Friday, September 4, 2015

Why Trauma Sucks

The really cool thing is that these children have a great chance of healing. The screaming rages that come with the healing process eventually give way to more effective forms of communicating the fear of intimacy, the sorrow of self hatred, the grief of losing birth parents, and the anger that its all unfair. 

These kids DO absolutely heal. By the grace and very hand of GOD, these children, DO absolutely heal. Its an ugly, messy, and very loud process....

The screaming....
it serves several purposes. 
One purpose is to push away the people trying hardest to get close. Its scary to be close to someone...intimacy is painful for these children...the fear of losing that closeness is greater than the secure feeling that lasts only moments.

So they say awful, horrible things, scream as loudly as possible directly in the parents face, seek out things precious to the parent to destroy them, anything they can do to push the buttons of the one person saying, "I love you". Oftentimes, this destructive behavior would work and the child would receive a new caregiver (move to a new foster home or a different orphanage worker). 

It is really hard to look through those behaviors and know the motivation behind them....to still see the scared and hurting child beneath and continue to reach out to the same child again and again, to want and desire to make those small momentary connections that slowly build to create trust. 

How often we adoptive parents get it wrong! We forget, for only a moment, but its long enough and we take the bait and snap, yell, react, seethe...and inside that child feels victorious that they finally succeeded in causing the parent to react. 

What's a parent to do when they realize they've been duped into reacting? 

Apologize from the deepest part of your heart... "Junior, you deserve to be treated better than I treated you. I am deeply sorry for yelling at you. I could have handled that with more patience and I could have told you, without yelling, how I felt." 

Believe it or not this can build trust. It is not often that a caregiver apologizes to the child for negative behaviors. When the apology happens it can catapult the relationship to a new level, but, no, not always....

Trauma sucks because it isn't fair....even the abuser is likely to have been abused and was a victim and the cycle continues.

Trauma is awful but they do heal...there is HOPE!

Psalm 31:24 
Be strong and take heart,
    all you who hope in the Lord.
 

    

Monday, July 13, 2015

Seasonal Summer Dinner Menu

Anyone else despise using the oven on hot days?  The crockpot is our friend on those days...as are the other appliances that we can use without heating up the whole house. I've come across blogs that talk about outdoor summer kitchens. I think that would be a really neat idea if you had the setup/space.

For my summer menu I assigned each day of the week a certain type of food and rotate through the list for an entire month. There are over 30 days worth of meals listed here. Click on the item for the link to the recipe we most often use. 

Breakfast for dinner: Crepes, Waffles, Breakfast Pizza
Pasta: Tuna Noodle, Japanese Soba Noodles, Crockpot or Skillet Lasagna 
Sandwiches: BLT's, Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork or Beef, Wraps, Grilled Veggie sammies, Ham&Cheese, Meatball Grill night: Hamburgers, Hotdogs/Brats, Chicken, Steak, Kabobs

Soup: Red Beans&Rice, Split Pea, Chunky Veggie, Crockpot Baked Potatoes
Appetizer Night: Antipasto platter, Dips; Cheesy Bean Dip, Guacamole, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Salads; Taco Salad, Chicken Salad(Asian), Layered Greek Salad

Care to share your summer menus?

Acts 16:34
The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household



 
 

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Peek at His Old Self

For a solid year we have been working hard to find answers for Dalton, our very medically complex child, who has had debilitating headaches, a seizure, bradycardia episodes, and so many other medical mysteries. 


After several completely worthless trips to various specialists I began to watch for possible triggers to Dalton's migraines. I noticed they were guaranteed to occur before or after an event that caused Dalton severe anxiety. 

After working for weeks to bring his anxiety down using the same techniques we use for Sunshine and making no progress, actually finding much regression, the Pediatrician, the trauma Therapist and I decided to try an anxiety medication.

After three weeks on this medication we saw only a few minor headaches (woo!) but many "breakthrough" panic attacks that come out as rages (boo!). We are upping his dose of anxiety meds and will be using an emergency anxiety attack med in the case of those breakthrough anxiety attacks that can be so severe his safety can be at risk.
 
Midway through a rage, sparked by severe anxiety
Our trauma Therapist explained why we have made little to no progress without the medication. Its similar to static over the radio. Dalton is only hearing a partial message. The physical symptoms of anxiety are so high he is unable to hear the words of love and reassurance. His fight or flight reflexes are sky high and he needs medication to calm those areas of his brain to allow the therapeutic techniques to begin to work.

Tonight was the first night in months that I saw a peek of the "old" Dalton. The comfortable, feeling-safe, happy and content, Dalton. And, it is my prayer that we will see even more of that sweet boy in the weeks and months to come! 

Psalm 94:19

When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good Grief

I've noticed, recently, that our Ana has been preoccupied with silver, gray, and white hair, running her hands through her Physical Therapists hair and counting my shiny silver strands. 

My sweet girl was in the midst of grieving the loss of her mobility, following surgery, and the loss of her independence. But, despite my knowing it, she was grieving another loss that was far more profound. 

I scooped her up and cuddled her close as tears welled up in her big brown eyes and she opened up that deep secret place inside her and let me see a part of her beautiful soul. 

"I don't like gray hair because it makes me think of old people and old people die and I don't want you to die because I just got you." 

Oh, what deep longing these orphans have to simply belong to someone! 



Grieving is healthy and good and without direction that grief can be so confusing to these little souls.
 
James 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

In the Daily

Daily therapy
working hard to work her legs


wore her right out!

Her right leg doesn't want to cooperate

smiling sweetie pie

Daily VOWs
 Hebrews 12:1
 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 
Daily chows
love.greek.yogurt

Edible spoon!

Daily moves
7 miles thus far this week

5K this Sunday! 

 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Motivation Monday

We are complicated creatures that can be divided into mind, body and soul and because we are complicated creatures we need accountability to keep ourselves on track. 

Here is my weekly breakdown of mind, body and soul goals. 

Mind Goals: 
Declutter my desk because clutter makes me INSANE!
Yes, just one goal this week...we have 4 days of therapy for the next month or so and that is exhausting!
 
Body Goals:
 Easy Run...
Speedwork..i.e. Fartlek...(yes, its a for real word!)
Hill Repeats
Long Run

Soul Refresh Shred workouts 3x's this week.

Menu plans:

For the family:
Cowboy Burgers
French Toast
Brats/Hotdogs
Fried Rice
Chicken Broccoli Braid
Spagetti Dinner Fundraiser
Chicken Pot Pie

Mom's Menu Plan: 
Lentil Stuffed Peppers
Hummus/veggies
 Cauliflower Fried Rice

 Soul Goals:
Daily devotional time in the Word
Make a {VOW}

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Mark 12:30
 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

 




 
 

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Return to Outdoor Running

What is the first thing you look forward to each spring? Is it the return to out of doors activities because that sure was my motivation this last weekend...a return to all things outside!

I'm not exactly a winter road runner...while our County and City do a fab job on the roads for driving I tend to be cautious about running on the ice and snow. After yearly revisits of a badly sprained ankle I just don't want to risk it. 

Enter the first 5k of the season!
We Ran for the House with our bible study group and had a ton of fun! 

The bonus? 

Setting a PR in the 5K while pushing the 35# nearly 8 yr old clad in a spica brace/cast in the BOB stroller. 

Are you a winter road runner?
 
Do you find yourself a bit overly cautious on certain terrain or under certain conditions? 

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.