Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I had to stop and count how many kids with Down Syndrome we've had. Christopher was the first. He was a year old AA baby and had Tetrology of Fallot in addition to Downs. He died after heart surgery. He was a real sweety with a stunning smile.
Matthew was our second DS baby. He came with various holes in his heart, and had been placed with a family who eventually decided they couldn't handle a child dying on them. Having just lost a child, we weren't sure we could either. but we got him at 5 months with all his cardiac problems. But a miracle happened and Matt's cardiac checkup here showed that there never were any holes in his heart. Never mind the conflicting medical evidence. He just got healed.
Caitlyn was our third DS baby. She was 22 months and profoundly mentally handicapped and extremely self abusive. She's been living in a group home for a few years now. She's 24. Gorgeous AA baby girl who ripped her hair out, bit herself and banged her head until it bled.
Jennifer came right out of the hospital. 5 pounds and a very beautiful little DS baby She was born to two Taiwan folks who handed her over in the airport. Really nice, and very short people with an older son. They didn't speak English at all, but I had learned through a translator before placement that in their culture intelligence was everything. Jen at 23 looks a lot like her birth mom, and is just as short.
William was our first adoption after we moved south. Also DS, but he was born with his stomach not connected to his intestines and had surgery after surgery and ended up with a tracheostomy for four year. I got to know his young birth mom, and she visited until she moved away. Still have some contact though. Pictures, etc.
Emily was born the next year to a young mom who wouldn't admit she had been pregnant, and therefore couldn't have delivered a baby, and certainly not one with Down Syndrome. Her birth father was well off, but never heard from him or the mom after placement. She's 19 now and a real joy. Soft spoken and very sweet.
Ethan came the following year. He had DS and a heart condition called AV canal. They surgeons here were just going to let him die, as they felt he was too bad for surgery. But I talked the one guy into doing it anyway. I said I'd rather have him die while giving him a chance at life than not. Ethan lived, but he was plagued with illnesses like pneumonia, and died at the age of 13.
Robin came next. She was the daughter of a navy guy and a Korean woman. Robin was about 4 months old when we got her, and they lied to us to get her placed. Shortly after she came home she started having serious trouble breathing and was hospitalized. Tests show that she had severe broncho pulmonary dysplagia and had had several brain bleeds right after birth. So she went on O2 and was hospitalized at least once a month until she reached about 12-14 months. They had to have known about her condition as we got her when they finally released her from the NICU. Robin is a sweet quiet child who never cries. She says few words, but understand everything said to her. She likes to watch TV, but she isn't into playing games with her siblings. No sweeter child born ever than Robin.
Jeremy came next, right out of the hospital. A big healthy AA DS boy. He's soo athletic but he also has some severe behavior problems. We've had some real lovely times with this kid. But I wouldn't trade him for anything! If he was my first adoption I probably would never have adopted anyone else.
So I guess that's nine of them. They are all growing up and I'm very proud of each of them.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
She is absolutely so sweet and loving. When Matt was little and I brought Emily home he touched her hair and said "Kitty cat." Meaning her hair was as soft as a kitty cat. I've been calling her that ever since. And it suits her.
Oh, she has a stubborn streak, as all kids do, but for the most part she is just adorable. I love being her mom.
I look at all the children I still have at home, every one with developmental delays due to Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida or crack cocaine...Whose parents didn't want the "burden" of raising them...
Dear Lord, what they have missed! And what an incredible blessing I have received from the love of these beautiful children, God's perfect children.
Has it been easy? No way! Has it been miserable at times? Sure it has! But more than anything else, has been the amazing love that they give us. What a wonderful blessing. Three wonderful intelligent loving and responsible birth kids who love their adopted siblings so much. Tremendously amazing adult adopted children, who have a love of their siblings like no other. And sixteen developmentally delayed kids who are closer to God's meaning of Love than anything else on earth.
And add my one true love, my husband to the mix, and what more could I possibly ask? I am so blessed. Thank you, God for all my blessings!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I guess a year or so ago I had tried those paid online surveys. They took a lot of effort and time and there were hoops to jump through and other things to buy to get paid for taking the survey. I'd start one survey and it would be endless and extremely frustrating. I gave up. It seemed too hard for a Mom of 17 to make money this way.
