Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What to Look Forward to When Your Child Turns 18

Kat commented:
I would love to hear more about what life looks like to age out with brain issues. Causes, effects, what works, what doesn't (and why), ideas to try etc. I would like to have a better idea of what improves with time, fewer hormones, more awareness and what might get worse. Almost all of our kids age out. What happens ever after?

I should begin by stating that as in every situation, every child is unique and this has certainly been true of the 5 "adults" we currently are parents to. As our children hit "adulthood" they do so in varying ways. However, here are some things that you can look forward to. The first set are things that as parents we can have a paradigm shift about. We can change OUR thinking and thus our approach.

1) You are no longer legally responsible for them. This is so freeing. It has changed my perspective in several ways. No longer do we HAVE to accompany them to court hearings (even though we still do). We don't have to worry about their false allegations resulting in child protection investigations, because they are no longer children.

2) They are not required to live at home. I have found it quite freeing to be able to say, when they are complaining about something that they hate at the house, "you don't have to live here. You're free to go at any time."

3) ANything that is done for them is now a gift even if they don't see it as such. I remind my "adult" children sometimes, that we are not required any more to provide them with anything. What we are doing for them is strictly because we love them, not because anyone is making us do it. This may sound harsh and unnecessary to people who are raising neurotypical kids, but for kdis with RAD who are always calculating what they are "owed" this strikes a cord that seems to make sense to them.

4) It's all on them. While I am willing to give advice when asked and help out when it is necessary, I put all the responsibility back on my kids when they become "adults." They ask me how to get out of a mess and I ask them to tell me what they are thinking. I remind them of their "adult status" and ask them to articulate what they are going to do. I make it clear that I cannot force them to do anything anymore because they are adults so they have to make their own choices.

Now, some things that I have seen change in some of our kids as they mature:

1) Yes, the finally start to figure some things out. Slowly, as they are faced with their own adulthood, they start to put pieces together. Well, at least some of them. Kinda. :-)

2) They do a lot less blaming. I have found that my kids do less complaining and blaming of me when I continue to put things back on them. I remind them of the choices they have made and they do less arguing than they used to as teenagers.

3) They ask for advice more and actually listen to it. Something happens and suddenly parents are a resource instead of idiots. But this only takes place if they are asking for the advice, not if it is unsolicited.

4) They begin to put together some connection between their own actions and the consequences. They blame us less, I think, though they still have moments of "this is all your fault".

The years from 18-25 are tough ones for anyone, and our kids who have all these challenges, are going to face tough stuff. They will make mistakes. They are going to stumble and fall several times. As parents we can help by standing alongside and offering a non-anxious presence as they bumble through the consequences of their choices.

I have found myself free of the blame that I had when they were children and able to disengage much more quickly from their nonsense. I am no longer responsible to know where they are or what they are doing, and that is freeing to me. I no longer feel like I have to give them money for non-essentials (not that I've ever done much of that, but they could guilt-trip me, or try to, when they were younger).

I am not sure how much different THEY are, but my entire view is different for my adult children who have graduated from high school. Now it is their time to make it or break it... my major parenting responsibility, according to the law is done. That means that I am free to give anything and everything I want to, but i don't HAVE to do it.

There is a fine line between support and enabling, and I'm not sure we always do it right. But we try.

Wow, what a bunch of random thoughts. Do any of them make sense or ring true with any of you?

Blessed Quietness

I'm at my office again, early, after a workout with Kari. You can read more about that here. I am now involved in my hour of writing, which as I mentioned earlier is a long time. My goal is to work on blogs for 15 minutes and then to write for 45. It's harder than it seems.

My kids are sleeping in until around 9:30 or 10 this summer (they are required to get up at 10) and I am enjoying these few hours in my office (the one outside my house) to get things organized. Nobody else is in the building this morning and it's very nice.

A few more thoughts on suffering this morning from I Peter 5:8.

And now, on to blog an answer to a comment about what to expect when a child turns 18....

Good morning everyone. It's going to be a great day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Upcoming Training in Minneapolis

Writing is Hard Work

For as long as I can remember, i wanted to be a writer. However, I am discovering, that in order to be a writer, you have to write.

The amount of self-discipline it takes to write is amazing. Much more than I ever dreamed. But this summer I am committing myself to writing 45 minutes a day, first thing in the morning. I find that hte first 10 minutes drag on. I am just so unmotivated. But then as I get moving, it gets better and I seem to get into it about the time I need to stop. However, I have other things to do. I am getting up 45 minutes earlier so the only thing I am sacrificing is sleep. I did go to the Y this morning and spent some time reflecting on Scripture and blogging and entry called "You're the Reason I'm suffering" If you're an adoptive parent who shares my faith this might be worth reading.

And now I'm on to face my day. I finished a chapter of a book I was asked to contribute to and I'm thrilled to ahve it done in one morning. I really thought it would take too...

Everyone's pretty quiet out there in comment land. Am I getting boring? What's up with all of you? What should I blog about?

Monday, June 28, 2010

When it begins well....

Up at out the door this morning, and to the Y by six. I love starting the day that way. I weighed in. Ugh.

However, I am now at my office. I have actually had my "devotions" and written about them in my Scripture as I See It blog which has gone neglected for some time. If you share my faith and would like to see my thoughts today, you can click over there.

I'm now going to spend 45 minutes writing book two..... I have to write 12 chapters and only one is done in rough draft format, so there is a long ways to go.

We had a mellow weekend at our house and I'm recharged and ready to go....

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Being with my parents is a nice reminder of "the way we were" and a reminder of how my parents put up with lots from my brothers that we are currently dealing with with a couple of my kids. Mind you, my bothers were both born to the same parents as I was -- the same exact gene pool -- they were healthily attached growing up -- and my mother hasn't had any alcohol in her entire life, so certainly there was no exposure in utero. They were raised in a very moral, conservative Christian home, just as I was. But their choices were so much different than mine.

One of my brothers, brilliant beyond brilliant, had a full ride scholarship to an Ivy League school which he finally quit having spent his first year, back in the early eighties, experimenting with large quantities of alcohol and many mind-altering drugs, LSD a personal favorite. He spent years hitchhiking around the country, getting odd jobs here and there, and hooking up with many various women, in and out of relationships. All the while very happy, he certainly was not living the moral lifestyle that my parents had dreamed for him. He hustled pool, gambled, and participated in a whole lot of things my parents definitely did not approve of.

