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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Four Steps Forward and 2 Steps Back

That would still amount to progress. I am counting that as a blessing. I am being totally open and honest on this blog, so I must say that Crystal has taken some steps backward. We are still not back at the point we started just a short time ago. We went forward very fast (which scared me anyway because I know that it isn't normal with RAD kids to stay there) and now we went back a few steps. We are back in pullups at age 11 again. I guess this is the first time at age 11 since I think her birthday is what sent her backward.

I really think that we are going to go forward again soon. I believe that she really wants to get better and that is a good sign. I wish that things going well and her being happy didn't make her so uncomfortable. I think she is going to get past that soon too.

I have officially told Andrew and Crystal that children wearing pullups at such a ridiculous age will be forfeiting all special things that children here receive and that money will be going into their "pullup fund". The reason for that isn't that buying the pullups is some real financial strain, but that I think they need to see it affect them. At the zoo tomorrow, they will not be getting something from the gift shop because I am buying pullups for them at ages 9 & 11. They neither one looked very happy at those prospects, so I am hoping that it causes some change in them. They will also have to use birthday money for pullups as well from now on. I really want them to see that this is only affecting them, but that the affect it is having really doesn't work out too well.

I am praying that God touches both of them soon and ends the bodily functions permanently. One way or the other I am very glad to be their mommy. I am thankful for the progress that we have seen and can't wait to see what is ahead!

Fences and other Things you can See

I got to paint fence today. You make think that doesn't sound like much fun. I LOVE to do that kind of thing though. I painted the privacy fence brown on one good sized section. I also used the electric saw to cut some boards off of an extra section and then Brent nailed them into another good sized section of fence in order to fix any boards that were not in good shape. I can paint that on Monday now.

I enjoyed having some of the kids help me paint. Dayton said that it was good at first. Within about 20 minutes, he had determined that it was the "hardest thing he'd ever done" and his arm was tired. I liked talking to him and watching him do it though. He went to play and Jose helped me with painting for awhile. He started out saying that he "didn't understand what Dayton was complaining about because this is great". Within about 15 minutes he was saying that he "realized", but wanted to continue. He was so funny with the paint. I think both of them managed for about 30 minutes each.

Then Denzell helped me with the rest of the painting. He was funny too. He never complains and is so great to work on things with me. I did see him head over to look in the van mirrors to see where the paint was though. :) His hair was a little two toned when we were done. He really wants to learn stuff and be "good at things" so that he can always do what needs done. He takes on the role of oldest quite well (Precious and Unique are "older" in age, but their special needs make them not function that way).

Denzell and I have a lot in common when it comes to "getting things done". We have even discussed it. We enjoy the projects that you can "see progress" on. We both like to clean the kitchen or organize room or cabinets. We enjoyed painting because you could see such a difference when you do it. My family marvels at how he jumps in and helps out, but he is just good like that. :)

I love talking with my kids while we are doing stuff. I highly advice that parents have individual children "help" them with projects. It is amazing the things that kids will tell you when you are "working" together. I hear about who they "like", what they get mad at each other about, what things they are interested in, what their favorite things are, and just what they are thinking about. It isn't as "intrusive" in their eyes as when you just sit them down to "talk" or they think you are "prying". It just comes natural to talk when you are sharing a project.

I am very blessed with a nice fence and great kids. I'm actually looking forward to many more hours of painting the rest of the privacy fence. I wonder who all will help next time!

Guilty?? (please!)

I've been internally and real life venting. Now it is time to blog vent. I had someone actually ask me on Thursday "Don't you feel guilty that you already have so many children and yet you are continuing to adopt children that another family without children or with just a few children then can't adopt?".

ARE THEY KIDDING? Do people really think that there is some long line of people waiting to adopt children from foster care that I somehow prohibit them from adopting?? Are people really that dense????

I proceeded to tell her that 4,000 children per year age out of foster care without ever being adopted. They leave foster care with little to no support of any kind! They have no birth family connections most of the time and if so then they surely couldn't be great ones or they wouldn't have been in foster care. They never had a "forever family" adopt them.

I also let her know that if people want to adopt children then there are THOUSANDS of children still waiting.

Now if you think that surely the worst of the conversation was surely over at that point then I am sorry to tell you that it wasn't. She then went on to say that she understood because a friend of hers had recently adopted a baby that "no one else wanted as well". That baby had a "brain problem" she said.

