Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting "Techy"

With all the "attention" some people have wanted to make out of "My Blog" it was time to fix all the bad links and bring things up to date. With all the recent upgrades to AdoptiveParentsNetwork.com there ended up being a great deal of work so I decided my blog spot was the place to Re-Start my tech side of the brain!
Just getting warmed up here and ready to start my huge effort with APN because it's my turn! Once I finish up here it looks like I don't have any other choice except to get going on all the things I have been putting off. The new program is looking so great and the forum seems to be working very well--so now I have to do my part...
This should be Interesting! Since we have moved to the very latest source code and upgraded all of our features. No more fun for me playing on the Internet for awhile because there is just far too much to be done!



I keep bragging about the really awsome picture we got on our last trip to Disneyland. We were staying on the top floor of the Disneyland Hotel and had one of those rare rainy days in Southern California.
This photo was taken early in the morning looking over California Adventure's Tower of Terror, just as the rain stopped and the clouds started to part to let the sunshine dry things out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jeremiah, Jenna, and Justine

*
Today "Marty" stayed for Reading Club. He has become so girl crazy --(actually, he has always been crazy for girls come to think of it) When I came to pick him up after school I found him working with two 5th grade girls who were goo-goo all over him--with his big brown eyes....

I watched the three of them finish up and noticed the girls were helping him write "Jeremiah" instead of "Marty" and asked him, "I thought you didn't want to be called Jeremiah anymore--?"

He looked at me all irritated and said, "I will be Jeremiah when I get to write my 'J's' some more with Jenna....annnnnnnd Justine...mommy!"

He rolled his eyes and smiled at each girl all strange when he said their names... it was hysterical.

He is only 6 years old and has to knock them off of him with a stick... he is going to give us the run of our lives oh my... he does get away with everything. He is just so cute and he knows it and it is going to cause us or him some real problems.... Little girls are already jumping up in restaurants and running over to talk to him... It's going to be fun when he actually has a real interest...

I guess I am happy with any extra carrot that helps him to write. Of course we wouldn't be set back this far if the pre-school we paid $700.00 a month had actually paid attention to the fact that "Madison" was doing all of his name writing last year! I didn't even think to consider he wasn't actually writing his name until one day when I asked him to write it at home....

When he told me he didn't know how I was surprised and asked him--"Who wrote your name on this paper?" as I held the stack of paper after paper with what I thought was his written name...

He said, "Madison"

one page after another I asked, "and this one?"

"Madison"
"Madison"
"Mom--okay Madison always writes my name for me....ok!"

Yeah--this will be fun! I was at least happy he could draw the Person with at least 6 body parts! I was so worried when his doctor asked me if he could and I didn't know? He just doesn't do the write-color--junk. Now if the doctor had asked, "Can he ride a bike, if so when?"

I would have been able to say, "Oh yes, one day when he was 3 he just hopped on his sisters bike and took off--he hasn't stopped and it is all we can do to keep him from building a ramp that is too high and rmind him all the time to put his helmet on."

Or if the doctor had asked, "What kind of construction skills has he mastered and has he mastered the proper use of ladders?"

I would have said, "Oh, doctor he could use every tool and at the age of two he was sneaky and removed the lower two hinges from the laundry room door right under our noses."

But, no Marty will not hold something in his hand and make it draw? Build elaborate sand box cities--yes, write his name--no!

Can he cut out sugar cookies or build a ginger bread house--Yes, but will he try to write his numbers 1, 2 and 3--no!

He can even paint the exterior walls of his fort built on top of the tractor shed like an old Fort Vancouver station--and paint frosting on the cookie cuts outs... But he will not color a picture!

I have been teaching him to color with Suggestive Style and shown him he can just use well placed implications of color so his teacher will notice that he did color all the pictures that start with the letter "R" -- red.

anyway--that is our kid and he is really just as cute as a button. Even though he told me that instead of cute he wants mommy to call him "Stinky" but only when there are girls looking and if it is just me and him he wants me to still call him my "Cute little monkey!"

I must have felt I would need to be strong today...

Of all the irony--or was it God telling me?

No sooner did I post the last entry in my blog here Missing Jennifer.. but the phone rang.

