Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome Back A Fib...

I guess I forgot to tell you but on Thursday morning I went back to the cardiologist who reported that my heart as already reconverted back to A-fib but that if I am feeling better the meds must be working.. He is going to be gone for two weeks and if I start feeling awful again he will try another procedure then. However, that will require a two day hospital stay which they should be very nervous about, because I would be feeling reasonably ok and probably torture them all. ;-)

Nothing on the agenda today except that Isaac and Courtney are coming by for a while. I'm at my desk, one of my favorite places to be a on a Saturday. There's something freeing about being here and knowing I don't have to be...

Yesterday I was in the middle of an 11 hour training day -- an hour to set up, 8 hours of training, an hour to clean up, and an hour to discuss progress over lunch. About 3/4 of the way into the day, I got this picture via email on my phone from my husband. he know I wouldn't make it on time to see isaac.

Is he cruel or what?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I like my husband

and I'm not very excited about being away from him. But otherwise it's been an OK night.

I swear I'm really kind of a loser. When I'm alone I just sit in the quiet and work. I don't often listen to music, I don't turn on the TV, and so I won't feel guilty about being away from home I make sure I work hard.

So I'm down to 10 emails in my box. I may just have to go get a snack and go to bed early.

I'm glad I'm never bored though. Always plenty to do!

Sharing the Journey -- Voices of Adopted Persons

Sharing the Journey—Voices of Adopted Persons
~a panel presentation by adopted persons~

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is pleased to host Sharing the Journey—Voices of Adopted Persons. Our panel of presenters , from teen through adult, will discuss their varied experiences as adopted individuals. Come hear their presentations as they share issues of importance through their own personal adoption stories. Share your questions about raising adopted children with those who have lived the journey of adoption.

We welcome 14 year old and older children to attend.

When: Wednesday May 2, 2012
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (check in 6 pm – 6:30 pm)

Location: Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Center for Changing Lives
2400 Park Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55404

Fee: $15 per person; $20 per family

Feel free to download and share the flier.

Not much new, but one thing is...

I woke up at 5:30 this morning, mind buzzing, and couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up and headed to the shower, plotting my morning routine. I went through in my head where everyone was until I realized that there is no school today because it is spring break. I could have slept until 8 (have doctor's appointment at 8:45). But now I'm up, have showered and am getting things done. I need to pack as after the appointment I'm heading to my office and then back to the Cities again as I have a full day of training tomorrow.

For a while I've been thinking of starting a Christian adoption Facebook group for people in Minnesota, but I found out that Hope Blooms already has one so I've joined that and am lucky enough to have been made an administrator so that I can add those who are interested. Let me know if you are by sending an email or commenting here and I will add you to the group (assuming you give me enough info to let me know who you are. Sometimes it's tough on blogger to know someone's name if their Blogger ID is ILOVEBEINGANADOPTIVEPARENT or some such thing and the profile page is blank.

But for now the one person who has to get up for work this morning won't answer his phone so I'm going to have to go wake him up.....

Let me know if you want to be part of it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From a Well-Lit Noisy Hotel Room in the NorthEast Metro

Everyone is up and we are getting ready to go. Dominyk is being his naturally annoying self... Bart is being his placeful parent self ... Wilson is giggling at them and poking fun at me and I'm just longing for quiet.

My facebook status the other day was a quote from Dominyk? Did I tell you about it? I can't remember. He said,
"I'm not intentionally annoying you. I'm just a naturally annoying person."
True dat.

Very productive but exhausting day yesterday. Morning of shopping and working followed by a great interview/collateral meeting by a county team that awesomely presented a challenging child to one of my families. I love to see really good casework being practiced!

Another meeting was followed by dinner with Kyle and Christy which was fun enough... and then it was almost time for bed.

Heading back to the real world today.... much to do, mind spinning, planning, thinking, dreaming like my old self. Dr. appt tomorrow. Hoping my heart rate has a normal sinus rhythm. That would be great news!

And we're off....

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From a Dark Hotel Room in the Northeast Metro...

A very cute 13 year old is sleeping at my feet wrapped in a comforter bigger than he is. A quite large almost sixteen year old is snoring loudly in the bed in front of me, and a quite handsome, I must say, adult male is in the shower. Mmmmm...

Last night Bart had a meeting here last night and we both have meetings today so we left at noon drove a while, stopped for lunch and then drove up to the hotel. The boys swam while we took "nanna naps" as they call them in Australia. Bart went to his meeting and we ordered Davanni's pizza (yum) and the boys watched TV or and further explored the hotel fitness center, vending machines (Dominyk, the pop god), etc. They got me hooked on an episode of my 600 pound life which really didn't mix well with Davannis, especially during the skin removal surgeries. Just sayin. It's pretty weird to see someone who has lost 300 pounds and still weighs more than me.

Today the boys and I are going to do a little shopping and then they may see a movie while i am at an interview with one of my families. I think it's a perfect match. So does the family. Hopefully the workers with the power will think so too.

Then tonight we get to have dinner with Kyle and Christy. Kyle is our one son who is successful by anybody's standards. He's 25 year old and we adopted him at 11. He's college educated, a sixth grade teacher, and married to a girl we love. The picture above is from their recent trip to Mexico over spring break, which I downloaded without permission from her Facebook. :-)

Should be a good day. Everyone at home seems to be fine.

Lots of things buzzing in my head about things.... it's so good to have enough energy again to think about the future and want to live it!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's the little things...

The last couple days there has been some stress at our house. There is an unbloggable situation that our kids don't know about, but I think they can sense something and Tony and Dominyk, who are the thermometers of the family system, were out of control....

You know, it's little things that most families embrace that cause our kids to nut up. Example: Last week our high school basketball team went to state. So many of the kids took off from school early and rode the fan bus to the game. Also, the "nice" parents, called their kids in absent for those last couple hours because the kids didn't want to be the "losers" who got stuck at school. We, however, knowing that the last two hours were study halls for everyone, and that our kids had several missing assignments just a few days before quarters end, just had our kids stay in school. You would have thought that there had been a life-threatening disaster the way a couple of them responded.

Then today is the last day of school before Spring break, and Dominyk, Wilson and I are going to head to the Cities with Bart. I can work anywhere, and Bart and I both have meetings that we can work around, so we decided to take everyone who could go. Tony asked if he could stay with our youth pastor instead who (because he is a saint and one of the greatest people we know) agreed to the plan. The other four have jobs and have to work, so we're going to let them be here without us for the 48 hours we are gone.

