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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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Family Funny


It was time for Miss Alli to brush her hair.  She asked, "Mom, has this brush been cleaned since I used it on the dog next door?"  ACK! 
No! It hasn't!   You used it on the dog?  It needs to be washed for sure!!!

"Ok"...... and then she went into the laundry room...
Anna asked, "Alli, why did you just put the brush in the laundry hamper?"
"So mama can wash it!"  "I always do!"

Hmmmm..... Anna and I looked at each other and cracked up laughing.....


  And now the mystery that has plagued me for the last year  has FINALLY been solved!  The scary part is..... I kept taking the brush OUT of the laundry basket..... so we have a new mystery.  
Everytime she put it IN, did that mean she was brushing some animal's hair?????  I can't even manage the thought.....

However, this brought up a funny from along time ago with ANNA!  She used a brush for the GOAT and I didn't know it.  We were messing around with the new computer and got this on Video. Too bad they used some weird contrast. :)


  In the background you can hear Anna say, "Mom you really shouldn't be using that brush.".. I ask why and she says "That is Sweetie Pie's brush!"...... :) "Sweetie Pie the GOAT!"

Ivy's New Blog

The Life if Little Eunice is no more...... It has graduated to "The Pursuit of Peace and Tranquility."
I still get to visit Ivy each morning and the grand kids and Marcus, as she updates with delightful stories and pictures. 
For some reason, I had a hard time getting it onto my blog roll, but after several tries, it finally worked! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It Sure FEELS Like Summer!

Sarah fell asleep reading her book on the front porch. :)
 Alli was all worried she wouldn't have playtime because of SCHOOL!  I told her, if you wait and complain, you will not have enough playtime, but if you sit with mama, I'll help you along and we'll get it done and then you'll have MORE play time! :)
She was SO  PROUD OF HERSELF!  Last year, she would have dug in her heels and put herself through all sorts of drama.  But now, she listens and really tries hard.
School will be out this year on June 13th.

Sarah and Alli,  just left with bikes and helmets to play on  the dirt hill down the street. :)
I remember doing the same thing as a girl.  I could go down dirt hills for hours with my little brother on my handlebars. :) 

Monday, May 28, 2012

No Pain No Gain??? OR

KNOW PAIN..... no gain!

I started my walking again after a long break.  I used to love going on 3 to 4 mile walks several years ago.  A couple of years ago I walked 2 1/2 miles with a friend each day, but our schedules changed and we no longer walk together.
We bought a treadmill and used it for a while, and then I hurt myself..... so I took a break.  Then Alli came, and I have used it very sparingly.

Now that we seem to be back to a normal routine, I feel like I can add my walking in once again.  But, I don't have the TIME for a 3 mile walk.  So I shortened it to a 1. 5 miles in the morning and 1. 5 miles in the evening.  I just want to tone up a bit and lose some of this "old lady gut" that seems to have developed over the last year.
I figured, Pilates, might be a nice added feature..... so I found THIS,
 at a GREAT BARGAIN, I might add!

Did I ask my Dr. if I should do this?  Why no! I did not! Why not?  Because I FIGURED he would say, "Sure go ahead and run your body into the ground until you can no longer move.  I'll see you on Tuesday." I figure I saved myself 80 bucks by skipping that first appointment, and heading for the second appointment. :)

The first day was fine.... the second day however something happened.  I can't tell if it is my hip or my lower back, but it HURTS!  That lady actually says "And now for the SPINE TWISTER or STRETCHER!"  I remember thinking to myself while trying to get into that position, "Can this be good for me?" 
The part of me that forgot I was almost 54 said, "Of course it is! She can do it and she isn't even breaking a sweat! "  The part of me that KNOWS I'm not only almost 54, but have a huge history with a bad back..... was saying, "Please, NO! Don't do this!" was simply ignored.

What I couldn't ignore was the all consuming pain.  So, my dear husband said, "You ran yourself into the ground! I can't believe you did that!" 
Thanks dear. I'm wounded enough already.
My girls were of no help.  They were offering to capture me on video camera and put it on America's Funniest Home Video...... "We'll make a fortune!" Uh, no thank you.  

