His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Helping Older Kid's Achieve, When They Are Emotionally Younger



I remember when the boys were little, I had charts for them where they would get stars for completing a responsibility or for good behavior.   They would look at the picture chart and be able to understand what they were supposed to do.  It was VERY helpful for me, because that way I wasn't having to say, "brush your teeth" or "comb your hair" or "pick up toys"...etc.

It is more complicated with children who have  trauma, or are diagnosed with RAD or PTSD.  And it is way more complicated when they are so very young is some areas and older in other areas. 
Trying to be sensitive to emotional needs, respecting their age, yet needing them to brush teeth is tricky ground to walk upon. :)

The immature child gives up on things very easily when they become frustrated. The mature child will push through a difficulty and learn from it.  Our goal is to bring the immature to maturity, without overwhelming.

We have baby chickens now.  Alli and Sarah are sharing the responsibility of keeping the babies, fed, warm and clean.  There is responsibility involved each day, but it is not hard.  It just consumes a bit of time and effort.  They did a pretty good job the first week. The second week went by well, but we are into the 3rd week we ran into a problem.
 One of the baby chicks died due to getting wet and cold. :(    There needs to be GREAT CARE taken to not get the area wet when putting in water.  I was showing both girls how to make sure no water would effect the bedding. One listened, one got angry.  And then and Miss Alli decided she was "quitting chickens"!

"No, maam. You may not 'quit chickens'. Those babies depend upon you for their lives! Mama does not give up on her children and you cannot give up on your babies!" :) This was the same day that she was having trouble getting dressed, hair combed and putting dirty clothing in the laundry.  She was overwhelmed..... WHY?  Because that day, she was really struggling, and was more 3 years old than 12.  I was treating her as a 12 year old.  She was giving me clues that I was ignoring, such as baby talk..... duh.... I need to pay better attention!

I went in and talked to Mike about it, and we both agreed.  Three it is! :) So, I did exactly what I would do with a 3 year old.  I switched things over to make her feel less overwhelmed.  I helped her along and explained things to her like I would have if she was 3. 

Guess what?  The anger disappeared, she was willing to try to do things differently and she mourned the loss of the baby chick.  She had a little funeral for it with Sarah. :)

I decided to make a small chart for her with some simple responsibilities and a box to check next to them.  Oh the giddiness of being able to check that box!

For a few days now, she checks off each item required. (these are things that have ALWAYS been required, but many times I have had to walk her through each one verbally ) 

1. Brush tangles out of hair (not just brush hair, but all tangles)
2. Eat breakfast
3. Get dressed
4. Put dirty clothes in laundry ( not in closet or under bed)
5. Brush and floss teeth  (with toothpaste)
6. feed chickens   (carefully)

So, even though many 12 year olds would probably balk at a "chart" as being babyish.  Miss Alli LOVES the chart.  She has been happy to follow it and check it off. 
And she is back to loving taking care of the chickens.

I have not assigned a "reward" with this chart. It is a simple guide for her. I think a reward would backfire.  For our little boys, after 100 stars on their chart, they would get a little prize.  For her, we have a new chart each day and the simple check mark is suitable.

It is amazing how such a simple thing can make such a big difference.  One of the biggest things for me, is that I don't feel like I am hovering over making each thing get done.  She goes to her chart and sees what is next and just does it.  We are going on 4 days now, and it is working well!








Sunday, April 29, 2012

More Old Video....

Pulling Anna's dangling tooth....Sarah thanking the Lord....

Getting a hug...
 
Miss Alli spent some time last night watching some of these videos.  And then, she was a little sad.  I wondered if her seeing them would cause a negative response.  It really didn't. It caused a NORMAL response.  She realized how much she has missed while she was not in our family all those years.
As we snuggled, I quickly pointed out that there was another person missing in those videos.  She missed out too. 

