Monday, January 26, 2015

Some things I am learning about FASD & and update

It's a another snow, delayed school, winter morning here in Indiana.

Only one awake is Miss K.  She's been full of energy this morning, challenging my relaxing morning routine.

I mentioned before, I believe that I have been taking an online training seminar on FASD.  I have been learning a lot, feeling more "normal" and supported through the training & the private Facebook page that gives a new safe common ground to learn & share with other FASD parents around the world.

If you are curious.  Here is the website I for the seminar.  FASD Forever.  Jeff also has a Facebook page that is easy to follow for information and daily reminders and encouragement (for anyone)

Quickly, a couple of strong points I have learned about Kiahna's FASD recently.

One, it is very common for children with FASD to also have attachment issues.  It is very common for them to be in foster care & for them to have been in multiple homes before they get to their "forever home".  This creates another, what is called, secondary issue, for these children.  Making their life more challenging yet.

Because Kiahna was adopted at birth and has been with us her entire life, she does not exhibit much in the symptoms of attachment disorder.  (although I do believe every adopted child has some of the issues, so I won't say she has none).

One of the key elements to helping a child with FASD is praising them for things and giving them confidence.  Which lowers their frustrations (because I am not always telling her what she's doing wrong) And makes our home more pleasant.  Many children with FASD/Attachment issues, have difficulty accepting this.  Kiahna does not.  She soaks it up and the instruction that I have gotten to increase the praise is making large differences in our home life!

Thankful for small victories!

Lots to learn, lots to remember, lots of frustrations to overcome each day.

One comment that was made hit me pretty hard.  One parent did an experiment with their child.  Counted how many times they had to give instruction on a simple, self care task before their child remembered to do the task without being told.  Anyone with me want to guess the number?


600 times.

What that does for me to have this knowledge.  It opens my eyes.  It lowers my expectations.  It lowers my frustration.  And it lowers hers.

I haven't counted, but we may be over 600 in some areas.  Like, please don't pick up the dog.  Ya, that.

Nothing about this is easy.  But, with this new support, it's becoming better in some ways.

Hope it continues.


Some big changes around here came this week.  

When Z dropped the word some friends had said that he could move into the rental house with them.

He moved out that day (This past Tuesday).

From my perspective, it's not a good environment.   It's frustrating & it's not what I would have chosen.

But, my perspective is often very controlling and can't see the whole picture.  So, I am in another challenge to trust God with Z & not worry.

I confess, it's made our home more peaceful.  It's less stressful here when he isn't home.  That makes me so sad to admit.

Keep Praying for Z, would you please. 


I have been spending my "extra time" trying to do some things that I don't get to do the rest of the year, like painting, cleaning, organizing.  I think I'd rather be "working"  ha!

Snow Photo sessions are in high demand!  I have a list, I hope to get some of those knocked off with this recent snow, looks like the kids are going to school today!  Hope everyone is safe!

In His Grip,


Monday, January 19, 2015

For the children in a fallen world.

It's crazy that we passed the midpoint of January already!

I have a lot on my mind.  Not sure where this writing will take me today.

Top of my brain.  Three year old little boy named Owen, who went missing in B-ton yesterday.  I read the demographics, "autism", "trailer park", "police visited for a child welfare check".  My heart sank.  My hope wasn't very high.  I feared foul play.

I know how hard it is to raise a child with autistic type tendencies.  I know the amount of support I have needed.  I know the amount of support I have lacked.  I know that FASD is often mis-diagosed for autism.  I know how hard it is.

I awoke to the news.  Body found.  Three Arrested.  Neglect.  Abuse.

I am so sad at how unsurprised I am.

How are we failing.  How could things have been different.  Someone knew.  I don't know the details.  I don't know the circumstances.

I just know how hard it is to raise children.

I know how hard it is to raise disabled children.

I know human's are sick and lost and hopeless without God.

I weep over the lost life & the lost state of humanity.

I recently spent over $300 to train myself in living as a caregiver for someone with FASD.  To be honest, this is the first chance I have found to even spend money on a training.  If I didn't have the support and funding to purchase the online training.  If I didn't have the computer, the phone to participate.  If I didn't have the support and prayers.

Raising a child that someone damaged with alcohol is on the top of the list of things that people don't purposely sign up to do.  It's not something that majority of people with any exposure to will put their hand up for.

I have a friend who told me recently she was on an adoption forum and a post came up where a potential adoptive parent was considering a placement of an infant who was known to have alcohol exposure.  It was born in their system.  My friend told a short version of my story and advised that this would not be an easy placement.  Many people on the forum questioned her for her words.

There is so much we don't know and understand.  Until you live with it.  Until you see it.

It's good we don't understand.  We would sit paralyzed if we knew what God was actually calling us to do.  We would be much like Jonah, with a strong, "NO!", and run the other way.

Yet, someone must stand up.

Because our world is broken.  Pregnant women are drinking.  Babies are being exposed at higher and higher rates.  The number of children in foster care keeps going up.  The number of families who are willing to sacrifice their lives and say yes is not growing at the same rate.

I remember when we were adopting.  I remember how ignorant and naive I was.  How much I didn't understand about... anything.  Ignorance brought me to a place where I said yes to God, because I didn't see.

I have had more hard days raising adopted children than I'd like to think about.  Usually I don't think about them.  Once in a while, when it's just me and my two adopted (youngest) kids, and the older 4 are all away living their lives, I think.  Wow, I could be living a much easier life than I am right now.

It's true.  Adopting made my life harder.

I didn't know I was adopting a child with severe FASD.  If I hadn't, my life would be easier.

But, lets make the full circle here.  Why are we here on this earth.  Where is the gospel in living an easy life?  Where is God in that?  Did He call us to lives of ease?  Did He say to come to him and I will make your life easy?

No, He said.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew  11:28

Can we do hard things and get rest from God.  We can.  We do.  If you are doing the hard things from God, you know.  You understand that the hard days, the days you feel like the waves are going to drown you.  You don't drown.  You get to the shore and you rest and you know that only in God.  Your faith and trust in Him and His promise grows.

Returning to this three year old little boy, Owen.  My children could have been Owen.  It doesn't take my brain very far to get to that reality.  To know that in all reality in so many ways I could have been Owen's 21 year old mother.  And my adopted children could have been Owen.

Here is what I am thinking.  If you are disturbed by this incident.  How could you not be.  Do something.  Be risky.  Be willing.  Say yes to God.  Be a foster parent.  Adopt.  If not that, support those who have.  Support the single mom.  Support the teen age mom.  Speak up if you know someone is drinking and is pregnant.  Be bold.  Be willing.  Make a difference.

It's not going to be easy.  And the hard days will outweigh the good.  But, it is worthy.

All you have to do is look.  Open your eyes.  Ask God what?  He has a calling for us.  Listen.

27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."  James 1:27
In His Grip.


Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year: 2015

Some New Year's Fun!!

Swimming at the Wellness center with cousins:

Bowling with cousins:

Movie night!  Annie!

Family time at Grandpa & Grandma's

Game night at home, in new Pj's and with Elsa of course.