So, to face some facts. I will never look like the Pilate girl.  Nor will I ever be able to twist my body into those unbelievable shapes and relax "one disk at a time......" My back has two chunks of disks thrown together; the upper part and the lower part.  The best I can do is heave myself down one disk section at a time. They said to do it with control. There was no control to it.  It was more like heaving a carcass onto the floor.  Even my breathing was wrong . I was breathing in when they said to breathe out, and out when they said to breathe in.....and I even tried to hold my breath to catch up.... that didn't really work...so I tried to breathe out extra long....that didn't work either.   Are they SURE this was a beginner's DVD????

I think I need some chocolate and a book while I convalesce..... :(   (and some ice, advil, and rest for who knows how long)

In Memory.....


My Dad........  Ralph who tried to join the army in the Korean War, but was refused because of type one diabetes.
Aunt Lee Lee
My sister    Vickie
My  Grand Mothers    Lee and Ellie
My Grand Fathers      Clifton and Grampa who served in the military.
My Uncle Clyde, who served in France and was wounded in World War 2.

Our Dad   Ed-  served in the Air Force
Our Mom Lois-   served in the Air Force
Our brother- Jim M
Our Gramma Doris M
Our Grampa Carl M

And a whole host of other friends and relatives who have left this life for eternity.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dress Up

The girls LOVE to do dress up, and Good Will is a great place to find Dress Up clothes.  Today we scored big time!  Good Will was having a 50% off sale!  Even though they are older, they LOVE to play dress up. 

 We EVEN FOUND GLASS SLIPPERS! :)
 The dresses were under 4 dollars and the shoes were  2 dollars! :)  I love bargains that can bring loads of creative play!  I feel Cinderella plays coming on......Summer is going to be fun and creative!
 uh oh........ YIKES......   
 thank you mommy!
 My girls are growing up.... and NO! You cannot wear your dresses to church tomorrow. :) But they DID wear them to watch the 25th Anniversary DVD of Les Miserables... which was, BTW, simply FABULOUS!  ( we skipped over a couple of parts)  but it was GREAT!





twirling..... :)

Hand Prints



 I just love Kathi! She has been not just our social worker, but a great friend, indeed!


 


 My these girls have GROWN. She looks like one of the girls! :)






Thursday, May 24, 2012

Second Post Placement Report

This year plus has FLOWN by and we are getting ready to do our Second Post Placement Report. 
Miss Alli has come a LONG ways in the 6 months since the last one.  She has improved in reading, math and study skills.  She has improved VERY MUCH in COMMUNICATION! 

One of her biggest hurdles since she came to America has been in the area of communication.  I have written much in this blog and on FRUA regarding being able to communicate and understand English at the level needed to explain emotions, how you are feeling, why you are upset or why you are happy.
She was completely UNABLE to do this when she came to us. 
She was still communicating much like a toddler; crying when she was upset or disappointed, and having fits when she was frustrated or misunderstood. 

She has always done really well since she came home, except during the times of frustration and anxiety.  Those times shortened in duration and frequency within a few months, but she was still good for a good meltdown now and then.    It is almost always about a misunderstanding or anxiousness over an unknown  traumaversary anniversary.   

I wrote a post not too long ago called "What I Did Wrong."  Since that time, things have gone REALLY good.  I have noticed that when there is a struggle the breakthrough to  a better and more secure relationship is right there to hold onto!  We just have to grab the opportunity and run with it.

I hope that is an encouragement to those of you struggling.  

What she has learned to do in the last year, but especially the last 6 months, has been to accept that sometimes she doesn't know the answer or that she has misunderstood.  She has also REALLY been able to communicate MUCH better and express her feelings with WORDS.  YEA!

