Saturday, August 2, 2008

Love Is......



I think that my kids have no idea what true love feels. They are terrified of trusting someone that much. To allow them to be that close to them. I am going to try something new with them. I just spent time explaining this Bible verse to my daughter. I guess I don't really have much to talk about today.

But as over used as this passage is, I think it rings true for every type of love relationship that we have as humans. We had this read at our wedding. I know that is probably read at alot of weddings...I know I know... I think that it is something to read to our children, too. A simple lesson on what LOVE truly is. In concrete, understandable terms.....

I Corinthians 13:1-13

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I am actually going to CVS tomorrow pm and I am going to get poster board.....I am going to break the passage up into easily digestable phrases and I am going to hang them around the house.....

In their bathroom, I have small phrases about their positive qualities posted on either side of the mirror. and in their bedroom, I have taped on the wall, promises that we have made to them...i.e. we promise to love them, to keep them safe, to feed them, keep them warm, laugh with them, have fun with them, and be their family forever.... It has seemed to work so far....they get upset anytime I have said I wanted to take the curled up pages down...So I think I will try this again....after all things.....A lesson for me, too....

Have a wonderful night......Be Well.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Feel Good Moments......

I am sure that to some of you it appears as though I never have these moments. Those moments when you just bust with pride at something your kid does. For the record, I do have these moments, just not in the summer.....Summer is a very bad time of year for both kids. But I think I have covered that so no need to review the negative.

This morning....My daughter, Rose, who is my most challenging child...gave me a feel good moment. Of course, you may not view this as a feel good moment...But to a RAD is!

Every morning this kid yanks my chain. I always rush around...I think that there is no reason to dilly dally if you don't need to. AND she knows super slow drives me INSANE....So I would say almost every morning she goes turtle slow....And without fail....she gets a reaction out of me.

I am trying a new tact with her. Everytime she does something that she thinks will get a reaction, I put my pillow over my head and think of anything else...sometimes that includes me running away or having a kid that follows me crazy but that is what i fantasize about.......BUT this morning......she got up, put appropriate clothing on (a big deal in itself), ate breakfast without food drama, made her lunch for camp without scamming me, put on her sneakers without the it's unfair I can't wear flip flops tirade, and left the house with my husband..... Wicked awesome right?

So I have to say this is quite an encouragement to me. When I feel the most hopeless about our situation, she sucks me back in! I smile and think....perhaps this just might be better than good! So I had to share my little victory.....

I have another victory...Marie got some fairly upsetting information about her bio brother last week and she has not had a tantrum....Which also rocks.....My kiddos are slowly but surely becoming healthy.....

Thinking about these things, give me positive energy to start my weekend with....

Be Well

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Birth Families part two......

This seems to be an issue that people are so very divided on....I find myself going back and forth on how I feel. Sometimes, I feel great pity and sadness for the birth family. I mean, I look at the wonderful child that I am raising and I realize how much they are missing out on. The good and the bad.....they don't ever get to have any of the experiences with the child that they gave birth to. Then there are times where I am spitting mad at them. I have intense anger at them because it is essentially their fault that their children have the emotional scars. I find myself going back and forth between these polar opposite feelings a lot.

I assume that if their birth families weren't so much of a daily subject in my home I wouldn't give them a second thought. But so many of the self esteem issues we struggle with in our home boil down to the fact that they don't believe their birth mothers loved them. Whether I like it or not....That is a big deal for them.

Some people assume that if I would just not mention them, this would end....It doesn't....It is in their minds every day. It is behind most of their behaviors and their tears. This primal heart ache.....

One of my children displays extreme behavior on an almost daily basis. We finally spoke to her therapist about a note that we could keep with us in case some misguided do gooder calls the cops because they are freaked out by her shrieks. This letter doesn't eliminate the behavior but for some reason I feel safer knowing that the note makes it less likely that her shrieking will end in deep trouble for all of us. ( Don't gasp with horror....Again, unless you have lived with a violent child, there is no way you can understand to what measures you must go to keep your child safe.....)

I told the story of one of my trips to Target and another blogger shared her trip to WalMart, those stories bother me. I know that I have done nothing wrong...But those around you don't when this little angelic face is puffy and red from her desperate screams.....It is sad that you need to be so careful but the world is different now.....

Watch out girls......I am going to go full circle....Guess what on earth is the reason she has these crazy, rageful tantrums.....You have it! The trauma of her past....The neglect, the separation from her birth family AND the way her mind processes all of it.

Our family is a work in progress. I truly believe that even though our successes seem limited, we are having successes. Even when I am at my wits end and I feel the lowest, we are better today than we were yesterday....AND That is awesome!

Have a fantastic evening! Be Well!.....

By the girls are going to my inlaws tomorrow night...So I get to have DATE NIGHT with my wonderful husband!....SO there will not be a blog tomorrow night!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What I like about you......

The Girls were in rare form today.....More meltdowns than if we had 8 toddlers!

When we got back from Therapy, I had the girls get ready for bed and we were having a family meeting in the living room.....After a long period of time, we met back in the living room. Marie said that she was feeling very sad today and asked if we could do the "Five Things" game.

The "Five Things" Game is where each person writes down five positive things about all of the other members of the family. The rules are they can't be non specific things like "she is a good person", it can't be something like "it is funny when she/he farts" or anything else that is really a put down and it can't be a physical attribute. Tonight, I added a twist. They also had to list five good things about themselves.

Marie is very quick and always proud of her answers. When we do this exercise she is quick with her answers and they are always good things. I enjoy the fact that she gets into this stuff. She loves to contribute to our family in a positive way.....She loves to give and receive compliments. Which is just really a joy!

