Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do Not Let Your Children Grow Into This (long post)

I'm on a Love and Logic board. A lady wrote in today, and I wanted to scream in horror at her neglectful job of parenting. I rarely participate in yahoo board/chat board chatting, and mostly lurk. But today I thought this lady needed a wakeup call. Here's what she wrote:

"Hello group,I am a newbie. I have ordered the book, but have not gotten ityet. I have a 21 year old son who is taking four classes at a localjunior college and is working 20-30 hours a week. He is amiable andeasy long as we don't ask him to do anything to helparound the house. For the last six or seven years, his only job hasbeen to take out the trash once a week. He always procrastinates andwaits until the last minute to take it out. There is usually yellinginvolved to get him to do it at all. If my husband and I want to goto sleep before he takes it out, we gather up the garbage from ourbedroom, bathroom, and office and leave it outside our door for him.Otherwise, he would have to come in and wake us up to get it. Hisroom is like a pigsty. He hasn't changed his sheets in over a year.It smells horrible. He has always lacked interest in his appearanceand hygiene, in spite of private comments of encouragement from me,and teasing from siblings and friends. His schedule is ratherunusual since he takes his classes in the evenings. He mostly worksfrom home and e-mails it to his boss on his own schedule. He staysup until 3am or later, then sleeps until 3 pm. He is responsible fordoing his own laundry, but he doesn't do it until he runs out ofclean clothes. Then it takes several full days to get it all done.I am considering throwing away or giving away most of his clothes, inorder to force him to do it more often. It would also keep his roomneater if there were fewer clothes on the floor.How would a love & logic parent phrase advice to this child?Thanks in advance for your help.Charlotte"

My response:
"I'm going to say something strong here. It's due to the fact that my husband and myself discuss this sort of thing and our children's futures quite often.You could give him two options:
1-Pay rent, give him renter's rules, fees for breaking renter'srules, a contract (that you can find online). If he can't handle it,he is out that month (as stated in the contract). You can give him notice. If he tries a pissing contest with you, you will need to put all his things outside and change the locks one day when he is not home.I'm saying this from my husband's experience as well. My husband was the third child (of four), and rather the "Man of the House". He went thru this scenario when he was 17 & his older sister was 19. It did have to come to putting her things on the front lawn & changing thelocks one day when she was at work. On top of all you write about regarding your son, my SIL was verbally abusive to those who lived in the house. She thought she was entitled to act that way seeing as she was burdened with waiting around to "marry well", since college would be work and all. (ROFL). She cleaned up her act within 24hrs, found an apartment, and never moved home again. She did just fine with her salary from the pizza restaurant.
2-You could cut to the chase now, and tell your son he has 24 hours to move out. It's your house and you can live the way you want. As adults, our names are on the mortgage, and what we say goes. Your son is old enough to make good choices, and it sadly seems like he doesn't care. If he can't clean up his mess and take out the trash within 24hrs, kick his stuff out and change the locks. This is actually the route that was taken with my SIL. No warning (other than years of fighting and discussing her problems with her). One morning my MIL and husband had enough, and moved her out. Changing the locks too.I wish you luck here. I'm sure it's painful to deal with this. And you obviously love your son dearly. Best of luck to you and I wish you well."

Her response, which makes me want to punch her for allowing her son to be such an ASS!:
"Thank you for your reply. DS21 is certainly old enough torealize that there is more to life than computer games. I wonder ifhe may be addicted to playing games. Tough love may be the onlyoption, but DH does not want DS21 to move out until he finishescollege.I saw a T-shirt in a store recently that said "Genius by birth,Slacker by choice"....that describes our son to a "T" (pun intended)!He is witty and brilliant (high IQ and ACT/SAT test scores.) He wasa beautiful baby/child, but due to bad acne combined with his lackofcare, his face is now pitted. He only showers and washes his hairbecause we make him do it. When he doesn't shower, his body odornearly knocks us out.He has three good friends who have married since high school.He sees them as henpecked. He is not looking for a girlfriend yet.DH and I agree that he needs to finish college and get a better job,so we are not pushing him to find a girlfriend. (He may be like DH'snephew who is getting married next month at age 30, after college,good job, purchased a home and several vehicles.)Besides playing computer games and watching NASCAR, heparticipates in local short-track auto racing. He has a race cardonated by a local junkyard. His other vehicle is an '81 Volkswagenpick-up truck. His friends tease him that everyone knows his truckbecause it sticks-out. It has white doors on a tan truck body. Somehave even called it a "ghetto buggy". He and his dad converted itfrom burning "diesel only" to burning diesel fuel and veggie oil tosave money. WE offered to get his truck painted for him as a rewardfor earning his EAGLE SCOUT award, but he prefers to keep it "asis". He really does not care at all what anybody thinks about HIMor his truck.I am going to look on-line for those age-level chores. I ama "list-maker", so I think I need to make a list of all of thehousehold chores and discuss them with each of the five children wholive in our home (ages 15-21; 3 bio, 2 foster). My husband and Iwork full-time and are active in church activities. We still do thebulk of the chores, too.DS21 is very capable of articulating anything he chooses to,but every conversation on the topics you mentioned feels like we arenagging him. We have to ask him several times to give us his classschedules and his grades. He conveniently forgets to do thosethings that he doesn't really want to do anyway.I know I have been too vague about some of my expectations. Iam learning to ask for specific things done within a reasonableamount of time.I know that I cannot live with garbage piled up in our house,so the logical consequence of not taking out the trash is not anoption.We do not give him an allowance, just meals at home and a roofover his head. He works for fuel money, insurance, cell phone,meals out, movies, cable and internet. He helps pay for his collegetuition and books. He also pays for parts and fuel for his racecar. He scours junkyards to find cheap parts.He is our oldest child and was spoiled more than the others.His health has always been delicate. He breaks out in hives when hegets stressed out. He even had shingles in the sixth-grade. Heoften has stomach-aches, head-aches, and he has always slept for 10-12 hours every night. He went to counseling for help dealing withhis ADD (without hyperactivity) during high school. He took Ritalinbut hated it and no longer takes it. He really needs time-management skills, but that is another topic that he refuses todiscuss.He is sweet, loving, and generous, but he really needs to "growup" in certain areas.Thank you all for your suggestions. I will try to keep youposted.Charlotte"

I responded with a more stern direct post this time:
"You wrote: "I am going to look on-line for those age-level chores".You won't find age appropriate chores for a 21yr old. He is old enough to run his own home, job, life, and pay rent/mortgage. He is choosing to get by doing as little as possible, because you let him. He is motivated enough to do and get what he wants (from what you write). And he will continue to do as much for himself and as little as possible for you as long as you let him. It's called "enabling".

I am 37 yrs old. I moved out when I was 20yrs old, put myself thru a four year degree in Accounting (age18-22). I graduated from college, got married, and became a home owner all at age 22. In that same year I also dealt with the death of a loved one, and I got hit on the freeway by a semi-truck, leaving me with neck injuries and lawsuits. I muddled thru just fine. All at age 22. I have "delicate health" myself, and I've gotten on A-OK. If your son is smart enough to do all that you say he does, he is capable of doing anything.

You really have lots of options. He can be on your health insurance and you can pay for college, etc. He can also move out if he can't deal with normal expectations. I would not let an animal, let alone a human being stink up my home with BO, sheets that are not changed, dirty clothing, whatnot. For example, I tell my teenager, "when you are clean and smell nice, you may join us for dinner." He'd rather shower than starve. And my son has mental disabilities to boot. He still "gets it" though, and hits the shower. By the way, I have five kids (3bio, 2adopted). Four of my children have special needs/disabilities. I don't think that gives them a free-card to get out of age appropriate responsibility. To let our kids out of responsibility is derelict in our duty as parents, neglect on the parental part, and we are robbing our children of "getting wings", flying on their own, having self-esteem, life skills, social skills, relationship skills, etc.

