Quote of the Day


our month

How is it going really? It's tough. And did I mention that my basement flooded? and that my DH had a heart surgery/procedure? and my car died (on the freeway, out-of-town, in billowy clouds of steam & smoke)? and that my fridge died, was emptied, and then rose again? and that I just had a cancer scare? and that I just got diagnosed with osteoarthritis which is really nailing my hands? And all this is just in the past month!!!



patios said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about his troubles. I have nothing to offer but sympathy.

Rachael said...

Just offering internet sympathy/empathy! We get weary sometimes at our house too.

How wonderful for him though that he has your unwavering commitment. I have great confidence that you will figure it all out and he will turn out just fine. Other than that, I have no advice to offer, but since you asked for commiseration: Last week, our little K got asked to leave choir (twice) -- too disruptive (yet she LOVES choir), and a note was sent home that she's been touching/taking things from other's desks (and the other kids don't like this). Sigh. Feel any better?

Tami said...

I have stumbled onto your blog several times (through Frugal Hacks, I believe), yet I am not sure of your faith. So -forgive me if this encouragement isn't what you really need.
As a fellow adoptive mom, I am always encouraged when I consider how God the Father parents his adopted children (us!). We have NOTHING to offer him, and yet he showers us with unconditional love. Now - I will be the first to say that *we* are human and so unconditional love isn't something we are capable of; however, we have an awesome example to follow in his love of us.
My adopted girls were 20 and 25 months at adoption, so they may well have been younger than your son at adoption, but I had to read a lot of "adopting older children" books while in process. I know enough to know that love isn't always enough; but it is a start.
Are you part of any communities - online or otherwise - that support you as an adoptive parent?
Prayers and blessings,

Bugz said...

Sorry to hear of Dandy's troubles - I agree you are one of the most committed parents out there. I know you will find a way to love him, yet help him learn his way.

Our little one was only 2 when we brought her home - so I may not be able to relate as much. However, I can tell you that not all is peaches in cream in our world - she has finally figured out the Kindergarten rules - but it took a good 2 months to figure them out AND decide to follow them. And my bio child decided to call 911 last night - for fun?? I guess. Anyway, not so fun when the cops show up at your house. Sigh!!! Also - my nanny crashed our car last week (it's only 2 months old). AND, to make things even more interesting, I asked hubby to move out this summer - so I'm dealing with all this alone for the most part.

Anyway, hang it there - he needs you more than ever!! I'm sending you good vibes!!!

I hear ya - 2008 can't come fast enough for me!!! 2007 was a real challenge!

j said...

Gravatar I have to remind myself, almost daily, that there is a reason why they don't let 9 year olds move out, drive, cook, clean, grocery shop and raise animals alone. I also remind myself that I have until my children are 18 before I have to (or get to, as it sometimes feels) release them into the world, civilized. I also have had to remind grandparents, other relatives and teachers of this fact. Lastly, I have to believe in my parenting, and know that I will release great citizens with the potential for happiness into this world and that I just need to persevere. This is what works for me. I hope it helps.

Suzanne said...

"I will release great citizens with the potential for happiness into this world and that I just need to persevere." I like that. And I know you will.

Suzanne said...

Tami -- there are many mornings where I get out of bed thinking, "okay Lord, how are you going to get us through this day." So, yes, that is the sort of encouragement I need. Thx

Vivian said...

Oh, Suzanne. You've had alot thrown at you, and I'm sure you're handling it all with utmost grace.

Dandy sounds like he has alot of spirit. While it sounds exhausting, the fact you're in there for the long haul, and able to show him the consistency of love and care while respecting him, I'm sure will go a long way to "taming" him, rather than breaking him.

Besides, if he is this powerful now, think of what potential he has when he's older. He will be amazing.

cloudscome said...

Oy what a month! Hang in there sister. I am not blogging as much as I used to, but I still think of you and pray for you often.

Suzanne said...

You are so right Vivian. He is going to be a fabulous grown-up; dynamic, high-energy, driven, and very very bright. It's just getting him from here to there that is daunting . . .

I take comfort in the fact that God put him here and God knows what he is doing. It puts me in mind of Mother Teresa's comment: I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.

