Saturday, June 11, 2011


I am afraid to say it….terrified I might “jinx it”…or reverse what has been, by saying the words out loud…but I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS…..

“WE ARE IN A GOOD PLACE” and by we I mean, teen and the family….and even three weeks ago, I would not have believed ANY of that was possible…Not. At. All.
It has been a million little things, and I am going to share some of them.

Three weeks ago, I was looking into respite again, heartbroken that we were paralyzed in a very, and I MEAN VERY unhealthy cycle and had been for months, but we were reaching new lows, even I could not get my brain around. I am not going to share all of the details…but there are many I will. So read between the lines, if you will.

We were stuck, we were dangerous, we were committing crimes, we were lying boldly, we were rejecting all good, we were incapable of communication, and speaking in behaviors…it has been VERY bad.

Often with older kiddo’s it seems things have to build, peak, explode, have a decent moments, and then start the cycle all over again. You walk on land mines.

My littles and I were walking on them everyday. We would wake up and go to bed filled with dread. I sucks you into this pain vortex, in very real and very damaging ways.

I prayed deeply sobbing-muffled into the carpet. I know I am her best chance, I know if she loses the hope in me to love her and keep her safe, then at age 18, there is a good chance it could never happen for her….and that is haunting….

So another crappy day dawned. I had called around at some RTC centers looking/checking out….weighing options…at this point it was about everyone in my home feeling safe…and I wanted a plan B in place, for when not IF a bomb got detonated yet again.

And I cried and prayed some more…and I got on facebook, cause that is where all mind numbing takes place for me….

So a couple things happened….and then a couple more, and to say these were not tender mercies from a loving God, I would not be giving credit where credit is due.

One thing I have learned and had lost in the first few months of my family being home and together…was instituting “Random Acts of Kindness”…well I mean people were doing it to us, daily, sometimes hourly, after we got home from Haiti and had gone from a family of five to one of eleven. We were in pure survival, and physical healing, so I get that I have a pretty damn good excuse.

BUT, a year and some months later…as we begin to deal with the emotional scars…the lack of Empathy, entitlement, self surviving behaviors, an incapability to see others needs and pain…we turned back to a very simple, but hard to do principle. The absolute importance of Service.

Two weeks ago, before school ended there was a horrific occurrence in our community.
A 7 month old baby boy was brought to the Emergency room comatose, and eventually died. The diagnosis, death by Shaken Baby Syndrome. The parents were separated, father had visitation.
All I could do was think about this mother, this single working mother, with two other children to care for, how ANGRY, distraught; numb …there are not words or a way to understand her pain. She probably was separated form him FOR A REASON….she probably was court ordered to allow the visits. Her beautiful baby was killed, and yet she can’t afford to stop and morn, has little resources to care for her other children...and now if the father had been paying child support that would be gone now as well… I don’t know these people personally, I am just speculating and could NOT STOP, thinking about her, as a Mother….as things happen, which they often do, I then find out, the Sister to the baby was actually in my little Chatters Pre-School class.

It was an incredible opportunity to talk to my older girls about someone else’s needs. How the family might be feeling, what could we do? I talked about how the Mama, still has to work, and how she might feel by the end of the day, and have kids and meals and laundry to still have to do….and how she probably just wants to climb into bed and pull the covers over her.

My oldest could relate! ....and said, well Mom, it’s not like we have extra money (a-to-the-men) …but we all like to cook, and you know how we make freezer meals for neighbors or Aunties when they have babies?...what if we did something like that?
So. We. Did.
We made a list on Wednesday night…and went grocery shopping after school Thursday. The time clincher was FRIDAY was the last day of we needed to have em done and dropped off at the school in time for her to pick them up that morning.
… me, my girls, and my hubs pulled an all nighter.
I was so VERY proud of my girls…they speculated on how “The Mama” would feel, when she knew people that she didn’t know , loved her and her babies, that she might feel a little bit better, maybe.
We managed, Chicken Pot Pies, Lasagna’s, Enchilada’s, Sweet and Spicy Meatballs, Pumpkin Cookies, Cupcakes, Homemade Chili’s, Homemade Hot Pockets…all in one night. Loaded em up in a Laundry basket and dropped them off early enough that the Anonymous-ness would work.

My girls went to school exhausted, but PROUD.

Next came my friend Cynthia sharing this blog post:
I am VERY honest with my daughter about her Reactive Attachment Disorder, as well as her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is almost eighteen, and we don’t have the luxury of time to candy coat her stuff. We call it as it is, and why it is. I use the example of if you had a broken leg..would people expect you to run, would it make you stupid or bad, because your LEG was broken? So if parts of your brain have been broken, hurt and damaged…how does that make YOU BAD?.. NO WAY~!!!
.It just takes MORE time to heal, different kinds of Dr,’s and medication, new ways to find all of the broken parts. I take pictures during times of dis-regulation and bring em up later, when we are more regulated to talk about them. Ex: the Dishes being done one handed….so back to the blog post.
READ IT! ….READ it with your teen/child. Have them re-READ this part.
“What changed?
S: I got tired of day after day ruining relationships and the family. I looked ahead and pictured what my future would be like if I kept on going like this. When I was old enough to drive or get married. It wouldn't be a happy future. The turning point was when I realized if I want a better future I'm going to have to change, to turn around. Whatever I did I still couldn't change my birth mother's mind. I couldn't change her decision to give me up. I couldn't be a better baby. It wasn't my fault she gave me up. It would be her decision to change her choices, not mine to change her. It was not my battle to fight with her. I let go of her and B and my birth dad.”.: via Marty’s Musings @ Waldenbunch@

My daughter did…and then cried…and I was able to ask…Is ANY of this an example of what you might be feeling? SHE. WAS. SHOCKED.
She gets so stuck, so lost in her own pain and anger, she has NO CLUE that there are other kids out there with broken brains, broken ways of thinking and relating to the people who love them. When she is reminded …she doesn’t feel so alone!

