Wednesday, December 31, 2008

GoodBye 2008! Finally!

I can't recall the last time I was so thrilled for the New Year to finally be here! Actually, I think the last time I was so excited about another year starting was when we rolled from 2002 to 2003 and my husband and I were anxious to start the transition of our children from their Foster Home to their Adoptive home...

I was excited about that New Year as we got ready to take the drive 300 miles south on the second of January... It's hard to believe that was nearly 6 years ago! My how the time passes fast and slow depending on the way I look at things.

Today it's clear I feel younger than I did six years ago when I was approaching 40 years old and the reality of the fact that we had been blessed with the placement of a five and one year old hit me... and I had to relearn all the in's and out's of diapers. I find that I am every bit as able to keep up with the fast paced life of my soon to be Seven year old little boy! I didn't expect to be placed with such a little one...

Seven!? How on earth did he go from that sweet little bundle of joy to this hurricane of busy boy he is today?.. It's unbelievable to me how quickly my children grow up and I am still every bit surprised by this phenomenon 25 years and 3 months after the first day I was a parent. Blink and they are running--blink again and they graduate, move out and go off to college... another blink and I find myself dealing with the Typical affront of the adult child learning that parents are imperfect humans with no specific special powers.

The year 2008 has been a humdinger for me on the PERSONAL level and a year I can't wait to kiss off and try to put behind me! If I could define the year by one word it would be FROZEN and our record snow for Christmas was the Cherry on the top of that Sundae... Overall 2008 was a year with very little advancement in the causes of my life with one roadblock or setback after another.

I will remember 2008 as a frozen year too for the odd events that took place for me personally. On most fronts little ground was made which in my world is difficult for me to cope with! The IEP for Marty I asked for over a year ago was "Snowed Out". And it's difficult to love someone who takes one step forward and three steps back every step of the way--but, that is our beautiful Makala. Overall, she is a survivor and oxymoron of extremes.

At the end of the day all we know is that we are the only ones who love her as much as she needs to be loved... If we were not here for her we can't think of anyplace else she would be understood the way we have grown to understand her. We still see possibilities for her future but, understand that she is so vulnerable that over protection might be the greatest gift to give her for the next several years.

It is horrible to see the results of fetal alcohol exposure and how much it really hurts someone who didn't deserve it. When she was little the effects were hard to detect and as she becomes older they are easier to see. Or maybe it's only easier for the people who love her to see? Half of her behaviors considered to be such a problem in the world are only because she is just a little girl...

I learned that it's best to consider an FASD child as being emotionally and social developmentally half their age... I see this as true for Makala. Marty recognizes this fact too now that he is nearly seven. At most times our beautiful Makala is about five years old. Even though she can speak, move and mimic anyone of any age... She is a wonderful actress playing parts during the course of everyday. My wish for her world would be that she felt she could just play herself.

There is a chance she can overcome these strikes she had at the start of her life. She is a person who just needs more time to repeat the steps and remember them. I think the world moves too fast for her and that she needs to have the time to be the little child she never had the chance to be. She is at an age and being sent out into the world with children at the same age--where peer pressure and risk taking becomes so huge. She has no boundaries and without someone watching her every action she would not have any skill to not be drawn into anything. She is a five year old walking in the skin of a nearly 11 year old. And she can't wait to grow up.

She could be inspired to directions that would feed her needs and give her a foundation for her future. In reality she should be home and having that time she never had when she slept in shopping carts or the cabin in the woods. Watching houses to see if there is anyone living there... and finding everything inside that would be needed for a few days of survival. Her memories are nothing like the memories most of us can recall. There are no pictures of her before the age of almost four... As if she showed up one day walking and talking... I wonder how those early years really were? I suspect I should be happy I don't know? I am sure that even without her memory of those early years they were not the same as what most of us would want our daughter to have experienced.

Thank goodness 2008 is over and the snow has melted. I never really thought that I would hear myself say, "Thank God for the Rain!" But, as our family starts 2009 the rain is a wonderful change and sign that maybe this year we can see a beautiful spring!

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