An Update Before We Start the New Year!

I pray that you have all been blessed throughout the year, and that healing is taking place in your hearts and the hearts of your children.

I was reminded very recently that I needed to go back and read my own post, “Parenting According to Emotional Age!”  🙂

We have been moving right along with Sweetie 4, as this was her third Christmas home.  Her 3rd anniversary is coming up soon, and she is looking forward to that.
But along with holidays and anniversaries, especially with Sweetie 4, there come memories, insecurities and fears of the future.

It seems surreal sometimes that our sweeties, each of them, came from such horrific beginnings.  But they did, and I must not forget that.  It does not mean that we coddle to every whim because of a bad beginning, but we are AWARE and consider what is going on underneath behaviors when they appear.

We are at a fairly “Normal” stage with all of our sweeties, so when something unusual pops up and especially if it happens more than one time in a week, I know something is up.

Both Mike and I have become familiar with moments where our sweetie is her chronological age, and then she is suddenly taken back to 3.
This happened just last night.

Have you ever seen the movie “Father of the Bride” where Steve Martin is listening to his daughter tell him that she is going to get married?  In his mind he is picturing a little girl about 7 years old in pig tails, saying, “We’re getting married daddy!”
He’s horrified…. 🙂

That is a good picture of how we need to see our kids sometimes, without the “horrified” part. 🙂

We are not on a real “schedule” right now, due to vacation time.  This was handled pretty well by all, except for one thing.
I have not assigned kitchen to just one person. We have all been sharing kitchen duties.
The reason is, it is holiday time and we are producing more dishes than normal due to all the cooking going on around here. 🙂

Sweetie 4 has not handled this very well.  It was her turn last night, and instead of graciously going to do her chore, she began to question the “fairness” of such a chore, and how many times each other sweetie had done the chore, and then started to compare, and before we knew it, she had worked herself into a girl who said, “I’m not talking to anybody ever again!”  And she went and got on her bed and curled up in a pile of tears.

It was then, we very clearly saw a 3 year old.  I remember our son closing his eyes in the middle of the floor, crossing his arms and announcing “I’m going to close my eyes so you can’t see me!”  LOL   (I love that memory)

Of course it is more complicated when your 3 year old is actually 13.  But it does give a picture for you to be compassionate and understanding while working through things.
After about 30 minutes,  she came out and did all of her dishes and did a good job.  She finished cleaning her room and went to bed.
We invited her to join us in our room if she wanted to. Sometimes she likes to sleep on a feather bed when she is feeling insecure.
She didn’t come in this time, but slept well.

The first thing this a.m., she was very ready to apologize, and we were able to discuss things better.  She was calm and much more able to tell us what she was thinking.
And just as suspected, she was having memories of being moved.

Three years ago, she was supposed to be moved, right about this time, but it didn’t actually happen until March 2nd.  She remembers however, feeling anxious and nervous.
The unknown, the rejection, and all those emotions were right there for the sampling.
And she sampled.

She is still learning to tell herself that her family is NOT a family that will send her away.
We are not going to abandon her.
Three years is not that long of a time to work through all this.  She has made INCREDIBLE progress.
This a.m., we set the ground work for even more progress. 🙂
And she listened.
She listened this a.m. because she was regulated and able to hear.  Correction took place, but in felt safety and calmness.

I cannot express how important it is to hold our tongues,  and keep the internal controls of our own emotions in check.  Always remember that WE TOO can learn from these situations.  Always there is something new to learn.

Sweetie 4 learned that we LOVE her no matter what.  She is safe, and it is a brave thing to let go of the past and dive into the future, basking in the love of our Heavenly Father, and the family that He has given her.

Here’s to a Happy Healthy 2014!!!

4 Responses to An Update Before We Start the New Year!

  1. EiccaAbigayle says:

    Again, thank you! Some days, I want to go hide my head in shame. Why can’t the kids just be “normal” is a running pattern now. Holidays are still overwhelming to our children who still question the security of a family who will always love them with every part of our hearts. Tantrums reappear. The panic frazzled mind acts up, leading to acid reflux and pain based fear causing insomnia, which means I’m up also, and we’re extra hair triggered, so behavior gets worse. The fear of saying what you’d like because everyone will do the opposite, which is because you don’t deserve anything. The terror in crowds that are otherwise pretty tolerable, so you get cuddled and carried, which means strangers say you’re being a brat, you’re big enough to walk. Grr, I know she’s physically a school aged child, but then she’s mentally a very young toddler because the “perfect parents” are the ones who kept her on average for three weeks because her screaming and vomiting anything solid was from drug and alcohol exposure, despite no major doctor exam being done. The behavior was minor according to the pediatric ER doctor who saw her 5 hours after she came to us as she had untreated severe acid reflux with esophagus ulceration and scarring. Started major treatment – including strictly TPN for 4 months to get the ulcers cured – hey, she eats fine. The vomiting stopped. Sleep issues are now just negative training behavior, not anything else.

    So, we started all over. Despite my serious misgivings on this, she slept happily in the dog crate. We just agreed she couldn’t have the door on. Everyone slept, so we all were in better moods. Some days, there’s no real winner, and the fight is one we can’t win, so sigh. It looks horrible, but she was safe, happy and calm. She can out stubborn anyone if it’s safer in her mind.

    I’ve been trying to understand what you mean when you write of your Sweeties and you adoring each other. Would you be able to explain that further, if you are comfortable doing so? I am seeing it as enjoying the compassion and love from a family, but I admit, I need to learn that skill.

    May your family have a wonderful 2014!

    • ChristieM says:

      Thank you so much for your reply!
      When we say “adoring each other” you are correct, we are enjoying each other’s company and loving each other in word and deed.
      I watch my sweeties snuggle up and have sleep overs, share with each other and even sometimes gently correct each other.
      It brings my heart joy. 🙂
      We still have moments with sweetie 4, (our newest daughter) where behaviors come back. She had a nightmare last night that we were taken away and she and her sisters were hiding in fear under the bed. 🙁
      She woke up crying. The truth is, that this happened to her for real when she was 7, but it wasn’t us. 🙁
      The GOOD thing about this was that she was UPSET we would be separated and she sought us out for comfort!
      She has had a few “snotty”episodes, which I ‘m about to blog about… 🙂 during our holiday time, but they have been resolved!
      We are expecting her BIO sister to be here on Saturday and we rejoice that they will be together again!:)

      • EiccaAbigayle says:

        Thanks for explaining!

        At times, DD is a ‘normal’ little girl. Then something triggers her, and we’re back to day 1. But, I need to remember 5/7 of her life was instability and chaos, then 1/7 was the medical mess so she still didn’t feel safe or secure. So, really, her being a little girl at all is huge progress.

        And really, what child doesn’t have bratty and snotty moments at times. Only the kids here also were negatively trained to have surly, bratty behavior because they weren’t worth anything more.

        But, I’m just as bad. Some days, I just want to hit my head into wall. But, we’ll get there eventually.

  2. kimbabucha says:

    Wonderful!! I am learning so much!! Thank you and blessings to your family!

Comments warmly welcomed!


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