But these little transitions make our kids go bonkers. I don't think other people realize just how much the little things count.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Celebrating two cool things this weekend...

1) Leon turned 17 and chose to go to Olive Garden with just he and Wilson last night. We had a very mellow meal. There are few kids like Leon in the world. He is compliant, respectful, kind, generous, caring and patient. He has lived with us since he was 12 and has been consistently a joy to parent. I'm so sad that he's seventeen already. I don't want him to grow up and move out. ;-(

2) I got invited to host a seminar at the Together for Adoption conference in Duluth, Georgia this September. I'm super excited as this is one of the largest Adoption and Orphan Care conference in the country and it's gonna be awesome.

In the midst of celebrating though we have had our share of ups and downs -- bought a new love seat for our bedroom that we're trying to fit in there. Not easy, especially with the number of very large "helpers" who have so much very loud "input." We also have some unbloggable stuff happening again.....

But there is always that moment of joy to celebrate if you look for it!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Residential Treatment Part Ii

There were so many responses to the post I wrote about the Myths of Residential Treatment that I thought I would address some of the comments.

First I'd like people to understand that I really had only one point in writing it. I don't want people to have to endure the things that we have had to live through because of the decisions we made to put our kids into residential. We have pretty strong evidence at the moment that the RTC decisions we made did not serve our kids well. The two that spent the longest time there are currently incarcerated and have fathered children, one born and one unborn. The third that was there for a few weeks was pregnant at sixteen and even though doing well, is not in a place where she is happy.

So this is a personal thing for me and seems to have become my mantra in the past few months -- helping people benefit from the mistakes Bart and I made. But I must point out that we didn't feel that we had any other options and we made the best decisions we could knowing what we knew then. But I really I don't want others to go through what we have, knowing what we do now.

But my main point of this post is to address the comments made and continue the discussion we've started.

First, we obviously understand parenting difficult children and how sometimes the only answer for the family system is to place a child out of the home. We did it twice by our choice. So if it sounds like I'm stating that nobody should do it, I get why people have to ... but in looking back, and based on comments here, I see how many people regret their decisions because of the damage it has done on the relationship. It may be a person's only choice, but there will be ramifications.

Secondly, I think Tubaville Quilts and DF made great observations when they talked about how there is a huge gap there that needs filling. There are no services between a few hours of PCA (if you're very lucky with the new laws) and Residential. Something to help families during crisis that doesn't involve giving temporary custody and decision making power to the county that may never be returned. It's a huge risk and we need something in between.

Third, the statement "Maybe I could check MYSELF into a RTC?" made me think about how awesome it would be to have a place where parents could go -- while their kids were somewhere safe -- for more than just a night. Where they would KNOW that their kids were fine and they could truly relax for a week or so. And while the parents were in that setting they could meet other parents who have learned other approaches that might work and brainstorm ideas and feel renewed. There have been weekend retreats that have been sponsored that are wonderful, but I just don't think that a weekend is enough -- and often only one parent can attend. DF and I were talking yesterday about a respite house... I'm wondering if this is something that an Orphan and Adoption Care ministry might undertake as a project... and my wheels have been turning.

Fourth, those of you who have been in and work in RTCs have validated. I really appreciate the insider perspectives of Anastasia and Psychesick. But I was kind of hoping for someone to jump in and really defend RTCs and give me examples of ones that are working, so thanks to Kathleen for providing some of that.

Not intending to leave anyone out who commented, but just wanted to continue the discussion. What can be done for families who are parenting VERY hard children and need something more? What programs are out there? What programs should be created?

My Style and the Way it Bites Me in the Butt Sometimes

Yesterday I taught the Adoption Competency class and realized something about myself. I have a particular teaching and writing style that isn't always easiest to live with -- for me, for my superiors, and even for the participants of my trainings or the readers of my blog or books.

I tend to make extreme comments, sometimes reflecting bias, that engage people and get them thinking. I say things that are a mile away from where some people are to move them an inch. I often will frustrate people on purpose in order to get their attention and then deal with the fallout because engaging them, waking them up, and pulling them into the conversation is more important than me keeping myself out of trouble.

When I was sick I found myself doing this less. The main reason was that I didn't have the emotional energy to withstand the fallout of being misunderstood and the chances of making the wrong people angry and the things I would have to do to try to explain myself. So I was very careful to do things "by the book" when I trained and on my blog I barely had energy to type entries about how little energy I had, which had to have bored you to tears.

But now that I am back and have some energy I did just dive in with my last post on RTCs and most likely was more offensive than I intended to be. I even had a couple people read through that post to make sure it wasn't too harsh before I hit "Publish Post" but it still came across that way to some of you who I would hate to offend because I have a lot of respect for them.

I wonder if this isn't something that a lot of people go through in the adoption field as they get older. They may start their careers like me -- with all kinds of ideas, making risky decisions, driven by child-focused passion and the desire to make a difference in the system. But gradually they get less and less motivated to put themselves out there and say and do things because they have to pay the price of the fallout again and again and again. And pretty soon, it's very difficult to approach things the same way.

I struggle against that every day in one way or another. Do I engage people, spout biases to see if they catch them, make far-out extreme statements that catch their attention and then walk around cleaning up messes I make? Or do I just start to say rehearsed things, proven by research, that will never offend anyone?

Do I make risky placements or approve a family because I have a feeling in my gut that this is a good family or the right family for a certain kind of child, or do I do things that will be easiest -- only approve home studies of families that have curb appeal, only place children who are guaranteed not to disrupt, or only submit cases to ICPC that will clear without a fight? The older and more tired I get the greater temptation I have to surrender to the system and behave myself.

My good friend Jodi, who is an awesome person, has this as her email signature:
Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

I want to live like that, but I am feeling the pull at 48 to behave myself. Maybe I'm too old to make history. And I'm beginning to understand those who are not willing to pay the price any more to fight the status-quo.

Lord help me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Myths about Residential Treatment

Lately it seems to me that more and more people are talking about "finding a placement" for their kids who seem out of control. It's almost an automatic thought now that so many of us are connecting online and know that there are lots of families who have found residential treatment options for their kids. But now it seems that we sometimes head there way too quickly.

As a parent who has had three children in residential setting for a brief period of time, I feel like I should share the reasons why we no longer look at that as a viable option for our kids, even though a couple of the ones at home now are as difficult or more difficult than the ones who ended up in residential 8 years ago.

