Wednesday, March 16, 2011

People Change You

Some people come into your life and change you so profoundly and so much for the better that I find it hard to articulate and those Orlando moms...WOW! How can I even express how they've changed me? I don't know, but I am going to try.

I have been thinking on this and the post I NEED to write. I want the ones who read here (and the ones who don't) to know how they've touched me and how much they mean to me. One of the mom's told me she had to let Orlando be her vacation, but then jump back into her life when she got home because she didn't want to. I get that.

I did not have to come home to a RAD child in my home. My step daughter is still living with my husband who is still living at his mom's. I did invite her to something the day after Orlando and her ...whew, I don't even know what to call it anymore - her attachment issues to women, her anger at herself and others, her view that the world is against her, etc)...whatever it is reared it's ugly head and I became awful yet again for a reason I may write another day. BUT, I got to send her home with her dad and I haven't talked to her but for a minute since. I didn't come home to RAD, but I did come home to lonely. My daughter Kayla is in college and spends most of the rest of her time with her friends, my husband doesn't plan his life in a way that I get to spend much of it with him either, and I'm missing those mom's so much! I was so afraid I wasn't going to fit in. I was afraid that some of the mom's would think I didn't belong. But, yeah, that so didn't happen.

My original intent for going to Orlando was to try to lift the mom's up, try to be a blessing to them and make them happy for a few minutes with my henna or doing pedicures. I think I did that, but what I didn't know is how much I was going to be blessed. When I got home, mostly all I've been able to say about Orlando is that it was the BEST WEEKEND of my LIFE! I had met a few of the mom's before we went, Rachel (some people know her as tudusamom, who I get to see next month too - WOOHOO!), Courtney  and Pat  (who is a long time very dear friend). From them I knew these women would be amazing. I did. I knew it in my heart. But. Oh my gosh, in real life, I am B.L.O.W.N. A.W.A.Y! Completely.

These women are warriors. They are amazing. They are kind. They are compassionate. They are beautiful. They are funny. They give everything of themselves, on days I can hardly imagine, and then get up the next day and do it again. They love their kids in a way most people will never have to even think of - even when that means they have to love them from somewhere else because that is what is best for their son or daughter. They love without ceasing, even in isolation when their family, friends and health care providers turn their back or don't understand. They love even when love is not enough. They love even when they can't like their children. They are the reason their kids have hope. They are the reason when they find healing. They are H.E.R.O.E.S! They are MY Heroes. They shared that love with me and I love them right back! I am blessed BEYOND MEASURE.

Ladies, if no one told you they loved you today - if you have been hated on, head-butted, screamed at, kicked, hit, threatened and the many other things some of you deal with every day, I want you to know, deep down where it counts, I LOVE YOU! You are all a part of my heart now and I'm not letting go. I can't wait to see you next year and I hope to see as many of you as I can before then!

photo credit
I wish I could name you all here, but some of you need anonymity, just know you changed me. I am NOT alone and while I'm still breathing none of you ever will be either. You really, really did change my life in profound ways and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Could he be YOUR son?

Emergency: Riker Needs a Family!

Could this handsome boy be your son?

This is 13-year-old Riker.  He was adopted from Ukraine in 2003 by a family living in Illinois.  Riker's adoptive mom recently found out that her triple negative breast cancer (a rare and aggressive form of cancer) has recurred and spread and the situation is critical.   Riker's family does not have the energy to walk through more chemo and cancer treatments and help Riker with his RAD (reactive attachment disorder) issues.

Riker's adoptive family is desperately seeking a new family for him.
Riker is currently in respite care in Illinois.  The family is not interested in finding a different respite situation; they know Riker needs a permanent home, a forever family, ASAP.  The family will need to be experienced with RAD issues (see Riker's profile below).

If you believe God may be calling your family to adopt Riker, please contact

Please broadcast Riker's story on your blogs and Facebook and any other way you can get the message out that this precious boy needs a family immediately!  And please keep Riker's adoptive mom in your prayers as well.  Thank you!