If a child had disabilities/handicaps, they would still need to become independant at some point (unless they were retarded or had some severe medical condition requiring hospice). Even retarded children can function often independantly. Obviously your son is far more able and capable than that. This will probably not be the popular post, but he's not coming around because he doesn't have to. You've set up the system at yourhouse, and he goes by it. There's no incentive for him to change because the only consequence is "nagging". Well, a key Love and Logic principle is to not try to control our kids. BUT, we have to be strong enough and mature enough to pull the "here's what I'm going to do.................." and run your house accordingly by "if X happens, Y is what I do". And follow thru and be consistent. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. Like I said, I have fivekids, 4 with disabilities. So, I do have experience in all this.

Best wishes to you. You sound like a smart lady. Change will occur when you make changes yourself. Good luck on this venture. You will be giving a gift to your son by having expectations, rules, and order in your home. I truly wish you the best as it sounds like a really painful situation that you choose to live with."

That is the nicest version I could stomache to write her........
And her son doesn't want to date? What a joke. No one would want to stand near him, let alone DATE him! Good God. They are living in the land of denial.
What do you think about this sort of thing?

More on Addicts

I think alot goes on with a person before they turn to alcohol, drugs, fill-in-the-blank addiction. I feel that the addiction is a self-medication. I just wish people could get themselves help before they turn to an addiction. I don't think anyone wakes up and decides to become an addict. I think it's usually at the end of a long road of crap.

MyGirlElena brought up a good point, about my son and my parents. I feel my son has inherited his medical problems from my dad. Ever since I heard about bipolar disorder, um, about 20+ years ago, I have believed my dad is an alcoholic. He is also a hoarder, which is the secondary reason my mom, sister, and I left my dad. Well, there was the cheating, abuse, inappropriate behavior as well. Later on I realized I figured my dad also has OCD, Add/Adhd, perhaps some form of Aspergers..................the possibilities are endless. He can barely function in life.

Anyway, I firmly believe my son has inherited the cyclothymia (mild bipolar) & ADHD from my Dad. Very sad. I truly wish my relatives could get the help they need.

I think I'll go browse thru my "Co-Dependant No More" by Melody Beattie..................I read it atleast once a year. I highly recommend it as the best book for a person with a relative(s) with addiction(s). It's a must read. There are follow up books as well.


I strongly feel my mother is a drug addict. She's been at it for decades. Perhaps I've enabled her too long, allowing her around. Once we brought the girls home a few months ago, I kept my mom at a large arm's distance away. She has disappointed and hurt me so much in my life that I didn't want her to do that to my girls. So I severely limited her opportunities around my children. Apparently that wasn't a big enough clue for her.

I really don't know how to deal with active addicts, because they of course, don't get it. We also strongly suspect my only sister is an alcoholic. When you need to drink vodka with gatorade all day & night to survive being around relatives, well, I think you are sending a message that you need the drink to survive being you. Vodka & Gatorade? yuck.

So, this leaves three addicts in my family or origin. Those three people are my entire family of origin.

A couple years ago I had to stop speaking to my dad. He is an alcoholic and got to the point where he was hurting my children. I discussed this profusely with him, which was always met with denial & passive-aggressive behavior. Bye bye Dad. Good luck to ya. Last night I reached this point with my mother. I will not let her hurt my children. I have had to deal with this growing up. As an adult, I get a choice. Last night I asked her twice to get help. I love her and want her to be happy. I can't help her do that and I can't do it for her. She has to do it for herself and want it to happen, and take on all the work it entails.

I haven't addressed my sister's drinking problem. She has lived out of state for about 20yrs. So it leaves a niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice safe distance. However, if she hurt my children, I would say bye-bye to her as well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Experiment

We are trying an experiment with our 4yr old tomorrow. We're sending her to preschool in panties. This is to see if she will keep her pants dry at school. If so, this will show us that she has control of her bladder & she is deliberately being a turd here at home with peeing her pants all the time. If she wets her pants at school, well, that will reinforce that she should be in diapers indefineately.

And to top off my day, I got an email from my mother. One that wasn't intended for my eyes. She wrote to a friend, bad-mouthing me, but hit "respond" instead of "forward". This is the second time she has made this mistake, while trying to bad-mouth me to a friend/contact on her email list. The first time I was gracious and let it go. Tonight I told her to get some professional help, and some computer education.

Good thing I didn't send her the email my husband wanted to send. He said to tell her "to f*ck off". I'm lady like, so I would never say that to my mother.

I'm curious how this will work out for her. She has many problems, is disturbed, takes entirely too much "prescription" pain meds (& drives under the influence, has memory problems, and a whole host of mental & health problems due to the meds), and is generally an unhappy person. I truly don't need this in my life currently, or ever I imagine. Good luck to her.

He Got It

Thanks for all the comments, feedback, and emails regarding the previous post. At the time I told my husband that it seemed like he was trying to put himself on a pedestal, and leave me the bad guy. So I do communicate, and he didn't care.

Yesterday afternoon I scheduled a massage for myself in the evening. I called my husband and informed him that when he got home, I would be leaving for said massage. I had a wonderful time at this massage and I think I'll get another one in a month. The gal said I have so much tension and inflammation in my shoulders that it's causing me pain in my arms. Also she said that since I sleep in the fetal position, my arms aren't getting enough circulation. So last night I slept with my arms straight out. It was weird, but felt good. She also told me to ice my shoulders.

Anyway, I returned home last night from my massage to see a bouquet of flowers. Including roses. I love roses. And my husband waiting there with open arms for a hug for me. He said while I was gone he had a "sit-down" (stern chat) with our 4yr old about her behavior. Then they went and bought me flowers. I think he now gets that he was an ass the other night, and that behavior won't be productive for our relationship or the parenting of our children. By the way, our 4yr old is back in diapers full time. I think peeing in a pullup three times a day is just too much. Plus we've informed her that she needs to tell us when she has wet panties/pullup so that she can get dry. She refuses to do this. She also refuses to go change on her own into dry panties/pullup. So we are taking that responsibility, control, conflict out of the picture for now.

Today our 4yr old started preschool (12:25pm). She spent about 2/3 of the morning crying before preschool, because she's in a diaper. Guess she had to get her feelings out.

In other news, our 12yr old who has ODD recently got some diagnosis to figure out what is behind the ODD. He has cyclothymia (mild bipolar disorder) and ADHD. Yes, this would explain his behavior and difficulties. I'm glad we are now on a path to help him with these, with lots of ideas and suggestions from the psychologist. This son started wrestling season yesterday. I'm proud of him for trying a new sport, as he's had difficulty being on a team in the past. So much so that he's been kicked off a team, and suspended from others. I think wrestling will be really good for him. It's a really difficult sport, and encourages many positive traits and disciplines. He had a great time at his first practice, and even took a guy down. I hope this will be a great positive outlet for him and all his energy and frustrations.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pissed Off

UPDATE at bottom.

I did not get to go to the conference. My husband drove home this am, and ended up in a ditch himself with his SUV and studded tires. He got out of the ditch (2 miles from our home) and had to stop for two more accidents before he got here. One accident had 7-8 cars blocking the road. They all had to push each other off the road. Then there was a 5 car accident a block up the street from that mess. Glad we are all home and our cars are not damaged.

Now, for the thing I'm pissed off about. My husband called me a "f*ckin ogre". This is because our 4yr old daughter peed her pants this morning before her nap, she didn't ask for a dry pullup (big health no-no to sit in pee), we discovered she had a full pullup a few minutes ago, and she burst into tears telling me she wanted a hug. I told her "pee in pants is wet and smelly. I'll be happy to hug you when you are dry and smell good. Feel free to go take a bath or shower to clean up."