A friend, S, however, set me straight. She is making about $600 a month with paid surveys. And she has a couple dozen kids. She told me that I was simply not finding the RIGHT surveys. That the ones I had been trying were complete scams. (I had figured that out...)
There really ARE a bunch of easy surveys that pay you a lot of money (well $5-75 is about tops) for filling out surveys. Legitimate companies looking for market research. They only take about 15-20 minutes to complete and people ARE making a good income with it.
I ran across a group that gives you everything you need to get started. And they have so much help for you. They make finding good paid surveys simple. They also tell you about local surveys and focus groups and Secret Shopper opportunities you can join to make money.
You MUST check it out. I was amazed. I think I finally found out how to make that extra $1000 a month so that my husband doesn't have to bag groceries anymore!
If you have an hour or two a day you could be bringing in more than you would be making at a part time minimum wage job every month. And if you are up in the middle of the night with a kid or if there's nothing on TV, use your time to make some cash.
Click on the banner to the right and then click on the "Watch Video" image on the left as soon as the page opens. I just started early this AM and I've made $25 already. OK, so I skipped cleaning and doing the dishes...that doesn't pay me.
They have about 750 survey programs available, but I only joined the ones that pay cash, and only the ones that pay well. Some of them are contests, and sweepstakes. I won't waste my time there. I want CASH.
Thanks, S !
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I guess most of you have read the story of the 400+children removed by CPS amidst charges of child abuse. If not, read it here.
I think this case shows the absolute stupidity of the system. Even if there are cases of child abuse that can be sustained, do they not even give one thought to the welfare of these kids?
And what is the state going to do with 400+ kids suddenly thrown into the system? Put up a tent city? Thrust the children into foster homes? I don't think so, these homes are already overcrowded.
And what about the little people? So Daddy abused a kid. Yes, that's horrible, but I have to think that in a polygamist marriage the mom would have been brainwashed or afraid to argue with the husband. Why not just leave the children with their moms? And work with them on unbrainwashing them? Provide supervision, even pay for staff to stay there and help them and report back. Make them attend their so called "parenting classes." Whatever, but FIRST do no harm.
Yes, physical and sexual abuse are HORRIBLE...but removing a child from the mother he is bonded to and throwing him into a home with strangers WILL CHANGE THAT CHILD FOR LIFE. CPS is once again destroying kids. Think of your own child and how terrible it would be for him/her to be forcibly removed from your home and stuck in foster care. How much pain does that give you? Well the pain the child feels is 100% worse.
I can't help but think that some of this has to be the prejudice against large families. You and I know that large families work and work well. But large families are targeted by CPS as abnormal, just based upon size.
I can't believe that all of the moms involved participated in the abuse. I have to think that leaving the kids where they were and working with the moms would have been a MUCH better thing to do.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I was looking thru some old photos and found this group pic of our family way back in 1995. Man was I busy then!
We had just moved into our house and Will (the little guy with downs bottom left) had recently ripped up the entire vinyl flooring so that it wasn't possible to relay.
All our kids, except Amanda, and Adam (top-third from left) were still at home. *** My oldest, Wendy, top left holding Jay, just pointed out that she had been living on her own for quite a while, and Meghan was married and had Sean already-she's holding him!
Adam was home visiting from college.
The little white guy, Ethan, with Downs to the right of my husband now lives in heaven, with his sisters Rebecca and Taylor and his brother Christopher. Miss them every day.
And No, I don't weigh that much anymore...and my husband FINALLY got rid of that beard not long after that photo was taken.
The youngest kid at home now will be 15 in July. He's grown like a weed and is getting a new wheelchair soon, way sooner than medicaid would have liked!
Our dream is that once the kids are all adults, that we will turn our 8 bedroom home into a group home where they can live together forever. THAT will take a lot of work, money, and effort to pull off. But everything IS possible.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I'm ever so glad that in 1992 I decided that we'd only adopt infants with Down syndrome, thereby avoiding RAD. Well we did adopt a crack baby and two spina bifida ones, but still, all these years later, I'm grateful for the relative peace.
21 kids, and all are doing well as can be expected. Only ten at home. Makes for a peaceful life. Usually...
Danielle is spending two nights at her friend's house this weekend. So what does she do, but call her sister, Emily here to chat on the phone. And Emily can't sleep in their room alone, so she talked her dad into letting her sleep in my recliner, while dad slept on the couch.