Before I start this post I want to make something very clear. If you, your other children, or your "out-of-control" child are truly not safe, then finding a placement is your only option. Notice that I did not say that disrupting or dissolving the adoption is an option -- I said finding a residential placement. I am working on some thoughts about disruption and dissolutions for a later post when I get brave enough to address it.

I also want to be clear that this is based on my observations while my kids were in about 7 or 8 different facilities. There may be others that are different and I'd love to hear about that, but this was our experience.

So, here are some myths about residential treatment.

1) Residential treatment will fix a kid. It doesn't happen. The kids sometimes learn a few things -- but, as my friend Kari pointed out when we talked about this today -- children with FASD have difficulty generalizing their learning so they may not be able to apply what they learned in residential to a home setting" In addition, if you haven't figured it out yet, organic brain damage and mental illness can't be fixed.

2) Staff at Residential Treatment Centers are all very educated experts. We often think of these places as being filled with individuals who know all about brain trauma, FASD, and the other issues our kids face. It is possible that there is one, possibly a few, of those people at an RTC, but the people who have daily interaction with the kids often aren't experts at all. Of all the RTCs that our kids were in, the one that was MOST effective had these qualifications for the staff who were supervising the kids: A GED and a Driver's License. (and based on who they hired, preferably big enough to restrain a large teenager). I looked up the hiring qualifications once just out of curiosity. Sure, in order to get licensed the facilities have to have a certain number of professionals there and they do see the kids regularly. But not every staff member is trained and clued into how to help our kids.

3) Residential Treatment Centers have all kinds of new methodologies to help kids. In all actuality, most RTCs have level systems which are very similar to a sticker chart that we have tried to use with our kids for years without success. One of the most disturbing things about some of these places is that it can take a very long time to get up a level, but you can be dropped multiple levels in a day. One of the most difficult things to see was when Mike was in a facility and he was 3 days away from Level 3 having worked for several months to get there. At level three he was finally going to be awarded a home visit. He impulsively grabbed a bottle of conditioner that he saw in a staff members office and found himself back at level zero, looking at three months to get back to where he could have a home visit. What followed that, as you can imagine, was several weeks where he was depressed and not motivated at all to even try to get off level zero and his behaviors plummeted.

4) Residential Treatment is available to adoptive families without a hassle or court or county involvement. Unless you are independently wealthy and can afford the $150 or more a day that these places cost, you will need to have the support of your county and often an open child protection case in order to access this for your child. This can create a very difficult situation that never seems to end. I know very few stories of peaceful and cooperative relationships with counties when a family is trying to access this level of services for a child. Often there is conflict, accusations, investigations, criticism, and the involvement of many people in the life of your family who have varying agendas. It's often not pleasant.

5) You will be an equal and valued member of the treatment team by RTC staff. I could give hoards of examples of how this was not the case when our kids were in treatment. County workers, Guardian ad litems, therapists, and even our kids themselves had more input into the plan for our kids than we did. We are both post-Master's level educated professionals who are articulate and bright, and we were treated as much less than that once we opened our doors to the "system" to get help for our kids.

6) A child or teen will learn to trust you more after being in residential treatment. This certainly has not been our experience. Our kids learned to be incredibly manipulative in order to get their way when it came to placements and they were successful in convincing many people of things that simply were not true. They were empowered to trust us less and rely more on those who they felt could make things happen in their favor.

7) The relationships with peers in residential treatment will be healthy, wholesome, and a part of their healing. Basically RTCs are full of the kind of kids that we don't want our children hanging out with. They form alliances with these kids, and, according to Mike, learn how to be criminals by hanging out with them. He also claims to have been introduced to drugs while there. In addition, he developed a network of individuals across the state that would harbor them when they ran away from home.

8) When a child leaves residential he/she will be grateful to be home and thankful that you gave them the opportunity to heal while away. It's the opposite. Our kids came home angry that we "locked them up" and to day do not recognize that we did it with their best interests in mind. One of them is still very angry and talks about it often.

9) Residential Treatment will help kids learn what they need to learn to function at home and in society. Unfortunately, RTCs are set up to be revolving doors. The expectations are set up and the reward is to go back home. However, just because a kid can function in an RTC doesn't mean they can function the same way in a home setting, so they work real hard to get home... and then within a few weeks they fall apart because they don't have the same amount of structure. That results in them feeling like failures, the family feeling like a failure, and them heading right back to where they came from. Eventually, as our kids have told us, they end up "institutionalized" and jail is the only place they can function as adults.

10) Residential treatment is a better place for some kids than a family. Children and teens need relationships with a completely committed parent. If a child can't be safe at home, than a parent who is very supportive of them in residential is the next best thing. But if there is any way to safely keep a child at home, that is the best place for them.

Many people now are choosing residential for one of two reasons: a) Because they really believe that it is the best place for their child, which as you can see above, I really don't believe it is. or b) because they are tired of dealing with the behaviors that their children are displaying and they want a break from the daily responsibility and drain that a child is on them.

Grant it, I have been there and I am there with a couple of our kids. I would love to have a break from their crazy thinking, their destruction of our home, their threats and verbal abuse, and their oppositional and uncooperative behaviors. I would love to have their siblings be able to enjoy a family meal without an outburst or have a fun family activity without a meltdown. But the bottom line is that our kids are safe and so are we -- and therefore I need to figure out ways to connect with my kids, not send them away with an idealized dream that they are going to get fixed.

Wow, this is harsh. I wasn't intending it to be this way but I guess I have a lot of anger about what our family and our kids went through as we attempted to seek help.

You may feel like I have just dashed your hopes because you were counting on residential to be a solution, so I don't want to leave you without hope or an answer. After my years of experience, I am more convinced (and if you've heard me speak you know that I talk about this every change I get) that as parents we are the ones who need to change in order for our kids to heal. Our responses to them -- choosing not to escalate them or argue with them -- is what will make a difference. Using approaches that are calming and relationship-building instead of consequencing and condemning will go a lot farther than sending them away to get "fixed" by a bunch of "professionals."

Especially those of you who are dealing with younger children -- using a different approach can help you avoid the things we have been through (that I touched on above). Using attachment based models like nurturing heart, or PLACE or empowered to connect, or beyond consequences can make all the difference.

I won't be surprised if there are those who disagree with me and I really hope that is the case. I hope that there are stories out there of families who have kids who were greatly helped by residential and who had positive and helpful relationships with the professionals who were involved. I'd love to hear them.

