About Me

I have adopted 4 children from a specific orphanage in Eastern Europe and I want to see more children redeemed from that orphanage and brought into families. I want to make sure that the children who are still left behind in that place are never forgotten.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Important to Watch, but Only if You Want to be Moved

This video should be watched by every Christian everywhere. Of course when I watch it I feel even more moved toward adoption. I feel even more moved to reach to those that the world doesn't esteem highly. I bet that when you watch it God will make you feel something. Whatever that something is, is something that you should act on. If you don't know your calling when you watch this then I don't know what could move you to know and act. God is amazing and He wants us to be His hands and His feet. We need to touch those around us and those afar. WATCH AND ACT!

Reece's Rainbow

Reece's Rainbow is an awesome site to visit online. They work with all sorts of Down Syndrome advocacy, adoption, fundraising, and just trying to help children with Down Syndrome find loving families. I encourage you to go to their site. Look at all the ways that you can help change the world. Donate to the fund that helps families afford to go and save these precious children. They have a wonderful Christmas program going on and children are finding homes daily. Families are committing to these children while knowing that they are going to have to do tremendous amounts of fundraising and trusting God to give them the rest of the thousands of dollars that are needed to bring their angel home. Reece's Rainbow is changing the world!

I have dreamed about adopting a child with Down Syndrome internationally since before Julianne even came home. Since Julianne got home though, my desire has been more intense and even a bit desperate in my heart. I tuck her in at night and realize that while she is so excited to get to her bed, many children with Down Syndrome may not have gotten out of theirs today. I watch my children play and treat her with such kindness while realizing that in many places children her age are put in mental institutions to live out their lives, which are often way too short. I kiss that little spot above her button nose and realize that many children with Down Syndrome don't have anyone to love them. I can't fathom how our world has gotten so turned around. I can't imagine how on earth people can really just throw away God's most amazing gifts. It is just beyond my comprehension. How can people miss out on those giggles? How can people miss out on the love that these children were to bring into the world and instead just throw them away???? How do Christians everywhere sit back and know that this is happening, but do nothing??????????????????

We are praying hard that God is going to open doors for us to adopt internationally with the guidance of Reece's Rainbow. First we have to get Cody home, but I think by Spring we will be ready to start the balls to rolling. I can already see God working to provide what we need to get started and I am so excited to be a part of His plan. Please pray about it with us. I know God has big plans. I also know that He is going to get Cody home and into our arms soon so that we can make him a permanent part of our family and move on to whoever and wherever He has our next little ones.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Not Blogged for a Little While

I haven't been on here for a little while. Things have been incredibly busy here. Construction is still dragging on. We did bring boxes of furniture in tonight. We will be putting some together this weekend and the inside is supposed to be finished (and them out of my house lol) by Wednesday. They are doing a great job and are very nice, but we need our "normal" (haha that is funny don't you think) life back.

My last posts were about 3 of the children accepting Jesus as their Savior. Crystal and Destiny are doing great. Andrew is NOT. He did well for a few days, but the devil is fighting him hard. He is back to using his pants part of the time (remember he will be 10 in February and has nothing wrong except the RAD). He is not doing his school work well and always refuses to finish it all. I know that he is learning, but he just won't perform it.

Jose and Forrest have joined ranks with Andrew for the moment. They too are refusing to finish all of their work for any day CORRECTLY. Jose has even tried to tell me that I didn't teach him that 24,000 was bigger than 1,000, so that is why he can't add. roflol GIVE ME A BREAK! Forrest and Jose will tell me that they are "playing games", but yet they still act surprised by their lack of priveleges. HMMM . . . . .

I am sick. A few of the kids have a cold of sorts as well. Brent just got over it. (Dayton says we got it from Daddy and we should "banish" him, which I am inclined to agree with currently. haha) Dayton and I are having to deal with affecting our asthma. I am dealing with it affecting my sinuses as well. Praying God heals it all so we can enjoy the coming week with lots of snow to fly around out there. :)

I hope all is going well where you are. I will try to manage a post tomorrow about Reece's Rainbow. I am praying that God allows us to be a part of that adventure for huge blessings as soon as Cody makes it home. :) Right now it is already tomorrow and I need to head for bed!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crystal Accepted Jesus too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, you read that correctly. Tonight Crystal came to me and said that she really wanted to get saved. I asked her why and she said that she needed to quit sitting and thinking about hell. I took her to the same quiet spot that I took Andrew to just a couple nights ago.

We talked for awhile. I reminded her of all the stuff that I reminded Andrew of in the previous post. She was very serious. I knew that it had been on her mind for quite some time. About 6 months ago I found a letter she had written to God about how she wanted to get saved. With most of my kids that would be an immediate time to talk. The problem is that if I push RAD kids toward something then they go the other way! I had to wait until it was something that she came to me about.

I asked her what "sins" she had committed that she needed Jesus to save her from. She told me that a lot of them were "hate". She went on to tell me things that I very well knew, but had never had her outright tell me. She said that when she came here she knew that we loved her very much, but that she always "hated" us very much. She cried a lot. She said that she knew that God wouldn't want her to hate us and that she did a lot of other sins too.

Crystal asked Jesus to save her and He did! She was very happy and I hope that I see a lot more of her happiness. She has been giving me hugs for awhile now. Tonight they were a little sweeter. She told me that she does love me and that she is glad that we are her family. WOW GOD IS AMAZING! Of course, when God comes into someone's heart there must be LOVE there because GOD IS LOVE!

I ask again, as I did about Andrew, that no one give them attention as a result of this. They need their salvation to be about a relationship with Christ. Attention is so bad for the RAD kids that it could get them completely off track. As their mother I am so THRILLED that they have accepted Jesus as their Savior. At the same time, I am terrified that people will show them "normal" attention like they would others. I'm terrified that a little of that could get them completely off track. Please join me in praying for God to spare them from that and continue to make their hearts to heal.

Andrew Got Saved (yes him too!)

Thurday evening at dinner Andrew told me that he was going to get saved when he was a teenager. I told him that was fine. He said that it was because when he is mad at me, he thinks about how he will do it then since he knows that I want him to do it. I told him that his salvation was just between he and God. I told him that him doing it as a teenager works fine unless he gets killed in a car accident or Jesus comes back before then. I told him that he could leave my thoughts out of it because it was between he and God.

Right before Andrew went to bed, he came to me and said that he needed to be saved right then. I talked to Andrew for over and hour from beginning to end. I wanted to make sure that he understood that salvation was serious. I talked to him about how Jesus literally DIED for him and how it would be spitting in His face as He hung there to not be serious about it. I let him know that asking Jesus into your heart is supposed to mean not only that you don't want to go to hell, but that you want to live for Jesus. I talked about how God is LOVE and he admitted that he'd had a lot of hate inside just out of the blue when I mentioned that. I told him that God KNOWS everything and that He can't be manipulated or tricked or deceived. I reminded him that while many people can see his smile and think it is real even when it is fake, God isn't like that. I reminded him that while he has said he was interested in salvation before, but it was just for attention that God always knows the truth.

I really am 99% sure that Andrew asked Jesus into his heart Thursday evening. I was only 98% sure that night. He seemed sincere and I don't fall for his games too easy. Since then I have seen a huge turnaround in his behavior and even in the look in his eyes. A lot was said and I have seen a lot of "action" that backs it up the past couple days. Please pray for him. I know the devil is going to fight him hard.

Also please if you know us in real life, don't give him attention for this (or anything else for that matter). I really need him to know that he should feel blessed and it is about a relationship with God. Attention will make his RAD flair up really badly.


Destiny Got Saved

Well Wednesday evening Destiny came to me right before we left for church. She said "Mommy, Dayton and Denzell don't have their sins any more because Jesus took them, but I still have mine because I haven't been saved. I need to be saved Mommy!".

I have lead a lot of my kids to the Lord. I don't know why her saying that made me want to sob and cry. It did though. God is so amazing! Destiny is the child that they told me was "mentally retarded" and who was such a mess when she got here. She was scared. She only spoke in echolalia. If I raised my hand she would flinch and jump back. She never expressed any emotion that was good at first except that she always looked scared. Since then she has become my bubbly happy girl. I knew that the AWANA verses she was learning seemed to be sticking, but I wondered when she would for sure make all those connections and be able to express them. Her doing it sent me into tears. I hurriedly said "Ok we are going to be late for AWANA if we don't hurry so we'll take care of it there". She was happy and so was I!

She spoke with "Billy" (I've heard his name mentioned in every prayer since then that she has prayed out loud.) and prayed to ask Jesus to take away her sins and save her. She was so excited! She even got up front and wanted to tell all the other people about how "Jesus took away Denzell and Dayton's sins and now He took away mine too! He saved me and made me very happy!".

God is amazing! I've got two other posts coming up with just how amazing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Grinch Must Have Been RAD

We watched the Grinch movie the other night. It was a stark reminder and parallel to my RAD kids. The Grinch was green and ugly to the world though so the world immediately thought that something was "wrong" with him. My RADishes are cute and "charming" to the world so no one notices that their hearts are "two sizes too small".

As I watched the Grinch I thought of so many specifics. The Grinch was left outside too long the night he was delivered and no one "noticed him till morning". That is the picture of how my RADishes got their start. No one cared for them in their early years. No one made sure the were safe, warm, and loved.