We are moving on to a new phase of life.  Before we know it, she is going to be a teenager! (February)
YIKES.... That will make 4 teenage girls in the house. :)

I LOVE it! :)

Alli already knows that our social worker is coming, and she was not a bit nervous.  She even said she needs to get her room cleaned and  asked if she could come over for pizza! :)
Now that is progress! :)
After this, we will have two more post placements to do.  One will be next year at this time, and the other one the year after!   YEA!

So.... was that reflection in my computer screen correct???  Why yes it WAS!.... (  I just saw Alli carrying two pullets (chickens) calling them Lucinda and Jane.... Up into the tree they went....... LOL
 



I bet they are wondering how they are going to get down! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SUUUUPEERRRR MINICH!

Alli saw some old video of Anna and Sarah saying they were "Super Genius"......a couple of weeks ago.
Tonight she said, "I'm not a Minich, I'm a SUUUUPPPPERRRR MINICH! :)

Anna Scores a Guitar!

Anna has been looking for a guitar for a few months.  She was wanting to buy one online but before we did, I decided to stop at the local pawn shoppe.  I have driven by that place a million times and never stopped.  It is really a nice, family run business.  They had several musical instruments including this Mitchell Guitar!  It was a great price and better yet, it sounded really nice.  It is really easy to play the chords and make them sound good. :)
YEA!  I love good deals!




I think she likes it! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bedtime

One of my readers wrote to me tonight and asked about bedtime.  How do you get somebody to go to bed who isn't used to being told to go to bed, or doesn't want to?  (paraphrase)

Many of us have adopted older children who not only have extreme trauma backgrounds, but also lived in orphanages where the rules were rather lax.  They didn't grow up in functional families, obviously, so it is VERY NEW to them to be told, "It is time for bed!"

Sometimes their reactions are negative.  "I don't want to?"  or "Why do I have to?" 

Establishing routines is VERY important for ALL kids, adopted or not.
Communication skills are usually VERY POOR when our kids come home, especially international kids. The communication issue is HUGE.  They may not understand what is expected, or they may complain in a way that seems more rebellious than it is.  "NO! I won't go to bed!"  My not be what they are actually trying to say.  They may be saying, "I don't want to."  Or , "Do I have to?"  But with limited English skills, and the "halted" Russian or Eastern European Accent, it can seem like they are saying "NO! I WILL NOT!"  LOL..... I remember Erika sounding that way all the time when she was first home. 

Alli came home at 11.  We simply went back to our old bedtime routine that we had when each of the girls was newly home. (newly, meaning the first YEAR) 
We started the bedtime ritual of teeth brushing, baths, pj's. and then we went into the room and read a good story.  The kids LOVE stories, even big kids. :)   This way, we weren't saying "Go to bed!"  Instead they were already ON their beds, intently listening to a good story.  We would finish, pray with them and tuck them into bed, without them realizing what was happening. "Hey, I'm in bed and ...... yawn... I am kinda tired.... zzzzzzzz." :)

As the kids become more comfortable and assimilate into family life, bedtime routine can be less intense for us.  We don't always HAVE to read a story. Sometimes we put on a "Story CD".... and just kiss everybody good night. 
Once the routine of bedtime is established, it works like clockwork. :)

Saving Aesha

 (photo from google)

You can read the long story about Aesha here.
She is the young lady from the cover of time magazine who is from Afghanistan.  Yes, I did say young lady.  She is 22.  She came for reconstructive surgery, but that surgery cannot happen, yet.  WHY?  Because Aesha is more like a 3 year old than a 22 year old.

I have never seen a clearer picture of what trauma can do to a person, and  how it can cause them to be stuck emotionally where the initial trauma began.  This tells me, that most likely her entire life has been one of trauma. 

She was sold off to the taliban to settle a dispute along with her little sister (the article said baby sister, I sure hope that isn't true) , where there were 10 brothers.   She never even met her husband, because he was fighting a war.  The first time she met him, was when he disfigured her face for running away.  

Aesha has gone from family to family and has gone through something like 11 roommates.  She is difficult and extremely needy.  She climbs in her roommates lap for affection, just like that of a small child. 
Heart breaking......