When he was in high school I can remember the first time I saw the pill in his girlfriend's purse, and I was completely shocked. But what I am reminded of the most in regards to our current life, is the way that he would stay up all night and cook and mess up the kitchen. He was and is a wonderful cook who loved to experiment with all kinds of interesting new foods and spices, and when I came home on breaks from college I can remember hearing things sizzling at 3 a.m. and the house being filled with odd scents. He never asked permission and never thought about how it impacted anyone else in the house.

My youngest brother struggled in school. He absolutely hated school. He was also a "punk rocker" who wore his hair in an 18 inch striped raccoon mohawk. He was depressed a lot of the time, and lumbered around, bringing friends in and out who were very odd looking and smelling. They lived with my parents sometimes -- this was after the oldest of us had gone on and moved out -- and my parents were always compassionate and giving, welcoming people into our home whenever they needed a place. He finally finished his GED in his 20s, but still didn't move out.

In fact, the only way that my parents ever got him to move out was by selling the house out from under him and moving from Denver to Arizona. He had been renting for them in exchange for upkeep, but they weren't doing the upkeep and finally my parents just told him he would have to move because they didn't own the house any more. That seemed to work and since then he has been able to find enough work to keep himself in an apartment.

During the years of their greatest rebellion, in their teens and twenties, my parents did a lot of grieving. They were saddened, convinced that they had done something wrong. They cried and rethought every decision, wondering where they had gone wrong. They finally concluded that the boys had their own free will and that good parenting doesn't always equal good decisions on the part of children.

I write all this to remind myself that my parents put up with a LOT from my brothers -- many of the same things we are enduring. They still pray for them, believing they will "come around" some day. Maybe they will. At least both of them are not needing my parents money. ;-)

So maybe I should be a little more patient with the crazy behaviors of my kids. After all, even my parents who I think did everything right, had to deal with a lot of this. It's a healthy reminder that our role is to provide guidance and allow them to make choices, pray and hope for the best, and compassionately love and forgive when necessary. SOmetimes parenting isn't all it's cracked up to be. ;-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Adoptees Have Answers Newsletter

Click here to view...

Oh What A Night!

Bart and I were in attendance at a 50th Wedding Anniversary Picnic for some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. And it was a classic demonstration of the biblical statement, "The rain falls on the just and the unjust" because their celebration was cut way way way too short with the coming tornados. We came home and sat watching the TV in the living room and seeing the storm through the window until finally moving to the lower level of the house. That's when the electricity went out. Jimmy and Dominyk were the only ones home and we sat in the dark waiting for the storm to pass. Then the obsession with the electricity began.

"When is the electricity going to go back on? Shouldn't you call Excel Energy and tell them to come over and fix it? Why doesn't the TV work? Why doesn't the fridge work? What about the Wii? My clock radio? Why is it so hot, does the air conditioning run on electricity?" When is the electricity going to be on? Did you call them

The storm passed and we took a drive out of boredom. Mike had come home and was also bored enough to ride along, so the five of us surveyed the damage and continued to be reminded by Dominyk through the whole drive that if we wanted the electricity back on we really should call Excel Energy and have them come look at it. No matter how many times we tried to explain it we still couldn't get him to figure it out.

We arrived back home by 9:30 but the electricity still wasn't on. Now it was getting very dark in the house and Dominyk was scared. He kept asking how much longer until the electricity would be back on. Finally we couldn't take it any more and sent him to his room.

The night was a weird one. Bart uses a C-Pap regularly so he couldn't sleep well, so he went from room to room, recliner, to recliner, back to bed. I slept, but was so hot and so unused to the silence that I did not sleep well at all.

Finally, at 8:45 this morning, over 13 hours later, we had electricity.

OCD, tornados, and the electricity off is not a combination I want to experience again very soon. Sorry for the repeat joke for those of you who are on facebook, but at one point last night Dominyk said, "Everything seems to run on electricity!" to which Bart responded, "Everything but your mouth!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Look Who's Already Leaving

this time it's different. This time it's much harder. Each time the decision is made to go for another "visit" to bfs house the stay is longer. But being with Gabby non stop the last week or so has made it much harder to say good-bye this time.... both to her and her mom.

From the bottom of a deep deep hole

Wow, am I tired. I feel like I'm down in a hole. I had a strange night. We got home at 11:30 and Bart and I talked until 12:30. I then fell into a deep sleep but had a dream that one of the girls had crawled in bed with me with Gabby. However, I had no idea where I was. When I woke up, I looked around trying to figure it out. I literally had to study my own bedroom in the dark for several minutes before I realized I was home.

Then at 7:15 this time I woke up and looked at my watch, which I had forgotten to change and then asked a very confused Dominyk (who had just been awakened by Bart for summer school) why he was up walking around at 5:15. It took me a while to figure out my mistake. All of this had me very confused as I tried to get up and get moving for an 8:30 appointment.

I am STILL dragging. Drying to guzzle some caffeine, but it isn't helping very much. I just feel so out of it.

Yesterday's trip home was fairly calm all the way. Gabby had slept well so she was rested and feeling better. She travelled very well, thanks to Salinda's excellent parenting. SHe is so good and patient with her and always tends to her every need. Salinda and I had one of the best conversations we've had in years on the plane. Somehow we didn't get seated with Sadie and so we had a long time to just talk. She ended up saying she was glad she had come (much different from her view on Tuesday) and we ended the trip on a positive note.

Now that we're back I look back and am glad we made the effort. My parents were happy, the girls were fine, and I got to know my granddaughter and my daughters better. It was exhausting in many ways, but worth the effort. And I got a four generation picture. That's gotta be worth all the hassle.

Now if this caffeine will just kick in and I can get some energy.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Complex Seems More Simple at the Moment

A few years ago I used to blog every detail about Sailnda and my intense feelings about our relationship, the negative ways that we interacted, and the stress she caused me (and I her). Since more and more people who could happen to come across the blog have gotten involved in her life I have stopped sharing details, but I know that you have correctly assumed that it has not gotten less complex. The layers of stress that she lives under every day (at her own choice (the reasons for which I cannot for the life of me pin down) are pretty incredible, and yet she continues to choose them.

As a parent, I believe that children, especially in their upper teens, should make their own choices with guidance from their parents and live with the consequences. I spend time thinking of ways to rescue her, but then in the end I don't. I just let her face them, one at a time, and help here unravel the messes when she asks for help, which isn't often.

Bringing the girls and the baby to AZ was a gift to my parents, and I had to tell myself that often this week as things were getting more stressful. But after a blow up between Salinda and I, the air was cleared and the rest of the trip has been fine.

