Friday, May 27, 2011

Shame, shame, shame...

It knows your name, most of all it knows are kids names...why shame keeps us all from deep connection, more so our traumatized kiddo's and their deep seated beliefs...we gotta bust through that SHAME...and teach them THEY ARE WORTHY OF LOVE!!!!! How to foster ugly vulnerability into BEAUTIFUL VULNERABILITY...what a beautiful thought.



"People who really have a sense of worthiness,they have a strong sense of love and belonging,and folks who struggle for it,folks who are always wondering if they are good enough,there was only one variable that separated the folks who had a strong sense of love and belonging,and the people who really struggle for it, and that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging, BELIEVE they are WORTHY of love and belonging,that's it. They believe they are worthy..."

"The ONE THING that keeps us out of LOVE and CONNECTION,is that FEAR we are not WORTHY of CONNECTION."

Hello....Penny for your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dis-Regulation-Station


It has been almost a full two weeks of our family being paralyzed …I mean I have not been able to take the time to talk on the phone, wash my hair (ew), post on facebook, blog. Simply breathing in and out and getting through the days over here have been all that we can do. Welcome to Dis-Regulation Station…. I HATE IT HERE.

I had such an incredible time at the “Mama’s Parenting Trauma” retreat. Truly Diana and Cynthia did a jaw dropping, Mama pampering, educating, self-caring, life long friendship building…INCREDIBLE job…I so was inspired by the Mama’s living and loving and surviving Trauma that I learned from and absolutely ADORED. There is nothing like it, feeling safe to talk, to share, telling true stories about your day to day life..and have people “GET IT”..and not balk in disgust or dis-belief (seriously it was just a little pee)…it was so healing and validating for me.

BUT..and I MEAN a BIG fat BUT….I was gone, for four days…and well RE-ENTRY SUCKS…after being gone, and the insecurity it causes my kiddo’s attachment stuff…always means there will be H.E-double hockey-sticks to pay for my absence.

April and May have given me a boatload of opportunities to build, learn and grow my therapeutic parenting skills ..however these conferences, retreats and such have taken me away from my family, my kids…and thus …PAYBACK is as they say…A BIG FAT UGLY DROOLING MEAN UGLY BBBBRAT.

Two weeks and I am praying I may see the end of the tunnel of Dis-regulation Station…
NOTE: Eleven people going through the flu did NOT help.

Sooo Chatter has RAGED like she hasn’t for months.((HOURS)) and Oie’ the broken stuff, the random things put in random places (think treasure hunt from hell; like bag of String Cheese in her Sock drawer and tooth brushes in shoes) We were so WACKED when it came Monday we could not, get our shoes on, find and put lotion on, brush our teeth, nor find our glasses on top of our dresser. I MEAN …COULD NOT do it…two hours and 923 promps later …I called up her therapist and away we went with an ashy skinned, shoeless, bad breathed and blind seven year old….nice. While other parents stared I marched her into the office, checked her in and waited. When the therapist came out..I handed her a white paper bag full of ….shoes, tooth paste and tooth brush, lotion, and her glasses…
“Good Luck with that” I tell her WONDERFUL therapist as I wash my hands, heart of my brain thick and heavy with frustration….Peace OUT Sista Sue!
Sure the random weepy crying, NON-STOP non-sence talk and chatter...weird hygiene and putting things away in crazy places, control tactics, make me want to poke my eyes out….but we have not played the “I Can’t Game” since….and this week we have actually managed a day of school…so that’s good…sweet progress.

Diva SUPRISINGLY has kicked major HINY-WHOO in the Anxiety and Trigger and department…. I am so proud of her, she is looking more and more ready for Kindergarten (Therapeutic School) and the Mama couldn’t be more STOKED! We still freeze, and had a day or two of making sure Mom was still on her game…but man I LOVE the look of healing!

Cookie remains my darling Prince of Passive Aggressive land….we are CONSTANTLY instigating, aggravating, triggering other kids (cause NO ONE has a PHD in pushing peoples buttons like he does) ..but is so HEART BROKEN when the pooh hits the fan and someone’s button SNAPS …..so CONSTANT victim tears….and my Sympathy skills are not A.V.A.I.L.A.B.L.E…I think they may be on back order….in the laundry, or on vaca- leave….hope they are having some cool drink with an umbrella on a sandy beach somewhere. I know he is speaking in behaviors and I remind my self to hug him everyday…but sadly I have to have it on my to-do list because I am having a hard time doing it naturally….and yes it makes me sad to admit that.


