Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goodbye 2012

2012 started out as the year I got up every morning with a fussy baby, and a handful of little kids that tried very hard everyday to see what they could get into. Loved to fight and wouldn't touch a toy. RAD ran so strong through our house and I could not find any joy in my life. Although I was surrounded with the joy of my little ones everyday, at that time of my life I just couldn't see it. This was truly the lowest time of my life. I felt as though I would never make it through those long winter days. I felt that the kids were never going to behave and the baby was never going to stop crying.

2012 was the year I sat at home all the time while my husband worked at building us a dream house that, in my mind, we were never going to live in. I felt alone, overwhelmed, depressed and was sure our marriage would not make it through.

2012 was the year that I found out the hard way that family didn't have to be people related to you by blood, but the people who truly want to be in your life.

2012 was the year that I faced my biggest fear and over came it. I jumped on a plane for the first time and went to meet 90 other women who were strangers to me.

2012 was the year those strangers became some of the most important people in my life.

2012 was the year that I saw how serious mental illness can be and how it almost ripped my family apart.

2012 was the year I realized my daughter may never be able to to live in our home again and Shawn and I had some major decisions to make. I realized safety had to come first.

2012 was the year I realized that I had no control over my life and that I would have to trust God with every part of it. That I had to quit feeling sorry for myself because this was not what I had planned for my life and accept what God had planned for me.

2012 was the year we moved into a bigger house giving us all more breathing space.

2012 was the year we finalized our adoption on our 8th child and finally felt compete.

2012 was the year we reunited with old friends, made new friends and I mourned over friendships that were lost years ago because our paths went different directions.

2012 was the year I realized who really mattered.

2012 was the year I gained the confidence to travel with my children alone.

2012 was the year I started thinking less about others and more about me.

2012 was the year I decided I truly don't care what anyone thinks of me or my decisions and that I have to do what is right for my family and myself.

2012 was the year Shawn and I started to put each other first and really truly enjoy each other falling in love all over again.

2012 was by far the hardest year of our marriage.

2012 was the year I learned so much about myself.

Goodbye 2012, I have a lot of mixed feelings about you.

Hello 2013, I'm nervous to see what you hold.


After a lot of thought I have decided that I am taking a break from blogging. In the last month I have run into some minor snags. First of all, Picasa will no longer let me upload pictures to my blog. It says I have used up all my memory space and need to buy more. It is very inexpensive and not a big deal, but my blog no longer fits our family. We are no longer, and haven't been for a long time, Seven From Heaven. So when/if I start blogging again I will be starting a new one. I have though about this an awful lot in the last few weeks and right now I just don't have the time to devote to blogging like I would like to.

I owe so much to blogging. It gave me Orlando and a wonderful community of trauma mamas and for that I am so thankful. I will be back, I just don't know when. I'd love to say when things slow down, but I don't think they ever will. If you would like to get in touch with me leave me a comment and your email address and I will email you.

Thanks for following along on our family's journey.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My decision

A few days ago I finished writing a post, that I never published, about how wore out I was with RAD and Tator. How tired of this life I was and dealing with her and everything that came along with it. Even though she had not been here for 4.5 months we had still been dealing with her and the the things that came with it.

 Over the week of Thanksgiving she proved she still wanted nothing to do with me or our family and nothing was going to change that. It felt hopeless. The time away from us did nothing for her.

We did go and check out the camp, Shawn and I fell in love with it and thought It could really help her. But we also knew she has to want to work at learning how to get along in a family for those changes to come.
Last week I was in a very low place. I had become overtaken with anxiety and depression about how my life had not turned out like I wanted it too and that I wanted one big fat do-over. I cried at the drop of a hat. I would look at my kids and want so bad to be the mom they deserved, but couldn't and felt like I never had been. Putting one foot in front of the other became a major task for me.
I have been mad at my husband for a while now. I felt that as the head of our house he should stand up and say enough is enough. Make  the decision for our family that we needed to make other arrangements for her. We have done enough. I felt he should see what I go through everyday with the other kids, what I've already been through with her, and realize I can't take on anymore. I felt he should accept the fact that Tator does not want to be in our family and let her go. Stop the fighting. Let's give her what she wants. She's done, I'm done, why go on living like this. Why put ourselves through taking her to this camp and making all these changes for the next couple years.
When I shared this with him he was adamant that her thinks this is going to work and that we need to stick to the plan of sending her there. He knew I was done and that he would take on all the responsibility of it.
Yesterday I had therapy and was sharing all this with my therapist. I was telling her how upset I felt because he didn't stand up and say we're done. I didn't understand why he wanted to put our family through this and continue on with the plan. It was going to be a big strain on our family in many ways. Then she said to me something I had not realized. She said, but he did make the decision, just not the one you wanted." He made the decision to hang in there, keep trying, and figure out how we could make this work.
This week I am doing much better. I realize my husbands heart and how I have to stand by him. As I sit on my couch with my 4 littles playing at my feet I realize how blessed I truly am and that God is still working on me. He has come through in ways I have never imagined. Here a new friend of mine grew up in the same town the camp is at and her mom has room for us to stay at her house so we don't have to drive straight through or pay for a hotel when we go get her for home stays. People have offered to by clothes or pay for gas. Things I never saw coming.
So this morning as I sit here feeling totally blessed and knowing God is going to take care of it all, I have to have peace in the fact that God is in control. This, by no means was my plan. I wanted that perfect family and life to run smooth. I never dreamt in that family I would have children with special need, let alone a child that for 7 years would work against me and fight our love. When we started down this foster/adoption road I flat out told God I would not have a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Ha, don't do that, I imagine God chuckling at me everyday.
I do want to start blogging more about the other kids and not RAD as much. The last 4.5 months that she's been gone have made me see who I am and who I want to be. I'm getting therapy and learning to like myself more and more. The kids are all growing and maturing and I'm learning more and more about each of them everyday. I now can think, I no longer walk around with my head in a fog, feeling like PTSD had taken over me and my mind.
While Tator is gone I will focus on me and what the other kids need. We will become healthier and stronger as a family. We will continue to pray that she makes the choice to change and want to be with us. I will not carry the burden of her decisions or the stress of trying to figure out how we are going to make all the travel arrangements work on my shoulders everyday. I am going to let God take care of that for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