Last night she remembered she had two different friends here in town and they were able to come over to the hotel and visit with the girls while I worked in the lobby bar (no, I did not get drunk. Nor did I get picked up? Can you imagine that? Me, such a vision of beauty :-> (emoticon for sarcasm) being ignored in a bar full of middle-aged businessmen? Not a single one approached me.

Gabby had not slept more than a couple hours at a time up at my parents, but us all sharing a hotel room I knew would be tricky. I asked God for the gift of 6 hours of sleep and Gabby slept SEVEN straight. The girls are still asleep and Gabby is lying next to Salinda playing quietly. Ocassionally she will poke her head up over the pillow and glance at me. It's very cute.

So from here everything looks pretty simple. There are challenges ahead, but we'll face them one at a time. All is calm now, and it will all be calm again sometime, with some stress in between. And if we can make it, one day at a time, we'll all survive.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

IF Gabby Ain't Happy...

We have had quite a week. The change in altitude, location, a lingering ear and sinus infection, and a few generations of folks to get stressed left us with some challenges. Whenever Gabby is doing well, Salinda gets rest and she is calmer. The less Gabby sleeps, the more challenges Salinda has.

But apparently, as we left my parents this morning, me in tears as usual, hoping it's not the last time I see my father, something changed. Either the medicine the Dr. gave her yesterday or the de-elevation, or SOMETHING happened, and she did not make a peep all day long. She slept almost the whole way. And she has hardly cried at all after fussing almost constantly for four days straight.

We are now in a hotel room with only one bed. I have to figure that out -- will need to ask for a cot.

BUT, I had good talks with my parents. They got to know Gabby. And by tomorrow night we will be home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Surviving the "vacation"

Just returned from the doctor with Gabby. Gabby is fine and we're getting a new prescription. I'm not going to blog all of what happened this morning, but the bottom line is my daughter didn't have enough sleep, she took it out on me. She wants me to change the tickets and head home early, but I'm not going to do so. We just got here Saturday night.

Off again away from internet.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am Alive!

My dad, age 87, with Gabby...

Finally sleeping. ;-)

My mom, 81 and always upbeat.

Gabby's first experience with a high chair. We had to finally take her out of it because this is all she did!

At Denny's so I can have internet and post pictures and let you know that we are alive. Other than a 60 minute trip to the store on a Sunday to buy a thermometer to prove that Gabby did not have a temperature. Other than that we've had a nice stay.

Church yesterday has a story you'll enjoy. I was playing the piano because it was the best option they had there (which is sad). My mother was leading the service, and she asked for people to give tributes to their fathers. I stood up to talk about my father's great sense of humor (he is now almost 88 and still sharp as a tack and full of funny things to say. My two daughters were giggling way louder than they usually do at my stories and as I sat down at the piano bench to play a hymn I had never heard, they pointed in such a way to show me what was making them laugh. Apparently, a knee-high nylon had gone awry in the washer and was falling out of the sleeve of my short sleeve dress for all to see. That's me. So there you have it -- sophisticated me in a different church, nylon dangling. I couldn't even focus on the music I was giggling so much.

My Mom and Dad are awesome people. If you are a new blog reader you don't know their story. You can read it here. They are having fun getting to know Gabby and are very regimented in their routine. so we are just going with the flow. Above, some pictures for your enjoyment.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When your iphone is your only internet

My only Internet is on my iPhone right now meaning I am typing this with one thumb. We made it safely though gabby was very fussy on the car trip. There was a forest fire so the trip was over five hours. We are heading to church in a few minutes then taking my dad out for fathers day. I will attempt to find wifi in town at least once a day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

One of Those Moments

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

I had one of those moments last night. I went upstairs, planning to pack, but not not having the motivation, and discovered that Gabby was in our room rolling around on our bed. She's quite able to do so now, rolling over and over, almost able to sit up on her own. She likes to be held facing out so she can see everything, and I was lying on my side and Wilson was entertaining her. I had her propped against me and I was lying watching Wilson's face as he attempted to coax a smile. He, as you know is a beautiful child, and watching his loving face was a priceless thing. After a few minutes of this, Gabby rested her head on my arm, straightened out her legs, got comfortable and fell asleep. Wilson stayed a few minutes, watching her, Bart was snoozing in his chair, it was quiet in our room, and amidst all of the stress and confusion of the last few days (I haven't had time to blog much of it), there was peace.

It was one of those moments, and I snapped a not so great shot of it myself with my Iphone so I could share it with you.

I'm packing up my computer now, and we're going to head out in about 45 minutes to the airport. I'm hoping to be online a bit over the next few days, but can't guarantee anything.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guess whose going to be spending time with Grandma?

I can't wait for my parents to meet her!

Wilson Baseball PIctures as Promised

Right up Tornado Alley

Sadie and I made it to our hotel about 5 and were supposed to be leaving for the shower about 5:45. There was a tornado warning in effect in the county we were leaving, but Bart said he thought we'd be fine and so we headed out a little late because the warning expired at 5:45. However, we got about 10 miles down the road and heard that the path of the tornado which had been sighted was going straight up the road we were on. The exact path of our journey.

I remained inwardly calm for Sadie's sake, but figured we were better off getting there than trying to find a place to stop (which probably wasn't very smart). However, we made it safely.

The shower was very nice. Our future daughter-in-law has a wonderful family and a very supportive church. We made it back to the hotel safely and are now heading to pick up Salinda and Gabby and heading home. We leave tomorrow for Arizona.

More later... I hope.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I am swamped trying to get ready to go to the shower tonight and getting work done. I had so hoped to have time to post some very cute pictures of Wilson at last night's game, but instead I am going to work.

Had a great time celebrating our anniversary last night with dinner out before watching the rest of the baseball game.

Hopefully I'll have to blog more later....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back Home

Jimmy is a very lovable human. He has a gentle spirit and he is kind (except to his brothers, but that's pretty typical). He can be incredibly "naughty" -- that's the best word to describe it -- even at 18, but for the most part he's helpful and easy to get along with. He's very curious and asks lots of questions.

He often says things that make me chuckle as he attempts to understand the nuances of the English language with his limited IQ. One of my favorites was last year when he asked why they wanted to name a restaurant after Leann's Chin.

Yesterday we were driving along the highway he said "I want to get some glasses that are exactly this size except smaller."

He's really fun to travel with. Of course, so is Wilson, who is quiet as a mouse with only a few pithy comments to make.

And Sadie was the driver. She's improving more every day. She takes it very seriously, tries hard to learn, asks questions, and is not over confident. I'm getting more and more comfortable in the passenger's seat every day. Tomorrow she'll have more opportunities to transport me.

