On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Friday, January 15, 2010


Diana from Gold to Refine gave me an Rx: relaxing bath and some RxR. I took her excellent advice. Feeling better today. Thanks Diana!

The psychiatrist from the RTC called today. Hip Hip Hooray! This is only the second time I've talked to him since Sissy's placement. He filled us in on their treatment for her which included her EEG and EKG results, her liver enzyme and cholesterol lab work and their med plan. He's adding lamictal to her list. No surprise there. I anticpated that. So she's on an anti-psychotic, an anti-depressant and an anti-convulsant. They're going to start neuro feedback as well. I'm glad, i was hoping they would. Her EEG and EKG did not turn up anything unusual and he believes the diffuse spike from her EEG in September when she was with us is due to the Wellbutrin she was on. Her liver enzymes and cholesterol are fine. Her weight gain is being monitored but I suspect the lamictal will counter act the respirdol when it comes to weight issues. Apparently, she's been crying alot but of course we've not known about any of that because she manipulates and lies when she talks to us and has painted a picture that she is doing just fine. And since the staff isn't calling us to give us a heads up on her progress, there would be no way for us to know that she's been lying. Since he didn't mention the EEG showing any developmental delay, I can only assume they have dropped the issue of diagnosing her on the spectrum (but I didn't ask flat out if that was the case so it's anybody's guess.)

Aspie Boy slept last night on the trazadone but he is CRAZY FAST. I know, I know. It takes 3 - 6 weeks to know how he will respond. But CRAZY FAST! makes me nervous.

I know that the meds are there to help people manage their mental health, that's what they're designed for. What I don't know is I will be adequate to manage these meds for the children. Sissy will eventually come home and still be on all of these meds. Aspie Boy's medicinal future is up in the air. Getting into anti convulsants and anti psychotics makes me nervous. I'm feeling very inadequately equipped and I can take the time to make myself more adequately equipped but always at the risk of my sanity and wellbeing. Hello? I'm still just Jennie. You know, the girl that grew into a woman that wanted to be a mom?

Pharmacologist/Psychiatrist/AT/OT/Psychologist? Not so much.

This is so much more than just reading some RAD books and helping a child nurture. This is so much more than taking Aspie Boy to an OT for weekly appointments. I'm not prepared for this emotionally, mentally, physically, financially. It's killing my social and spiritual life. And I live in an environment that is pisspoor for mental health support. I'm really not sure what to do or how to get to a point of feeling safe to parent such demanding needs and still feel like an adult woman that has her own life.

For those of you with double and triple the number of children I have (3), how on earth do you manage it? Where do you get the time, the energy, the financial resources, the support, the help, the physical and mental strength, the social and spiritual interaction required to do such a demanding job? We're sinking in all seven areas of our wellness wheel and I don't know how to make it work. Just knowing that some of you are parenting that number of special needs children makes me anxious. It also makes me feel bad about my own skills because I'm struggling so much just parenting 3.

For now, I'm reciting "Nothing is Impossible with God" as my mantra. About 100x a day.


Christine said...

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

And then, when you're done ... simplify some more.

Do not apologize for it. Just do it. When I am an empty nester, THEN I can be out looking for ways to fill my days. Right now, though, we NEED the freedom to stop, drop and have a big therapeutic conversation, if necessary.

With the stress of the Haiti quake and not being able to find birth family and trying to help other friends over there ... I can tell you ... adding strain causes everything to explode. When things are simple and fairly predictable, we can move forward and function on levels which are much more feasible.

I am just now slowly adding back more things to my kids' lives so they can practice what it's like to be healing and be functioning on a much higher level. But it's big-time baby steps.

Oh, and did I mention that it's helpful to simplify?


Mama Drama Times Two said...

