean explained that he was sad when he had to work and couldn't come home to Lia but he had to fix something that was broken. In the end she hugged him and kissed him, then went to bed her usual happy self.
  Last night things didn't go according to schedule as planned and then Dean cut his finger and needed to, "Go get some nylon," as he put it. So daddy wasn't home again. I am praying nothing holds him up at work tonight because there are some people around here who are reliving the trauma of separation. 

This is my prayer for my children:

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Highlights On Stress and Trauma

I have brain overload from all the information I have been getting from the you tube series I am watching and my Traumatic Stress book. I would love to be able to write it all out so that it makes sense and then share it with you all but the information is so intertwined it would take pages of writing and descriptions. So I will just share a few highlights of what I am learning. The material is all stuff I have heard or read about previously so it is familiar. I can process information so much better after I have heard it a time or two.

CEREBELLUM: The cerebellum contains as many neurons as the rest of the brain combined. Autism, Aspergers and Sensory Integration are caused by problems in the cerebellum...it's wiring, how the neuron's are developed and the size of the neuron's among other things.

LIMBIC SYSTEM: is in the center of the brain - and the site of all primitive arousal. Love, hate, fear, rage, lust, hunger all reside here. We share this primitive part of the brain with anything that can find it's own mate, and chase down it's food. The speaker refer's to the Limbic System as Lizard Brain.

Every child who comes through our (foster parents) door has potential for having a glitch in the Limbic System due to childhood stress and trauma. When small children are under extreme stress, (under age 1, under age 2 and under age 5 each having their own thumbprint) we are going to see permanent change in the Limbic System.

FRONTAL LOBE - This is where your thinking comes from. It is also the site of judgment, insight and impulse control.

The frontal lobe's and Limbic system are to be in communication at all times. 

CORPUS CALLOSUM is what allows the two sides of the brain to communicate. Without it the left side wouldn't know what the right side is doing and vice versa.. When a child is exposed to alcohol the Corpus Callosum frequently either fails to develop correctly or doesn't develop at all. These children cannot integrate the two sides of their brain.

The ability to feel emotions and correctly name the emotion requires you to integrate the two sides of your brain. 

We have 1 billion neurons in our brain. Each of our 1 billion neurons has 10,000 connections. Here is a link that has more information. I found it very interesting.

HIPPA CAMPUS is associated with immediate memory. Everything you learn goes in through your hippa campus and get's stored in your temporal lobes where long term memory lives. Short term memory remains in the Hippa Campus as does trauma memory and things that go into the brain without words. When a young child experiences trauma pre verbally what gets stored is the taste, sense, smell, feeling, sound etc. You cannot pull this memory up with words but you can with senses. Traumatized children may have up to a 1/3 smaller Hippa Campus which will permanently impair the child's  learning and ability to memorize. They will still be able to do these things but it will be more difficult for them.


The more I learn about stress and trauma the more I wish I would have had this information when we began fostering. However, it probably wouldn't have made as much sense then as it does now because now I have seen and experienced this stuff personally and in my children's lives.

For instance; a traumatized child views the world as a bad, scary place. I knew that but the following description I found in the book made it much more concrete for me.

   James is standing in line and the boy behind him accidentally pushes him. James is a healthy, well attached child so he tells the other boy to stop it, be careful etc.

If James is a traumatized child he will assume that he was pushed on purpose and will lash out at the boy who pushed him or knock the other guy over, at which time the teacher intervene's and James is reprimanded.

Same situation, different core beliefs due to circumstances beyond the child's control.

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Traumatized children are often delayed, physically and emotionally because they are so busy keeping themselves safe, they don't have time for anything else.