But for now I am beyond convinced that UNLESS there is a serious safety issue, Residential Treatment is not the answer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Benefits of My Undesired Sabbatical

i guess the last few months I've kind of been on a sabbatical of sorts, although it was not fun, I didn't ask for it, and i certainly didn't enjoy it or end it feeling refreshed. However, I did learn a few things that I want to incorporate into my life as a result of these months of being exhausted all the time.

1) I learned how to rest. I learned how to listen to my body and allow myself to sleep or nap if necessary.

2) I almost learned how to relax. When I had no other choices, I could sit and do things that otherwise I've been unable to thoroughly enjoy without the stress of wondering what I could have been doing if I hadn't been "wasting time" relaxing.

3) I learned to pay attention to details. When it required effort just for me to get through my normal routines, I had to go through details in my head for things that were almost automatic. Even my shower routine in the morning was a calculated procedure with me reminding myself as I went through it what needed to happen next. This habit will be helpful now as in the past I got in a big rush and often forgot details.

4) I learned to lean on others instead of doing everything myself. Bart was amazing while I was sick and I had others who helped make up for what I couldn't do.

5. I learned to break things down into small steps in order to accomplish what I absolutely had to do in a day and not trying to do any more.

In looking back over the last few months, especially February and March until the cardioversion last week, everything is kind of a blur. I realize that I made some errors in judgment -- hopefully none with major consequences -- but some of those are bothering me now and I'm kicking myself for not making better choices.

But being out of the fog I now realize just how bad the fog was. I was really out of it. Everything seems brighter now and it feels good. Now I'm just going to keep finding out what I did or said that wasn't the best judgment and explaining those things to people as I go along.

But from here on out hopefully I'll remember the stuff I learned and can transfer it into a more energy filled existence. :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I think I might be back.....

Yesterday I worked a 12 hour day. Now THAT's the Claudia I know and love. I worked out first, then drove to my office and pounded out all kinds of work, even though it was slow going because I was working on files, which is not my thing.

This morning I've already been to the Y for the second day and have started putting updates on my Steps blog so if you are on a weight loss journey yourself and would like to talk about that we can do that there. I'm

Today I have several hours ahead of me to get work done and lunch with my friend Sue and I feel like I have energy to do it all and that is a WONDERFUL feeling.

I have a couple of topics I've been thinking about blogging about but they may be a bit controversial and I sometimes avoid those things now. I think I learned while I wasn't feeling good to avoid things that would cost me additional emotional energy.... I'm wondering if I should keep practicing that philosophy or dive in again. :-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm heading to the Y and then to my Office...

Today begins the no wheat experiment and I'm heading back to the Y.... I will blog about all this junk on my other blog.

Went to see John last night. Sometimes talking to him is like talking to a talkative wall. I know, there is no such thing as a talkative wall, but it isn't like talking to a regular wall because walls don't talk back.

He says something. I explain my response. He doesn't understand what I'm trying to say, so he he repeats HIS comments, which I understood in the first place. So I try again to explain what I meant and he says to me, "no, Mom, you don't get it." Ugh.

Isaac and Courtney spent the night on Saturday and went to church and out to lunch with us yesterday. Ever since he was a very very little baby I would say to him, "who is the cutest baby in the world?" and then I would say IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIsaac. He has learned to say his name and it tickles me to no end (as my mother would say) that he says his name like I say it, making the I last a long time. Now all I have to do is walk up to him and say, "Who's cute?" and he'll say "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIzah...." (that's how he pronounces it.)

Dominyk kept having him do it and then made one of his truest comments, "That's NEVER gonna get old."

Dominyk also made an insightful self-aware comment last night that cracked me up. I told him to stop annoying me. He replied, "I'm not intentionally trying to annoy you, I'm just a naturally annoying person."

Off to take the kids to school and then head on to the Y... I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It Gets Better

For those of you who have been following my blog for the last several years, you know just how difficult it was for me to raise Salinda. From 13 to 18 there seemed to be a new and more difficult challenge every day, including but not limited to, legal trouble, residential treatment, violations of probation, chemical use, a series of very negative friendships, demands to change schools nearly every semester, an unplanned pregnancy, refusal to live at home, and a long list of arguments and challenges between the two of us. I was literally, as you will recall, stressed out to the point of physical symptoms continuously for several years. I remember the days well.

This weekend she was home and she has grown up so much. She has claimed me as her mom, after years of refusing to do so. She loves me -- I can tell -- and we are communicating as adults. We can talk about the past and recognize the mistakes each of us made. She knows her life isn't always easy and that her choices have put her in a difficult position, but she is living each day with dignity. She's working at Dairy Queen and I observed her at work the other day doing her job with so much patience and kindness that it made me proud. She's in college and loves her criminal justice classes and is hoping to draw from her experiences as a teenager to be an effective juvenile probation officer some day. She is working hard to be a good example to her younger siblings and try to help them avoid the mistakes she has made.

So for those of you going through hard times and asking yourself if it is worth it -- it is. There are years when kids are teenagers when possibly the only thing you see is how much you want to disrupt or terminate your parental rights just because each day is SO HARD. But as someone said recently (I cant' remember who -- I've been living in a fog for months) the horrible teenage years only last 5 years, and even if there is an awful transition to adulthood that takes 10 for them to come around, that is still 10 years of 50 or 60 years that these people will be in my life, assuming I live to be that old. So with Salinda we had 7 great years before the hard ones, and right now it looks like we will have several decades of good ones ahead, so the five ones that seemed unbearable.... they were totally worth it. And that's without mentioning the grandkids ;-).

Hang in there folks. The obnoxious teenager who looked at you with a look of pure hatred now just might turn out be a beautiful young woman who looks at you with love in her eyes some day. It gets better, and it's totally worth it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Back to the Basics: Controlling what I Can Control

Being out of it for months was, in some ways, almost comforting. I didn't have energy to think, and thus I just existed, making it from one day to the next. And maybe with a complicated life like mine, thinking isn't always in anyone's best interest.

I also can't fall asleep to stop my thoughts any more. When I was able to sleep 10 hours a night and a couple more in the afternoon, I could ignore most of what was happening in my life. All of the situations that are complicated were pushed out of my head because I had no energy to deal with them and now they area all creeping back in.

OK, I just lied. They aren't creeping back in they are rushing back in like hundreds of wild horses trampling through my brain.