Rose really struggles with this entire exercise. Which is very telling as to where her mind and heart are at this point. She has no self esteem or any sense of self worth which led to her having a very difficult time with giving and receiving compliments. It breaks my heart to watch her struggle with a seemingly simple way to bond as a family....

Even with Rose's struggles, it still remains a very fruitful exercise. It is a break from the seemingly endless train of tantrums and rude comments. We all get the opportunity to sit down and remember the wonderful things we all bring to the table. It is a way for us to feel good about ourselves and to feel good about our fellow family members. Yay me for the idea!

During therapy today, Rose's therapist said we are really doing everything that we can do to help her, it comes down to her willingness to get better. She really isn't there yet.....But on the bright side....her therapist is young and said she will be around for many we have years to deal with this felt good to know that someone else thought we were doing the right things.....It always makes me happy to know that the issue remains on Rose's end and it isn't our lack of parenting skills. We just continue to pray that she has the "Eureka" moment and we can collectively begin to heal as a family.

My husband and I truly enjoy our time alone when the girls go to bed. It is our saving grace. We are so blessed that we have this time alone to enjoy each other and share our quiet times together. I am truly thankful that we have each other on this journey. It is a great comfort to know that we are stuck here together for this grand adventure!

Be Well!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So I was up really late last night....I am exhausted....Tonight I am just chilling out watching Wipeout! This is one of the funnier shows on TV this summer! So I am laughing hysterically and I needed it..Thank you ABC for your ridiculous programming....

Have a great night Be Well!


PS....Tomorrow I will give you more of my rockin' commentary!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Birth Families! here is a sticky subject for our families! I am not sure what happens in anyone else's family but Birth family is an ever present part of our lives. My children came to me at older ages. Marie was 9 when we met her and she moved in and Rose was 8 when we met her and she moved in. We met both of them after their birth parents had their parental rights revoked.

Both girls had lived with birth families until they were around the age of 5. They both have family histories that are complicated and I won't discuss because I do respect their most personal information. Again, full disclosure, they do know I am writing a blog regarding their birth families. I have promised them what I will and won't share. I love and respect my children and we always discuss these things....NO Shame in my house!

My husband and I read part of a book this past weekend that discussed an adopted child's lack of self worth. Many of them have self esteem issues that begin on the premise that they are unloveable because they could not stay with their birth family. In this book, the author discussed an adoptive mother that gave her son a letter from his birth mother saying that she loved him, thought of him, was proud of him and was really happy that he was being raised by a wonderful family. In the book, there was an amazing ending to this story. In reality, I am not sure that the ending will be "perfect".

I have been thinking about this. My little one, more than my oldest, struggles with those feelings of worthlessness and that she is not lovable. I have decided that perhaps we try this. I mean, we have tried so many other things! We have attended Attachment Therapy, she has been in a psych facility, we go to therapy every week, we read the books, we have done diet changes and vitamins, we say all of the right things, we respond the right way(most of the time!), and we still have this incredibly heart "sick" little girl in our home.

I contacted bio family members tonight. One by email and two by phone. Just so you know, before either of my children moved in, I met their birth mothers. It was my own rule. I always felt that the devil that I do know is better than the devil I don't know. Turns out that they were more sad and pathetic than horrible. I am finding it hard to navigate this part without becoming too personal so I will have to defer this to a later time.

Needless to say, I am truly hoping I will be able to give them these letters and perhaps quiet the beast in their belly. Both girls have deep pain from the loss of their birth family connection. Although it can be challenging and painful to us, I truly feel that they need some sort of closure with their birth family. A letter may not fix anything, it may only create other problems but we may have to navigate more pain to find healing! And that is what we are looking for! To have our children healed!

I want my children to grow up to be secure in themselves and to know what true, unconditional love is. Not only to know what it is but to experience it personally.

Today, after one of my conversations, I have great and wonderful hope for my girls. I wish you the same hope for your own families!

Be Well....


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Grumpy Mommy!

I have a cold......Not a big deal, I know....I am just feeling icky and want to rest. Well, friends, that is easier said than done with my chickies! Every time I am under the weather in any way, it brings back all of the panic and terror of being taken away from their birth mother. I have to admit, I don't immediately feel sympathy and use therapeutic phrases. I immediately become upset because all I want is sleep! I know some of you with more than two children feel absolutely no sympathy for me. In my defense, my children both seem to have multiple personalities inside of them sooooo I feel that I have many children. (They don't literally have multiple personalities, I was using literary license) And who cares, I am grumpy.....I just want to rest!

My wonderful, patient husband lost his mind this weekend. The girls were off their rocker when I (gasp) laid in my bed and didn't get up and get dressed.....It was the end of the world when we didn't go anywhere.....Today, my husband came into the bedroom and said "so when are you getting up?" I said I don't feel good and he looked at me and said "so when are you showering?" I have to admit I was so upset. My husband is so great and does so much for me but the girls were so wacky that he was done for the weekend.....He is ready for work tonight.....

Needless to say, I felt so bad that I did in fact get up and get dressed...I am still grumpy and I still don't feel good but for some reason, the fact that I am dressed some how makes them feel as though I am healthy and that I am able to keep them safe.....It marvels me how their minds work.....

ON the Bright side....The cherubs have gone to bed.....My hubby and I get to have some time alone and I can climb into my bed and snuggle!

I really really need to get back to so many things on my blog...patience my friends....patience! This week I will try to cover things....Plus our 5th Gotcha Day (the day my Marie came home) is soon upon us and we have a birthday (Rose) two days after that! And just for good measure the first anniversary of our beloved cat's death is the day in between the other two events....So yes it is that perfect storm in a RAD home.....Could it get any more fun....Oh is about to end, too......Yes! I love my life! When I was single I was always afraid I would have an uneventful life...> I pray for nothing to happen......How our lives change!

Be Well......ME