It was Maureen in complete hysteria and crying so hard I couldn't hear the words she couldn't speak between her gut wrenching sobs.

She got to work this morning and her co-workers again responding with all that sympathetic compassion... She didn't know why but was told the local news published the story again with a new detail and pictures...

Last night apparently someones brats decided to vandalise the Middle-school garden and on the front page of the town paper is a huge picture of the memorial bench for Jennifer, damaged and vandalized... along with the pictures of Jenny and our family again with the story... How completely odd that I had just felt the need to grieve again only for Maureen to need me this day. Jayne is working, Oma is gone for the day, Gordon and Andrew busy supporting families and it is just me--called again to be strong for my sister-in-law.

She is at the hardware store wondering the isles and sobbing -- lacking the skills to know how to repair the damage or paint off the yucky words written on the silly bench placed to remember Jennifer...

I had all but, wiped my tears from remembering Jenny this day and was planning to spend my time in grief for a bit before Makala gets home from school...and Now I see why I was so touched this morning never even intending to pick at the scabs of our hearts but having Jennifer be the topic of my thoughts so forward and center... even digging up the old poem we had etched into the back of the headstone and Maureen was hurt again... reminded again that she doesn't have her one and only child that we lost Jennifer forever and even her memory isn't standing the test of time--for anyone except for all of us.

We really did think winning the change in laws would end the public-ness of our loss. But, it recycles so often just as we think we might all be able to move on... Maureen is so hurt she had talked at Easter of the fact that she is just starting to realize she has not spend time missing the fact she lost her father that day as well... How awful this story is. We are sure the local news will take the 10th anniversary to cover the Horrific story again... but thought we might at least be able to suffer alone and in private until at least after the 4th of July...

I reached Andrew at work... He has left the office and is getting his sister out of the hardware store... she is walking in circles and not understanding what to buy or how to fix the damage that was likely caused by other people's children who are alive to live and wreak pain on those who lost their perfect and only child... The news article again pointing out that Only the Good Die Young... why does it never end this grief we feel for the death of a child!?!

.... oh Jennifer your mother is so "not"--without you... please kiss her cheek today our sweet beautiful little girl who will never grow up....

Andrew will bring Maureen home with them for dinner after they fix the damage to the bench in the rain....of the day and tears of our hearts... and again we will hold Maureen as she sobs...why?

Missing Jennifer

Missing Jenny has taken all these years and we have only started to notice that Martin is gone too. How could we all not notice he has been gone this long? How could it really take 10 years to miss the back-bone of the family? The pain of losing Jenny has sure taken us so very long to accept.... and I am not sure that any of us who were there and saw her death will ever in this life accept it.

This pain is so huge and we all cry so much that some of the other children grew up and we stood there and forgot to notice? I think our loss of Jenny has hurt Maria the most, Andrew and I are sooooo worried about that little girl now. But, what does the family really expect?

Maria was only 2 years old when we all watched Jennifer the perfect sweet 12 year old Angel die... And Maria has lived every moment since walking in Jenny's shadow. Even Tori who was 13 years old at the time reports that it has been hard to live with the UNKNOWNS about the perfect Jennifers stopped life.

None of us really know what direction Jennifer would have taken--as she died before having time to show what kind of person she would have actually become. And the little girl she was is the most pure and perfect little girl history it's impossible to imagine she may have ever made a poor choice...The little girls in the family have sure had so much to live with by walking in Jennifers shadow all these years.

I can actually see how this huge grief of loss even impacts Makala.... Jeremiah rejected his given name last September we were not really sure why... but, Lately he was asking for a picture of Opa... and we put a few things together... He has decided He will be Marty and we had told him we gave him that extra middle name in Honor of Opa... now he seems to be making a bond with a grandfather he never met... It is interesting that a little boy of only five would make such a bond...but, also so clear that our family may live this grief forever as to lose two most valued family members at the hand of a Drunk Driver is a legacy I don't think any family could overcome... clearly nearly 10 years later we have not overcome...

We thought last years efforts to make repeated drunk driving Murders would heal some of our pain. We got the law passed and we have managed to make sure the next time a person Kills two people driving drunk can't get out just to do the same thing again... but, it has not fixed our loss to hope that other families never feel the sting of grieving two more deaths caused by a murder who didn't learn after the first time.

