Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An update...

A long overdue post is the understatement of the century. I have not neglected posting on my blog on purpose. In fact, I’ve had very good intentions to post lots of things. There is very rarely a day goes by that I don’t wish I had the energy at the end of that day to post. There have been so many things that I’ve wanted to share…. Creative ways I’ve attempted to help my family grow and be more like the Lord… and then there has been pain and hurt and discouragement as well. I intended to keep this blog going… and not be one of ‘those’ blogs who falls off the earth when the kids finally do come home… SIGH…. I had NO idea what it would ‘really’ be like when I had those thoughts… BIG SIGH!!!


It really is with mixed emotions that I sit tonight to write this blog post. I am just as tired as I was last night… and honestly, it’s most likely the Nyquil high that I’m on that is pushing me to write this. Here I sit another night when Phil’s out of town with work (there have been SO many of these nights since March 15, 2010 that if I start adding them up I get sick).

Actually this day was fairly good… I’d classify today as a “good” day for our family.

Yes, it was stressful, and there were times that were INTENSE, but overall it was a good day. Faith and Grace both had decent days at school and that honestly makes EVERYONES day better.

Yesterday was one of the worst for them.

I really feel as if I’m rambling and going in massive circles here… but, that’s what my heart and brain are doing as well… so I guess it’s just normal that my writing would follow suit.

I decided tonight that I was going to write about some of the HARD stuff we’ve experienced. I have yet to really be honest and share for many reasons. Please don’t keep reading my blog if you are not here in LOVING support of my family. And…. I AM NOT KIDDING! I really can’t handle it… and am not interested in listening unless you really care about me and my family. Friendly reminder… this is MY blog.. my families blog! Thanks…

Ok… so, please know that I share these struggles out of a place that is SO hard to describe. I love these babies. I can promise you that there is not ANYONE anywhere on the face of this earth that loves them as much as I do! I would do everything I did again and again and again to bring them home even if I knew what I know now…. I would CHOOSE to start over at day one and fight for them! I would choose to fight for them…. It is out of that very place… this DEEP amazing love that my heart cries tonight.

Faith and Grace have been home for almost 18 months. 1 ½ years that they have been OUR daughters… in OUR home… in OUR care!!

There have been times in those days/months/weeks that have been truly amazing. They have bonded with us in ways that have been astonishing. There have been serious triumphs and gains and astonishing ways they have grown YEARS in advancement. Their language has blossomed, their gross motor skills have sky rocketed, their fine motor skills have increased. They have advanced and changed and blossomed before our very eyes. That has been beyond amazing to watch. There is really no way to express in words how it has felt to watch them grow and develop and mature. Amazing and God’s prints were/are ALL. OVER. IT! Love watching him work!

In the midst of those amazing gains there have been bad days, and even worse days… and days were I struggled to hold it all together. There have been days were I wanted to crawl away hide. There have been days were I wanted some peace and quiet. There were days were they spit on Dr’s and nurses, family members and each other. There have been days were my heart broke for Bailey and Brooklyn and I begged God to please please help them to see past it all and know it was HIS plan. There have been days that I’ve just taken B and B and we’ve gotten away.

There have been days were all things went great. Everyone was happy, smiles, love abounded and all seems fine! There were and are days were the slightest thing triggers someone and they are over stimulated and over the top. There have been days were Bay and Brook were the stimulants. Sometimes we know and sense these things/triggers. Sometimes we have NO idea and are broadsided with it.

I have read books, attempted to educate myself, and brush up on all my childhood development/behavioral management classes. I’ve tried to remember what I learned in Grad. School…. I’ve called in help from co-workers, friends, etc. I have asked friends for help, asked Dr’s for help and tried every single trick I feel I have in my bag of tricks.

