Category Archives: My children

Feeling stupid not generalizing

So this week, I had 2 typical experiences in new settings in close enough time, that they shined light on each other….

  1. Darin went to day camp and got in lots of trouble the 1st day. Then I figured out he didn’t have 1-on-1 support, that was added, and he was able to continue with daycamp.
  2. We tried putting Darin in a class at church, so we could listen to the sermon, and he lasted 10 mins… and Joel missed the rest of the service sitting in the hall with him.

And it clicked for me:
Church is the only setting where we try to put him in a class without 1-on-1 support, pretending in that setting he is typical.
We don’t do it at school, or day camp, or VBS.
But week after week, we are shocked it goes terrible at church.

Unfortunately, this realization was not accompanied by a solution.

Interestingly, the sermon at the church we visited today was about Act 6:1-13, where the 1st church had to address unmet needs within the church.

I wish this didn’t feel like a unique need that not everyone shares. I don’t want to be the one with the need.

What are other special needs kids doing within small churches?

Our adoption stories

Here are the stories of our adoption:

  1. When Darin joined our family
  2. Making adjustments for Darin
  3. Ode to Darin’s birth mother
  4. Missing Darin’s birth mother

Adoption in movies

One of my favorite thing in movies is seeing adoption as a subplot, not the focus.

I appreciate this since it normalizes adoption, decreasing the stigma that family is blood and adoption is weird.

Some of my favorites are:

But I recently saw a Facebook post by my friend Nancy that added another perspective to the adoption movie conversation:
20131123-120753.jpg

At first, I was confused. I also have an adopted child, and love Despicable Me.

But then I thought about Hannah’s experience of being in a orphanage.

I realized that while I love that society can see adoption stories in movie, parts of the stories may be too close to home for a child joining a new family.

Always good to gain perspective!

Relief in a realization

The special needs community’s perspective toward education is pretty unique. There is an ENORMOUS amount of pressure to be a legal guru in order to convince the local public school system to educate your child as well as possible. Many time, the same families who send all their typical children to private school invest tons of energy into mastering the public school.

Yesterday, I attended a conference where many of the breakout sessions focused on convincing your school to allow your child with a disability to be “included” in general public education.

I felt the familiar self-doubt creeping in:

Why am I not trying harder to win this fight to have Arabella & Darin get a free, appropriate public education? Why do I feel so much more comfortable with my children in private (even though non-inclusive) schools?

And then I felt relief, as I have so often recently, as I remembered something from Carole Joy Seid‘s seminar. I’m not sure how to repeat her whole thought, but basically it was that historically, public school was not the preferred choice – it was for those who had no other choice. Those with choices had governesses or mom’s as their one-on-one teacher.

I realize why I don’t wanna train & join this fight: I don’t believe MY children should be educated by the government.

And it’s a relief for me to realized this & quit feeling like a wimp.

I hope this doesn’t come off as judgement on anyone. This relates to my parenting of my children.

I am in the process of bringing all my actions into alignment with my values. I’m sure you are in the same process.

“Hours” in your main job = mothering

I’ve been a working-outside-the-home mom for most of my mothering years. Each of my kids was blessed to go to the best preschool, The Rise School of Houston, at 1 year old, & I could go to work while they were there 8:30-2:30.

Paying jobs require a certain “commitment”. If it’s an hourly job, it’s a set of hours to receive pay. If it’s a project-based job, like my business Adaptive Communication Devices, it’s setting aside time to do whatever is due this week.

Mothering seems to have a much more “flexible” commitment. It’s harder to measure if you get more return on your investment (the lives of your kids) if you put in 40 hours of dishes, or skip it all to read a book… It’s an endless project without a due date, and you aren’t told exactly how your “compensation” will be adjusted for each neglected or added task

So, honestly, I’ve never been near as good at, or faithful to do my mothering as I am my case management job or my business.
I never settled on a list of tasks to hold myself to.

Then I decided to homeschool Holden. And I have a mark to exceed: the education he was receiving at Veritas. I didn’t keep him home to save money or waste his time. I kept him home to shape him, to teach him in specialized way designed for him.

This has been so GOOD for my mothering overall. It has given me a standard for what I do with him. And since I love all 3 kids, it’s given me a standard for Arabella & Darin, too.

Sometimes it’s hard to not do all I want with Redeemed or meet up with friends like I had the freedom to during the day. But it definitely feels like this is a job I can do well if I make a commitment to do the tasks I know are needed each week.

God is good.

This week, Arabella, my first born child, has spent the week in Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH). Our bulldog’s crazy sticking out tooth went into her finger, causing an infection.20130221-141608.jpg20130221-141625.jpg

Hospital-time leads to reflection.

  • For Arabella specifically, TCH is the place she came on her second day outside my womb, and remained for 25 days trying to learn to eat while her heart ran a marathon.
    Then she returned for a feeding tube to be placed (and replaced) at 3 months old.
    She had her heart repaired by the cardiovascular surgeons there at 6 months old.

    And here she is, 11 yrs old, and healthy for 9 yrs!
    That’s something to celebrate!

  • Regarding healthcare: this finger thing didn’t look like a big deal… Redness, puffiness, but not a lot else. But the doctors at both our Pediatricians office & in the ER know that hands can progress in bad ways, so they are fighting vigorously, aggressively, for the health of Arabella’s hand.
    That’s something to appreciate!
  • Regarding life: while it might seem inconvenient to sleep away from home, it’s a blessing to have 1-on-1 time with my daughter. Thankfully, my job is mega-flexible, my husband is super helpful, and my sons are compassionate & understanding.
    Those are all blessings.

It seems like “bumps” in life are good times to pay attention, be more alert to how life is really going.

I can see God’s blessings raining down on me!

20130221-143607.jpg
How about you?

Walking in another person’s shoes

As part of homeschooling, Holden and I just enjoyed Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I really enjoyed one topic it helped us to contemplate: beauty & comparison.

Several times in the narrative, discussions of the preference for blonde hair (Laura’s sisters hair color) vs brown hair (Laura’s hair color) came up, and Laura was clearly made to feel inferior. Each time, it was intriguing to see Holden get angry at the feelings of rejection this made Laura feel. He immediately focused these feelings on Mary. Then we talked through this – did Mary chose to be blonde? Was she actually doing anything hurtful to Laura?

Later in the week, Holden came out of the library and mention the librarian helping him had been a lady who he though originally was a man. We talked about how it would feel to have people perceive you differently from how you wish they saw you. I could see that relating to Laura had prepared him to relate to this librarian.

I love learning this stuff with him!