A Dozen Good Eggs

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Another mom, A fellow adoptive mom, A fellow mom of a child with disabilities, her child came from the same country as some of mine. Tonight, I tucked my children in for the night with every intention of seeing them in the morning. Tonight, She had to say goodbye forever to her child. I watched Charlie Brown with my kids tonight. She watched her child slip away. I cooked and did the dishes, she lost her child. My heart breaks for this family. My heart breaks that we live in a world where children die.  Perspective. When a child dies you get a new perspective.  Even the most annoying behavior of my children suddenly takes on new meaning. It means they are alive. they enjoy the privelege of surviving another day.  We say goodnight, knowing that we will see each other again in the morning. We believe this wholeheartedly,  and yet, someone else is saying goodnight for the last time.  We eat and clean up never realizing another family has lost their appetite due to the lump of grief in their throats.  My heart breaks for this fellow mom, for her family, for the siblings of the sweet little boy whom they will not bring home again. Rest in Peace Henry. All across the world people are thinking of you with love.

A Child Of Mine
Edgar Guest
I will lend you, for a little time, A child of mine, He said. For you to love the while he lives, And mourn for when he's dead. It may be six or seven years, Or twenty-two or three. But will you, till I call him back, Take care of him for Me? He'll bring his charms to gladden you, And should his stay be brief. You'll have his lovely memories, As solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, Since all from earth return. But there are lessons taught down there, I want this child to learn. I've looked the wide world over, In search for teachers true. And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you. Now will you give him all your love, Nor think the labour vain. Nor hate me when I come To take him home again? I fancied that I heard them say, 'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!' For all the joys Thy child shall bring, The risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness, We'll love him while we may, And for the happiness we've known, Forever grateful stay. But should the angels call for him, Much sooner than we've planned. We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, And try to understand.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What really matters

Life with children who are damaged by alcohol is never dull. It isn't always fun, but it isn't always bad either. Much like normal peers they have good days and bad days. On some days they may appear to be functioning on all cylinders and others they may have difficulty with daily functions.Today they may know the alphabet, tomorrow they cant remember. They are often impulsive. There is no thinking before actions. They dont have any associations for what might happen after they do something. they just do it. no if/then, no cause and effect. Kids who are alcohol damaged can look very different from other kids visually, and have few effects of the alcohol. Conversely they can look just like everyone else and be SEVERELY damaged. They can fall anywhere in between. some kids are able to function pretty normally. others arent.

In our family, our alcohol damaged kids all have a difficult time academically. Some more than others. Teaching them requires a lot of repetition. Remember they frequently have short term memory loss. its hard to progress when each academic area builds on previous topics mastered. if you cant remember how to do that topic you previously mastered, learning the next step is difficult. It is often one step forward and one step back. repetition, repetition, repetition is key. Getting them to do things routinely, academically or otherwise can take years. We also see a lot of impulisvity. not think then act, rather just act. if you want something you see you just grab it before you even realise what you plan to do with it. We have lost countless items because they were nabbed by our alcohol damaged kids and then they cant remember what they did with them. I would imagine our woods are full of tools taken from the garage. household items removed from the house on the sly. (oh yes they are very sneaky)

We have the same conversations over and over ad nauseum. daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. and yet nothing changes. Changes take a long time. A very long time. it is often said of kids with alcohol damaged brains that if you will want them to do something regularly in the future start including it much earlier than necessary so when it IS necessary it has already a honed skill. Things such as showering daily and wearing deoderant.

