Sunday, May 31, 2009

Country Kids

In the summer of 2005 we moved from Ohio to Southern Indiana. To do this we had to sell two houses in Ohio and buy one in Indiana. God is good!! He allowed us to sell and then buy a house without having to pay a real estate agent.

Finding a house to buy proved to be harder than we had originally thought. First of all, we needed a house big enough to sleep ten people. Your average three bedroom, two bath ranch would not work. Five bedrooms would be about the least we could work with; seven would be preferable. That narrowed the search down quite a bit.

Then there were other considerations we needed to keep in mind as we moved with our little RADlets. They have a tendency to be very (how should I say this?.....) dramatic. When they go into a rage they try to get other adults on their side. They would love nothing more than for another adult to come "rescue" them from their parents when they are being disciplined. So, they sometimes scream so loud and shrill that it sounds as if they are being murdered when they are punished.

Our RADlets have been know to scream things like, "Stop! You're hurting me!!" when we are taking them by the hand leading them to their room. Or "You won't let me to eat!" when we tell them they can eat what we fixed for dinner or not eat but we aren't going to make anything else.

The things they say and the way they say them are disturbing. If I were walking by a house and heard this kind of screaming, I might call child protective services. So, we made the decision to live in the country where our neighbors wouldn't be close enough to hear the screaming, think we are abusing the children and call 911. That narrowed it down even further.

We found two places we thought would work. One was a little further out and had more bedrooms; the other had a larger living area and an out building that we were going to turn into a "little red school house". In the end we choose the one further out, mainly because of price. Looking back we can see that God lead us to this house. It had a room right off the master bedroom that was perfect for bringing home my "little brown baby boy":) and it wasn't close to neighbors at all, so our RADlets could scream in their rage without us parents having to worry about calls to CPS.

One of our RADlets was a runner. Not that he ran track or cross country as a sport. He took off when he got mad. Living in the country was a blessing for him. He could run into the woods and hide for a while without hurting anyone or anyone hurting him. And his screaming didn't bother the wildlife....some just joined with him.

Now we are to a point that if we moved I would not think twice about getting a house in town. My most severe RADlet is residential treatment and my others have healed to the place where this is not even an issue. Amazing!! How far we have come!

I was sharing this with the children the other day, hoping it would encourage them to know how much they had improved. One of my girls, turns to me and says, "Thanks for the complement, mom, but if it's just the same with you, I'd like to stay in the country!"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Reap What You Sow

My oldest is now finding that this verse is true. He's heard it all his life but it is just now becoming real to him. When he lived at home we would tell him that he would someday regret the way he was speaking to and treating his siblings. "Someday" came this past Monday.

He came to the house and for the first time in several weeks we had all eight kids under the same roof. (What a blessing!:)

We celebrated this momentous occasion by taking the all the kids to McDonald's. While sitting in the play area watching the little ones play, the teens began to "rag" on the oldest. I tried my best to mediate but to no avail.

Later, right before my son was leaving to go back to his house, he and I were talking about the attitude of his younger siblings. I was trying to help him to understand how they feel and let him know that I would continue to talk to the teen girls about this. He looked me in the eye and said, "I know I am just reaping what I've sown."

It's moments like those that make me feel good about the job I've done as a parent. They let me know that he is maturing and that he has learned something from his dad and me. I am proud of the man he is becoming. I know many adults that have a hard time admitting things like that about themselves.

The key for him now is to begin to sow good seed. It's not too late. My children can, and I feel very sure that they will, become close friends as they all grow and mature. I can't wait to see that happen and to watch how they relate to one another as adults.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Following The Son

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see; eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. (from Romans chapter 1; The Message)

Yesterday one of my daughters came to me after Science, all excited over something new she had learned. "Did you know," she began, "that plants will grow towards the sun?!" (I love how kids think that they are the first person in the world to learn or figure out something). I assured her that I did know that about plants. Her comment to me was, "That's dumb. Plants should just grow up."

I had to think about that for a minute. Maybe she was right; but then again, God created this world to lead us to our Creator. Maybe plants following the sun is a lesson for us. No matter where a plant is placed it will reach out for the sun. Do we reach for God's Son no matter where we are placed?!

I tried to use that as a teaching moment for my precious daughter to learn about how we should be like the plants and always follow the SON! I'm not sure if she got it but I will never look at a plants the same now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Looking Back to See How Far We've Come

When we first adopted a friend of mine suggested that I begin a journal. She thinks that someday I should write a book. I don't know about the book, but I did take her advice and began to write down just the normal happenings of the day. I'm so glad I did because sometimes it's hard to tell how far you've come until you look back.

My last blog was about my "graduates" and today I found myself reading some of my journal from 2005. Wow! My little RADlet has come soooooo far!!

In 2005 we moved to a new city and state. It was tough on the kids.....especially the RADlets. Even after the rest of the kids had started to make new friends and settle into a routine our RADlets just kept showing their anger. By the end of the year they had literally torn holes in their walls.