Now which part of that was worse for me is hard to explain. Number one, "no one else wanted as well" is one sure fire way to tick of any mother when used to describe her children like they are some undesirable affliction. Also to speak of special needs children in such a way as she went on to describe the baby with the "brain problem" is a sure way to offend and make the mother want to "offend". I also have a friend whose little girl has hydrocephalus which I guess is a "brain problem" in this woman's words. A little guy that I want to adopt badly and stole my heart in Julianne's old foster home also has hydrocephalus. To refer to a child with special needs like this as having a "brain problem" that "no one else wanted" surely ticks me of in a serious manner.

Now I can say with humbleness that I managed to leave without a criminal record. I stewed most of the way home. I have prayed, grumbled, prayed some more, and talked to some friends and family about the experience. I am now calm enough to write about the experience. I will say that it is one of those times that I am thankful that I am raising RAD children though because without the practice in self restraint that I have had so much experience with in parenting them, I might not have been able to respond as Christian-like as I managed to do.

To think that all of that was just because I needed a teeth cleaning. Do you think that the dentist would mind if I request another hygenist next time?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Julianne's Big Day

Julianne is all sewed up and healed up now from her gtube site repair. She still has limited amounts she can consume at once, but that is just a few more days. We also know that her neck has good stability from the xray. This all means that we are able to let her do things that she hasn't been able to do.

She got to get on the trampoline for the very 1st time this evening. She has been wanting on, but we couldn't let her on until we knew if she had "neck instability" or not. Since her neck is fine she can get on (very carefully since she is tiny!). So I got on with her and kept a hold of her most of the time. Daddy stood at the enclosure opening just in case. Dayton couldn't wait, so he got on and jumped a little on the other side just to see her giggle. (She is so lucky to always have bigger siblings anxious to spoil her. lol) He got off and she tried to "prance" on it a little. She was so happy! I'm sure she'll want to do it again soon. I just have to be on there with her and only one other person who can bounce lightly.

Julianne used to love baths before they removed her gtube and left her leaky. She had a big bubble bath tonight! There was a lot of splashing and I was almost as wet as her. It was so good to see her laughing and playing in that tub of bubbles!

That little princess and her extra chromosome sure do have us all wrapped tightly. Seeing her smile makes this whole house full of people all feel blessed!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Symptoms of RAD

I wanted to share the symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder on here for those who really may not know. It is not a widely talked about disorder. Many parents feel very rejected by the child or even judged by those around who do not understand. I am just open and honest. If you know me then you know that I have 12 kids who are MINE. Eleven of them came by adoption. Many of those have had some type of attachment or issues stemming from their stay in foster care or birth homes. Three of them have what I would consider full blown RAD. All three are doing much better at the moment. Here is a short list of symptoms that are common with RAD.

  • Lack of Conscience
  • Food Issues
  • Issues with Bodily Functions (vomit, urine,fesces, snot, etc) as a weapon or way to control
  • Lack of empathy or compassion
  • Abuse, neglect, or lack of bond before age 3
  • Lies (even about obvious)
  • Wants those around them to feel sorry for them
  • May not make eye contact or may be able to look you in the eye and lie
  • Seeks affection from friends, extended family, or even strangers BUT not from parents unless for a show in front of others
  • Intense battles for control
  • Manipulative
  • Destroys Property
  • Speech and language issues
  • Poor peer relationships
  • "Charming"
  • May injure self or others
  • May eat non-edible things
  • Learning Lags
  • May "mommy shop"
  • Doesn't form proper attachments to caregivers
  • Incessantly chatters (or may use lack of speech) in order to control the surroundings, draw attention, or annoy
  • Steals
  • Thinks of themself very highly or may pretend to have lack of "self esteem" to get praise from others
  • Hopes that you will think the parents aren't "good" to them
  • Won't work for "rewards" and normal parenting techniques never work for long

I know this all may seem like a lot. There is probably a lot more though actually. The good news is that with love, structure, consistency, insistance on getting attention from parents instead of those they desire to get attention from in order to not need it from parents, time, and God's grace they can get better. I've seen other children of ours that were less severe heal before. I've seen a friends' daughter heal. I am now seeing the beginning of the healing with these three. God is so good!