On the trip this morning I did a lot of thinking about how to pull the pieces of my life back together. I realized that since my surprise surgery in February things have been very disjointed and I need to pull everything back together again. I need a routine, some goals, and some plans to get myself back on track again.

Part of my problem is that I always have something scheduled and think "I'll do that after I get back from ....." or "I'll start that after ....... happens" and then I never start. Maybe I'm just going to have to figure out a way to have a stabilized routine in spite of the comings and the goings. At least that should be the plan.

So here I am, back at home, ready for the next thing. A call That just came.

Bad Idea

Spending the night didn't turn out like I had planned. I was especially exhausted, the hotel room was on the second floor and there was no elevator, and the bed was so soft that I woke up several times very stiff. Wilson and Jimmy seem to a had a good enough time, and Sadie got to spend the night with a friend, so they enjoyed themselves. I didn't enjoy being away from Bart and I'm just not feeling all that great.

Jimmy broke his glasses and seems to think he can see fine with my old ones, even though they are pink. He actually looks better in them than his old glasses, but I think it's style rather than color. ;-) I have given up trying to explain why the prescriptions and vision is different and how it's not good for him and decided that considering the way he fixed the old one -- with scotch tape -- that I'd rather look at him wearing my pink ones.

Today I have a perm appointment (which I definitely need) and then we'll head back as I have a conference call this afternoon. I'll be glad to get back home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary... to the finest there is

It's my anniversary and I"m in a hotel room ... with Jimmy and Wilson, with Kari and a couple of her kids next door. ANd I miss my husband. This was not good planning.

My husband is, as you know, the finest there is. He is a wonderful father, an articulate writer and speaker, and about as witty as they come. We have FUN together, even in the not so fun times. He is absolutely trustworthy, and makes me smile so often.

Last year we were in Philly together and that was fun. ANd in that post I detail the last four tributes.

I don't know what else to say except that every year is better than the one before ... at least when it comes down to how wonderful my husband is!

I Like your Beard

A few weeks ago Bart heard this song (which will not embed so you'll have to click here). He insisted that it ends with "I like your beard" to which Tony argued profusely that it did not. To the point that Bart paid the 99 cents for me to download it onto my ipod to play it in the car and prove it. Since then, "I like your beard" has become Bart's favorite way to tease me. (OK, OK, so I have a few unplucked chin hairs. Who cares?)

Anyway, a couple days later, Tony said, "I found the video to the song and now I know why it ends with "I like your beard." She's sitting around the fire with some Amish guy. I made a screen shot of the You Tube to show you Tony's definition of Amish in the picture above.

JImmy has been refusing to shave his neck and it's gotten really disgusting. So last night when Bart said, "I like your beard" I said to Jimmy, "You know, he never says that to you because he doesnt' like your beard." "NO, mom, it's because he knows I don't DRINK beer."

Apparently for three weeks Jimmy has thought Bart was complimenting my beer. WHich I never have had a taste of in my life. I live in a hilarious world.

SO this morning, someone was messing with my IHome that charges my Iphone. They turned the volume way up and since I had played the song to the Coffees this weekend when they were here for dinner, it was cued up on the iPhone. I was jarred awake this morning by that very song and have had a headache ever since.

Last night we watched WIlson play baseball. He was quite cute and I have several pictures to share with you at some point -- although I promised I would not show the ones I took of him adjusting his nut cup.

Today I've already been to take Ricardo to summer school, taken Jimmy to see if they could fix his broken glasses, taken him to the dentist, and then stopped by to pick up Salinda's contacts. We're leaving for Luverne soon because I have a meeting there and a perm appointment tomorrow. I'm going to get there early so I can fit some work into my life. ALso, I'm taking the Ipad with the keyboard so I can work while Sadie practices driving which may or may not work out for me.

SO here you have it. Busy busy summer, eh?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ever wish you could hear Bart preach?

Have at it.

Here's a new blog with a couple months of sermons on it. I just found out about it yesterday. Oh the irony.

Stuck in the Loop

Have you ever put Itunes on Loop by accident? That's what my brain gets like sometimes. Last night I got stuck in an endless loop of thought in regards to Salinda's situation which is way too private and complex to blog. I just kept thinking it and rethinking it, rehearsing conversations I'll probably never have. I was awake from 3-5:30 trying to sort it all out and it was driving me crazy. So I woke up late, got to work after giving Leon a ride home for weight lifting, and dove in to my inbox, forgetting I hadn't blogged.

Last night we had a great time at our church's outdoor service, with our friends, another adoptive family we hadn't seen in a while, in attendance as well. John and his girlfriend, at their own suggestion, asked to join us and it was fun to spend time with them. John and Jimmy decided that they could pull the gf and I up the hill. It was a bit more than they bargained for, but they made it, muscles straining, Bart and Leon pushing from behind, and Jimmy's pants falling nearly off he wears them so low. Their very manlihood in question, they had to prove they could do it. It was quite a steep hill. (And obviously my self-image is fairly in tact because nobody in their right mind would post a picture of themselves that was this unflattering). But John's gf is beautiful isn't she? They have come up with two choices for the baby's name which are both strong Bible names that I love.. Isaac and Eli. Now we'll see if saying I love them jinxes the whole thing.

So last night was fun. I'm exhausted by the whole loop thing and I have several responsibilities for driving today as Bart has back to back meetings. I miss Rand and our kids need bikes. But I get to have lunch with Leon and his gf today and that should be great fun. I've decided taht instead of taking everyone out to lunch every couple weeks, that I'll take them out one by one and if they have a significant other, they can come to. So far I've taken Jimmy, Rand (right before he left), John and gf, Ricardo, and today Leon and gf. Pretty soon it will be time to start over.

I better get back to work. But I didn't want you to think I had died or something.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Morning in Church (or Squirrels? SQUIRRELS????)

This morning several churckles were brought to me courtesy of my children. (photo above is one I discovered this week as I was going through old pictures for the wedding slide show. It was the day he lost his first tooth)

After dropping the rest off at the front door, Dominyk rode with me to park the car and somehow I started to talk to him about my first cat that our family got when I was about five. His name was Bimbo. Dominyk asked about the name and said it was really stupid. I said, "Hey, it came from a song I liked when I was five." I sang it for him:

Bimbo, Bimbo, whatcha gonna do-ee-o
Bimbo, Bimbo whereya gonna go-ee-o
Bimbo, Bimbo, does your mama know?
You're goin down the road to see a little girl-ee-o.