Here is the info that was posted about Riker last summer on the CHASK website:

We are looking for a family to adopt our son Riker.  Riker was adopted from Ukraine 6 ½ years ago and is now 13.  He is in the 7th grade.
Riker is very bright and does well in school mostly A’s  with little work involved.  Unfortunately he has not attached to our family.  Riker loves to read, draw, play sports and video games.  Riker is very athletic, football and basketball are is specialty.  Riker is very healthy.   
Riker craves positive attention but does not like to be called on area of weaknesses.  Riker would benefit from a very structured environment, our house is very chaotic and is not a good fit for someone who needs a routine.   He does great when school is in session and benefits from the routine.  He is a little lost on weekends when that routine goes away.  Unfortunately my wife has been battling breast cancer for the last 2 years and the additional stress of caring for Riker has taken a toll on our family.
Riker has a problem with stealing and then lies to cover up being caught.   He realizes stealing is wrong but cannot seem to stop. He has never been arrested as most of the stealing involved money from us. He also shows no remorse.  He can be impulsive but has shown improvement in this area.  
He plays well with other children and is very personable but does not seem to follow through on making friends of his own.  Riker has been diagnosed with RAD and needs a fresh start.  If you feel Riker would be a fit for your family please contact us at   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why am I going if I don't have a RAD?

This was my response (with a little editing) to one of the mom's who was genuinely curious and didn't make me feel like I didn't belong (which I have been afraid some of you would feel). I thought maybe someone else would be curious too, so here it is.

Back when Corey was first mentioning it on her blog I saw it. I was getting ready, or had maybe just gone I don’t remember which, to Rachel’s to do face painting and henna for her kid’s birthday party. I had been reading Rachel’s blog and really admired her and how much she loved her kids and how much grace she showed through all the challenges with them. I do have a step daughter who is bi-polar and ADHD – she also has some BIG mother issues – and I despaired of being able to live with her again. I asked my husband to go stay with his mom for a few weeks in Dec 2008 because I needed some distance from her. My kids had not prepared me for how she was at all and I had turned into someone I didn’t know. My doctor told me I was killing myself and I had to do something. I was ready to walk in front of a bus just so I didn’t have to go home to that anymore. She had “chased” both my kids out of my home because they couldn’t stand her. Reading Rachel’s blog and then all of you, helped me “see” her differently and LOVE Lyric and not her behavior. My husband is still living with his  mom since Dec 2008 and he comes to visit (his mom had health problems while he was there and he stayed to take care of her and her boyfriend who is also not very healthy), but I believe I’m in a place where I could live with Lyric now. There are lots of things that have happened over the two years but recently things have been happening where I can see that she might actually be able to be a productive member of society someday and I want them to come home. I don’t know if I would have reached my new way of seeing without you and all the other RAD mom’s. I told Rachel that part of what helped me is realizing things could be so much worse and if her kids could find so much healing with all they had been through there is hope for Lyric. Her mom is a piece of work and I don’t have time to go into it here, but many of Lyric’s issues stem from her. So, when I saw what Corey was doing I emailed her and asked if I could come over and do henna for you all. I just wanted to be part of lifting you up while you guys are there. In talking with her she said I could come stay too and I figured that I could henna more ladies that way. I’ve kind of felt like I didn’t belong but I’m really excited to be a part of it. Poor Jennie, our house mom, gets an email periodically with me asking if anybody has said anything about me not belonging. She reassures me. I really can’t wait to meet all of you. You and all the other mom’s amaze me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

45 more days till Orlando! WooHoo!

So I got this amazing opportunity to go to a retreat in Orlando with an amazing group of ladies. I've only met one of them IRL, but hey, I love making new friends! And I can't WAIT till I meet these women!! The weekend is a retreat (for some it sounds like it's going to be a saving grace) for mom's with kids who have RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). I don't have a child with RAD, but I do have a skill I hope will make them happy. I'm going to do henna for them. I came across Corey's blog talking about it and I was already reading the blogs of a few of these amazing women, but my realm of awe has expanded.