I got that idea from several other bloggers who have adopted older children, going thru the "wetting" experience.

So, what does my husband do? He says "Jesus God. You are a f*ckin ogre". Swell. AND he scoops up the 4yr old (she's almost 5) and hugs and smothers her in affection.

I never said I wouldn't hug her. I gave her a natural consequence for her actions. My husband already thinks it's consequence enough to be in pullups and diapers. I think she needs a gentle reality check, in several aspects of natural consequences, if they apply to the situation. I told my husband "there are lots of consequences to say, being an alcoholic." It's just so. I'm not trying to punish her, but open her eyes to the consequences of her actions.

In the meantime, our daughter is crying profusely into my husband's chest because I won't hug her (since she hasn't bathed yet).

I told her "Well, how about if I wet my pants, and ask you to come sit on my lap and give me a hug? How would that be?" She screams "NOT GOOD!" Well, there you have it. I told her I feel the same way, but I'm more than happy to hug her when she's cleaned up.

Mainly I worry that she has the naive view that this can continue with willy nilly consequences (pullups and diapers), and she thinks the rest of the world is fine with this behavior. I feel it's my job to open her eyes. We have told her countless times that if she pees her pants in kindergarten, kids will make fun of her. We haven't told her this to be mean, but to give her a glimpse of social consequences to her actions. Already she's at the point now where people at church don't want to deal with her in the preschool class. Sigh................
Makes me feel warm and fuzzy, but that's another story entirely.

So what do you think? Think I'm a f*ckin ogre for being straight up with her, telling her I would be more than happy to hug her after a bath and clean clothes? Please weigh in.

UPDATE: We found out she peed her pants this am, just before we sat down to dinner. So, not a real opportune time. But what is with kids? Before today, she's had numerous meltdowns with discovery of her peeing her pants, and once or twice she asked for a hug. I told "no, not at this time". I didn't want her to feel rewarded for peeing her pants, and I didn't want to hug her then and have her use that as a way to manipulate getting hugs. So today I thought I'd go a step further and say I'd hug her after she cleaned up.


Well crap. It snowed a truckload. But that has never stopped me from driving in snow.

I decided to leave all five kids home until my husband could return this am from work. He didn't want the kids all at home alone, and I can't take the girls to my friend's house in this weather. We both live deep in the woods, on long private roads that don't get sanded.

So, I left at 7:30am, to go to the Deborah Gray conference. A mile away from my house, I ended up in a ditch. Nice. Surprisingly, I kept working at it and got myself out of the ditch and headed home (with some nice snow driving skills). Since I'm a glutter for punishment, when I got to a place in the road where I could turn around, I went back for more ice......headed to the conference. Long story short, I ended up in the same ditch three times. That's enough for me. Miraculously, my van is fine! I still can't believe that. I guess the bumper absorbed the impact from me ending up on a fence in that ditch. Again, three times. So............

I'm home and my husband should be here shortly. He drives an Expedition. I may take his car to the conference.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Sunday

I posted an update over at Worst.Mama.Ever. Here's the link (clickable).

For some good news, tomorrow I get to go to a Deborah Gray Adoption conference. For those of you who are not familiar with her, she wrote "Attachment in Adoption" in 2002, catapulting her reputation in the adoption community. Last year she wrote "Nurturing in Adoption". I'm about 50 pages into that book at the moment.

This will be the first time I've left the girls for the day. They will be with a friend of mine who they see often.

And let's hope it doesn't snow truckloads cancelling school. The thought of leaving the boys home alone all day makes me want to shudder. I would still take the girls to my friend's house, but have to leave the boys home alone. Our oldest is almost 13, so it's not unreasonable to leave them all at home together. I wonder about leaving them at home alone because they had a pretty bad experience once when I left them for about 2 hours. I'll have to post about that this week. A shining parental moment.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A New Day and Half a Pig

Today our 4yr old woke up, went into the bathroom and sounded like she was vomiting. Lots of noise and coughing. I went to check on her and was met with "Want to see my fart?" Well, you can't see a fart. I told her I would come look. She said "It's THIS huge!" I'm wondering if she's being really imaginative. She showed me a huge pile of poo in the toilet. She looked up in delight and said, "Now I get to play in the family room". I smiled and told her good job on the poo (not a fart apparently, although, could have been a fart as well) and said "yes, you get to play in the family room".

BINGO! Yes, she does now get to play with her toys in the family room. Hopefully the art of holding toys/activities/treats over her head will keep her inspired to poo. Also, hopefully the deterrent of knowing she has to have an enema if she doesn't poo, will motivate her permanently as well.

I'm not holding my breath. Everyone has told me this is not a quick fix, but a long term learning process for her. Let's hope she is on the road to wellness.

Her preschool teacher is coming over today to meet her. I decided to start her next Tuesday instead of today, in light of all the energy that went into yesterday's antics. We are all looking forward to meeting her teacher.

Last week I booked her a neurological appt at Childrens Hospital. Her appt is in April. It will consist of an hour with an OT, an hour doing a Peabody Test (developmental testing), and an appt with a neurologist. I'm looking forward to the insight this appt will bring. After I found out all about it, I got the ball rolling for a referral for her 2yr old sister. Can't hurt. She has had some minor delays, nothing as profound as her sister. With that though, they have the same genetics, environmental history, etc. She has had a speech delay. If she is found to have anymore going on than that in delays, she will qualify for therapy and ECEAP (this fall). So that will all be really helpful. Early intervention is great!

You may be wondering what the Pig is doing in today's post title. Well, the girls and I had lunch with a friend. She offered to sell me half of one of her pigs when they go to slaughter. I said "Heck Ya!" It will go well with the half a COW my husband purchased last month. He sprung that on me with no warning. Several years ago, we bought 1/4 a cow every year for the cooking meat. Great deal and outstanding quality meat. $2/lb for anything you bought. Where else can you get T-Bone steak for $2/lb? Nowhere. So, we went to bed one night about a month ago, and were drifting off to sleep, when my husband pipes up with "Today I bought half a cow.", like he bought a kite or something. Half a cow? Do you realize how many pounds of meat that is? About 400 pounds of meat.

So the pig will go nicely with the beef in the freezer. We'll be getting about 100 pounds of pig. I better get to emptying out that freezer now..................

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Today's Update

We took our daughter to her doctor appt. With no notice, our doc has decided to not take her variety of medicaid any longer. They turned us away. So why the hell did he allow the appt to be booked? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

I then called the PCP on her medical card. Their office is closed today. So I called her health insurance. They told me to go to the ER.

So off we went to the ER. A five hour trip included:
urine sample, 6 xrays, the xray crew gathering more and more people to come look at how backed up her poop looks in the xrays (Real mature....NOT!), then a several hour wait to hear that there is NO impacting, and NO obstruction. She's just holding it in. Which was confirmed additionally as they gave her an enema. I was told that this is pretty rare that a kid will hold in an enema. She didn't go until my husband put her on a commode, and said she had to sit there until she pooped. She did it kicking, screaming, crying, etc., only to produce a tiny amount of really soft slimy poop. It's not a physical impairment for her to poop. She just doesn't want to. Also, she doesn't have huge hard poop, which would be painful to pass. This is entirely all in her head (& soul). I confirmed repeatedly with the staff, and they said she feels like holding it in no matter what, but we have to move it along.

Soooooooooooooooo, we picked up her prescription 2day supply of suppositories, and went home. I'm to give her Miralax 3 times a day, a teaspoon. That is more than Childrens Hospital had her on for maintenance. I'm hoping that will help. We also have to have a PCP follow up appt Friday. Now, this is at the walkin clinic that takes all medicaid. Waiting there for five hours Friday should be about as fun as a colonoscopy. Or jabbing a fork in my eye.