Esther said...

Thank you so very much for updating us all on Dandy. I think our Sissy is so much the same.

I want to hold her back from kindergarten one year (she'll be five in March). Chronilogically & academically she's almost five, emotionally she's 2............

Thank you for sharing. I appreciate hearing from other people like you who have adopted older children. Hugs, Esther

Anne Wallace said...

I ran across your blog. I just completed PRIDE training in Bremerton, WA.

Here are some valuable resourses recommended:
Building Healthy Minds - Stanley Greenspan, M.D. ***
Attaching in Adoption -Deborah Grey
A Child's Journey through Placement - Vera I. Fahlberg, M.D.
Attachment, Trauma & Healing - Levy and Orlans
Being Adopted (book from kid's perspective)- D.M Brodzinsky, M.D. Schechter, R.M. Henis

If they are acting out to control your attention, set up a program to give control.
Letting them have lots and lots of choices that don't matter helps defuse their anger. These are small choices that don't matter. For example, let the child pick from 3 or 4 colors of socks to wear in the morning. Or put out four kinds of breakfast cereal. You get the idea.

These children have had huge losses in their your lives. They could not control losing their biological parents, coming to live in a strange home, and all things familiar and comfortable from their pasts. Giving them some small choices helps them feel they are in charge of their lives.

Discipline by including not excluding.
Focusing on the need behind the behavior can help you. Instead of a time out use a time in where the child must stay close to you and help you do something rather than be allowed free range. This should be a loving inclusion message..right now I want you to stay here beside me and .... .When you are calm you can ...

Avoid a battle. Appear calm even if inside you are fuming. Allow time to listen and acknowledge the kid's anger. Allow the child personal space. Do not move in quickly. Do not touch the child when first trying to de-escalate. Set limits calmly, firmly. Ask the child what would help him to feel better. If doesn't want to talk about it right then, use time in or time out without pressuring them right then to speak. Try to negotiate easy ways for the child to save face and get back on track.

For timeouts, have a quiet spot where soothing music can be played, lights lowered, calming atmosphere. Speak in a calm and soothing voice. Go by age of child for minutes...6 years old = 6 minutes timeout. Timeout does not start until child has calmed down if very agitated.

Physically comforting movements help: wrapping child in blanket and holding them and filling a basin of warm sudsy water and moving their hands with yours in water can be calming. Wear one perfume all the time to create a bond with a scent they will work as a comfort trigger for the child. Hold the child a lot.

When child has to leave for school when anxiety might be triggered at time to get on a bus, use a Hersey kiss or other treat you use consistently and have child open mouth like a bird and feed the child. Sounds silly but it is a comfort ritual to relieve separation anxiety.

At low stress time, not dinner, talk about rules and expectations and consequences. Tell the child you will keep him safe and love him and that he is able to follow the rules you are setting. (A therapist is helpful when trying to determine emotional age appropriate rules since adopted children often may be intellectually or chronically one age and emotionally a much younger age). Make sure you reassure the child that you will not be angry or send the child away though when rules are broken.

Keep a diary of the circumstances leading up to a disturbance. What time of day, before or after eating, what was going on in the household prior, what physical trigger signs of escalating crisis did you notice? These diary may help you intervene and distract the child's attention to something else before the situation spirals out of control. Often times kids give small clues we may miss that they are angry/unhappy and when we miss them they take it to the next level and act out big time. Watch facial movements, body language, and give hugs or change subject, sing a song...for my son, it was "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and he still is happy and laughs when I sing it now to him at age 25 when he visits!

So, I hope that perhaps at least a smidgen of this long post helps in some small way.

It is inspiring you had the courage to adopt and I wish you and your family all the best.

take care,

Luciana said...

Gravatar Posting this a long long time after the original message, still...

Remember that tv commercial about some type of canned meat, with a nicely-dressed for the weather boy under a heavy rain, splashing his boots in a huge puddle, getting home for a warm dinner? The song playing was something with "Mama said there would be days like this, there would days like this, there would be days like this..." Sure, easier said than done, but remember you are not alone!

Anonymous said...

It sounds as if you are still having these problems . . .