Monday, May 13, 2013
The thing about anniversaries is that they always come back. They are big looming beasts to these littles who, although cognitively they can not articulate or understand them, react nonetheless. It’s May. One whole year since they transitioned here, to their fourth and final home. The feelings are big and the behaviors are scary.
One, the younger, is doing quite well actually. He is learning to play well with the other children and does so often without supervision. Hugs are kisses are enjoyed, even sought after. Snuggle time with mom is special for both of us. He is beginning to feel safe and loved.
Not surprisingly, it is the older son that is struggling. Hugs and kisses are scary things…hard to trust. Too much and he is sent spiraling out of control leaving us both confused and wary. The screaming will start and we will be cleaning up pee again. It would be easy to compare the two and label one good and one bad. It would be easy to give up, to cover my wounds and raw nerves and leave him, withdrawing the affection that he is so frightened of, so unsure how to respond to…
It would be easy to answer fear’s call and protect myself.
But that’s not love.
So right now, I am acknowledging my need for a break. He is in his bed, safe. I am upstairs breathing in God’s grace, caring for myself. Perhaps I will knit all little, perhaps I will get the hoop spinning but whatever I do I will celebrate me and I will celebrate who God is in all of this.
Then in a bit, I will get him from his bed and I will enter his pain again for as long as I can handle. I will acknowledge it and I will help him find words to take away the fear of it and I will pray. I will speak truth over him….
You are loved. You are wanted. You are valuable. God has not forgotten.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.” Is 49:15-16
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Here are some things I love. Things that keep me sane.
RAD Mom: A great resource if you are dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
www.homeasoftplacetofall.blogspot.com Seriously good stuff here. Her words resonate with this trauma mama in a profound way.
Christine Moers on You tube Take a deep breath and watch her videos. Just try it, you will feel better. Promise.
This blog. Written by a foster child that aged out…it is very insightful. Yes. there is language…might as well get over it now.
This book. Nancy Thomas’ methods have changed our home, for the better. We modify to fit our littles but the premise is the same.
Compelled by Love by Heidi Baker Not necessarily about foster care/adoption but specifically about sacrificial love.
Risk is Right by John Piper Because it is. This book reminds us that we were made for more than white picket fences in suburbia
Friday, May 10, 2013
or as my cousin used to say: Don’t should on yourself!
Expectations. Everyone has them and they are not necessarily a bad thing BUT they get in the way sometimes. So much of life is about perspective. Realistic expectations are key.
When we first started on this journey I expected to instantly feel overwhelming love for these littles. I didn’t. You know what I felt? Frustration because of the constant pushing. Fear that they would always be this out of control. And tired, I was really, really tired. What I thought I should feel and what I really felt were not lining up.
The tyranny of expectations didn’t stop there. I expected my bio children to be kinder, more compassionate. I expected my husband to anticipate when I needed a break. I expected the 3 year old to stop peeing all over my house (guys we are not talking accidents here) and certainly the 4 year old should be able to control himself for just 5 minutes while I use the bathroom right?
Wrong. Expectations were running the show and I was frustrated, overwhelmed and disappointed.
Enter grace. It doesn’t mean that you expect less, it is just that you hope more. You accept where you are, where they are and you enter the moment. You will mess up, they will mess up but the great big God who does all things well does wonderful work in broken hearts. Expectations demands results now, grace waits for the best, understanding that the healing takes time. Expectations are bound up in self. Grace is bound up in God.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
*I am not a therapist, nor do I play one on TV. I have just been there, doing that and this is what has helped me. Run it through your own filter. Use what you want, ignore what you don’t.
**Self Care is important for anyone dealing with trauma, etc. If you are battling anything (loss of a child, chronic depression, etc.) this may be helpful.
The one thing that I have learned that has helped me survive the trauma involved in dealing with traumatized littles is this: Put your own mask on first. Whatever your role in life, women tend to be very good at one thing: caring for others and very bad at another: caring for themselves. We burn the candle at both ends and then find ourselves depressed and feeling defeated. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It is necessary.