What we do:
Simplify, as Christine says. For example, I have a new relationship with dust bunnies in my house, I've taken a break from quilting and novels sit stacked on my nightstand - but are not read. I use that "found" time to keep my family and sanity intact) We pray, go to Church and pray some more. Oh, did I say pray? We blog. I search out other excellent Mom's, read their blogs and try to learn from them. There are some amazing Moms out there. You are one of them. We also found two incredible adoption and foster support groups. One meets at the local library 6:30-8:30. We share snacks and share stories of our crazy lives. Every other month have a guest speaker and get some traiing hours in. It is soooo therapeutic (and it counts as DATE NIGHT for us). Our adoption group meets 7pm - 10 pm at a hotel restaurant. We have dinner and cocktails and catch up on each other's lives. If there aren't groups in your area - start one...Really. You can do this parenting thing- and if you feel like you can't - we are here to give you strength. Peace.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

See how amazing you are - you inspired my post for tonight - check it out.

Diana said...

Glad you've made friends with your tub. :-) Keep that friendship alive. It will be your salvation on many more occasions to come.

Ha! I don't think ANY of us were up to the challenge of parenting special needs kids when we first adopted them!!! And, with very rare exception being some truely amazing women I've met along the way, the vast majority of us didn't deliberately seek to adopt children with issues, especially mental health issues. I, personally, am among the WAY too large group of people who had key background information withheld from them and as a result, we were blindsided. Oh yes, we'd read all about the horror stories and were told some surfacy stuff about our kids, but it was all very sugar coated. Imagine our surprise when we met PTSD within an hour of our son moving in with us in Ukraine, which was 3 weeks before we acutally ended up coming home. Of course, once we started really seeing it with our older son, we quickly saw our little one's true colors.

I wrote a post quite a while ago on my blog titled "Making a tough adoption work." I think there's still a link to it on my sidebar. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on how to make it all work.

Other than that, Christine is spot on with her simplify advise. It isn't just the child's world that needs to become very small. It's the entire family's world that needs to become very small. That means parents, hurt kids, and their siblings. When we first brought our kids home, my entire life was put on hold. I dropped out of everything extra-curricular I had once been involved in - church choir, social functions, hobbies, etc. Even many inter-personal friendships and relationships were put on hold. I needed EVERY spare ounce of energy and emotional stamina I could garner to take care of my kids and keep our little family afloat. Same thing happened with my husband, and although we didn't require it, our daughter instictively knew as well that she had to cut back on many of her out-of-home activities.

I don't consider myself robbed of what I gave up. I made a deliberate and conscious decision to let them go. Simply put, my family meant more to me than any of the rest of the "stuff" did. Like Christine said, there will come a time and season for me to resume MY life. While we are finally able to expand our horizons and venture ever so slowly back into the real world, our life and our world is still very simple.

2.5 years after letting everything go, we still haven't resumed most of what we left behind. Yes, we miss a few of those things we put on hold and will someday resume them, but most of the stuff we left behind really is dead and gone. We've fallen in love with the simple life and have no desire to bring the unnecessary stress back into our world.

I guess if I could only offer one piece of advise to someone on this journey, it would be "Let God stay at the helm and don't ever give up." Allow Him to mold you and shape you into what HE wants you to be. Embrace the journey rather than fighting it. Yes, your life will change drastically in the process. And sometimes that process of molding and shaping and chiseling hurts (and hurts a lot) but in the end, you will be AMAZED at where you really end up. IF you allow Him to do so, I promise you that God will make WAY more of your life, your family, and your children than you could ever dream of doing on your own.

Yes, it is hard. But it isn't impossible. And it IS worth it. Keep taking time to fill your own bucket, always eat the elephant one bite at a time, and keep on keeping on. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

Meg said...

I don't have any advice but I just found your blog via the welcome to my brain RTC post. From the few posts I have read on here so far you are doing a great job! Holy cow, I only have one son diagnosed bipolar and he wears me out. And try not to get too scared by the bio parents diagnosis - genetics plays a part but it isn't everything. Sometimes it's almost better if you don't know, you know?

His Hands His Feet Today said...

Add "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" to your mantra :). You can do this! Remember to keep Christ first ... wake up even 15 minutes earlier to start your day with him ... it will give you all the strength, wisdom and "everything" you need! ... and don't forget to pray for healing and deliverance every day for each of them as well!