He shook his head, and said, "That's just tragic."


When we got to church, I sat next to Leon, who was next to Sadie and WIlson. WIlson and Leon both freaked out again at the sight of my crooked toe, which WIlson reminded me, gives him nightmares. (see original story here)


Bart asked in his sermon, "Have you ever had a grown child come up to you and admit that you're right?" What do you do, after, of course, you've picked yourself off the floor. Leon leaned over and said, "If that ever happened to you, you wouldn't be able to get yourself off the floor.


And finally, Bart mentioned in his sermon that he and Kyle had gone to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Science Museum on Friday. Domink leaned over and said, "Squirrels? Sea Squirrels? I've never hear of Sea Squirrels. Why would they go see them if they were dead?

Sunday Morning Conversation

Jimmy is walking out of the bathroom with that bathroom's tube of public use toothpaste and MY toothbrush.

JImmy, did you use my toothbrush?


Give it to me.

(He hands it to me and fortunately it is dry.)

Were you going to use it?


So you were walking to the basement sink with my toothbrush and some toothpaste but you weren't going to use it. Were you going to hold it? Look at it? PLay with it?

No, I was going to brush my teeth with it.

Jimmy, that's using it.

Well I don't have a toothbrush.

But that's gross. Just because you don't have one doesn't mean you can take someone else's.

(He starts to walk away)

Where are you going?

Upstairs to brush my teeth.

But you don't have a toothbrush? Are you going to go steel the one I have in the upstairs bathroom too?

No, Dad has some new ones in your bedroom.

So why didn't you use one of those in the first place?

He shrugs and walks upstairs. After my shower I call up to him.

Jimmy, give me the toothpaste.


Because I need to brush my teeth.

(He throws it down to me and I explain to Bart that he had tried to rip off my toothbrush to which he replies)

That's not true. She's been using MINE.

No JImmy, I've been using the same one for four months. You have NOT been using that toothbrush.

(Oh wow. This is one of the few times I have wished with all my heart that one of my children was lying).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Enough Already

I went to pick up Salinda. She didn't end up coming back with me. There was drama. I won't go into detail.

I came home. I scanned pictures for the wedding slide show. By the time I was done it was time for supper.

Supper was over. We did Karaoke with the Coffees. It was fun. Dinner was fun.

Then an adult son and his buddies came over. He has this incense that I have seen him burn. It smells to me like weed, but it isn't. And so I have told him not to burn it. But he apparently did anyway. Or they smoked weed. Either way it's annoying.

I'm tired. I want it to be over. The day, not my life.

I should never blog after 7 p.m.

What You Don't Want to Happen When You're Skimming through Blogs on A Peaceful Saturday Morning

Before I tell you what you don't want to happen when you're skimming blogs, let me say that the above picture was altered using Photoshop Mobile on my Ipad. Pretty cool, huh?

Apparently the police didn't call ALL the parents last night, but they did call the Coffees. Sure, sure, call the coffees and not us so that I have to wake up in the morning and discover that my daughter snuck out last night. Of course, had they called us, they just would have interrupted a very nice nights sleep that I just had so I guess I'm not complaining.

But finding out my daughter wasn't in bed last night by reading my best friend's blog is a little disconcerting. Of course, it was fairly harmless teenage behavior, but I'm up to my ears in deception and manipulation from having endured it for 10 years from one teenager or another, so it gets more than a bit annoying.

A phone call from the other daughter's side of things was also very anxiety filled, which it always is, though I decided not to take action at this point in time. Usually the drama plays itself out in about a day and if I intervene it is just a waste of time and emotional energy. After a while you see patterns develop and not being part of the pattern, when it is so predictable, seems like a good plan.

I was reminded of my analogy of raising teens being like teaching them to drive when Sadie was driving yesterday. It was downright frightening. But I knew I had to stay in the car and take it as it came.

Cindy talked about her being so proud of Fabian today and I am too! But as Cindy explains, these years of deciding who they are going to be takes it's toll on each of these kids and, maybe even more so, on us as parents.

They are asking themselves difficult questions. Whose value system am I going to embrace? Whose way of life am I going to follow? What is going to be important to me? Who am I going to listen to? Am I going to conform myself to act like my peers even if they are making poor choices? Am I going to try to fit in or try to find a niche for myself that is unique?

And if these questions, difficult for any young adult, are made more difficult to answer by adding adoption to the mix, especially transracial adoption. Am I going to grow up to be like my parents, or my birthparents? Am I going to act the way I see other people acting who look like me -- like a person of color -- or am I going to behave like a white person like my parents? What does it mean to be one or the other, or can I really be both?

I used to work very hard to try and stop my children from making bad choices. I would follow them around and try to find them when they ran away, stay up late and check their rooms, lose sleep and worry, consequence every bad move, ground them, and all kinds of other things. And you know what? 3 of the oldest 6 have chosen to go a very different path than we would have planned. And four of the six aren't embracing our values. A couple of them are so far away from what I would want for them that I can barely accept it. And the two that are making good, moral choices may not ever be able to live independently. It's fairly discouraging. But it proved a wonderful point to me. You can't FORCE teenagers to be the person you have in mind for them.

So with this next bunch I'm trying to relax a bit. Focussing on honesty and communication. And yet they are still insisting, often, on doing things the hard way. But over-consequencing because I"m disappointed or angry with their choices isn't going to stop them from doing it again. It's just going to make them more sneaky and more angry.

Raising teenagers isn't fun. Their brains aren't fully developed, for goodness sake. They can't seem to appropriately process their own emotions, they blame their parents for everything that goes wrong in their world, and they tend to be disrespectful and angry when things don't go their way. Currently I am legally responsible for six teenagers and that just doesn't seem right. Of course there are two more that are 18 and 19, so we really have 8 teens. Something about that screams "Proper Prior planning prevents pitifully poor performance."


Friday, June 11, 2010

Proving his Point...

Yes, it has been as calm as I predicted it would. This week has been very mellow, even with the transition from school to summer. The noise level is way down and everyone seems to be quite calm most of the time. Certainly there are typical teenage behaviors, but the consistent arguing has almost dissipated. Everyoneandawhile Dominyk and Jimmy will go at it, but for the most part, Dominyk and Jimmy both seem kind of lost without Tony and Rand to argue with, provoke, and be provoked by.

