Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching up on me...

As with most parents, we seem to get lost in our children. We forget to take care of Momma. Momma makes the house "go" and a broken Momma isn't good for anyone. So here is a little post about how I've started taking care of Momma. First I decided that I did need to do some elimination dieting. I realized that yes, it was a PIA. Yes, it was more expensive on the food budget, but YES, it was what I needed. The bottom line for me was that if any one else in my household needed an elimination diet on even the small chance it might help them with something...even something minor, I would do why wasn't I doing it for me? Why wasn't I doing it when I knew it had the potential to help my significant chronic illness in a major way? So I'm doing it. I started Oct 17th and I'm pleased to report that I've followed a very strict Gluten Free diet, with a slightly less strict, but still "eliminated" Dairy Free and Sugar Free Diet. I practiced that till the day before Thanksgiving when my name came up on the waiting list at the "local" (hour away) Functional Medicine Dr, and I was able to get in with him. He also eliminated Corn from my diet and asked me to consider Soy as well. I'm considering soy, and finishing all the corn containing, but otherwise gluten free items I have in short order that I might also eat Corn Free. He talked with me a lot. He made a lot of sense, and I liked his thought process and patient relationship process a lot. He started me on a pro-biotic, some liquid supplements, and some medical food. Medical food supplements taste like chalk. They say on the outside that that "shake mix" is flavored like Chocolate Orange, but it's really Chalk flavored. I'm currently slurping down a large shake that is has fruit smoothie mix, blueberries, tart cherry juice, and a big scoop of chalk. Now I'm stuck with a large glass of chalk to drink because I mixed it with so many things it made a huge glass. This is expensive chalk though, so I'm drinking it, but I won't make this mistake again.

Over all...I'm feeling better. I've made some progress in coming of some pain meds, and immune modification drugs. I no longer take injectable medications, or Vicoden. I have reduced my Tylenol to 1X per day instead of twice. I'm back down to 5MG of Prednisone instead of 40. I'm going to stick to this for the next month until I see him again, and then we'll talk about coming off the Prednisone and maybe reducing some of Advil doses. I'm still sore in the AM, and in the evening as I get ready for bed. Warm baths and showers help. I want to get off all this junk, but more importantly, I wanted to find a Doctor who believed I could get better. He really does. He said so many things that were spot on about my medical history starting when I was very young...all things I had not mentioned in my medical history. Quite amazing.

My immune system did not become this damaged overnight. It will not repair overnight either. We may have a long road in pin pointing all the things that are preventing my immune system from functioning correctly, but we will. I can walk a long road if I see a light at the end, and I have a light.

I'll update you all when I think of it, but send me a message if you have any questions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I can't possibly understand...

This might become one hell of a blog post. If you're overly sensitive about adoption issues...I really just suggest you skip it. My rant.

I'm know a lot of people in the adoption world. A lot of adoptive parents, a lot of adoptees and a lot of birth parents. One thing that I read over and over, and it just burns the hair off my butt is how adoptive parents can just never know what it's like to be a birth parent. How we can never know or understand their pain. You know what...they're right. I don't understand who, what or why they made the choices they made. I don't understand that at all. What I DO understand is as follows:

I understand what it's like to be a Mom. I know what it's like to lay in the dark, so in love with my children that I'm near panic attacks that something will ever happen and they won't be with me.

I understand that I would lay on a railroad track with an oncoming train if that's what it took to provide for my children. I know without a doubt I would research every avenue, event, and illegal activity I could possibly do if that's what it took to be with my children. I know I would eat beans and rice and drink water if that's what it took to put some food on their plate.

I know the hardships of being a mother. I know the challenges. Believe I know the tough times. We are not wealthy. We basically live pay check to pay check with plenty of debt in there just like the rest of America. I know what I'm willing to do just so I can bring at least one more child into our home. I know what I'll give up, and the the things I'm willing to let my other children sacrifice so we have the funds to bring another child home.

I know the joys of motherhood. I know them like a drug addict might know their drug of choice. I know I need my daily hit of my children. Their laughter, their fun, their spaz out sessions where nothing goes right. I need them.

So they are right. I do not understand what could happen in my life that I would ever place a child for adoption...not when I know what my children bring to my life. The majority of birth mothers are not young innocent women with their first pregnancy. They are mothers already. They are parents who know what raising a child takes. They make the choices they make because they do not wish to parent again, and they are right...I 100% do not understand that. Being a mother means they also know they have options, resources and assistance they can lean on. Being a mother means they also know what being a mother feels like. In giving up the hard parts, they are saying the amazing moments aren't worth it. That they can't find a way to do it. That is very sad. I do not understand that. I never could.

I also understand this. When an expectant mother is at a cross roads with a pregnancy, weighing each of her options carefully. Parenting, Abortion, Adoption. An unplanned pregnancy did not PUT her at those cross roads. That's a fact. Her life was not sunshine and roses and an unplanned pregnancy was this explosion that put her into a downward spiral. That pregnancy did not all the sudden make her wonderful loving supportive family 100% disappear. That pregnancy did not suddenly make a perfectly happy, stable life so out of whack there was no way to parent. That life was already in the downward spiral. That life was already unstable. The pregnancy and placement didn't do that.