The Grinch didn't bond to his caregivers, but tried to with a girl at school and cared about what his peers thought in a strange (not by any means normal way). You could see the Grinch cringe when he arrived at that party and realized that his caregivers were there. (I will give you that they were a little wierd, but all the characters on that movie were. lol) At school as a child he didn't do well with the other kids. Part of that was the fault of the other kids who insulted him repeatedly for being "different". As the parent of a RAD child I just wonder what all happened when the camera wasn't rolling. (Please don't think I've gone completely mad. I do know that this was a cartoon, but I'm paralleling it to my RADs.) I know for a fact that RAD kids push every button they can with their peers. They only want to manipulate and not build a relationship.

The Grinch HATED Christmas. See Christmas represents what everyone else LOVED. Being a RADish the Grinch just couldn't conform and love what he should. He had to HATE what those around him loved. Just as my RADishes continue to push away Jesus because they know He is worthy of love and that we love Him. Christmas was a time of joy for the whole community and his family, so the Grinch did everything that he could to ruin it for those around him. He wasn't happy inside and he didn't want anyone else to be happy either. The Grinch had been rejected and was making sure to reject all those around him before they had a chance to love or reject him. He had a miserable existantance and was very happy about that. He didn't want anyone to interject in his self loathe.

When the Grinch did agree to go to the party it was purely to try and make someone else mad or miserable. He went to the party because the little girl told him that it was making the mayor mad. See a RAD gets great joy out of causing others to feel bad. The Grinch was no different.

When things didn't go the way that the Grinch had planned (the "enemy" being sad, though the mayor was cruel), the Grinch went nutty. He threw a big old RAD tantrum! He didn't care how it looked nor did he care if people who did nothing to him suffered. RAD all the way!

Seeing other people happy despite his best attempts to make them unhappy nearly did him in. He couldn't stand that they were happy. How dare anyone be happy! Happiness of anyone else made the void inside of him apparent. RAD some more!

Finally the love of the little girl and the love of others broke through. His heart grew and he was able to love and care about others. He suddenly had a sense of right and wrong that he didn't have before. He was changed!

I am so praying that God will make the heart of my RADishes grow to a normal size. I want them to feel love, know love, and care. I know that God can break through their hearts of ice and bring them out of their misery.

My little Grinches are going to come through this - I just know it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I was writing the previous post when out of the blue my husband reads me the forecast! On Saturday there is a chance of SNOW! It won't stick and it won't be gorgeous outside, but it may SNOW! There is a chance of snow showers on Saturday morning.

Later in the day there may be rain showers. I don't care one way or the other on the snow showers. I do care a lot about the SNOW SHOWERS! I may even get up early on Saturday morning just to try and see the first flakes fly of the year. (Ok, more than likely I will tell Brent to wake me if there really are snow showers. ) I really like to sleep in uninterrupted on Saturdays, but SNOW is important. SNOW is a sign of Christmas time!!

SNOW is a sign of Christmas time! (Yes, I know I said that twice. ) Snow will look pretty falling around my Christmas decorations. Snow will make me bake. Snow will make me fix chili and turn on the fireplace. Snow will make Destiny say "Wow Mommy! Look at those BEAUTIFUL snow flakes!". Snow flakes, even if it just a few, will make my kids gather at the window.

Later in the season, snow will mean that Destiny stays home from school. Snow will mean then that I get to sleep in. Snow will mean that I get to bundle them all up and play with them outside. Then I will come in and make hot cocoa and warm cookies for them to have when they come in.

I LOVE SNOW! Now if this year has tons of small snows like last year then I may get a little tired of it, but for now I AM READY FOR SOME FLAKES!

(My mommy brain can't help but wish that all my kids were here for it though. Now I may have a few tears. Doggone this waiting! Even the stuff that makes me excited still makes me sad too!)

Losing Space in Order to Gain It

I am in the process of figuring out what to do with all the bajillion (that would be a word if you looked in there) things that are in the sensory room. I've had to move ottomans into bedrooms in order to make room in the family room for the extra loveseat. I have to put our "climber" outside for a few weeks. All of the ball pit balls will have to be packed up and put in the attic until the new space is done. A whole bunch of books and toys will have to also be packed up and put up there as well.

I have no clue what to do with some stuff. The main thing that I can't find a location for is a large palm tree that lights up. That thing looks awesome in the jungle themed sensory room with all the animals, but I have yet to find anywhere else to "stow it" for this changeover.

I am looking forward to all the new space. It should just be a few more weeks surely. I can only imagine the kids excitement with all the new areas. I can surely imagine my own though. haha I can't believe how hard it is to lose that sensory room for a little while. I have so much stuff in there! Soon the sensory room will have a floor that is level with the rest of the house. The last sliding glass door (oh how I hate to clean the bottoms of those monters) will be gone! The sensory room will be relocated into the new section of our home.

For now, I must hang on. The disorganization is very difficult for me! I know it will be worth it in just a few weeks!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

WOW This is a great video and Message!

A friend led me to this music video. I've never heard it, but am thankful that I did. It goes along so much with our church services today. God is so good! We should be spreading that far and wide. How can the world see the love of God if we aren't willing to step out of our "comfort zone" and show them that love? I hope this song challenges you to try and change the world!

Click the title to hear for yourself!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Funny Picture that Answers an Often Asked Question

What you see here is a picture of the norm at my house. My kids are hysterical! Denzell is a typical 15 year old boy in many ways. What isn't typical in comparison with so many teenagers is how much he loves his siblings. Mine all really love each other a lot. He is the best big brother that any child could imagine and Dayton has had him for a big brother for as long as he remembers, so he is trying to be just like him. My kids have all taken their lead and are so good to each other. There is occassionally small arguments, but it really is rare.
This picture is of Denzell dressed up and goofing off with the other kids last night. Brent says he looked like a cross between Ray Charles and Steve Urkel. All the kids knew was that he was FUNNY. He danced around and carried on with them. None of this was Halloween inspired, in case you are wondering, but instead how my kids goof off.
Julianne was quite intrigued by him. He sat down on the couch quietly. He didn't say a word while she tried to figure him out. She looked in the sides of his glasses. She looked in the top of his glasses. She pulled his lip. She finally pulled his glasses down and his eyelid up. Once she was sure it was him, she gave him a big kiss.
I often here the question asked about the effect of having so many "special needs" children on my "typical children". Well, here you have it! It helps the children with special needs come farther and faster. It helps the children who the world considers "typical" into better people. They learn to respect people for who they are and not what the world labels them. They learn to enjoy those special times. They learn to see the world differently. They learn to let loose and have fun, but also that they need to do their best with whatever abilities God has given them. Most of all they learn to LOVE!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Want People to Think I am Dumb!

Yes, this is what I am dealing with at the moment. Forrest, Crystal, Andrew, and Jose have been playing dumb pretty badly for a good portion of our construction for the addition. This is what they use to pull on homework when they went to public school. They did it at school too, but it isn't as obvious when you're in a classroom full of kids and mom isn't looking. I knew they were doing it at times and that they didn't care to get a bad grade, but at the moment it is really obnoxious. (Please don't tell them that I am even a little annoyed, because I am faking it really good right now.)

They have personalities that were shaped by foster care. They do as little as they can get by with of anything that requires effort. They also do as much as they can get by with of whatever they shouldn't do. It really isn't a good combination unless they are hoping to live in cardboard boxes down by the river as their life time goal! I've dealt with it before. Denzell is a good example of it. I fought hard to get him past it for many years and now he is doing much better. He is 15 and does have goals. He works hard at a lot of things. That gives me hope for the others!

Today I told the four of them that I would like for them to write a page in their journals about what is going on. I told them that it needed to include why they are pretending to be dumb. They admit that it is a game some of the time. Its the "why" that is hard to get them to talk about. I have found over the years that if they have to "write" about it then you are more likely to find out the "why".

Jose did the best job of writing about it really. The other three wrote about the same "whys" really, but not as articulate and well. The truth is that they want people to think they are "dumb". They say that their goal is for people to "feel bad" for them. Jose even went as far as to say that he was hoping that if he faked being dumb long enough then I would put him back a grade level so the work would be easier. They all acknowledged in their writing that they knew what they were doing was wrong and that they "should have known" that they wouldn't get by with it.

After writing about it, they all made some progress. They had a lot of papers to correct! Andrew was the funniest about it. I was talking to my grandmother on the phone while I graded his work. I checked the first page and he only missed three out of around 40 problems. As I was nearing the end he says "I know I shouldn't play dumb mom and I'm sorry". I knew at that very moment that I was headed for the next round of "dumb". I could hear in his voice that he was hoping I'd say 'oh Andrew its ok, just try your best from now on'. He was hoping that then I would see the next page and be disappointed that he had lied again. I instead said "Well Andrew, we will talk about that after I grade your math".

I was correct unfortunately. The next page of math was very much the same and within the first two lines he was already missing more than half of them. I handed it back to him and he looked very disappointed that I wasn't surprised.

I've never really wanted anyone to think I was dumb. I can't imagine being lazy enough to want people to think I was dumb just so I wouldn't have to do the work. I also think that "dumb" is somehow safe to them. There aren't expectations so much. There aren't rewards for doing well. There aren't priveleges extra because you completed it and can take a small break before the next activity if you want.

We've got a ways to go, but we will all make it. I remember when Denzell was about Forrest's age, I had to tell him that I'd get a box for him to try out during the next rain. The look on his face is one that I will always remember. lol It was amazing how quick he got some stuff done. haha

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Stuff Again

I hate to make people think I am crazier than I am, but I am crazy. lol I am a Christmas Crazy. I am a Kid Crazy. I am a "love to be with these Crazy Kids Crazy". lol

Christmas makes me happy. I am going to dwell on that tonight. I don't want to write another blog about "waiting", but it is really what my thoughts go to now as soon as my kiddos go to bed. I just think about how much more waiting I have to do. I've decided to visit my happy place. Christmas!

