Friday, November 01, 2013

Long 6-months, and New Routines

I came to my blog this morning to update things for National Adoption Month, and can't believe how long it has been since my last post!

I guess, I was on a self-imposed gag-order? Dealing with divorce, custody and the ordinary parts of parenting while facing life as the single mother of adopted special needs siblings. Best not to share too many details about the darker side of personal life. Divorce is messy and ugly no matter what--no reason to document the trials of it all.

It has been expensive to do what needed to be done in order to maintain custody of children adopted from the foster care system. With the unusual situation of adopting special needs children, from a government agency, the costs were much greater than the "standard" goodbyes to life shared with someone else.

Last summer was filled with court hearings, and a complete Family evaluation with an Expert Psychologist who ultimately determined "which" parent would maintain primary custody during the school week. I never had any doubts about what was in the best interest of both children.

I was confident all of my "documentation"  (learned in training and support groups as an adoptive parent) would make my case easy to present. What I have learned is that even with my great record keeping, diligent advocacy for the needs of both children, and dedication to the best interest of the children I still had to find some way to "Get" someone to read it all.

Just a tip for anyone else out there keeping great records and doing the right things: It will still cost at least a few thousand dollars to pay someone to be interested enough to read it all and make sense of anything. Good records are wonderful, finding someone with the power to make it possible for the Right Legal Decisions to be made requires some big-bucks. I think those of us doing these things for all the reasons we have been trained should probably put aside at least a thousand dollars for every File Box we have fill up to document all the things we have trained we need to document.

I would also recommend that in addition to the marriage contract, and the finalized adoptions parents might consider a "Pre-Adoption Agreement" between both them. I have found that even when families are put together in Unusual Ways, when it comes to divorce those unusual things don't really matter under the law. For example, an agreement between parents that mom would give up her career, and become a stay at home parent while the adopted special needs children grow up--only means anything to the adoption committee deciding placement... In Divorce Court none of that means ZIP! If I had it to do over again, there would have been a legally binding contract between me and my ex-husband before our children were placed.

All the promises that I would have no concern about giving up the most productive years of a career (My entire 40's) means nothing to those who decide things like custody, spousal support, and all the rest of that kind of stuff.

At 50 years old, it's hard to be attempting to Re-Enter the workforce. Especially after 10-years of being nothing more than a mother and failure in a marriage. Returning to college as a 50 year old has made my memories of returning as a 33 year old feel like I have done this over and over in my life. This time however, I am going to actually finish the one thing I have started three times and never got to the finish line. And, maybe it was because it took this long to figure out What I Want to do when I grow up?

This Fall has been eventful. We have managed to establish a great daily routine. Both children wake up easy in the mornings and usually have very pleasant attitudes. I have to admit the mornings with my kids are probably my favorite thing in life these days. I don't remember the mornings with my older children very well--I think it was because I lived that part of my life working myself half to death. I think they were happy in the mornings too... I knew it was easy for them to get up and catch the bus without even waking me up. That and the older I don't seem to need as much sleep as I did in my 20's and early 30's.

I am resigned to the fact that my life is always going to consist of setting a goal and doing whatever I have to in order to reach it. Surviving life has always just been the reason I am able to set an Unnecessary goal in life anyway!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Blind Faith

By definition, blind faith is:

belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination.

My faith system is very strong, I don't need to write about the fact I have faith, and belief, without true understanding, perception or discrimination, in those things I have accepted, and hold as a part of my personal relationship with God. For me, that is where all my faith rests and I do not live on Blind Faith. I live on trust and my system of beliefs, and rituals, and all of that stuff.

I have found, in my lifetime the term, Blind faith, is somehow something we are simply expected to extend to other individuals. I am not sure, why or how it has become all wrapped-up in the relationships of love that we expect, today. It is absolutely true that a loving relationship will have faith between the people in the relationship. But, it sure as heck better not be blind. That's where we get hurt.

As a mother, as a person with values, and believer in Christ--who died for my sins--I know better than to put all my faith in another human being, blindly, and with an expectation of perfection. That is just not possible, not if I really have faith in what I claim I do. As a believer, I know another person will never be perfect, and that no matter how much faith I have, it will not change a person into perfection. 

Blind Faith, will not even help me become perfect.

I read so many post on forums, social networks, and in real life, from people hurt because they gave all their Faith to, or invested all Faith in, another person. Only to be hurt in the end. I have been guilty of this myself. 

For me personally, I have found it is best for me to keep the Faith stuff where it belongs--in Myself and with the beliefs I have. This does not mean my relationships with other's does not include a level of faith. For me it is about how I see the faith I have, and what that faith means to the other people in my life. Blind is definitely not part of the faith I have in life.

With my children, I have learned the best thing to do is teach the truth. Life, is long and there are many twists and turns. We all make mistakes, we all have a past, we all fail now and again. I place, my faith in the fact that all of these things I face in life, have a purpose. I hope my children learn, that even I have to stop once in awhile and say, "I made a mistake, I am sorry, this is how I have learned, and what I will do in the future..." 