So many people have told me this is her control issue. Well, that's great and all, but she's harming her health in the process. A developmentally delayed kid is really hard to communicate with about anything they don't care about. I realize she didn't control being taken from her parents. I realize she didn't control being placed with us. And life is not fair. She will have to come to terms with alot. The good news is, she does control a whole hell of alot of her day. She is given countless choices every hour. Yea, that's not good enough for her. Well, she's going to have to change her idea of "ideal". We all are. We are the parents here, not her.

I'm forcing the issue harder. I took all her toys out of her room. They are downstairs in the family room. She can only have tv/video time and play with her toys, treats and priviledge choices, if she poops at least once a day. For her health, we are being ordered to strongly force the issue

I can't spank her. I can't do much of anything really, other than to change what I'm doing here. I'm totally revolted that I have to deal with shit all day. I guess I have to tell myself, "this too shall pass." Hopefully it will pass before she naively harms her own body.


And I thought things were going so well.

I realized about 48 hours ago that our 4yr old stopped pooping. Sigh. Suppositories on top of laxatives aren't producing anything. So Childrens Hospital told me to redo the "cleanout" plan we did last week. They had me tell them how much she pooped last week, and they said it's not nearly enough. Apparently from the looks of her xray, she needs to poop out so much that it clogs up the toilet and/or enough to have to flush the toilet twice each time for a few days. We were nowhere near that level, and I had no gage as to how much she needs to poo.

Currently she's not going at all. And last night she started throwing up.

Coincidentally, as of yesterday she wanted to be "a baby". So I went along with it. Baby food, bottle, sleeping in the crib, etc. So she's only had soft food, which is good. I gave her Gerber prunes twice. Still no poop.

This am she threw up her breakfast, followed by throwing up just water three times. She's had three baths. I called Childrens Hospital again. They said to stop the laxatives, suppositories, and oral intake. And get her immediately to my PCP for an xray and surgery consult.

Off I go on another poop adventure. I shudder to think of how they operate to get out impacted poo.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dancing Queen

We like to watch movies as a family. Last night we watched "Grease", a family favorite. Good music sort of movie.
Our 4yr old was dancing to the music during the movie and saying "I'm a whole new person!" over and over and over.
Music to my ears.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's a Miracle

The first couple days on this laxative were hell for our daughter. The first day left her with severe gas, and a belly bloated like a starving Ethiopian child. Day two (yesterday) left her on the toilet most of the day, even while we were at preschool. Last night after the "flood" came out from within her, a new child emerged. A miracle has happened. Or at least I feel that way. And my family seconds that vote. Including our 4yr old.

Last night, our 4yr old said she has always been in pain, as long as she can remember. She described it as "feeling like she had to throw up", belly hurting, back hurting. Always. Yesterday she was pain-free for the first time in her memory. She is a loving, hugging, running, dancing, affectionate, laughing, giggling, silly little 4yr old girl. She went to bed last night saying she wants to change her name. She legally has two middle names, and now she would like that to be her first & middle name. At birth she was named "x" "yz". Now she wants to be known as "y" for her first name, with "z" as her middle name. She says she hates that "x" person and doesn't want to be that person anymore. So we are calling her "y", although it's hard to remember.

She is loving being a new person. And we can tell.

I went to bed crying last night. Tears of joy. Pure Joy.

As an added perk, she has gone from the girl having trouble attaching to me, to the girl who thinks I'm the miracle worker for taking her to the hospital. She is on me like white on rice. And I'm loving every minute of it.

I'm off to make Gingersnap cookies with her. This is something special on her new diet. An approved snack.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

To Answer Some Questions.........& Preschool

Today I signed my baby up for preschool. OK, she's not a baby, but she seems like one to me! She will have a visit from her teacher next Wednesday afternoon, and start school Thursday. School will be from 12:30-3, M-Th. I will be providing transportation. We have skipped her nap the last two days in a row, and she's been in a complete meltdown the last two evenings. My thought? She's too tired. I moved her bedtime to 7pm. Perhaps it needs to be earlier while skipping a nap? She wakes up about 7-7:30 no matter what time she goes to bed.

I really like the teachers. Each class has three teachers and 11-20 kids. So, good ratios. They provide lunch there as well, so I have to get the diet info requirements signed off by Children's Hospital so they will give her reasonable substitutions.

I'd like to answer some commenter questions:

Children's Hospital feels she doesn't have ANY control of her pooping at this time.

A kid only has control of this if they are fully functioning and have no medical problems. That would be a defiance/control/noncompliance issue to run into encopresis at that point. The doctors don't feel this applies to her. But more specifically for her, her upper and lower intestine are stretched out so far that they aren't functional. Laxatives will have to push the poop out for her for months while her intestines heal. Once she is pooping soft poop once or more times a day, her intestines will take an additional three+ months to heal and begin to function on their own. In my daughter's case as well, the doctor feels she became so constipated either thru developmental delay and/or her brain not telling her "it's time to poop/pee". Then her upper and lower intestines were so stretched with holding all the poop that her upper and lower intestines lost their function to move poop. Even if she wanted to, she has no ability to move her own bowels at this point. Sorry to be so gross. You have no idea how grossed out I was Wednesday hearing all this for hours on end! Blechk!

She has no muscle control at this point over her bowels. Her sensations aren't working either. So, two strikes against her body.

I did ask the doctors "so, what is her responsibility in this? I mean, it's her body after all. She needs to take control of it." This is when they explained at this point and age she has no control of this situation and it would be medically impossible for her to have any control over it. They said it would be like an adult trying to control a charlie horse. Not gonna happen.

So, I at least feel at this point she's not emotionally or behaviorally playing out aggressions, control, problems, etc. thru her pooping.

The doc did say that her responsibility in all this is to 'obey' me on everything I tell her. All the toilet sitting, drinking all water, pushing more water all day than she would like, accepting "no" when I tell her she can't have something on the "no" list, eating what I give her to help her stomach (food, drink, meds) without giving me a fit, temper tantrum, crying, etc. She just has to buck up and do it all to heal.

By the way, this laxative is giving her a rash. Any suggestions? I think I'll give it a couple days and see if it goes away. She is only on the high dose for 48 hours, then goes to a reasonable amount daily from there on out.

Thanks for all your support! It really helps this journey to know there are so many interested, caring, supportive people like each of you!


This is a post about poop. If you can't stomach that, please come back in a day or two and there will be something new for you to read.

I spent an 8hr round trip with our 4yr old yesterday on a trip to Children's Hospital Urology. I've had this appt since September to see if we can help her in the peeing/pooping area of her life.

She did a urine sample (in a "hat" in the toilet). Then an ultra sound, which showed she still has 4oz of urine left in her bladder after she goes to the bathroom. We then saw a 20 minute Power Point presentation on pee/poop (fun). Our 4yr old then cried. She said she hates this place because they talk about her peeing. We then moved onto the doctor appt. They interviewed me about her health, background, peeing/pooping issues. Off to radiology we went to get an Xray of her stomach. Then back to the doctor's office. The Xray showed from her colon to her stomach, she is severely constipated. It is so severe it has stretched out her upper and lower intestines to the point where they are not moving poop. She is so full of poop, her bowels are pressing on her bladder and spine, giving her pain in her back.

This is called encopresis.

When she moved in, I knew she had been constipated living with the foster parents. So I immediately put her on a high fiber diet. Within 24 hrs she was pooping every day or two, and has been ever since. So I erroneously thought she wasn't constipated any more. Apparently, her body only signals that she is "full", and she poops until that full feeling is gone. Same for peeing. She doesn't empty out the rest.

