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]

Seasons

October 24th, 2012
Categories: Parenting

1402743_fall_backgroundTechnically, it's fall here. ¬†Not much has "fallen" yet; seasons are subtle here in Texas. ¬†Yet, I can see the leaves gathering a bit at the edge of the driveway, the sidewalks are littered with acorns and the squirrels seem busy, busy, busy. Relationships have seasons too. ¬†My friend Margaret taught me that. ¬†Like the weather, they are ongoing with have a life of their own ¬†and they have seasons. When the Littles were foster kids, we had "The Honeymoon Season." ¬†They were all so sweet and adorable. "The Honeymoon" was followed inevitably by "The Testing Season" and, well, lather, rinse, repeat! ¬†The Captain had a rough summer season; we seemed to be butting heads at every turn. ¬†Of the three, he is the… [more]

Radio Silence and a Little Update

October 7th, 2012

DSCN6523And . . . we're back! Sorry for the radio silence in September.  Life as a mom of 5 caught up to me and I got behind on blogging.  I do have to remind myself now and then that living is more important than blogging and gives me things to talk about!  So here's our September in a nutshell: I thought things would settle down when school started, but they only got busier.  The first two weeks of school were a huge adjustment of all of getting used to a new schedule, lots of rules, and just general exhaustion on the part of Tinker and The Captain. At the end of the second week, Dear Hubby and I took off for an Alaskan

Advocating for My Loved One

August 28th, 2012

The Captain first day 2012Well, the school year has started for us; I'm sure I will write later about our first day. ¬†I couldn't help but contrast the picture of the start of the year to that imaginary first day of school I dreamed I would have as a young mother. In my idealistic young adulthood, I thought kids headed off to Kindergarten would be all about getting them the cutest outfit and lunchbox, teaching them to tie their shoes and memorizing their phone number. ¬†It was a super-sweet dream. My reality? ¬†I'm not a "young mother." ¬†I'm an old one and often harried. ¬†Two days before school started, I finally realized The Captain (headed to Kinder) and Tinkerbell (headed to PreK three hours… [more]

Mama’s Day

May 17th, 2012
Categories: Holidays, Parenting

fab fiveI am not the sleep-in kind of person, so in 16 Mother's Days, I've never had a breakfast in bed.¬† However, I've heard of lots that my friends have had and have to say, I don't think I would want those breakfasts anyway.¬† Mother's Day has been a learning process around here.¬† My first Mother's Day, I had a beautiful 7 month old.¬† Good thing I had her, because her daddy did not think he needed to get me anything.¬† I'm not his mother, after all!¬† (Grrr).¬† His mother does live nearby so, we spend our Mother's Days with her and -- back then -- his sister, Mom to two. My second and third Mother's Days must have been uneventful because I… [more]

Something to Look Forward To

May 10th, 2012

fab fiveAs far as I know -- or maybe inasmuch as it's obvious -- Dear Hubby and I are the only ones on either side of our family (in this generation) to form our family through adoption.¬† One of my uncles adopted several of my aunts nieces and nephews in my generation but because they lived in the Philippines, I really never got a chance to know them.¬†¬† There is just not a lot of precedent for how we do things. That said, both our families constantly amaze me.¬† They have not only welcomed our children with open arms, they've been great cheerleaders and advocates for them.¬† You can not see any difference in how the family treats my kids verses all the… [more]

Advocating

April 23rd, 2012

A couple of weeks ago we had the ARD meeting to set my son's educational plan.¬†¬† At the meeting, we set an uneasy goal to send "The Captain" on to kindergarten next year.¬† I left unsettled. As the next week or two went by, I began to worry.¬† The Captain was struggling at school.¬† He was hitting, fit-throwing and generally¬† The captain - haircutuncooperative for at least part of each two-hour school day.¬† How on earth could this child succeed at a 7-hour day with "regular" kids.¬† Not that The Captain is "irregular."¬† But his little PEAR class (Pre-school Expressive and Receptive language program) has only a handful of 3 to 5 year olds, all with speech deficits and many with¬† other… [more]

A Learning Opportunity

April 16th, 2012
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

499019_talking2In the last blog I talked about self-esteem issues that most children have but are prominent among adopted children. These issues range from an inaccurate view of themselves, other people's comments and the lack of stability and maturity that often comes with their situations. This is a major issues in the lives of adopted kids. They have to deal with the loss that they have faced, other people's opinions and feelings of abandonment. Amidst all of this, they need to develop a self-worth and understanding that will carry them through their lives. Many of these kids fail in that regard. The obstacles are too large, their support system doesn't understand and they lose hope. The Joint Council is looking to help you [the… [more]

No More Consequences (aka THINKING) – Part 2

March 3rd, 2012
Categories: Parenting

In part one of this post, I talked about how we are making the switch from "consequence" based parenting to "love-based" parenting.¬† Now we all know, that's semantics, right?¬† I didn't love my older two children any less than I love the younger three.¬† It's just a name.¬† It was all love based.¬† But in our new system, tailor made for traumatized children, we do not assign consequences, instead we try to get to the heart of the behavior. So when my "middle Little" puts a non-food item in her mouth for the 5oth time that day, I can't just put her in time out.¬† I have to stop and think.¬† "Why is she doing this?¬† Is she hungry?¬† Does she need to chew things?¬† Or does she need babying?"¬†… [more]

No More Consequences (aka THINKING) – Part 1

February 28th, 2012

I have an internal dilemma:¬† Is it that I am a lazy mom or is it that I am systematic and a believer in systems?¬† It's likely a bit of both.¬† Whatever the root cause, I am struggling to change parenting systems. Our¬† teen daughters were raised with a combination of time-outs and natural consequences.¬† Okay, sometimes the consequences weren't so "natural."¬† But that was the system and it worked (for them).¬† It worked so well that when we had our home-study updated a few years back, the social worker asked them, "Do you have rules in the house?'¬† Oh, yes, they assured her there are rules.¬† "Well, what happens when you break the rules?"¬† They looked at each.¬† They looked at me.¬† They thought.¬† Dead silence. Tick, tick, tick.¬† Finally, one… [more]