Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Normal is what again?

    Our "normal" in our 40's as we know it now. Before I start in this heart felt blog post I want to let my readers know we had a different kind of normal in our 20's. Let me explain. We had our first child a healthy whooping 8lbs 14 ounces baby boy and 2.5 years later we had a healthy beautiful baby girl. Everything was great, well except for being broke most of the time but most people  are in their 20's. Our family was the American dream family of four, two kids a boy and a girl. They were smart kids, happy most of the time. They behaved in public, they had good manners and listened to their parents, well most of the time. Pretty much routine well child check ups were our experience of the medical field. I had a brief idea about what ADHD was but had never heard of, ODD,SPD, PDD-NOS,ID and so on, as it wasn't  a part of my world at that time. I was vaguely aware that children were born daily with illegal drugs in their systems and a bit about fetal alcohol syndrome but no real in depth of the life changing results this could cause to a fetus. I knew that the world was saying play classical music for your fetus and stay stress free because things of this nature would help your unborn child. Never imagining or thinking of a world where pregnancies were surrounded by drugs and alcohol and domestic abuse along with no prenatal care and poverty. Life in my 20s was fun, exciting, full of classroom parties, walking our children to the small hometown lottery school that they fit so perfectly in. Sleep overs, birthday parties and everything that I imagined what raising two children and being married to my husband would be. Enjoyed the compliments and comments on how well behaved our children were when they went with others, even if sometimes we had struggles at home At least we knew that when away from us they acted well.
    Fast forward 20 somethings years and we find ourselves in our forties. Once again raising a boy and a girl. How hard can it be, we did fairly well the first time this should be a piece if cake right?! This time I'm called mom by two beautiful amazing children, who were born to other woman. This time around we are what's called a trans racial family. Maybe not what most people think of as the American dream looking family, however increasingly on the rise in America. This time around the daily challenges can be exhausting, eye opening and mind blowing most days.  We are every bit a "real" family and love all four of our children unconditionally.
    So fast forward to today. Today like everyday is a brand new day.  Not knowing if it will be a good day or bad day for my 8 year old son. Remember all the abbreviations above well I have become to know what they all mean and then some. There isn't any easy decisions to be made but in fact extremely complex decisions  that I never truly know yet if we're making the right choices for his life. His in utero experience was one I wish no baby would ever have to experience along with genes that didn't give him a head start in life. I often wonder how and why God thought we were equipped to raise his son and then I have to remind myself he will equip us with what we need each step of the way. From doctors to therapists to inpatient to outpatient to IEPs to his behavioral Management his laundry list of medications that all help to make him to be able to function in this world day to day. Not a day, and that is the truth not one day goes by where I'm not questioning our treatment plan or medications nothing about this routine is easy with the exception of unconditional love we have for our son and our determination to do what is best for him.
     Our baby girl our daughter is four, full of life, vibrant in every way. Her first couple trimesters in utero were subjected to drug usage. We are starting to see signs of that with her impulse control and overall hyperactive self. But overall she is one tough and crazy loving little girl.
She as well has our unconditional love!
    So yes, our home is loud. Our children can be completely rude and exhausting at times we are still a work in process with behaviors, impulse control issues. We have learned a completely different type of parenting this time around. One of extreme patience and understanding. Not always sometimes we loose it believe me, but have learned to stay calm, because as we escalate so do the behaviors. We believe in spanking, we believe in removing from situations and we believe in consequences. We are doing the best we can with what we can.
    When we said yes to God's calling in our lives almost 9 years ago we had no idea how it would change and move us. We had no idea that we would be adapting to a new normal as I call it.  We had no idea that most days we would be in survival mode. Life as a family of six has changed us that is for sure. We have had many struggles. But all has brought us closer to each other and closer to our Savior. Without God in our lives and in our marriage we wouldn't have made it.
    Our son has been in a day treatment behavioral program for seven months now. It is time to transition him out and back into the public school system. It's not going to be easy as change good or bad throws him for a loop per say. He is excited and ready for school but will sabotage the very existence of the day he returns because then at least he is in control, in a place where he doesn't know exactly what to expect. Praying that this is minor as his behavioral and coping skills have come far in the past 7 months.
    Why I blog this. If you haven't lived it, you don't know. If you haven't gone down the roads or the paths others have please don't try to explain the scenery. Please don't be quick to speak and if you must speak up with your opinion, please speak life. We like many parents are tired and don't need any negativity. If you truly want to pray for us Pray for wisdom and for guidance down this very unknown path were on.  We know God listens! Some oldies pictures to enjoy! And a couple at the end from our Summer Vacation. These are my babies and even though our life is crazy at times I Love my babies more then life itself!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Aaron Moses Payne is 8 today!

