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Monday, September 29, 2014

Thoughtful Baby.....

Something is up with Char. She's not saying what yet, hoping it doesn't come out negatively when it does. I keep letting her know we're here when/if she's ready to talk about it, but no words yet.

This weekend, we finished our reno project and started bringing our stuff back in the house. Both Saturday AND Sunday Char requested family time and all to watch a movie together.  This is a big deal. She enjoys our Friday family night, but usually just plays off and on alone with the occassional visit with us during normal time.  In addition, the 3 of us went antique shopping together.  She ended up enjoying it and finding 2 antique dolls and a high chair.  She said she's ready to take up that habit with us now.

It was so nice to have so much togetherness and so little bickering.

BUT....I hurt my back getting the stuff back in the house in between the quality family time.

This morning I had to break the news to her that while I was willing to stay in the bathroom, I would not be able to wash her hair for her in the tub, she'd need to take a shower.  We had about 2 seconds of "ahhh...." and she cut it off before it turned to a whine.  She said "Okay momma, but you don't have to stay in here, go lay down and rest your back til time to go".

When I got home tonight, it's STILL ridiculous and she said while we were serving up dinner, "Momma, remember when you hurt your ankle?

me: "Yeah....." (wondering where this is going)
Char: "Remember what I said?"
Daddy: "it'll feel better when it quits hurting?"
Char "No, I said I'd be momma's servant, well, momma, that holds true for now too while your back is hurting, just don't be needy"

lol.....my crazy kid, really, don't be needy.  I'll take it, it's rare to have her volunteering for helping with something

Daddy: "Maybe you should loan momma your bell?" (not sure if I mentioned the bell before, it's for her to prevent yelling across the house after bedtime if she needs us)
Char "Well, daddy, let's not get crazy about it"


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thankfulness.....

the author of my favorite blog challenged her readers in this to share their thankfuls:
http://lastmom.com/thanksgiving-thursday-im-thankful-daughter/#comments

So, here it goes.

Like last mom, I'm totally addicted to my daughter. She's my love and my baby, even if she is a teenager ;)

I'm thankful:


  • she enjoys mommy/daughter time enough that despite being a normal teenager, at least once a week, she'll request some extra time with me!!
  • she was willing to give us a chance as her family, despite how many people have let her down in the past....chaos was the norm, not the exception previously
  • she continues to try so hard to heal
  • she chose a good example for her best friend, making it easier for her to know how to relate to kids her age and not get sucked into bad peer pressure
  • she's tolerate and open.....she's not judgmental at all and she believes firmly in equality for all people
  • she forgives me when I make mistakes
  • she's AMAZING with the pets and I've never had to worry about their safety (which is a real concern for a lot of kids diagnosed RAD)
  • she's not a couch potato and likes activity
  • she enjoys doing many of the same things we do, she's not just humoring us going to concerts, plays and more!
  • she's funny and gets us! 

Therapy Pets

It was suggested before we adopted Char, that a therapy dog may be a great plan for her and that Arlo would fit the bill based on his personality.

It's become therapy PETS.  Arlo, Bonkers, Rocza and Lucifer.  All 4 of our pets have been instrumental in helping our child work through her feelings.

We talk through difficult subjects "through" the pets instead of directly at times to make it easier.

Change has always been difficult from day 1 with Char.  Changing something puts in a fear that maybe our family situation will change too.

Even the little things she resists changing, so in 2013 we had no remodeling projects and this year tried in advance to prepare her for our projects.

She struggled at first and then settled in pretty well, but sometimes with her you can't be 100% sure whether she's faking it and masking her feelings because she logically KNOWS, but her heart tries to betray her with her feelings.

We just finished refinishing the floors, which completed the end of our living room and dining room remodel.  Yesterday we were able to start putting our new furniture in the house and while it's exciting for us, we know that it can be stressful for her.  She seemed excited though and her and the pups settled into the couch and snuggled while we tested the TV.

Arlo was giving her lots and lots of kisses and she asked him what was wrong and why he was so lovey and clingy this morning.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKING!!!

We said "Maybe he's worried with all the changes going on and wants to snuggle to make sure he's not a change, we should reassure him and give him kisses back" and "Arlo, you know FAMILY never changes, us, Char, and the rest of your siblings are all family and that never changes"

Today was a GREAT day!!! In the middle of all the chaos from putting stuff back in the house, we decided to watch a movie together as a family, at Char's suggestion. It was so nice all being in the room together watching a movie.  Well, a movie and a half, we also caught the end of one of DH's favorite movies and her and daddy had a great time laughing thru that.