This was made personal when I spoke with the secretary from CHOP. She said even though Joseph was in our home from 6 months on, he was still in a trauma setting because of Braden's disabilities. That was very sobering for me, it made me feel like I failed yet again to give my children what they needed. We tried but waiting months to get an appointment only to find that the therapist didn't know as much about attachment disorder as you were lead to believe was incredibly frustrating.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today's Activities

Look what came in the mail yesterday!
The book is written for psychologists so it includes information about how to treat the care giver of traumatized children. I skimmed over the first section as it covered attachment, self regulation and why's and how's attachment disorders/trauma. The back of the book has a thick section of therapeutic activities such as blank faces so the child can draw what he is feeling on the face. I saw the boys therapists' use a lot of the forms and informational papers included in the book. I always wished I could have copies to use at home, now I do! Anyone want to guess what I plan to do today? I also found an interesting link I will share in the near future...when I finish listening to all four hours of it.


There has been a recipe floating around on FB for  EDIBLE PEEP PLAY DOUGH
I have been waiting for the perfect day to try it and today fit the bill. I was mixing up some casserole's for friends and needed something fun to keep Lia occupied.

She insisted on crumbling it and wasn't very impressed until I told her she may eat this play dough. That made all the difference, this stuff is fun after all!






Monday, March 16, 2015

Not In Vain

We had a very inspiring message yesterday morning on the suffering of Christ. It was impressed upon us how Jesus suffered alone. His disciples couldn't stay awake to watch and pray with him. Peter denied he knew him three times. Jesus had the power to stop the the crucifixion process at any time but He chose to go through the pain and suffering because He loved us and knew He had to die if we were to experience salvation.
   The message spoke loudly to me because this week I have been feeling alone. I know it is the enemy of my soul trying to discourage me and make me feel like we are the only family who is struggling in the particular way we are. I know we aren't, but my hurting heart would like to convince me I am alone. 
   All the dreams we had for Braden are slowly drifting away into oblivion. All the times we tried a new therapy, medication or doctor and got our hopes up.....nothing.
  Every friendship we lost while trying to help Braden has come back to burden me and the memory hurts just as bad as it did at first. Lord I cry, is our situation so hard to comprehend, is that why we receive so much condemnation? Why must we walk such a lonely path? Just that quickly, I find myself deep in self pity, a place I loathe.
   That is why the message we heard yesterday spoke so loudly to me. Jesus willingly suffered alone. He knew what was before him. He had the power to stop the process at any time but he chose to go through with it, for me and you. People mocked and tormented him but he kept his peace and said not a word and still he loved us! 
  When the message sank into my weary spirit, I was prompted to get up out of this place of deep sorrow and focus on what Jesus did for me. When I asked God to forgive me and thanked Jesus for what he had done for me, I felt Satan leave, defeated. 
   Does my heart still ache? Of course! But if this experience can help me in some small way better comprehend what my Savior did for me, then this pain isn't in vain.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

May I love Both Of My Moms


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   I like to tell my children that God gave them big hearts, big enough to love two moms and two dads. The thought never fails to get a smile from Joseph. Kiana however is able to rationalize and she understands that even though she has a big heart,she still has conflicting loyalties.


Kiana has been having a hard time processing adoption and loss. Every time our children climb another rung on the ladder of intellectual understanding, we have to process their adoption all over again. In some ways it gets easier because they understand more as they grow, in other ways it is harder because they begin feeling the pain of being "unwanted." Even though that is not the case at all, they have two sets of parents who dearly love them!
   Anyway, Kiana has been being mouthy and defiant. Before you say that is typical, let me say that yes it is, Tristan can be the same way and he has a strong bond with us. It is different for Kiana however, because it was so obvious her behavior was driven by something. There was conflict written on her face but she refused to talk about what was going on.
   Dean told me he thinks it is time Kiana and I sit down and have a talk again, so while he took the other children out to the shop Kiana and I talked. At first she clammed up and wouldn't say much. I kept after her until she buried her head in my neck and burst into sobs. I held her and left her cry it out. When she was ready to talk she said, "I don't want two mom's but I don't know which mom I want!" I love my birthmom but I want you too. When I am nice to you something inside me tells me I can't love two moms!" Poor girl!
  We had the same conversation we have had so often before where I explain that she can love two mom's. I told her that her birthmom wants her to love me and she won't be sad if Kiana loves me. Your birthmom wants you to be happy Kiana, remember I told you how she couldn't take care of you and was so happy to see you safe and happy? That brought a smile to Kiana's face. Just then the phone rang and since it was a call I had to take, we never finished our conversation. Kiana has been a happy little girl again, it is so good to see her smile and be herself. I am so thankful for all the books and advice that is out there to guide us through these conversations.