So what am I to do? Well, I think it is time for me to go back to the basics and remember to control the things that I can control, because I certainly cannot control my thoughts....

Thus my focus needs to be on controlling:

1) What I put into my mouth. I have learned that what I eat affects me a lot and so controlling what I put into my mouth will improve how I feel.

2) What comes out of my mouth. If I can focus on saying things that are positive and encouraging that will take so much energy out of my I won't have time to think ;-)

3) How much exercise I get.... I know when I exercise I have more control over my thought life -- when I feel better, I can manage my emotions and my thoughts much easier.

I lost most of this blog post somehow and am rewriting it which is annoying, and the second version is much briefer.... but...

I'm heading out shopping with my girls. Salinda is here alone (Gabby is with her other grandma, with Salinda's permission, in Texas for a few days). So Salinda, Sadie and I are going shopping, something they love, and something that I tolerate because I love them.

I'm also going to buy some stuff for my YMCA experience that will begin again on Monday. A new bag, a new water bottle, some new shower stuff (shampoo, soap, etc) ... and I'm also buying some new socks. I'm so tired of socks that have been ruined by my sons who won't stop wearing them.

So, right now I am not healthy enough physically to do as good of a job at managing my thoughts and emotions as I need to be.. but I need to focus on getting there.

That's the plan...... :-)

(By the way, diets start on Monday... they really can't start on any other day).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Last Night With Naughty Isaac (a photo essay)

For some reason last night Isaac was really naughty. He didn't want much to do with me either. After his mom came home and stayed for dinner, he was doing everything he could to get in trouble.

He climbed on the table,

he played with grandpas toys (cooking utencils),

he ate constantly, he shared his food with the dog,

and he made awesome faces every time I got the camera out as though he was posing -- but by the time the picture was taken his expression had changed (even though his grandpa's hadn't.)

Bart made this huge batch of his frosted buttermilk brownies, and Isaac put both hands into the frosting.

Even though he was pretty naughty, he was, as you can see, incredibly cute. (Recognize the shirt Kari?)

I had trouble falling asleep. YAY!!!!!

I'm sort of feeling energetic this morning. I am hesitant to say that I am completely back to normal, but I am feeling much more energetic than I have been in a while. I have actually done something this morning besides get the kids off to school, which is certainly all I've been able to do for several mornings.

Last night I had trouble falling asleep. This is the second night in a row. I used to hate that, but it beats being so tired that I couldn't get rested even after 10 hours at night and an afternoon nap!

So, let's just hope this sticks. Next week I'm adding exercise back into my life and who knows, I may even experiment with the whole Wheat Belly concept because Kari relentlessly pushes it and because Brenda McCreight has mentioned it, which Kari felt would definitely have me jumping on board..

As for now though I'm just going to enjoy feeling a bit better and take one day at a time....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just so you will say

I'm posting this so you will say "I can't believe she did that! She looks horrible!"

Right before Bart took this (his idea) I had simply remarked, "Do you like the 'off-the-shoulder' look?"

Adoptees Have Answers March 2012

Can be found here...

It's All Hindsight....

I'm feeling OK today but a bit bored with my own health issues, so I can't imagine that you aren't tired of hearing about them.....

I just had breakfast with Kari after a struggle with Dunn Brothers internet that still isn't working very well. She and I were discussing the whole parenting thing ... from the challenges of school issues with neuro-atypical kids and the criminal justice system. We concluded our conversation with her making the brilliant comment "It's all hindsight."

Parenting these kids has a huge learning curve. I now understand why there are many older folks who are doing foster care ... because there is a need to apply some of the stuff that you learned through mistakes along the way.

On Tuesday I found out that some people we met 15 years ago are still foster parents...they were then as well. They have to be close to our age and are fostering little kids with the help of their now grown kids or high school kids. I get why they are doing it!

Looking back I can see so clearly how during the days when I was feeling lucky to have survived each and every day, one minute at a time, I could have been using different parenting techniques that might have helped all of us. But then we didn't know AND if we had I'm not sure we would have had the energy.

I have been quite frustrated with some of the choices of the kids in our house who are 15-17. But I have to realize that the kids who are doing poorly at this time are the ones who didn't live with us during those years. They were either in residential treatment or had found a way to get out of the house to avoid the guildelines we place on them. The ones who are doing the best are the ones who stayed in our home until high school graduation (or are still there). So I suppose the fact that they are still in the house and we're all still OK is a good sign.

One of the things I'm having to let go of is some of the rules that we have had in the past as we have our youngest kids in their teens. By April, everyone except Wilson will be 16 or over! isn't that crazy?

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. And it's my goal, once I'm feeling "normal" again, to continue to help people learn the things that I have learned. After all, when it comes to certain issues in the realm of parenting kids with special needs, my vision must be 20/20.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Zero Kids Waiting March 2012

This newsletter features a girl that I've been thinking about quite a bit lately -- (not as in I want to adopt her, but as in she looks like a great kid who would do so well in the right home. It also has a lot of other great info.


I got Rhythm.... ;-)

At least for the moment... hopefully for good.

The procedures this morning were better than I thought they would be. The TEE that I hated two years ago wasn't nearly as annoying because they use a different numbing procedure. It was still gag-producing and gross, but not nearly as bad as before. I also had a very patient cardiologist, Dr. Wong, who did that procedure and who specifically asked me not to mention him by name in my blog. Goes to show you that I do have an ODD diagnosis.

Then Dr. Portapotti (as I call him) did my cardioversion but I don't remember that part hardly at all. I remember that he came in the room to see me ... and that I confirmed that the blood clot in my heart is gone (YAY)... but I don't remember much else. He talked to Bart and told him that I had to be shocked twice.

I came home and slept most of the afternoon. I feel pretty good considering how heavily I was sedated and all that they did to me.

THANK YOU for your prayers. Wouldn't it be awesome if I was really "back to normal" -- whatever normal is???

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Looking for a Few Bloggers to Write some Guest Articles

The Adopt America Network has an excellent post-adoption program that includes a series of articles sent out as emails to a large list of adoptive parents. So far I have written all of them (I put links up to them yesterday) but I think it would be great to have some guest writers. Sorry, there is no cash involved, but a link to your blog and any other online resources you have created would be available if you are interested in increasing your blog readership or promoting your own stuff.