So, to make a long story short, I pressed them on why she would have this condition, especially at such a young age. After they danced around it a while and avoided my question, I kept pressing to know why so that we can deal with this and keep it from happening again. Finally they asked me if she has had a neuro eval. I said no, but I've been working on that referral all week. They said they want her to have a neuro eval because they feel she has encopresis due to either developmental delay and/or a brain problem where her brain isn't signaling her to pee/poop. I told them Friday the neuro dept is giving me our appt date. They want the results of the neuro before urology sees her again in three months.

We have to give her an even higher "high fiber" diet, which includes many drinks & foods that she cannot have, and many drinks foods we have to add. Also she is on an extremely high dose laxative for 48 hours, then she will be on a regular dose of this laxative for a year or more. Urology wants to see her every three months for at least a year, since the state SW's DSHS office won't pay for her to go to the Encopresis Clinic.

After she is pooping soft poop at least once a day regularly, then her intestines can start to heal. They said too that once her bowels aren't pressing on her bladder, that should help with the peeing/wetting issues.

In addition to the special diet, we have to put her on a peeing/pooping schedule. Called '2-2-2', for every two hours she sits on the toilet two minutes and has to pee twice in that two minutes. This is to get her to learn to empty her bladder before she feels full, and to teach her to fully empty her bladder each time. Additionally we have to put her on the toilet every morning for 10-20 minutes for mandatory pooping time.

What fun.

We have to log (no pun intended) her peeing and pooping.

I've been given a list of websites to check out, a urology folder, and a list of books I'm supposed to read. I'll keep you posted on that after I check out the books and websites.

On a positive note, our daughter has been accepted to EACAP preschool and will start in the pm class in a couple weeks. The preschool rep will visit our home next week to assess our daughter and interview me. This pm preschool will completely interfere with nap time, little sister too. Little sister will get a very short nap, and big sister will get none. Both girls usually take a 2.5-3hr nap. To help combat this I will be putting them to bed 60-90 minutes earlier each night. I've never put kids to bed at 7pm on a regular basis, but maybe this will work well. If the girls are just too crabby, I'll pull her out of pm preschool and wait for an opening in the am class.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Preschool, Adoption, and Worst.Mama.Ever

The EACAP preschool has told me that our 4yr old qualifies to go (no kidding) and that they are trying to move a morning boy to the afternoon class so our daughter can attend in the am. Works for me. Our 4yr old gets moved to the top of the waiting list because she has issues, and because she's a ward of the state. The director told me that I fill out all the paperwork for her to attend, not the SW. So, I've called the SW twice to keep him in the loop. Haven't heard back from him.

In adoption news, our 4yr old's counselor D called yesterday. She said the state SW & our agency SW have both called her, asking her the same things. It wasn't pretty. The SW's job is to complete an adoption, regardless of anything else. They told her they feel that she, D, is giving me anxiety about adopting the girls, filling my head with ideas of disruption, and they want her off the case. She told them me and my daughter are her clients, and it's MY decision to attend counseling or not. The conversation didn't get prettier. They told her to refrain from saying my daughter's brain is like a piece of Swiss Cheese. D said, "well, all her cylinders aren't working. Would you like me to phrase it like that?" They did not end on amicable terms, and I'm dreading the fallout. I emailed our agency SW and told her that seeing D has been a 100% positive situation, our daughter trusts D, and I'm sticking with the counseling based on D's recommendations and our repore with her. D's only obligation is to the best interests of her clients, and that would be us. She doesn't answer to the state or our adoption agency. With that though, I have to tread lightly and not try to intentionally piss off the state SW. We need to all be on the same team.

The SW's asked D if she would have a meeting with all parties, and she said "no, I don't feel much is accomplished at meetings." I like her honesty. She cracks me up.

D also told me that she has done a psych eval on our daughter, and found no psychosis. That would have been nice to know earlier, since I'm her client and all. Additionally, since she's worked for decades in this field, she has worked with countless FAS/FAE kids. She says all of them who have been her clients, have turned out to be employed independent members of society. So that gives me much more confidence in raising our daughter. Additionally, D said she feels our daughter has no mental retardation. So, this was a great conversation in my opinion!

UW wrote me and said they can't see our daughter because they feel she does not have FAS. They feel her facial features fall in the realm of normal, and her growth is normal. Well, that doesn't rule out FAE (fetal alcohol effect.................liquor during pregnancy affects the fetus's brain). They said they need documentation that the mother has an alcohol problem for them see a client. Well, in adoption, often many records are missing and/or the bio parents didn't document their addictions/problems/child abuse (gee, I don't know why not). So a child getting diagnosed should be cancelled due to a bio mom who never went to rehab (to get a diagnosis)? Frankly this all seems retarded if you ask me. So, D is getting us a referral to a different hospital for a FAE eval. With that though, she said this other hospital may want her to be 6yrs old before they will test. Find by me.

I will be posting additionally at a Mom Blog site called "Worst.Mama.Ever." You can click on that link or type in It's a funny group of gals who are able to laugh at themselves while parenting. I'm liking it over there. I will post on both blogs.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Home 4 Months & FCAP

Our girls have been home 4 months today. WOW!

I found out from the girls SW that FCAP is Foster Child Assessment Program/Plan. When DSHS isn't cutting it, a parent/guardian can request an FCAP, which is done thru an independent company. The state pays for this. In our case, our 4yr olds files have been sent over to Lutheran Services, where they will have a panel read the files, interview the parent and child, and advise recommendations for her treatment and care. The panel consists of professionals, counselors, educators, doctors, specialists, etc. I don't know if they are paid or volunteer, but sounds interesting either way. Our file was sent over Friday, and they are supposed to call me this week to set up some meetings with me and our daughter. The SW said not many people request an FCAP, so they get done pretty quickly, and with success from what he's seen.

Frankly I'm really tired. Just being honest.

Friday I called our class president from my high school graduating class. I graduated in 1988, so our 20yr reunion should be this summer. Is there anything planned? Of course not. The class president, a guy (former pothead), asked if I would organize and run the reunion. I told him I'm not in a place right now where I have any extra capacity for anything beyond raising my 5 kids, two of which I explained are newly adopted. I suggested a location for the reunion, and an email round-robin of sorts to organize it that way. He is going to pay some money to have a reunion company find everyone and get this going. Works for me. Also Friday our 11yr old had his birthday party. It went really well. We noticed our 4yr old seems really alive and full of zest around large groups. I think preschool will be really good for her. I'm still waiting to hear back from the school district preschool and EACAP.

Saturday I signed our 11yr old up for baseball, went clothes shopping for the girls, and went to a scrap booking event at my friends house for the evening. I met a couple of other adoptive parents, one lady who is dealing with the same issues as me. Her son is only a year older than my 4yr old, so we can really relate. It was nice to hear her experience and know I'm not alone in this.

A couple of commenters have asked if the state can take the girls away. Yes. The adoptions are not final, so yes, the state can do what they want. Seriously though, if they took the girls from us because they are a bunch of assholes who do not want to pay for medical services for my daughter, and have a bunch of diagnoses formalized in writing about her (in which case social services will look like a bunch of dumbasses for missing it all..........), well, I think every politician in our country will be hearing about this. Not to mention every news channel. The sad thing is, I don't know what the state would be solving in the long run if they take the girls away. They could try to place them again under the guise of "they are smart, cute, and perfectly healthy". Some nice family would come along like us, be totally blind sighted, and go thru the same thing as us. They could continue with the adoption, or disrupt. If they disrupt, the state can eventually place the girls in separate homes (when the younger sister is over 4yrs old) so that the younger sister has a legitimate chance of being adopted. With the issues our older daughter has, her counselor says there is a 99% chance she will never be adopted by anyone other than us. She'd just bounce around in the system or a group home until she's 16-18 and the state kicks her to the curb.

