The Center of Our Chaos

via Daily Prompt: Center

My husband came down the stairs this morning and greeted the children as usual.  I was in the kitchen making our first pot of coffee.  He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close as he kissed my cheek.  I looked over at him and smiled.  “You look tired sweetie, try to get some rest today” he said to me.   I laughed, there is not time for a nap with our beautiful chaos.It was only 6:30am but my morning started around 2am when our five year old woke up not knowing where he was at.  I spent the next thirty minutes rocking him and singing to him.  In his world I am his comforter, his safe place to break down, and his 2am cuddle buddy. By the time I got him back to sleep Big Al, one of our three year olds, was up.  He is now showing signs of autism. My nights and days run together so often now.  I told him I would try to fit it in some down time between the mountains of laundry and picking up our car from the shop before school pick ups started.  Then he said, “Sometimes you need to take a few minutes for yourself and reboot. Don’t worry about the laundry today, I’m sure we can survive”  The word reboot stopped me in my tracks.  Yesterday my devotional said the same thing.  Was God trying to tell me something?

It is so easy to get lost in our busy world.  With our seven sweet yet at times very demanding children sometimes its easy to get caught up in the worry about all their needs and forget about my own.  I spend so much time researching about Autism, sensory issues, and RAD that every now and then the basics of life fall in the cracks. There are days that I get nothing except meetings, therapies, and doctor appointments. I could not tell you the last time I slept for more than 2 hours straight or the last time I actually ate a complete meal that was still hot.    Life with children, especially those with special needs, is always full of surprises and at times exhausting.

As I looked at my husband I knew he was right.  I needed to take a few minutes for myself today, to regroup, refuel, and recharge.  So after he went to work and two of our little loves left for school I poured myself a nice warm cup of coffee, curled up under my favorite blanket, and pulled out my daily devotional.  I needed a few minutes for myself.  As I sat and read over today’s encouraging word I found myself thinking back to yesterdays church message, Lord thy Will be done.    The message hit home.  When we decided to become foster to adopt parents we did not know how much our world would change. Before foster care our world centered around the two of us and our two teenage children.  We were making plans for college for them and plans for us after they were out on their own.  We would load them up and drop them off to the college of their choice and then set off on our Harley and see what all the different states had to offer.  However God’s plan, HIS WILL for us, was different.  So so different.  So we started to foster children.  And with that our world centered around caring for those that needed someone, anyone to step up and show them love and give them a safe place to lay their heads at night.   As child after child came into our care our journey become more clear.   When wild man was placed with us our lives changed again.  He needed us more so than the others.  Many seen him as a burden, we see/seen him as a blessing.  His beginning was hard but he is a fighter.  When we adopted him and his sister we knew things would be different, yes he has autism and sensory issues, and stomach issues, but there is so much more to him.  It was not until a few years after the adoption we discovered divas underlying issues.

So today I took time not to center on all the worry that my normal days involve.  I read my devotional and ask God for His Will to be done in all areas of my life.  I did not do the laundry, instead I got dressed (jeans not yoga pants), boots, and a dresser shirt (not a stained up t-shirt) and even did my makeup (and its not a Sunday or church Wednesday) and took the three little loves out to lunch.  We stopped by and picked up their dad so he could get out of the office for his lunch while we went and picked up the car from the shop.  And even though I did not get a nap, I do feel better.  The thing is we are a family of 9 (when our older kids are at college we are at 7 at the house) we will ALWAYS have laundry.  We will always have dirty dishes and toys in the floor.  With a child with RAD and one (possibly two) with autism we will always have therapy appointments and doctor appointments and meetings.  We will always fight for a “normal” education for them and fight for classes that will accommodate their unique needs.  Their lives and ours will never be as carefree as our older children’s were, but that’s okay.  But for today we will not worry about things, for God promises to take care of His children. Today we will not worry about meltdowns, breakdowns, stressful situations, meetings or judgmental people whose wandering eyes and shaking heads never stop while we are out.  For today, like  most everyday, we will center around the love that we have for these precious children God placed in our lives.  I am thankful for a husband who reminds me from time to time what I truly need in my life.  And when he gets home, I will take him up on his offer to care for the kids and go and rest for my night shift will be be shortly.

From our beautiful chaos to yours don’t let worldly things be the center of your life.  Focus on what matters: love, patience and understanding

Our Day Trip to the Moon

Our adventure for the day:

It was 75 degrees outside and the breeze was blowing just right.  Hard to believe its the 24th of February.  Today’s weather was made for going out and playing in the yard.  After a few weeks of our little ones being sick and stuck inside they needed a day out in the sun, I needed a day in the sun.  It was the perfect ending to an otherwise stressful week.