Here is the list of articles that we would like to include in the next several weeks

Attachment Parenting (using ideas like those of Karen Purvis and Dan Hughes)

How to Start an Effective Adoption Blog

Ways to help further the cause of adoption from foster care

Transracial Parenting of Adolescents

Surviving the summer


Homeschooling resources

School Issues - transitioning back to school

Money saving tips

Let me know if you would be interested or if you have a specific topic that you would like to share.... Kari has agreed to write on food issues, medication and FASD...

I'm excited about this collaboration (and no, not just because it will mean less work for me)

Watching in Silence and Self-Doubt

Back in the day.... back when I was younger, had more energy, and was incredibly naive, I had a lot of faith in my interpersonal skills. I believed that there was nobody who I couldn't connect with -- that I could reconcile relationships and work through anything with any human being out there. But in the last few years I have met several people (not my children -- but people they know) who simply will not and cannot see life from another point of view. I have tried to communicate with them to no avail. It is possible that having one of my children in the middle of our relationships, skewing their thinking with attachment disordered accusations and manipulative lies, has made it more difficult, but part of it is just who they are... both my kids and the people they play.

Having been so out of energy the last few weeks I haven't been able to even think about a lot of the things going on in our family. I go from day to day on auto-pilot, barely able to focus on the few tasks that I must do in order to keep up with my work life and leaving most of the parenting in Bart's capable hands. So the stress of watching in silence and the shadows of self-doubt haven't been there.

But this morning I woke up an hour earlier than planned feeling fairly rested and started to stew. A few of the situations in my kids' lives kept coming to my mind and I realized that the greatest amount of stress is in the form of NOT speaking my mind.

I went round and around in my head about a couple emails that I want to write, but when I got to the end I realized that they would not do any good whatsoever. They would simply make things worse or at best do NOTHING at all. And I have learned not to invest emotional energy or time into something that isn't going to make a difference.

And so I ended wondering if maybe the hardest thing about the transition to adulthood for my kids is just watching in silence as they make huge irreversible mistakes. Warning them does no good -- I've been trying to teach them and show them the way for years. Reasoning with them doesn't work either. Sometimes even their own bad experiences don't help them learn.

I'm not intending to be negative here, just trying to process my own thoughts. Which is better? To express myself and be ignored or to keep my mouth shut? The results are the same, but which is better for me?

Bart and I were talking last night about the shame involved when adult children make poor choices that are dishonoring to us -- not just moral choices, but the things they say about us. It's very hard to pour your life into someone who not only rejects you (hopefully temporarily) but walks away with negative things to say about you as a person.

Another very difficult thing for me to get used to is self-doubt. It's not something I'm accustomed to or comfortable with. I have spent my life a very secure person, confident that I am doing the right thing and was always a person who lived without regrets.

But now, watching our kids enter adulthood, I have tons of self-doubt. What if I would have handled things differently? Is it my fault -- my parenting style -- that pushed them away? What if we would have had the tools that are now available and had practiced them -- would things be better for them and for us now?

Don't worry -- I'm not despairing ... or regretting our choices. I still know that our kids are better off than they would have been without us. I know that I did my best. But the "what ifs" sometimes plague me (when I have enough energy to let them. ;-) Had I known then what I know now about brain trauma and attachment and FASD, would my kids lives be different? But I didn't and there is no way to know for sure. So I hum along with Lonestar....
I try not to think about what might have been
'Cause that was then and we have taken different roads
We can't go back again there's no use giving in
And there's no way to know what might have been

Would love to hear your thoughts as to what you have found is best: Does it work best not to invest emotional energy in repeating yourself to someone who refuses to get it -- or to not invest emotional energy in keeping your mouth shut.

But even though I have all this to grapple with, I still love my kids fiercely and am convinced that, even with everything that has happened, I would have been lest satisfied with an "ordinary life."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Three Articles I've Written

Just thought you might like to read one of the online articles I've written recently.

Tired of Waiting?

Have a Kid With Attachment Issues?

Online Support Groups

Adoption Resources of Wisconsin Newsletter - March 2012

This can be found here and includes a picture of a boy available for adoption named Napoleon. Since this was Leon's name before we adopted him he caught my eye. :-)

The MNAdopt List of Spring 2012 Trainings

It can be found here. I hope that me passing this stuff along is helpful to someone.

A Few Hours of Feeling Like Me

I have no idea why -- this heart rhythm stuff is so crazy -- but yesterday was a pretty good day. I didn't take a nap for the first time in ages and for a few hours I actually felt like me. I slept pretty well last night unassisted by Nyquil (Yet wheezing quite a bit) and this morning I don't feel too bad.

I'm heading out of town for a couple days. Two of my families have interviews in two different cities to be potentially be matched with kids. Since I have typically done matches from other states, this is one of the first times I've been involved in interviews.

So tonight I'll be at a hotel and hopefully I will have some energy to plug away at some of the work I'm behind on...

But for now it's just nice to be able to do something besides sleep. I know that people have been praying for me and it feels like those prayers are being answered!

Off to pack.... get kids off to school ... and DRIVE......

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On Being a Grandparent...

My dear friend Cheryl, a roommate in college back in the 1900s (the 80s to be exact), commented on Facebook that I should describe what it's like to be a grandparent for those who can only imagine.

Well, as you know, I wasn't quite planning on, or ready for grandparenthood when it suddenly was thrust upon me. I wrote this blog post called "On being a grandma when it's too early to be one"a few days after our first grandchild was born, our daughter Salinda's daughter Gabby.

A few weeks after that post we found out that our son John's girlfriend was pregnant and that we were going to have another grandchild.

Now we are waiting for Mike's son to be born in June, our third "unplanned" grandchild.

Because Gabby has only lived with us for a few months of her 2 and a half years, she is not as bonded to us as our grandson, Isaac, who lived with us from 6 weeks to 6 months and has been at our home at least weekly since then. He is very attached to us, and is especially connected to Bart, who is an awesome grandpa.

So, what's it like to be a grandparent? It has got to be the best gig ever. Since I grew up in Denver and my grandmothers were both in Maine, I never really understood the kind of relationship that is possible and how wonderful it is. I guess, also, because I grew up with parents much older than I, grandmothers were supposed to be grey haired and old. I am neither :-)

So, being a grandparent is an awesome thing. There is such freedom in knowing that you can be a source of love for a child that you are not responsible for. It's different than parenting with all the responsibility that comes with it and all the worries about doing it wrong or right. It's pretty easy to be a good grandparent. And there is an expectation that grandparents are SUPPOSED to spoil the kids. How can that be a bad deal?