Here is what self care looks like for me:
- Learning to articulate my needs…and to stop feeling guilty for having them. I am a recovering traumatized kiddo myself (more on that later on the blog, all I will say now is God is amazing!) and children learn quickly when needs are not being met: do not complain. They do not learn that there is a difference between expressing a need and being a brat so they stuff. Those big feelings do not go away they just scream louder in different ways. I can not teach my children to define safe boundaries or express their pain properly if I do not learn myself. God created us with a need for community. We are not whole without other people. In a practical way it means I stop hoping everyone will read my mind. I say what I need. I ask for a hug, whatever I need in that moment without apology and without regret. I give myself permission to need someone else. I am not a rock, I am not an island. I am a woman loved by God and desperately in need of all that He has to offer. Perhaps you had a lovely childhood but there was a message sent (maybe unintentionally) that you better just “suck it up Sally”. Stop. Don’t suck it up anymore, lean on the people God has placed in your life. Sometimes we lean, sometimes we hold up…it’s the cycle of life. Be in balance and practice both.
- Embracing who I am in Christ. This looks different for everyone. For me it began with simply accepting that I am really pretty much the bee knees in His eyes. My circumstance does not define me, He does. I will not beat myself up at the end of the day anymore than I would beat up one of my kids. Nope, I am not perfect but He never asked me to be. He asked me to be there and just show up and I am rocking that pretty good. Yep, the kids scream like banshees
somemost days and I used to take that on. I was stressed and shaken, I blamed myself and convinced myself that if I was a better mom these littles would have been able to stop the daily trauma drama. Now I tell myself the truth: God called me here. Right now at this moment to do this thing. I don’t know what will happen in 5 minutes, I might blow it, but that’s His business. And it doesn’t really matter… He will love me anyway
- Escaping the chaos. My peanuts like chaos. It is what they understand. Survival skills work best in chaos. Every.single.day I step away from it. It looks different at different times. Right now little #1 seems to be triggering left and right and he quite literally can not leave my side. I still take time to escape. Today I turned on the video monitor (oh how I love my video monitor), put him down for a nap and I took my hoop outside and blared the music. I hoop danced my heart out. I listen to music that heals me and empowers me and I move to it. I look like the village idiot but my groove is back and I am ready to give again.
- Bringing the silliness back. Healing is serious stuff but we can still laugh our way through it. Have fun again, it’s okay. If you were brave enough to do anything what would you do? Do it! It doesn’t have to be silly but if you feel silly doing it, do it anyway. You only have this moment, don’t waste it. Tonight I will be at a belly dancing class if anyone wants to join me….
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
We have a whole slew of IDF and IDF/CormoX lambs available. Here is a peak at just a few:
#125 Cormo/IDF Cross Ewe (twin) born 4/18/13
#101 Cormo/IDF Cross Ram (single) born 3/25/13
#101 Back View
#137 Pure IDF Ram (single) born 4/7/13
#134 Pure IDF ram (single) born 4/6/13
There are lots more out in the pasture! These buggers do not like to have their pictures taken :) Email countingsheepfarm @ yahoo.com for more info.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Surely who have heard the story about Jesus and the man in the graveyard, right (well, the Bible uses the word tombs but you get my meaning)? The guy was so chock full of demons that when Jesus asked for a name he was told “Legion for we are many.”! The people of the town would chain him up and he would just break the chains and run amuck and day and night they could hearing him yelling and carrying on.
Jesus being the awesome and loving God that is He sends the whole lot packing, setting the man completely free and at the demon’s request allows them to enter a herd of pigs that were having dinner nearby. The pigs for whatever reason ran straight off a cliff and drown. The towns people (who are probably already a nervous wreck at this point, I mean somebody howling in the mountains and tombs is enough to freak anyone out I would guess) discover the fate of the pigs, see the possessed man in his right mind and completely clothed they did what any right minded person would do (right?). They asked Jesus, politely, to get out of dodge. (loosely paraphrased from Mark 5:1-17)
I read this story to my kids yesterday and I was struck by it. There are three things in particular that stood out to me. 1. The people of the town were likely Jewish, and swine were considered unclean for the Jewish people. 2. They cared more about what they had lost than what they had gained. 3. I do the same thing.
How many times have I watched my pigs stampeding to their death and cried foul? Yeah, Jesus I know you came to set me free but that swine there, I am a bit fond of him. I feed that pig of pride myself and I am not quite ready to see him die so back off will ya? Oh and anger? Yeah I know he is a bit fat and ugly and he does eat a lot but I still depend on him just a bit. Leave him alone for now. In fact now that you mention it, I think I will handle this one for bit…thanks anyway. So what if I wallow in the mud a bit…
Oh Lord, help me to just get out of the way and let these fat pigs die!