Often, the best way we can teach our child, or show faith and love is to show them humility when we have made a mistake in life. These are the opportunities we have to show them How to react and overcome the mistakes they make every day in their lives. 

Faith is an important part of a relationship. When the Faith is properly placed it is what we should expect from our relationships with each other. Faith placed into another person and unrealistic expectations will always end in hurt. If Faith is an important part of your relationship then it has to be the faith you hold and value that is most important. 

I think there are many people, who do not actually understand what Faith in a relationship really means and mistakenly place that faith in each other, instead of where Faith generally implies it belongs.

Monday, April 08, 2013

One week down and lost dreams behind Me.

I would imagine there are many adoptive mothers (for that matter mothers) who are a lot like I am. Passionate, intensely emotional, empathetic, more selfless than selfish. For me, and those like me that is part of what being a mother actually is. It is more then likely what makes it possible for a mother to love a baby as her own, even if she meets her babe at 5 years old.

I myself, cannot even imagine how I could be a mother without the intensity I feel. My father used to say, "Everything is the most important thing in life, to De Anna." He actually still says it. And, it is actually a real-truth about me. I don't understand any other way. If I do something it is everything and I am 100% committed to it.

This has it's benefits for me. I generally, finish what I start, or at least reach the initial goals I set. I don't set goals I don't intend to reach and therefore, I set reasonable goals for myself. One week, down for two online classes and American Sign Language... It was hard, but I did it and now it is week two.

When I set things up, to start classes last week, I did not expect to also be dealing with the Legal issues that have come up. Oh well, that is the way life goes sometimes and it makes sense I need to resolve the unresolved issues, if I really hope to leave lost dreams behind me.

When everything is the most important thing in life, it is hard to let lost dreams and goals die. I can today, look back and know in my own heart that I made the only choices that I could--for my children. I am meeting the goals I had in my mind over 10 years ago when I met them for the first time. It is not how I thought it would turn out. It is not my dreams come true and I have given up a lot for the passion of my heart.

I regret I even need to have a lawyer in the first place. It is wrong that the love and most special gift I have shared with anyone in my life could have turned into the end of what I believed was my dreams come true. It takes two.

It is completely logical that when I make the first steps to the next part of My life, I am forced to resolve the things that hold my heart back. A legally mediated separation agreement, does not work for a woman like me. I am not a one-foot-in, one-foot-out type of Gal. To move forward, I need more then a legal contract created by my husband and his specific request to include that we were able to date others..... That HURT!

It has been just over three years now. I don't feel like myself, a mans wife with permission to date. So it is for the best that all comes to an end.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Putting on My Armor and Calling Oregon to stand up For Me

It has been just over 10 years since my husband and I were selected by Oregon DHS Committee process to become the Best Advocates and Adoptive Parents of Our special needs siblings.

I wish there was more information and help for parents after they adopt children from Oregon Foster Care. I have been living a tragic and long story (this blog started when I met my children) and I am about to get screwed over in Washington Divorce Court.

I feel helpless because our children are HIGH special needs and every decision I have made for 10 years has been ONLY about my children and what I promised the State of Oregon Committee when we were selected us as the adoptive parents for VERY Special needs siblings.

Nothing about MY Agreement and the Agreement my husband made seems to matter and the issues about our adopted special needs children have been made exactly the same as just any other divorce. The kids are high-level, line-of-sight special needs. I do not understand how to get the help I need, in order to continue keeping my agreement with the state of Oregon, and my adopted children.

I have needed to make many choices along the journey, for the Best Interest of my children. For a brief time I lived with my husband in the sate of Washington. When our daughter needed services that were Not available in the state of Washington, I Returned with Her to Oregon and have been providing her with Exactly what I promised. I am now parenting Both children, five days a week, and sending them to public school in Oregon.

I am about to be Divorced by their father and the Man who made it possible for me to Promise the Committee I would do just as I have been for the past 10 years. Because, he still lives in Washington this divorce is being handled as any other divorce situation, Except that somehow personal property was handled under Oregon Laws.

I do have some assets, and so does their father which is Part of the Reasons we were selected as the adoptive parents of our children and need some legal help. I think MY kids deserve to be protected Under that State that Chose me to Be their Mother and my husband to support what we promised the committee we would do. I need to do this NOW and have two-weeks to find a way!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Moving On after Adoption and Divorce

I had planned to work on my Parenting Blog today. Working on my blogs  and talking to other parents,  adoptive parents, and parents of special needs children has been one of the few ways I have found support over the past 10 years. I have found a great deal of hope when my words, or my support has helped another parent, in the stressful situation I can relate to.

There was a time, not that many years ago, when I was confident and believed I had a life that could be the perfect example of a loving couple providing adopted special needs siblings a stable home and loving family.

It is hard to tell now, if I was imagining something that was not real, or if the reality around me just changed. Either way, it has now been 3 years since I had to make the choice to work on my marriage or bring my daughter home from residential treatment and hope for the best.