Dude is a MESS…we are NOT SLEEPING, and I mean NO NAPS, NO NIGHT TIME SLEEPING…NA-DA. Poor guy is so Hyper vigilant he is not functioning…we Whine, Cry, Rage, Bite, Head butt, Scream, Shriek, Fight, Destroy….All HOURS of the day. The only way I can get him to sleep is Swaddle him and hold him while he Rages, Screams, snots, drools, tries to bite, it takes about 1 hour to 90 minutes rocking him to get him sleeping and two hours later he is back awake…It. Is. EXAUSTING.
We have tried melatonin, lavender massage …he is just too wired…so again we try to make his world smaller….his “safeplace” (play yard) is where he can be with soft toys, but he can stem, snack, and be calm for a couple minutes at a time…my heart aches for him….and the words he dose not have.

Scoobs, Scooby…Scoober-oo…Can I just say out loud, “I WANT HIM TO LIVE, I WANT HIM TO SURVIVE THIS, I AM TERRIFIED HE WON’T.” He continues to sabotage with his health and medical needs. The diabetes specialist just took his pump and sadly he is back on shots. How I HATE puncturing his beautiful skin with blasted needles…the bruises on his arms, legs, stomach and bum hurt my heart. He has missed much school, not regulated enough to safely go to school…I see the pain in his eyes, the constant anger and rage that eats his little lion heart and I so badly want to fix it. New meds, therapy are on the horizon this summer and I can’t WAIT!


Last but NOT least on the Trauma and Dis-regulation scale is Papillion. Babe-girl, sigh….there are days I am so scared, sad, worried, PARALIZED WITH FEAR that I will not be enough for her, but then comes the question…if not me then who?
We had a MAJOR Trauma trigger; Bomb threat was called in at school.
This perpetuated some other behaviors, some things that have left my brain reeling, some things I will probably need therapy for (and the other kids are in therapy for)…some things that bring me to my knees knowing, I , her therapist, anyone really, may not be able to help her and heal her …not that I am giving up, I just find myself feeling so overwhelmed, and with her age NO RESOURSES as we turn 18 next month, but we are NOT really 18…I have a meeting with Adult Mental Health today…As a Warrior Mom I am ready to battle her rights , her needs, her future hope for healing…and as I do , she is the opposing force not wanting it, refusing it and spitting in the face of healing…because it is too painful and raw to go there….I get that ….yet still I HAVE to try.

Many people ask what “Disregulated looks like and “How can you tell”…when a kid is triggered, or just not in their right mind/frontal lobe, they can act out in a lot of ways…my sweeties can, whine, cry randomly, lie, lie some more, steal, break things, steal things, non-sense chatter, demand things and truly believe they will DIE without them, tri-angulate adults (we LOVE messing with well-meaning teachers and church leaders), cut clothing, mattresses, bedding, and toys up with scissors ...or even their teeth…and then comes the peeing…and much, much more.

A tell-tale sign is the silent-random….pajama’s shoved under the couch, a fork in the middle of the floor, cheese put away on top of the fridge in stead of inside. “Forgetting How”…Odd controlling behavior like washing a window with a dry diaper instead of a cloth…boogers on walls, clean clothes under the bed…putting away dishes in wrong places ..the hard thing is so MANY people “out-side” will normalize these behaviors ,and chalk them up to “Normal kid stuff”…and WE KNOW it is NOT….and what is going down…and what WILL go down…if said behavior is not therapeutically dealt with…
so I LOVED when this went down the other day.. I actually SENT this picture to my Mother….THIS IS DIS-REGULATION…my teen queen doing her chores...with one hand in her pocket the ENTIRE TIME..I mean dishes being cleared, washed, loaded, sink, table and counters being wiped down all one handed…
Exibit A: Normalize that bad boy!



So once we were regulated (well as much as we can be) you BET “I brought it”…in the form of jokes about “THE ONE ARMED wo-MAN".. yep that phrase ran rampant in our house….and this lil’ ditty has been played once er’ twice (like 100 x).


…Yes, sarcasm lives breathes and continues to make babies in my home (it keeps me sane even if it is not always nice) BECAUSE… I’m doin’ the best I can with CRAZY.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Eleven Years ................................

video

Eleven years ago, I said yes. Yes to a life with a very young, handsome, stubborn and talented young man. I was young, so very young, more stubborn than he, and we loved each other. We were ready to conquer the world together, build a life, a family, a home.

We hit the ground running…poor sucker he had NO IDEA what he was in for, marrying me.

This vid is just our family, it was not made to be inspiring, many of these pictures have stories upon stories behind them, some of the best moments of my life, some that haunt me just by looking at them…yet this is OUR STORY, our family thus far, the raw, and the beautiful.