Today I read about a time when my littlest RADlet had been given socks to sort and was watching TV instead. I took her and the sock basket to her room and told her she could come out and join us when the socks were sorted. I thought if she wanted to sit and look at them until she decided to fold them that was fine. While she was in her room she decided that there were too many socks so she began to stuff the socks into the hole in her wall. I didin't even notice it at first. A couple of days later we were looking for socks to wear and one of the other girls said somethings about socks in RADlets wall. When we finally went ot investigate we found 138 socks in her wall. She had to do a push up for each sock found (not all at one time...over a period of a couple of days).

The next time we asked her to do socks she was put in her room and told NOT to put them in the wall. (Funny, I never, ever dreamed I would have to tell a child of mine not to put their socks in the wall:) This time she put them in her air return---160. More push ups.

She also once took the register out of the floor and threw it at her teenage brother who was babysitting her. He took it away from her but the cat got into the air duct. When I got home we ran throught the house lifting the vents and calling the cat. We tried milk, string, food. Nothing seemed to work. He was lying just out of reach, watching us call him and purring very loudly. Finally the teenager stuck his arm into the air duct up to his shoulder and grabbed the cat which now looked like the worlds biggest dust bunny!

I can laugh about all this now, although it was anything but funny then. How much we have grown since then!! This little RADlet is one of my "graduates". Praise God!! I can't imagine her doing any of those things now. She has made such a turn around.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Well, it's that time of the year isn't it? The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer and kids are beginning to think about the end of the school year. Graduation time!! There will be those graduating from pre-school, kindergarten, 8th grade, high school and college. The tune to "Pomp and Circumstance" flows through my mind while visions of caps and gowns march across my memory. Although I only had two graduations (high school and college), I remember them very well. They were celebrated and I was honored!

This year two of my children are facing a graduation of sorts. This is not the kind of thing that one sends out invitations to or puts on a mortar board for, however I couldn't be prouder. Both of my girls have worked very hard to get to this point and they deserve a celebration.

Two of my girls have healed to the point where they no longer need to be in therapy!!! They have been working with our family therapist for a couple of years now and last week we got the news that they would be able to make it without therapy now. Awesome!!

Our Doctor is taking us out to a restaurant and buying us lunch to celebrate. No funny hats or gowns, no "Pomp and Circumstance", no parties or presents, but it is a milestone just the same. I hope that they know how proud we are of them. I want them to feel honored. Maybe I should buy them a card and present it to them at lunch. Hmmmm wonder if Hallmark makes a card like that?! "Congratulations on Finishing your Therapy!" I don't know.... Guess I'll have to create one of my own:)

Way to go, girls!!! Now on to the next stage of life!

Friday, May 22, 2009


83% is not a bad score. I would be OK with that if I got it on a test. In our home school we say that if you can get an 80% on a test you have learned the 83% would show competence.

5 out of 6 sounds pretty good as well. We see adds on TV telling us that 5 out of 6 dentists think this toothpaste is the best. If we win 5 out of 6 games in a season of soccer we feel pretty good about it. After all, it's only one loss and no body's perfect....right?!

Sunday morning in Sunday School class we began talking about dysfunctional families and how hard it is to break the cycle. It was suggested that since I have had success in breaking the cycle in 5 out of 6 of my adopted children I should feel pretty good. I don't. What about the one that can't or won't break the cycle.

It reminds me of the something Jesus said about sheep...
"Suppose you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?" (from Luke 15; The Message)

I know how the shepherd feels. I am so happy that my bio children are healthy emotionally. I am ecstatic that my six adopted children have healed (or are working on it). But at the same time, I grieve my one child that is not healing and seems to have no desire to heal.

I want so badly to help him, even to do it for him but that's not the way it works. He has to want to get well. So, I wait and pray and pray and wait some more....maybe someday like the shepherd I will have reason to celebrate.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This morning I did something that, I'm ashamed to say, I haven't done in a while.....I started my day reading God's Word and praying.

Fact is, I've been a committed, involved Christian for more than 30 years and yet I still find it hard to make sure that I have special time with God everyday. Why is that?


We all have them. Mine come in the form of children, the computer, my husband, and friends mostly. These can be wonderful things....blessings from God but the devil uses them against us. He plants them there right in front of us so we have to push them aside to get to God. (Hopefully that's not a literal push and no one gets hurt:)

In the mornings my distraction comes in the form of sleep! It is just plain hard for me to get myself out of bed in the mornings to begin my day with God. Wow! That sounds pathetic! But it is true.

Right now I am reminded of Psalm 5------
Give ear to my words, O Lord
consider my meditations.
Harken unto the voice of my cry,
My King and My God.
For unto Thee will I pray.
My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning.
O Lord, in the morning
will I direct my prayer
unto Thee and will look up.

Father God,
It is morning and this is my prayer.....that I will look to you not just now but all day long!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Momma's Boy

Don't you just love toddlers and preschoolers? They get so excited about the littlest things. My youngest loves to greet me at the door with a huge hug, yelling "MOOOOOOM!!!"

This doesn't just happen when I've been gone for the weekend. This occurs many times a day. When I've left him with his teenage sisters to do errands and return home after just a few hours, he's there running to me. When I pick him up after being in class at church....big smile, running hug and "MOOOOOM!". But it also happens when I come in from walking the dog or getting the mail......even when I come out of the bathroom. He is always soooooo happy to see me.