It is so hard for us to not wish he would die during his pathetic prison sentence for the murder of two more so shortly after release from the murder of two others... How can anyone drive drunk again after killing two people already? Really? How? I still have the little present Jenny gave me that night I last saw her and she was so worried about moving on to a house alone with her mommy--and letting me become Uncle Andy's wife... sometimes I wonder if God took her knowing that life would have been more then she could bare?

God wouldn't take her because of her because of this would he? Could her move only a block away been more then she could have bared? I can't let myself think this way... but, find it ironic that Makala and I spent so much time and will in the future making Quilts for the mother's of little girls that are permitted to go home to God.

Jennifer's Last Poem:

Jennifer died on July 19, 1999 along with her grandfather due to a reckless drunk driver. She wrote this poem on November 24, 1998. We all would like to send out condolensces to family members, peers, and friends of Jennifer. Family found the following poem written on notebook paper in Jennifers room following the accdent. Thank you Jennifer for your unique and wonderful talent, as well as your glorious poem. God Bless You and may you Rest in Peace.

Life:
I walk down a road, Not knowing what will come.
I sit and watch the sky, Not knowing what the day will be like.
That is how our life is, Not knowing what will come, Happen or be like.
Our life is a mystery Unknown, Untold, Not knowing what comes next.


missing you Jenny....and Opa.

Jobies

Last night was such a great time! Makala and I went to Job's Daughters and the night was all about those of us whom have become Majority Members... There must have been about 30 of us old ladies between the age of 20 and 90 who took part in the ceremony. Makala knew her part well and after only 3 official full ritual meeting really caught on the the Voting process and even stood to "second that motion" for the issue of payments for Grand Bethel.

When the girls took Roll Call the answer this week was to State Your Favorite Jobie Memory... Makala so New to the Order stood to say that hers was the Fair Booth last fall and the Irish Sundays (baked potatoes with all the works). But, at this meeting they also called role for the Old Ladies and we said our favorite Memory as a "girl" and also as an "Adult" I was so thrilled because I was able to say my Girl Memory was the night we stayed up all night long in the Bethel and did a Rock-A-Thone by rocking in rocking chairs to raise money for the Masonic Children's Home...and that my best memory as an Adult will always be the Night I watched my daughter Makala become Initiated...

After the meeting the girls discussed what Parts would be done by who for the Next Initiation of Sam--Makala's best friend who will finally turn 10 in a few weeks. And Makala realized that she would have a huge role in bringing her friend into Job's Daughters by taking the part of First Messenger for the ceremony... First Messenger has one of the neatest parts in the whole ritual and she is sure going to feel a great deal of leadership and self confidence being the one to take this role when Sam finally joins... Can't wait because Sam will be initiated just before Grand Bethel and Polly and I are going to be driving and chaperons FINALLY we get to serve as team members....

It was also unfortunately for me noticed that I actually know the songs--and can play them on the Piano...I so don't want to be the director of Music but our girls really don't know the songs and it's sad... I also realized last night why I can't say the "Lord's Prayer" with all the Catholics as the Job's Daughters have always had a specifically added Pause--No wonder I have spent my whole life feeling like something was off when saying it with the Non-Masonic! That extra Pause really does set us apart as the Fairest In the Land.

Tonight we are going to start reading the Bible book of "Job" together so that Makala really does learn the story as written in the Word and understands the story better as it is told in the Initiation Ceremony... I do love Jobies so much and think it is such a great order for building young woman in this world. I sure wish that Tori had not decided she was --what was it--Agnostic of whatever...all I know is that I fear praying she comes to know the Lord after all that would mean she would have to face that moment in life where she found herself needing to give up and hand things over to the God that can't be seen any better then the Air we breath.

It was interesting at the last meeting (non-ceremony) the girls gathered to make quilts for the children who are on life-support so that their mother's can let them pass over under the gift made by love of peers--and then take the Quilts home to smell and hold when they grieve the loss of their daughters... Maureen was given one when we lost Jennifer... I had no idea it was made by Job's Daughters' and don't think I will tell her since the Catholics have a problem with the Masonic Order and well...I know that Jennifer's Quilt has been of such great comfort to Maureen all these years. I can't believe it will be ten years this summer. Jennifer would be 22 years old right now. How could that be? Oh how we miss Jenny every day still.