I'm not sure that I've felt anything quite like I feel for my grandkids. The things that they do that would be very annoying to me if they were my child are endearing and cute. A couple examples:

A few months ago Gabby was insisting that she was going to walk up the stairs to have her bath with a huge bath towel wrapped around her cute little butt. She kept dropping it and tripping over it and it was taking her forever to get up the stairs. Salinda is a great mom, she really is, but she was getting frustrated because she had things to do and bathing Gabby was on her list. I, however, was the grandma. I was simply enjoying watching her take her time to make it up the stairs and found her incredibly cute and charming. When it wasn't my job to bathe her, I didn't mind that it took 5 minutes to climb 8 stairs. :-)

This week Isaac was in our room playing on our bed and found a package of crackers and ate a couple. In our bed. And the crumbs got all over the sheets and pillows. That night I giggled as I wiped them off thinking of how cute he was when he was eating the cracker. Had it been one of the kids who had smeared cracker crumbs all over my bed I'm thinking I wouldn't have been quite as charmed.

I'm not sure I can really describe what it is like to be a grandma. It's just a really cool thing. It's a freedom to love an adorable child who is intimately connected to you without being your responsibility. It's a joy unlike parenting because the relationship is full of all of the happy parts of being involved in a child's life without the hard things, at least at this stage.

It probably doesn't hurt that my grandkids are beyond cute.... with cheeks that demand to be kissed and brown eyes that dance with mischief. And it isn't a bad role to be the favorite napping spot of a very small body that breathes warm soft breaths on your neck while peacefully resting. And hearing the same sounds over and over again of a favorite toy or reading the same books again and again seem way more fun when it's a special day or two of the week instead of every single day.

One of the specific reasons we adopted children from foster care was because we wanted to break the generational cycle of domestic violence, addiction, poverty, etc. and make future generations have a different choice. Even when my kids aren't making good choices or are going through hard times, I see hope in the eyes of my grandkids.

In Exodus 20, while giving us the ten commandments, God says that he will show "love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." That's our prayer.

There's nothing like being a grandparent. If you are one you know this to be true. If you aren't one yet, you have great things to look forward to.

As I said above and say to someone nearly every day, being a grandparent is a really good gig.

Friday, March 09, 2012

RAD LABS: Reactive Attachment Disorder - A Five Part Series

Held in St. Paul -- these guys are amazing and have an excellent reputation. More information can be found here.

MACMHA Conference April 22-24, 2012

In case you are unaware, Minnesota is known for hosting the best Children's Mental Health Conference in the nation. If you'd like to find out more, check it out here. I've spoken a couple times and it's a fabulous event....

Is the Campus Portal App Broken?

According to my Iphone app all of my kids made it to first hour on time, so I'm now questioning whether or not the app is broken! I keep telling myself to get rid of the thing because it is causing me stress.

(For those of you who don't know what the Campus Portal App is ... it is an Iphone App for the high school that connects me instantly to anything a teacher puts in the computer -- any time they have a missing assignment, every time they turn an assignment in, every time they are tardy to class, and every time they are absent from a class. With five kids at the High School I get text messages on my phone all day long).

It's been especially annoying lately because Sadie has been choosing school as her adolescent battleground and it's not pretty. In addition, Tony has decided he is pretty much going to end up in high school another year anyway, so he is skipping classes and not turning in assignments quite frequently. Now that Ricardo is not living with us nor in wrestling, he is skipping many of his days as well. So I get many many messages every day.

I think my reason for keeping it there is that it is one of my few connections to Ricardo even if I can't do anything to influence him. That probably sounds weird but I do miss him and like to somehow keep track of him.

Bart got the kids off to school so I could rest this morning and at this moment I feel better than I have in a few days. For those of you who are worried about me, don't be.

I did take a few minutes to talk to Bart about my funeral last night (I know, I know, telling you not to worry and then talking about my funeral in the next paragraph is kinda dumb). I enjoyed picking hymns and telling him that I wanted my friends to stand up and tell the funniest story they knew about me. I called Kari, who reluctantly agreed to do so if she didn't have to prepare a powerpoint or have handouts. Bart says he's not singing a solo and that nobody asks their spouse to do it. With all of the negative responses I got to some of my ideas, I'm wondering if I should just make a video to be played where I conduct my own funeral so that I can make sure it's being done right.

But it's more than likely that I'm not going to die, so no worrying.

Maybe we can see if I can hook up to the Campus Portal and you can receive notes about me every hour to let me know if I'm where I'm supposed to be or not? Would that make you more or less anxious?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Have No Fear, I'm Still Here

Tired tired tired, but here. Ended up cancelling part of my trip today but I had to participate in the rest of it as I really needed to get a few things done that had to be done at my office. I got there, found the file I had been looking for at home (whew) and then worked for a few hours before heading home for another Looooooooong Nap.

Trying to keep hanging in there until Wednesday when I get probed and hopefully zapped back into the person I used to be. This very tired, very old, very unhealthy body I'm walking around in sure does not feel familiar....

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Trying the Sick Day Thing

Normal people have sick days right? So i thought I'd try and take one. On top of the layers of fatigue I have a bad head cold and cough that sounds like it could be heading to bronchitis. I'm just so exhausted....

so I am taking the day off ... with the exception of several things that can't wait. I'm tending to those. I've cancelled a trip I was planning to take tomorrow...

Thanks to all of you who have left comments and sent emails. you're giving me hope that the shock treatment next week might do the trick and I might start to feel better.

That would be SO nice.

For now I'm going to try and relax... sleeping isn't possible because the noises I make when I am trying to breathe are keeping me awake... But I'm at least attempting to relax...

A couple pieces of Fletcher news:

Ricardo stopped by to get his SS card the other night. Appropriately hugged me. I told him I missed him. He said he missed me too. I left it at that. I explained why I was keeping the card and only giving him a copy and he left. I said, 'love you' He said, "you too mom." End of visit.

John had his hearing early yesterday. Apparently he trial isn't until August first. He's trying to find a friend willing to loan him bail money, but the bail is set at $75,000. not sure what the bond will be.... but it's more than we can afford.

Back to attempting to take a sick day....