Last night we went to our small group thru our church. It's a community group, half a dozen couples dealing with raising young children. We are all at that place in our life. I enjoy the friendship and camaraderie in this group. In addition to discussing our kids/family lives, we are discussing current events, Christianity, and how it all plays out. Very interesting. Last night we started a discussion on homosexuality. Oh so interesting. The point of last nights session was to discuss how people have different points of view on homosexuality, and even from church to church, there are different opinions. We all agree that the churches out there that are parading, picketing, and going to the media with signs saying "God hates FAGS" isn't really doing anyone any good. Hate doesn't solve anything.

Let's see. What else is going on. I cancelled the 4yr olds counseling appt for today. I have way too much going on this week, and need a break today. Not to mention, the counselor's time would be better spent at this point working on referrals for us and the preschool plan.

I'm doing alot of thinking about how to take better care of myself, so I will be more relaxed, healthy, and a better wife and mother. I made a counseling appt for the 21st, and I'm looking forward to that. I have seen this counselor before regarding adoption, and she's really great. I have enjoyed listening to her suggestions and having a person to vent to. Also I started a diet on December 26. I needed to lose about 45 pounds. So far I've lost 4. So I'm feeling pretty good about that. This weight loss thing has been an odyssey. Back in 2002-2003 I lost 72 pounds. Over the last couple years, about 20 pounds has reappeared. Not to mention I wasn't at my goal weight in 2003 anyway. So, this is the year. I'm going for the goal weight. And I'll look good for my high school reunion as an added perk. One incentive I've given myself is that every ten pounds that comes off, I'm buying myself a beauty treatment. Get some pampering. So I have a spa manicure scheduled for mid-February. That's a reasonable goal.

This year I would like to catch up on my scrap booking. I'm about 5years behind. I have no clue how it got that bad. So between that and some sewing projects, I'm going to be having some creative fun.

Another really important aspect of my life is humor. I am going to keep looking at most things tongue-in-cheek, and laugh instead of cry. I'm that sort of person anyway, but I'm going to try to look for the humor even more than before. I think it will get us thru some rough times.

Gotta run. I have a son home puking with the flu. And I need to wipe a 2yr old's butt.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Internet Down

My Internet service has been down for three days. I'll catch up on posting probably tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Diarrhea, Evaluations, and Appointments

Seriously, why does a kid have to get diarrhea a week into potty training? Our 2yr old had diarrhea about 15 times yesterday. This involved three baths, washing the potty chair countless times in the tub, washing/mopping my floor, and I don't know how many changes of panties and clothes. The kid cried most of the day, which totally frazzled my nerves.

The PCIT teacher came today. She was surprised to hear that there is really no positive difference in our 4yr old's day and behavior (and that she's more difficult than ever), now that we are doing Play Therapy once a day. Our daughter loves the play therapy, but the rest of her day is really hard. The teacher said the kids that this doesn't help are the kids with severe problems, like autism. She is actually wondering if our 4yr old has some sort of autism, in the spectrum somewhere. Wonderful.

Also the PCIT teacher said she has read the girls entire files. She thinks it's unconscionable that they were labeled as "perfect, normal, healthy" children. Just reading their background alone would guarantee children riddled with problems & health issues. There is one eval of our 4yr old from sometime last year while she was a foster child. The eval says she is "normal & healthy". Well, the PCIT teacher said either the evaluator didn't even meet with our 4yr old, or didn't talk to her. The teacher states that from her 4 times here, she can see huge red flags with this child. She thinks the state should have separated the girls, putting our 4yr old in a home where she is an only child. The 2yr old is pretty much green lights, and probably would have done well anywhere, as she has done really well in all her placements. Soooooooooo, the teacher says we need an F-CAP testing for the 4yr old. What is F-CAP testing????? She said the state will probably get really mad at us for figuring out that this child is in dire need of help, and advocating for her services. It's the state's job to place these children in adoptive homes for as cheap as possible, and to close the deal. She said the state may take both girls from us because that would be easier for them than paying for evals and ending up with diagnosis's on the 4yr olds record. Sigh.

We got referrals into Children's Hospital. The psych dept is calling me momentarily to set up the appt (roughly 3 months from now). After that we can get the Neuro/developmental/cognitive eval. Children's doesn't have an enuresis/encoprisis clinic any longer. The only place in the state is the clinic that won't take Medicaid. I'm rolling my eyes. And the SW won't authorize payment.

Our daughter's counselor may be able to get her the psych eval quicker thru someone at her office. So I'm waiting to see if that can take place.

Additionally, I'm waiting for the school district preschool and EACAP preschool to each get back with me. Yesterday I spoke with the school district preschool, and they said they will reevaluate our daughter for language, cognitive, therapies, etc. All they need is for the counselor to fax over her records. Fine by me. So that is all in the works too.

Today I tried to take the girls clothes shopping. The 4yr old is on a leash, as she's been every day this last week. So she is generally a pill, and is trying to punish me. She says she doesn't love me, doesn't want to be near me, she tries to run away from me while she's ON the leash, etc. And she didn't really like any of the clothes we looked at. Well, that made it easy. I didn't buy her many. She doesn't wear clothes I buy if she has decided she doesn't like them. Guess that will be cheap for now. She commented that I was buying SOOOOOOOO many clothes for her younger sister. Well, how am I supposed to buy her clothes when she says she hates them all (nearly)? So I think she will do well with a minimum of clothing until she can state her preferences. I've bought her many clothes before, all sorts of fabrics, varieties, etc., and she doesn't wear most of them.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Great Questions

Thank you commenters for leaving such great questions!! I'll answer a couple:

In our state, Medicaid does not cover everything, and/or "everywhere" in our state that provides medical care doesn't have to accept Medicaid. Case in point, there is only one enuresis/encopresis clinic in our state. Fortunately for me, it's only about 45 minutes from my home. Unfortunately, they refuse to take any variety of Medicaid. So I spoke with our SW the other day, because I was informed that the state is required to pay for that cost out of pocket if Medicaid will not pay up. What did my SW say? He said his office will not pay at this time. What the hell? Personally, I'm too tired to sue DSHS over this. And another way to compensate for these types of treatments HAS to be found before we finalize the adoption. And to expand further, once your child gets certain diagnosis(es), they fall into certain categories, classifications, etc., for health care treatment. Some diagnosis(es) are put into categories that Medicaid doesn't cover.

On the preschool, a couple of people have approached me with the info in the last 24hrs that our 4yr old has a right to preschool, even with just the fact that she's a ward of the state. So, I'm going to push harder on that one with our school district. I need to make the phone call today. Personally, I think the kindergarten intake testing she had done was really lame. All the hallmarks they tested her on, a healthy 2yr old could master and display. Again, pretty lame. I think it gets back to under staffing, and low budgets. I feel for them all, but I have to advocate for my child.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Let's see. In the last 24hrs I've spoken with our agency SW. She is very supportive, and really feels for us. I too, as several people have commented, wonder how on earth these issues have been overlooked. By five sets of foster parents, two state SW's, etc. I realize SW's are ridiculously overburdened and overworked, but seriously. They have to have noticed something. One thing the counselor told me is that the state is very cheap, so there is a lack of generosity in getting resources to foster kids. If they can turn a blind eye, and meet their job requirements of getting kids adopted swiftly, they feel no harm no foul. Well, I think it's outrageous. The first four sets of foster parents all dumped the kids back in the system after anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after placement. They all said the kids needs were too great. Gee, that should have been a red flag. The fifth and final foster parents noticed problems, but the state was really stingy and unethical about addressing needs. So the foster parents had her in daycare in the morning, and napping in the afternoon, then they could tag team her in the evening. That's the only way they could deal with her behavior. One additional item that really stands out to me is that when she was placed with this final set of foster parents, our daughter was almost 4yrs old. And she couldn't run. That is highly unusual. Granted, the girls have never had a doctor or dentist until they met me, but seriously. She couldn't RUN. That's really quite a delay. The foster parents stated they thought the girls were just cooped up alot, therefore not given the opportunity to learn gross motor skills. Well, even if a healthy child is carried all the time, they still learn to stand, walk, run, etc. The last foster parents took her to counseling also to see if that could help with her behaviors, overemotional side, grief,etc. The counselor stated he really didn't build a connection with her and they just played. Sigh. So when we got her, I brought her to a different counselor, the one she is still seeing once a week.

