19 Years Ago

19 years ago God blessed us with a son. During his birth, he got stuck. I stopped pushing and spoke in tongues then he greeted the world blue and in need of assistance. After 18 hours incubated in oxygen and having fluid sucked out of his lungs, I got to hold him. Got to look deep into his eyes, breathe him in. He was mine. All thumb sucking, drooling sweet disposition was mine.j-18i

All-in-all he was an easy baby and child. Only a few rough teen years. However, through prayer and consistency, we got through it. He Gave his life to Jesus and is such a wonderful young man.DSCN6941IMG_1070redo

He and his oldest sister always have had a close relationship. He has always had a funny sense of humor.scan005900898_04

A natural gentleman.Kids' own pics 4-28-08 01310425172_10203572688390440_6389493670496607464_n

Always had a way with animals, not matter how big or small. He seemed to always have “pet” bugs of some sort.scan0005

SUPER talented. He can draw, play instruments, act…his imagination knows no end.IMG_0994

When we made the decision to adopt we knew this is who he’d be. We knew he would be the best big brother to each and every child we added to our lives.IMG_0454

He is a very healthy eater. Not one for sweets.IMG_0722

Born part fish, he was either playing in dirt or swimming.Jared pool 6-24-08 021Jared making mines 6-13-08 008

This boy, this young man has brought so much joy into our lives. We are so proud of him, the choices he makes, the stands he has taken, and the person he has become. It is an honor to be called his mom.scan0004

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ADHD + PTSD

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This sums up what living with and living with a child or two with ADHD looks like.

Peaceful? Not exactly. More like so exhausting you end up crashing on the floor. God knows I have left my heavily exhausted body imprinted on the floor many times. (Thank God for vacuums. They take away the evidence in seconds.)

Before our ninos came into our lives, and even awhile afterward, Hubby and I held onto the notion that ADHD was more of a lack of good parenting than organic, something “real”. Yes, they were hyper. Yes, they were impulsive, very impulsive. Yes, they were forgetful. Yes, they were…but we chalked it up to the neglect and trauma they had suffered through. It wasn’t until our 9-year-old (7 at the time) REALLY struggled in every area in school and our 13-year-old (11 at the time) had way too many signs that we had them tested. We had them tested for a number of things. Both came back with ADHD. Now our 13-year-old is NOT hyper at all. He is the quiet, mellow one in the bunch, but boy was he fidgety. He also had these “ticks” (before meds).

Fast forward to the present. After trying various different natural remedies, diet changes, and behavioral management techniques without seeing the change we needed we made the decision to put both boys on medicine for ADHD/PTSD. He started out being treated for symptoms of PTSD, without results. So we tried the ADHD route. This seemed to work great. Now he will tell you he can’t feel or tell if the medicine makes any difference. At all! More on this in a minute. Mr. Bubblewrap started out with ADHD meds with great results. He still forgets, is still impulsive, still pretty active, but it is now much more manageable. We ended up having to put him on PTSD meds as well. We call these his emo pills.

We are still doing behavior management and try natural remedies. These we would more than likely be doing with or without ADHD present in our lives. Our hope and goal is to eventually do away with the meds all together, especially for the PTSD. For now, this is where we are.

For now, we still remind, we still say focus a lot. We have also added a 20 min quiet time for Mr. Bubblewrap after school. This is not a punishment but a measure of prevention. He can have this alone time, quiet time to regroup, gather his thoughts, etc. before joining the family. It has really helped him make that transition from school to home life. He has even started setting the timer and putting himself in quiet time without being told. If you are familiar with kids with ADHD then you know this is huge. We also have him nap on weekends. He doesn’t have to sleep just have quiet time.

For this color coordinated closet organized mama, kids with such forgetful, disorganized behaviors have been hard. This level of unorganized lives doesn’t make sense to me. However, I too am learning, am adjusting, and doing what I can to help our kids. While ADHD type of behavior can be caused by the lack of good parenting, I am much less judgmental and have come to grips that for now the kids, heck, we need that extra help the medicine provides us.

