Coming of age

As a mother of multiple teenagers, I have the opportunity to experience the rituals of coming of age: such as Prom, graduation, college application, drivers license, and ACT scores.

My oldest daughter, R, is a senior. We have completed, after much deliberation and debate the college selection. The deciding factor: price and location. She is going to stay with my very good friends of ours and go to school up north. She pointed out that it will be 15 years to the week since we moved to Tennessee that she will be moving back to Wisconsin.

We received her graduation announcements last week. Of corse, her name was misspelt. So, we reorder. Hopefully, they will be back in time to mail.

And, the most important spring ‘coming of age’ ritual… PROM… Took the girls shopping for dress’ and shoes today. One wanted a dress that to me may have fit a Barbie doll, not enough material to cover both ends… The other one, I found myself telling her to pick a dress that showed ‘more’ skin…(honestly, the first one looked like a nuns habit)…

I don’t remember the senior year of high school being so demanding, but then again, I was 17… maybe I should ask mom…

Have a great weekend.


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I will start by saying, even though this does not sound like it, I am still a big advocate of adopting older children.

As you may know, I have completed two separate adoptions. The first was 10/08 and was our two boys, now 13 and 6. The second was an older girl, our daughter age 17. And, although the boys have been a joy, and we have not encountered any real problems ( except the normal teenage stuff), Our daughter (B) has been a handful… Let me explain: We, of course, went thru the honeymoon period where she was on her best behavior. But almost immediately after the adoption was completed, she began acting out. Getting in trouble at school, lying, and sneaking around. She has hidden her meds on several occasions and lied about taking them. At one point B had not taken her meds for two weeks strait. She would go thru the actions of taking them, but never swallow. She cheeks them when I watch her take them, and has even flat-out refused.

Recently, she has been telling everyone that she can’t waite to turn 18 so she can move out on her own. Well, after trying to talk to her, explain what ‘real life’ is like, and work thru the issues, I am to the point of throwing in the towel.

After yet another episode of getting in trouble at school, caught in lies, and out right defiance last nite, I decided to take a different approach. I told B that if she wanted to move out when she turns 18 that is her option. I will never force anyone to live here that is apparently so unhappy. That I am sorry that she has given up on us, because we will never give up on her. I told her that she has a lot of growing up to do in the next five months.

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6 week checkup

Zach had his six-week check up today. It’s amazing, as I look at our lil man today, the changes that have happened over the past month and a half.

I know that there is a lot of controversy over the baclafen pump. Some parents sware by it, some say it is not worth the pain and recovery. I must side on the positive. Zach has shown great improvement over the past weeks. He can now move his arms over his head. Play with his hair. Hug. And, last week, he held a crayon in his hand and colored on his own… For any parents out there that have children who struggle every day with just the simple tasks, like coloring, you can understand when I say that it made me cry.

The Dr. said that Zach has healed well, and will not need to be seen back at Vanderbilt until the pump needs to be replaced. (in about 8 years)

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As many of you may know, My ‘Dad’ passed away on Feb. 8th. This has brought a re-examination of the word “Closure”.

Mom has had a real hard time with his passing. It was extremely sudden, and the unexpectedness of it has had everyone reeling… Mom is stating that she wants closure. She wants to go thru all his clothes, his music, his office and have everything boxed up and out of sight. My opinion is that then you will be looking at boxes in closets, knowing whats in them.

My opinion, and I do not expect anyone to agree, is that there is not such thing as closure. There is not a door you can shut on death. That person will always be there with you.No matter how fast you go thru the stuff, or move, or even hide yourself away in a cave somewhere. You can never escape your memories, and there for, that door will never close. But… I do agree, that every person has their own way of dealing with death. Some take years to process, some just want it over… No way is right or wrong…

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Raising Teenagers

I’ve heard it called the daily ‘trials’ of raising teenagers. Well, if it is a trial, you would expect that somewhere there is a Jury of your peer ready to pass judgement. But how can they pass judgement when if they are your peers, then they have been thru the same trials??? They have had the teenager who is having boyfriend trouble, the one who is again grounded for one thing or another. They have heard the whining, the laughing, the crying and the screaming. And like me too, they have survived and lived to parent another day…

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Side effects…

Found out today that one of the side effects of the baclafin pump is that it increases skin sensitivity.

Our 6-year-old was diagnosed as having global disabilities due to lack of oxygen shortly after birth. In short he was suffocated by his birth mother and the hospital staff was able to revive him after 18 min’s. Due to the oxygen deprivation, he has a history of  CP, a trach, and a feeding peg. He is improving everyday. And I see non of the vegetative little boy who moved into our home two years ago. I will talk more about  Zach’s improvements later on. I just wanted to share that due to the increased skin sensitivity, he is now ‘alergic’ to our carpeting. Any time he spend on the floor leaves him looking like he has a severe sunburn on any exposed skin. So, now I am waiting for the ‘carpet man’ to come and give me an estimate on how much it would cost to have the carpet pulled up in the LR, Dining room and den and have tongue and groove hardwood installed… Nothing is too much for our lil man… he is just learning to get around on the floor.

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Lets get started…

Merriam Webster’s collegiate dictionary defines “Motley” as:  a group composed of diverse, often incongruous, elements…. (don’t worry. I had to look up incongruous also… it means not conforming)

Well that’s what my family is…a motley group… or better known as a motley zoo. You see, I am a full-time mom and a part-time writer, teacher, productive member of society. Our family consists of Me, My partner of ten years, my two biological children (18, 15) our three adopted children (17,13 & 6), our seven dogs, three cats, two rabbits, and a frog.

We also live a stones throw away from my mother ( My dad passed away earlier this year), my sister and her fiancée, and my ‘aunt’ and her son.  We do actually exist as our own little village. Raising our children and trying to make a better place for them in this crazy world.

So why the blog? Well, not only do we have the trials of raising teenagers in this crazy world. We have the pleasure of raising special needs teenagers. You see, our kids have diagnosis that range from Cerebral Palsey, Bi-Polar, Aspergers syndrome, OCD & global disabilities including feeding systems and trech’s. I know there are other parents out there that experience these challenges every day, and If sharing our experiences… the good and the bad can help in letting others know they are not alone, well then It’s worth it..

Besides, as any parent knows, sometimes you just need to vent… even if all you are doing is sitting in front of a computer screen…. punching out the words in black and white…

This blog will address the trials of adoption, especially the ones associated with adopting older children. Managing health care for our chronicly ill children… (don’t get me started on the Baclafin pump right now)… and the daily trials of parenthood… I may even throw in some writing now and then when I actually get the time to write… Like at 3 in the morning when all the kids are in bed and the laundry is getting caught up…

Well, that’s all for now… a good start I think… Till tomorrow… just remember to breath…

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