If any of you read this, I really just can't wait to meet you. I think you are all amazing! I admire you and I stand in awe. I've learned so much from you about invisible disabilities, and I've cheered at your triumphs in healing and cried for you when your families, your schools, you friends, your care providers have been a roadblock instead of a step up. You all make me just say Wow! No matter what your circumstances have been - how much you love your families and how you have to work so hard to balance loving your RAD kids with your NT kids and deciding in some cases that disruption is how you need to love them to keep them and everyone else safe. I admire you all. I just can't say it enough. To keep loving while they're near and even when they are far and coming to the realization that sometimes just loving someone isn't enough is hard beyond imagining. I know there are so many facets to all of this and the things I've mentioned here don't cover all the things you have to go through every day in your normal. What I really want to say is that even on the days when you feel like giving up or a failure, I still am blown away by how amazing you ALL are!!!!  That's why I want to come. I want to be able to do something for all of you and be a part of something that makes you happy. You DESERVE it soooooo much!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sometimes It's OK to be Backwards

I wasn't reading Jack Sh*t's blog when he posted this, although I am a regular reader now. He's got to be one of the funniest people alive. He is also sponsoring/supporting some of his readers to help motivate them on their weight loss journey. One of them, Billie at The Weight It Is reposted this recently and it really struck me and I wanted to share.

Although, I need to start living these things and not just reading them. I used to have motivation but I seem to have lost it. With lap-band surgery coming up in a few months, it is time to get on the BALL!

Reversing It

I will always be fat
And I refuse to believe that
I can lose this weight
I do
I realize that isn’t the way most people think but
“Eating to live instead of living to eat”
That’s just not working out, and I truly believe
Eating what I want will make me happier in the end
It’s just a big fat lie, thinking
Being fit is the most important thing in my life
Now I understand that
Making myself happy with food
Is more important than
Making myself healthy with food
And this much is true:
People are succeeding at losing weight every day
But I know in my heart this will not be the case for me
This could wind up killing me
Doctors tell me
I will shorten my life and steal time away from my family
Right now it doesn’t seem possible that
I can change my ways and be fit for the rest of my life
This is what I believe:
This journey is just too tough for me
I don’t want to even consider the fact that
I can control the causes of my shortcomings and my failings
It’s just a fact of life that
People like me are weak-willed and lazy
And it’s ridiculous to believe that
I will lose weight and be healthy

That’s how I used to think; then I chose to reverse it (read from the bottom up).

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

I saw this poem on one of the blogs I read today - Life with My Special Ks. Renee's husband is in the military and I am so grateful to him and his sacrifice being away from his family, especially at Christmas.

I met a young man last night at the local Auto Zone when all at once my battery went kaput and one of my headlights went out. I try to get to know people - make a connection with them. He was so personable and helpful. Not only did he come out to test and see exactly what was going on he went that extra mile. In the course of our conversation as he not only installed my new battery, but also installed my pretty difficult headlight lamp, I came to know that his name was Robby, he was married and had a baby on the way, he was a mechanic and was studying to be an elementary teacher. He was obviously just a great guy. Not only that but he was in the Air Force and had just gotten back recently from being deployed in Germany. I was so happy to be able to tell him Thank You for fighting for my freedom. I often wish I had the presence of mind to tell people I see who are in the military Thank You for their willingness to sacrifice their lives for us. Usually I don't think of it until the opportunity has passed.

This poem makes me cry. I am very emotional and rarely watch the news (don't have cable) or read the paper because I have a hard time letting go of things and not letting worry about the what ifs and what coulds take over my life, and I don't involve myself in politics. I'm not willing to debate with people whether our military belongs here or there. However, no matter mine or your views on what's right or wrong in regards to the military, the men and women that go into it are HEROES in my book and I am forever grateful.

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "It’s really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I just heard from Tiffany. Tyler is CANCER FREE!!!! Bone marrow biopsy was clean.
God is Awesome.

Thank you for everyone who prayed! I can never thank you enough!