This one fact makes me feel successful. When he was brought to our house I had no idea how long he would be with us. At first I was told it would just be a few weeks. I had, at that time just one goal for make sure he was attached! I was just beginning to deal with the effects of RAD and I was determined to make sure that this precious little boy never, ever had to deal with that problem.

Praise God!! It worked!! He may be hyperactive. He may be spoiled. He may be "all boy". Sometimes, he may even be mean spirited and selfish. BUT he is not a RAD!!!!!

So, every time I come home to a little boy holding his arms out and running to me or even when I am late getting somewhere because I had to stop at the door for 5 hugs and 5 kisses....I will praise God that this little boy knows love. He is able to give love and receive love.

Thank you, God!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lord of Lords

Although, I am not very good at it, I like to write music. I have been doing it since I was a teen, just as a way of expressing myself. Most of the time these songs lay in the back of my mind, hidden behind the to-do lists that are ever present.....that is until something happens that brings the lyrics to the front of my thoughts. Since most of my songs are about God this can prove to be a good thing.

Lately this song has been on my mind. So I thought I'd share.

Lord of Lords

Sometimes I feel all alone
No one's there; no one seems to care
The people I depended on
Let me down again; they walked away

BUT you are the Lord of Lords,
Creator of all things...still You care for me
You know my thoughts, I can not hide from You
You are the King of Kings
and still have time to hear when I pray
You sent Jesus to die to show how You care

Sometimes I think You test me
Take away the people that I'm leaning on
To show me all I need is You
You're the Rock I should stand upon

'Cause You are the Lord of Lords,
Creator of all things...You're my strength
In my weakness You become so strong
You are the King of Kings
And always there in good and in bad
You're in me; I am in You; We are one

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just Do It

A liquor store near our house has a sign out front that changes on a regular basis. It has funny quips and semi wise sayings that we read (then explain) to the children as we drive past. Last week the "Beer Sign" (as the kids call it) had a saying that made me really stop and think. It said......."A terrible thing happened last night......nothing."

Well, I guess this "terrible thing" has been happening to me for the last 10 days. I am struggling emotionally and have been doing ......nothing.

Now, don't call CPS on me. I have done all the necessities----fed the kids, gotten them to the places they needed to be, given them school assignments, graded their school assignments, put them to bed at a decent hour etc.....

But I find myself napping in the afternoons, sitting in front of the TV in the evenings not even really watching, not doing the normal things I enjoy (like blogging). Even wishing the kids soccer game would be canceled or that I could find an excuse to get out of taking them to karate.

Our pastor is preaching a sermon series based on the book "One Month to Live" by Kerry Shook. This week we are reading and talking about leaving a legacy. That is done by living intentionally.........something I haven't been doing lately.

I need to intentionally spend time with the kids playing and reading and talking.....even when I'd rather be napping. I need to make myself interact with friends and colleagues in the evenings not sitting in front of the TV. If the soccer game is cancelled I need to play Wii with the kids to help them not be so upset. I need to do karate with will be good for my body and my relationship with my daughter.

OK, now I see what I must do,the question is....How do I get motivated?!!!?!!!

Wish I had some great answers on that one but I don't. Maybe Nike had it right when they said.....JUST DO IT!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Prayer Meeting

Not too long ago I blogged about how difficult it is for me to open up to others in a group setting because most people don't know how to react to what I have to share. They give me the "deer in the headlight look" and do the "push back".

But last week, I found support from a group of moms that was very unexpected....but awesome!!

It was a Mom's night at a friend's house. I wasn't extremely excited about it but I knew I was expected to be I went. I'm sooo glad I did!

I was feeling a little down and not very open at all. Guess I was having a bit of a "pity party", but once I got there, had a cup of coffee and began to laugh with the ladies, I felt better.

I sat around the table with four other ladies (and one sweet little baby:) drinking coffee and eating cookies. One moment we were laughing 'til tears were rolling down our cheeks and the next, the conversation turned serious. Everyone was giving their opinions about the economy and way the nation seems to be going downhill, even sharing how God is using them to change things.

Well, at that point I began to open up and share. Instead of being stared at, one of the ladies looked me in the eye and said, "How would you like people to react to you when they hear about your family?" I began to cry. No one has ever, EVER asked me that! I wasn't at all sure what to say. I took a minute to think about it. In the end I just said that we needed prayer and acceptance. Maybe not in those words but that's what it boils down to.

I don't want to feel like an outcast. I don't want to feel like people are talking about our family in whispers when we pass. I don't want people to feel like they can't ask me how things are going. And I don't want to see that disapproving look in the eyes of someone who has just found out about our struggles.

Before I was even able to stop crying, someone suggested that we pray right then and right there. And let me tell you these ladies know how to pray!! I haven't been prayed for like that in years (if ever).

I left feeling uplifted and like I had others walking along side me.....even though they admittedly don't know first hand how I feel or what I'm going through. They are just willing to accept me and pray for me. I can't tell you what that means.