Trauma knows no boundaries.  There are broken people all over this world who have experienced the unspeakable, and may never recover.

I am so thankful for those who understand trauma, and have been able to share their expertise so that those of us who live with the fallout of childhood trauma  each and every day, can facilitate true and lasting healing. 

This article just made me want to give my kids a hug.  I pray that Aesha's helpers come to understand her real needs and that she will very much need to be accepted as a 3 year old before she can be 22.



Monday, May 21, 2012

The Things You Find When You Google!

I noticed somebody googled "clothes stretcher" and landed on our blog here....
I hope they didn't get too excited because ours is NOT for sale! :)  LOL

Erika Plays Guitar

Today she was practicing outside and the cat helped himself into her guitar case to listen to the music. :)

video
Erika's arms don't bend because of her arthrogryposis. An operation in Ukraine put them in a permanent bent position so she could learn how to feed herself and have more use of them.  Now they are in the perfect position for guitar! :) 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Update

 Last night I took Alli's picture and posted it in the post below.... with her hair braided.
This morning she took it out.... Her hair is really getting long! :)  I think she likes it!

Miss Alli is doing GREAT!  I always knew she would do great. We are witnessing her growth daily, and it is so amazing to be a part of her healing journey!
I am so proud of her. :)

We had a busy weekend, and today after services, we went out to eat and then invited a family to go water skiing with us.  They all came!  I sat on the shore with the other mom while everybody else went in the boat and there went Alli, STANDING on the knee board and waving at us as they went by! :)

She is brave! She is sweet! She is kind! :)  She is healing.... and it makes my heart just sing with joy.
The Lord is good!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

SUCCESS! Sweet SUCCESS!

 Today, may not have been deemed  a successful day for some, but for us, it was AMAZINGLY successful!

Over the last 14 months we have been working with Miss Alli on her "reactions" and "actions" for when she gets overwhelmed or upset.  Last year, we began to teach her what was acceptable and what was not.
"When you are upset, you may not climb to the top of the tree!"
"When you are upset and need to cool down, you may SAY ' I need to go into my room and cool down'. and that will be fine!" 
This is a very similar technique we used with one of our boys who had temper tantrums at 3 years old.  When we figured out a strategy to help him, it only took him about 3 weeks to master it.
I remember the first time he used the strategy himself.  He got frustrated because his key car wouldn't work.  I was prepared for a full fledged kicking and screaming fit, and instead, he put his key car down, walked upstairs and sat on his bed!  I remember going in with great delight and hugging him and kissing him and asking him, "Would you like mommy to help you with your car?  It must be disappointing when it doesn't work!"  He gave me a hug and cried a little and then we went and fixed his car.

Well, today, I had to talk with Alli about the computer.  Some things she still does not understand and I had to correct her with a little bit of bite.  "If you do not carefully follow mama's instructions, you will no longer be able to use the computer."  That got her attention, because we don't use "consequences", but this was a SAFETY issue and we DO keep our children SAFE! 
She took our conversation VERY WELL!

We had a great afternoon, and then the girls went out to wash the van and the car.
They were all having a great time.  They were all trying their best to do a good job! Miss Alli got the idea that if she used a SCRUB PAD on the car it would get really clean!  She was correct. There was no dirt left! It also took the finish off of the car in numerous spots and put fine little scratches all through out the paint. 
That one was a little harder for me! LOL
DEEP BREATHS!
She was so proud, and I had to tell her that she didn't do the right thing; that it was a disaster for the car.
So, I was nicely explaining why we don't use scrub pads on cars, and she started to get upset.  She said, you already said something about the computer and now the car. "I can't do anything right!"  (Of course this is not true) She was being EMOTIONAL.....reacting from a place of fear and shame. (embarrassment)


Then she said, "Mom, I need to go into my room and cool down!"    She quietly walked to her room!  About 15 minutes later I went in and rubbed her hair and told her I was proud of her.
She asked "Why"?   So I told her it was because she kept her pinky promise and didn't climb a tree, and she didn't just walk away without saying anything, but she verbalized what she needed to do in a polite way! WOW that is HUGE! :)