The minor children that we have at home this summer have made great choices in regards to the friends they have and so they are busy connecting with them and off doing their own thing. Last night everyone but Wilson went to youth group and so we asked him if he'd like to go out to dinner with us, and allowed him to choose the place. He couldn't pick a place though, so we chose to go to the new "Pita Pit" in town, and meet the Coffee Gang for dinner. Suddenly Wilson was quite displeased with us, refused to eat at what he pronounced the PItta PIt, and sat and pouted the whole meal, glaring at us. He's not all that cute when he pouts.

But it's a nice relief to have pouting and silence as opposed to raging and threats of violence. Normal stuff almost.

This morning everyone who is home is still asleep and I'm enjoying a morning with no appointments. Yesterday I scheduled a ton of them for the summer.

Yesterday, Jimmy told Dominyk, "You're more retardeder than me." I wonder how well that goes in proving his point.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zero Kids Waiting June Edition

Click here to check it out.

The Office

Not the show, but mine. This past fall we opened a local office for Permanent Family Resource Center. Previously there had been "local offices" but they were really in my home office, which was not conducive to things like student interns (kinda hard to say, oops, sorry, please step over that huge laundry pile and come on in.)

So now I actually can "go to work" and have a place where i am uninterrupted. In fact, it's always scarily quiet here as this office happens to be in a building where most of the other units aren't rented. So literally nobody is around. I can get a lot done, but it certainly isn't like most people's experience of going to an office.

This morning I am enjoying a family's excitement via phone as they have the last staffing before they leave to get their new kids. When I first met them they greeted me with the statement "We know we want an infant or a toddler, and that we do NOT want to adopt out of foster care." After knowing them for an hour, I explained to them why I felt they might be wrong. At the end of this month they are getting a sibling group of 3 and one of them is 15! I'm so excited for them ... but not as excited as they are. They are completely up for this challenge and the kids are SO fortunate to be finding a home.

Other activities of the day include hopefully getting organized and back on track with all of my various work related tasks. I made some great progress yesterday, and I'm hoping by the end of today that I will be feeling confident again that all my loose ends are getting tied up and I'm ready to keep moving.

I need to get organized so I can carve out a few minutes a day to write again....

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What's More American than Baseball

i actually had quite a productive morning. Finally.

And today was Bart's birthday, so tonight we decided to go out to eat with whoever was home. Leon, Wilson, Bart and I had a great time at a nice restaurant. They are quite delightful boys. You can tell that Wilson has been watching too much Food Network with Bart though as he was telling us how many stars should be given for the "plating" of the food.

Jimmy and Dominyk went to the Twins game tonight with a group from church and they seem to be having a great time. WE sent Dominyk's PCA just in case, and got a text from one of our friends with the picture above saying that he is doing great.

After dinner and a few rides here and there, we settled in to watch the cutest kid ever play his game. He did well. Now we're home, settling down with only two kids here at the moment. Seems quite weird.

Trying to sync the Ipad and then I'll be ready to head up and get some rest. ;-)

Technology Orgy

I hate to spend money on myself. I hate buying clothes with a passion. One of my favorite shirts, which my husband despises, I bought at Walmart for a buck 11 years ago. He seems to think I shouldn't wear it any more, but I like it. I have about 4 pair of shoes, one of them, that are my "good church shoes" some friends bought for me in 1993.

But unexpected money in my mind always equals technology. And since we had some this week, I felt a need to go ahead and buy myself a new computer. And when there was extra, hey, I needed a new Ipad too. And so I went out and bought a much nicer one than the one I bought for Bart ... SO THAT I could give the newer one to him and take the old one from him for myself. It was a blessed few days of getting things all set up -- which can be a bit annoying when things don't work right -- but now I am raring to go. I get so much more accomplished with faster, newer machines. For some reason they motivate me.

So this morning I have a new lease on life -- all due to my wonderful friends at Apple. Oh how I have loved them. Ever since 1988 when I bought my very first Macintosh 2ci (pictured above. No, not actually MINE, but a stolen google image of one).

Here are a few stories of recent days that should give you a chuckle.

Tony, very interested in joining the army when he graduates, mentioned he might like to join RSVP at school. SInce RSVP in our town stands for Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, I asked him if he might mean ROTC.


Bart and I were having a mild disagreement the other day and Dominyk overheard us and said, "You guys getting divorced? YEAH!!!! TWO CHRISTMASES.


Last night one of our "adult" children pointed out that the dog was much calmer when we had only three kids at home. This demonstrated faulty reasoning on his part for two reasons: We have NEVER had three kids in the house (went from 2 to 4) and when we got the dog we already had 9 children. Sigh.


This same son has put to beds together -- two twins. So when he and a girl were napping together with her arm draped around him and I accused them of breaking a family rule about not having someone of the opposite sex in bed with you, he simply replied, "it's two beds." Sigh again.


Bart asked one of our sons yesterday who isn't living with us if he could send him a CARE package. He responded something about an ice cream cake.


Well, enough Fletcher comedy for this morning. Ricardo is ready for me to take him to summer school. He has actually smiled a few times this week. Maybe we're making progress....

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Day Without Blogger is LIke...

well, probably like a day you were spared from listening to me whine and whine. The first part of the day started out well. My trip with John and his girlfriend to the doctor went very very well. We had a nice time, found out that the baby is not a girl, and also, most importantly, found out that he is very healthy and there are no complications with the pregnancy or the baby. I got to be there for part of the ultrasound and saw him open and close his eyes, open and close his mouth, and could literally see every bone in his tiny little feet. He is due on October 21 and it will be nice to meet him.

I arrived home to find that one of our adult sons was back in jail for driving without a license. They only kept him overnight and then let him go without bail or anything. He says this time he will stop driving it. SIgh. I love FASD. :-> (the emoticon for sarcasm).

After this news I was given a very hateful lecture about my worth by my youngest daughter who is usually the sunshine of my day. She was upset about something else and of course, I'm the target. But when she gets stuck it takes a while to get her out of that mode and it is an exhausting process. Dominyk determined that I was a horrible mother and told me about it over and over again, and Wilson was even mad because I wouldn't go pick up a friend at 9:30 p.m. to come spend the night. By the time I went to bed I felt like pretty much everyone in the world was unhappy with me.

I keep making careless mistakes because my life is over run with too many details. I am getting very annoyed with myself and am finding it hard to live with myself. I'm hoping today I will be able to organize myself so I can start the summer off on the right foot, so to speak.

Hope everyone else survived their day without blogger.....

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Messy Bits

Things are what they are. Our lives have their twists and turns. I'm handling it ok at the moment. I just decided to take Sadie to see a movie and then shopping. And one line in the movie made it worth seeing.