More about Missing Jenifer...

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Need an Editor!

As much as I just love the freedom to write and see it published I sure do love my professional copy editors! They save me from myslef. But, not here--no there isn't any double checker on all the typos and spelling mistakes which is just my luck.

I suppose this is just another lyer of identity protection for me and my family because no one would ever believe the professional ME would ever write THIS JUNK!

It is actually kinda funny how bad my first draft really are and I do need to start saving things in draft and going back to check before I click that Publish Post button...

Tonight was the most fantast fun night. Makala and I went to her Third Job's Daughters meeting and she did so well memorizing her part. I KNEW she would do well with the memory work as long as no one asked her to read anything!

I am so tired we had so much fun so... Sometime tomorrow I might get back and write a little more about tonight and some of the upcoming events... And update about how Day Treatment is going.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pen Photo--Funny To Be Asked.... and Red-White and Blue!

Oh, it's kinda funny that some people fail to understand that Yes--in fact it is actually possible that the Internet Image I use has less then a perfect comparison to my actual appearance. Photo shop and editing tools were my original computer talents! I learned way back in the day when I was editing the newspaper--and computers came on the scene...

Yes, my Internet Photo--Is Me...sort of... and there have been a few times that someone on the streets has recognized me from my Internet photo... but, in truth they actually recognized me from my real-like public personality...and only realize I am ME after they get the fact that so is HappyMomAnna...sort of.... I think the photo is about 5 years old now... and well...a lot can change in that time...and pounds can be added--subtracted--or stretched with ease on a computer...with the skills I have.... of course, I don't hide ME never have...and all over the Internet Real me is there too... everywhere in many ways not even connected to adoption.,..my children or anyone else that isn't me....

So--why would anyone actually care if I show my face? I honestly have a real hard time understanding why anyone gives a rip? What about the fact that OTHER people are seen and they have children? Should someone Not Run for President because they have adopted children? Or children at all?

I can't wait to finish my own book... If I worried about people being angry with me for writing the truth--there would be so little to write about... The TRUTH can never be considered liable--or slander...and I do lots of things that piss my kids off... If writing about Makala is so offensive then some people might die if they know some of the other things I have made my children endure...

Anyone who knows me has to become aware of one very important fact: If you don't want me to write it--don't let me see you do it.... Frankly, with my children this has been better then the threat of a swat--or grounding for two weeks! Real simple--My kids have a mom with a big Pen...and she writes a lot of things... don't give her any ideas...she may just quote you!

There have been far more parents ahead of me who have abused their children by writing about them...it's sad the little children may not like it...but, it's too bad the Constitution does Not Protect their little feelings--but, instead gives Me Free Speech...

People can object to my choice to write about whatever I decide I feel like writing about... My family heritage insured this right for not only me--but, all other Americans they shed blood for... It is so funny to be attacked from people who live around the world... Don't know the rules in your land... Don't even care and don't plan for my feet to ever leave the earth of America... Like I said 90% of our reason to adopt children and for me to raise two sets of families is that I HATE to Travel... really--no joke!

But, even more than my Hate to Travel is my lack of care for any other place on this earth... I don't really give a rip about the laws in Whatever Country someone else comes from... Don't care how their medical insurance works...or what way the water spins when someone flushes a toilet... Not interested in seeing the culture--or meeting the people--or visiting the famous landmarks... Not one drop of this American Girl has the slightest interest in having me feet leave the American soil...

Well, except the occasional drive to Canada...any only because My husband hasn't yet made his citizenship complete and well since he wants to Vote he needs to get that junk done...

I will NEVER go to Austria Never--after what his mother has told me--I have ZERO desire to visit a country my Family Died to free from commies--only to hear my mother-in-law tell me that anyone who ever thanked me for the death of my family and the blood on their country was Lying to me...