We finally got our Christmas window clings. These are a staple of Christmas decorating around here. I realized several years ago that they are a very inexpensive way to make things very festive fast. They go on the windows of course. They also will stick to all your appliances! You can put them on the stove and microwave and they don't even melt when they get hot! I have been blessed each year to also find window clings with the Nativity scene on them. This year I found some cute ones that look like kids playing the part. The kids really like them! We also have snowmen, Santas, snowflakes, and gingerbread men.

I will say that Julianne is messing with them a little much. She has some type of dislike for a certain set of snowmen. lol She continued to take them off the lower part of the refrigerator until I finally left them off. She is such a cutie though that I don't even mind. Crudola, that just put me back to the "waiting" thing. I wish "C" (and "P" too if God will bless me that way) were here pulling of my window clings. I really wish they would be here for Christmas, but I am betting that I will still be waiting. Ok, I think I better get back on a good note and end this thing.

Julianne is also very interested in the lights. She is adorable looking at them. :) I am hoping to make some ornaments this weekend and play some new Christmas music that I picked up. Finally the supplies of Christmas stuff in the stores are getting to a fun point where I can get some neat new stuff to add to the excitement!

Anyway, while I am protesting the scary stuff at Halloween, I thought I'd wish you all a Merry Christmas! (haha, You too Tracie!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Waiting on Kids for More Time than Mrs. Duggar is Pregnant

I was thinking today about the WAITING. Here is how adoption goes. They tell you something to do and then as an adoptive parent you - HURRY UP and do it. Then you WAIT. Then you WAIT some more. Then they give you a hoop to jump through and you HURRY UP and JUMP. Then you WAIT and WAIT and WAIT and WAIT. Then you finally see progress. You are matched! They send you an email and you HURRY UP and respond. Then you WAIT and WAIT and WAIT some more.

See when it comes time for me to do something then I HURRY just as fast as I can because I don't want anyone to think it isn't my top priority because it IS. I JUMP just as high as they ask me to JUMP. My agency is pretty awesome to do things speedy quick too I must say which is one of the things that I love about them. In general the system itself is set up for the adoptive parents to JUMP, HURRY, AND WAIT. The system is just making sure to keep things slowly moving at least some of the time and make me WAIT.

I'd love to reform the system. I really would. I would love to find some way to stream line the way that things work. It shouldn't take as long ( or longer) to get a child home from within the US as it does to get one home from another country. Our government systems should be able to fix that. They should be able to fax the info from one agency to the next and it go immediately into the hands of the person who can do something with it. Then they should be able to do what needs done and give the approvals, while keeping it moving. Getting a child home should take weeks or a month at most. It doesn't take that. It takes what seems to be forever. From the time I put in on Julianne the first time until I brought her home was 11 months! Departments switched around and her case was forgotten in the mix. They never even matched her with a family! About 5 or 6 months later they realized and we got matched with her. Then it took another 5 or 6 months to get her home, for a total of 11 months. Those are 11 months that I missed with my little girl! It makes me sick to my stomach.

So I was thinking today about how much time I've spent WAITING. Adoption after adoption leaves me waiting. I wait to get matched. I wait to hear back after a match. I wait to get info. I wait to get details of how to bring them home. I wait through ICPC. I WAIT. Then I wait more. Once they get home I WAIT more. See then there is the waiting for social workers to call. Waiting on workers in other states to get the paperwork together. Waiting for finalizations!

I really do think that I have been WAITING for more time than Michelle Duggar has been pregnant. I don't know for sure because I have twelve kids and I don't have time to do the math. I did WAIT through one biological pregnancy. You would need to add in all the time that I waited before that for a match and to bring home each child. Then add in the time that I WAIT for finalization. I think I would come out on top of the waiting category.

Right now I am waiting. I am waiting for a case file to read so that I can see a picture of my little boy. I am waiting for "P"s caseworker and whoever else is involved to decide if we could have the blessing of being her forever family. I am waiting for news of how long this is going to take. I AM WAITING. The blessings are worth it, but the waiting could drive anyone nuts.

Pray that the WAITS aren't that long.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Little Update to Get Me Through the Weekend

I emailed "C"s foster mother today. I have hesitated to start emailing her even though I had her email address from Julianne's adoption. I don't want to bug her and I have no way of knowing how long this may drag out. I just couldn't wait any longer though.

Weekends are horrible when you are waiting. You know on weekends that no one is working on any aspect of the adoption. No paperwork is being filed. No paperwork is being sent to ICPC. Nothing at all is happening. I really could go nuts on a weekend! I really don't know how to explain the drudgery of weekends to people who aren't in the adoption world. I feel the need to try though.

Imagine that you are very pregnant. You know the gender of your soon to arrive little one. You know the name of the little one. You are miserable pregnant. You are to that point in pregnancy in which every breath is becoming difficult. You are hot. You can't reach your feet to put on your shoes. You can't sleep well at night. Then imagine that a doctor somewhere decided that weekends no longer counted toward your number of days and weeks in the babies development. Imagine how it would feel when Friday at 4 pm came and you knew that none of the time between then and Monday morning at maybe 9 or so would count. The pregnancy was going to last longer than its expected time - heck, there was no expected end to the pregnancy! You knew that weekends were good time with your other children and you loved that, but at the same time it meant that your misery was prolonged every time you had one.

Ok, now I know that may not sound realistic. For adoptive parents who are waiting for their child to be in their arms that is exactly what it feels like. I have done pregnancy and I know the misery of that last little while. I have also done adoption waiting. The difference with the misery of waiting is that with adoption you have no long how long you are waiting. Weekends or holidays are days that nothing is getting accomplished!

I did get some good news today though. "C"s foster mom gave me great news about his sleep apnea and how he no longer is using a machine for that. He is walking and talking. He has a cute way of saying his own name, that I can't wait to hear for myself. He was into mischief and getting into her plants today. (Shame on him. lol I can't wait till he's into mischief here!) He knows his capital letters. He's doing great! I will admit that it is a little easier knowing that he is safe and loved where he is. It is still so difficult to know that I am missing more and more time with him though. It just about makes me mad that some of the days don't even count toward getting him home because of crazy weekends.

I also can't help but wonder if "P"s social worker has looked at our homestudy. I have to teeter a fine line between making sure that they at least give us a thought and not being too irritating. I mentioned to the foster mother that we would be interested in adopting "P" in my second email, but I haven't heard back yet. I'm hoping that it would give her a sense of relief to know they would all be together if that worked out as well. I wonder if I'll hear anything this week.

If you don't hear from me, I may have to check myself into a looney bin. lol Waiting is the thing you do most in adoptions and the thing that is hardest for me. You hurry to complete one section so that you can get to the next section of the process only to wait there and hurry to the next one to wait some more. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up for "P" too, but I can't help myself in wanting to keep those two little cuties together. What a joy they would all be as they got into mischief together!

Keep praying!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Praying for a Miracle

We are matched with "C" from Julianne's old foster home. I am so excited, but it just feels like there is something more. I realized that "P" (a little girl) who we also met when we were there and was previously matched to an adoptive family, is now back on the photolisting. "P" and "C" have lived together for a very long time at this point. They have been together for more than 2 years. I let our worker know that I want to adopt "P" as well. So now comes the trying to figure out if that is even possible.

I sent in an online inquiry through the website yesterday and received a reply from the listing letting me know that the inquiry had been forwarded to her worker. I made sure to tell in the inquiry that we are matched with "C" and would love to adopt them both together. I held my breath all night long. Today I got an email from the adoption worker asking about how old our kids are and saying that "P"'s cardiologist had suggested a family with no more than 3 to 4 kids because of "P" having a less effective immune system. I emailed back and answered the question about how old our large crew are right now. The I imagined in my mind what 4,6,7,7,9,9,9,11,11,15,17, &18 look like to someone who doesn't know us. I made sure to add in the email that we homeschool all, but one and she will join us before long (Destiny is starting to ask, so it really may not be long at all. lol). I made sure to point out that we don't have a lot of contagious stuff that gets passed around here. I have been known to keep them all in and even miss church (which we all love and hate to miss) because things are going around badly. I even pointed out that we have hand sanitizer all over the house and use it regularly (it is true, but I can't believe I added that). I asked that they take into account that our household doesn't have the exposure to germs that kids going to daycare and school all the time have. I let them know that since beginning to homeschool, my bio child hasn't even needed breathing treatments for his asthma.

I got a response back. The worker said to have our worker send the homestudy and it would be considered. I immediately emailed back thanking the worker (who know thinks I'm a nut) and making sure to add in a little more about the bond that "C" and "P" have. I stated the truth in that my children are not biologically related to each other, but love is what builds families. I stated that "C" and "P" have been together a long time and love each other. I said that I knew that the rest of my children would love an opportunity to love "P" as well.

I then emailed my worker. I was praying that she was actually in the office with a fax machine. She was! She sent that homestudy straight to the worker!