The plot -- a woman, a widow, is searching for a man she loved fifty years before. They are driving around Italy looking for every man by that name to try and find him. At one part they drive up to this huge mansion and her grandson says, "Wow, Gram. You could have all this after skipping all the messy bits." To which she responds, "Life is the messy bits."

This morning in church I was in tears as we sang this song, especially the line in bold:

When God restored our common life, our hope, our liberty,
at first it seemed a passing dream, a waking fantasy.
A shock of joy swept over us, for we had wept so long;
the seeds we watered once with tears sprang up into a song.

We went forth weeping, sowing seeds in hard, unyielding soil;
with laughing hearts we carry home the fruit of all our toil.
We praise the One who gave the growth,with voices full and strong.
The seeds we watered once with tears sprang up into a song.

Great liberating God, we pray for all who are oppressed.
May those who long for what is right with justice now be blest.
We pray for those who mourn this day, and all who suffer wrong;
may seeds they water now with tears spring up into a song.

Sometimes this seems like it's all we do. We sew seed in hard, tough, soil, soil that is hardened by a mental illness early trauma of our kids. And it gets so hard to hang in there. It seems like nothing we are doing works at yet, we go forth, weeping at times, plugging away. It's so hard some days.

But as the older woman said in the movie, "Life is the messy bits." And so I'm planning to continue to plug away at the messy bits, sewing my seeds, with the hope that some day the seeds we watered with tears will spring up into a song.

Sunday afternoon

All of our kids who currently live within less than an hour of us were in church this morning. We went out to lunch to celebrate Bart's birthday and for Father's Day, his birthday and our anniversary I gave him an Ipad, which is very cool and he is setting up right now. A brief unpleasant interchange with one of the adult kids was the only ugly part of our morning, and it was resolved via text within the hour.

I'm finding that texting sometimes is easier to deal with because I can choose my words more carefully. I'm currently attempting to keep my mouth shut and every ugly interchange that we have is because I don't do that. I need to buy a muzzle. But with texting I can decide exactly what I want to say. I find myself deleting a lot of the words that I want to text before I send them, and it is usually better that I do.

It's very strange only having 7 kids living here. Sometimes this last few months we had 11 kids, a baby, and sometimes a boyfriend or girlfriend spending the night. Now we're down to 7 with one of them gone almost all the time, it really feels like an empty house. It's so nice and quiet.

My anxiety seems to go in cycles. I feel a lot of it, and then I remind myself to let it go and take a deep breath, and then it seems to die off for a bit. I think I'm ready to take a break from the intense anxiety for a a day or two.

Tomorrow we find out if John and his gf are having a boy or a girl. I'm taking them to the doctor.

And this afternoon? I am trying to make a plan. I think maybe I'm just going to make my own plan that doesn't require anyone else's cooperation.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Church Directory Pictures: Not a Fun Time

They actually weren't that bad. ANd there was a couple of good shots where everyone smiled but Ricardo who refused, but that's pretty typical. Salinda couldn't come down, Rand and Tony were already gone. and Mike had to help a friend get out of jail, but the other eight kids were here.

Kyle made it down for the picture. Not sure how happy he is to be here, but he's here. I was going to try to have a lengthy conversation with him, but I've decided not to. He doesn't seem all that communicative and I"m tired and it was a cranky morning for me.

I'm Grand Central Station. And sometimes that makes me crabby. I'm the one who coordinates everything and I'm the one who ends up with everyone unhappy with me because of it. I try to be the scheduler, but then if things go wrong, I end up the one to blame. They text, they call, they gripe, and I get stuck in the middle fielding all their complaints. Sometimes it hardly seems worth it to attempt to plan anything.

I had a couple of conversations I was planing to have with a couple of my adult sons and I'm just going to skip them. They couldn't care less about my feelings or anything like that so there is no point in trying to explain them to him or trying to get them to talk. In fact, they are so out of touch with their own feelings that it may not be possible to even have that kind of a conversation.

I guess I fantasize about things like that. Normal conversations with adult children. Might not be all that possible.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Give Yourself a Break

I have some children, both "real" children and "adult" children, who have some tough stuff to deal with. And I am finding myself continuing to shift from anger to empathy. It's a better place to be.

For so long I was wrapped up in the need to stop them from making bad choices or then to point out how bad their choices were that I couldn't help them. Now I am doing better at seeing their situations for what they are. I am sure that my more compassionate response to them can't be worse than what I was doing before.

We have attempted to raise children who have depth of character, even if they have disabilities. We don't hand out money they don't earn. We confront them and have conversations about their behaviors. We model strength and tenacity. And when the hard times come, we weather the storms and show them how it is done.

Some of my kids are facing storms of their own right now, and I can see glimpses of character. I want them to succeed, and some of them really do want to succeed. They are trying hard. They are being confronted with all kinds of stuff. And they are doing OK for the most part.

I have been watching people beat themselves up online lately if they can't do more for their kids -- if they can't be what they feel their children need at any given moment. They are so hard on themselves and have placed so many expectations on themselves, concluding that if they are good parents every day, their kids will "turn out ok."

It's a lie.

In some situations, we have barely survived our children. We haven' been great parents every day. Bart has done better than I, but I have had many days where I have gone to bed knowing that I didn't handle things the right way. But I have moved beyond beating myself up about it all.

I did not drink when I was pregnant. In fact, I never got pregnant.

I have not abused, nor have I neglected, any child.

I have not been responsible for a single move any of my children had before they were teenagers. When they moved in my house, they were claimed and allowed to stay.

I have not taken drugs, smoke, or drank in front of my children.

I have not been an inconsistent caregiver.

I am not responsible for the damage that my children had when they came to me.

And so I take care of myself, I claim my kids, grab on to them, and hold on to them forever in my heart. I try to listen, try to understand, give advice when asked. I attempt to be as loving and kind as I can be each day, but some days I blow it.

I do not think that my children would have "turned out better" had I been a perfect parent and tried everything every book recommended. I think that had I done that, I would be more exhausted and more discouraged. I have simply chosen to do my best, apply what I can, learn from my mistakes, and offer love, forgiveness and grace.

So my challenge to you is this: Give yourself a break. Don't add more expectations for yourself to your life that make you feel bad if you can't fulfill them. Don't get wrapped up in the idea that somehow if you don't parent a child exactly the right way you are taking a chance at messing up their lives or keeping them from healing. As an adoptive parent, you aren't the one who did the damage.

Today Kari was at the end of her rope. I picked her up. We went to our favorite coffee shop and we ate tasty high-in-calories food. And we laughed some. And we reminded each other that we weren't the problem.