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Our swinging rocket

 

As the kids played on the swing set and ran around the yard this weeks challenges started becoming a distant memory.  The yard was filled with laughter and the sounds of happy free spirited children.  It was definitely what they needed to feel better.  After playing on his own for a few minutes our five year old came over and sat beside me on our double swing.  With his big blue eyes he looked up at me and pointed to the sky.  Mommy can you take me there?  he asked.  Can I take you where?  I replied.  There mommy, to the moon.  Can we please today?  I replied with a, No we can not go today sweetie, how would we get there?  His sad little eyes teared up and as he looked back at me he said I have a rocket.  He jumped off the swing and ran over to the spaceship he received at Christmas two years ago and brought it over to me.  I pulled him back up on my lap and said Well I guess we are taking a trip to the moon then.  He smiled great big and hugged me tight. Thank you mommy, thank you.  I yelled for the rest of the kids to join us on our magic swinging rocket but they were still busy playing cars. So wild man decide to go without them.   As we swung we had our countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 blastoff.  As our legs went back and forth we closed our eyes.  I told he to imagine flying through the air and as we “crossed into space” I ran my fingers through his hair.  As we got closer to the moon we came across a meteor shower and it bounced our rocket side to side. Thankfully my son is an excellent pilot.  Our landing was rough due to some damage from the meteor shower,  but we made it safe and sound.  When we made our way out of the rocket, they rest of the kiddos made their way over to the moon.

 

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moon walking in zero gravity

We spent the next two hours lost in their imaginations.  We watch moon creatures (aka squirrels) jump from land formation to land formation.  We explored deep moon craters and moon walked in zero gravity. We got lost in the beautiful songs of the native bird like creatures.  We looked around for the man in the moon and we discovered that the moon is not in fact made of cheese.  As the day started to turn to night we thought it best to head back home, we did not want their daddy to worry if he made it home and we were gone.  We all loaded back into the swinging rocket and prepared to leave our new favorite place.  As the rocket took off wild man looked at me and said, Close your eyes momma it could get scary.  I closed my eyes tight and he let out a happy squeal and with that our homemade rocket took off into the night.  We sailed past the sun and stopped off at the milky way to grab a drink and before we knew it we were landing in our backyard. As the other kids made their way out of the rocket, wild man stopped and grabbed my hand.  He looked up at the sky and said, Look momma we “lefted” tracks in the sky.  He was so pleased with his piloting skills.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

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Wild man knee deep in a moon crater

 

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wild mans rocket tracks

For those few hours our world was at peace.  There were no meltdowns or fighting.  There were no judgmental eyes watching. There was no, mom he’s looking at me make him stop.  There was no, I’m not playing with you and no, I hate you’s. There was no autism, no RAD, no ADD, no FASD,  no ADHD there was only happy loving children playing.  Days like today are few and far between but oh how precious they are to me.  Our lives are not what most people call normal.  Our house is usually loud with at least one (or more) children crying.  If I could go back and tell their birth mom’s one thing it would be Please don’t do drugs, please don’t drink, but if that could happen then I would not be blessed with days like this.  I am thankful for wild man’s ever growing imagination.  I am thankful for a good day after a long week of not so good days.  I am thankful for the weather that allowed us to be outside today.  I am thankful God placed these little loves in our care.  I am grateful that I get to share in all the new and exciting things they discover how to do as the figure them out in their own time.  I am blessed to hear giggles and belly laughs tonight.  I will be forever thankful for our swinging rocket and our quick day trip to the moon.

 

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Looking for the man in the moon

From our beautiful chaos to yours the imagination of a child is the key to some of lives grandest adventures.

I’s love you forever mommy

Where do I start?  My world is made up of many different things.  I have one child the sees things so beautiful and bright most days, I have one that sees things negative and always someones else’s fault, and then I have a few who fall in the middle.  We live day to day.  Most days are peaceful until all five little loves are home and then you can count on one thing, I will play the referee among at least two of them until bedtime.

Autism and RAD could not be any different.  Its like day and night.  Wild man is for the most part easy going. He sees things in a totally different way than most kids his age.  Autism has given him an insight to the world that many of us overlook, he can find beauty in everything.  Yes he has meltdowns, but for the most part he is the sweetest, loving, and caring child I have met.  He looks at the ordinary things ans sees something extraordinary.  Then we have diva.  From the time she wakes up till the time she goes to sleep its a fight.  Bad behavior at home and at school is always blamed on someone else.  She shows little emotion, and if by chance she does its almost always negative. She can’t help it, the drugs and alcohol birth mom done while pregnant with her have helped plan her fate.  It’s heartbreaking, its sad, and it oh so tiring.   The two could not be any different if they tried.  Which brings me to the last few days.

 

Last week wild man and diva had a short school week.  Classes were cancelled due to the flu both Monday and Tuesday.  Wild man was perfectly fine staying home with me were as diva blamed me for the school being closed.  Come Wednesday school was back on a normal schedule however by noon wild man was sent home with a high fever.  When I picked diva up she was mad that wild man had got to come home sick. Not that she wanted to be home, she just didn’t want him home.  The next few days proved to be difficult because he was sick and she didn’t like that he was getting “treated special” (I guess making him stay in bed with a blanket on the floor to catch his vomit made’s for special treatment in her eyes)