 But OH the fun we have had since everybody has been together!  
It is interesting, that I get the same feeling when I watch Alli's interview video from Russia.  She is so cute and tiny and I just want to pick her up and hug her, and I missed that opportunity. :(  It makes me feel sad too.  I wish each and every one of our girls had been home from day one...but that is not their story, or mine.
I was looking at a book that our Pastor recommended called "Your God is Too Small"....Here is a quote from that book.
"We can never have too big a
conception of God, and the more
scientific knowledge (in whatever field)
advances, the greater becomes our idea
of His vast and complicated wisdom.
Yet, unless we are to remain befogged
and bewildered and give up all hope of
ever knowing God as a Person, we have to
accept His own planned focusing of
Himself into a human being, Jesus
Christ.
If we accept this as fact, as THE
Fact of history, it becomes possible to
find a satisfactory and comprehensive
answer to a great many problems, and,
what is equally important, a reasonable
"shelf" on which the unsolved
perplexities may be left with every
confidence."
J.B. Phillips, "You're God Is Too Small"

We have MANY perplexities and unsolved understandings in this life.... BUT GOD....
Each step in our lives is according to HIS purpose and WILL.... and we see the miracles each and every day!

I leave this post, with a dance....



Friday, April 27, 2012

The Struggle

This week has been hard.  There has been struggle.  There has been outburst of emotion.  There has been RAW talk....  And I am THANKFUL that there has been TRUE communication! There has been DISCUSSION!  AND there has been PROGRESS!
Sometimes, to progress you have to go through the emotion. THIS has been true THIS WEEK.

I have to say that I am so proud of my girlies. They have banded together to get through,  and I am amazed at their maturity and LOVE!

WE have had discussion with Miss Alli over her past, as she brings it up, and she grieves.  This week was a true struggle for her. She had memory after memory and acting out after acting out....
And then, we reached her heart..... her fears, and her personal struggles.....

Sometimes PROGRESS seems like REGRESSION, but it isn't. It is MOVING FORWARD!  
I am proud of her. I am proud that she was able to talk about difficult, awful things.... that had NOTHING TO DO with 2 disruptions, but went all the way back to RUSSIA.

I am her FOURTH, YES, 4th mama...... and YES, that is sad, but TRUE!  And you know what? She loves me, and I LOVE HER!  AND between you and me.... We are doing AWESOME! :)
We covered some new ground this week....
She remembered her mama coming to visit her at the orphanage. Her mama brought her baby brother.... but did not get her out of the orphanage.  She did NOT know that her mama could NOT take her home because she had LOST her rights as a parent.   This was NEW news to our Alli. And it was HEALING news, that her mama did not leave her because she WANTED to , but because she didn't have a choice.
Her mama's rights were terminted, even though Alli has good memories of her bio mama. She remembers she was nice. She remembers cooking soup together and sitting on the counter.  She also remembers her mama being drunk and passed out.
I HATE it that our kids suffer so much.:( 
I'm so glad she has those precious memories.  I was explaining to the girls that each and every person does things they greatly regret.  The one thing that may have caused a child to be removed for good from a home that was abusive, or neglectful is NOT the only thing that went on in that home.  I would say that in MOST, not all, cases, there are also fond memories.  This is the case with Alli, and also the case with Anna.
Both of them remember their mamas.  This is not the case with Sarah or Erika, because they were left at the hospital at birth. 
At lunch today the subject came up rather naturally.  The girls are at the Jr. High age where they are curious about the changes taking place in their bodies, the process of child birth and the future.  Adoption, will come up in those conversations because obviously, I didn't give birth to them.
Sarah expressed a little sadness today that she doesn't know what her mother looked like.  We all said, we are SURE she looks just like Sarah. :)  This made her smile.  Erika had thoughts about what her mother and father would look like and her brother.  Her brother is around 20 years old now, and does not know Erika existed.
Alli couldn't comprehend why anybody would leave their baby at a hospital because her experience is so different. 
These struggles of identity will continue, and we will get through them.  I am so proud that the girls feel FREE to talk about it openly while both laughing and feeling sad.  What a great little group of girls.  They will always be there for each other. :)  They have a very special bond.

After lunch, we went shopping and had a great time together.  Me being Alli's 4th mama, Sarah's 3rd mama, Erika's 2nd mama, and Anna's 6th or 7th mama (all those foster mama's)  doesn't make me feel any less than their MAMA, because I AM their MAMA and the last one they will ever have, unless there is an "in law" after the title. .... :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursdays

Mike always takes a girlie out on a special date each Thursday.  Now that the weather is GREAT for boating, he has decided to take them ALL out at the same time EACH Thursday so they can ski or knee board.  I pack dinner for them and off they go at about 6 :00 p.m., returning at 9:00 p.m. 

I have opted to keep this a daddy/daughter time, and I stay home! :)

Tonight, I listened to the SILENCE and baked a gluten free pizza for them to snack on when they returned. 