She's Back

Tator made it home last night at about 9:30pm. She can in with 5 large boxes of clothes and a large black trash bag full of stuff. I have not went through them yet. We did dig through them enough to realize her sleeping pills were not there. I called the house she had been staying in and they said we were supposed to pick them up at the clinic before we left. That would have been a nice thing for them to tell Shawn before he left with her. He didn't even think about it. He said he was too busy trying to figure out how her was going to fit all her stuff in the van.

Shawn talked with her on the way home about the camp. She asked a lot of questions. She acted like she is really not sure she wants to go. Very early this morning she picked up right where she left off 4.5 months ago. No violence, just game play, testing us, showing us life is still all about her. She will have to go to camp, she is not ready to be here.

The past couple days I have had a lot of anxiety about us taking her to this camp. My concern is the travel time that is involved. I have no idea how this is going to work. Child care for the other kids is going to be a big issue and none of the time we are going to be on the road is over the weekend. So I am not going to be able to depend on my husband for child care or drive time. I keep asking him how we are going to do this and all he says is, it will have to work.

One of my children is not capable of riding in the car for 18 hours. He just can not handle it. I'm not even sure that Tator can handle it.

I'm also concerned about the financial strain this will cause on us. Because of pick up/drop off times I will almost have to stay over night there when I go down to pick her up then again to drop her off after her 4 day home stay.

I am trying to have faith that God will work it all out. I feel he has brought us to this camp and this is his will. I'm just having a hard time trusting him right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tick Tock

A couple days ago I told my fellow trauma mamas all I could hear in my head was the sound of a clock ticking. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it sounded more like the sound of a fuse on a bomb becoming shorter and shorter.

I have prayed nonstop. I have asked you to pray and we have felt your prayers.

Today we went to see an attorney. We asked him a lot of questions. From what happens if we give the agency temporary custody to what happens if we throw in the towel and give them permanent custody. And many other things that have to do with insurance and different ways to keep her in the residential longer.

A couple months ago a friend told me about a camp a few states away that works with troubled kids. It's a Christian girls camp that lasts anywhere from 16 to 22 months. Their main focus is teaching the girls respect, getting along with peers, life skills, etc. They said they thought they could help Tator. She has 3 out of 4 of the diagnoses that were listed on the camps site. They have had luck with some if the girls who have come with attachment issues. Some they could not help. I don't believe this will help her attachment to me, but since our last therapy session I have been trying to figure out a way that we can live together weather she is attached to me or not.

I sent in the registration forms last week and called the director again on Monday asking him if he thought she could get in he said they were having a meeting on Tuesday. I should call back Tuesday afternoon.

After we left the attorneys office I knew this was the only choice we had to keep custody of our daughter. I dropped Shawn at his truck and called them. Holding my breath the whole time.

She has been excepted and can go the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are pretty sure we can afford it. Because we have such a large family it will only cost us about 100 dollars more than our subsidy that we get monthly for her. Our main concern is the drive time. The camp is a few states away. A nine hour drive one way. We will have to drive down every 6 weeks and get her for a 4 day home stay. 36 hours is a long time to be driving in a 4 day weekend with 4 little kids. Not to mention Tators road rage that I'm sure has not disappeared.

We are committed to trying this one last thing. I talked with a lady last night who used to drive 12 hours one way to get there. She said it was well worth it. Her daughter left her home as a very disturbed 10 year old and came back almost 2 years later as a totally different child. 

This weekend we will drive 2 hours south to pick her up from res. then 2 hours home. To then drive 9 hours south, spend 2-3 hours checking out the camp. Then turn around and drive another 9 hours back.

The camp says she has to be willing to come there. They are big on that, she has to feel like it was her choice. Now we just have to pray she is willing to go. I have no idea how she is going to take to living in the wilderness. Expecaly with winter right around the corner. I'm really hoping that she agrees.

If not this might be the point in which the fuse reaches the end and everything explodes.