My Little Helper

Love the toddler age, when chores are more fun than work. The General is in that stage. Loving his help and him getting independent. Whether it’s helping me with the laundry or attempting to make his own microwave oatmeal, cooling it off in the freezer or emptying the sweeper/vacuum he really loves to help. He amazes me all of the time.

Meet Robert

In my email, I often receive articles from adoption agencies, periodical emails from such agencies many of which I signed up for back when we were still looking for kids who’d be a good fit and every now and then emails featuring individual kids in need of a forever home. Two days ago this special delivery arrived.

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Here’s a naturally curious and thoughtful kid, with an interest in nearly everything. Despite his rough start in life and the challenges he faces, as a result, Robert remains a hopeful 12-year-old. In fact, he’s so determined to find a forever family, he requested copies of his Heart Gallery photo so he could pass them out to nice people he meets. He’s open to any kind of parent and would benefit from a nurturing family patient with his shy and quiet demeanor. Please help Robert in his quest to find a family and share his Heart Gallery profile with your friends- and anyone nice you meet!

“I love building things.” says Robert.

Robert has a real talent for working with his hands. He takes pride in making things for the people he loves the most and thinks it would be cool to be a craftsman when he grows up. He’s a naturally curious and thoughtful kid, with an interest in nearly everything. Just like every boy his age, he loves playing outside too. Despite Robert’s rough start in life and the challenges he faces, as a result, Robert remains a hopeful 12-year-old.

Robert is open to any kind of parent and would benefit from a nurturing family who will be patient with his shy and quiet demeanor. Robert wants to succeed in all he does and hopes to find a forever family who will encourage him to do just that.

https://heartgallerytampa.org/our-kids/robert/

Did you catch that? In fact, he’s so determined to find a forever family, he requested copies of his Heart Gallery photo so he could pass them out to nice people he meets. I have a 13 and 12-year-old and I can’t imagine them passing out photos to nice people. If things were a bit different in our home life, we would totally inquire about this young man. It was God who put the desire to adopt in my heart. God who changed Hubby’s heart. God who brought our four into our lives. And while we think we are done, I always say it will have to be God to tell us to adopt again. I have felt the urge to add another child every now and then, but for the most part, we fell done, (overwhelmed to be more accurate). But I remain open to God’s will. Who knows?

For now, we are on hold. BUT how about you? Do you have room in your home and heart for this young man? Can you at least spread the word about Robert?

An Epiphany

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I have been working on a post about how we do chores. It is written and finished, BUT it is so very long. So while I am figuring out how to shorten it I want to share this something with you all.

We have pulled a Donald Trump and fired our 9-year-old. For the sake of the emotional well-being of our home, we fired him from the dishes. You see while he is very capable of doing them he gets so deregulated that he really isn’t capable of doing them. While he did just great last year, this year is a completely different story.

99% of the time when it is his turn to do the dishes he gets so emotional that it isn’t worth it. He gets upset, mom gets upset, dad gets upset, etc. The older kids had no problem taking over his slot.

No regulating tricks have work, no strategies have worked, no “just suck it up and do the dishes” have worked. So for now, maybe for awhile, he isn’t doing the dishes.

The epiphany…physical or even cognitive capability isn’t what we need to measure. The ability to be emotionally capable is.

Yummy Flashback

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(Me, outside of Cafe de Monde, maybe 6 years ago. Our two oldest and one of our nephews are in the background.)

At a recent grocery trip I literally almost walked passed a sweet find. We went to New Orleans, oh golly, maybe 5-6 years ago with our East Coast family for Christmas. It was a wonderful experience. Our country is so uniquely different with each passing state. Driving from New Mexico through Texas into Louisana was great. From dry, dusty desert to water, swamps, and water everywhere. Our travel got green and green with every mile.

Like good tourists, we spent our fair share of time in the French Quater. One of the famous places there is Cafe de Monde. A historic coffee and beignet shop. Of course, we had to try. Now if you’ve never tried or heard of beignets here’s the Wikipedia definition: Beignet, synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry. Beignets may also be made from other types of dough, including yeast dough. So, what a nice treat to stumble upon a mix of these nice treats.

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Will have to make these real soon before two of our East Coast family heads back.