I am thinking that I JUST MIGHT turn Thursday nights into YA-Ya time and go and visit grand babies and older kids and my aging mother  on Thursdays while they are out on the lake!  I could rotate each house every 3 weeks!

This could be a very good thing!:)

Monday, April 23, 2012

TRUST and OBEY!

 ( I love this picture of Sarah and me) :)

I was writing to a cyber friend tonight about parenting children with trauma backgrounds and the thought came to mind... TRUST comes before true OBEDIENCE....
I was thinking about the hymn "Trust and Obey".  We TRUST the Lord before we OBEY Him.
For our children, they have had to learn to trust us, before they were willing to truly obey us.
We must Work on building TRUST!  Obedience is the fruit of trust. :)  And both are the result of LOVE!

Unhappy With Walmart

I thought  that I had made a good decision, purchasing a couple of dolls from Walmart for gifts to be used at a future time, because they were on sale at a good price.  That was Four months ago.

Well, I gave one of those dolls as a  gift this weekend, and it didn't work RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. 

I took my receipt from the computer to the local Walmart store, with the product that they carry in the store to exchange. I didn't want to return it, just exchange it for one that works. 

They said, because I purchased it more than 90 days ago, EVEN THOUGH it was brand new and had never been used, they would not return or exchange it.
They told me to call the .com number which I did, and they were not really any help, except to say "call the manufacturer."

So now, I am talking with the manufacturer of the product (as soon as they get back from lunch).
We'll see how this turns out.

I have learned a lesson.  Don't buy anything ahead of time when you find a good deal, because it COULD turn out to be money wasted. :(  I hate wasting.  And I REALLY am irritated that Walmart won't help me.  They pretty much said, "too bad".  If they looked at our records, they would see that we purchase from them all the time.
That just might change!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Wedding Invitation


 Sarah and Alli found out we have been invited to a wedding next month.  Oh the plans!  I think some of those plans will change, or at least the art director will need more practice! LOL  That is just TOO MUCH eye shadow!






But they had fun! :)

A Family Reunion



 Apparently one of the baby chicks died today. I found this grave.
 The goats were very interested in Scarlett



















LIFE

This week, LIFE has happened.  We got through a week of school, a week of disappointing paper work that was returned, a week of awesome girls being girls and a week where two conversations were about possible disruption. 

As I look back on this year and counting with Miss Alli, seeing how fragile she was when she came home, coupled with the conversations I have had this week, has  helped me to understand even more, the fragility of a child who is an older adopted orphan. 

I  wanted to focus on the reason that many times, consequences that are logical  DO NOT work, and many times, cause a child to REMAIN in their traumatized past.

I have had many conversations over the years where The BCLC model is dismissed as poppycock.
OR, those who wrote the book have been discredited as being irresponsible, and the parenting style they suggest is coddling, giving into bad behavior and spoiling.  I sometimes grow WEARY, trying to explain that THAT is JUST NOT TRUE....

When a child has been through significant trauma, it WILL effect the brain.  I have spoken before about the "Window of Tolerance", where a child who is stressed will begin to melt down very quickly, based upon stress level or "tolerance" level.   It makes perfect sense.  It is just that our own personal levels may be MUCH HIGHER than our kids.... THAT IS, until we have been under significant stress ourselves.  Our patient selves disappear and our personal "window of tolerance" closes more and more. And before you know it..... "DISRUPTION"!

When the precious child came home, there was a lot more patience exhibited.  Parents were trying to work with the child to help them transition.  THEN, there was this level of expectation.... they should be doing better by now. ENOUGH with the tantrums. ENOUGH with the tears and anger!  "Don't you see what all we have given you?"
Frustration sets in with the parent, because there is this hidden expectation. Maybe an expectation they didn't even know was there. 
And as for the child, there is an expectation also.  It is the expectation that everything will be the same. They will continue to be unloved and  unaccepted. 
Unfortunately, many times, this is reinforced by well meaning adoptive parents. 

"WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?"
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
"WHY CAN'T YOU JUST STOP?"
"WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO RUIN EVERYTHING?"

And those are the nails that seal shut the relationship door.
Those are the words that reinforce the label, "Unlovable, Undesirable, Unwanted".

How do we avoid that cycle?  How do we get PAST the TRAUMA DRAMA?