It begins and ends at the same place, the same doors, on the same day, ten years later.

This ironically is also our angle son’s birthday. Nothing is by chance, is it?


My dear friend Jen offered to put this slide show together to show after our family’s sealing, in May of last year. It turned out more beautiful than imagined. Sometimes I can watch it, sometimes I can’t.  The incredible MIKE TERRY, photographer of the Salt Lake Deseret News, allowed me these pictures, he and so many others were there documenting, but he did it with grace and respect, always understanding the real humanity of what was taking place.

The first song is the first 9 years of our life. For people that want back story here is our time line:

May 12 2000:  I married my Love.

August 2000: I was in a terrible car accident and miscarried our first child

June 2001: Our first Miracle baby (after 10 months of bed rest) Bug-Bug was born

* many heart breaking miscarriages*
8 failed adoptions

November 2003: We adopted Scooby at 3 days old

February 2005: Expecting Twins (bed rest again)

April 2005: miscarried one of the Twins

September 2005: “Peanut butter” made his Celebrity appearance.
….and I had a dream that would change everything…about a little brown girl running hand in hand with a little blonde boy…..so we went to find her.

August 2006: (on my 27th birthday) I emailed the Orphanage about adoption.


October 2006: Adoption began: Referral for Divalicious was given

November 2006: Referral for Gibson Jack was given.


April 2007 : Easter Sunday, Gibson passed away from dehydration

* four days later, with his already packed suitcase we traveled to Haiti to meet Diva.

April 2007:  In Haiti we fell in love with Chatter-box and Cookie. Diva and Cookie were 18 months, Chatter only 3.

May 12 2007:  On what would have been Gibsons 1st birthday, we planted a tree in his name, and the kids wrote and drew letters, and we sent them to him on white balloons.

June 2007: I took the Child Referral and Update Specialist position as an adoption coordinator for my children’s Orphanage.

Oct 2007:  My third trip to Haiti, now leading parents and volunteers, we met and fell in love with Papillion, just barley 14….paper work was in Haiti by that January.

* years and trips, and miscarriages later: kids were still not home.

August 2008: Scooby was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes

Oct 2008:  Bugs traveled to Haiti with us to meet her brothers and Sisters.
We found and FELL head over heals in LOVE with a 7 lb, 22 day old beautiful baby boy, "Dude" we ALL were toast....we started his adoption as well.

* kids files still stuck in IBESR (had been for two years)

November 2009 I traveled to Haiti with parents and Volunteers…

Novemeber 2009 While flying home, Baby Faith was born and Hubs went to get her from the hospital.

SIX WEEKS LATER:

January 2010 The Haitian Earthquake

For 28 hours we had no idea whether our children had survived. We finally herd word that the Orphanage at the epicenter of the Earthquake still stood, all the children had survived.
I don’t have the words yet for that. We went. We did not sleep, really, for a month, maybe two. I saw and lived things, things that I can’t, not yet say, or talk about. We were protected, guided and held up by Gods tender hands. Angles, Celestial and Earthly surrounded us and our cause. Lady (most time in hidious orange shirt) with the brown long hair...thats me,green shirted skinny guy...my hubs.  "All" of my children came home (and by “Mine” I mean the 50 children that I LOVED, worked with and depended on me to take them to safety, to their Mom’s and Dad’s, brothers and sisters… they came home to their forever families. Some more broken, and damaged and scared then others, but they lived, when many, too many to count, did not.

The rest is about us healing and learning to be a family.


The song “Black and White” aka “Bock-a- WHA” is my Haitian kids favorite songs…they LOVE Michael Jackson and it makes me smile to know half of these pictures probably had that song playing in the background….we are a home of music, miracles and healing.

Happy May 12th, in our home it is more than a Wedding Anniversary, more than a Day we are committed to being a forever Family, more than a birthday cake that Gibson will not blow the candles out…. It is a day we remember all that we have lived, loved and survived to get us here……

Sunday, May 8, 2011

You are Beautiful Today &. So. Are. They!!!





Today is a little bit of this and a little bit of that . My heart is full, grateful and reflective.  Mothers Day has been to me many things throughout my life. As a child celebratory as a teen, something I celebrated and looked toward in the future, as a young adult, I was told I would never bear children and it was something I mourned, and felt less worth because of.
Once becoming a Mother, they were holidays beyond enjoyed, ones left raw by a miscarriage or failed adoption, ones that I wanted to ignore all together while I waited and suffered through those three Mothers Days without all of my children under one roof.
Mothers Day is a day about life, nurturing, the sustaining beauty in a woman’s heart.