We’ve spanked (don’t read that if you don’t spank), put in time out, loved on, and tried so many different behavior management tricks. We’ve made charts, earned stickers, and had our favorite things taken away. I have educated family, friends, etc.. attempted in my feeble little mind to wrap my mind around and understand things like PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder/syndrome), CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) and RAD (Reactive attachment Disorder). I’ve tried so hard for not one second to dismiss that either of my babies could be suffering from one or all the above diagnosises. I’ve gone back and forth from trying to figure out the ‘why’ they are acting the way they are…. To not caring about the ‘why’.. just helping the now!

I have friends who are OT’s, SLP’s, and trained in behavior management, sensory processing stuff…. I’ve asked for favors, and ideas and thoughts.

There have been days (like last night) when I put my head literally on the table and bawled. Days were I’ve not known what in the world to do to continue to help them.

I’ve begged others to pray, taken them forward for prayer, and begged God to help us/them. Please don’t think for one second that I am discounting prayer or the amazing power of our God. I am not… Anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog for anytime at all KNOWS that I Love the Lord with all my heart…. My main focus in life is to serve him…. My life to GLORIFY him in all things!

People ask me how we are doing and I always second guess my answer and what to really answer. I want to be open and honest. I know that lots of times a humble heart and willingness to truly share our trails really helps others. I promised myself and the Lord long ago that I would attempt to be transparent before others…. Therefore hopefully helping someone to be more like him. I would never EVER want to not tell someone the truth, but at the same time I don’ t want the world to know how badly we struggle sometimes. How badly I struggle. I wish I had the answers. I wish I knew what to do… I wish I could see that I’m ‘really’ helping them. I wish I could just erase all the pain and hurt and sadness from their little lives/hearts. I can not…but, I know WHO can… and I TRUST in that! The word says to “lean not to thine OWN understanding, but with prayer present your requests before the Lord…” I am SO SO SO thankful that in the midst of feeling like a rag doll tossed about on a stormy cliff, I know who calms the storm.

Lord, In all things – I trust you!

I will continue to try new things, be consistent and love them despite the struggles. I will continue to support adoption and advocate for the babies still without forever families. The babies that I still see almost every single night when I close my eyes. The babies still starving, malnourished, and aching for love and affection. Babies who are being mistreated and neglected and babies who are tied in their cribs at this very moment. My heart BREAKS for those babies all over the world. However, I now realize that adoption IS not for everyone. It is NOT easy and there are times that are almost more than this feeble Mama can bare, but you know what… one day this will all be behind us and o what a GLORIOUS day that will be!

Anyone have some GREAT advice? Anyone have a super amazing trick in your bag o tricks that has worked for your institutionalized child? I am completely out of tricks…but, goodness would love a few new ideas!

If you really will pray for my precious little Faith and Grace (and us)…. Will you please let this Mama know? Reading that a few of you are ‘really’ praying would mean so much to me… and goodness we could use the prayers.

Big sigh…. Now to decide if I really post this or not! ;(

(Disclaimer: I wrote this last night, but didn’t post it.. Today they had another GOOD day! I can not even tell you how exciting it is to know they had 2 good days in a row at school. Believing and trusting for Day 3 to be amazing as well! Today – after day 2 in a row – We got to go to the ice cream truck! Yes, I know… sugar, candy, etc…. but, sometimes YOU are DESPERATE to find a motivation that is strong enough to work… . Guess what tomorrow’s motivation is - Nana promised them M & M’s… Honestly if that is enough to help them to have good days and make good choices... well, a little chocolate never hurt anyone… and maybe, just maybe they’ll gain a pound of two in the middle of all this! ;))

… and just so you don’t forget how stinking cute and adorable they are….

Here’s a precious picture I snapped the other day:
(well... I will attempt to post this pic later - can't get it to upload... darn Blogger - You'll just have to trust me.. They are BEYOND stinking adorable!  ;))

15 comments:

McMary said...

Praying for your family that God will continue to help you through the tough times, that you continue to experience real joy in the good times, and that the good times only keep increasing.

Trudi said...