The good ole' brain MUST be RETRAINED to think differently.  It CANNOT AND DOES NOT  happen overnight, but it CAN BE RETRAINED and for success it MUST BE!
The important part of this is that, LOGICAL Consequences MANY TIMES HAMPER, getting in the way of real progress!  Why?  Because TRAUMA ISN'T LOGICAL. First off, STOP TRYING TO USE LOGIC!

I heard somebody say that their child said, "If you are bad around here, you get sent away!"  This made this person really angry at the child, because it caused FEAR in another child in the home.
So, the person felt like the child who said those words should be sent away.  ????
I will not pretend that their situation is easy.  But wouldn't sending the child away REINFORCE EXACTLY what that child said and give CREDENCE to the statement they made to the other child?

Apparently consequences for unwanted behavior were not working.  In fact, the more they DON'T work, and the MORE you try to ENFORCE them, the worse things get... and for the TRAUMATIZED CHILD, that is EXACTLY where their comfort level is.  YES! Their comfort level is CHAOS!  So I ask, if your child is really struggling, and you are really struggling, "How are all those consequences working for you? "

God does NOT use Logic with us!   We sin; the wages of sin is death, so He sent His SON to die for us.  WHAT?  That seems ILLOGICAL!  That seems like not making somebody have a consequence! BINGO! YES, you are RIGHT!  And guess what happens!  OUR LIVES are changed because GOD Gave HIS Son!
Our Children's lives will change, when we lay OUR lives down and LOVE them, as GOD has loved us.
We need to SPEAK words of LIFE into our children.  We need to tell them they are lovely, when they feel unlovely.  We need to tell them they are kind, when it doesn't seem so.  We need to tell them they are obedient, when they are rebellious.
Let me explain. 
"I know that this behavior is not the real you!  The real you, that I see deep down inside doesn't want this! The REAL you is kind, and sweet..... That is the person I see!" "I see a LOVELY girl just waiting to come out!"  "I'm excited for you!"

It is AMAZING how such statements can turn a sullen, disrespectful child into a pile of pliable, teachable, clay. :)    Just as God loves us, his children, and says, "You were once dead, but now you are alive.  You were once thieves, drunkards, liars....but now you are honest, sober minded, truthful"(my paraphrase)

Last week when Alli and I stayed home together, this is exactly what I did.  And then we switched gears immediately.  "Alli, would you like to help me with a project?"
Her answer was YES!  And we spent the day working on my closet, having a great time. We laughed and talked and enjoyed each other.

I COULD have punished her attitude by putting her in time out, which would have created more chaos and then I COULD have piled more punishment to compound that "attitude"....I COULD have threatened to take away things.....because she was being disrespectful.  But I KNOW that those things do NOT work for her.  She gets STUCK and is STILL LEARNING the process to get out of the funk she works herself into. 
Instead, I worked on retraining her brain to change gears and STOP the drama.

Guess what?  We have had a FANTASTIC week, and then this a.m. happened.  We were getting ready to go somewhere and she couldn't find the right shoes for the outfit she was wearing.  She wanted to borrow somebody else's, and they didn't want her to.  It was a PERFECT set up for her to work on what she has learned.
She tried to work out in her head the outcome.  I offered her a few ideas for shoes and she rejected them.  And then, I said, "I know you will work it out!"    She knew exactly what I meant. 

And about 5 minutes later she emerged from her room with a smile and her own shoes on.  There was no drama, no anger, no fit, nothing! YEA!
That is when Mike and I both grabbed the opportunity to praise her efforts for a job well done!
I think she was pretty proud of herself too. :)

Alli is learning how to navigate life at a higher level this year than last.  Last year, she was  like a sea tossed vessel, driven from all directions, lost ..... Things began to shape up GREATLY over the year and she began to celebrate and love her life. 
She has been AWESOME!
This year, we have set new goals of personal self control where she puts into practice what she has learned.   And it is happening!  I am seeing a little butterfly emerge and flap her wings. :)









Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Eyed Click Beetle

As soon as Alli put him in a jar, he looked like this!


I thought she had been too rough with him and killed him.  But it turns out, playing dead is this harmless beetle's only defense.  He is  sort of a "Possum Beetle". LOL

I did a little "google research"  and found out he was  a nice beetle that will eat harmful bugs...so he gets to live and to STAY! :)

Do your job little click beetle..... do your job! :)

Dallas Zoo 2012

We went to the zoo today.  Oh, how I MISS Katie and Lillian! :(  I loved taking them to the zoo with us. But we managed to have a wonderful time.   The Dallas Zoo just added a Koala exhibit.  The Koala's were so cute and so STILL. :)  I think Erika and Anna took most of the pictures today. I can't wait to see some of them.
Here are some photos of our day. :)

 This is an Emu.  My friend used to have some Emu's. 