Now I will hold my breath and beg God to let me have "P" as well. I can't imagine leaving that foster home the same way as I did last time. I left loving the one in my arms and begging God to ease the pain of "C" who I knew was going to grieve for Julianne. I knew that she needed to be in our family and that adoption was God's plan for her. I still couldn't help the tears coming on behalf of "C" who I knew needed a forever family as well. I knew that they weren't planning to begin looking for "C" a forever family for 4 more years at that point. I felt like my hands were so tied. God has done miracles and now "C" is coming home soon. He will be here with us and adored, as every child should be. At the same time, I can't bear to leave "P" behind and know she will grieve. I can't bear to wonder how long she will wait or if a forever family will ever be found for her.

So, if you read this, I am asking that you pray. Pray on behalf of "P" and "C". Pray that they can stay bonded and with each other. Pray on behalf of me. My heart hurts as I wait to hear the final verdict. I know that it is God's hands. I know His hands are the perfect ones for it to be in. I know I'm being a little "RAD like" in worrying when I know I should trust. I also know that time ticks for children every day and every day that they aren't with a forever family is a day that they are missing it and taking a chance on attachment issues. I know that God made me with this desire in my heart for His little ones. I pray that He shows me His plan for "P" and gives me peace. Please pray. God likes to hear from His children. He can do anything, but He says He likes us to ask Him. Ask God to give me "P". Ask God to bring "P" and "C" home to me very soon.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Before Last Thanksgiving

I wrote this journal on another site before Thanksgiving last year. I know this Thanksgiving will be very different in that I won't have all of my children home with me. Our little guy will still be in his foster home. I am also praying about another child. She is a little girl who is also in that same foster home and who we have also met. I started trying to get info on her today. I have no idea yet if it is something that God has in His plan for sure. I just know that she is waiting. I know that I have to try to bring her home when I bring him home. I have held her. I thought she was to be adopted by another family, but they backed out and she is now relisted on the photolisting. I am going to do all I can and leave all the rest to God, knowing that He is in complete control.

So this Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for the twelve children I have. I at the same time will ache for my little boy who I can't hold yet. I will ache for the little girl that I am asking God to give me also. I will also ache for all the waiting children, who have no family to pray for them and beg God to bring them home soon.

Last year's journal entry was so different, but even then I knew that I had others out there. Here is a link:

A Bathroom for a Bedroom

Andrew was doing so good. Then he decided to choose RAD as his best friend again. His attachments are enough "there" now that he can choose better. It is really just a matter of effort at this point. I mean, it is really a choice when you need to go pee whether to go to the bathroom or to make a hole in your wall and pee in it. I would think it would be an easy choice for most. For Andrew though, it is a toss up!

He had been doing to well. He couldn't stand it with all the fun he was having. How can anyone stand to have priveleges??? The audacity of FUN!

So making a hole in the walls and using it for a toilet he did!

I am not mad really at all. I had hoped he was past that point. I think he did it while we thought he was 'being good'. I think he gets joy from thinking that he snuck something and managed to get by with some plan.

I haven't said anything about it. I don't plan to say anything about it. Brent went in and got it clean. He then put a large piece of plywood over that area to stop it from recurring. I plan to have the rest of the walls covered in plywood as well. I will then paint the walls "pee yellow". I am going to draw "poopy characters" on the walls and give them eyes. I am going to have someone draw a toilet that says "don't forget to flush". I am going to draw circles in case he needs to practice his aim. I am not going to say anything.

If he really thinks that I care if he pees on his walls in his room, then he is wrong. I care that he is making those choices for himself. I need him to realize that I am not affected negatively. I want him to see that my world is still ok. I think I may get some brown playdough and make him some "poopy character" action figures. All the other kids get to have their rooms decorated in whatever they are interested in. We let them play with things that interest them. I will do the same for him.

If you think I am joking when he read this then please continue to think so. If you think I am serious, then you must be raising a child like this or have learned to understand RAD. I personally just know that he always goes back to the bodily functions. In his foster home years ago, he peed from the top bunk into Forrest's ear on the bottom bunk first thing in the morning. This child just won't lose the obsession with trying to affect others with his bodily functions. I am going to let him think that I've joined his obsession and see how fun it is then! hahaha I've had to parent other children before by making them think that I would join their behaviors or find them funny when they were trying to be a pain. This is a step further, but I will go there for him. I mean really "pictures of poop on the walls" or "real poop in the walls" - not a hard choice.

*A special thanks goes out to a great friend who is always there by phone in the "crappy" times, but who can think outside the box with me. LOVE YOU!*

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Christmas Tree is Up!

Yes, you did read that right. Those who know me at all know that I am a "Christmas Crazy". We always decorate as soon as we are done celebrating Dayton's birthday. We celebrated yesterday. The decorations came out of the attic last night.

Julianne giggled and cackled at the "singing and dancing characters", which are one of our favorites. Zeeky is completely freaked out today. If you remember my post about the "lion at the table" then you will remember that for some reason Zeeky is now terrified of the things that sing. He is fine if he pushes the button, but he doesn't want anyone else to push it. Imagine his surprise when he woke up to probably about 80 of those type of characters! I'm sure he will get over it soon. He loved them last year! Julianne has made all of us turn the characters on all day. She LOVES them!

The tree in the family room is up. I love to see the glow of the lights. I thought we had a dreaded "light problem", but there was just a plug in not connected. Tomorrow we will get more decorations in place and hopefully the other trees up (It is amazing how fast some of the kids get their school work done so that they can help!). Wednesday is AWANA so we won't get much done that day besides our regular homeschool work. Thursday we will make our "Thankful Chain" and put it on the tree. Friday we will decorate the tree with ornaments while we smell the cookies baking in the oven. We will then have cookies and cocoa at the table (which will hopefully have Christmas table cloths if I can find a couple old ones or find some place that has them out yet). We will then curl up to watch a Christmas movie!


* For anyone who makes fun of me (yes, Tracie you are included in this roflol), just remember that my mess of decorating will be long gone by the time the rest of the world is swallowed by their decoration mess. I will then be huddled up with my kiddos enjoying the Christmas season and my decorations! lol Sometimes CRAZY works!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From My 15 Year Old Son on Adoption

This post I'm going to share is an essay that my 15 year old son wrote. His was asked to write an essay on whatever he wanted for his online school. He chose adoption and this is what he wrote:

In my family adoption has been the most common way to build a family. My parents love adoption so much that they have adopted seven times, with a total of eleven kids being adopted. I was adopted at the age of eight, along with my sister, Unique. The joy that struck me when I was adopted was just amazing! From that day on, I knew that getting adopted was probably going to be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.

Experiencing a feeling like this is one of the many affects that a child could have if he or she knew that they have been adopted. Though this child wouldn't be the only one who experienced this feeling, the entire family would. Beacause they know that the child is happy that they have a home and a family that loves them. This is one reason why my parents adopt and to why they have adopted so many.

My house may seem like its a bit crazy because of the eleven kids and not to mention the one that's biological. Though really its not all that crazy, it's actually quite calm, even with eleven other kids running around. All it basically means is that they're getting along pretty well, which could be a shocker at times. That's one of the joys of adopting and having as many kids as my parents do.

This is why I think that everyone should adopt at least once, if not five to ten times like my parents. All you have to do is just give it one try and then if things don't work out the way you thought, at least you can say that you tried. Really, I think that once you've already experienced adoption you'll want to continue, just like my parents. Adoption can change everyone's life.

Now as you can imagine I am one very weepy and proud mom. Teenagers can be pretty cool. Denzell had some rough spells, but WOW I am so blessed to see what God has done with him. I know "adoption" is debated by many. I can proudly say that I believe adoption is a gift to a child who needs to know that they have a forever family to love them and the family who gets blessed with a child to have forever as well. I know that I am very blessed. I also know that as long as God keeps blessing - I will keep receiving with a very thankful heart.

Good Stuff on the RAD Front

Please don't tell them. It is a huge secret! lol Crystal and Andrew are doing REALLY WELL. They took advantage of the clemency and are doing great. Andrew was the 2nd one done with his school work today. He is ROUNDING, which he had previously declared he couldn't do. Crystal is the only one of the five 3rd-5th graders who hasn't memorized for first 20 presidents. She has memorized 10 though and is very close to getting all 20!

Andrew is doing the best right now. He has been here the longest of the 3 RADishes. He has been living with us full time for 4 years and 7 months. He was 5 years old when he moved in. I am seeing huge improvements with him. At this moment he is playing just like everyone else! He is being helpful. He is polite. He and Dayton are playing almost like they did when they were little and he wasn't with us full time yet. (See he didn't have RAD behaviors until he had been with us a little while full time and we had done respite for him for 18 months before he moved in full time. Back then they were best of friends. After he realized that he was here to stay, he went from a very active child, to a full blown RADish. He began the behaviors, like screaming incessantly and tearing things up, that his foster mother had to deal with during the time before that.) It is so good to see them reconnecting. It is so good to see him being the smart and sweet little boy that I've known was in there this whole time.

Crystal is doing good. She still has a "look" in her eye that I know means we've still got a ways to go. She suffered so many moves that I know it is harder for her to trust. I see her looking for a chance to "snag" a pair of underwear before I get them locked in the closet. I know that she is wanting to resort back to peeing on her underwear and hiding them. I am being very diligent. She wants to sneak and do it, but she isn't. Otherwise she is doing ok. She is back and forth between "chatter" and "silence" with me. She is playing well with the other kids. She isn't doing anything particularly bad. I will take that! She has only been here for almost 3 years. She was 8 when she came. We still have a while to go!

God is so good!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Update on Clemency

So far so good - I think. (Please no one walk up to them if you know us in "real life" and tell them they are doing good or they will resort to bodily functions!)