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Sunday night around 630 she was getting ready for bed and said her tooth was lose and needed to come out.  Sure enough it was and I asked her if I could pull it.  She bit me as I got a hold of the tooth, which fell into my hand.  There was no blood for the tooth was barely attached to her gum.  I go downstairs so I can place the tooth in a baggy so the tooth-fairy to find it easier. I get to the bottom of the stairs and she starts screaming and kicking the wall, her dad runs up to see whats going on only to be told that “mommy is the meanest mom ever she pulled my tooth out of my head and then took it for herself.  She made me bleed daddy.  She is so mean”  My husband told her to calm down that I was only getting a baggy to put the tooth in so the tooth-fairy could find it. He told her I was not being mean and that I loved her every much, none of which mattered to her.   Monday rolls around and  she wakes up fighting mad.  She was mad that the tooth fairy had not shown up to take her tooth ( I tried several times to get the tooth but she was up over 15 times that night. Every time I went in she asked me “what are you doing in my room?”  I played it off as if I was checking on her baby sister) She screamed as I brushed her hair, she yelled because we only had chocolate granola bars instead of peanut butter ones, she could not find both of her gray shoes so instead of just putting on another pair she throw the one gray shoe across the room and said she was just quieting and never talking to us again.  What should have taken 15 minutes to get ready took over an hour and a half (thankfully she had gotten up and was wide awake at 5:30) Off to school she went.

I pick her up from school and ask how her day was, to which she replies “You can read check the note yourself”  I knew at that point the day was not great.  Upon reading the note the teacher wrote I discovered she was on black (color code for bad day) She had 1) refused to follow directions 2) refused to come inside after recess was over 3) standing on her desk and 4) she had cut up her shirt(a brand new shirt I had bought her) during art time. I asked her to take off her jacket and sure enough the shirt was ruining.  I asked her why and got the standard “I don’t know” answer.

Tuesday morning I was hoping would go better.  The tooth-fairy was able to come so we were hoping she would be excited.  Instead we were met again with an angry 6 year old.  The morning went much like the previous morning.  By the time she went to school she had started two fights, one with wild man over who was sitting on the couch and one with baby girl because she wanted the blanket that baby girl was carrying, she walked out the door happy with herself that baby girl was screaming.  When I picked her up she greeted me with “Don’t ask just look at my folder”   Again we were on black for the day.  This time it was for 1) skipping line, 2) back talking the teacher, 3) not following the rules 4) not doing ANY classwork, and 5) eating glue and gluing stuff to her desk.  Again I asked what was going on and why she was asking out to which all she did was scream and say “I don’t know”   The evening went down hill.  She refused to do her homework, she picked fights with her younger siblings, she did not like what I made for dinner and she was not happy I was making her go to bed early.  (I thought maybe she just needed some sleep where she had been walking the halls the last few nights)  As she stomped her way the stairs she was screaming “I hate you.  I hate your rules. You are the worst mother ever. and I hate everything about you”  I placed her in her bed, told her goodnight and that we would try for a better day tomorrow.   I closed the door and she started kicking the walls and slamming herself against her bed.

I sat outside her door and cried.  I knew I could not calm her down but I could not walk off either.  She’s my girl, my daughter, and I hate seeing her like this. I needed to be close in case she would fall off the bed or hurt herself from kicking the wall.  After she settled down I went back downstairs and found our three little boys playing cars while baby girl had fallen asleep in her playpen.  I could not help but cry again.  They are so use to her acting out like this they have grown numb to it.  I tried to pull it together and put on a fake smile but wild man could since that I was not okay.  As I sat in the floor Big Al handed me a car to play with.  Wild man just sat there and looked at me.  When I told him everything was okay he climbed over and sat on my lap.  He wrapped his little arms around my neck and gave me the biggest hug and said “It’s ok, I’s love you forever mommy” And he just sat there hugging me and patting my back.  Big Al and Elmo saw him and they quickly joined in.  So we sat, in the middle of our living room floor all three on my lap, and hugged.  I’m not sure exactly how long we sat there but its exactly what I needed, and wild man knew that.  Eventually he let go and looked at me as if to say, “Its okay she does not mean it mommy” He kissed my forehead, guessing he has seen his daddy do that, and smile then went off to play taking the other two boys with him.  And I felt better. God knew exactly what I needed.  The evening wrapped up without any more outburst or meltdowns.

 

Sometimes a question why God picked us to go on this path.  I know He will not give us more than we can handle, but there are days I don’t know why He thinks I am strong. No one really knows what its like unless you have a child that deals with these same issues. People can say,”You need to do this when he or she acts that way or I would never let my child behave lie that.” The truth is it’s easy to judge from the outside.  I’ve done it myself, maybe that’s why I’m where I am now.  God knew I needed a lesson on patience and understanding. Days like the past few make me feel weak, so so weak but He will get me through He always does.  I don’t know what set off the chain of events over the last couple of days.  I may never know.  But I am thankful for the moments when God shows up and says “All is well child.  You are strong enough, You are more than enough, You will make it through this storm”  I am thankful for wild mans calming ways.  I am thankful for Big Al and Elmo’s happy giggles. I am thankful for text messages from my older kids at just the right time.  I am thankful for baby girls babbles. I am thankful for mornings diva smiles. Today was a better day.  I am thankful to be their momma.  It is not always an easy journey but it is one I would do all over again if asked.

