Friday, July 29, 2011

Why do I do this?

Next Saturday, we get to go see the boy at the new RTC. Their rules are that he had to be there 30 days before a visit could happen. They are very strict about a lot of things. Alex is like a lot of kids of trauma though, he needs to have intense structure and consistency. So, as we prepare for this first, monitored visit, I'm looking around for things to take him.

Like many kids dealing with PtSD/RAD, he's younger in a lot ways than his actual age, which is 14. He loves Christmas! Not that he deals well with Christmas...not that hasn't done everything he could to ruin it for himself and the family, mainly himself. So, I'm looking around for DVDs that I can buy or download (legally without malware, spyware, etc.) to take to him. Why is it that I become the one who gets obsessed with finding stuff to take? Is it making up for not being there? Is it compensation for him having to live away from the family? Do I really think that material things equal love in his eyes? I really don't know what my motivation is. I guess I keep trying to figure out things that have made him happy in the past.

I'm also looking for more and more frog or toad (that's one connection he and I share big of those things, sorry Gala!) jokes and riddles. Here's one I put on one side of the package I sent yesterday: Knock, knock. Who's there? Toad Toad who? Toad you I was going to send you a package and here it is! Yay, now I can give up this silly quest of getting another teaching position and follow my talent in writing jokes to the big bucks!

The tadpole in the picture is not the biggest we saw in the pond by our house...but it is the biggest we caught. Everything is bigger in Texas...'cept for rainfall, not so much.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


She won over Uncle B, the birthday boy.....

Ahem, what are YOU looking at?
Ours was the first and up until now, the only adoptive family in my family. Despite our experiences with Alex, and maybe because of our experiences with Hannah, my little brother is now joining up. This is Miss Grace. She all but just fell into their lives. Grace's birth mom was taking her to the church day care and preschool that my sister in law teaches at. Over time, she was watching Gracie while her birth mom was working three jobs. It turns out that there are two siblings, full siblings, that were placed about four years ago with a relative. Their parents were not open to adopting Grace and so, she's joined the family. This is one incredibly smart and agile 18 month old. It appears she's a lot like her Aunt Sissy (me) in that she is a bit hyper. Funny thing is, there is sixteen years between my second and third daughters and the same between Grace and Kaley, up until now an only child. I hope these two are half as close as my Heather and Hannah are. Welcome to the clan, Miss Gracie!

Friday, July 15, 2011!

I'm guessing it's probably due to HIPPA and the confidentiality laws that we have not been able to take a camera in with us (or a cell phone) since Alex has been in a state hospital. At the family day event in May, they took some pictures of us because I'd requested pictures of him. (If you knew me, you'd know that I am a huge photo nut...much to my husband's frustration.) He's got this funky Justin Bi*ber-like hair and is kind of in that awkward boy/man stage(the boy...not the husband,lol). He is now 5'8" and about 140 lbs. What a difference from the twelve year old he was when he left.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whine Warning

I took these with a Nikon baby camera that stays in my purse. The one that has no problem handling the 4 gig SD card. Unlike it's big, beefy older brother a Nikon D50 who wimps out on anything beyond a 2 gig card. (which is no big comparison to some of the huge-0 SLRs that came out later that I saw all over the houses at Orlando 2011) I know that because someone who happened to turn sixteen on Tuesday, removed the 2 gig from my laptop...where I put it to make sure that I had it on our very brief trip to the beach. But, it was on my dining room table where she'd left it when she and her dad tried to get the fantastic deal of an mp3 player I won on Ebay to work. So...while I felt really bad for myself that my planned picture for dear photograph of my dad didn't work out because the little one cannot take a close up very well, little one did okay. I have this picture of my dad being a muscle man, complete with sucking in the gut he didn't have, looking all skinny when I was probably three or four on the same beach. He died in 2002 from lung cancer after quitting eight years before. It appears he should have quit fifteen years before and he wouldn't have gotten cancer at all. I guess.

Anyway, now to the whine....WHAT?! That wasn't a whine already?! Here it is: I do consider myself to be a fairly dependable adult.sometimes. is it then when I go on a trip where I'm responsible for other people....namely children, things can't just go according to plan? When I took Alex to Boston to meet Sarge Goodchild at Active Healing, I did great. Made all the reservations, got us to the airport, flew to Boston, rented a car, only got lost once before finding our way out of town....found Sarge, did the touristy things with the Lighting of the Trees in the Commons....found Strawberry Banke in New Hampshire after turning around when I saw the "Welcome to Maine" billboard (hey, unlike Texas, it was only like an hour and a half across the whole state...hell, we consider that a morning commute here) got us back to Boston, back to the airport, turned in the rental, flew to San Antonio only to leave my frikkin' camera bag on the plane with my wallet in it. Stuck, with no way to pay the pay for parking so my husband had to drive in at one a.m. to rescue me.

Back to this stuck in the sand on the beach on.our.way.home....isn't that period thing annoying?! I love it! Did any of the big Bubbas sitting in their trucks while balancing their Lone Stars on their big bellies offer to come over and push me out of the way with their four-wheeled drive? How about the ex-Marine that drove past, twice, in a jeep and just waved. (Turns out it was a rental...yes, I did go out of my way to tell him thank you so much....the Marine Corp tat was probably a rental too.) Who helped us? A 7o something Vietnam Vet who only had 24% lung capacity left, that's who. Take that Honda with your "you can't be more than ten feet off of the street in order for us to help" and sheriff's department...cause "we are not allowed to help people out of the sand". Okay, now blessings time....#1 Cap'n Rob- who helped us get out of the sand #2 Being able to take my daughters and a friend of one of them for two days to the coast #3 An almost completely jellyfish-free float in the Gulf with my older daughter with really good conversations (it appears 32 is the magic year for that) and finally, #4 that our daughter, the newly minted sixteen year old came to us through an open, domestic adoption at birth. She is such a really neat person and I'm so blessed to get to be her mom.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I don't want to sound negative. I am,however, a realist. Alex arrived at the RTC in time for lunch, quick intake and went to class. He's behaving very well. The one thing (Lord, please don't let this come back and bite me on my butt) that makes me feel he just may keep it together is that he did not lose his sh!t in the last few days at the psych hospital. That would have been vintage Alex, so who knows, he may be able to settle in without humongous bouts of posturing.

I can no longer call him...he has to call me, with a phone card. And not for probably two weeks. A visit in probably one month. Other trauma mamas will get To make conversation on a nightly or every other night basis with someone who lives in a completely different environment is challenging. This frees me from feeling guilty. I am writing him a letter and putting together a small package.