Andrew and Crystal are RADishes. I know what to expect from their "good times". It is going about the same way as I expect. (In case you are wondering raising my expectations will result in my looking off guard or feeling disappointment, not a change in behavior - so please don't tell me to expect better of them.) They are both trying every little chance to "get away" with something. It is their lives' desire to somehow feel like they are a step ahead of me. I have to be as overvigilant as they are. They try to go past their limitations in how far from supervision they can be. They try to get into the kitchen area without being noticed. They try to "borrow" things from the other children in hopes that the other kids might let their guard down and receive something broken back or not at all. They try to get more of the "family books" off of the shelf than they are allowed to have at once. They try to do ANYTHING that they aren't allowed to do. If I don't catch them on something then they will try to go a step farther. Their hope is to "gain control", "manipulate", or "deceive" most of the time.

That being said, they are doing well considering. Their attempts are quickly met with a quick reminder that I DO see them. I DO know where they are heading. I will not let them get by with it. After probably 100 attempts in the first 24 hours at getting by with something - ANYTHING, they have slowed down a lot. Andrew has been saying "I am sorry" when he loses a privelege or gets a verbal reprimand. He has complied with doing his "remedial math" that is necessary until he quits playing dumb on his normal math. This is good since I am making him write his numbers over and over, which he hates the redundancy of doing. He even admitted to playing dumb on his language assignment and apologized after correcting. Crystal is doing ok. She has a look on her face too much of the time that says she is not wanting to attach further. At other times she is more willing though and is giving some real hugs at bedtime (I think).

Forrest and Jose are very glad to have received clemency as well. They don't have full blown RAD. They have more what would be called "attachment issues" or I think it is more "foster care issues". They are the issues that every child who has come to me ( at least the ones over age 4 when they moved in full time and I don't know about some of the others yet) seem to possess. They tear up clothing, or have food issues, or lie alot, or try to get pity from others, or are set in mediocracy with feet dug in and refusal to try to succeed, or constantly trying to get something by in some set area, or testing to see if they are really loved, or push to see if you'll really "keep" them. Those are just behaviors that I expect. I know to expect them and I generally know how to modify them as well. It can be slow going. It is NOTHING compared with the RAD kids. RAD kids do all of those behaviors all at the same time and add in a lot of other components as well. They seem to appreciate that they didn't have to finish those reports that were piling up. They also seem to not want to go "back" to that hole that they were digging for themselves.

Clemency worked out very well. I don't recommend that you ever do it often. I don't want my kids to ever have hope that it might happen to get them out or they might not care to dig that hole. I do want them to know that I loved having a good weekend with them all. I loved seeing them all out of trouble at the same time. I loved movie time where everyone had priveleges. I loved seeing all the boys playing ball together without anyone sitting out. I loved seeing what it will be like when God brings them all through their rough spells. I remind myself that God is going to bring them all through. I praise Him for that.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Clemency Granted

I have been so excited about our little guy coming and so frustrated that our children with RAD just can't seem to dig out of their holes. On top of that Forrest and Jose had gotten into a rut as well. It seemed that might never dig out. I decided several days ago that Friday would be the day to grant "clemency" to them. I knew that if I did it before Friday, then there would be no chance of them making it to the weekend and still having priveleges. I really wanted them to get another good taste of what life SHOULD be like.

While we were homeschooling today I let them know. I said "I have decided to grant clemency to everyone, but I need to know if you want it." I knew that they wouldn't be sure what it meant. I also knew that we've been working on better dictionary skills and using it when needed. (Homeschooling moms are always teaching!) Dayton and Jose said "Well, we don't know if we want it because we don't know what it means. What if it means that you are going to kill us or something?". I have to admit that made me laugh. It also made me feel accomplished, because we've also discussed making sure that you don't just "follow" others without knowing that they are doing what is right. lol

Andrew spoke up at that point. He said, "I think it probably means MERCY and I want it!". See I always tell people that he is a smart kid. I know that if he'd use half of the energy to do the right thing that he does to try so hard to do wrong, then he could accomplish tons!

Dayton spoke up next, "Well I am getting the dictionary!". He went to get it and looked the word up quickly. He then declared, "Andrew you were right!". They got a little noisy at that point. I quickly realized that the ones who get into the most trouble were planning what else they might be able to get away with now. I had to quickly remind that "clemency" would get rid of the writing assignments and give them normal priveleges, but that any further behaviors would land them with more consequences.

They quickly started to chat about "how this could happen". I never give an inch. I quickly learned that they were very smart. They declared that this had to do to my happiness over "child #13". I told them that I had decided that since I got that blessing, that I would give them a chance to receive one as well. Dayton told them, "Smell . . . . your taste of freedom!". He was even excited for them! I got hugs and listened to lots of happy chatter.

I don't know how long it will take for them to get into more trouble. History would make you believe that it won't be long. I want to believe that maybe they will take the opportunity to learn something. I want them to know that I do love them and want them to have a happy life. I don't want them to think that I will do this again any time soon, but I don't think they would dare bank on that. I do want them to know that I would do anything that I can to help them. They started to try and take advantage a few times this evening, but quickly backed down. We will see what tomorrow holds!

The RAD kids do know that they still have very strong limits. They still can't receive attention from other adults. They still can't be roaming the house unattended. They still have other rules that aren't rules for others at our house. They also know that those rules are not punishments, but rules in place to help them get better and not sabotage themselves.

What will they do with this clemency!?!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I told you a while back that I was scared that things weren't going to work out with the little boy that was in the foster home with Julianne. I just fell in love with that cute little guy. He was crying at the door when we left with Julianne. He's such a sweetie!

Well he is OURS! Our worker called today to congratulate me. She was just as shocked as me to hear back from them after so long. I am so excited that I don't know what to do besides praise God! I have no idea how long it will take to get him home, but he IS COMING HOME!

God is so incredibly great! This goes back to what I said yesterday about Him already knowing all the answers. lol He sure does have it all under control and He doesn't need our help with it. His plans are always the greatest. He is so wonderful that He blows my mind all the time!

I can't tell you how excited we all are right now. You'd think that at some point a "mommy" would quit crying at every "match". Maybe some do, but I don't think I will ever get past the tears. They are tears of amazement at the blessing of another child. The kids are so excited that you'd think they'd never had a sibling. This will be our 8th boy and our 13th child! We are just as excited as first time parents and maybe even more so. We KNOW what a huge blessing we are receiving. We know how many miracles God performed just to get to this point.
I can't wait to see what mountains God is going to move to bring him home and into my arms. This social worker has never done an out of state adoption. God loves to use people who don't have an "I can do it all by myself" attitude. Interstate adoptions aren't easy, so I'm sure God is going to be doing lots of miracles to bring my little boy home!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RAD Christian?

I've discussed this issue with friends before and I was reminded of it tonight while reading a blog that a fellow adoptive parent wrote. I thought I'd share my thoughts on this with whoever is reading. :)

God has helped me to learn a lot of things through parenting. Frankly, I've learned more about my relationship with my Father since becoming a parent than I ever did before that point. I was a child and teen who really valued what the Bible had to say and what God had done for me, but there was no way to fully understand (as much as earthly possible anyway) the hugeness of it until I became a parent myself. Raising children with Reactive Attachment Disorder has really changed the way that I look at myself and God by leaps and bounds especially.

Let's think for a moment about the parallel between children with RAD/me as their parent versus me as God's child/God as the Parent. Children with RAD suffered in their early years and never learned to trust a "parent" figure, therefore they just can't wrap their minds around trusting me to fully take care of them. They grasp for control and make their situations worse because they just can't believe that I can totally handle it and them be ok.

Does that ring any bells for anyone besides me??? I mean, just think about it! As a child in this world, everyone fails you at some point. The world in general is looking out for them and them alone most of the time. People die. People fail us. Parents in the human world are NOT perfect. People make mistakes. Some people do it on purpose and others just because they are human. I have been known to say when faced with the human condition at its worse, "People just suck!".

Then we become a child of God! We know that we have a God who literally gave His Son in place of us. We know that we have a God who made the universe. We know that we have a God who already has all the answers to the problems we face today, tomorrow, and 20 years from now. We know we have a FATHER who has NEVER made a mistake. He is perfect beyond even our wildest imaginations, yet He chose to make, save, and love us.

YET, we just can't give up total control. I mean, surely I'm not the only one?? Do you do it too? I take stuff to the throne of my Father and lay it down at His feet. No need to worry any more! Then I just head right back over and pick up my worry and let it way me down more. I know He has a plan, so I just walk through life while following the path He has set for me by faith? Well not quite. Instead I often wonder if I'm sure I'm on the right path or if I can hear His voice clearly. He gave me children that He had planned for me, so I should be able to do what I know is right and just TRUST. Instead, I have to be careful not to wonder what others might think of the ways I have to deal with their issues. I know it is the right way, but I worry that others are judging me. I know I am leaving which children and how many up to God, but yet I feel offended when others say "Surely your done!". I know that I don't have to worry, fret, or wonder. I KNOW THAT! Yet I do those things.

See just as a child with RAD, those are things that come natural to me. My children with RAD have brains that just don't trust. They can overcome that, but they choose over and over to do what is easiest. Its easiest for them to depend on themselves. Its easiest to not trust and not risk being hurt or let down. I'm not perfect by any means. At some point I'm sure I've let them down, made the wrong choice, or even not believed them when they were being truthful because I can't tell the difference and lying is their norm.

