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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Mommy that Hangs the Moon

I had an early morning meeting with Sarah's team at school to help figure out how to best approach the meltdowns she has been having when frustrated.  Thankfully, her therapist came and gave some really great background and tips for her teachers to use in the classroom.  All of them were willing and ready to do whatever they could to help her. I was pleased to learn that her classroom teacher was familiar with EMDR techniques and has worked with other kids in foster care. It was really great to hear the therapist discuss the progress the kids have made and reflect on the hard work we've been doing. 

Sarah had another rough evening, this time over her resent for Hubby being "not as good" as the presents her siblings made.  This was self imposed and definitely further expression of the grief she is feeling right now.  Earlier this week we had a tantrum that included phrases like:

You don't feel like a forever Mom.
This doesn't feel like a forever home.
I hate…

We Can Just Get One Of Those Vans

Maria and the Fab Four came to visit us last weekend. The visit was a surprise from Maria for passing her driver's license test. (And if you don't believe people can change read this post here about how upset I was that she drove the kids without a license.) I was so excited for her. I had thrown something in the crock pot so dinner was almost ready when we all arrived.  All the kids were busy checking out the house and all the adults were putting the finishing touches on the dinner.  I love that Maria is comfortable enough to jump in and help. Then we all gathered around the table, all 11 of us and shared a meal.  We laughed and joked and caught up about what was new.

Then Maria started to talk about getting the kids baptized.  She then asked if Herbie and I had been confirmed in the Catholic Church. When we answered yes, she said:

I want to know if you would be willing to be my children's God Parents.  I want someone who will keep them, all four together if something ha…

My Sarah

My Sarah has been having a tough few weeks.  By far she is the most emotional out of the kids right now.  The amazing part,  is that a year ago her therapist was watching her for a possible Reactive Attachment Disorder diagnosis so I have to remind myself that all of these genuine feelings are a good thing.

Gone is the superficial, sugary sweet, charming persona with strangers.  Gone is the avoidance of parental figures. Gone is the avoiding eye contact. The dissociation is a lot less and when she is disregulated she is able to communicate in either sign language or body language. This weekend she threw out "Then you aren't my father" at hubby. She was feeling unloved big time. But she was at least speaking about her feelings.

Tonight we got home from therapy to find Hubby finishing up a project at the house. As we were walking to the door Sarah said to me, "Mom I don't know why but I kind of feel bad for Dad."  And then she began to cry.  She was totally…

My Greatest Achievement

Last week in a team building exercise at work I was asked to share my greatest achievement. Many shared an educational one, many shared that their kids were their achievement.
I was the first woman in my family to graduate from college. I have backpacked through the New Mexico mountains. I got into grad school. I have not 1, but 2, 1/2 marathons under my belt. I'm Mom to 8 kids in total. And my husband I have grown and changed together for 13 years. But what I feel is my greatest achievement and what I shared with my team was:
My relationship with Maria. 
Similar to Cherub Mama's comment on my last post, I've had to forgive people I didn't want to for things that were unspeakable. For things I couldn't even fathom. I had to go completely out of my comfort zone to understand their circumstances, their motivations, and their point of view. 
I wasted a lot of precious energy on being angry. On hatred. Stressed out about little things not understanding those things were li…

Reality TV

I thought I had written a post about my ABC Family TV addiction. Turns out that I started to write one and never published it. I wrote about it being my guilt pleasure here.  But I also have a fondness for MTV's Teen Mom as well. 

If you aren't familiar with the show, its a reality show that follows teens who have gotten pregnant and their journey to parenthood. The girls were on a show called 16 and pregnant and then 4 were picked to be on Teen Mom that followed them after the pregnancy for a longer period of time. I thought the show did a good job of highlighting the challenges that the moms faced navigating school, relationships. finances, etc. 

One couple, Catelynn and Tyler placed their baby for adoption against their family's wishes. Catelynn and Tyler's story was heart breaking.  It was clear from the show that they came from a family that had a lot of trauma and they insisted that the best choice for their daughter was adoption.  I was awed by the maturity i…

You are Welcome to Follow My Story

It seems that the blog has gotten some attention this week.  I was busy doing Mom stuff and missed some comments that were posted and then removed without me reading them.  The comments that were not removed by the author were not what I would consider constructive. I considered not addressing but I also believe in setting boundaries and so before I have to block comments for everyone or make this a password protected blog I thought a post might help.

You are welcome to follow my story but you are excused if you are going to be mean and judgmental. I appreciate the time you took to read what I have written over the past 4 1/2 years.  I'm sure your time is precious and so if you have an issue with me, my methods, and my honesty, then perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere. 

I write from my heart, with brutal honesty.  If that offends you then you shouldn't be reading it.  But I won't apologize for that honesty.  I know learning other parents are walking a very …

Emotions

Last week the TPR trial date was set for next month. In the same conversation Caseworker #3 told me that Sheila is now considering signing the identified surrender paperwork but was requesting a meeting with us to discuss what post adoption contact would look like.
I *should* be excited. At least I feel like that's supposed to be exciting news. However, I'm not feeling much of that. I'm actually kind of exhausted by the thought of a meeting and putting together guidelines and rules. We would be doing that anyway but I hate that it's on her timetable. Like all of a sudden I should be grateful she finally understands that her kids need permanency.
The adoption is still such a conceptual thing for me that I have a hard time feeling like that's real also. We have been on this path for 4 1/2 years. Plus we already feel like a family. I'm also still trying to finish up this term for school and unpack. I feel like if I focus on the adoption that's the point where it…

An Udate to Grief Too Big

This post written back in October, is one of the most read on the blog.  I wrote it after an incredibly hard night for Simon. 

The first time I sat down with the therapy team to learn the results of his trauma assessment I cried.  He scored in the 90th percentile for anxiety.  That meant if he was in a room of 100 kids, he was more worried than at least 90 of them. He was diagnosed with PTSD.  We were waiting to rule out an attachment disorder. It all sounded so hopeless.

He was fidgety. He had no idea how to ask for help with anything. His voice was barely audible. He cried a lot. Even if you hadn't said anything.  The rest of the time he had a fake smile plastered on his face. He couldn't tolerate a hug, it was visibly uncomfortable for him. He felt he was better than his sisters because he had a Bio Dad and they didn't.

If I'm being really honest, as I look back, I had a tough time coping.  I had no idea what to do with a kid I couldn't hug or soothe.  I had a …

Visit Anxiety

Oh boy did we have a day. I'll admit it started with me being a total crab. I found out my company is being acquired and managed to slam my finger in a door and then was up until 3 am doing homework. 
Then my kids decided to leave their brains off and made really poor choices all day. It finally dawned on my that maybe we were having some pre-visit anxiety. That coupled with Mom's crabbiness mean lots of tears. Sarah especially struggled. The feeling of loss is really big for her and I think she's worried that this month's visit will be disasterous like last month's. (For her at least. Sheila spent yet another month celebrating Sarah and Simon's birthdays. Sarah was left out and she know Smiley's birthday is next.) 
Smiley also struggled. She couldn't get it together and so bedtime came early for her. Just a few more months of this...