I almost lost it...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It was 9:36pm on a Saturday when I sat down to fill out the eight pages sent home by Addie's preschool teacher that would help her know what Addie's skills are at home as she starts out in her second year of preschool with the county. It was broken down into things like gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social, communication...

...do you see where this is going?

I had to use a "0" to indicate what she could not do, a "1" to indicate what she could do with assistance, and a "2" to indicate what she could do independently.

Amid the slew of 0's and 1's I found myself writing comments on the sidelines...

"This is depressing"

"Seriously? She should be doing this?!?!?!"

"I might cry"

...I'm not even kidding. I really wrote that on the forms. I'm still waiting for her teacher to hand me a referral for a therapist... just kidding. Not really.  

And although I got through the pages that required me to put black ink on white paper and admit my child is behind with a bit of cold laughter...

...the warm tears came soon enough.

She doesn't use descriptive words, doesn't know how to write her name, she can't tell me an event from her day with at least three details, she can't ride a bike, can't maintain a conversation with her peers...


She can't.

Apparently typical preschoolers can.

She. Can't.

The list of "can't"s just kept multiplying and the doubt and fear crept in as I sat alone, on the floor of my closet, sobbing... praying I wouldn't wake her up.

When I slowly crawled from my dark closet back to reality I went to file the copy I scanned of the forms into her massive pink binder where I keep all her evaluations and school paperwork and there it was...

...in the front pocket of her binder was a similar stack of papers from last year that I filled out before she started school. I read through them, seeing all the 0's and 1's and I realized that if I filled out that form from last year today and it would be mostly 1's and 2's. 

We work harder. It takes longer. But we keep moving forward.

Not so long ago...

...I would research health care plans for kids in school who need apnea monitors or oxygen because I didn't think she'd ever get the hang of breathing on her own. I remember a time when I spent hours researching wheelchair options because her tone was so tight I couldn't imagine she'd ever walk. I talked to multiple specialists about g-tube options because I was convinced one day I'd stop being able to get enough nutrition into her. I have sobbed for hours wishing I could just know what was going on in her little mind. 

Today she is a breathing, walking, eating, and speaking little girl. 

Who cares if she is requires an arsenal of medications for a simple cold? Does it matter if she needs orthotics in order to climb stairs and stay balanced? Is it really so bad she still needs some foods pureed and that sometimes dinner is Cheetos and Coke? And maybe an AAC device will always be her primary way of communicating with the world.

The hours of therapy, thousands of dollars, planning for meetings, driving to specialists...

...they all add up to a little girl who is always, steadily, making progress. 

I will lose my joy on this parenting journey any time I try to compare Addie to other children - the only comparison I need is Addie and how far she's come...

...such a long long way for such a tiny little girl. 



Monday, September 28, 2015

In April of 2012 God put adoption on my heart so strongly that the journey to finding my little girl began. For me adoption was always a first choice. 

States away a strong and amazing woman, Phoebe, started the journey to making an adoption plan for her daughter. 

On January 21st I received a message about a potential adoption situation. I prayed, I cried, my head said "too risky" and my heart screamed "she is your daughter". 

On February 1st  Phoebe underwent an emergency c-section and gave birth to a 3 pound little girl and I spent a day on my knees in prayer - not knowing why - but knowing it was needed. 

On February 3rd I got the call that the little girl was already here, very early, and struggling in the NICU. 

On February 5th I got the call that I was this little girls mother. 

On February 6th, I held her in my arms. 

Today I just stand in awe of the little girl who was loved so well by her first mother that she chose life, and adoption, and by some miracle and the amazing grace of God chose me to be her mother.

Easy? No. 

Worth it?


Oh my goodness. 


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Looking for the gold...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

...because it's in there somewhere! 

It may be hidden by insecurities, addictions, failures, or just tucked under a personality that is difficult for you to connect with. But trust me, it's there. 

I sometimes find myself so focused on qualities of other people that I find hard to relate to, or even just on a hurtful thing someone said to me or about me. I spend too much energy not only dissecting the person and the relationship but also on feeling hurt or let down. And it's all just wasted time and energy because nothing changes from it.

Instead - use your energy to look for the good in the person, in the conversation. Take the time to consider the well-meaning intent behind the words that may have hurt you. We all have parts of ourself that are less appealing and chapters of our life we'd prefer to leave unpublished. So give the same grace you hope to receive - stop looking for the dirt and instead look for the gold.

I'm finding it's a much nicer way to live my life. 

"Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one that finds the gold." ~Proverbs 11:27

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Because Horses Are Therapeutic...

Monday, September 21, 2015

When I first looked into horseback riding I was surprised at how hard it was to find a program where Addie could have the support she needed without me having to put her into actual Therapeutic Horseback Riding/Hippotherapy. 

Why was I avoiding that?

Well... she gets therapy for speech, feeding, AAC and even physical and occupational therapy at school. I just wanted her to have fun... with a few little modifications. I also didn't want the MASSIVE price tag that went along with the label either! 

I got my foot in the door at a smaller horseback riding program by having Addie go to their "Meet The Pony" class. It was a great opportunity for me to be sure she would actually ride the horse and also to talk to the director of the program. We started up a conversation when she saw me signing with Addie and we ended up working out a custom plan to meet Addie's needs. 

Instead of having the director run our lesson we have one of the teenage girls who is advanced in her riding program work with Addie. She leads Addie's horse and I walk beside her but Addie still has the reigns and we try and let her call the shots. She's even started working on "jumping"... it's just the horse walking over a single pole laying on the ground but she has to put her hands up on the horse and push up on her feet and get her little butt up off the saddle...

...it's the cutest thing ever!

And it's honestly been pretty dang therapeutic for her and her balance and core strength have increased tremendously. When she started I had to have one hand on her thigh at all times. Now I walk a few feet away and we are closing in on Addie no longer needing me there at all. 

But the best part... 

...she's learned empathy, patience, and a whole lot of confidence! And that confidence boost has helped push her in ALL areas - particularly in diving right in to communicating with her peers. 

And it's a lot of fun too!

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Stitch Fix: Yea, yea... I drank the Kool-Aid...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I bought into the whole idea hook, line, and sinker. 

I'm a busy working mom, I don't have a lot of time to shop. I can't afford a personal stylist or personal shopper. 

Or can I? 

Enter Stitch Fix

For $20 a per "fix" a personal stylist works off of a detailed profile I provided and I can also interact with her via messages over their website right up to the last minute. It's a really cool combination of having someone who listens to what I want but also chooses items that are best suited for my body and my style. 

Just $20. 

And the best part? That $20 goes towards anything I buy from my Stitch Fix shipment! 

And I don't know HOW my stylist does it but... somehow... she finds jeans and shorts that actually fit me! I am blessed with a butt... and a small waist... so jeans are the hardest thing for me to buy because they just don't freaking fit!

In my first Stitch Fix my stylist sent me a pair of skinny jeans...

...my initial thought...

...this chick is brave. 

Brave? Maybe. Spot on with the style and fit?

Hell. Yes. 

You can schedule your shipments whenever you want or just request a Fix when the mood suits you.

So what are you waiting for? 

Head over to Stitch Fix and sign up! If you use my link I'll get a credit...

...so you can shop for yourself while ensuring Addie will never be embarrassed by her Mama in the school drop off line! 

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