I am really one of those Americana's who is proud of it--and thinks I am all-that! If I could I would paint myself Red-White and Blue and poo Stars and Stripes around the world.... I know the historic roots of my family and if there were only one other place I wanted to see it would be the most recent migrated people on my father's side... Ireland... just because his side isn't historically documented like the other side of My Genetics... It's hard to want to visit the places I was forced to learn in history and read over and over about My mother's side... gosh... everyone knows who My family is... I would bet even those people in other nations know the history of My forefathers...

It's kinda hard to be hidden when every history book that talks about the United States and HOW it was born includes My direct family member being a major responsibility in writing the very Constitution that Protects my rights to write!

A little difficult to think I could escape notability.... or would ever want to forget the roots I am... YEP I am a Daughter of the American Revolution... related directly to a creator of the American Constitution... and a descendant of Presidents of the United States... My feet don't tread on lands I don't love--unless it is to defend my rights as given to me by those family members who were willing to be sure I have the rights I do today....

Not even a drop of want to visit anyplace that isn't HERE... I have enough to see and not much interest in my connection to royalty of other nations, my family left and rejected to create this Land I love... the Home of the Free and the Proud...

That's Me and I won't ever let that be any less then Who I am....

I am a snotty--think I am "all-that" American and dang proud of it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting Back On Track!

What a fantastic Day! Well, except for the rain and dark sky... Oh well. This teaches me to plant the Jasmine before mother's day! I guess we will all survive because I did manage to save a few of the Inside plants. I have decided to re-do Andrews office because he isn't going to get around to it. It's amazing how he finds the old packing boxes of HIS Junk make nice office furniture--yet my supplies vanish to the shed on the back of the acre!

Anyway, Nikki sure has got all the housework caught-up so now we can dig into the Spring Cleaning and actually finish the unpacking because it really is silly to not be done nearly 2 years later! I refuse to get any more bids for the guest house until we actually finish moving in.

We are going to put in the Outside entry and a drive way to the back of the house. The bids are all very reasonable for turning the room over the garage into a mother-in-law apartment. We are talking with one of the crisis ladies about offering room and salary to move in and Nanny/Respite provider. The only way I will agree is if we can give her the apartment with an exterior entry and driveway because I want her to have her privacy and only be on call during our agreed hours. I can't believe how low they pay these people for how important their jobs are!

She will be by next week for Tea when the kids are at school to discuss the agreement and time-line... This is going to be such a win-win for both our family and her. She was the oldest of several siblings who ended up adopted and then disrupted and she wasn't adopted again but her siblings were. If anyone gets what's going on it is her--plus the fact she is so well trained and has a verifiable background... Mature and the opportunity to get out of a tiny apartment is something she appreciates very much too...

Isn't it what people should be doing more of in this world? We can help change someone else's situation and make our own situation less stressful too... This is going to be a very good move for all of us especially since it's pretty clear Makala will need an Adult with her for at least the next 8-12 years soooo we might as well do a good turn while helping our lives improve.

So, next week sometime we will start the remodel for the apartment and I can't wait!

Anna

Fun While it Lasts!

Transitions are always so fun! But, I always hate it when things shift back to settling in! Thanks Bryan for doing the upgrade--now I have to figure out the new programs, fix some links and actually get down to My Part of the site!

I was having so much fun playing while I waited! Oh, that and dealing with life in general!

Melissa and have still not had a chance to have our Mom Meeting since we got the LLC done! So by the end of today I think we will be setting something up! Because, we have about 6,000 things to talk about for APN.

We need to finish working with the Network News editor.
We need to continue the Support Group Campaign.
We need to work on the big project for National Adoption Awareness Month.
We need to Fix all the little things broken on the upgrade.

.....and we need to be mommies!

So maybe we should do one of those take the kids to the play spot and talk meetings AND a girls night out! I mean a business meeting...

And the Honeymoon is over for the transition to Day treatment so... now we get to settle into this new phase of services.... and spring should eventually arrive! ahhhh, I love living in this house...and the spring!

I was having sooooooo much fun playing the last few months.....time to get back to business and do what I do! It's really sad that I have continued to hear from the upset people over at Yahoo Answers... Boy I really got them going they are so worried about what I am doing it is a crack up. I just don't have that kind of time and it's so sad to know that someone could be so angry as to get all worked up.