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From our beautiful chaos to yours in the storms of life remember God loves you.  He shows us daily that we are enough.  And on those really hard days, He uses those around to let us know we are never alone.

 

Thy Will be Done

Valentines Day, the day of love.  I’ve thought about this post over the last few days so forgive me if its a jumbled mess.

Valentines Day has a different meaning to me now than it did when I was in my early twenties and early thirties.  As I was getting our little loves gifts prepared I could not help but to think back to my two oldest kids last Valentine’s Day with their father (my ex-husband)  He was not around much leading up to the end of our marriage.  He was a nurse and was always “working” so he spent many nights away from home.  I knew what was going on, I just didn’t want to admit that my marriage was over.  So when he was not around the first few weeks in February that year, I didn’t think much of it.  I remember making the kids baskets that year, almost as large as the ones kids get on Easter.  I made sure they had candy, and movies, coloring books, and even a new outfits.  I wanted them to know that I loved them, they needed to know someone loved them.  So I went overboard.  At that point I was still covering up for him and that even included all things involving our kids.  I finished up the baskets and had them setting in the middle of the living room floor so the kids would see them first thing as the came in from school.  I went to take a shower before they came in so we could spend the evening doing whatever they wanted.  When I was finished and came back into the living room, there he sat.  The kids walked in and immediately ran to the baskets.  They were all excited when they opened up their gifts and then they opened the cards and read “Happy Valentines Day Love Dad”  He had placed cards in the baskets while I was gone.   I had not bought cards for them.  In their eyes he had come home with these amazing gifts for them just in time for Valentines Day. I was so angry with him, but never said a word to the kids.  He packed a bag a few hours later and was gone again.  Later that month the kids and I moved out, and I filed for divorce, not because of that but for many other reasons.

 

Jump forward a few years and I am now married to my husband.  I love him dearly, however he is not one to celebrate birthdays much less holidays. Every now and then he will surprise me on a holiday, take this past Christmas for example.  We had agreed to not get each other anything, but I knew he needed a new coffee pot.  Not a great Christmas gift I know, but I knew he would use it.  So when he told me to open up my gifts ( that’s gifts not gift) I was completely shocked.  He had bought me a new laptop (which I am typing on now) and an autographed Brett Favre jersey  (I’m a huge Green Bay Packer Fan) to hang in my Green Bay Room.  He didn’t have to but he did out of love.  Kind of made the coffee pot look a little silly but hey he loved it. And then there was last Sunday where I needed some me time, so he watched the kids while I went and seen the movie Lion.  It’s the little things. So when Valentines Day rolled around and I only got a kiss on the forehead with a “Love you more” that was okay.

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Back to the kids, Diva and wild man were both excited for their class parties at their new schools.  My husband had went and picked up Valentine’s Day treats for their classes because our little Elmo was sick and I didn’t want to take him out.  The kids worked on their boxes and signed the cards to make sure they fit the right friend.  They worked on their Valentine’s Day things for two days.

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Diva’s box

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Wild Man’s Box

Then the county school board calls. ” Classes in the county will be closed Monday and Tuesday next week due to the number of kids out with the flu” The kids were heartbroken.  They really wanted to give out their Valentines to their new friends.  So on Tuesday I got up and we made cupcakes for their daddy, something to keep their mind off of not being at school celebrating with their friends.  We had frosting all over the place, but they had fun.  The school board called that evening and said that school would be back on a regular schedule the next day and all parties would take place Wednesday.  They were excited.  They got up, got dressed, ate breakfast and headed to school.  By noon wild man was sent home with a high fever, his party was scheduled for 2 he was heartbroken again.  He came home and fell asleep on the couch.

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Hubby’s cupcake bouquet we made

 

My husband called around 4 and said he was stuck at a job sight and he would not be able to pick up diva from dance practice, so I loaded all the kids up and went to get her.  When I got their her instructor told me that diva was not acting like herself.  By 6 last night all five of our little loves were sick.  Three with high fevers and two with diarrhea. By 6:15 one of our new friends from church was texting me asking what was going on?  We were not at small group at church, obviously so she knew something was wrong.  Our new group of friends started praying for us as soon as they heard what was going on. I called my husband and gave him a list of “must haves” from the store before he came home.  He walked in around 8 and jumped into help with bath time and bed times. The night was long and the kids were sleepless.  The fevers went up and down, a two of the five were up throwing up here and there, and I felt like crying and did so.  Then at 2:48 this morning I heard a noise coming from our daughters room.  At first I thought the baby was babbling in her sleep but then I realized it was someone singing.  I went in to see what was going on.  Diva was laying in her bed  singing along with the radio “Thy Will be done, Thy Will be done, Thy Will be done”   The song Thy Will by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family.  I asked what she was doing and she said “I’m practicing so I can sing as pretty as you do in the car”  And I cried again.