When I spoke with our agency last night, they said they doubted the state will finalize on the 2yr old's adoption, while waiting on the 4yr olds. They are bio sisters, and the state wants the girls in the same situation, in addition to the same household. The agency SW connected with the state SW today, and I haven't heard the outcome of that phone call(s). Apparently the agency SW told the state SW to "get on the UW FAS/FAE eval".......pronto. So the state SW was attacking that today. Additionally, the agency SW was going to tell the state SW that we are waiting several more months to finalize the adoption(s) until we have more evaluations, education, and wisdom regarding our daughter. We can't in good conscious adopt her before all, or at least a majority, of the evaluations are complete. Since we can't adopt the girls at separate times, we are telling the state we need at least three additional months now before finalization. Currently we are on the judges docket for April. We are requesting to push that out until July. I think this will give us alot space, time to be prudent, and time for prayer that we are making the right decisions.

Our agency SW has the same clinical/therapist licensing as our daughter's counselor. The SW just happens to be a SW currently. This agency SW is coming over to play with the girls tomorrow to get a better idea of how our daughter lives, thinks, speaks, plays, etc. In the past she's really only had time to spend a few minutes here and there with the girls. I appreciate her taking the time and interest in our girls, especially when she already has such a busy schedule. She will be able to give me her impressions and recommendations. Any professional willing to spend time with our daughter is all green lights in my book.

To answer a couple questions commenter's have left:
1. Conduct disorder is more highly intense than Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Conduct Disorder is pretty scary (if ODD isn't scary enough.......). Conduct Disorder is worse.
2. Respite is foster licensed and/or state licensed child care for foster kids and/or wards of the state. Our girls are wards of the state, and we are their legal guardians with a family adoption placement, even though we aren't bio family. Respite care can be a daycare situation for a few hours a day, an overnighter, a weekend or several days child care. This is so the foster parents/guardians can get a break, go to work/school, get activities done that are impossible with said child along, etc.
3. Our daughter will go to school next year, period. We just don't know if it's preschool or kindergarten. After my marathon day with her yesterday, I decided it just is.
4. Yes, placement is supposed to be about the best interests of the child. However, the state really runs things by bureaucracy, laws, quotas, and budgets.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Well, I have sure ran the spectrum of feelings in the last 24hrs. Here are some of my thoughts:

How is it our 4yr old didn't qualify for special needs preschool? I do have a friend in our school district who told me that you have to be 2+yrs behind to qualify. We had her tested for kindergarten intake, not special needs. I'm wondering at this point if it would even be worth my time to have her tested for special needs, since we don't know if she's going to kindergarten or preschool in the fall. Chronologically she should go to kindergarten. We are waiting for the specialists to help guide us here. Maybe she could do kindergarten with special ed help and therapies.

We are so busy with her counseling, PCIT teacher, and countless doctors appts, I don't know where we'd fit in the time for preschool at this time.

A friend suggested to us to finalize the 2yr old's adoption and wait until all the state funding comes thru for the 4yr old before finalizing her adoption. I mentioned this option to our agency SW yesterday, and haven't heard back about this. Makes alot of sense though. We have to get medical & disability coverage for her for life. Otherwise, I don't see how we could finalize. We could, but I don't expect my other children to take care of and look out for her when I die. Also if we keep her as a permanent adoption placement for a while, we could use respite. There are days I need respite and don't have any, since she's not in preschool or respite.

I'm facing terribly hard decisions.

I have five children, not just the 4yr old. The counselor yesterday told me raising this 4yr old will be harder than raising the other 4 kids combined. That's alot to take in.

I'm beyond angry that human beings cause these problems in kids. Fetal Alcohol, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Hitting children in the head, injuring their head thru physical abuse, starving children so that it impairs their mind, it leaves me saying "why?"................. I could seriously hit any of her bio relatives right now and not have a problem with that.

A simple thing like going to the bathroom is such an ordeal for her. Today I had to take two of my boys to the doctors office (so of course the girls have to go along). We were there over two hours. I took the girls to the bathroom about every 30 minutes since the 2yr old is new at all this. I ask the 4yr old "do you have to go potty?" She says "no". I tell her to go potty. Of course she pees. I'm rolling my eyes wondering how many years she will not recognize that she has to pee. Then she cried for the last 45 minutes or so of the boys doctor appts. My 12yr old said "that's really disruptive!" Yea, ya think? I deal with it several hours a day.

How hard will our lives be raising her? How hard will her life be? I mean, we know this will be hard, but how hard? I don't think anyone can answer that.

My neck and back hurt. I must be tensing up.

I'm dreading talking to the state SW over all this. He's always said "the girls are cute and smart". I told this to the counselor yesterday and she wanted to scream. It's statements like this that cause alot of adoption disruption, if you ask me. She says she has had to go to court for hearings because of this very problem. The state tells a family "the kid(s) are cute and smart", stamped & approved for adoption, and the adoptive family is stumbling around trying to help special needs kids.

I feel guilty for not knowing how to raise her. I feel incompetent for not knowing how to raise her. This is leaving me in tears. I realize no one knows off the top of their head how to raise a severely special needs kid, but it's hard to separate oneself from that. I've overcome many obstacles in my life, coming from a severely abusive family myself. Which is why I'm not in contact with them much, some family no contact (by my choice). I pulled myself out of a gutter bio family, but I had the brains and skills to make something of myself. How is it fair that some kids are left without that ability and blessing, to survive what they've been thru?

How will she support herself as an adult? I asked the counselor yesterday, "what kind of job can she get (that will support her) where she can lie alot (even if it's unintentional), often "nobody's home in her head", and she can only parrot what other people say?" The counselor said, "She'd be great in Sales". I had to laugh, but it's sad.

I fear the state taking both girls from us because they don't want to fund medical, grants, therapy, etc. They can take both the girls from us, keep them in foster care, moving them every three weeks, and once the younger one is 4 she can be adopted, while her older sister will grow up in the foster system. How is that fair?

I'm angry that I'm the only human being who has addressed her needs, while she's been in the system since Feb 2006. It's unconscionable to me to not investigate red flags with kids.

I feel bad that my other children lose patience with her, and she is a nuisance to them. I think most of the time it's unintentional, albeit, she is disruptive, inopportune, overemotional, impulsive, and problematic. It will be good of course for the kids to grow up learning a great deal about compassion. At the same time though, we are spread thin being around her.

How will we deal with family vacations? All the kids want to go to Disneyland, but I shudder at the thought of losing her there. I also shudder at the thought of taking her there on the leash/stroller because she is so overly emotional about using those, and makes any public experience a headache, high stress, high effort, etc. Doesn't the rest of the family deserve a vacation now and then? We normally camp a few times a year, and go on a big Mexico trip once every few years. We would like to continue that, with alot of camping this summer, and take the kids to Mexico for Christmas, but would this be more work than fun? We all like to relax on vacation. Vacations with kids we affectionately call "trips" because they really aren't a vacation when the kids are this age. Now any family vacation would be downgraded from "trip" to I don't know what. This is where I think respite could be helpful............. Perhaps some of our vacations we can do without her if it's just too dangerous due to her impulsivity. I don't know. I'm thinking aloud. At this point in time, I feel it would be drugery to take her on a vacation where an adult is tethered to her at all times. By the way, she even tries to get away from me while she's on a leash.

