The Hard Truth and the Good News

January 9th, 2014

Quite frequently when someone learns that we formed part of our family through Foster-to-Adopt, they will shake their heads and say, "I couldn't do it. Are they okay?" Let me translate that phrase for you. It means, "I won't do it and you shouldn't have either." ¬†Usually this is someone who has watched a lot of television shows about troubled kids (who seem too often to be adopted) or they have a friend or relative with a challenging child. The hard truth of foster care is that kids who lose their original families -- for any reason, even "good" ones -- have emotional scars. How big those scars are is due in part to their experience but also has a lot to do with their own personal psychological makeup. You can't… [more]

Easing the Start of School

August 24th, 2013

When I look back at the last 3-1/2 years I am completely amazed by how my heart has grown. I do not mean that in a prideful way. When The Captain (then 34 months) walked into our home for the first time, he had a 5 word vocabulary. (We later learned all those words were from¬†Dora the Explorer.) He had tantrums that lasted as long as 40 minutes. He had a hair-trigger temper. He literally spent more time on the floor having fits than he did upright. He was, frankly, hard to love. I cared about him but I freely admit, I had a hard time opening my heart to him. IMG_0372Fast forward to yesterday. I emailed his advocate to arrange a… [more]

Loving them Enough

January 24th, 2013

DSCN7267Yesterday I was talking to my support partner about our little ones. ¬†He, per usual, listened attentively and then repeated something I had said, asking me to listen to my own words. ¬†"Tell me what you hear," he said: "I am afraid that I cannot love them enough to fix what is broken in them." Hmmm. ¬†I said, ¬†"Well, it's not true that they are broken. They don't need "fixed." ¬†They have been terribly hurt, for certain. ¬†They have suffered and some of what has happened to them cannot be undone. ¬†I can support them and love them and advocate for them. But by the same token, these challenges are what make us who we are, what make us strong, what make us unique." "That's… [more]

ARDs, IEPs, Red Folders, and Other Stuff

January 17th, 2013

DSCN7280Well, it finally happened. ¬†The Captain's Kindergarten teacher called me in with concerns about his progress. ¬†The gap between The Captain and his classmates has finally grown wide enough that it has raised her concern. She said, "I'm calling you in to let you know that I am concerned about The Captain's progress and I have started a red folder for him." ¬†(A red folder is an actual thing, a red folder, identifying the student as one with learning issues; eventually he will have a 504 plan to go in that red folder.) I didn't know quite what to say. "Thank you?" It's been clear to those of us on the inner circle for some time that this sweet boy is not going to be… [more]

Love Changes Things

January 11th, 2013

DSCN7281Yesterday Dear Hubby and I met with The Captain's attachment therapist. ¬†Between the three of us, we have decided to suspend his therapy for now. ¬†I can hardly believe I am writing these words! Sometime around Thanksgiving, I realized The Captain is definitely attached to me. ¬†He makes regular eye contact, he looks at me when he is uncertain, he runs to meet me off the bus, he's a love bug. ¬†Over the holidays, he showed a lot of affection to Daddy, too, which is new for him. While he still has issues to deal with in therapy, we are postponing those until he is better at talking. ¬†He has symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but we really need him to talk… [more]

Progress

November 28th, 2012

The Captain first day 2012If you follow my blog, you'll recognize that The Captain has the most "school type" issues. ¬†He's often very well behaved at school; it's the learning issues we are working through. ¬†Surprisingly, his PTSD and attachment issues seem to be okay in this environment; I think the big difference between the last two years and this is that he isn't attached to this teacher and so doesn't feel so threatened by the attention she pays to other kids. ¬†Having a class 3 times larger clearly helps; all in all, behavior-wise, it's going well. He has what can best be described as "un-diagnosed learning issues." ¬†We spend a lot of time at doctors and taking tests but most of the… [more]

A Rich, Full Life

October 6th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

901908_-_exercise_at_home_-It is difficult to believe that I am posting this early in the month but here it is. I am so excited to have a relatively slow, lazy morning to 'chat' with you. We have been so very busy for almost a year now. It is hard to imagine that things are going to slow down but I am making a strides in making it so. I have noticed that OSG functions so much better when he has time at home to regroup. All of the running and pushing to get places really seems to affect him negatively. He is also my sleeper, averaging 12 hours a night. When we are so busy, he does not have that kind of time to… [more]

High School Already?

September 30th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

1173688_high_school_woesI was totally shocked today when OSG came downstairs for church. He looked so grown up. He is now taller than his dad (and me but that doesn't count because I am 4' 10".) He had on a very formal looking pair of pants, a sharp green shirt- tucked in and his glasses. You may wonder why I mention the glasses. Well, he has lost them so many times in the past year that I was very surprised to see them perched on his nose. Wow! What a looker. I better put a lock on the door. I am not ready for all that comes with being a teenager- especially the boy/girl relationship part. It seems way too early for that to occur… [more]

Pre- Fair Activities

August 27th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

1031159_keyboardI am deeply immersed in what we like to call 'pre-fair' activities. We are a definite farm family and many of our activities culminate in the fall at the county fair. It's something that we work toward and anticipate all year. It is also a huge responsibility. I could list you a dozen major things that I should be doing right now. Instead I am 'chatting' with you. The kids have a large range of things that they are exhibiting. All three of them show horses, goats, chickens and pigs. The oldest also shows sheep. If they only had animals we would require about seven extra sets of hands to get through the week comfortably- alas, they do not. OSG and his brother… [more]

Mr. Mediocrity

July 26th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

1368686_horsesI have to admit that this very hot, very dry summer has kept this farmer's wife on her toes. I so rarely sit- even for a second. Perhaps that is an exaggeration but it is how I feel. We need a break. Yet, in the middle of winter when things are slower on the farm, I always look forward to the busyness that summer holds. OSG has been incredibly busy as well. He (and his siblings) are the reason that I am so very active. He has been showing horses, shooting bow and reading like crazy. In between all of that, I make him work. He is very involved in 4-H and channels most of his activities through that. His archery is a… [more]