Friday, October 22, 2010

New look for blog & a parenting mistake

Now that summer is over and the seasons are changing (in more ways than one), I thought I'd experiment w/ some fall colors.  Over the weekend I'll get it to where I want it so bear w/ changes here and there.  I need  a fresh look.  These past few weeks have been tough in many ways.  As a parent to 6 children with FAS, times get tough for sure from time to time.  Well, October was one of these times.  Emotionally, mentally and physically have been exhausting.  I have a few posts coming that will explain a bit more.  Anyhow, want to change things up a bit so figure I'd start w/ the blog.  LOL.  I want to add pics of each of my kids on the sidebar w/ a description of them.  Holding off on the descriptions as Irina and I had quite a disagreement last night.  Some days it's hard as I know her chronological age is 17.5 but her mental age is not.  Some things she is an appropriate age for, some she is not.  As a parent, I must know the difference.  Last night, I forgot that and she ended up storming off to her room crying like a 7 year old.  You know, the 7yo that she is mentally.  It all started at the dinner table.  I said things I shouldn't have and so did she.  It was not our proudest moment.  I know this happens in families.  Arguments are going to happen.  that's part of life and in my heart I know this.  Just sometimes I wish I could do better. 

We have a house full of children w/ pretty severe mental health and behavioral issues.  I think it is safe to say every once in awhile, there will be a break down.  Communication won't work.  Talking it out won't work.  Time will.  So, this afternoon, Irina and I will come up w/ a plan.  For our kids, you have to give them time.  Then discuss.  They are all caught up in the here and now that it is very difficult for them to process additional items(like a plan) when one is upset or stuff is going on around them.  We learned this long ago w/ our FAS kids.  Many say you have to punish as soon as an FAS child does something or redirect their behavior.  I personally try not to do this and I'm sure that statement in and of itself would cause quite the controversy in the FAS world of parenting.  Our theory is when they are so upset, they lose control.  There is NO way of talking any sense into them.  None at all.  It's hard enough to get them to calm down so reprimanding them for behavior is not going to work.  Frankly, neither will redirecting at that point.  Irina has been off kelter since she started school.  She hates it and I don't blame her.  She will be homeschooled.  There are reasons we are not pulling her out immediately but are not saying right now.  It has absolutely nothing w/ the new kids coming home or travel to Bulgaria.  (some have speculated this reason).  I can not stand having her go to school and feel the way she does.  I have been in touch w/ a few people over there, they know my feelings and what is going on w/ Irina.  They have taken care of one situation but there are still many left to deal with.  In the meantime, it has made her a nightmare at home.  Hey, not sugar coating anything as I think other parents of adoptive children need to know what may lie ahead for them.  IRina can not help it.  This is who she is.  But the stress of what is going on at school is almost too much to bear.  We may have to pull her out w/in the next two weeks and just fight for her records.  Long story and just not up to telling it right now.

What matters is making her feel reassured that everything is alright.  It is not the end of the world.  Luckily, she does have a few friends.  It is very hard for children with FAS as they can not easily make friends.  They are socially not their chronological age.  Irina has a 12yo friend, well, now 13yo, that she hangs out w/ sometimes.  This helps.  Yet, so hard for her to go to high school w/ chronologically on age peers when she is clearly not.  She does not fit in w/the "special ed" crowd and yet doesn't fit in w/ the "normal" crowd.  Stuck in the middle.  I hear this all the time from parents of kids w/ FAS.  Just didn't realize how true it becomes until the high school years. 

So, anyhow, this all came to a head last night.  All the frustrations of the last few months.  with her and with me.  We both yelled at each other.  Both said unkind things.  Irina came home from school this afternoon and apologized to me as I did to her.  We're working on a plan to help each other.  Phrasing it this way helps our kids to know that they are not the only ones w/ faults.  Adults have them too like it or not.  We both feel better today after talking.  Hoping it stays that way. 

Just wanted to say why we need a fresh look.  And I mean in a few areas of our lives.  Over the years we've gone through ups and downs with our children.  As every single parent has.  We are finally getting to the point of getting over the down part of this coaster ride we're in with them recently.  Looking forward to some of the upcoming events in our home.  Gatherings, birthday parties, driver's permits, school events, mini trips, homeschooling, etc.  Lots happening.  More posts coming later.  We have some cool stuff going on this weekend.  A birthday party we're attending tomorrow.  Tomorrow evening teens are going to the Fear Farm w/ Warren.  Sunday, we're going to a pumpkin carving party w/ a bonfire.  So, fun weekend w/ friends and I think that is just what we need.  Sometimes I feel adoptive blogs out there only tell the cheery side of families and life.  I truly don't feel life is all roses.  There are definitely thorns thrown in there from time to time.  When I started this blog, I wanted to be honest.  Well, this is an honest post.  My oldest daughter and I had a fight (not physical but still a fight w/ words).  Both made mistakes in what we said.  Both are healing today from what was said.  We take a walk everyday together after school.  We go to yardsales together.  We do errands together.  So, lots of chances to talk.  That's a good thing.  I know other mothers have disagreements w/ their teen daughters as well.  I've talked to quite a few over the years.  Yet, somehow that does not make me feel any better whatsoever. B/c this is my daughter.  My girl who needs lots of help emotionally and mentally.  I thought I was doing a decent job of that but question myself now.  If I were doing a decent job of that, I would have never yelled at her last night.  I still need work.  No flabulous to fabulous post today.  Just didn't even think to get on the scale this morning.  Been thinking about Irina all day.  She's fine now.  She's getting ready to go to a sleepover at a friend's house for a birthday party.  Irina seems no worse for wear.  I guess for her healing takes less time than it does for a parent.  So, bottom line is this is all par for the parenting course.  You may make mistakes along the way.  Learn from them and just do better next time.  We're all human.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  I'll be sure to take pictures at the parties if we think about it.  We may just be having too much fun to care about taking pictures.  LOL. 


  1. as the mom of a child with FAS I can tell you that you need to take those feelings, own them and then move on (EASIER said than done, I know). But, you are human and you reached a breaking point. The important part is to apologize and move forward every day.

  2. Thanks. I've moved on, and she definitely moved on today. She's out having fun. LOL. We came up w/ a few things after school and I think we're on the right road for sure. You are indeed right though... moving on is so much easier said than done. I'm working on it though.