Friday, March 13, 2015

We Have An Appointment!


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The wheels of the lumbering machine called "a diagnosis" are slowly moving ahead. We have had a kinds of technical difficulties trying to find a doctor who is able to diagnose Joseph with FASD.  We got Braden diagnosed at a Dr. near TAP (The Attachment Place) but I was looking for more extensive services than that particular doctor could provide. NOFAS had CHOP listed among the places one could go for a diagnosis. There were a few options that weren't quite so far away but when I called them their number had changed or I wasn't impressed with their service.
  Last night I spoke with a woman from CHOP International Adoption Program and no Joseph wasn't adopted internationally. The woman got all of the information required to make a file on Joseph and gave us a tentative appointment for the beginning of April. There is another family who is adopting internationally and will be bringing their child to CHOP, however they probably won't be back in the states for their scheduled appointment. So Joseph will be getting that app. if they do make it back for their app. we will need to wait until May.
   Joseph had a Neuro/psych done a year ago or was it longer? That doctor said he doesn't have the facial abnormalities required for the diagnosis of FASD. She didn't take any measurements however so I am not sure how she could be so certain he doesn't have it. At that time I decided not to press the issue and see what Braden's doctor had to say because if one boy has it the other most likely does as well beings they are only 11 months apart in age. We got a positive diagnosis for Braden so now we are pursuing the same for Joseph.
   We have been advised to get Joseph "in the system" so when the time comes that we need services they will be more easily accessible. I hear stories of families waiting for years and years to get the help their children need and we want to help Joseph all we can when he needs it.

                 Image result for FASD quotes 
The above quote is speaking of autism. However autism and FASD have many of the same symptoms. This quote fits our situation very well.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Heartache Of RAD

RAD has taken so much from our family and especially from Braden. Sometimes I think I cannot bear it, other times I fight bitterness and rage. RAD has taught us how fearfully and wonderfully we are created. God created us for relationships. As with everything else God created, Satan is out to destroy that ability in us.
Relationships provide love, security and a sense of belonging. RAD is the exact opposite. Those who have this diagnosis push against love, resist any sense of security in mom and dad and they are terrified of belonging. 

RAD has ruined so many relationships for Dean and I. So many people don't understand RAD and only see the charming side of our son. We would be willing to sacrifice these friendships if only Braden could understand how much we love him. Some days I think I am sinking in this pain. To love a child who is terrified of being loved by his parents is heart breaking. We see his hurting heart and long to comfort him but he puts up a wall of rage and indifference that effectively keeps us out.

RAD has brought me to the end of myself. It has brought up feelings that I didn't know I was capable of feeling. Feelings that left me weeping and begging God for help. There were so many times Dean and I didn't even have the words to express our needs but God can hear even our wordless pleas for help.

RAD showed Dean and I how necessary it is to have a strong marriage when parenting emotionally unstable children. Our son would try to get between Dean and I by twisting our words. Children with RAD divide and conquer the adults in their lives. We knew this but it is impossible to explain what it is like to have a child try to drive a wedge in your marriage.

RAD has caused our relationships with our other children to be strained and weak, although by the grace of God we are regaining what we lost. Our children don't trust us to keep them safe, in part because in their eyes we didn't keep them safe from their brother. How does a parent come to grips with such pain?