 

Even through her sickness she was was praising God.  Some of the lyrics of that song: “It’s hard to count it all joy distracted by the noise just trying to make sense of all your promises”and “I know you see me, I know you hear me, Lord Your plans are for me Goodness you have in store”  As she sang the words rang so true. If she could praise God at almost three in the morning, so could I.   I thought about life, my life. Ten years ago I did not see myself celebrating love on Valentines Day, I felt no one loved me and all alone. I did not see God’s Will for my life.  This year I have a husband who adores me, kids for love me, friends who worry about me, and a Lord that died for me.  I am blessed so blessed. So what if Valentine’s Day did not turn out the way I had wanted.  I am exactly where He planned on me being.  I did not know that my life would be like this ten years ago. I did not know the true meaning of love.  It’s not about the gifts or how much you spend, its about the simple things like forehead kisses, running to the store after an extra long shift at work to pick up Gatorade for the little ones, its calling or texting a friend just to check to see if they are okay, and being dead tired but running a bubble bath at 11pm because your sick little one needs one.  My daughters sweet angelic voice reminded me of that.  Yes the day was overwhelming and I was stressed.  Yes I felt helpless and alone while my husband was at work and I was here with all my sick little loves, but the truth is we are never alone.  God is always with us.  And He reminded me of that through her singing.

 

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love.  Love from your spouse, love from your kids, love from your friends, but most importantly its about the love from God.  Even if you are alone or feel alone on days like Valentine’s day we are not, He is always with us.  He will never leave us.   When we feel unwanted or unloved or unappreciated that’s when He loves us most Go to Him and let Him show you.  We are all worthy of His love.  In our darkest times we must look for His light.  Father God, thank you for the sweet music in the wee hours this morning.  Thank you for allowing diva and I to share that precious moment together.  Thank you for your strength and comfort but mostly thank you for your unfailing love.

 

From our beautiful chaos to yours Let His Will be done in your life.  You may not understand why you are going through a storm in life right now, but in ten years you will look back and say ” Thank you Jesus for your Will on my life. Thank you for getting in through the storms and delivering me here. ”

 

 

 

Why Must Everyday be a Struggle: Life with RAD

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This week has been long, very long.  We started this morning off the same way we have started off every morning; arguing over her hair.  I am tired of arguing over her hair.  Correction I’m tired of arguing.

Two weeks ago our six year old got in the car after school and I noticed she was in different pants than what she had went to school in.  When questioned why she was in different pants she stated she had an accident.  I assumed she had spilled juice or milk on herself at lunch but after reading the note from the teacher I discovered she had actually peed her pants.  The teacher went on to say that our daughter had spent an unusual amount of time in the bathroom that day and wanted us to be aware of it.  I asked diva what was going on to which she replied “Nothing I just have to pee a lot.”  I called the doctor and made an appointment to make sure there was nothing going on.  To make a long story short, she had a UTI.  She was given medicine for 10 days and we were to follow up yesterday to make sure it was cleared up.

The last two weeks has been argument after argument.  First it was my fault I “let her get sick” When I told her she had not said anything to me or her dad about feeling bad it turned into” Well you should have just known”  After the initial doctor’s appointment we had to run to pharmacy to pick up her medicine and while there she insisted I buy her a toy.  I of course said no which lead to the, ” Fine!!!! I will just tell daddy you were being mean to me again” argument in the store.   I should be use to this types of outbursts, and for the record I don’t see myself as a mean or bad mom, but sometimes I just want to hide when she starts acting that way out in public.   We waited for her prescription and  headed home.  Once in the house, the topic became ” Ha ha I get to take medicine and YOOOOOU don’t” to the boys.  She always has to have the final say and always (in her mind) has to have something they don’t, even if that thing is medicine.  Of course the boys could careless if she is getting medicine, none of them what that yucky stuff.

No one told me when we were adopting things would be like this. Adoption is suppose to bring closer and happiness.  I did not plan of arguing with my six year old everyday.  I know being a parent is not easy, my two oldest kids taught me that, but I didn’t think it would go like this day in and day out. I look back at the photo above and think about the way it was then.  We did not know what the future held for her or for us. She had already started to show signs that something was not right.  When I started making note of the behavior and questioning things no one believed me.  I was met with statements like “She’s fine she will grow out of it” and “Well if she were an only child you would not be having problems”  Neither statement helpful.  She wasn’t growing out of it.  The screaming, fighting, lying, and acting out were only getting worse.  And the whole ‘only child’ thing was never an option. I keep telling myself things would get better after all she is only a child and she has been through more more than any child should.

 

But I found myself not prepared.  I was not prepared for the daily battles.  I was not prepared to hear “I hate it here” and “I hate you”  I was not prepared for the always acting out for attention and the bad behavior at school and at home.  I was not prepared for the consent fighting and screaming with her siblings. I was not prepared to have birth mom thrown in my face day after day.  I was not prepared to have this fairy tale life she has made up about her birth parents constantly blowing up over evening conversations.  I was not prepare for how well she can manipulate a situation or others. I was not prepared to deal with a six year old that lies and steals things (money, candy, toys).   I was not prepare to be a parent of a child with RAD. I find myself lost sometimes.  I love her so much and want only whats best for her. But there are days I wish her words and actions did not hurt so much.  There are days I wish time would get slowdown and then other days I wish college was around the corner.  I don’t expect many to understand my feelings, but I know there are some that do. We have had family members offer to let her stay with them, and while some days that sounds wonderful, that will never happen.  Having her go somewhere where she will be able to have her way all the time will not help her any.  She needs rules and boundaries.  She needs to figure out that life is not always about her and that life is not always fair.  Yes I understand she is only six, but she will be a teenager one day, then an adult and the world does not cater to all of our wants and needs kids need to learn that early on. Besides, if we did allow that to happen all she would see is that once again people gave up on her.  And that is simply not the case.    I will never give up on her.