My Father is perfect! (Not my earthly one by any means.) I have a Father who I can trust entirely. He will never make a mistake. He will never let me down. He always has the answer! He is completely and entirely Wonderful, Powerful, Loving, and In Control.

When I think of it from that angle, I sure do get a reality check. I expect my kids, who have been through more than any of us know, to trust me and give up their control. How much more should I give up mine to God, my Father?!! That includes my worry about how to fix my kids with RAD. lol Isn't that freeing and completely terrifying, yet wonderously great??!!

So if you are a RAD Christian like I am, then try some attachment therapy with your Heavenly Father today! You'll be glad you did and you'll be a more rounded parent. :) You can parent your children (even those with RAD) knowing that we have a perfect example to follow. He doesn't let us by with being RAD. He still loves us though, even if we pee in a spiritual corner. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Christmas Progress

Christmas is, as you can imagine, a very important time of year. It should be for everyone is my opinion, since it is JESUS's BIRTHDAY! I will be honest and say that I am just as bad as the kids about wanting to get started with Christmas. I love everything that Christmas is really about. I also love all the traditions and memories made with my crew here as well.

I've been accused of going over board with Christmas. I will admit that we go for it full force. Our Christmas decorations start going up on October 19th or within a few days of that. Dayton's birthday is October 18th, so we wait until after the festivities for his birthday are over. His birthday is the last one of the calendar year for our crew, so we head straight to celebrate Jesus's birthday and do it in style. It is also an encouragement to me that we do very little in thought of Halloween because of already heading to Christmas. I don't like Halloween at all. I let the kids get dressed up cute (nothing scary, slutty, or gross) and we go to my grandparents' house for treats that they get for them. I buy them plenty of candy and we come home to watch a Christmas movie!

I have already got a good start on Christmas shopping. I have good ideas as to what else I need to get and will finish most of the shopping in the next few weeks. I like to get all of the time consuming stuff out of the way early so that I can just enjoy the wonderfulness (is that a word) of Christmas with my kids. Christmas clothes are also ordered and all I'll have left is pants for the boys and a skirt for me in order to have it all 'wrapped' up. ;) I've also already bought some Christmas cards (because they were the first Christmas stuff out that I could buy and I have a lot of issues) and 7 more of the musical/dancing characters that make our house so festive.

I plan to make a heading on this blog just for Christmas things. We have a lot of fun traditions that I'd love to share with you. Anyone else who would love to add their Christmas traditions or ideas is very welcome to do so. We love to try new things here!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Already Spoiled so Why Not? (Also Parenting Philosophy #2)

Thursday evening after I arrived home and got finished taking pictures of my "studious" children another funny thing came about. I realized that Julianne was at the door to our family room trying to get someone to take her out. This wouldn't be unusual except for that it was 11pm! She really does like to go outside and be taken for short walks. We usually take her whenever she wants, unless it is raining or there is some other reason that would make it not good.

Being the usually strict mother that I am, I went and told Brent to hurry because she wanted to go for a walk. I told my grandmother on the phone that Julianne was wanting to go for a walk. Her response was something like "Amanda it is 11 o'clock at night. You all are going to spoil her!". I must admit that it made me chuckle a bit. "Going to spoil her" is the belated comment of the century! She is completely spoiled already! I can admit it quite easily. I have always been one to spoil children in many ways. I am quite strict when it comes to rules, because I have to keep order. I am also strict about behavior, because I refuse to raise brats. I do spoil well behaving children who are requesting something "acceptable" in a "polite" way! Julianne has us all wrapped around her finger as well, so even if I didn't spoil her, she'd be spoiled any way.

So Brent picked her up and headed out. I reminded him that walking to the end of the private drive was perfectly well ok, but not out onto the road. He of course agreed. We hoped that would suffice, since we knew she loves to walk to the duck pond. It is down the road a little ways and makes her very happy, so she gets taken there regularly.

I decided to go too. I can just imagine how we looked. Two adults doting on a tiny 4 year old princess at 11pm; walking down the private drive happily, while smiling at the look of joy on her tiny face. Someone who looked would never guess that we have 12 children. I mean, shouldn't we be getting tired of some of this-or at least less enthused. Some of our children came at older ages, but she is our 4th child who we did have at age 4 (and Andrew was staying with us off and on at that age on top of that).

I've just determined at this point that it never gets old. I will forever enjoy each moment like that. Each child is so different from any of the others. Each one is so special. I've heard people say that they get more lax with each child, but then may get more sentimental with the one that is their planned "last child". I don't know that I plan to have a "last child". I also know that each moment is so priceless. I missed these moments with so many, because they came to us so much older. I missed so many moments with each one, including the ones who came and were here by age 4. Dayton is the only child that we've had since birth and that is only because I did the "birthing". lol I can't ever overlook the uniqueness and special moments with each one, even if I have 30 children over the course of my life.

Julianne did get her walk to the end of the drive. About halfway to the end, she let Daddy know that she wanted me to take her. She gave me wonderful hugs and kisses. She made Daddy jealous, which is one of her favorite activities as well! She giggled. I figure those were probably giggles of 'they adore me and will do anything in the world for me'. She is right!

I don't think that this kind of spoiling is a bad thing either! My "Daddy God" literally gave His Son for me. You want to talk about 'doing anything'! I think I should definitely make sure that my children, who God chose to bless me with, realize what the love of a parent should be like. I figure that it will make them understand the love of our Father better. He expects us to behave, loves us regardless, and wants the best for us always!

Studious Brothers (and their little follower)

When I got home yesterday evening, Denzell, Dayton, and Julianne were still up. Brent knew that those three had been good and that they were having fun. (Destiny was also having an exceptional day, but she had to go to public school this morning which doesn't have a flexible start time. lol) Several of our kids are eye deep in behaviors right now due to having construction workers out back. They know I won't send them out to the side of the yard that I can't see to have them go back and forth between the two fences, so they are pulling out all of the not-so-good-stops! I am just being patient because I know it will end soon. I am however big into giving extra rewards for those who choose not to go off the straight and narrow. (Movies, candy bars, staying up late, extra video game time, and all kinds of other treats have been heavily used as positive reinforcement for the ones behaving. )

When I went in to see what the kids were up to, I found Dayton and Denzell reading dictionaries. They were laughing hysterically at some of the words that they'd never heard or noticed. They each had a dictionary and were telling each other about their "finds". I have to admit that it is a very educational way to get enjoyment, which always makes me happy. Since they are boys, words like "kiss" got a lot of extra laughs as well. ;)

Within just a couple minutes, Julianne was over and taking over! She wanted a dictionary too! So Denzell, being the awesome big brother that he is, gave her the dictionary that he had and went to grab another from the school book stack. (Which by the way is overtaking my formal living room because the addition isn't done yet.) So he rejoined the group and all three sat with their dictionaries. Julianne of course isn't reading yet. That didn't stop her at all though! She flipped through it just the same. She would look at it all serious like and then giggle. I mean, that is what you do when you look at a dictionary! She is sure of it, because she is going to do just what her brothers do!

I got some good pictures, but I haven't figured out how to put any on this blog. Maybe some day in my "free time" (eyes rolling), I will figure it out. Until then just get the mental image of Denzell (age 15), Dayton (will be 9 later this month), and Julianne (a tiny 28 pound, 4 year old) all sitting and looking at dictionaries, while giggling. It was too cute!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Literally Turned Blue!

Has this happened to anyone else?

Let me explain. I was so excited today that a new pair of jeans in the brand that I love so much that I bought the next size down "in case" (which I thought would be somewhere around the time of my death) I ever went down a size, FIT! I was so excited that I decided to immediately wear the jeans right then (in case of course whatever miracle occurred today is gone tomorrow). I wore them to pick up Destiny, shop at the book fair, and go to three stores (Sam's, Walmart, and the Dollar Tree). *Ok, I know this doesn't sound glamorous and what most people would wear NEW jeans for, but heck it is big for me. I went shopping alone! I bought Christmas presents, stuff for Operation Christmas Child boxes, and went to my grandparents' house where I ate food that I DID NOT COOK!*

The thing is that now my legs are blue. I can laugh at that. I mean, most jeans do say "wash before wearing". I understand why that is very clearly right now. ha ha I guess I just need to pray that nothing goes wrong that would require medical attention. They might think I was a lot worse off than I was, since my "lower extremeties" are BLUE.

Oh well, no worries! The smaller size fit! I am still not telling what size though! :)

I've got some other great stories to tell, but I am heading to bed. I'll catch up later!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Great Fall Day

Today was just beautiful outside. I would like it just a little cooler to be honest, but I will definitely take it. We had an awesome day. You just have to look around at all of God's blessings and be thankful.

Today started off a little slow, but that was a good thing. I slept in, which is my favorite Saturday morning activity. (Thanks Brent!) The kids played for a good while this morning. I got them to clean their rooms before they headed outside. I took lunch outside to them in the early afternoon and lots of drinks. There were even caramel apples for those who would eat them!

I came back in and got to cooking. I had decided that today was the perfect day to have our first pumpkin pies of the season. I got 4 pumpkin pies made and then put some soup on. Wild rice, chicken, and vegetable soup with lots of spices sure did smell good on the stove simmering. I then made some biscuits with shredded cheese and garlic in them. I spooned the dough into muffin pans and they were so quick and easy! I took all the food outside and we ate out on the picnic tables. It was the perfect setting for a fall dinner!