Jacob - WOW

Jacob has had an awesome day! I am just floating around. My mother came today and his little "RAD eyes" came alive. He was ready to get that attention that he does crave, but hates to get from me. I stopped him before she got in the door. I said "Jacob, you cannot hug her or go to her at all. I know you need love, but you can only have it from me.". He looked me right in the eyes and cried. I said "Jacob, I'd love to give you hugs and love, but it still has to be me.". He came over and hugged me while letting me hug him!

I then asked him to come help me put lunch on the table. I really didn't know if he would "help" at all or even pretend to, but I knew that I couldn't let him get attention from my mother while I did it. I asked him to put a package of fruit snacks on each plate. He did most of it without too much prodding or redirection. The times that he needed "assistance", he accepted it and was pleasant. He made eye contact several times during the preparation.

Later while they were outside playing, my mother and I walked out there too. He had the "RAD eyes" pop up again and then looked TO ME. I said "Yes, Jacob if you want it then it has to come from me". We exchanged hugs with his initiating it again. Later I initiated several hugs that he willingly hugged back. We played outside tossing a ball and he even made eye contact.

Tonight he even gave his dad a hug!

This has been an awesome day for Jacob! These days give me hope for him to come so far as time goes by. I am so exciting with what God is doing! I STAND AMAZED!

Crystal's Birthday

Today was Crystal's birthday. She turned 11 years old today. I really had a hard time picking out her presents the other night. She really doesn't seem to show "excitement" or want anything in particular. I also feel the need to impress her in some way. Kind of wierd if I do say so myself. I just know that she didn't have much before she came to us. She is at such an ackward age on top of that. Add in her RAD and it makes things so different!

She has been doing so well lately though. She seems to be handling being back in her room great! She is talking to me ALOT. Yet it isn't the "incessant chatter" that is so common with RAD. She actually seems to want to communicate and be willing to bond! To top that off - she is coming up and hugging me or telling me she LOVES me. I am flabberghasted! I mean this is the kid who purposely sprayed fragrances that she knew would activate my asthma repeatedly less than a year ago!

So to say that I really wanted to get something that she liked is an understatement. I found some gadgets that you add details to your clothes with and was excited, but I didn't know if she would be. I got her some clothes that looked like she could easily add things to them. I also got a "thingy" that let you use stencils to do sketches of clothing designs. Topped it off with some bracelets and hoped for the best.

Last year I took her to shop for her own stuff. I got her one "toy" and let her pick out her own clothes or toys or jewelry. It was sad for me. She barely spoke to me. She didn't seem to "want" anything. She didn't seem to care when I took her out to eat. It was like taking Jacob (selective mute if you remember) out with me. She didn't seem excited about anything. Needless to say I was keeping my hopes LOW this year. lol

She didn't seem excited when she opened her presents today. She casually got things out of the gift bag without hardly looking at them. I walked away thinking ok, no different than last year. It was different though! She came up to me several times and thanked me. She let me know several times that she LOVED it. She even talked about wanting me to help her with it tomorrow (or whenever she decides to stay indoors lol).

Raising children with RAD is such a challenge. Many days seem thankless and like living in groundhog day over and over. Then you reach the point that Crystal is at and you just can't help but be so thankful. I am so glad that I am her mom and that God is bringing her through to the other side. It gives me hope for continued progress with my other two RAD kids, who are doing quite well right now too by the way. GOD IS SO GOOD AND I AM SO BLESSED TO BE CHOSEN TO PARENT ALL 12 OF THESE KIDS!

Play Equipment

I just had Brent order a whole mess of play equipment for outside. I found a great "climber" that I am super excited about. I also had him order two playhouses, two sandboxes, and 4 of those bouncy ball things with the handle that you ride on. I got one of the plastic "Flinstone style" foot powered cars painted today. I will head out tomorrow evening for more paint to touch it up and do the others. I love the kids' excitement over that stuff! I also love stuff that keeps them busy, includes imaginative play, makes them tired, and has "sensory" play included in it.

Now for anyone who thinks that might have been slightly "excessive" (I have had plenty of family members think I go a tad overboard lol), then please remember that I have TWELVE children. The best way for me to stay sane, them to improve with their special needs, and them to get along is to have enough stuff to play with that fighting isn't necessary and everyone has plenty to do. I will let you all know shortly how the stuff fairs! There is no one better to test it out than us! Brent and I aren't good at putting stuff together (pre-occupation with my kids is my hold up) and our kids are great and giving it a good work out. :)

If you live nearby and want to try it out then come play in a few weeks!

