Join us in the adventures of our family, with our Belarussian Prince, Guatemalan Princessa and Ukrainian Princesses!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

No more anonymous

Because of a negative anonymous comment I have disabled anonymous commenting. :(
If you want to talk about me being a nag (hubby would agree) go right ahead, but please use your name :)
Raising children with disabilites is not always easy or pretty. And children with disabilities that can't be seen is harder.
But for your information Danny HAD read his letter several times the night before and that morning. I was just asking him to read it before leaving for school on video. Seeing himself on video being able to do it is very important for Danny, he is a very visual learner. We were taping it so Dr F, his psychologist, could see it.

 We have been working on Danny being able to calm himself down since summer when he started seeing Dr F, it is a very important skill that he needs to learn. We have cues that we use, such as "calm down" and "focus" which you hear me say on the video.
What we do does work as Danny has less meltdowns then he used to, but he takes the easy way out when he does not want to do something and cries. Unfortunately he learned that skill at another school he was at and we have worked hard to deal with it. He is 8 years old and it is just not appropriate anymore.
Once Danny is able to calm and focus we can do his homework, or read, or play and he does SO well. So we know he CAN do it but he needs to know he CAN do it.
It is so frustrating as a parent to see your child struggle and not be able to fix it. We have dealt with this since he came home, but it is more obvious as he gets older. We have had him tested every way we can. We have no history of the pregnancy and can only guess. We do not want to "label" him but have to for school and services.follows along, understands, knows where everything is even if he only saw it once and is great. I can take him shopping and he will sound out the words or tell me how much something is, which is bigger and smaller. We do all we can to help him learn, as do all families with kids that learn differently.
He is such a great kid and if it weren't for academics life would be great :) He can  be so smart about some things, it is just the rote school stuff that is so hard. He and Dan can go into the garage and do men stuff, Danny 
I keep it honest on the blog as other families that are adopting need to know how it is. It is not all wine and roses. ALL children that grow up in an orphanage have some damage and each kid is affected differently. Danny came home at 20 months, he tested low on everything but life skills at his evaluation. At 20 months old he was almost potty trained, fed himself and dressed himself, slept anywhere and ate everything. It was not till he got older that we really understood how differently he learned.
And my children are not afraid of me, they know they are loved but we do have expectations. They have to live in the real world and be able to function in the real world.
As for Gerri not telling me she was hurting, it has nothing to do with her being afraid of me it is because she had learned for 6 years that when you hurt you DO NOT cry or ask for help. This child was left in a hospital in Kiev by herself after having major hip surgery. Then was in a cast for 3 months and then left to lay in the bedroom or infirmary for 3 months. Older child adoption is very different from adopting a young child. She has learned to fend for herself, take care of herself and not let anyone see her feelings. She has been home 10 months now and is just now finally able to open up a little bit and let us in. It is a work in process and always will be.

We love all our kids, just like any family does, and will do anything and everything we can to help them be all that they can be.
It was actually a good thing that you commented, cause it gave me a chance to explain it :)
This is our lives day in and day out, for good and bad :) :)
But we do love it!!

So please ask away!
Today we painted some more then did Valentines.
Valentines are great!! Folding, ripping apart, writing, attention to detail, copying, folding, stickers to close, then nice heart sticker on the outside. Then they had to decorate a bag to hold them!!
We try to do OT every day in many ways. Dr vB was so impressed watching Gerri do the bubble wrap app on the ipod and I laughed and said what a great OT activity for her! both thumbs popping bubbles everywhere!!!

Any more questions please ask away!!!


Molly said...

I adore you. I just wanted you to know that.

Hope Anne said...

Nancy, ignore the ignorant and nasty . . . those of us who have adopted older children know that life is just diffferent and how you parent at times is different.

Hope Anne

Jodi said...

Hey Nancy :)

Believe me, I do know how frustrating it is to try and get them to do what you KNOW THEY CAN DO! Michael is also 8 and is just now developing his reading skills....but it's still a daily struggle. He'll sit at the table and cry for an hour over one Dr. Seuss book. Then he'll read AND cry at the same time. If I ignore it long enough he starts reading in a Darth Vader voice.


And he doesn't even have the reasons behind it like Danny does.

You know, you're a straight shooter, and I like that. I wish we were both back in Germany having a huge latte together!

Jodi said...

...even though you never (ok, hardly ever) comment on MY blog....and I always comment on yours!

Whats up with thattttttt??

Mary Ellen said...

Hi Nancy: You and Dan are AWESOME parents. Don't you ever doubt that.
xoxo -- M.E.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, you do not have to explain yourself to anyone. Those who know you and Dan know what amazing parents you are. You are making an incredible difference in the lives of 3 beautiful children and I know they have blessed your life just as much as you have theirs. Love you all and keep up the great job.

Mindy said...

I do have a few questions just out of my own professional curiosity (I will be a social worker come may and my internship is offering mental health services to 3-5 year old's in the inner city).

What model does Danny's Dr. use? (an example would be Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) he may not have told you but you should ask if he hasn't.

Also what kind of tools has he taught Danny to relax? Because "Calm down" and "relax" are such complex concepts we teach our 3-5 year olds (which danny may fit into emotionally??) things they can do. Like we use a breathing star to teach them to deep breathe and then have them pull it out and use it when they are upset which gives them something concrete and age appropriate (telling them to "calm down" is not). Does Danny have these tools? If not I'd love to give you a few :).

Tonsil Updater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meet the Parents said...

Hi, I am so sorry that someone left a nasty comment. I read your blog a lot. My husband and I are adopting an older child, and your posts are so helpful to me. I so much appreciate reading about how you handle the challenges that come up, and I'm so happy for the joys that do, too! Very best wishes to you and your lovely family.

Bergsjourney said...

Well said Nancy. We are in complete agreement with the issues that older and all adopted children face. Especially when we are unsure of the information from their past!

maggie said...

Nancy, you have been honest, candid and forthcoming sharing your experiences with us. This is why you are getting all the comments of validation and appreciation from readers of your blog. Someday, your children will read this blog and say, thanks mom and dad for being patient, loving and awesome parents. Heck, I want to do all those crafts everyday :)