Thursday, December 16, 2010

Conversations with Christian....

I have had several interesting conversations with Christian as of late.   Here are a couple of my favorites.

The Devil made me do it.
I went to pick up my darling son after school one day and the teacher looks and me and mouths "I need to talk with you".  Great... that is never good.  After the majority of the parents leave the hallway the teacher proceeds to tell me about Christian's "hard day' .   He talked without stopping when he wasn't supposed to, even after warnings, and couldn't keep his feet to himself at the table and was putting them on his table mates.    Perfect!  So I decide to have a little chat with my young son.

Me: Christian, you wanna tell me how your day was today?
Christian: It wasn't good mom.
Me: Why didn't you make good choices?
Christian: It isn't my fault... Mrs. Booth said I just forgot how to control my body;.
Me: Christian, you are responsible for your choices and you need to make good ones.
Christian: Mom, it isn't my fault!  It is all Satan's fault.
Me: (what the heck?  must hold back laughter)   Christian, it is isn't Satan's fault you made bad choices.
Christian: Mom it is Satan's fault!
(back and forth a couple of times)
Me:  Ok fine, how is it Satan's fault you made a bad choice?
Christian:  Because, he is the one that committed the very first sin by thinking he could be better and more powerful than God. And, he tried to talk others into to trying to be more powerful than God.   Now everyone makes bad choices, so it is all his fault.

Happy New Year
Today, we were leaving school when Christian mentioned that his teacher said she would see him next year.   I said that is true, on January 1st  it won't be 2010 it will be 2011.   Christian then informed me that meant that Jesus was almost 2011 years old then. I asked him where he heard that, he said... I just know mom.

Some days I am not sure how I am going to make it through the next 13+ years of parenting my son... I am gonna have to brush up on some things and fast!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adoption... A Blessing and a Challenge

We have been blessed to have adopted our youngest two children.  However, with the blessings of adoptions come the challenges. 

  • No one can really tell you how much contact with a biological family is good/bad. 
  • No one can really tell you how old to start such contact.
  • No one can tell you how to help children navigate the strong feelings of abandonment that adopted children have. 
  • No one can tell you how to talk to your kids about their adoptions and family the "best way"
  • No one can tell you how to help heal the hurts of the past.

No one really knows for sure. It is individual. It is a nebulous area of "what do you think is best?"   

I struggle with this sooo much.  How do I help my babies if no one can tell me what to do?

If I do this wrong,... If I mess up this conversation about: her mom, her dad, his mom, his dad, their families... will that impact them forever?  Will it cause them a lifetime of pain?   Will it make things worse?   How do I spare them the pain I know is inevitable in their lives?

Tonight I hope I did it right. Chloe and I talked about her journey to our family, her tummy mommy and daddy and who they are. We talked about why her and Josiah look alike in baby pictures.  We talked about how permanent adoption is and that you can only be adopted one time.  It is forever, and ever. 

She yearns for these conversations.  She has known she was adopted for a long time. This was not our first conversation.  Each time I pray for wisdom and try to organize the feelings, and ease the hurt i know she doesn't understand yet.

Heavenly Father,   Please guard my children's hearts and help them to heal.  I love them so much. You gave them to me to watch,  protect, love, and train to follow you.  I  know the road ahead for them will be littered with trials and tribulations.  I know that You know their pain and can heal their hurts.   Give me wisdom in every  conversation that I have, that I may speak words of truth into their hearts. That they will know that their birth parents loved them, but could not care for them.  That you chose our family to be their forever family.  Keep them safe from the darkness the enemy will try to bring to the beautiful thing adoption is.   

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Christian's version of storytelling...

While Josiah was in the hospital I had a couple of people help me out.  One of them was the developmental therapy company for Christian.  The owner picked him up from school for me. It was a huge blessing.

Well today I am chatting with Colleen (owner) on the phone.    She shared with me a jewel of a story about my amazing blessing Christian.

(Christian and Colleen in car on way from school to center)

Christian: I am going to tell you a story... I can tell you the one about Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, or Daniel and the lion's den.   Have you ever heard of any of those stories?

Colleen:  I have heard all of those stories but I would love for you to refresh my memory!

Christian: Oh... ok, well you pick one.

Colleen: Adam and Eve

Christian:  Ok well there was Adam and he was a man, and there was Eve and she was a woman.  God told Eve not to eat the fruit but she did anyway. God told Adam not to eat the fruit but Eve told him to and he did anyway. Then they were naked, and then there was a baby.

At this point Colleen told me she laughed hysterically all the way to the therapy center with my son.  She said it was one of the best stories she had ever heard! 

I told her maybe we need to work on sequencing events in stories a little more in therapy...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Josiah...He is the youngest and newest addition to our family.   Josiah has had the most struggles of any of our children.  This is partly why I have waited so long to post about him. I was trying to decide how to describe him.
Josiah was born prematurely just like Christian. In fact he actually weighed more at 3lbs 15oz. However, he was born exposed to methamphetamine just like his biological sister Chloe. He spent 8 weeks in the NICU and has faced many medical challenges: severe asthma, severe reflux, aspiration issues, and feeding problems. Toss in substantial developmental delays and you have a perfect storm of obstacles.

Josiah came to us at 8 months old. Our first week together was spent in the hospital where his first of multiple feeding tubes was placed. That summer was full of hospital stays and doctors visits.  Fall brought about a g-tube (surgical feeding tube) placement and a surgery to help with his reflux.  The next six months were filled with seven  more hospital adventures for asthma issues and RSV. In addition to all of the medical challenges, Josiah faces tremendous developmental hurdles. At 8 months old he had just learned to roll across the floor, was not sitting up, socially smiling, or babbling.