Once again, I guess this will file nicely in the "only at my house" section. We are kind of "unique" like that!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

God blessed with Julianne's Stitches Removal

We went in to get the stitches removed this morning. We had to be there at 6:30am. We got there and sat waiting to be called back. My mother met us there and stayed for a little while before she had to go to work. We went back and they went through the "Is she allergic" lists. The anesthesiologist gave us the liquid medicine for her to drink. She got really huggy and kissy like she did last time. I was imagining having to hand her over to them, which is the worst part.

They came back to check on us soon. I asked them to find Dr. Beaver and ask her if she'd just clip them while Julianne was loopy. She came and was glad to do so thankfully. I got to kiss her little cheek while they clipped her stitches. We waited another 20 minutes max and let her sip an apple juice. We were out of there and in our car by 10 minutes after 8! Such a blessing!!! They didn't have to take her or put her to sleep after all!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I heard Dayton talking to Jose tonight. They were in the sensory room with Julianne. Jose said something about Julianne having it good with them all spoiling her. Dayton said "Jose, being spoiled can be boring". I asked what he meant and if he remembers being "spoiled". He said that he can remember having Denzell push the button for him on the 4wheeler he had when he was 2 years old. We laughed for a minute about how Denzell did spoil him just like they are doing Julianne now.

Jose said that he doesn't know if he was spoiled when he was little or not. He said he just "doesn't remember". I told him that I'm not sure about when he was that age, but that I wish I had gotten to spoil him too. He gave me a big hug. These are the moments that I hate because there is nothing that I can do to turn back the clock and have those early years with them. Jose didn't come to our family until he was 7 1/2 years old. I often think of what an ornery and cute little guy he must have been, what fun they would have had together when they were tiny, and all the years that I didn't get to be with him. I'm so glad that I'm his mommy now though!

Dayton the proceeded to tell me that he doesn't spoil Julianne "as much as he did before". I laughed at him and said that it would be impossible to keep her THAT spoiled. He went on to say that he can't help it because she is so tiny and cute. (I have to agree) He said that he thinks that if we could cover her cute little face then it would help him not to spoil her. roflol

These kids are hysterical! They wouldn't stop spoiling her no matter what! She has them wrapped tight!

Julianne Stitches Removal in the Morning

Julianne is having a small deal in the morning. She has to be put to sleep to take out her stitches from the surgery two weeks ago. I am dreading them taking her from me again. I realize that I truly am such a wimp. I am praying that it is quick and painless as they say. We have to be there at 6:30am (by the way I don't really LIKE people until after 9am). That means I will be up before 5am. They say we should be headed back out of the hospital by 8:30am. I pray it is really that quick.

If you read this before then, please pray. I am thankful that this is a small procedure and she will only need a little "crazy mask" to put her to sleep. I am a little fearful of her response when we get to the hospital again. I also am afraid that she will anticipate what happened before and be scared right off this time. My prayer is that God just makes it "easy peasy".

I'll let you know!

Weekend is Over, Adoption News Please

I know most people dread the end of weekend. I usually do too. When we are in "adoption mode" I can't wait for the weekend to end! The fact is that there is never any new info on the weekends. You can't get matched! You can't get news of a possible match! You can't find out anything. They don't even update photolistings on weekends!

I know that this has to sound obsessive to most. I was talking to a lady today who I know through our agency and through a mutual friend. She has been putting in homestudies and hasn't been matched yet. I think she may have thought I was crazy when I said that it gets in my mind and I can't get it out until I know I've done everything that I need to do. She has never been matched though or realized the joys of the child arriving.

Just think as a mother, don't you always want to make sure that you take care of everything that you need to for your kids? You want to make sure that they are fed, medications given, nice clothes, hair fixed, books read, hugs given, and everything else that makes motherhood so special. I can't do any of that for the child/children that God has put on my heart yet! On top of that, I am at the mercy of social workers that I've never spoken with as to when I can. I mean in reality God is the one in control, but there are humans who may or may not be taking care of my kids in the meanwhile.