When one kid is missing there is a whole shift in dynamics. Two are missing this weekend. Matt is spending the weekend with his best friend of 20 years, Sean. Sean is moving to TX shortly. That will be sad for both of them.
And with Matt and Dani gone, it just seems like an incredibly small family. Parts of the puzzle are missing...
Friday, April 11, 2008
Things have gone quite well. Will has kept all his clothes on for the most part. Jeremy hasn't broken any windows or destroyed any furniture. No trips to the ER. So by those standards I can say it has been a successful week, unlike past years.
Today started out bad, though, as Jeremy is really getting antsy. He had the DVD of High School Musical 2 blaring in the play room. I mean BLARING. And he refused to turn it down. And because he had in previous years punched out all the little buttons that control the volume, and had the remote in his hands and refused to give it up without a fight, I could see a definite trend to ramp things up.
So I took the DVD and told him he could have it back when he turned over the remote.
Resigned now to a day of, well, you know what, I told my husband about it. He was getting ready to take Jay to the Ortho clinic. And the angel that he is, he offered to take Jeremy with him! At that moment he looked really holy to me.
He'll have problems with him there for sure, as you have to sit and wait for hours. But what a loving thing to do for me.
And I thought of both my husband and Jeremy, as well as myself when I read Neale Donald Walsch's message for the day. It's truly wonderful.
....that beauty comes in many forms--and there is no form
more beautiful than you.
Just exactly as you are, this minute, right now, without
changing a thing...you are beautiful. Beautiful enough to
take God's breath away.
You do believe this, don't you? Oh, you must. You must.
How can I believe in my beauty if you don't believe in
yours? It's for me you must believe, not for you...
I hope you feel total peace wash over you when you read that...I did. If you didn't, read it again.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
For those of you who don't believe in the Law of Attraction, or for that matter, in miracles...Consider this:
The photo here is of Amanda, our second adoption. She was born in 1977 to a woman living in an institution since age 4, who had contractures in every joint in her body and was profoundly mentally handicapped, and a man who worked at the place and took advantage of her.
Nobody knew that the woman was pregnant until she was ready to give birth, and all that time Amanda was exposed to massive amounts of anti seizure drugs and others. We got her when she was about a month old.
She was born with a bilateral cleft lip and her little feet were so deformed that they were stuck up against her legs. Those were serial casted down and she learned to walk, and the cleft lip was repaired early on.
But those were the least of her problems. This little girl cried and screamed almost all day and night. And she constantly punched herself in the chin and hit her chin on her shoulder and bit herself. Imagine spending your days with a child who cannot be calmed down, and who constantly hurt herself.
We loved her and worked with her until she was eight years old, when she became even more self abusive and I had her Baker Acted to the hospital. They moved her to a major psychiatric hospital in town with a children's wing. No matter what they did she never did get better.
When her time wore out at that place we had her placed in another program in town, where she did a little better but not very much. They couldn't keep her in bed, either. Nobody could. And the self abuse was frightful and bloody.
A painful decision was made to place her in a group home. It took forever to find one in the state that would take her, and it was clear on the other side of the state. So I sadly took my little girl on a plane ride that I thought would never end. It snowed and they couldn't land in the right airport, so we had to take a bus ride for about three hours to get to the home. She cried and screamed the whole time, but that wasn't unusual.
Just about every week I'd get a phone call about her stuffing a mathchbook up her nose or something and having to be taken to the ER, or biting herself somewhere and trip to ER, or banging her head so hard that she had to go to the ER.
We then moved south, and the group home threw her out, They couldn't take the risk anymore. She was the most severely self abusive kid they had ever had. It took a while to find another group home for her in our new state, and it was two counties away.
Over the past 20 years she had been moved from one group home to another. We could not get up to see her often because of the size of our family here and the medical conditions that our kids had. Caseworkers changed, the group home owner I had given legal guardianship to, so they didn't have to call me for every little thing, closed down and she dropped her guardianship.
Eventually she was lost to us. We had no idea where she was, and nobody else did either. Our names seemed to have been dropped into a black hole.
I was looking at pictures of her about a week ago and hoping she was OK. And if you read this blog you know that I am a firm believer in The Secret and the law of attraction.