She came down and we headed for the rocking chair.  We rocked for awhile and I explained about the scrub pad and the car.  "Now we need to go and tell daddy."  We went out and let daddy know and he responded so very well to his favorite car's paint job being damaged! :)   "You were trying to do something good!"  "Just next time, ask if your idea is a good idea!" 
So THANKFULLY..... I'm married not only to a great daddy, but  to a mechanic who is also a body shoppe guy and has the equipment to buff out the scratches and hopefully return the shine.  :)


And he has a helper that is going to help him do it!
Night Night Miss Alli. :) 

Behind The Waterfall Movie Review

Anybody remember "Radar" (Burghoff) from the old series M.A.S.H?   Well this is a movie starring Gary Burghoff in a very different role.  The movie is about 2 children who go to visit their Aunt and cousin for the summer.    The children's father died in a plane accident, 6 months before.    The movie is about how an Irishman full of Irish Folklore stories befriends them, and opens up a whole different way of looking at things.   
The children love the old man and in the end,  heal from the grief of losing their father.
All of our girls enjoyed it.  There are a few themes that could cause some kids to be afraid, but for the most part it is a clean fun movie.

Friday, May 18, 2012

CAPTURING FRIDAY

We had a really good week!  The weather is changing fast, and it already feels like Summer.  Today we had school and then went on a play date.  Friday Soccer is now over until next school year.

The girls are talking about days at the lake for swimming and they are excited about winding down.
We will be finishing our school year the second week of June.   We typically go through the first of July, but not this year. :)

So here is what I captured while everybody is waiting for Daddy to finish his work day and we start our Friday night at the Movies. :)
 
 Anna in her writing hat.
 Erika and Sarah relaxing in the hammock
video
Erika and Sarah were singing the Theme to "Miss Potter"..... If you haven't seen "Miss Potter", it is a must see. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Adoption Support Group


WE DID IT!  We started our first meeting tonight! We just dove in and DID IT! I'm so glad. :)

It will be an hour and a half, on the first and third Thursdays of each month.   Our plan is to spend 45 minutes in discussion and 45 minutes going through the study guide to Karyn Purvis's book, "The Connected Child".   
If you happen to live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and are interested in joining us.... please feel free! :)
We'd LOVE to have you!
I am so happy to have good friends to identify with, discuss and support! :)

TONIGHT IS..........

Our very first  Adoption Support Group Meeting!  I was supposed to start this last year, but it came and went and my focus was on our newest daughter and helping her to assimilate into family life.

So, TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! I am really excited!   We need to come up with a name.

Any Ideas? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Can It Be SEVEN YEARS????

Yes! It CAN!
Our beautiful Sarah has been home for SEVEN years! 
Sarah is a JOY.  She is one of the most loving, ACCEPTING, generous children I have ever met.
Tonight during our family worship, I heard her share and talk about her faith and her desires to serve the Lord.  She is such a HUGE blessing to all of us.

Sarah's beginnings were so sad.  She was born to a teen age mother who had no way to care for her.  She contracted TB at some point and wound up in a TB hospital, where she was isolated and neglected.  There is no clear understanding of where she was her first 2 years.  She never made it to an orphanage until she was 4!  And then, after she got there, she climbed a tree, fell out and broke her hip! SO she was confined to a bed (tied) for a couple of months.  Papa Dima's daughter said she was FIGHTING MAD! :) 
She came to the United States on her 5 th birthday and she came to us, 2 months shy of her 6th birthday. :)
When we went back and visited Ukraine, one of the workers knew the meaning of the name Sarah and laughed saying "that name fits her perfectly!" She really was a princess.  "I'm not eating that!"
That is what she would say about some of the orphanage food. LOL
I cannot imagine our lives without her.
She is turning into such a wonderful young lady. :)  I am going to miss my "little girl" as she is growing up.... but I cherish each and every memory, and I cherish the young lady that is emerging.   Sarah will be 13 next month! WOW!  Is it POSSIBLE!!!!!! 
I love you my Sweet, Kind, Considerate, Loving  Sarah.... You are TRULY a Princess. :)

What I Did Wrong!

