Monday, December 31, 2007
My rustic backyard is filled with little black and yellow striped butterflies. They make me happy. They hurt no one, and they bring such joy.
I looked them up on the net last night. They are called Zebra Longwing Butterflies. But I was surprised to find out the similarities between these guys that dwell in my yard and large adoptive families.
Zebra Longwings are special in that they are different from other butterflies in that they live in families of about 70 insects. They don't travel very far from their "home."
You never see just one Zebra. They fly in little groups with their brothers and sisters. If you see one, you just look around for his brother. He's always nearby.
The Zebra Longwing is resourceful, too, and are one of the only species that eat both nectar and pollen. If they wore clothes, they'd probably shop at thrift shops, too.
The thing I envy about them, though, is that although 70 or 80 of them will go home at night to the same bush, once never can find that home. They have privacy. And that's something that most large adoptive families do not enjoy.
Still, each morning when I take Jack out to pee, they swarm around me, come right up to my face and dance around. I love that.
Monday, December 24, 2007
This year I think I've found the answer to all the stress around this holiday. Christmas is all about Peace and the birth of Jesus. The day has become something to dread for most families. Certainly NOT peaceful.
Even this year I was not happy to see the calendar sneaking up on December. Especially since we were having a major financial crisis. But that financial crisis proved to be the cure to stress-at least the holiday stress :)
I started to shop in mid November, and bought a couple gifts on ebay. Gifts that were no longer being made. One gift per child. I've had everything I needed to do done way before today, and last night we even wrapped all but two of the presents. In 39 years of marriage we've never done that before.
Today, Christmas Eve, is peaceful. The way it should be. If we can keep Jeremy and Will busy, that is.
Each child living at
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We've had at least four kids a day home with colds this week and part of last. Different kids each day. Today Emily got sent home because she told the teacher she had a sore throat. Nothing wrong with her really, except that two of her brothers and one of her sisters was home.
The pic is our daughters Dani, 16, and Emily, 19 at special olympics.
So I got up and poured my morning glass of iced tea and sat down to read my email. In the background I hear my 14 year old, Jay singing "Let there be peace on earth." He learned it for a Very Special Arts Christmas performance held on the 8th. He was one of two soloists-the rest were all groups of disabled people singing Christmas songs. He also sang "Go Tell it on the Mountain."
He did quite well, but forgot some of the words. He has a great voice and as long as there is background music he stays perfectly on key. The auditorium was NOT wheelchair friendly, however. Surprising how many places still aren't.
Anyway, It was the perfect song for me to hear this morning. All anyone really wants is PEACE, right. But most of us don't allow it into our lies. So I took a moment to clear my mind of stressful stuff and decided I wasn't going to try to achieve anything today. And I didn't!
I think it helped that Jeremy went back to school today. Gotta shadow that kid when he's home... Gotta love them all.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Well...DH had the day off today, so thought it might be productive. Thinking maybe if we worked together something might get done here.
But Robin stayed home with a cold. Will refused to go to school and Jeremy's school called and asked for us to pick him up. He was sent home on Friday with a cold, but over the weekend it cleared up. So I think he's pulling their collective leg at school this morning.
The thing about Jeremy's school is that it is 45 minutes away. So that's an hour and a half driving time. There goes the day.
Jeremy attends a county run special class for mentally retarded kids with severe behavior programs. (yeah I know, the term is politically incorrect) Jeremy has Down Syndrome and is 14 years old. He has been attending this marvelous class for a year and a half now. It has made all the difference in the world for him.
Before he got in this specialized class he was a holy terror for any teacher. Kicking, hitting, running away from teachers, getting into cars in the parking lot, smearing poo in the bathrooms.
You might think that this kid must be profoundly MR. He's not. In fact of all my DS kids, and I have a lot of them, Jeremy is THE highest functioning. He's smart. Extremely inquisitive. But he is also super impulsive, and super sneaky.
He's not RAD either. I know Rad..this isn't it. I'm starting to think that he must have some degree of fetal alchohol syndrome or affect. But this class has helped him so much, even at home.
Anyway, this class is a short term program. This is his second and last year. He is doing so well there that they want to release him back to the regular school system. I completely know what will happen. He'll fall apart. I'm sure of it. At least I have a few more months of relative content here.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The White Ibis
Lots of things in life look nasty, but it's often a big deception. Money problems, kid problems, marital problems, employment problems... You can let them destroy you, or you can choose to rise above it all.
No matter how bad things may seem, you can and should make a sincere effort to seek out the thoughts and feelings that make you happy. That give you peace and hope. A smile, a laugh, a funny movie.
Reach for the happy thoughts and memories. Nothing is more important to you or your family than your staying in a good mood. Like attracts like in life. Sad people attract other sad people and tend to make happy people sad, too.
Angry people, tend to slop their anger onto you. Then you get angry back. Don't let them polute your mind like that. Block that anger. Accept only happy thoughts and feelings.
Sounds kind of Pollyanna, but if you get in the habit amazing things happen. I have one kid who just LIVES to make me angry. It wasn't until we decided that refusing to engage him in his angerfest we were able to get some control back.
We're having severe money problems that before would have sent me into depression. But I know there is a silver lining coming. The money problems won't last.