    February 6 2006 at @2:15 am Aaron Moses arrived into this world via emergency C-section. Umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. The hospital report describes him as blue and floppy,  bagged respiration and began to breath on his own. Born after 9 long months of absolute no prenatal care, and a birthmother positive for opiates in her system. Aaron has been fighting from the second he was conceived. 
At 4 days old he began eating well and maintaining his body temp, when we got the phone call. The phone call our family had been waiting for for 6 long months during the foster care certification process. A baby boy at the hospital needs to be picked up. "When and where?" Was my response . The lady making the call on the other end, said "um
No, you need to ask me questions" . "Ok , what am I suppose to ask?". Nothing really mattered there was a baby who needed a home and this is what we had been waiting for, for what seemed like forever.  Once home with our newest addition, my sadness set in for a birthmother out there who carried this child for 9 months and now he is with me, to be cared for, to be his mommy,that tragedy is hard no mater  what the

The adrenaline, the excitement continued for a few days until the every hour and half wake ups started taking there toll on me. Within  a week the screaming began, started about 4:30 and usually lasted until about 6-7. Once again this precious newborn was fighting, fighting the overstimulated world he was born into . Had I known about sensory issues, and bright lights, and how sounds affected this baby and how tightly swaddling him could have helped, evenings might have been a tad easier for the both of us.  Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24 .
At 16 months old, he climbed out of his  crib came down stairs, at 2 climbed a 6 ft fence jumped off back side, and at about 2.5 he began walking out of the house and disappearing. Again running and fighting from a scary world around him, that he had no idea what was going on. Like none of us do, Aaron didn't have a choice on what genetics he would be born with, or the trauma and stress he was induced to in utero, or the fact he was basically born into state custody.
   8 years now have gone by, countless therapies, Doctors, ABC clinic, genetic specialist , developmental pediatrician ,Speech,physiologist,counselors, equine therapy, developmentally delayed programs,  IEPs, behavioral modification program, TA, homeopathic remedies, impatient care, ENTs, surgeries,labs (blood work),neuro physh evaluations, companion therapy dog, allergist, countless amounts of therapeutic equipment, ER visits, all nighters,("What if it takes
1000 sleepless nights to know your near God")and more prayers then you can even imagine.
So should have I asked questions? It would have not mattered nor would have it changed our minds to pick up this newborn who needed a home. Nope God doesn't give you the details, if he would have we would have self proclaimed we were not capable of caring for this child, not financially, not emotionally and we would have most likely said we can't do all that. But along the journey along the path God has been our provider, each step of the journey. Not all up front but as it has been needed. All God asks us to do is say, yes to what he has called of us. And once we walk into Faith, he is good to carry every need through.
I'm not sure about a lot of things, and I will never pretend to be all knowing but I do believe in my heart, what Gods promises are to us.

So I will end with this. Happy Happy Birthday our big 8 year old boy, Aaron Moses Payne. You are the most athletic, handsome 8 year old, I know. So excited to see what God does in your life, I am so proud of the loving heart God gave you! "God what if your trials in this life are Mercies in disguise?"
In you, my God I trust
   Psalm 25:2

Saturday, January 4, 2014

When do you give up hope and cope

When do you give up hope and start to cope? I read that on a special needs forum not to long ago, and although the title inspired me to read the posts because it felt somewhat familiar, in my own life, it also troubled me as well. If you know me you have heard me say "if we believe in God then we believe in miracles and if we don't pray for miracles and believe for them then what do we have."So you know that I'm always praying for miracles. Praying for healing of our son, and believing . But as I clearly know the healing the miracles may come , they may be there but not present themselves as we have envisioned or how we may have hoped for .      I don't believe you can ever give up hope, when its your child! I remember very specifically being emotional one evening when Aaron was just a small baby, I remember specifically crying to Randy, " what if he grows up with all kinds of problems?" "What if and what if", and he said to me," then we will handle them and get him the help he needs."After a long journey of fostering Aaron Moses we finally were able to adopt him and go forward in life never looking back. He is our son and God has chosen us to be his parents, even if we so many times feel completely unequipped for the job.
      Such  a heavy and tired heart tonight. A nice evening up until we got home from church. We enjoyed the movies, dinner (well fast food) and then church.  We are becoming very aware recently that activities in the evening aren't such a good idea. Or are they :-/ . Its a day by day, minute by minute never quite knowing if its going to be a so called fairly normal day or the explosion will happen.
45 minutes of rage. Screaming, threatening, throwing things, biting, hitting, running, and hiding all the while I'm staying calm and praying for the meds that were thrown on the floor then finally negotiated into his mouth to kick in.  They don't after a good amount of allotted time so, time for the next dose, meanwhile daddy gets home so some relief is in store. Thankfully Madison was caring for the girls while this was going down. A blessing in retrospect because generally she isn't home in the early evening hours. Thank Goodness for Randy, I couldn't imagine doing this
( @ 2 years old)
alone and he is amazing with our son. So, my posts my pictures yes they're of the good times the smiles the captured happy moments we have and are so great full to have. I will always cherish these good moments pray for the bad ones and be the proudest mom in town. But please know and be praying for families with children that are special,  Somedays are brutally exhausting and downright hard, but we will never give up our hope. Psalms 71 14 I will never give up hope or stop praising you.