Thank you for being real. I wish I had a magic answer but there isn't one. Sigh. You are doing an amazing job. I know all about good days and bad days and how you never know what each day will bring. I agree with using the positive reinforcement that works. And yes, keep taking a break with B and B when you need to. It is healthy! Hang in there sweet Lanetta...sending you hugs, prayers and syrength

Angie said...

Lanetta, I love your honesty! There were so many days after we brought the girls home that I felt just like you're describing. I never would have been able to blog that. I would have been to afraid of the judging that often follows. I have no magic tricks, but as someone who's a bit further down the same road I'll tell you that the good days gradually increase while the bad days gradually get better (or at least not as bad). I still feel that way sometimes, but not as often as I used to. Now it happens on particularly horrible days, which we still have sometimes. You are helping them, and God gave you, Phil, Brooklyn and Bailey this job because He knows you and He believes in you. You are his choice for Faith and Grace, and NO ONE could do it better.

dnd82001 said...

Prayers and hugs to you............I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom or advise.......it will get better and you are amazing and God will see you through the tougher times.

Darlene

Carolyn Tarpey said...

Lanetta,

Sending HUGE prayers your way to help you through the rouge and tough days. Thank you so much for your honestly, everyone who adopts has good and bad days, just most parents do not discuss it in fear of being judged. My first year home with Henry with so TOUGH emotionally. Way to much to write but happy to share if you ever want to talk... pm and I will send you my phone #
Your babies are beautiful and I know they feel all the love and care you give them everyday.
Big hugs,
Carolyn

Baby Kaz Moore said...

Loretta, sending you prayers and warm thoughts from Austin. Your honesty and self-confidence (yes, you embody self-confidence, love, faith and trust) are inspiring. As an aside, I used dum-dum lollipops to help get both of my children (and me) through their biting stage in school. Candy fascination quiety evolved into pride when they aun to me at the end of the day to tell me that they hadn't bitten any one! I smile just thinking of it. Hugs to you, Susan

Baby Kaz Moore said...

Oops, sorry, it's very early here and I've got a 4 and 5 year old crawling all over me. I just realized that I wrote Loretta instead of Lanetta.

Jill (& Bob) said...

Hugs and prayers for all of you, Lanetta! I have no doubt that you are an amazing mama to all four of your girls...especially on those hard days! And no, a little chocolate never hurt a thing :)

Karon and John said...

First off, you are human and what you are going through is normal, most people just won't admit it. Healing an institutionalize child is rough and I refer to it as "advanced parenting." One of my sons does suffer from PTSD and I deal with people flat out not belivng me, or outright judging us when an issue arrises, so I know that pain all too well. Few things I have learned: 1. Take great care of youself. Learn to say No to the extras because you need to come at these challenges undistracted and well rested. 2. Bookend rough situations. When I know we are about to go into something stressfull I try to be sure to have sometheing special at the begning and I try to talk a lot about the really amazing thing that will happen when it is over. This allows his mind to stay in the present (most times) and not revert or flashback. 3. It is OK to walk away at times. I have explained to my sons that time outs are to re-group and that sometimes Mama needs one too. My husband and I must tag team because there are times when it becomes too much. Be careful as trama can be contagious (seriously) so give your self a chanct to step away so you can see the situation from higher ground.

kristen said...

So wonderful to hear about you and your family!! The good, the bad and the ugly! Hang in there dear friend - you will all make it through!! :). No tricks to share, but know my prayers are with your entire family... and cyber-hugs too!!
Love ya, Kristen

Unknown said...

You are truly amazing! I'm so glad that God made beautiful people like you to encourage others!

Heckert's Highway said...

Oh sweet friend...I've been there, and I'm still there at times. More right now than probably in the past year. Our crazy life after bringing Alea home didn't really begin to change until we had her home for about two and a half years. But what a glorious day it was when it did start taking effect. I will truly be praying for you. I wish I had that magic rabbit to give you to make it all better over night, but I do know God and He's the biggest and strongest and smartest and most loving. Hang on tight to Him. He will see you through...
Love you,
Jenn

Journey of Faith said...