Well, as you can see our last few posts have been chalked full of activity. And all on MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND!
Mother's day is a trigger time for children who have experienced trauma, and typically we do not make a huge deal of mother's day. You can't get away from acknowledging that it exists, but you can get away from the pressure the day brings.  

We have been doing so well, and there were no clues leading up to dysregulation at all.  So we went to the ENORMOUS ANNUAL BOOK FAIR with thousands of people,  for TWO days in a row!  Alli did wonderfully both days and really enjoyed herself. 

After that, we woke on Sunday Morning to go to a different church where our precious baby grand daughter was being baptized.    Her birth  triggered Miss Alli a bit but she expressed it very well, expressing true sorrow.    The Baptism brought once again attention to "love, raise and nurture" the baby in the Lord.  That was a trigger..... because Miss Alli was not loved, raised and nurtured.  That sting of seeing loving parents dote on their newborn carries a tinge of pain.

During the service, she had a distant look and I asked her, "Are you ok?"  She said, "I'm bored."  So I had her help me follow along in the bulletin and let her know we were not there to be entertained, but to worship and see Olivia be baptized. 

We left after the service and decided to go out to lunch for Mother's day.  Everybody seemed happy about it except Miss Alli.  She demanded that Erika give her a hair band for her hair, not asking nicely.  Erika carries hairbands around with her all the time.  If in need, she has an extra.    She gave Alli one, and she rejected it.  She gave her another one and she rejected it.  The last one was Erika's favorite.  Alli said, "I want THAT one."   Erika told her no, very nicely and said, that one I keep for me. You can have one of the other two.  Alli stormed off calling her selfish.

I took Alli aside and got her calm and then asked "Who was really being selfish?"  Was it the person willing to share, or the person who demanded the other person's hair band?    There was a blank stare. (Here is where I was trying to use logic and address an issue that was both illogical and NOT the issue! duh)   ( I was looking at the behavior and not what was DRIVING the behavior)

Now NORMALLY,  if such a behavior would have occurred we would have gone DIRECTLY home,  but I felt like that would have made the other girls who were all being kind and sweet feel as though they were being punished. 
 Alli pulled herself together enough to eat nicely and we did have a good time.  

But when we got home, the attitude  returned!  She went into a full PTSD mode thinking that we were going to get rid of her, and she was bound and determined to make it happen.
(This is not uncommon.  The child will try to CAUSE the parent to reject them, and hurry up the process because the rejection is so painful.  They think there is no hope, so it is time to just get the relationship over with.)
Once again I tried to use LOGIC! "Of course we are not sending you away!"  She was NOT being logical or making sense, so LOGIC did not work.  Even though we KNOW this and even SHARE IT, it is sometimes hard to remember.  (another DUH moment brought to you by Christie)

We finally got through to her after she exhausted herself,  and we even watched a movie.

 But in the a.m. it started all over again.
Miss Alli did get up, but then it was time to start school.....   She said, "You are going to MAKE me have a bad day aren't you!" 
"Ummm.... no.  Let's get our work out please. "  Once again, I was being logical. I was ALSO NOT RECOGNIZING there was no way she was going to be able to function with math and language when her window of tolerance was barely open.  So I "logically", 1/2'd her work....... when what
we SHOULD have done, was started with art... but no, I was brain dead.
I was also not recognizing that she was looking through the lens of PTSD, not her normal self.

Things escalated just like the day before and I made a call to our Social Worker.  I am so glad she called me right back!  She was VERY helpful!  She said, "change the scenery"........ DUH once again!    Of COURSE that is what we needed to do! 
It is VERY important to have others in our lives who can help us, because we CAN  forget in the moment.  Just like our children, when we feel emotional or sad or anxious, we can't think as clearly.
Our social worker Kathi Turner is AWESOME.  She is supportive and full of fun and energy.  She even gave me a story about her dogs (we both laughed) she is trying to train.  (they are rescue dogs)
And how her tone of voice caused one to attack the other. And she instantly knew it could have been prevented.