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Prescribed Fatigue

So.... a brief history of my recently acquired fatigue:

November I notice that I"m dragging more than ever but don't know why. Go in for a routine INR check (blood thickness level) and suddenly am on the table shirtless hooked up to an EKG. They say that my pulse is above 193 and that I am in "Atrial Fibrillation." I get put on meds and referred to a cardiologist. I see him and he says meds should do the trick. I come back a month later and he changes the meds and says that the problem has been that my blood pressure, which has been consistently low over years, is now being lowered even more by the drugs that were supposed to be lowering the heart rate.

He explains that low blood pressure will make me feel tired and sluggish. He also says that a high pulse, or heart rate, will make me feel tired and sluggish. So I ask how I will know which one it is. He suggests buying a heart monitor.

The first one I bought was very cheap... and I knew it wasn't accurate because every time I pushed the button it was way different than three minutes before skipping from 118 to 173 to 123 to 180, etc. So I hooked up a better heart rate monitor and it was recording anywhere from 143 to 185 while I was sitting still.

Since my target peak heart rate in the past when I was in much better shape and exercising was 155, I was afraid to exercise. The cardiologist said that I should never have my heart rate over 160. So when I had the heart rate monitor telling me that I was already in the 140s or higher when I was sitting still, I was too anxious to ever try and exercise. Thus, I felt even more tired..

So today I went back to see him for the third time. I have been so wiped out the last few days it's been hard for me to even walk from one place to another and I sleep all the time. They hooked me up to an EKG and my heart rate was at 120.

He also said that the medication he was giving me had fatigue as one of it's side effects. So basically fatigue was everywhere! Take the meds, feel tired, don't take the meds, feel tired.

Today though he finally has decided that the situation is alarming enough that they have to do a procedure to shock my heart back into rhythm. Before that, though, they have to do a TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram). This is a very disgusting procedure that I had done two years ago when I was in the hospital.

So next week I go in and have the TEE done. If my blod clot is gone, then I can have a procedure done that will shock my heart into rhythm. If it goes into rhythm I can go home If it does not, I will be admitted to the hospital for 48 hours to get started on a different set of medications.

I am not sure what to think of all of this. I just know that I am beyond tired and I need way more energy than I have to live the life I need/want to live.

I'm desperate enough to try ANYTHING at this point and I'm just grateful that the doctor did something other that prescribing fatigue again!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Computerless Days

For several years there wasn't a day that went by that I wasn't at my computer for at least an hour or two. Some days I would be there for 13-15 hours a day, pounding out the work.

But lately I have been enjoying several computerless days. Not always by choice.

Even after my 12 hours of sleep on Friday night I woke up yesterday after a full day of training and an hour drive on Saturday. I was exhasuted. I can't remember being that drained on a Sunday morning. But based on the past few weekends I had told myself that I was going to be sure that I didn't snap at the kids because I was tired. And I succeeded at being a calm and gentle mom for the whole day. Of course I slept for a couple hours in the afternoon and then last night had trouble sleeping.

On top of the heart issues and all my other health stuff, I'm developing a bad cold so that isn't helping either.

Today Jimmy is going to accompany me up to the Twin Cities where I get to have staff meeting, lunch with a friend, and then head to my office to clean up from training before heading home.

I'm lokoing forward to parts of the day -- am hoping I'll have the energy for it all...

It sure is nice to have the sun getting up so early.....

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Dawn til Dusk

Yesterday was a great day. I had the privilege of training 11 people who are hoping to adopt a waiting child from Minnesota. It was a great group and lucky me --- I get to do it again today. It was a very diverse and engaged group and I really enjoyed the eight hours. I am hoping that most of them will decide to adopt and that most of them will decide to have me as their social worker. I already know a couple of the couples have chosen an agency, but I have been known to have couples switch.

I had decided that since I have been so exhausted lately that I would get a hotel room and spend the night, saving myself a couple hours on the road and allowing myself to get some rest. After speaking to the two classes on Thursday at the high school, which went well by the way, and doing 8 hours yesterday, i was tired.

So I grabbed supper and went to the hotel. When I got there, I noticed signs on six or seven of the doors around me that said, "Go Mary, Go Sherri, Go Kari, (or whatever, you get the idea) and realized that I Might not have a restful night at all. An hour later the girls came to the hotel with their families and made so much noise gathering nad planning for dinner that I figured I was in trouble.

Since I felt quite sleepy, I decided to take a nap and when they got back and woke me up I would get up and work or read for a while.

Except they didn't wake me up when they got back. So I ended up sleeping almost 12 hours! I did get awakened at 3:40 when someone's car alarm went off, but otherwise I was asleep the whole time. I guess I was tired!

I feel pretty good this morning though. Look out trainees! Fortunately for them they have several guests speakers today so it won't be all day Claudia like yesterday. I couldn't even get movies to work!

Had a wild dream last night that the woman above and Bart had used the money I make to buy a house together as they had fallen in love. They explained that they were both perfectly fine with Bart staying married to me -- that he had no plans of divorce.

The whole dream involved me being furious because they acted so nonchalant about the whole thing, as if they had chosen to have lunch or something instead of buy a house and move in together. I got more and more agitated as the dream went on and ended up waking up before anything was involved.

It's very alarming to see an actress looking up at your husband lovingly while he pecks her lips and whispers too her.

So out of character for him too. i wonder what is brewing in my psychy!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Deep Deep Breaths

Our day started with an IEP meeting for Ricardo that he skipped followed by another meeting to discuss the others who are not showing up for class or doing their work in school. WHile we were in that meeting, one of them was tardy to class. Sigh.

I then came home and carefully printed out, line by line, Rand's expenses and income because he was oversleeping for the 3rd time this week. When he has his hours cut at work he does things around here to help pay for his room and board. He has a meltdown. Every. Single. Payperiod. For example, two weeks ago I showed him a print out saying that he owed us $253.00. He knew that he had a school bill of $221.00 or so that we were going to pay. He knew his check was $194.00. But today, when I tell him he owes us money he claims that we are stealing from him.

It's a good thing my medication slows my blood pressure way down. ;-)

I'm heading now to speak to two high school classes about foster care and adoption at the "other" high school in town. I'm not exactly looking forward to that as large groups -- say 10 or more -- of high school students are a bit scary and I'm sure with the massive amounts of entertainment that they now carry in their pockets that I will be beyond boring.

But I'll use the technique I use often -- I chant the words to myself, "I can do anything, no matter how unpleasant, for 45 minutes."

I just wish the light at the bottom of the stairs was working so that I could have gone down to wake up Rand at 11:30 instead of having to yell down the stairs. My voice is feeling very very scratchy.


How many times do I end my posts with a sigh?