Birth mothers need to get counseling not just for the fact that they placed a child, but also for the fact that their life was in a place that they felt that was best. That pregnancy was not a rock out of know where that knocked her otherwise perfect life off course. Something that she had no idea could happen. Unplanned is a great phrase, but when we're realistic, lack of planning was what really caused the pregnancy. Birth Control is wonderfully reliable. In the end, I'm sure placing a child is very hard, and very emotional, but the anger toward adoptive parents, and adoption agencies and the lashing out about how we can never understand is entirely misplaced. What should really be addressed is what the heck happened in their life that they made that choice. What led them to a place where they ended up with a a pregnancy they had no support for? Why were they emotionally in a place where parenting did not seem do-able? I think it's easier to blame other people. To wallow in your feeling about what happened when in reality, what happened is only a symptom of what was going on in that life. Look at the life, not the symptom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Preschool Assessment

Today was Ty's assessment for special needs preschool. The first 20 minutes while various teachers are playing with Ty and I'm talking with the lead teacher about the program and she tells me over and over about how we won't have any answers today and it needs to be a team meeting with the school psychologist etc (doesn't happen till Jan) until we know if he qualifies etc. By the end of 1.25 hours she's saying. "I don't see any reason why he wouldn't qualify." Well no shit. Sing your tune lady. I think it's pretty easy to see after you are around Ty and I for a while that Ty has needs. I'm not an indulgent mother who never disciplines her kids, and waits on them hand and foot so they don't talk and have tantrums. I DO indulge, but I will lower the boom when I have to. Yes, I will take playdoh away when he's eating it. (she asked I'm an idiot and just let him sit and eat a can of playdoh?) It however is hard to take the entire outside away from him (and Matty) when he's eating dirt. You know? He's an awesome kid. I can tell you his strengths and his quirks and his NEEDS. I can talk your sensory talk, and your "preferred activity" lingo because I don't do this as "a" job. I walk this road everyday lady. But she was nice. Really. She was clearly a great teacher and she realized pretty quick I knew what I wanted and what Tyler needed. By the end our EI therapist (who I invited to advocate for Tyler) was telling her how blessed a complex kid like Tyler was to have me as a mother, and I was bawling. I hate that. I hate it when others think I'm a saint for doing it. I don't do it for them, or anyone else, or care for one second if they think Tyler's life is so "full" because I'm his mom and I enrich his life in every way I can...of course I do that. I think it makes me cry because I want to believe that EVERY mother does that. I don't feel like I do enough, and I want to believe I'm the norm, not the amazing exception. Take your special needs kids to the playground. To me that isn't rocket science. It's not easy, but he's a kid. I don't care if he eats the mulch and everyone stares...he needs to go on the damn swings just like every other kid.

So Ty should start preschool in January right after his birthday. The people seem nice, but I'm just not sure what we'll do with ourselves while he's in school. We'll have no EI appointments? Crazy thought. Maybe Matty and I will just do a lot of grocery shopping.

They did however say how cute he was a million times, tell me that he had the most beautiful eyelashes ever, and say how they wanted to put him in their pocket. Our EI therapist laughed and said, "He sure is cute...I'm not sure on the pocket thing though. Maybe sometimes." and I added, "Yeah until he turns into the Tasmanian Devil." Judging Tyler by his eyelashes is about as smart as trusting him with a bucket of cookies because he tells you it's OK.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Adoption Resolutions

November is National Adoption Month. This month there will be abundance of blog posts about adoption facts, and etiquette, what not to say to adoptive parents. Happens every year, all this readily available education and yet, people are still dumb. They are ignorant and rude. They care only about satisfying their own curiosity on how my family came to be. I'm thankful that my children are still too small to understand, but I know that in a matter of years I'll not only be talking with my children about their adoption story, but about how the stupidity of others impacts them. Not only will there be questions about how they are adopted, how they are black with white parents and where they are from, but there will be the all important questions about their "real" Mom and Dad (or just Mom and Dad, but not referring to Mike and I), the questions about how much they cost, why their "Mom" gave them away, and if/when she is able to come back and take them from us. Yes, people are dumb. I've found too many people to talk first and think much, much later, if at all about the feelings of the children and people involved in the personal questions they ask. So this November, I invite adoptive parents everywhere to make their Adoption Resolutions. Here are mine:

My sons are brothers. (Period)
My sons are MY sons. I am right here, I have not given them away. I don't need to come back because I'm already here. (Period, I will not engage these people to teach them proper adoption language.)
I am real. My husband Mike? Also real.
I did not pay for my children. Paying for children is illegal.
My children are black and I am white. This happened because God makes people who are all different colors, not just one color.

Finally and most important, I WILL say calmly and sanely: "I do not discuss the details of my children's adoption with anyone but our close family. There is a lot of adoption information on-line if you are interested in researching adoption."

Lastly, these answers are OK. They do not mean I am not proud of my sons, or their adoption and their story. They do not mean that I hide from the truth. They mean I have respect for my family, our story and how we share it. They mean that I can acknowledge that it is not *MY* job to educate everyone. My only job is my children. They will come first. Until they tell me otherwise, I will respect their privacy and that includes their story. It is not mine. It is theirs.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Funny for today...

My kids have become major Sesame Street fans all the sudden. They have Elmo's name down, and "Cookie" (nohm, nohm! Cookie!), and Ernie. The rest...not so much. We have a giant coloring book that we use almost every day that has all the characters on the front and before we start, they always name the ones they know, and then I help with the ones they don't. Like most kids, they don't really care about the actual reality of the situation, and things they can't say yet, so they have started assigning names to the other people of things they can say. Zoe is of course "star" because she wears jewelry with stars on them. Big Bird is just "bid" (bird in Tyler speak). Oscar the grouch? Well they have named him Momma. It's partially MY fault in that Matty was pointing to him asking me "Momma? Momma?" wanting to know his name, and I burst out laughing saying, "His name is NOT Momma! That's Oscar and he stinks and is grouchy!" So then of course Tyler had to point to him and say, "MOMMA! Momma ewwwww! Yucky!" and laughed. Repeat 100 times between the two of them. It stuck. I am now Oscar the Grouch. Hysterical.