Which brings me back to yesterday.  We had her follow up appointment.  The doctor said everything looked good and that the UTI was gone.  Then the doctor asked if she had had anymore accidents.  I told her she had peed the bed multiple times since our last visit but I know she is doing it to get back at me for things ( like not letting her have anything to drink after 6 or telling her no she can’t play outside because its 20 degrees) I explained that she pees to show me she’s in control (or so she thinks).  Its something that she started doing over a year ago to push her boundaries and something she finds funny because I have to clean up after her.  Then the doctor asked if I made her carry her dirty bedding to the laundry room, I answered yes thinking I would hear “Good for you” but instead I was met with ” Well instead of using negative enforcement like that why not try giving her a treat in the mornings that she does not pee the bed”  What the heck??? Seriously?  I need to give her a treat for doing something she is suppose to do anyway?  She went on to say it did not have to be a large treat, it could be a sticker or a small piece of candy and while she could be having accidents because she is acting out they want to have renal ultrasound done just to make sure nothing is wrong.  The doctor then gave her a lollipop and we headed to the car.  Diva was all smiles when we got to the car.  She told me that she wanted M&M’s as her morning treats and that she also wanted to chocolate milk instead of white milk.  When I told her there would be no treats in the mornings she went off, screaming, yelling, kicking the back of the seats, and throwing herself against the carseat.  I told her that just because she had heard the doctor say that did not mean it was going to happen.  She came home and the night when downhill.  When she woke up this morning she refused to come downstairs to get ready.  After walking back in from taking our son to the bus stop and seeing she was still not downstairs I went up to her room to get her.  I opened the door and I could smell it.  I asked her why she had peed and her response was “You can wash them if you wont give me treats”  I counted to ten to myself before telling her to gather her bedding and take it down to the laundry room.  Its after one and its still setting in there.  I have thought about it and I believe I will let her learn how to do laundry this evening when she gets home, if she refuses then she can sleep without blankets this evening.  I will not be bullied by a six year old.

Maybe that makes me a bad mom.  But I can’t see trying to teach her responsibility as bad parenting.  My parents taught me that for every action there is a reaction and that’s what I try to teach my kids.  I don’t think telling her no shes not getting treats was a bad thing.  I don’t think having her carry down her dirty bedding is bad either.  I do think one day she will look back and see that everything I ever did for her was done out of love and done to make sure she could make it in the world without me one day.  Some reading this may think I am being to hard on her, and that’s okay.  If I were on the outside looking in I might think that also.  However daily life with a child who has RAD is not always rainbows and sunshine, many days are thunderstorms and hurricanes.  But God placed her in our lives and we will get through this.  Maybe He know we would call on Him when others would not. He knows my strengths and all my weaknesses.  And He still thought I was the perfect mom for this little girl.  Thank you Jesus.  We will get through this season of life with You by our side.  I ask for wisdom, and for You to guide me.  I pray for patience and understanding.  I ask that YOU Lord show me a way to make things a little less stressful and a lot more peaceful.  I ask these things for I am one human and I fail her daily and I want nothing more than to be the mom she runs to with a huge smile on her face says ” Mommy I love you”  Until that day Lord let me feel Your presence as I try my best to parent her.

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Photo : Hope/ Coming Full Circle comingfullcircleblog.com

From our beautiful chaos to yours, life is not always easy but its the life we are given.  Take it day by day and make the most of it.  One day we will look back and see all the beauty in the mist of the storms.

Phrases I Never thought I would Say

“Because I’m your mother that’s why.”  And “Because I said so” and we can’t forget “I don’t care who started it, I’m going to finish it” Oh how I hated those phrases as I  was growing up.  What did they even mean? Why did it matter? Both logical questions for a child to ask when mom was yelling one of these at the top of her lungs out of frustration.  I will never say those things to my child when I’m older said my younger self.  Guess what younger me?  You lied to yourself.  Liar liar pants on fire.  
Last week I found myself saying these very phrases to my little loves.  With my husband way on business I was out numbered and on a few occasions stressed to the max, as my daughter would say. After finding myself locked in my bathroom for a few minutes of peace I could not help but think about my younger days when I told myself I would never say those things to my kids.  I now understand, sometimes you just get so overwhelmed you say things that don’t really make sense to the conversation. But you say them just hoping they work. Hoping your kids don’t continue the arguement or the behavior. So Mom, I’m sorry for all those times when bub and I got you to that breaking point. I get it now, I mean I really get it.  And while I thought about these phrases another list popped in my head. If your a mom admit it, we all say things that are a bit odd from time to time. So here are a few things I thought I would never say, but have some more than once:

* No you may not wear “paghetti” on your head

* Toilet water is not okay to use for tea parties

* No you may not lick my armpit 

* Crayons do not go in the dogs butt 

* Yes you must wear pants, we can’t run around naked 

* No we can not trade your brother in for a new one because he “looked at you” funny

*Stop barking at your sister

* I know I’m the meanest mommy ever but your stuck with me sorry

* The rug in your room is not your personal bathroom

* No we can’t play the burp game till someone throws up

*You put your dirty underwear where?!

