Sunday, February 25, 2007

Reclaiming Surrendered Ground -- Living With a RAD Child

My darling Goldilocks (6) has severe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).  This is a disorder that a child can develop in the first 3 years of life, if they have been horribly neglected and/or abused.  These children have a terrible time bonding with people and tend to act out in very destructive ways.  Our Goldilocks came to us at 20 months of age as a foster child and we have since adopted her.  She saw and experienced things that we cannot and do not want to imagine. What we do know of her past is so sickening that it still makes us cry.  Yet, after nearly 5 years of turmoil, she is truly starting to bloom.   This past year Goldilocks has been making more and more strides toward healing and acclimating into our family.  She has finally accepted us as her parents and trusts that we mean her no harm.  For the last 10 days, her one-on-one worker and her therapist have been on vacation, so, in a sense, we have been on our own.  Normally, this would mean a great deal of stress for me, and our entire family routine would have been disrupted by one of Goldilocks' blow outs. She has never made it ten days without a major meltdown before.  The amazing blessing that has fallen on our family is that Goldilocks did not blow out -- in fact, she rode through every little crisis (not getting new shoes when someone else did, her favorite stuffed dog's ear being eaten by our dog, a fall off the swing set, Mom being sick enough to actually take to my bed ,which shows a sign of weakness and thus in her mind untrustworthiness, etc.). Just as you would expect of a well behaved 6 year old to do!!!  In the past, any one of these events would have caused several stormy days.  We are so thankful for all of the wonderful people who have worked tirelessly to help our little girl heal and our Creator for answering our prayers.  We are not out of the woods yet by a long shot, but every month gets easier raising our precious little girl.  We are filled with hope and faith as we reclaim surrendered ground.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes!

I just had a sweet conversation with my two youngest.  I was rocking my 3 and 4 year olds before bedtime and the conversation turned to WHO and WHAT made this and that.  This has been the running theme of the day.  So the questions went like this- "Who made milk?"  Reply "A cow."  My daughter (3) countered with "Who made the cow?"  I replied, "God."  The conversation went on with "Who made grass, sun, wind, chocolate, snowflakes, the color blue, etc." in which my answers eventually kept coming back to God.  After about 15 minutes of this, my daughter (3) stood up in bed, put her hands on her hips, and with all the seriousness she could muster said, "This God guy is a big deal!"  Yes, he is my darling! Yes, he is.

Out of the mouths of babes! I just love those sweet teachable moments!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Where Is the Snow?!

I know some of you are drowning in snow, but I haven't seen any here in the mountains of NC.  Boy, I would love a good snowfall.  So I was pondering the lack of snow in my neck of the woods today and remembered that months ago I had bought this great product for my kids who have Sensory Intergration Dysfunction ... Godilocks (6) and Tom Sawyer (4).  It's called SNOW MOBILITY  and it is put out by the company Claytronics-  It is this tiny container to which you add water.  Well we ended up with enough fake snow to fill the rice table and the kids had a blast this afternoon (even Mom and the teen got in on the fun).  It was so fluffy and soft and great sensory input for my little ones.  We added a bit more water which turned it into packing snow that the kids could make imprints with their hands and feet.  What great stuff.  It turned what was becoming a blah, cold afternoon into a day that felt like Christmas!  To make the product even more perfect, it brushed right off clothes and the broom swept up what hit the floor with no problem and it is supposed to last for weeks.  KID-TESTED AND MOM AND KID-APPROVED!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We are home!!!!

I love going on vacation but it is so nice to be home.  It was great seeing family and friends and our childhood homes.  Wow! has the Washington D.C. area changed.  Even though my husband and I were raised there, it is like going to a foreign country.  There are so many more highways and the houses just get bigger and bigger.  In my Dad's neighborhood, they are tearing down the 1950's homes and putting in McMansions.  That's what they call them in Fairfax County.  They have no land and are huge -- 4000 to 5000 square foot houses for 3 or 4 people.  Most folks don't have more than one or two kids. My Dad told me that some children who were born to English speaking parents have to take ESL classes when they get to school, because they spent way more time with Spanish speaking nannies than their own parents.  Also, so many people are working so many hours to afford the McMansions that they hardly ever get to come home and enjoy the McMansions.  Maybe it's just me and I hate being judgmental but it seems like a lot of people are missing the point in life up there.  What happened to having time to take care of your kids and enjoy your life instead of working yourself into an early grave?  To those of you who live up there and read my blog -- I know many people up there feel trapped by the fast pace lifestyle and are trying hard to have more time. I am soooo glad that my husband and I chose a lifestyle that allows us to have lots of time with our kids.  We aren't rich in money and assets, but we are very rich in love, memories, and laughter.