Sometimes, when a child is stuck in PTSD mode or RAD mode, the best thing you can do is change scenery.  Now Miss Alli was in the laundry room  behind the big laundry basket.  I was able to coax her out by using a different tone of voice, catching her interest and getting her into the car.
She demanded to know where we were going.  I know she was afraid I was taking her away.  I told her she would like where we were going, but I would not tell her until she was safely in the car. 
She got in the car and the look on her face was terrified. 

It was then I said, we are going to go to the park for a walk.  We didn't get 100 yards down the road and she burst into sobs of relief and sorrow, guilt and shame, and many apologies.   
"I don't know why I do this!  I just destroy relationships!"    I reassured her that we are not destroyed.
We love her and we will always be here.  But when she pulls away from us, and feels alone, it isn't us that has left, it is her, and she needs to face that AND change it!  ( this is when we can use logic and instruction..... when they are CALM and LISTENING)

How can she make the changes she needs to?   One step at a time. :)  Baby steps to healing.....

Using this technique has worked many times in our children's lives.  It seems odd that you would go for a walk or seemingly "reward" a behavior that is unwanted, but this was not just an unwanted behavior.  It is ALSO unwanted by Alli.  She does not like it.  She just couldn't see a path to get out of it, so I provided the path FOR HER.    There are times when the girls do things they shouldn't and are corrected in a very normal way.  "That was not ok.  We don't do that because.... or You need to come inside now because ...."    

The difference  in dealing with a behavior driven by fear and not just childish irresponsibility,  is huge.   If, we try to treat a fear based behavior like pure disobedience or irresponsibility,  the fear will grow bigger and even be substantiated in thier mind. 

What happened could have been prevented, had I been  paying close attention. 
Sometimes it is hard when you so much want to do something as in the book fair and chess tournament,  Olivia's baptism and  going out on Mother's Day.  We thought that everything would work out.   I took the chance and I was wrong.    And it cost us all.     I felt mad at myself for not being more careful.  

By the end of the day, Alli and Sarah were sitting in the wheel barrow together with sketch books in hand, creating nature pictures..... :)  Everything was calm , and all just seemed right with the world. :)

We are parents by choice, and a family by choice.  It is our honor to do what we do and we love it. We learn from our own failures.  Those failures bring us face to face with our own issues, helping us to recognize where WE need to make tweaks and changes in order to help our children to grow.  Being a parent, whether your child is adopted or not, is difficult and joyous at the same time.  It is CERTAINLY a life changer.   And one of the biggest benefits of parenting, is that it causes us to press into Christ all the more, who is our source of life and strength for each and every day.

 I want to mention my other girls.  They are so amazing and loving.  While I was holding Alli, Sarah came over and said, "Mama, it is time to pray.... you too Alli!" :)  (and we did pause and pray)
 That's my Sarah; and that's my Alli. :)


The Princess and the Prosthesis

We had a very early appointment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital so Erika could pick up her new legs.  They are a lot different than the ones before and will take some getting used to.  There were a few bugs to work out, but I think she will like them.

We started out with Robert coming to say hello....
 GO TO COLLEGE! Was the message this a.m.  :)

Then we started the final fitting..... "The Princes and the Prosthesis" is what we deemed her today. :)








There were a few "kinks" to work out. :)
 Anna came along for the Appointment:



video
She took them for a test run:

And then we headed back home:


We had a good time and then headed back to the hacienda for SCHOOL! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Olivia Grace Minich


 Ya Ya and Olivia
 Marcus
 The Adorables:  Marcus, Ivy William, Charlie and Olivia

 A little tired of pictures. :)

video
Now, our video camera TURNED OFF right at the time he was going to baptize her! But I love how they do this.  It was very special. :)


You Are Still Holy

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