Adoption Day

Adoption Day is in November just 11 days after "our" adoption day.

National Adoption Day, Our Adoption Day.....so much in November.

We got an email yesterday asking if we were interested in participating in an adoption event this year on Adoption Day. I'm bouncing the walls at the idea of being selected.

While C's former case worker was upfront and said she has no idea how it works since she's requesting based on that area of the state and we live in this area of the state, she'd send in request for us to be one of the invited families.

It's an elite invitation, with 4 families from each region of the state invited to the Governors Mansion to celebrate Adoption Day there. Not sure of all the activities, but our whole family is just stoked at the idea of being able to have dinner or festivities or something AT THE MANSION.

How cool would this be?

Now, I'm almost wishing we hadn't made reservations for our adoption anniversary our of town because this is going to be twice in one month with a road trip and overnight trips.

So special.  Before we said okay, I talked to Char to make sure she wouldn't be too overwhelmed by the idea.  She's more concerned that we will not be selected, lol.....I think she likes the idea of dressing up and going to a mansion and being all that!!

Now, off to find me and Char a new dress suitable for the occassion.

Who cares if we don't know if we're going yet?

A girl and her dress.....oh, and new shoes!! That's a must!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Holiday Tip

Yes, I know it's September

Yes, I'm posting a Holiday Tip

Yes, I've started my shopping, and actually almost finished with it

My tip for adoptive parents is every chance you get, find something personalized for your child.  Many times when a child is adopted from foster care, they've had years of having to leave their belongings behind in a hurry, things not being sent to them, belongings being lost, etc.  As a child moves from foster home to foster home, there may be "community toys", toys that are meant for the whole household, or even community/hand me down clothes.

That little extra to personalize the gift, perhaps a tote bag with their name on it, for example, goes a long way to saying "I mean what I say, this gift is for you.  You are important."

Most people like feeling like they have belongings that are truly theirs and many of the kids coming up through the foster system either don't have that luxury or don't trust that luxury.  Something as simple as a name on their bookbag or lunchbox says "This is something that will not be taken away from you to pass to the next child".




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bullying

I hate bullying. I hate that it continues to go on despite 0 tolerance policies.

Char has had at least 3 instances of something happening before gym that has kept her out of that class and "hurt" her ankle twice and requested my writing a note to get her out of gym.  Once I did write the note. The other time I was on to her and figured out something was up.

After a temper tantrum, she finally said she hates gym class because the kids make fun of her in gym for being slow and being fat.

I wasn't fat in school, but I was slow.  Athletics isn't my strength, so I totally got what she was saying.

She's not fat either, not a skinny girl by any means, but not "fat".  She's also far more athletic than I ever will be, she plays outside so much of the time.

I told her I wasn't writing a note because if her ankle was hurting bad enough to get out of gym it was hurting bad enough to not play on her trampoline and she was full force out there.

She cried and cried and finally told me about the bullying going on in gym class. She said she doesn't want my calling the school because it will make it worse.

I wish I could make it better. She's always a target. It's almost like her trauma and reactions are written on her face that she doesn't have the tools to effectively fight back with it.  We work on it and work on it, but she has years of learning social situations to catch up on to help avoid being the target of middle school brats.

We've gotten another American Girl book on bullying and her and I went through it together and I've encouraged her to read it and memorize some of the coping skills, but I feel so helpless.

What to do....what to do.....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Familiversary

For my adoptive peers out there, what do you do to celebrate? Do you celebrate?

It seems almost counter intuitive to celebrate. Adoption always has some loss involved.  In Char's case, loss of birth family, loss of first adoptive family, loss of her sister S.

At the same time, we all feel strongly connected and like celebrating anything and everything. So, we asked Char if she'd like to go somewhere and celebrate and she said yes. We gave her a choice of several places and she's chosen Atlanta.

We're going to go to the aquarium, which her and hubs have wanted to go to forever and maybe to Covington and go see movies/TV shows being filmed and get good food.

Hubs suggested beach and she said "We go there all the time, let's do something we don't get to do".

lol....all the time, really?

Also, we've invited her BFF.  It's not just about being family but about her being in a normal atmosphere and getting to be a kid.

BFF's mom said "Char, you're a very lucky girl that you always get to do so many fun things".

Char said "even luckier than I get to do so many of them with my bestie"