There is a rule when you know me... It is pretty simple if you don't want me to write about it--then don't give me anything to write about. Or if you don't like what I write maybe you should give me something good to write about! Cause--I just write about what I see and my own life and sometime people actually think that in America there is a law against it.

There isn't.

In fact, a person can write anything they want and about anyone they want and as long as it is true there Is No Law against it. I actually don't care that I am public everyone Who knows Me knows Me....and my kids...and my story so that fact I write about My Life is not my problem.

Some would say that it is harmful to a child if their parent is the President.... Yeah it is. And it is an invasion of privacy--and it is a persons child and well So What! Some people are community leaders and everyone knows them anyway--Big Deal! Trust me enough people actually Know the full details about my reality that this blog is not a divulge of any Private matters.... Lord we have at least 50 people up our butts in real life. There honestly is not such thing as privacy so...I don't raise my children to expect it.

If anyone would be so worked up about someone writing the truth then clearly those people have never had to accept responsibility for their own feelings, actions and attitudes. I don't teach my child to think that our lives are all secret behind a closed door.... If anyone thinks a few true words hurts her feelings then you really don't get it.... Anyone who does know us sees the Truth and trust me my daughter spends a lot of time dealing with the consequences of What EVERYONE knows.....

It's not like she doesn't have to spend a good deal of time living what I write about and talking about it and processing it and taking responsibility for it.... That's how we are helping her heal... If she thinks her life is going to be something no one notices then.... she is wrong. People do notice what and who other people are and how they behave.

Anyway Edited:My little internet friend(because that is what she calls me)--Justine and whom ever else is spending their time thinking I care about thumbs up or thumbs down -- or that I would stoop to send you emails or report you or anything elese.... Not really and honestly I have spent more time then planned playing on Yahoo... I really don't care if you need to post your comments---or emails or whatever.... I honestly have better things to do then spend my time caring about what you think. So don't take it personally if I just don't have the time to play your little games.

Off to read to little guy and make lunch before Kindergarten and then a hot bath before I start on the Upgraded site!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two-Weeks at the New School

Well, it has been 2 weeks at the new school and Makala is of course doing Great.... We have noticed that she does very well when the other children do not.....and she doesn't do well when the other children do.... Interesting!

Perhaps, this is the reason she always glides right through all of the special interventions?

We have also noticed when things are going well at school---things at home are not... When she is doing well at home things at school are not!

So, the therapists suggests that These issues are more rooted in the The Trauma's the have caused the PTSD's (Post Traumatic Stress). These little signs seem to indicate that Makala needs to find that "normal" feeling she developed so early in her life---where things were filled with choas...fear...and out of control behaviors.... When she is with other children who are out of control she doesn't need to step in and fill the void in order to have that normal feeling of things being out of control....

Wow--finally we get to think about other issues rather then the Biggies of RAD and ARND! It's sort of exciting to be moving Past the Primary Underlying Problems and get to work on some of the Other ABC's she has collected!

I was told so many time so long ago that Until the Underlying issues are addressed we will not be able to get to the side issues and I suppose this could be considerd Major Progress! I really never imagined that I would find myself excited to be helping my sweetness with a big problem! This is really such an oxi-moron kind of life.... To think that I would feel such a thrill that I could be thinking a real emotional problem is a good-thing!

I really do believe that 5 years down the RAD is healing well... I have been seeing the "little" signs showing everyplace! Last week we were at Acting Class and I noticed that while participating she was constantly looking to me.... If my responce was a smile and face of approval she smiled back and continued.... and then for a moment she was playing aournd not paying attention and just about to become a disruption--and she looked at me.... I gave her a Mom Look of "No-No" and a hand sign of "get on track" and She Smiled and Just did it!

In the past this just wouldn't have happened.... Not too long ago she would have gone to acting class and participated as if I wasn't even there--she would not have looked to me for approval or checked with me to see if she was out of line.... Could this really be a significant as my heart would hope? I can't help but to believe the simply fact that she Knew I was with her in the class is such a major improvement!

It continues to amaze me How just the smallest simple normal things a mother shares with a child--could Be This Big!

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