I asked if it was O.K. if I printed it out and shared a copy of it with her therapist, and not only did she say “YES”…she asked for her very own copy. WOW!

We also have been reading a TON of books…here are some of them…and YES…some of them are children’s books, and ones I read out loud to ALL of my children, and some I am not posting that are workbooks and more in depth to her needs and kinds of abuse she suffered, if you would like reference to them personal message me.
We read these a lot lately:
by.Teddi Doleski, William Hart McNichols

The Boy Who Didn't Want to Be Sad
by. Rob Goldblatt

The Right Touch: A Read-Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse (Jody Bergsma Collection)
by.Sandy Kleven, Jody Bergsma

A Terrible Thing Happened - A story for children who have witnessed violence or trauma.
by.Margaret M. Holmes

One particular book we have been reading at night, before bed time, just her and I (In the words of MANY young woman) talked about the importance of TALKING about the hurt, the past, DOING the work, and how getting the hard and the bad out is painful, but keeping it in is like waking up and putting on a back-pack full of painful heavy SCREAMING bricks….that you carry with you are all times. That really spoke to her. The next day she had therapy, and for the first time ever, (after a whole year of therapy) SHARED…really did some work…I WAS SO PROUD of her..and so was her therapist!!!

Summer came and we have been watching some movies, some that have been INCREDIBLE conversations starters (and are on Netflix instant stream) are “Pay it Forward”, the beauty of that film is that the idea is by a little boy, who does not have a “perfect life”, and the acts of kindness are done and given to every person, from every walk of life imaginable. The “myth” that only good people do good things, and bad people do bad things, is reachable and teachable.
If our kids deep down believe that they are bad and shameful, they deep down have that EXPECTATION OF THEM SELVES….so this was a GREAT opportunity to teach that light, that hope, that possibility to serve and do something great , that EVERY single one of us have in us. This has always been one of my favorite movies.

We also watched “Where the Heart is”. It was a PERFECT example, of how we can start our lives one way, but it does NOT DEFINE who we are, or what kind of happiness we deserve. We were able to use how she must have felt when she was abandoned on the Wal-Mart, pregnant with nothing. How afraid she must have been….How she did deserve a good man, and even how the result of her friend, not always choosing the best men hurt her and her children, and that cycle. Not there is abuse in this movie, underage sexual over tones…but with good consequences, a young man picks up a 14 year old girl..and he goes to jail…VERY candid conversation opportunities…but pre-screen, if you are concerned.

Last Sunday my friend Noelle had posted this link. It is incredible…now I don’t stomach Glen Beck well…but the interview is incredible, and worth every minute. Papillion was GLUED, intrigued and touched….Please take the time. The Neilsons story, of surviving a plane crash, allowing there faith in God, never alter there faith, and who they were as a couple and a family is beyond inspiring….and with that I am done writing a full on Chapter/Blog Entry…I deeply felt the need to share some of the tender teaching, learning, and healing moments we have been blessed with lately….

TWO WEEKS ...and I'm not looking back...
I had to be her taking the first steps, but MAN is it amazing how quickly tides can turn, (and how quickly they can turn right back around again, I’m not duped into believing this may pass)..but I will stand and enjoy this NEW DAY for as long as I can….


  1. Lindsay - this is a beautiful post. I love that you were able to tie in a number of things that you have done lately that have helped your daughter right now. I love that there is a hopeful tone - it is so easy to get bogged down in sadness and hopelessness. It is good to recognize the good times and appreciate them while they are here. I definitely need to help my kids think of others more - it makes such a difference if you can get them thinking outside their heads! Thanks for commenting on my blog - I don't write much about adoption, which is probably why you didn't know I blog!!

  2. Lindsay,
    That is beyond fantastic and soooooo happy she is 'getting it.' I printed Marty's post out and Sarah and I read it several times. She's not ready. Maybe she's too young.
    I think my job was to get the seeds planted as what healing CAN look like WHEN you're ready....she just wasn't yet. It may be years......
    Marty will be in Florida :)
    You're doing a great job Lindsay. Beyond great. Hard, hard hard stuff. Soooooo proud of you :)
    Now try to get some sleep!!!!!

  3. Lindsay, are you going to be at the Trauma Mama retreat in Orlando??? I sure hope so.

    I need to hunt you down on Facebook I suppose! :) mine is

  4. Sister, I'm so thrilled! I think about you often and wonder how ON EARTH you can do it. I have my hands full with my little one. I'm so grateful that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that Papillion is making great strides.

    She's got a beautiful soul - that is evident and I'm very excited to see what the Lord has in store for her.

    Thank you for sharing and thank you for the book list. We'll check it out!