Monday, January 10, 2011

I can't believe it has been so long since I've updated.

Things are going well. The age of twelve brought not only a new maturity, but a new activity level at school. She is involved in almost everything.

She is truly one of those special ones. Once a caseworker told me that there is no hope for children adopted from foster care. How much do I disagree? First, let me say that this is no way bragging, but how my child is already doing.

1) A-Team of all athletics she does
2) Straight A's.
3) National Junior Honor Society
4) Band
5) Majorette

She does fantastic in all she does. She has a drive and a heart that is amazing.

So, is she one a million? TO me she is, but there are more who need a chance.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Corner

Not standing in it, but turning it. It seems we have done so this summer.

Anyone who has adopted an older child understands attachment and how it can sometimes trigger meltdowns or behaviors when a child feels the attachment isn't secure. We are going on four years now and she has been to two summer camps, had two sleep away from home nights with friends, and walked to the park with friends with no ill effects. I am so happy.

Things really do seem to be at a good place right now. She is happy and well behaved. She laughs a lot. She is still a handful, but in the way that any 12 year old girl is.

She likes clothes, jewelry, her phone, her friends, and food.

I hope this is a way of life forever for us. I'm not sure if these two things had anything to do with it, but I think they do.

First, she wanted to cease all mention of adoption and her birthfamily. She chose to close the adoption. I don't think it is the healthiest thing but I am going with it.

Second, I gave up the notion of me having all control. It has made things so much better. I wish I would have done it years ago. (just in general)

This year should be wonderful for her. She will be in the 7th grade and I am hoping for a banner year.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Vacation

This summer is going to set the tone for the rest of her high school years. She has had band camp.

Church camp. Majorette camp.

Volleyball camp. Next week is another majorette camp. She will then march in a parade. She also entered a beauty contest on the spur of the moment, and won.

I was terrified, fearing that if she lost it would crush her fragile self esteem. She also got to do a junior internship at a local vet's office. We ended up with two orphan kittens.

Life is never dull and I'm thankful that she helps keep it exciting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fast Fwd....

The month of May was crazy. Boo had her first dance recital. That was also the day of her 12th birthday.

She also made the middle school majorette squad.
The month of June is almost as busy. She has band camp and other activities going on. She's happy though.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turning Blue


Every now and then, we do a post that isn't food related at all, but rather related to something that has a special place in our hearts, and this is one of those posts.

It seems that every cause these days has a ribbon, a color, and a month. I don’t think you realize the significance of any of it until you wear a ribbon for someone that you love. Anyone who has watched someone fight breast cancer will tell you that the wearing a pink ribbon really does mean something special, and the people who were the first ones to wear them many years ago will tell you that it has for sure raised awareness of the issue of breast cancer.

So why is blue important to us? April is Nation Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month and in our careers we have dealt with cases of abuse that we will never forget. We have testified in court, reported abuse that made a life or death difference, and hugged fragile little souls that have been battered beyond belief.

There is one more reason that makes it even more important, one that I almost hesitate to mention. It is almost one of those things that is too personal and once you say it you can never take it back. Like when you squeeze out too much toothpaste, you can never put it back. Our personal story of child abuse in our family is my daughter. Five years ago we began the process of adopting her from foster care. She had spent almost five years there and thankfully, she is one of success stories. We write about her here frequently, and we sincerely hope that seeing how successful she has been will inspire other people to consider adoption. She is bright , beautiful, and I can’t imagine life without her. She has suffered loss and heartache that no child should ever have to endure.

But, I don’t want to make her the poster child for child abuse. No child should be. Ever. I want to tell you how YOU can make a difference. Really there are lots of ways. I want to begin with a story of another child. Even after I adopted I learned that I wasn’t doing my part in my community to fight child abuse.

I have a friend who also adopted a child from foster care, an adorable little girl. (We often say we got the two most beautiful ever) Her daughter’s case carried on even after adoption. There was a criminal sexual abuse case that went to court. Horrors! Did I go to court for her? Did I set there and let her know that she had my support? Did I go to her house the day before her daughter had to testify and pray with her? Did her church? No. I did none of that. I texted. How lame.

Do you know who DID do all of those things and more? A motorcycle gang. Yes, a group of people that are sometimes looked down upon took on the duties that her friends and church should have been doing. They attended court each day. Take that SEXUAL PREDATOR! This taught me so much. BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) are people who know how to fight child abuse. Here are some things that they do.

  • Know what is considered abuse and report it if you see it.
  • Support your local Child Welfare Board. (BACA is awesome when we have a fundraiser or event)
  • Pray for the children, parents, foster parents, caseworkers, and judges.
  • Support the victims.
  • Be visible in the community that Child Abuse will not be tolerated.
  • Wear Blue on the day set aside for Go Blue day in your area.
  • Ask your Church to participate in Blue Sunday
  • Repost this or link to it. Spread the word.
I had taught many years before I was immersed in the world of foster care and adoption. I thought I knew quite a bit about it, having been involved in several cases. I was wrong. I knew nothing! I didn’t know that neglect accounts for 60% of cases reported AND that severe neglect can rewire a child’s brain. I didn’t know that almost all sexual abuse victims know their assailant, often a family member or close friend. I didn’t know that with work, children can and do recover and have the potential that all others have.
Chicken Soup For The Soul

As I said before, I don't want people to look at my child and think of her past. She is more than that and she has already began working to help other children who have been victims of abuse. She has overcome. The ones who can't? The almost four children per day who die in the US due to abuse or neglect.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Today she will sing I Will Rise for our church. I am so blessed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Going Away

I have to go away for two days in a few weeks. Since Boo has been a part of our family, I've never been away overnight. In fact, I hardly go anywhere without her.

We spent the first six months together. She was hardly anywhere that I wasn't. It was exhausting but it planted the seed that I was not going to leave her. Once our adoption was final after that six months, I thought I could maybe venture to the grocery store while she stayed home with Dad. No. It took about another year before I could really leave without her fearing it was for good.

Things are better but not yet perfect. I feel that they never will be. I hardly go out with friends to eat or see a movie. I'm talking once or twice a year. I wonder how my trip will work on her mind. Is she able to process that she misses me, but I will return? Will she tell herself (and me) that she hates me to lessen the hurt if I don't return?

I hope that this is a learning experience for us as a family, and as a mother daughter. I will try to reassure her that I AM coming back and do miss her. I hope that she will someday learn that I am always coming back.