My Muscular 20 Year Old Toddler

April 5th, 2007

A thoughtful reader, John, commented yesterday on the neediness level of his sons, touching base with his constantly as they seek enormous emotional reassurance. I have a 20 year old son who has lived with me for seven years, he was the oldest of 7 children, and all the responsibilities had fallen on him before adoption. He’s been very easy to raise, glad to share his responsibilities, indeed he shed himself of them to some degree. Still very emotionally involved, he attends soccer games, and lives with us; his presence alone soothes his siblings. But we’re at a touchy point in his life. He still needs to be babied, but he needs to spread his wings also, to establish his own… [more]

Fears Forever

April 4th, 2007

Just because we seemed to have a really bad day yesterday, just because everyone came unglued, including the one who is supposed to be the role model, doesn’t mean life as we know it, is over. I could have just sent everyone to their rooms after supper, or been a retaliatory brat after the resentment expended yesterday. I could have thrown up my hands and walked away, but one thing stopped me. Mr. Non-Verbal, the one who may have Asperger’s Syndrome, he certainly has something, the one who uncharacteristically changed into clean clothes to talk to me after my second hissy fit of the day, yes the one who politely waited for the Mental Health worker and I to complete the paperwork on another… [more]

Raging-Over-Nothing ALL DAY

April 3rd, 2007

The smartest one, he’s in the Gifted class, proud of his geek reputation, knowing how much I appreciate signs of intelligent life in our house, the one who within an hour caused two younger siblings to join his raging-over-nothing fest this morning, was also the first one to finally get a grip and apologize with tears in his eyes. This is unusual. But I also raged. I stomped my feet, yelled and hollered something to the effect of showing my hillbilly roots, “I’ll be DOGGED if I’m gonna get another tumor from the ugliness pooped out on me around here!” No, I’m not proud of losing it. I should be the leader, but human I am. It is emotionally difficult to… [more]

Raging-Over-Nothing Syndrome in Older Adopted Children

April 3rd, 2007

I started another post, a nice one, but I got interrupted 72 times by two raging-over-nothing children, and now I am very angry. I probably shouldn’t even blog, while in this black mood, but this is the reality in the adoption of older children. It is barely eight in the morning on Spring Break, and the smartest one just went down in a fury because it wasn’t his turn to get on the computer. How does that translate into a right to tear up someone’s house? To hit walls, kick furniture, and lash out at the only person who has ever properly taken care of him and his very emotionally disturbed siblings? We cannot go on a Spring Break vacation because I’ve chosen to… [more]

Being Full of Beans

March 28th, 2007

I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 30 years, before that I rarely ate meat at all. Giving it up was easy because I don’t like it; I think meat has a nasty taste. I’m raising my children as vegetarians, but not forbidding them to eat meat, they can eat it at school if they want, or at someone’s house, but not here. I’m committed to raising them to know that nutritionally sound veggie meals are easy and healthy. They’re so glad to have a mother that cooks for them, that makes them sit down at dinner each night, that what I serve is nearly incidental. If you’ve ever had lightly fried on a black skillet corn tortillas stuffed with… [more]

Watching A Child Bloom Part Two

March 26th, 2007

April was not the child we had sent away for "rehabilitation" as the judge called it. She could not make the five color levels needed to leave the program and come home. Ladoga was 800 miles away from our home. So we could not participate as often in her treatment. We drove down on weekend twice a month but no mental expert works on weekends in these places. One however was on call. Our bills began piling up. Before we knew it we had over 20,000 in lodging and medical charges and the program was not helping out daughter. I had to write our senator and other representatives and a 28 page letter to the court before April was allowed to return home. April was never going to be the little girl… [more]

Why I Don’t Drink

March 26th, 2007

New "landmark" research finds that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems, according to a new British study. I personally despise alcohol, feeling that it has contributed no good to anyone ever. Period. Most crimes are committed when the criminals are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and who know how many acts of drunken random sex are committed often producing children with either FAE or FAS, abandoned, abused or neglected. I’m living with children who fall under the category of FAE, if not FASD. From a frightening paper on substance abuse and youth: Many substance-abusing youth engage in behavior that places them at risk… [more]

The Blame Game

March 25th, 2007

Lauri blogged today that hate is not a family value. I agree, of course, and will expound on that thought, substituting the word “blame.” Blame is not a family value, but, in adoption, it’s fairly common. And you, the adoptive parent, will be the one who is blamed. You’ll be blamed by the school system, the mental health professionals (initially), by your family members and, most of all, by the child or children that you adopt…as in someone has to take the fall. I’ve learned, overheard, or been told that it’s my fault a daughter is in a psychiatric facility, my fault that a birth mother murdered a birth father (years before I ever met those children, heck I wasn’t even in the same country with them when… [more]

So Many Medications

March 24th, 2007

Eight years ago four kids joined our family and all were heavily medicated. One was severely behaviorally challenged, bi-polar, on Depacote, Risperdol and several other medications, he ended up leaving us a couple of years later and residing in a state mental hospital, returning again only to end up in jail. After being on medications for over a decade, we slowly weaned him; his behavior was no better and no worse off medications, if anything he’d grown immune to them. His three siblings, then ages almost 3, 4 and 8 were all on Clonidine because their foster mom said they were rambunctious. I was alarmed, little children are supposed to be rowdy and active. We live out in the country, we expend a… [more]

Teaching Money Management

March 22nd, 2007

How does one teach 39 children to be good money managers? By example. Have I succeeded 100%? Nope. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I literally had one daughter tell me, this is a college educated daughter, “Mom, I want to make my own mistakes.” Huh? How about, “I want to make my own decisions?” That’d be a better choice of words. I feel that I have a massive responsibility to my children to demonstrate good money management, to provide for them, and to help them pay for college. That may mean I spend an exorbitant amount of time filling out college scholarship applications, but I don’t mind. My parents got me through college; I’d like… [more]