Yesterday, my daughter who works in a local gastroenterologist's office called me and said, "You'll never believe who is here. It's Amanda!"
Her current group home, some 2-3 hours away, had brought her in for an evaluation. They couldn't find a medicaid provider in their county that would take her, so the lady thought, "I bet I an find one in (our city.) There are several medicaid gastro offices here, and a some in the county above us. But she picked THIS ONE about 20 minutes from our home. The one where Amanda's sister was working...
My husband and I quickly got in the car to go see her. Amazing! She's 31 now and much the same. The staff had been told that she had no relatives. I gave her Amanda's birthdate, and told her about the finger Amanda had chewed off as a child on a schoolbus. We had a wonderful reunion! Amanda is now totally blind. We exchanged phone number and addresses. They were delighted to find parents they could call for permission to admit her or treat her.
So what do you think ARE the chances of this happening? Two counties away, the staff had no idea she had any family here-and I mean 20 minutes away from the office, and that her sister would be working there and recognize her???
This is just another wonderful incident in my journey through the Law of Attraction, and the love of God.
Anything is possible. Anything. Get the movie-The Secret-it's way better than the book. Then take it further with Joe Vitale's book "The Attractor Factor." and "The Key."
Monday, April 7, 2008
Here's something from Neale Donald Walsch today. Use it to find PEACE today.
....that you can remain in your present idea about yourself,
or you can choose again. I like the idea of choosing again.
Glorify who you are today, do not condemn who you
were yesterday, and dream of who you can be tomorrow.
Choose again. Who do you want to be today?
You will not have to think for more than a second to
know exactly why you just read this...
Sunday, April 6, 2008
The kids get so much out of competing.
Here's a secret on how to get a lot of blue ribbons. Have them compete in events that aren't so popular. Like the WALK. Dani does two walk events and always gets blue ribbons for them. It's not a "walk in the park" though (pun intended.) You have to be able to keep at least one foot on the ground at all times. That takes skill.
Today everyone was tired. A nice quiet day. Tomorrow begins Spring Break. I doubt that it will be as quiet!
Jay, 14 says to me today "Mom, You're smart for someone your age."
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
If you are a follower of "The Secret" then you will love what Neale Donald Walsch has for you.
Neale is on of the presenters in the movie, and has a website at http://www.nealedonaldwalsch.com . You can sign up for his daily inspirational email message.
It's a marvelous way to start off your day feeling good. I've decided to post those messages here.
Today's message is:
....that everything is falling together perfectly, even
though it looks as if some things are falling apart .
Trust in the process you are now experiencing. Life
is on your side. It is showing that to you now, though
you may not be able to see it clearly at this time.
You have made your wishes and dreams known to
God. Now comes the time for faith. Faith that all
is right, right now. Tomorrow will reveal itself exactly
as it should.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
If I asked you the question, "What is the function of a SCHOOL?" You'd say educating our children, right?
But you'd be soooo wrong.
Schools today have gradually taken on more powers. Just educating the kids isn't enough. Now they think they are responsible for everything in your child's life.
The clothes they wear aren't brand new and trendy? Their shoes not exactly new? You could be in trouble.
You kid has a runny nose? Or an itchy foot? THAT could get you in trouble.
Schools now are considering themselves GUARDIANS of our kids. Not the parents. The parents are downgraded to caretakers. Not the people who care the MOST ab out a child, who have that child's best interests at heart, the people who would die for their child...
Just caretakers. And I think the schools think they employ us to do that.
They also think they are all doctors. They love to diagnose. "Jeremy's foot is itchy. It looks like a bad fungus." Which is something, of course, you can't ignore because even though you know that there is nothing wrong with the foot, you MUST take him to the pediatrician or face CPS. So you waste a couple hours of your time to be told there is nothing fungal going on there, and report back to the BIG BOSSES who think they own our kids, with a letter signed by the MD.
And they use the power of CPS to get what they think the child needs from us. New Shoes, New Glasses, New Braces, New Clothes...Medical Treatment. Psychiatric treatment...
I homeschooled one son for one year. I am not the kind of mom who can do that, but I wish I was.
I am my child's parent. I have NOT relegated that responsibility to the state or the schools. But it's futile. I've watched the atmosphere in schools toward parents change over the past 40 years. And change not for the best.