 The Lion has grown up!

Lions and Tigers Oh MY!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Growing Up!

My Anna! 




Overwhelm

Miss Alli and I stayed home from services yesterday.  She was still a bit overwhelmed with old memories.  Yesterday was going to be a huge day with a church potluck after church, a baby shower for 5 babies at the same time and then a business meeting!  That would have been way to much for her.

We got some much needed cleaning done in my room.  And we had a wonderful time to talk.  I think our time, just being together and in quiet, really helped her get over the overwhelm.  She was rested and playful. 
Today was one of those wonderful days, that we are used to having. :)
That is, until the Russian Consular office called and said everything I turned into them was WRONG and I have to redo it all, have it translated AND apostilled.  This means I have to send certificates of adoption AND birth BACK to NC for apostille, and our stuff to Austin for Apostille.....
MERCY.... now I am overwhelmed! 
The man on the phone was REALLY kind.  In his Russian Accent he said, "This is very complicated case!"  I said, "Do you think?" :)

I assured him we were trying to do everything we could and we were doing our best, but the website didn't tell us to do all the stuff he was saying we had to do.  It is interesting, because with Sarah, we just had to re register her and get a new number. (Ukraine)
But with Russia, they will be sending all our information to Russia and Alli will be issued a new birth certificate in Russian, with our names, a new adoption decree FROM RUSSIA with our names and eventually a new passport, when all that stuff comes back.  But... he said we have to go to HOUSTON in PERSON to get the passport.

I'm sort of impressed. :)  I think.... I hope it works the second time!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

THE LETTER

 
Here is a case in point  about not comprehending English.... After Alli's troubles yesterday, when we were talking, I said, "Alli, you're killin' me here..." Meaning.... you are stressing me out..... Thus, at midnight I get this letter.... :) The spelling is really impressive here. Usually when she is upset, her spelling is REALLY awful.... :)
 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Uncovering Buried Triggers

Sometimes we are like mine sweepers on the battle field unearthing  and diffusing bombs before they go off.  Sometimes we miss the mine and set the trigger.

"I'm sorry Mommy, you really are better than a horse! :)


I blogged about 3 steps back, a little while ago. 
I had noticed the last few days, in FACT right after I wrote that wonderful 14 month update, that something was going a little south.   She seemed more on edge, and I couldn't quite figure it out.

To add to her dysregulation, we had a change of plans last night and more changes of plans this a.m. along with one of Anna's friends spending the afternoon.  It all came crashing down. The "Window of Tolerance" slammed shut!.... and oh she was mad.

Trying to figure it out was tricky....I just couldn't put my finger on it.  So here I am doing my best to be in BCLC mode, yet there was this child sitting there talking back, and saying hurtful things, declaring that "YOU NEVER TRUSTED ME!"  "YOU ARE JUST LIKE THE OTHER FAMILIES!" "You think I steal!" "I KNOW that is what you think about me!" 
BINGO....
That was my clue.  What happened recently where I didn't trust her?  Actually nothing.  BUT.....
we had 2 left over containers of bubble tape from Easter. They came in packs of 3 and I had to buy 2, so we wound up with 6.... and we only have 4 girls.  The other 2 containers were on my dresser.  A few days ago, I noticed one was gone.  I didn't really think that much about it, but asked the girls, "Did anybody get into the bubble tape? One of the leftovers is gone."     Daddy said he took it, and it was over.
We really don't deal with stealing at all, and that is why I asked, because I really didn't suspect anybody.
Alli seemed a little defensive when I asked the group about it and I thought I had settled it right then. "I'm not accusing, just asking if anybody did, that is all. I'd just like to know what happened to it."

Well, her behaviors started to get more and more irritated. And she started to withdraw from family activity.  She once again separated herself from her sisters like she was the outsider......
I was just puzzled. Today when Anna's friend came over, she didn't really engage like she normally would.  She instead was inside looking at horse pictures.