Everyone is cleaned up and tucked in bed now, except Denzell who I don't believe would want "tucked". The bedrooms that I had planned to sweep did get swept. The family room got swept late this evening. I am getting ready to go finish cleaning up the kitchen, but most of it has been cleaned up.

It has been a great day. Right now I am listening to Julianne giggle in her bed. She has been in bed for a long time already. I wanted her to get to sleep early so she wouldn't be cranky for church in the morning. It doesn't seem to be working out because she is having a blast in there. I would love to go join her, but I know I shouldn't. lol She sure is a joy! I am so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful family and I have to just praise God for bringing them all here. So many backgrounds, pasts, and from so many places - all brought together by God to form one big family. Can't wait to see who He has for us next! As Denzell said tonight, "It really is time for some more kids, 'cause just having 12 is getting kind of boring". ONLY HERE! He is so right though - It is time for more! I am so excited to see who God has for us. I am already praying for them and I don't even know who they are!

My Kids and Construction

As you all can imagine, the construction adds a whole other layer of "stuff" going on around here. I want them all to be able to see what is going on with the construction, because it isn't something that you get to experience often in your life. We have two windows and a big sliding glass door that are right against the construction site, so they really are enjoying watching.

There has been a lot to see so far. The've watched jackhammers tear up the concrete and then trucks lift the concrete out and discard it. They've seen a big truck drill long piers 21 feet into the ground. They've got to see the foundation dug out and then poured. The most recent has been the laying of the blocks.

What is hysterical is the things that get them all worked up. As interesting as things have been to watch it is the small things that draw the most excitement. The man "spitting in their yard" that caused them disbelief. The man who was "smoking a cigarette" that shocked them.

Then most recently the people who came to lay the block caused us all some grief. The men seemed nice enough I guess, especially since we stayed inside. The problem is that from the time they arrived they began to play their stereo out back of our house. They arrived bright and early on Thursday morning. I immediately heard it and thought "Oh crap. How will we survive!". I knew that a normal school day was not in our near future. I quickly improvised. We would use pattern blocks and cards in the family room. We would work on some other "brain teaser" activities. They could work on their book report books wherever they could find the most quiet. We would learn about Jupiter like we had been planning to, but they would write 5 things they "thought" were true and then look them up to find out. They would copy down some real facts and then write about Jupiter.

I let the kids sleep a little later in hopes of missing some of the noisy time. As soon as they got up, they started to mention the noise. Dayton was first to say "How will we concentrate for school?". (Of course, because he is my studious child who loves to learn!) Then soon I was hearing grumblings all through the house. I must admit that it was driving me nuts too! I am not good with background sound and love the quietness of my outside surroundings, while listening to the bustle, chatter, and giggles of my kids. I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that the jackhammers and trucks didn't bother us. It was the music and commercial of the radio that drove us insane! Soon Jose was saying "Gosh, can't he pull up his pants, put a shirt on, and break that stupid radio!".

By afternoon, I prepared myself for the fact that I would have to say something. I went outside and waited for them to look my direction, since I couldn't bear to yell over the music. I did what any good mom would do and explained that while I hated to ask it was becoming necessary for me to do so and if they could turn it down some we would really appreciate it a lot. I even explained that with 5 out of my 12 children having autism, I feared that one might go nuts soon. Now, I did not however explain that I was going crazier than them all and that the only verbal complaints were from my "typical" kids. I just know that my children with autism must have felt nuts if the rest of us were headed there. :) They did turn it down some. We did live through today. The kids were uninterested in watching any of the rest of it and I truly think it is because the one man didn't have on a shirt and his pants hung down a little low.

I really do love this crew. We are all a little different than most people I guess. I have sat and thought about why that specific sound is the sound that we have been unable to bear. Here is my conclusion! I think that the other sounds (jackhammer, trucks, etc) have all been sounds of progress. We as a family love to see progress. We can handle autistic style fits, RAD ramblings, and music that is for learning. This particular sound wasn't progress. It was monotonous and useless. It didn't give praise to God. It didn't teach anyone anything. It didn't accomplish anything at all. We are people who love to do anything that "helps", but music about cheating, beating, and drinking just doesn't accomplish anything. We had lots we wanted to learn and it was distracting.

I wonder if the nail guns and other building sounds that should be starting soon will bug us? I think we'll be fine as long as they don't play music loudly while they work. I'm just glad that God does give us lots of good noise in this house. There is lots of talking, giggling, pretending, babbling, and singing about good stuff!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Talk with the Two Non-Mute RADs

Crystal and Andrew have decided that they are completely incapable of homeschooling right now. It is amazing that knowing there are other adults OUTSIDE is still enough to make them play these games. Our construction will still be going on for a while, so I don't know if they'll pull out of this before then or not.

Crystal is amazingly ridiculous. She is 11 and was doing well with her homeschool curriculum for quite a bit of the time. Now she mysteriously SUBTRACTS and gets a BIGGER number than she had originally. I never knew that something like 1,345 - 642 could give you a number something like 9,803! I just have to laugh about it, because . . . . well, what else is there to do. I know she knows better.

Andrew has also mysteriously lost his brain function. He can't "round" numbers any more. He might round 15 numbers while you have him do them on the board, but when given his workbook he is brain dead. I mean I guess I have to laugh at this too. There really is nothing else to do.

I wish I could tell you that they are distracted, but they aren't. This is just one of their "games". They are completely in control of it and if they chose could do it all tomorrow correctly. They are just little pains. They are still hoping with all of their might that someone might really see them pretending to be dumb and rescue them from this mother who knows they are smart. I tried to tell them that no one really cares, but they have to try it for a while to see for themselves.

Tonight I asked them both about what they hope to accomplish and where they think this is leading. I asked Andrew first off by himself. He said that maybe he could just stay in 3rd grade forever. I told him that while he could stop himself from learning, he would still have to be an adult some day and that by that point he would have made himself truly ignorant. I asked how he would get a job, get a house, buy a car, or buy food. He looked truly confused. I reminded him that every day he wastes is making him one more day behind the other people his age and one day closer to living in a box down by the river because he took away his own opportunities.

Crystal was different when asked about what she planned to do when she doesn't learn what she needs to know and then can't get a job or succeed. She shot back with a head bob and sassy 11 year old tone (still better than a ten year old tone because I really have never had much joy with 10 year olds and they are beyond sassy lol), "Well, I don't know!". I reminded her that she says she wants to be a mommy some day and give her kids a safe, good place. I reminded her that the choices she is making right now are not helping her with that goal. I reminded that you have to learn to succeed and that she seemed like she was working more on the goal of living down by the river in a cardboard box as an adult than she was at overcoming her RAD and being successful and happy.

We'll see what tomorrow holds. Maybe they will think about all the discussions we've had lately on how to finish getting better. Maybe they will think about our discussions tonight. Maybe they will think about all the priveleges they are missing out on right now. Maybe they will do their school work and go back to the good progress they were making in so many areas.

I guess I will find out. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Child with Autism is a Smartie Pants!!

I am a very proud mommy tonight. Zeeky is going to be 6 on Monday. He will have been home 3 years in November. He has come so very far that I can't help myself as I watch in astonishment. We still have some hurdles to cross (potty training is the main one and boys with autism are notoriously hard to train). I am just so excited at what I've seen God do and what He's let me be a part of doing.

Zeeky is able to tell you the phonetical sound of every letter! This is a huge thing here and I have had him do it so that several loved ones could hear it by phone late this evening. I've always known that he was a smart kid, despite the fact that he was diagnosed as 'severely mentally retarded' and 'nonverbal autism' when he came to us at age 3.

I knew that there was a lot in there and that we had to find a way to get it out. Autism is funny like that. Their little brains have lots of information in there that is unable to show through to the rest of the world. They are often mislabeled as 'mentally retarded' because of lack of speech and inability to interact with the world around them. I have always known it. I could just see it in there. I've always felt like God chose me to be the parents of 5 children on the autism spectrum because He knew that He made me very stubborn too. I just can't accept that there isn't more that we can do.

What I've found is that there is always a way to get it out. There isn't a formula. I don't even care what caused it. I don't care what any doctor or scientist says. I just KNOW that they can accomplish a lot. (I actually think this is true of a lot of people with special needs that are overlooked or outcast because of preconceived notions of people who know nothing.)

Each child is different and learns different. The same goes for children with autism. You just have to find out what 'makes them tick' and go with it. For Zeeky the answer is MUSIC and ELECTRONIC SOURCES. He learns things best from DVDs, musical toys, and electronic toys. There are some specific ones that I have found to be best. I will try to write about them specifically another day, but today is just to celebrate his accomplishment. I have bought every learning DVD and learning toy known to mankind. I have watched his interaction with each. I have watched for signs that he was getting the information into his brain and then worked on ways for him to demonstrate that knowledge to me.

Today was another huge "tear jerking moment". Zeeky can name the phonetical sound to every single letter. Some letters he even volunteers a word that starts with that letter just to make sure you know how much he knows! He is proud of himself and I am very proud of him. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be his Mom!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


My husband is so wonderful to do as much as he's been doing lately. I haven't been feeling well at all from the heart rate issues. It has left me very tired. (I mean imagine running a marathon even while sitting down. lol) He has been doing laundry, wrestling Julianne, and so much more. I couldn't ask for a bigger help!

Today he was off, so he did so much to help. The house is running smoothly. The children were well worn out and fell asleep easily. I got to sleep and get caught up on some much needed rest. I am very blessed.