I realize she will gain skills over the years. She will not always be as low-functioning & highly dependant as she is now. So we do have that to look forward to. Hopefully that is. There are no guarantees.

I can't be the only person going thru this sort of thing. That much I know. I'm looking to connect with other parents out there dealing with these issues. In real life, and thru blogging.

Once a month I'm going to start going to a Foster/Adopt Parenting meeting in our area. It's put on by the state.

I think I felt better yesterday than today. I'm dreading how the state is going to deal with all this.

Any helpful hints and/or suggestions?

Monday, January 7, 2008


Today I took our 4yr(almost 5yrs) old to our standing Monday counseling appt. We've been doing this for over three months. At the prodding of the PCIT teacher, I asked the counselor today what diagnose(s) we are looking at for our daughter. Hold onto your hat:

Brain Damage-permanent (due to trauma, neglect, and/or FAS/FAE)
Developmental Delay-permanent (due to trauma, neglect, and/or FAS/FAE)
Attachment Issues (not RAD)
ADD (meds will help)

She also feels our daughter has FAS/FAE, but she is not qualified to diagnose that. She is looking for other hospitals in our state that can evaluate that so we can have this diagnosed before the seven month wait for UW. She feels FAS/FAE answers all our questions about our daughters delays, problems, behaviors, emotions, conversations, etc. She said she would be shocked if she doesn't get a FAS/FAE diagnosis. That would be great, but shocking.

Additionally she feels our daughter has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but the DSM-IV changed and has a new requirement: daily flashbacks, which our daughter does not have. But she does have PTSD according to the old diagnosis. Also she feels she has multiple personality tendencies, but that can't be diagnosed until an older age. There's another clinical name now for multiple personalities, and I forget the name. She said to have full blown multiple personalities, you have to have one personality that is deviant, destructive, and not attached to anyone. She feels our daughter is bonded with me and her sister, so feels it's "only" multiple personality tendencies.

I'm not surprised at some of this, but I'm shocked at other aspects.

This counselor has had some recent unpleasant conversations with the state SW. He is not pushing for diagnosis(es) because if those go on her permanent record, and we disrupt, there's about a 99% chance she will never be adopted. There's not droves of people waiting in line to adopt a kid with all these medical/health/emotional/behavior permanent issues. So they want us to finalize the adoption before there are any diagnosis. Wrong pal. The counselor told this guy to get honest, and we are entitled to that. We are also entitled to the state paying for all her medical bills (and surrounding issues) once she is diagnosed, so we have to get the evals done before adoption finalization. My husband and I want our daughter provided for in as many ways as possible. Medicaid doesn't cover everything, so we need to have her evals done and the state issue permanent funding. I'm not even sure at this point if that's thru Social Security or grants, but it has to get taken care of. I shudder at the thought of dealing with SS over all this.

I'm going to put the girls down and take a nap myself. I'm a little overwhelmed. I may not have written in coherant sentances above.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Play On Words

Now that I have this new blog set up, I went into my Profile where my Interests are listed. You can click on any of your interests (or someone elses), and see all the Blogger Blogs where all other people share that interest in their Interests Section of the Profile.

So today I clicked on "ODD" to find more blogs on it. Sigh. Nodda. It listed 25 blogs, but all these people list odd as the word "odd", as in bizarre, weird, out-there, etc. Not what I was looking for.

Any other suggestions on finding blogs of special interest?

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Our 4yr old is waiting to get into the University of Washington Fetal Alcohol (UW) unit for assessment. I called them yesterday to see how long the wait list is. Ah, it will only be SEVEN months before they can see us. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I heard that!

So I did the logical choice. I called our SW. He is totally disgusted that it takes that long to be seen at UW. So he told me he is calling UW and telling them to put us to the front of the line, seeing as this assessment is required before the adoption is finalized in court. This tidbit is not true, but he wants to strong arm them (nicely) to see if they will move us up to the front of the line. We will of course finalize the girls adoptions in a April, regardless of if we have had the 4yr old diagnosed or not. We love both girls dearly.

On a positive note, since UW is so sloooooooooooooow, I asked our SW if our daughter can be seen at Seattle Children's Hospital for a psych eval (our PCP asked for this), enuresis/encopresis eval, and cognitive/neurological/retardation/processing eval. He thought this is a great idea, we should be seen much sooner than UW, and this will give us much information. Additionally, we are starting a referral to a local hospital that offers children's therapy of every nature. We are now waiting for a Sensory Integration Referral there. This hospital isn't far from our home, and our 9yr old went there for speech therapy for years. Actually, our 2yr old went there for speech therapy briefly. She graduated practically right after she started. She only went for a few months.

I am interested in any and all medical/adoption suggestions any of you may have. I also will make it a goal to answer questions that people leave in the comments section. If I have forgotten to answer a question, please comment or email again reminding me to answer. To answer a question posed yesterday, "ODD" is Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Here is a link. Here is another link. And another link. The third link has some great article links in it as well. Personally I think ODD is a label to describe behavior, and I think there is truly something else in addition going on with these kids. We are in the middle of trying to find the "something else" with our son. I took him to a counselor about 18 months ago. The guy was lame, and like "Neal" in "The Santa Clause". He and my son BS'd for every session for a couple months, did an IQ test (found out our son is near genius), and discussed anger management. My only problem is that the doctor didn't really have any new suggestions for me. Everything and every book he suggested, I've already tried and read. So then I took my son to a psychiatrist, and she diagnosed him as ODD. She also thought he has some mood disorder, but wanted to medicate him to sedate him, so she could deal with a more cooperative kid and evaluate him. So we asked, what exactly is it you are medicating him for? She couldn't say, and said she had to sedate kids, or she wouldn't see them. What the hell? I don't want to try a Russian Roulette of meds on my child, let them experiment, when they don't even have a diagnosis. I asked her if we could do anger management, some lifeskills talks, some planning, boundaries, goals, etc.?? Wouldn't that be the first thing before sedating him? We just felt like they were going to make him a drool monkey for their own ease. So I didn't go back to that lady. This year, we regrouped and took him to a new psychiatrist, starting a few months ago. This guy is really good. He is doing a thorough eval BEFORE talking to us about meds and a life plan. We should have the eval wrapped up in a couple weeks. This has been a thoroughly positive experience seeing this psychiatrist, my son is encouraged, cooperative, interested in going, and it's been an entirely different experience than the first psychiatrist. This man is totally professional and doesn't try to bully or chastize my son. He saw from the first meeting that my son gets emotional far too easily, and he has a great repore with my son. I can't thank him enough.

On the best positive note, my husband had a great talk with our 4yr old last night. He asked her if she likes living here. She said, "yes". He asked why she likes living here. She said, "because people love me here". He said, "how do you know people love you here?". She said, "because they stay with me." Maybe it's sinking in for her, ever so slowly..............
That conversation made my day.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Welcome to my Blog. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

I have started this blog to have a journal of sorts about the issues of my children. I have five children, and three are special needs.

Boy born in 1995 has ODD
Boy born in 1996 is healthy
Boy born in 1998 has Aspergers Syndrome (in the Autism spectrum)
Girl born in 2003, adoption placement 2007 has undiagnosed issues. We feel it could be any combination of RAD, ADD, PTSD, FAS/FAE. We are working on multiple referrals for her currently
Girl born in 2005, adoption placement 2007. Healthy girl.

This blog is to journal my children's needs, progress, medical attention, and issues. My goals other than that are to connect with other parents of special needs kids, and be of support to others in this journey.

Thank you. Please leave a comment when you stop by.