A milestone was made yesterday. A GIANT milestone. Papillion, who struggles with massive entitlement, has never been able to spend her money, anything she has or earned on someone else, this is about survival, and I get it. For Mothers Day she asked Hubs to take her shopping…she bought me a cover for my phone a $30 decorative case to protect my cell phone. This is HUGE for a number of reasons…me having a cell phone and her not has been a giant trigger for months, also she had earned the money doing hair, and spent money she  earned on me. I cried , like ugly cried…and she probably thought I was a freak, and she is probably right.

Today I am puking my guts out, comes with the territory of hormones and Lupus, eh, it is what it is…Hubs took the four oldest to church. The congregation handed out giant Symphony Chocolate Bars to all of the Women/Mothers. Hubs asked Scoobs to grab me one.. to bring home…..and then he forgot.
Until he went to pick up Scooby in Sunday School and.... found a boy and half a chocolate bar. 
And Scoobs started to cry.

He came home, embarrassed as the other kids confessed his crimes to me before her entered the front door. They were giggling and he began to sob and told them to “STOP LAUGHING.” I gave em all the “shut it” look only a Mama can give, and picked up Scoobs on my hip and walked him into the music room. He cried for about 10 minutes while I held him, once calmed, I told him, “ya know, I would have had a HARD time holding that Chocolate Bar through church without eating it too, and ya know what…I would have shared it with you when you got home…so great you ate the part I would have shared (maybe a little bit more)…but lets  make it fair, can you grab the candy bar and lets finish splitting it up and you can bring the others their chocolate?” He smiled and said , “sure, and since I had mine , I probably don’t need anymore.”…”Good point bud.”

Today, (and I very well know it may not be tomorrow),  I am SO GRATEFUL for what my children’s challenges have pushed me to learn. I am so proud of the empathy I have learned to have. Coming from a “Tough Love” home…that is what I knew..and loving my kids is TOUGH….B.U.T. the empathy, the kindness, the helping  them make it right without the  shaming, my goodness….It makes me feel better about myself, it is how as an adult I want to be treated, and I am not a tender, traumatized still learning and growing child.(snort ....well O.K. maybe I am somedays)

MY LESSON

I know I have belly-ached about my Lupus before. I struggle with the pain, but more embarrassingly, I struggle with the vanity of what this disease does to me.
I work out, eat healthy and struggle with weight. I mean S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E
You see since my teens I have been off and on the devils drug (formally known as Prednisone). It is a Steroid that racks my body, makes me FAT (like makes me look 5 months pregnant), and trashes my skin, and moisture in my body and generally makes me look like a Thanksgiving Day float. Whatever.
I lost around 20 pounds this fall…and when spring came, my numb arms and now the swelling and liquid around my heart  is BAD, worse it's stupid dangerous, which is sooo overly annoying to me…so back on the “Devil”….and it took two weeks to gain what I lost in six months…I know Boo-hoo…but really it kinda sucks in the “what’s left of my vanity department.”

Sooo Easter was a comin'…my kids get new church duds, my aunt donates to the fund. It’s fun and exciting to dress the shorties up….and there is nuthin wrong with a little retail therapy now and then.  RIGHT?
…well I had Peanut Butter with me at Freddies…I had decided , I was NOT buying myself a new dress until I was back to my former size…and would save the money until then.
I saw a dress that caught my eye, I pushed the cart over to it and pulled it out, checked the price held it against me…and resorted to “I will buy it when I can wear the “right” size”….and then I heard a little voice. “Mama, that dress is soooo Pretty, it will make you look so brea-u-ti-ful, are you going to buy it?” ….I hugged him and told him, “Not yet lil’ man..Mama is puffy from her meds…so when I am not puffy anymore I will come back and get it.” …

and then came the words “BUT YOU ARE BREA-U-TI-FUL TODAY.”

And well, it hit me like a ton of bricks. We are ALL beautiful today, and So. Are. THEY.
We all have a long way to go, things to heal, ways to be better or stronger or….. whatever. Yet if we do not STOP and SEE the beauty TODAY….what is the point in tomorrow?

So damnit go buy yourself a freakn’ dress…SEE the beauty, know TODAY may be as good as it gets…and well try embracing it…it really will make tomorrow and the next day and the next..even better.

Happy Mothers Day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Letter from a Parent



So many people don't understand. So many see us as over anxious, power hungry, controlling parents. That judgement is even more painful coming from family and close friends. As we make our children's worlds smaller, more manageable, at times we have to cut out, sacrifice the life and activities we wish we were living...but if healing is the goal, no sacrifice is too great. As humans we all deserve the basic right to love and feel loved. helping our children become whole, helps them receive and be capable of that basic right.