Who needs sleep? not them apparently. one wakes crying every single night, is unable to cope with even the slightest changes. if his socks are bunchy or his blanket fell down, or someone went to the bathroom, or the wind blew, or he rolled, or ANYTHING. Another one goes to sleep well, but then wakes and is up for hours in the night. always has been. Another doesnt go to sleep. even with an adult sized dose of sedative medication he is still wired hours later.  if he does fall asleep he wakes with every sound. with a large family, there are often late night bathroom trips from someone. every single time these wake him.  When they are awake in the night they often forage the cabinets and refrigerator, eating everything in sight. One morning I found a boy asleep in his bed with chocolate chips in a bowl next to him, chocolate all over his face, and chest and bed. Not one other child was covered in chocolate, but that child swore up and down it wasnt him that ate the chocolate.

that leads me to another issue, lies. In the same vein of the chocolate, one of them blamed another child for wetting his pants. no, they can not take responsibility for ANYTHING. if its lost, it isnt their fault. the lost thing must be to blame. If they don't know where belongings are it must be someone elses fault for moving them, it couldnt be because they didnt put them where they belong. Lieing is a frequent occurance in this house. I try not to give them opportunity. I dont ask questions that would lead to a lie. if I already know who broke the lamp I wont ask who broke the lamp. It is often very obvious when one is lieing. yet they keep trying. they scrunch up their face or look off to the left every single time but they do it again in five minutes, even after getting caught.

These are all hard hard things to live with, but these kids who have been brain damaged are the most loving kids, the sweetest, huggingest, most lovable,friendly kids. They are outgoing and smile, never met a stranger(incredibly dangerous for them). they dont know how to maintain close friendships but they are always outgoing to people they meet. I must hear a million times a day "I love you Mama."

They think of some really out of the box solutions for things because they do not think like everyone else does.  They like to help. They dont really know how to play imaginatively(they do, however, have "magical thinking" at least at this point. which means they cant really distinguish between fantasy and reality) Because they dont know how to play they love to work. they love to keep busy.  If left to their own devices it often leads to trouble. but kept busy they will be happy all day. not every child, every day wants to work at things, but overall they are good workers. 

As you can see life with kids damaged before birth is hard. It's fun and funny too. It's loving and sweet. It's not what we planned, it's not what we expected, but it's pure love in so many forms, and that is what really matters. Love. Love is what matters most in their lives and ours. We love them despite their disabilities, despite their difficultes, and in some cases because of them. In return they love us freely and without restraint. I wouldnt wish alcohol related deficits on anyone, but I just can't imagine life without the love of my alcohol damaged kids. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

not much to report

moved the toys to back bedroom and seems to be working. Going to put up the christmas tree in the living room. Two actually. In order to have enough room for all our ornaments we have to put up TWO. I also got us a little elf named Caroline. Diana found her at a thrift store. Not your typical red and white shelf elf. she is gold and greenblue and CLEARLY a girl. today she knocked all the books off the shelf and looked very smug about it. The kids thought it was fun. They all know the truth about presents and where they come from. but it was a bit of fun.  Eric took 3 kids to museum today. one kid is at grandma's. and one is at friends house. so that leaves four at home. niiiice quiet. so quiet and strange I am not even sure what to do with myself. so I made carrot cake from some carrots that Eric grew in the garden. I havent been feeling great so he is going to pick up some groceries for me on his way home.  Psych appt for one of the boys on Tuesday morn. Tuesday night is a FASD support meeting. Weds PT/OT and somewhere in there I gotta get the van fixed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

happy thanksgiving. merry christmas. not much time of late for writing

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

got my nose pierced

I love it. I got the stainless instead of diamond because diamond were on backorder and further delayed by recent hurricane.

Life at home is settling back to normal. I miss Chrysta. she misses home. But she has to stick it out at her dads AT LEAST this year. Hopefully she will meet some new friends and find her place down there. Constant school changing is not good for her. 5 days after she started school where we live she wanted to change schools. Kids have had a few playdates in recent weeks. more are scheduled. Of course we have the obligatory ten billion appointments. Tomorrow is conferences at school. Stephen is coming to visit this weekend also.

Sophie is scheduled to go back to PA for surgery January 9. This should be a short trip. At least short in comparison to the recent 5 week trip. I am ALMOST caught up on laundry from that trip. ALMOST! but not quite. its neverending of course.