RAD has taken the little boy we long to cherish and nurture. During his toddler years we occasionally caught a glimpse of the child he would have been had he known the love and care children need. As he grew, the walls became higher and thicker in a desperate bid to keep us from getting close to him. We seldom were able to hug and cuddle him. We longed to love him but he grew so fearful when we showed our love that we backed off to spare him. Our hearts ached to see him sitting by himself struggling to keep back the tears but knowing we dare not comfort him. 

Today I am listening to the song; Calling My Children. I long for my little boy, the little boy that we never really had for our own. Oh may he someday, know just how much we love him! How can I be so lonesome for something I never really had?

CALLING MY CHILDREN

Those lives were mine to love and cherish.
To guard and guide along life's way.
Oh God forbid that one should perish.
That one alas should go astray.

Back in the years with all together,
Around the place we'd romp and play,
So lonely now and of't times wonder,
Oh will they come back home someday.

I'm lonesome for my precious children, 
They live so far away
Oh may they hear my calling...calling...and come back home someday.

I gave my all for my dear children,
Their problems still with love I share,
I'll brave life's storm defy the tempest
To bring them home from anywhere.

I lived my life my love I gave them,
To guide them through this world of strife,
I hope and pray we'll live together,
In that great, glad here after life.

I'm lonesome for my precious children,
They live so far away,
Oh may they hear my calling...calling...and come back home someday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Linky Party

 Here  is the link to Rosalind Jukic' blog. She is having a link up party. Join in and share a post.Be sure to take the time to read some of the post's other bloggers have linked to her blog. 
   She has a great blog post on the three things to consider before hitting "publish" when you write a new post. Something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. Go to the link and join the fun!

    

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Is It Ever Okay To Say, Enough?

Is it ever okay to say, we can no longer parent a child?

Is it acceptable to find them another home? If so, under what conditions?

-When the child has ruined every one of his parent's relationships?

-When he has ruined his parents marriage?

-When a sibling has run away from home or threatened to take his life to escape the chaos the RAD child brings into the home?

-When the family has to barricade themselves inside their bedroom at night?

-When CPS knocks on your door and threatens to remove all your children because the child with RAD has made false allegations, again? 

- When your children are removed from your home because someone felt you were being unfair to the child with RAD?

-When your child threatens your life along with giving a detailed description of his plans?

-When your child has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years and continues to get worse instead of better?

-When you fear for the siblings of the child with RAD?

-When he has gone through RTC's without making any progress?

-When he steals a vehicle and leads authorities on a chase, or worse?

-When he abuses his parents and/or siblings?

-When he pits every adult in his life against each other or against his parents, creating mayhem where ever he goes?

Or, do we continue to allow them to pursue this behavior in order to avoid the criticism we are sure face? 
Do we keep them in our home because with God all things are possible?
Do we take out a loan so we can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment that at best, might help?
Do we sacrifice our relationship's with our other children so we can make an attempt at meeting the many needs that our child with RAD has? Even when we cannot imagine how we will ever meet them?
Do we bring professionals of all sorts into our home and try this that and the other technique?  When nothing works you are once again left with a deep pain and grief, wondering if perhaps you really are the problem? 

Or do we admit we are in over our heads financially, physically, mentally and emotionally? Does a time come when we can honestly say, I have done everything I know to do. I can see my child is not getting better in our home and he needs so much more than we can give him. His only chance at healing may be in finding him a new family where he is an only child and his parents can dote on him and meet his every need. There will be no younger siblings for him to abuse. Is it more loving to keep him in the home where he is tempted to abuse others and become more ill with each action? Or is it better to remove him from the temptation and save him from even more pain he will need to work through? 
                                                 


Image result for when love means letting go quotes 

These questions have been burning in the minds of hundreds of parents who are parenting children with RAD. I have come to the conclusion that there is no cut and dried answer. What is right for one family may be altogether wrong for another family. God calls us to walk different paths in life and because of that we cannot use the same map our neighbor or friend is using.

....and so to answer my own question, is it right to let a child go? I can only say, sometimes yes it is and sometimes no it isn't