When we finally got to the bottom of her outburst, it dawned on me that the only thing she could have been talking about was the gum.  So I said, "Did you think I thought you stole that gum?"  She nodded her head yes. 
"I never accused you of taking it, and we all know that daddy took it." 
"I know, but you THOUGHT I did!"
"No, I didn't think anything, that is why I asked! And frankly, if you wanted it, I would have gladly given it to you to get rid of it."

I then pointed out to her that we are not just ANY family, or the OTHER families, we are THIS family!
She started to cry a cry of relief. 
And then we had a conversation about horses. 
Horses don't hurt you. They don't reject you. They don't really have choices with you. You put a saddle on them and ride them and they obey. (if they are trained)
People DO hurt you sometimes, and love you and care for you.... and TALK to you and try to understand you.  People relate you in a way a horse cannot.
"Have you ever seen a "horse city"?"   "Do you see horses building roads?"
"That is because they are not people, they are animals!" 
Sometimes when we are hurt, it makes us want to escape by loving animals, who do not have the ability to have an equal relationship.
People relationships are HARDER than horse relationships, because People are not animals to be controlled.  People feel just like you do; they get hurt and  misunderstood too. But they also love and care and we NEED those relationships. 

She was very relieved that I didn't consider her to be a thief.  I asked her, "Have you been called a thief before?"
The answer was "Yes, in my last family. They said I took GUM." 

Sometimes, being a parent to a hurt child is like being give a tattered jigsaw puzzle and the pieces don't all quite fit, or the picture is torn off of some of the pieces, so it is really hard to put together.
But when it DOES come together, it makes total sense. 

So glad I'm better than a horse. :)



3 Steps Back

Yep, that is our day today.
Sigh..... :)


 (I took this during Alli's fit today)

I blogged that I hadn't seen any RAD or PTSD behaviors in a while..... spoke too soon.
We'll get through this stage and move on.  Not sure what triggered it..... 
She has been obsessing about horses.  Right now, horses are more important than family.
Those are words of hurt and anger. 
Sometimes I wonder, "Would I rather have me, or a horse?", if I were a kid.
 Don't I resemble a bit of a horse?  :)
(Alli took this during my nap today).....

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Just Going To The Bathroom"

"Just Gong To the Bathroom".... was what I heard from Sarah when I asked, "who is up?"
I can't express how much my heart is filled with Joy at that declaration!
Sarah has been home now, for almost 7 years. (May 5th)

It took nearly 3 years before she was able to go into the bathroom alone, due to previous abuse. :(
And now, I hear her say, "I'm in the bathroom!"  WOW!
I am so happy for her. :) She is my sweet baby girl.:)
It is amazing how a simple statement can make me feel such joy. My baby girl at one time was frozen with fear to not have me with her day or night , and now,  it is just normal for her. :)

When Sarah came home, she was such a tiny, spunky little bundle of energy.  She had a smile that would light up a room, still does.  But behind all that sweetness and cuteness was a very, VERY hurt little girl.
She was not quite 6 years old, when we went and picked her up from the Famous McDonald's play land.  I still remember her questions to me, when I asked her if she had any.  I fully expected them to be questions like, "Do you have any toys?" or "Where am I going to live?"
Her questions were much more direct, all having to do with her safety.  "Are you going to hit me?" "Are you going to leave me alone in the dark?" "Are you going to squeeze my hands?" 
My heart sank at the thought of what had happened to her.  We didn't know much, but we found out fairly quickly, as she gained more trust in us.

Today, Sarah is a happy, healthy, soon to be TEENAGER!  I cannot beleive it!  She was the baby for such a long time.  She still expresses fears of growing up, and we have told her, she doesn't have to make herself grow up. If she still likes to play with toys, that is just FINE!  One of her cool sister's in law told her that she played with barbies until she was 14!  I think that makes Sarah feel better. 

She is approaching her birthday with trepidition, as she THINKS it is going to make her cross an imaginary line from childhood to adulthood.  I think she will relax the next day when all is the same. :)
Explaining to her that growing up is a good thing, and something that comes naturally is a hard concept for her to understand.  Yet, I 'm starting to see little rumblings of change in her already. 
We talked about that recently, and I think it brought her comfort. 

It is wonderful that she LOVES being a kid.   That tells me she is happy and secure at home. :)
Of course she has said she is never leaving!  LOL

I'm enjoying these words now, because I know all too soon, some wonderful person will sweep her off her feet and her devotion will be to him.  

I'm so proud of our spunky, funny little girl. :)  Happy Familyversary Sarah!

You Are Still Holy

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