Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Full.

My husband is amazing... for many reasons.

If he drives my van, he tries to pay attention to if I'll need gas soon and will stop to fill my gas tank. I appreciate his gesture. It's sweet. I also love the feeling of looking down at the gauge when I get in and seeing the orange needle pointing to the F. 

I can go anywhere. I can do anything. There is nothing stopping me. Well, almost nothing. Nothing but my six kids and loads of responsibility. For a second though, I'm golden.

Full is a word that can be used so many ways.

"I'm soooo very full." 

"He's full of himself." 

"You have a full house!" 

"Use your full name."

"My heart is full."

"My plate is full."

and on and on and on...

This past weekend was so full. The HEAV Convention filled up our Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday. 

It was a good full.

If you home educate or want to or want to see if we are all really weird or you need encouragement in raising your children or you have a pulse or... you get it...  you must come next year.

The speakers ranged from those well known, like Voddie Baucham and Ken Ham, to the ones you may have never heard of that you shouldn't miss, like Rick Boyer and Todd Wilson. Some of the classes and keynotes were packed full of information and people. Some of the classes had you laughing. Some of the classes had you in tears. 

Homeschooling your kids can be tiring and lonely. Yes, I can get lonely with 6 kids in the house every single day. On top of the feeling alone, I sometimes wonder if I'm doing it right. Are they really learning? Will they be able to function with a real world schedule one day? Have I showered today? Can I count running errands as PE? Is that a stretch? Am I crazy? When was the last time we really did science?

Going to the convention. Seeing all the families. Hearing the intelligent conversations of the graduates. Witnessing the sharing of remotes at the robotics expo. Dodging rolly carts. Walking in to a room full of adoptive moms. Seeing husbands wearing neon stickers that say their wife is their hero. Moms like me everywhere. These things fill me up for another year. 

I have had people tell me how I must have so much patience or that I'm super mom or that I've got to be so organized. I'm not. I'm just a mom surrounded by moms on all sides... moms that have made it and are done... moms that are right in the thick of it with me... ones that are just starting out. Each of them, without them even knowing it, filling up my homeschooling tank for another year. I look down at the gauge today and see it on F.

Full.

I can go anywhere. I can do anything. There is nothing stopping me.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

This boy.

Six children have the run of our home. Their voices escaping from one of the many rooms or coming through the windows from outside at almost all times of the day. The smeared hand prints on the front door that were wiped away twenty minutes ago are back already. They can't help it. The hot weather has them going in and out... and in and out again. 



Right now though, it's quiet time. A few of my extras (the cousins) are napping. One of my girls is off playing with an old friend while she is in town. Two of my girls and two of my boys are building together in the front living room. This one boy though... he sits in here with me. Not because he wants to, but because he needs to. 

Four days ago was great. Three days ago was pretty good too. Yesterday and today were hard. His manners are amazing. His reading skills have improved at a surprising rate over the last month. I can see the beginnings of him moving out of survival mode after sixteen months in his new home. I wish I could say that all these positives make the hard times easier to handle, but they don't.

It was a simple task. Circle the sentence that is correct. It begins with a capital letter. His sister read him the instructions. His dad read him the instructions and explained it. He refused. He can do it. He wouldn't. 

Not sure what triggered the pulling away from the family today, but it happened. Again. All of a sudden, he can't read or speak clearly or make eye contact. All of sudden, every answer to every question that was asked he gave the exact opposite to what was correct. All of sudden, this boy, my son, ran down the old path in his brain and vanished. He was gone. In his place was a moody, angry, and controlling mess.

So now... hours later... after providing him his punishment and then space to work through this...

We sit. 

I type. He draws. 

He shows me the picture when he finishes part. Then, right back to drawing. 

He's calm again. His eyes are happy. 
His posture is good. His hands are relaxed.


I pray for him to understand that tomorrow is new day and we will try again to blaze a new trail in his brain that doesn't include him shutting down or shutting us out. Until then, I'll take the ordinary uneventful days or hours or minutes that the Lord gives me and this boy fights to give me and I'll be thankful.

...................

I've asked John if I can share our story as we go along. 

Parenting a child that doesn't know how trust is hard. 

Being a child that doesn't trust must be so lonely.

Together, as a family, we will continue on trying to find a way to make this work. Praying together and alone on tear soaked pillows for strength and patience and understanding and new mercies each morning. We trust in a God that loves us and sought us out and made us His own and hears us. He is our hope and our future.

..................

For further reading about RAD follow the links below.

This one is a letter from a specialist to a teacher. It sounds extreme and we don't suffer from each example, but I hope it opens your eyes.


This one will give you a glimpse in to how hard it is to change the brain and how easy it is to go back to our old ways. It is not specifically about RAD. This could be good for anyone who doesn't understand why people don't just stop doing things that aren't good.



Sunday, May 10, 2015

This day.

Last year. 

This day. 

I sat with a broken hearted boy as he cried over the picture of his momma. 
It was my first Mother's Day as his new mom. 

I don't say this to evoke pity or mess up your happy celebrations. I say this so that you realize that for some this is a happy day. For some this is a sad day. For some this is a "sappy" day. That's Azriel's word for sad/happy. There is a quote from a lady (Jody Landers) that echoes in my mind today and other days too...

"A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me."




Four of my children have never known anything but having their momma near by. To pick them up. To squeeze them tight. To fix their plate. To comb their hair. To kiss their ouchies.  

Two of my children have known too much loss. They remember their family. A dad. A mom. 8 boys and one little girl. Living as a close knit family in the close quarters of their two room home. They remember it all falling apart. They remember these people that don't speak their language or look anything like them coming and telling them they love them. They remember yesterday hugging their little sister and dropping huge tears as she left after visiting with her family.



I say all this today for this purpose...

This day. 

This day I will not let just pass by.

I will smile. I will cry.
I will thank my God for the love He has poured out on me through my mom.
Through my mother in law. Through my sisters. Through the women I call friends.
I will thank Him for my husband who leads our family.
I will ask Him for another year to love on and be with my children.
I will hug them tight.
I will cherish motherhood.

.............

Also.

This day.

I will not buy expensive gifts or flowers that will die. I will not send a pretty card. Not because I think that those things are wrong, but this day I have decided to say to those mom's that I love (and you all know who you are) "Happy mother's day!!!" through simple text. The money I want to spend on lavish gifts for you will go to Ned being able to spend the next mother's day mourning the loss of his first momma with his new mom. Join me if you can. Right now your money will be doubled because of their matching grant. 

Happy Mother's Day!

http://reecesrainbow.org/82138/sponsorstrongibanez