Someday I hope this blog reports that most of my kids have found their own success and happiness. I hope that I can report that they are connected to us and somewhat grateful for what we have done for them. But, if they haven't, I refuse to blame myself for having done something wrong to cause whatever messes they find themselves.

I'm not going to make much money with my theory of parenting very hard children. My theory is -- give yourself a break, change only what you can (which is you), don't sweat the small stuff, and grab whatever joy you can. Manage your anxiety in whatever ways you can, and survive.

It's my theory and I"m sticking to it.


Today is the last day of school. It's usually a day I dread, but this year, I'm glad. I'm tired of the morning routine, I'm tired of the stress of the school, and as mentioned earlier, I am tired of the perpetual loud noise that my two sons who are leaving today fill the house with on a continual basis. I"m tired of their lies and I'm tired of their obnoxious arguments. I'm ready for a break.

Now that does not mean that I don't love them. I do love them. And they are both very happy to be going where they are going. So I htink it is OK for all of us to be a bit happy.

I am dreading a couple conversations I need to have with a couple adult sons this weekend. They will be emotionally charged and I tend to rehearse conversations in my head if I know they are going to be difficult. And I'm tired my OCD tendencies that cause me to go over and over them again and again in my mind. I annoy myself.

Salinda's bf's mom starts chemo today. Would appreciate your prayers. She is there, trying to help out as much as she can.

Bart comes home today, and for that I am grateful. I miss him and his quiet non anxious presence in our home. Those of you who know him know what I"m talking about. His silent strength keeps me grounded. WHen he's gone I feel just a little off center.

So for the last time this school year, I"m heading to wake up a couple kids and get this party started. After a half day of school I'm heading to drop off the noise. ;-) Going to get to see my husband too, and take groceries to Salinda's bfs family. Full day for a last day, huh?

It will be nice when all these things are accomplished.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

At least when I don't ahve time...

to write a well-thought-out blog post, someone else does.

Read Kari's today about Dr. Phil's show on RAD kids disrupting. It's insightful.

It's 7:58

And I've already showered, given a football player a ride to lift weights, helped finish up three eighth grade English assignments that were due today (I refused to start working on them at 9:30 last night. I was way too tired and impatient. Told her she had to get up at six if she wanted help which she did).

I am now going to wake up a few more teenager and a very cute 11 year old and we are going to head to school for the next to the last day. THen I'll head over to my office and possibly, later, blog something worth reading. I'm still chewing on the comments from this post. Does anyone else have feedback? It was missing under lots of pictures and some of you may have missed it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bitter or Better?

One of the things I think adoptive parents battle daily is bitterness. The things we have been put through by our children can make us cynical and angry where we begin to focus only on the negative. The moments of joy that we are given each day are overshadowed by the not so fun times and we have to constantly remind ourselves of the good in our lives. When we are asked about our journey we tend to focus on the negative instead of looking for the positive.

I went to a conference about anger over 10 years ago and something was said that really struck me. He said that if you have an orange in your hand, and you squeeze it, orange juice will come out. But that you can't get orange juice out of a lemon. In other words, if there is no anger inside you, then no matter how much circumstances squeeze you, the anger won't come out unless it's there already.

I have often asked myself that over the years since. "What am I angry about? Why is this particular child getting to me today? What unresolved anger do I have in my heart?"

Everything that happens to me can make me bitter or it can make me better. At this point I still feel that it's my choice. Maybe some day I'll get to the point where I don't feel I can choose anything but bitterness but for now I am still choosing to let what happens make me better.

But for now I'm holding to the Edwin Markham quote:

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Will it Help? or Do you ever get that feeling of Deja Vu?

We are back at the same point with an adult son that we have been at before. He is beginning the spiral downhill that he managed to avoid for two months. He has FASD and RAD and nearly zero relationship with us. But to this point he has been working full time and holding his own. Until he got the car, which was the beginning of the downhill journey.

I am frustrated with him and I am worried about him. And his refusal to get out of bed this morning stresses me out. I am facing a week of dealing with him alone. But the bottom line is this? Will me freaking out, yelling at him, expressing my frustration, lecturing, or any of the many other things I've tried work?


So maybe just trying to kindly find out if there is anything we can do to help (besides throwing cash at him) and not escalating him or making him angry might be the best response at this point. "Kicking a kid out", even if it's an adult, and making him homeless sounds pretty easy from the outside. But for those of us who have done it before, it isn't pleasant.

And then we look at his disabilities that are so clear and ask ourselves if we would do the same thing if it was a child that has another kind of a disability? Can you imagine a family deciding to kick out a child with Down's Syndrome when they became an adult because they couldn't do what their parents asked of them?

So if we minimize the effect he has on everybody else (to this point he's been pretty innocuous for the most part) and try to respond with compassion, it probably won't help to change the outcome, but it will most likely not destroy the relationship.

The real key, and, as the Adoption Counselor reminds us, it is always, always about me, is for me to remain calm and understanding and not just griping at him, and pointing out that he is screwing up his life. I doubt that is going to impact him at all if I do that... because I've done it a thousand times before. I just need to take it one day at a time and try to be as helpful as I can.

At least until Bart gets back home and we can figure out our next steps....

The Beginning of the End

This is the last week of school and transition times are not fun. However, my mantra, as Cindy also pointed out, is one day at a time. Last night we went and picked up Salinda and Gabby because Salinda has a traffic violation court hearing today. It really was an honest mistake as she (and I) were not aware of the law that she broke. She has not put it this way, but it seems to me it could have had been a racial microaggression. She had her brights on and was pulled over for that reason. She had 2 other friends in the car (she and bfs sister were giving a friend a ride home in our car. All three of them are people of color). The officer checked all of their IDs, gave them a long lecture, and ticketed Salinda for having more than one person under 16 in the vehicle with her, which is a law in MN (the one I didn't know). I don't know if it was anything having to do with race, but I wonder if all the kids had been white if the officer would have been so overbearing.

It's interesting how when a white family adopts a child of color then they become a family of color and all these kinds of issues come up.

Our adult son who is now a vehicle owner arrived home sometime after five. He has some friend sleeping downstairs with him -- I discovered that when I went to wake him up. I started to lecture him, but he said, "Mornings aren't the time to talk about stuff. (which meant, do you have to embarrass me in front of my friend) and I said, "It's the only time I ever see you. You're never here unless we're not here with people here that aren't supposed to be.

Bart leaves today until Friday night. My biggest challenge will be keeping my mouth shut with that particular "adult." As long as I can control my own anxiety and relax, things go OK. It's when I let them get to me.........