Oh my Sweet Lanetta... I love you!! Thank you for your post, sharing your deepest heart. I will begin to pray in earnest for you, just as we did when you were trying so hard to bring those precious little girls home.
Right now, as night is quickly approaching, i pray for peace for your mind and heart, resting in His arms, letting everything... EVERYTHING... go to Him. He has such broad shoulders! I pray for that still small quiet voice to become your guiding beacon. I have no advice for you with the post institutional issues... but He formed their innermost being, and I pray He gives you CLEAR instruction on how to direct their hearts.
You were given the calling to become their Mama for a reason. Maybe God knew it would take someone willing to partner more closely with Him. I pray for divine inspiration that is perfect for your children... all of them... that the cloud of desperation and lingering doubts would melt away in the awesome presence of the Father.

I know it all sounds so grand and difficult to obtain, maybe even hoity toity to some, but I have seen your heart through this long journey and know you are so close to our Father. So much I pray for you, my friend. And I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY!! To hold you before the throne of God.

While you are there, could you lift us in prayer as well? We have been home 1 month, are settling in well, but the new challenges faced when bringing home and integrating your children together is always challenging.

Loving you from afar, thinking of you every night as I wash my children in the tub and rinse with my Eskimo Joe's cup from Stillwater, OK, and now praying, praying, praying for you!!!

Journey of Faith said...

Oh my Sweet Lanetta... I love you!! Thank you for your post, sharing your deepest heart. I will begin to pray in earnest for you, just as we did when you were trying so hard to bring those precious little girls home.
Right now, as night is quickly approaching, i pray for peace for your mind and heart, resting in His arms, letting everything... EVERYTHING... go to Him. He has such broad shoulders! I pray for that still small quiet voice to become your guiding beacon. I have no advice for you with the post institutional issues... but He formed their innermost being, and I pray He gives you CLEAR instruction on how to direct their hearts.
You were given the calling to become their Mama for a reason. Maybe God knew it would take someone willing to partner more closely with Him. I pray for divine inspiration that is perfect for your children... all of them... that the cloud of desperation and lingering doubts would melt away in the awesome presence of the Father.

I know it all sounds so grand and difficult to obtain, maybe even hoity toity to some, but I have seen your heart through this long journey and know you are so close to our Father. So much I pray for you, my friend. And I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY!! To hold you before the throne of God.

While you are there, could you lift us in prayer as well? We have been home 1 month, are settling in well, but the new challenges faced when bringing home and integrating your children together is always challenging.

Loving you from afar, thinking of you every night as I wash my children in the tub and rinse with my Eskimo Joe's cup from Stillwater, OK, and now praying, praying, praying for you!!!

4texans said...

Lanetta, hopefully you will see this at some point. I also became one of 'those' bloggers, lol, just too busy to post. Thank you for being real! I've been there but you are there x2. It has been way harder for the girls than I thought it would be, but I know they will grow and be better for it. It has taken a lot of time for all of us to get used to our new family, it gets better every day. I remember some of the first days when Nicholas would spit at me, kick me, pinch me ( I was really afraid) and now, no one would guess he could be like that. He is so sweet and has such a loving heart.

As time has passed, he has bonded, grown more mature (well, a tiny bit) and healed in some way. We struggle with some of his diagnosis but have found others in the community that have been drawn to him and have helped him. We are now in an awesome school district and I'm hopeful we will get an IEP for him.

One thing that helps is to keep his world small, I try to avoid taking him to places where there are lots of people. When we do, I try to prepare him for it and just know we have to give him extra supervision during that time.

You are wonderful, loving parents and it's wonderful to see how much all of your girls have blossomed.

Please feel free to call me anytime, you can pm me on facebook (Katherine Kurima).

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me!” Matt 18:5

Visit our website...

Click here to visit our website to read about how our journey to international adoption began... and how God spoke to our hearts to open our lives and family to a child who otherwise might not ever know him.
God bless!

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