* If you can’t lick my armpit I’m pretty sure you can’t lick my feet 

* You know we don’t eat things off the floor…. it’s the last cookie? Fine just stop crying 

* Mommy put herself in timeout ask me again in 5 minutes 

*You used my lipstick as a marker because you ran out of pink….awesome

* No jumping on your bed also meant no jumping on your brothers bed

*You wiped your own butt yeah!! You used a whole roll of toilet paper? where’s the plunger 

* Toothpaste should not be used as shampoo to turn your hair blue

* You need me to cover your feet with the blanket that’s in our hands? 

* No I don’t want to see how far you can get your finger up your nose

*Is that brownie in your hair or is that…..omg go to the bathroom now don’t touch anything

* No we can go fishing for matchbox cars in the toilet

* Wait why would we need to fish matchbox cars out of the toilet????

Oh the joys of little ones.   Never dull Never boring always entertaining 

From our beautiful chaos to yours what are some things you’ve said to your little loves that you never imagined would come out of your mouth?

Adoption ~Overwhelming Love

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming

“Adoption is a beautiful thing”, I have heard this phrase time and time again, from people who have never adopted.  And while they are correct adoption is beautiful, it is so much more than that.

Its easy to say things like that or ” I am so proud of you for doing what you do” or “I don’t know if I could love someone else’s  child as my own kudos to you”  But what we really need are people willing to take a stand and open their hearts and homes to children in need.

When I was younger I knew I wanted a large family.  But do to circumstances out of my control, I was only able to have two children. Now, I know there are people out there that want children and can not have them so I am very thankful God saw fit to bless me with my two oldest. Being their mom has brought me so much joy. I accepted the fact I was unable to have more children and moved on, raising them as best that I could.  However shortly after I married my second husband I started thinking about the sounds of little feet again and it made my heart sad.  He had never been married and never had children.  He was a natural father to my two ( at that time a preteen and teen) but I could not help but feel bad that he would never experience the joys (yes joys) of 2am feedings, the smell of a newborn, the sound of a babies laugh, and the countless other things that make parenting a blessing.  So we prayed about it, I knew we could not have a child the “old fashion way”but there where other avenues we could pursue. That’s when we found out about adoption through foster care.

Straight adoption can be extremely expensive.  And while we wanted a child we wanted to be able to afford things after the adoption was final. Sounds crazy I know but the average adoption can cost over $45,000 dollars. Adoption through foster care normally costs nothing but filling fees (depending on your state anywhere between $200 and $400) the state covers the rest. I called our local DHHR and inquired about being foster to adopt parents.  By far one of the best life changing calls I have ever made.  Fostering opened up our eyes and hearts to a world, many do not fulling understand.  Not all the children in foster care are there because of that they did, in fact most are placed in state care because of things their parents did.  The system can be challenging to deal with but the outcome is so worth it. Dealing with court dates, parent improvement periods, and visitation plans can be aggravating but helping a child overcome the most stressful time in their young life is worth all of it.   Over the past six years we were Momma C and Daddy T to over 20 children.  It is hard to fall in love with a child to only have that child reunified with their birth parents or to be placed in another adoptive home if they do not blend well with your family, but then there are times that you get to say “Yes we want to be their forever family”  And thanks to God we have been able to say this three separate times allowing us to adopt our five little ones, four of which are half siblings. They would not be together if we had not followed our hearts and adopted them. God made a way for us to have our large family.

We have been blessed to make wonderful new friends with other foster to adopt parents.  So many children finding their forever families all because someone thought they were worth it.  Children in foster care are not any different than children who are not in care.  They still want someone to love them, to make them feel safe, to feed them, to play ball with them, and to play dress up with them.  Yes many have been through some terrible things but deep down they just want to be a child loved by someone.  I do feel bad for the birth parents, however if you have been given chance after chance to get off the drugs, or to take anger management classes or whatever the reason was that the child was taken away and still can’t manage to do it then the child deserves a family that can provide a good life for them.

Today a dear friends of mine will be adopting be adopting their little girl.  And I could not be happier for them.  This past summer was filled with friends and family adopting little ones, my heart was overwhelmed with excitement was our extended family grow in size through the process of adoption.

So yes adoption is a beautiful thing.  Adoption is overwhelming love.  Adoption is everything to a child in need.  Adoption made our family complete.  Is adoption the answer for you? Pray about it, think about, ask questions about it.  Adoption is a blessing.

 

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Our first Forever Family Day Welcome Diva and Wild man 9/20/2013

 

 

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Our second forever family day  Welcome Big Al and Elmo 6/17/2015

 

 

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Our third forever family day 6/28/2016

Thankful for one more day


Just when I feel I cannot go one more step God gives me a beautiful day and whispers “You’ve got this. We will get through this together”. Thank you Lord for one more day.