This medicine seems to be doing a great job of getting the heart rate and things in check. I still tire easily and if I do too much then it goes up again. This is just a tiny dose of the medicine though to make sure how my body handled it. I go back to the doctor this coming week. I should be able to get the dose raised a little if needed then and be totally back to normal in no time.

I should be able to get the kids all ready for church in the morning. We have had to miss quite a bit lately as a result of this issue. I hate it when we don't make it to church. I know the kids and Brent do too. Things are as ready as possible tonight so that morning will be easier. I know Brent is ready to pitch in and help too. I can't wait to get back with our church family.

I think God has taught me a few things during this. One thing is that I don't have to do it ALL. I really LIKE to do it all. I don't like to need help. I like to have it "all under control". I like to get everything done without saying "help" on stuff that I normally do. (Everyone has some things that they always do to help out.) I don't like to say "Honey, I just can't get the laundry done", but I am able to say that. I do have a wonderful family who jump in and help. I do have a hubby who can keep that laundry rolling. I have kids who are glad to help set the table, put broccoli on plates, and give everyone dressing. I really can say "I can't". I mean I knew I could, but God knows that I don't like to say it. I guess He decided to teach me that my kids would like to help more with some stuff and that I don't have to be so fiercely independent. I guess I now where some of my kids got their stubborness. lol

I am very thankful for this crew! I know God has blessed me tremendously. I am hopeful that this medicine will continue to correct this heart rate thing and if the medicine needs to go up then we can do that too. I am so blessed!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Since my heart rate has been high it seems that a lot of people wonder about how much stress I must be under. It seems that most people think that my children must be a cause of stress for me. I just thought I'd answer that one for sure.


I mean, like any mother I get stressed if they are sick or something like that. The great thing is that my kids don't even get sick that often. They are healthy and wonderful. Other than sickness none of it stresses me.

I can honestly say that I don't get stressed by any of the behaviors that any of them exhibit. If Andrew were to eat a hole in the dry wall in his room and poop horizontally in it today, it would not stress me out! I feel blessed that he hasn't done that in probably at least two years, but the reason that I care isn't because it stresses me. I care because it means that he is getting better.

I really don't stress over behaviors and there is a reason. See, every one of my children came as a special gift. Dayton was by birth and I prayed before I conceived and the entire time he was in there (and I was sicker than a dog nearly the whole time by the way lol) and feel so blessed that God chose me to be his mommy. Each child that joined our family by adoption required three times the amount of prayer and begging to get home. I prayed for the initial match, whoever was supposed to be caring for them, the social workers to make things smooth, the paperwork to get done, the time line of bringing them home to speed up, and for them to realize how much they were loved and find their special place in our family. I realize that any behaviors or things other moms might find stressors are blessings that I begged for and am so blessed to have received. I get to be the one to help them through whatever their issues are. I am so blessed to have God answer my prayers in such amazing ways. I realize that they endured some horrible things before I became their mommy. I may have to endure some of the behaviors as a result, but being their mommy is a blessing that I begged God (and often times social workers as well) to let me have.

I can't "stress" over my blessings! I just have to praise God for them. There are days that I may vent a little. I really do usually manage to laugh over the things that happen though. I major behavior from one of my kids is no more of a stressor to me than a long line at Walmart is for most. It is something you say "Can you believe . . . . " about, but then I get the blessing that you don't get over the Walmart line - I get to see a child who is being miraculously changed by God. I even get to be a part of it!!!

So for anyone who worries about my stress levels with 12 kids, they don't stress me at all. My household is probably calmer than most households. My kids don't even fight because they can just go play with someone else, so I don't even have that normal parental stress either! :)

Feeling Some Better Already

I went to see Anita today. She changed the medicine that the other doctor put me on. I am already feeling quite a bit better. I am hoping that is a trend that continues. She is making me have some other tests run just to be sure that there is not anything else going on. I love that she always makes sure that everything is ok. That is one of the reasons that I trust my kids in her care. She never leaves a stone unturned!

I will say that it is a little harder when it is me. lol I just like to make it quick when it is me. I do know why she is making me have every test known to man-kind. I know that she is making sure that we don't miss anything that causes more issues later. I will say that it is amazing how much better you can feel in a short amount of time, when your heart rate goes back into normal range. I know that with a few more little medicine tweaks, I will be better than ever!

I am very thankful that God put Anita in our lives. I am so blessed to have a medical provider that I can trust. I am also blessed that she is a sister in Christ, so God can use her even more since she is His child. We are part of the same family! That is the awesome thing about God and His adoption of us. We have family that we share blood with! See, once we accept Jesus' blood to wash away our sins, we share a special bond with other believers as well. God can then use all of His children down here to work together in so many ways. We are family because we have been ADOPTED by the same Daddy! God's family is so cool!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Lots of things are going quite well right now. Construction is moving along. I think our footer will be poured on Monday, which is so exciting. My kids are awesome (well honestly Crystal and Andrew aren't doing great, but I don't stress it because they will come back around soon). I love homeschooling. I had an IEP meeting with Destiny's school professionals today and was reminded as to why I still have her there and how much I love their greatness.

I am feeling rough though. The ladies on my side of the family have a history of very fast heart rates. My great grandmother, grandmother, and mother have all required medication to bring it down. I have always had excellent blood pressure and just a high/average heart rate. I got a little cold or something that seemed to be going around. Shortly after I seemed to be having some difficulty with getting winded. I thought it was just some asthma flare up, so I didn't worry about it too much.

It turns out that the "genes" have smacked me. I am going back to the doctor in the morning to see about getting it further regulated. I started one medicine already, but I'm not staying down out of the 100 beats per minutes and above category. YUCK! I know they'll get it regulated soon though. In the meantime, I have awesome kids (not the RAD ones, bc you NEVER let them know you are at all under the weather or they might see it as the weakness they are so badly looking for) that are pitching in and making my life as easy as possible.

I have used this as a reason to do a little "check up" on my health habits though. I am eating a lot more salads and fruits. I am getting to bed at much better times. I am even sitting down during the day instead of going without stopping. lol I guess God figures we all need a little reminder now and then!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Construction has finally started. There is nothing up yet, but demolish has begun. They came Friday and put up a fence to block off the construction side of our yard from the "kids and dogs" side of the yard. I will admit that I was a little disappointed when nothing else happened that day, but I was glad that at least something had finally happened.

Saturday morning the contractor and some of his men showed up again. I was very excited!! They brought in their big machines. They also began to jackhammer the concrete out back. It all has to come up in order to build there.

I'm sure the two men with jackhammers aren't quite use to having an audience. They did here though! I had kids lined up all across the couch in the sensory room looking out the windows and even across the sliding glass doors. They were so excited when they began to jackhammer the back steps that were so close to them.

My kids are hysterical though. I hear "UMMMM" in their very best "you did something bad" voices. I went in to see what was the matter two different times because of that sound. The first time was because one of the men SPIT in the yard. (I mean really the nerve. roflol) The second time was because they saw the men over at their truck smoking cigarrettes. I think the men may have noticed that the kids thought smoking was a "no no" because they seemed to smoke on the other side of the truck from them on. haha

I'm sure that I am going to have quite the job trying to keep the kids on task while we homeschool. I think I'm going to encourage them to finish their assignments before 'time is up' for that assignment and then they can go peek. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I was given a Million Dollars!

Well, I don't have a REAL million dollars in my pocket or anything. It was just that big of a reward. See I am feeling quite under the weather today. I didn't get to go with some of my kids for their first night back at AWANA as a result. I worked on their verses with them. I made sure they had their stuff together and their "dues". I just didn't get to go so those moments with them.

This was a big night for Zeeky. I took him into the Cubbies room last year for the lesson time. I made sure he sat good and tried to get him to participate. I knew that he wasn't ready to fully do it though. He wasn't talking enough to even attempt saying verses. He wasn't able to stay "on task" like I knew he should. He wasn't able to interact enough either.

This year is another ball game entirely. Zeeky was able to say his verses with me today. He even understood it enough to know what it was meaning too. I'd been having him repeat "God loved us and sent His Son". When Brent got home, I asked Zeeky to come say his verses for Daddy. I was getting ready to say part for him to repeat and he said "God loved us and sent Jesus"!!! Now that means that he knows what we are talking about and that "His Son" and "Jesus" are the same thing!!!!!

I sent him with Brent and some of the other kids hoping that he would really do it for them. Guess what, HE DID GREAT!

One of his teachers let us know that he did well. She also said that he helped a little girl with a puzzle. He said the letters and put them in the correct places. I've seen him do this stuff, but to have him finally able to go and do this on his own is extra awesome. It really was MUCH BETTER than a million dollars.

They said Zeeky was "severely mentally retarded" and "nonverbal autism" when he come home to us at age 3. He didn't talk at all. He made no eye contact. He still had a bottle and all he was fed was poptarts and cereal bars. He was behind in ever single area. I just knew they were wrong though, because I could see the spark behind his eyes.

I would love to find that psychologist who labeled him that way at such a young age. I would love to let him know that at 5 years old (almost 6 which will make me cry) he is doing so very much more than they said he would ever do. He is talking, saying verses, and participating in AWANA without me. He knows his colors, letters, shapes, numbers, and can read quite a few sight words. He has not gone to school since he got here and we only did speech therapy for a short time because he wasn't working for them. He just needed love and someone to believe in him. I believe he is going to keep right on going too! I also believe that I am very blessed to be "Mommy" to my little "Zeeky Monster"! God is so good!