Now imagine that your child was stuck in another state. Another state, but you weren't sure which one! Then you have no way of checking on them. You don't know if they are ok or when they will arrive. Then imagine that you had a glimmer of hope on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Saturday and Sunday there is no way that you are going to find out any of the info that you need. If a holiday or vacation for the worker falls on a weekday then you may as well hang it up too.

Wouldn't you be ready for Monday to come? Sure you would! Monday morning at 8 am you would get a little hope and by 11am you would be realizing that all of the US was now at 8am or later. Social workers may not arrive until whatever "their 9am" is, so the wait is on. roflol

OK, I am a little nutty! The fact is though that God has my kids out there and I am going to email, put together beds, search photolistings, fill out paperwork, and jump through hoops until they get here (whoever they are). At least I can admit all the "crazies" about me! You know that you aren't completely "crazy free" either. ( I mean I don't care about werewolves, vampires, cars, vacations, or anything else normal people go crazy for, so I have to be different with my craziness! I am nuts over my kids, the ones here and the ones God has put in my heart that will be here in His time!)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Poodle (I don't own one really lol)

We have two Old English Sheepdogs. Taffy joined us first and is 2 1/2 years old. Candy joined us Christmas before last and is almost 2 years old. Now if you can't imagine in your mind what an Old English Sheepdog really is, then think of the Shaggy Dog movies or the Dog on the Peter Pan movie. We have TWO of those!

Candy is so sweet and good natured about most grooming sessions. She will let 3 or 4 kids brush her out and sit patiently if she gets a knot that needs removed. She is incredibly smart. She can unlock gates so keyed padlocks are necessary. She is more of a "girly" dog than Taffy. lol

Taffy is more of a doer than a thinker. She loves to play defense in the backyard football games. She has been known to take Andrew by the hand if he is told to run back and forth when we are outside and he gets into mischief. She is NOT a dog that likes to be brushed.

So today I decided that grooming was a must. The vet's office bathed her while she was boarded but said they couldn't shave her down. Needless to say, bathing her made the mats a lot worse. Out came the dog clippers and the scissors. Denzell helped me out with holding her and occupying her. The other kids were all inside. She got about half done when the rain got to what seemed a little too close and the asthma got me a little too badly. I will have to finish her tomorrow, hopefully. She doesn't love to cooperate. I'm hoping that she has some sense of pride and realizes that she looks like a badly groomed poodle. As for me, several puffs of albuterol later and my asthma has still not recovered from these weather fronts.

I guess I'll file this under stuff the only happens here. I doubt anyone else has two Old English Sheepdogs, one of which looks like a poodle currently. :)


I am blogging and thinking way too much! I think this antibiotic for the sinus infection must be too strong. I have a rash and my head feels yucky, which is the same as last time on this one. Unfortunately, this is the only antibiotic works for me now. Thankfully it does work though, so I won't complain too much. :)

I am actually annoyed right now watching Animal Planet. I am an animal lover most certainly. It just amazes me that "Last Chance Highway" and "Pit Boss" among other shows on here have such a passion for saving animals. At the same time, so many kids in our country get no "Last Chance" or true rescue.

Did you know that 4,000 children every year "age out" of foster care? Did you know that lots of children have no legal parents? Does anyone care? I mean I don't see any show giving the realities of that! No one wants to think about it. Maybe that is because then they would be up at 2:00am thinking about it. lol I think really it is because they are afraid that if they thought about it, then maybe God will call them to do something about it. Maybe it is because it is a lot easier to judge other countries "orphan" problem than to think about our own countries "orphan" problem? Maybe it is because of some of the issues that can come with children who have suffered trauma (I mean I am open about that)?

I really don't know the reason, but it bugs the heck out of me! (Please don't misunderstand bc I do want people to rescue dogs, etc) I just wish that more people would care about the waiting children. Maybe my new answer for people who ask me "Surely you are done, right?" or "You really don't NEED more kids, you have 12?" is going to be "Ok, so you start adopting the waiting children and get everyone you know to do the same, who can then get everyone they know to do the same, and there won't be any left for me". lol

If every Christian adopted 1 child, then there would be no orphans in the whole WORLD without a family.

OK, I am going to take same Benadryl Sinus for the other treatment for this infection and go to bed. Maybe I won't THINK or BLOG so much tomorrow.