This week has had its share of ups and downs.  My husband has been away training for his new job position since Sunday so that means its been me and our five little loves here at home. Just me and them.  The first night was not so bad, they are use to daddy working late so to them it was nothing. They worked with me so that dinner and their bedtime routine went well. Then morning came. Daddy was still not here and diva insisted on him taking her to school (that’s their morning routine) when I broke the news to her, again, that daddy was away and that I would be taking her to school our peaceful weekend came to a screeching or should I say screaming stop.   I was reminded that I was not her dad and that I do not do things the way dad does.  I’m use to this argument so I gathered up her little brothers and little sister placed them in the car and then carried her to the car kicking and screaming.  I’m sure if our neighbors were not up they were by the time I finally got her loaded.  The rest of the week has not went any better.  But tomorrow is almost here.

 

By yesterday I was really questioning myself.  Sure I am use to taking care of them but as the week as slowly past by I wonder how well I’ve done.  We have not been late to school nor did diva miss dance class Wednesday but I did opt out of going to church last night.  I really miss not being there but I thought I would play it safe and keep our little loves home instead of trying to hold five little hands while walking across the crowded parking lot.  So we had church here.  We played some music video’s and got our praise on and then watched a video that our old church had streamed on social media.  The kids enjoyed it because they got to see their cousins and I enjoyed hearing an old familiar voice.  Not exactly like our new small group, but it worked.  I could have taken the easy way out . I could have had my in-laws or my parents come down and help out but after thinking about it my husband and I decided against it.  It’s not that I didn’t want them here it’s just it would have thrown off our new routine and really messed with the boys especially wild man.  He can’t handle change. Having them coming and going all week would have lead to more than one major meltdown for sure.  So even though I was not sure how I was going to do this on my own we decided it was best that I did.

The one thing  I discovered this week is that I am strong enough to do this on my own, well with the Lord’s help. I did not think I would find “me time” this week but I have.  I have still managed to get my devotional time in and still managed to get the kids to bed (may not have been exactly on time but they got there)  I found myself talking more to God during the days and the nights, asking Him for strength, for patience, and for more arms(holding five on ones lap has its challenges) This has been one of the most stressful weeks I’ve had since we moved here, but at the same time I have had more peace than normal.

While at small group last week I jokingly asked our group to pray for me this week.  I may have been joking but I could feel their prayers in my weakest moments. God knows what we need before we do and He sends His angels.  Yesterday we were having a pretty terrible day.  Diva had not behaved well at school and the boys had made one mess after another here at the house.  I felt beat down and defeated.  Dinner ended up being a “Fine whatever you want just eat something” meal.  Bedtime well lets just say Big Al was still up at 1 this morning with sleep nowhere in sight. But during all of the craziness one of my new friends from small group sent a text.  She had said something about bringing us dinner one day this week, but I had not put a lot thought into it.  But just as God had planned, she was seeing if today was a good day for her to bring us over dinner.  I told her she really didn’t have to do that, but she insisted and who am I to step on her ministry of kindness.  She told me that she would call me later and we would figure out the details. Perfect I thought. I drifted off to sleep sometime between 1 and 2 this morning dreading what the day would bring and praying that Friday would just get here already.

But then God gave me today.  My alarm went off at 5:45 just as it does every morning that my kids don’t wake me up before then.  I went downstairs and prepared wildman’s lunch for school and pulled out my devotional.  Today’s devotional message came from “Devotions for Women on the Go” and the reading for the day started out with this:

The key to overcoming has been the realization that God created me with ALL the tools I need to overcome all things if I rely on him to guide me to them”

Thank you Jesus for the word this morning.  God would see that this day was better than yesterday. So the day started.  We made it to school and to the grocery store without any major meltdowns.  Once home I was able to do some laundry and pick up the house some, then it was time to go back after wildman and diva.  Wildman’s bus driver said he had a great day according to his teacher and when I picked up diva she was smiling ear to ear.  She had a green day today, not just a green day but a “Great day green day”  (this has only happened one other time)  We made it home and finished homework all before our friend showed up with dinner.   Today was the complete opposite of yesterday.

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Dinner thanks to my wonderful new friends 

When our new friend dropped off dinner she smiled and said” I did not do this because I thought you weren’t capable I did this because I know you are more than capable and wanted you to know we think your awesome”

Man did I need to hear those words. I may not have it all together. And more days than not I find myself questioning my parenting skills but I am thankful that God has entrusted me to be the mother of seven wonderfully crazy kids.  That He has given me one more day to walk with Him and lean on Him to guide me along this path.  I am thankful for the sun that broke through the morning clouds and for the sounds of giggling this evening during dinner and bath times.  I am thankful that later I will have five little loves fighting over who gets to set on my lap and for the one who stays awake the longest so they get one on one snuggle time.  And I am thankful tomorrow is Friday and my husband will be home to share all of this with me.

From our beautiful chaos to ours not everyday is going to be great but if we are lucky  God will see fit to bless us with another day to make things better. Until then we must make the best of what we’ve got.

 

 

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