So when you think it looks like a storm is coming, whether financial, or legal or family related, looks can be deceiving. Look for the White Ibis. He's around there somewhere.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
We could have easily fallen victim to the turmoil that has affected this family. But that one decision, years ago, has made all the difference.
That's not to say that we haven't had our behavior problems. We certainly have! But not the kind of problems we experienced with our RAD kids.
I have the greatest respect for families I know who specialize in adopting kids with reactive attachment disorder, and have managed to keep their marriages intact. But we were on a slippery slope with our RAD kids.
We gave up our right for the 7 year old after he tried to smother our profoundly MR and autistic daughter and another time tried to cut off her fingers with a pair of scissors. The other child grew up and I'm very proud of her. Despite her turbulent childhood and wild teen years, she has been married to the same man for many years and is a wonderful mother to two beautiful boys. But, Wow! What a ride she gave us.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Several of my friends have kids with Asperger's Syndrome. Personally I have lots of experience with Autistic kids. Both are real tough parenting situations, and hard to get good information on.
I found two great books that are a must read. There is a comprehensive book about Asperger's and by the same author is a book about Autism. If you order one book you get the other one for free. Great deal considering they are 100% money back guaranteed.
Here are some of the topics the Asperger's Book covers:
# How to treat Asperger’s the “natural way” – you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to do when you follow these tips!
# How having a child with Asperger’s can impact a whole family – plus, what you can do to ensure that your family sticks together and continues to support each other!
# How to cope with your feelings after having a child diagnosed with Asperger’s – follow these tips to remain positive and ensure you’ll always “be there” for your child!
# What it’s like to grow up with Asperger’s – and 7 things you can do to make your child’s adolescence easier and more enjoyable!
# One of the best things you can do for your child with Asperger's – do this and put your child on the fast track to overcoming their Asperger’s symptoms!
# The two most common alternative treatment methods for Asperger's – and just how effective they are for most children!
# How to use the diet to help control AS naturally -- proponents of dietary management of AS agree that many symptoms will decrease in severity and some may even disappear with a change in diet … learn more here!
# How to help your child overcome the challenges of living with Asperger’s – so that they can grow up and live fully functional lives with a good job … and a family!
# Why when it comes to diagnosing Asperger’s sooner is much better – the longer you wait to have your child diagnosed the harder it will be for him and for you … find out why here!
# The six elements of the common AS medical treatment program – and whether or not this program is your child’s best bet for overcoming his or her Asperger’s symptoms!
# Common medications prescribed for children with AS – plus, the side effects of each!
Get One Book- either the Autism book or the Asperger's book and get the other one FREE. 100% Money Back Guarantee.
"The Essential Guide to Autism"
and her book "Recognizing & Treating ADHD"
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The doctors told us yesterday that Ross will probably be ready to come home on Wednesday. That's the WooHoo! He's very weak, and can't walk with his forearm crutches yet. Can only take a few steps with a walker, but, hey, he'll be at home. Probably won't go back to school before the start of vacation, though.
His whole class surprised him yesterday. He was so excited. We put him in a wheelchair and told him we were going for a walk. When we got to the waiting room on that floor, the entire class was there. What a nice visit! People have been coming to see him every day. Lots of folks. It's so nice to see that kind of caring.
Now for the ARRGH! As I think I mentioned, SSI decided to cut our payments in half for December. Not cool when you depend on that so much. Then our dryer died and had to be replaced and the very next day the washer died, too. They can't go defunct in the summer? Noooo. They wait until Christmas.
So yesterday I'm getting ready to make dinner, and...no water. The water pump gave up the ghost, and took with it its friend the pressure tank. Talk about an expensive repair! But it got done.
I don't let these things get me down. We've always made it through monetary disasters. Always, something happens to turn things around. In the larger scheme of things it's nothing. We could have lost our sweet boy. And we didn't. That makes all the difference.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
He's so bored. If you hear of a child you know who is in the hospital, PLEASE go visit them. It means so much that someone cares enough to go see him in the hospital.
I'm awfully busy and can't blog much until Ross is home, but here's a neat math trick someone sent me. I wish I understood how it works, but it does.
YOUR AGE BY DINER & RESTAURANT MATH
This is pretty neat.
DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!
It takes less than a minute .
Work this out as you read ..
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.
1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to go out
(more than once but less than 10)
2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)
3. Add 5
4. Multiply it by 50
5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1757 ....
If you haven't, add 1756.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
You should have a three digit number
The first digit of this was your original number
(I.e., how! Many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.)
The next two numbers are
YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)
THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2007) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Other than that, he is talking and watching TV. Prayers please...
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
When you adopt kids with special needs, you have to accept that there WILL be medical emergencies, but it never gets any easier. This morning Dad tried to get Ross up for school, but he was seizing and had a high fever.
He was totally unresponsive, so I called 911 and the ambulance got him to the hospital. Now, he has spina bifida and a vp shunt, but he's never in his life had anything other than petit mal seizures. This was scary. He's 15 and such a great kid.
Of course this freaked out all his siblings, because in 2003 our 13 yr old son died at home and we did CPR until the ambulance came and took him to the hsopital where he was declared dead. So, of course, all my kids having developmental delays, they equate hospital with death.
Ross is still out of it tonight, but you can get one or two words out of him, but still not much sense. The neurosurgeon is coming in in the morning. Say a prayer for my sweet boy.