Now a year later he is still our child with the most medical issues.  I am writing this blog while staying  in the hospital with him for yet another asthma flare. While we have conquered the feeding issues and no longer use the feeding tube we still have many hurdles to face.   He has the most substantial developmental delays of any child we have had. We are not sure yet what exact cause of all his delays are, but we are testing him to exclude autism next week.

In the end it doesn't matter to us. As I tell my friends... "They could tell me he is a purple snoopy dog and I wouldn't care as long as we get him what he needs!" We meet him where he is and do our best to get him the support he needs to move forward. 

Josiah has many strengths! He loves climbing on things and walking around the house. He also LOVES food.  His favorite game is peek-a-boo and his favorite words are mama, uh-oh and of course no!  He also has one of the best belly laughs I have ever heard! Josiah is my two year old, who is more like a 1 year old, and I love him for all of his quirks and challenges. Most of all I love watching him blossom into who God designed him to extremely special blessing!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Chloe!  Chloe is our little princess. She came to live with us at six weeks old. She was our very first foster/adopt placement and she stole our hearts the moment we met.   Chloe was born addicted to meth, and was not able to return home, so we adopted her in March of 2009. 
Today... She is 3 years old and is a force of nature.   She is sweet, funny, expressive, and dramatic.  A whirlwind of emotions and energy in a very small package.   Chloe has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger (as every little girl should)  but she loves to spend time snuggling with her mommy as wellChloe's special needs stem mostly from her prenatal exposure to drugs, but also from some attachment issues that have started to present themselves. 

One of her challenges is that she is ALWAYS in motion...  
She is our little daredevil to say the least, and will try almost anything once.   Chloe has a fantastic vocabulary and is extremely smart. We just need to figure out how to help her channel the explosive energy God has blessed her with!
I have a couple goals for Miss Chloe Lou this year. The first is for her to go to the Head Start program in our area. She starts the second week in September.  Her team, including Nic and I, think it will be extremely beneficial for her. I would also like to see her start an extracurricular activity.   She has two main interests.  Music and Motion.   So we are thinking either Gymnastics or Music lessons of some kind. The last goal for her will be potty training.  We have made some progress in this area in the last week, but since she is blessed with such a strong will, we want to make it her idea not ours so that we don't have a battle over it.
Our daughter has so much going for her. We just pray for wisdom in helping her to understand where she came from, and helping her navigate the challenges that she will face. I wanted to end this post with a couple of my favorite pictures of her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


So I thought that I should introduce my Blessings one by one.

(Interesting... that song Count Your Blessings just popped into my head in my mother's voice...)

So here we go.  Christian!   He is my only "tummy" baby as he calls himself. He is our one biological child, who overcame many things to make it into this world, including a very sick momma.   He was born prematurely at 33 1/2 weeks and was a tiny 3lbs 7 oz..

Today he is almost six years old and one of the joys of my life.  He is outgoing, funny, quirky, energetic, talkative, and (in my humble opinion) brilliant!  He is also however, special needs and has his own set of special challenges.  He was recently diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. We are unclear whether it will land on Asperger's or PDD-NOS but we know it will be one or the other.
Christian's brain just works in a different way than most people's.  He is very concrete and literal. He is also very specific.  example: "Christian why don't you go watch Horton."   his reply " Mom it isn't just Horton, it is Horton Hears a Who!"  these sorts of conversations happen daily, some times multiple times a day at our home.  Once I informed him that purple was the next color of the rainbow he was looking for, and he replied by letting me know it was actually violet, not purple, but that was ok mom. 

Christian also likes to line things up which can be entertaining sometimes...  I came out of the bedroom to this lovely creation one afternoon.

The other night when I walked into the living room there was a trail of underwear, socks, and toys threading throughout the kitchen living room and dining room.  When I asked him to tell me about his lovely project, he proudly announced " It is is a trail mom, so that when the lights are out we will be able to find our way around the house!"     How thoughtful is that!

One of the things about children on the autism spectrum is that they tend to have a narrow scope of special interests.  Christian played birthday party for approximately two years straight... Not picnic, or BBQ, or Christmas, just birthday party.  Every day was a birthday!   Now however, he is into cutting and coloring his "projects"   they generally theme around his area of interests right now which are baking, animals, and space. 

We are beginning the journey of kindergarten this year and will be registering on Tuesday next week.   He is very excited about school.  I am hopeful he will get a teacher who sees all the amazing gifts he has for speech and math and creativity, not just his challenges.   I will be navigating the intricate world of the school district and IEP's and figuring out how best to get his needs met.  It should be an interesting journey. 

I am sure I will share some of our little Christian-isms with you periodically, since they are abundant! But this is who my first special blessing is... A gift from God, a miracle, who's way of thinking challenges me everyday to think outside of my box and more like him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Special Blessings....

My husband has always said I should start a blog.   I have been resistant for years. I am a busy momma and I don't have time to do things like sit and write.   But now after 7 years I have given in. I have decided to jump into the world of blogging. I have decided to share our stories and the adventures that we go on.

I have decided to call this blog "My Special Blessings"  because my three beautiful children are the most amazing blessings in my life. They are all special needs gifts from God. He has chosen us to parent some of his most precious angels.  We did not know this would be our path. However, we are embracing it fully, looking forward to the rewards, and preparing for the challenges that the years will bring.
This will be a way for our family and friends to share in our journey to know our blessings and to pray for our challenges.