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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moving Through Stages

I have to say, we still refer back to the Pride Classes we took before Anna came home all the time.
One of the things that stayed with us from the class, was how a child who suffers from Trauma, is not just a typical child who is 5, or 6 or 10.
Instead trauma may cause a child to stagnate emotionally.  So, they may be 9 in age, 18 months in emotional level, 5 in reasoning skills, and 25 in street smarts. :)
AND you, the parent, have to figure out which one they are at all times! :)  It is quite an operation to manage, but it IS manageable. AND, you must work to bring all the pieces together to make them whole.....

Alli has been making quite a bit of progress in the last few months.  We are so proud of her!
One thing we have noticed is that when she came home, our 11 year old,  was about  3 emotionally.
Her reasoning when she was upset was about the same.   There are times when she is very much 8... and soemtimes 5 and rarely,  11 pops up. :)
What I remember about the boys growing up, is when they were around 4 and 5, they asked LOADS of questions..... and I mean ALL DAY!  They were discovering their world and finding out all the information they could!  Mommies are great resources! LOL

Something both Mike and I have noticed in the last 2 weeks is that Alli has moved from 3 to about 5.  She is HEALING. :)
Part of this is asking questions. :)  I LOVE hearing her questions.  When we first would get into the car to go somewhere, she wouldn't say anything. She would just go.  Sometimes she would point and say, "Look!"  and that was about it.....
Something clicked in her, and now, she talks and talks and TALKS! I LOVE IT!
She asks about the lights, about the stores, about the smell of gas, about what is dripping under cars....."Is it gas?" No, it is water....'Why is it dripping?"  And I explain all about air conditioning... and she absorbs it all with a smile and a hug. :)
Alli is learning about her world.... she missed so much! Now, she is opening up to learn. There are lots of "why questions"..... I answer one, and she says, "why"...I answer that and she says, "why"......oh it thrills me!   I am so happy for her!
She is even noticing her surroundings when we drive. "I know we are almost home because I have seen that place before!"

Today, we made some great strides..... She woke up this a.m., picking up where she left off the day before, but I was prepared.... and not distracted.   I rocked her this a.m. and we had a really good talk.
She LOVES being rocked.
One of the things we talked about was how hard it was that she had to move from family, to family to family, to family......  We sort of recapped what had transpired the day before, and I asked her point blank, if she was worried she was going to have to go to another family. She grabbed onto me, and cried, saying yes.
I told her once again.... "You aren't going anywhere! You are a Minich!"  She needs to hear it again, and again and again! And then Again!  We prayed together and hugged..... I could feel her body relax.... and we talked a little about how when you are so afraid that your family will get rid of you, it makes it very hard to love, because you are so worried about being hurt again. I said to her, "Sweetie, let your love flow.... don't fear being sent anywhere.... ALLOW yourself to feel, and to love and to care.....don't be afraid..... She wept.    And then, she clung, and then she smiled, and then, I could feel that tension release..... and she was Alli.... raw, pure, delightful, Alli.

  After our talk, Anna and I went to get ERIKA's birthday gift, as her birthday is the day after Sarahs.  :)  Anna and I also snuck in a special alone time together. :)    Alli, Sarah and Erika stayed home.  Daddy was working in the shoppe, and not one time did they need to go and get him.  Everything went great.   We even did some more school, and this evening......We went swimming at the Lake. :)

Alli was so proud that we were going to the Lake. She and Sarah made Sand Castles and had a blast swimming.
Ahhh, what a great day.... A LONG day, but a great one! :)

2 comments:

Annie said...

Just yesterday I was reading an article by Boris Gindis on DTD (Developmental Trauma Disorder) and how it causes what he called "mixed maturity" - and here you are describing it perfectly!!!

I'd actually just been trying to describe it to someone else. Maxim is a perfect example of this due to his repeated traumas....yet, someone was trying to imply to me that he was damaged beyond repair - either genetically or via FAS. I was just sickened that he has to endure such rash judgements..... He was in a school for GIFTED kids in Russia - but since then he's had one traumatic experience after another..... How resilient do people expect one person to be?

You are such a tremendous mother. Lucky girls. (I'm about to ship you another 13 year old.) Seriously, I have wondered about the dynamic of four girls so close in age. My thought is that Anastasia would go berzerk if she couldn't be the center of attention, but perhaps NOT having that onus on you is actually helpful. I think of this in regard to Christine Reed's girls, too.... Should I talk my husband into adopting a few more?

Mike and Christie said...

Annie, I hate it that people sit on the sidelines and think they know or understand something about your child.
Those kinds of observations are NOT helpful.
I would bet that MOST people, and even those who adopt, unfortunately, do not comprehend the depths of depravity, the depths of trauma, the depths of despair that the human being endures.... One thing is for sure.....it is almost impossible to LEARN and MOVE forward when they are in a continual inner struggle between what WAS normal and the NEW normal.
I'm going to blog about this some more sometime today. :)

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