I find myself getting discouraged at times. I want to be able to plan and DO projects and activities with the kids.
So, I buy books to get some ideas, I Google, I get the supplies ready. I get excited about doing something fun together. THEN, it all blows up in my face.
Because they are siblings and have experienced most of their traumas together, it makes it much more difficult for me to keep them regulated. This article explains it beautifully. Things can be going fine and one of them shoots a look to another and all is lost, they are gone and the activity is over. They know each others' triggers and use them often, especially when they don't like the kind of attention someone is getting. I absolutely realize NOW that they should not have been kept together. Their healing would be much more likely had they been split up to heal. They have turned the abuse done to them by adults onto each other. So in a sense they are living with constant reminders of their abuse AND they are also living with some of their abusers. I've heard multiple times that people who have been abused, specifically molested or raped can get over it but always have a hard time with the thoughts of facing their abuser. My kids live with some of them!
Sometimes I find myself longing for normal, happy family interactions. I wish my kids had not been traumatized and wouldn't have all of the resulting behaviors.
Then I realize that all of this must be so much harder for the kids than it is for me. They not only have to deal with their behaviors and their actions but they are also dealing with the intense emotions that come with it. I feel privileged to be their mom, to be the one entrusted to help them through all of this. All is not doom and gloom though. Progress has been made and when I compare it to when we first got them nearly 3 years ago, they have come a LONG way. Although I realize that they still have a lot of work to do, I am so grateful for how far we have all come. They're happier than they were. They are regulated more often than they used to be. I'm happier than I was, and I feel like I have a way better understanding of things and how to deal with them! It's progress...
I like to focus on the things that make me happy so I don't get swallowed up in the moment that can sometimes seem impossible to get through so here are some of the things that help me to be able to call my life WONDERFUL!
Jada's adorable faces and the cute things she says.
Speaking of cute things Jada says...
We were sitting at the table eating breakfast and Jada says,
"Mom, you shu take a pishur of Makenz holdeen a baby like dis (mimics hugging a baby) an sen it ta Wae Wae."
I say, "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah, an Wachel."
Translation: "Mom, you should take a picture of Makenzie holding the baby like this - and send it to Rae Rae." "Yeah, and Rachel."
(Rae Rae and Rachel are the same person by the way. She is my wonderful lil' sister and lives in Arizona)
Kishawn and Jazmine have a very unhealthy relationship but sometimes there are glimpses of something that could become great!
I was cleaning the basement and Makenzie was letting me know that she needed to be held.
I let Jazmine play with her since I could see them and they both fell asleep.
I LOVE this girl. She brings so much joy to my life!!!
She is so curious and 'helps' me with EVERYTHING.
She is such a nurturer. She got this doll from a Secret Santa and it makes sounds. One of the sounds it makes is crying. When the baby 'cries', Kenz gives it a big hug. SO dang cute!
I love how much my brother Justin LOVES my kids.
They love him just as much!
(They are in the hammock swing in our basement)
I love living near my mommy!
Jazmine, Makenzie and I resting at the top of 'M hill'.
We went on a 4 hour hike that went amazing for my family!
I love sweet quiet moments like these.
At the top of the mountain, I ask Kiana how it's going.
She says, "I feel good. I walked a long way, I feel strong!"
Having Cerebral Palsy, she has a tendency to say (or sign - she doesn't talk) and think that she can't do many things.
I love times like these that give her a different view of herself!
I love how involved Brad is with our family!
He definitely puts us first.
The kids (and I) get so excited when he has days off of work and can stay home with us.
Kishawn loves to feel powerful and strong.
I love it when he feels powerful after doing GOOD things.
I love this picture!!
She played herself to exhaustion!