The good thing is that children are resilient and as much as my mommy dreams were to be a family united with a mom and dad, the divorce statistics are what that are and marriages fail. I could spend years writing all the ways that I feel about this whole situation. I write pages and pages about how it was not my fault. I could write a book about the relationships I have experienced. I could do a lot of things with the experiences I have endured. I could blame everything that is real and did go wrong on others and spend my life suffering in this pain and loss.

I have about 5 different book titles about the choices I have had to make with Husbands, boyfriends and life in general. I am saving those books for when I have finished my college... I will be able to write them with the "Letters" after my name, and therefore be more credible in the advice I have to offer others. It seems that I have been nearly constantly in some kind of therapy or counseling since 1986. The interesting part is that 90% of the therapy and counseling session I have attended have been FOR someone I love or loved and the issues or problems they had in their lives or brought into my life.

The only "therapy" that has been helpful for ME personally, was DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). If you have never heard of it don't feel bad I had not either until 2010. Right when my second marriage was failing.

From: An Overview of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment is a cognitive-behavioral approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those found in romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels. 
I am an emotional person. It is how I found myself twice divorced. My emotional intensity comes in handy for many situations. It was my emotions that made me want to become a mother again, when my biological children were nearly grown. It is my emotional intensity that accomplished nearly every goal I have in my life. My father used to say, "Everything is Always the Most Important Thing in Life for De Anna." And, that is probably true about me. If I am involved it is because it is the most important thing for me.

It all works very well for me, until I have to share my life with someone--who does not feel I am important or a value or if I make a mistake. Then, my world falls apart and I live in an intense world of feelings alone. Usually, needing the person I share life with more then they are able to be needed. My feelings are real, deep, and big and when I make a choice in Love and later find the one I loved does not still have an intense love for me--my world falls apart.

That's how a person like me--smart, able, and willing to go the distance--seems to always end up being the only one in the relationship still holding onto the passion and love it started with. Long after the other person in my life has grown past the emotional intensity of love. There I am, still feeling it, and living it, and loving life as I know it. Only to turn around and discover I am the only one of us still living the intensity of love--with someone who has moved past the intensity and onto the routines of life.

Remember, I can write books about how these other people did me wrong and hurt me in ways I will NEVER get over, but right now that doesn't help anything and I am still too emotional to write a rational book about the ways I have been hurt by others. It is never only one persons fault it take two to have a healthy relationship, It can take one to walk away or not care about the relationship anymore. But, it takes two to make it work--giving and taking and working past problems.

I could spend the rest of my life looking back and thinking of the ways I could have reacted differently or said or done something different. I could spend forever reviewing where I went wrong, how I could be blind and not know the emotional relationship I was in--was not the same for the person I loved and built the relationship with. I have learned no matter what I feel, in the end it makes no real difference if the person I love has changed their feelings for me...or become complacent with the relationship in general.

All I know is that on Friday I have to go to a hearing, about the finalization of divorce. Again. Two failed marriages and four children effected by a broken home. This was Never the Dreams I had in mind and certainly not what I had planned 10 years ago when I chose to become the adoptive mother of special needs siblings on my 40th birthday.

The past three years have been hard and I have been as strong as I know how to be. The past 3 years are the farthest from the dreams I had when Everything that mattered was my love for my husband and our building a family together. This outcome was simply not a possibility but it is my reality today.

I was going to write in my parenting blog today. I was going to write about Distress Tolerance and the skills that can be used to help a person through it. DBT was amazing therapy for me because of the skills I learned. Or as I actually found, because of the skills I have always used and didn't know what to call them or that I even used skills. I may still write that blog today because I will be using these skills today intentionally.

Because, today I need to ACCEPT the fact that I am alone in life and I am going to be fine and I am a good mother if that is the legacy of my life I can be happy with that being all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Teenage and Tween, When one Emotionally Passes the Other.

It has been busy again around here. Between school meetings, special events, and finishing up all the little things around the house times flies and it is officially Spring!

The remodel on the inside is down to the trim and door painting, which is best done when it warms up a little.   Down to decorating and the finishing touches, which is wonderful considering all that has happened!

Makala and Marty are doing well, during the weekdays at home with me. It has never been difficult for me to provide and insist on a routine. There are absolutely consistent expectations around here and routine. This is what so--many--children need. As the mother of my kids I face those times when my heart wishes I could let them be the same as their peers...allow them the freedom other children have, and the opportunity to mess-up and face the consequences other children their age face.

I have chosen instead to be an over protective, over involved, chastity-belt, mother--who recognizes that "Emotionally" my children are about half their chronological age, and that by the age of 26 I might expect to see the emotional maturity of the average 18 year old. I cannot remember where I have learned this rule-of-thumb, but I promised I would not forget it when I learned it. That means, my 15 year old is still only emotionally--7 and a half. That is about right. So, while the world around her--sees a 15 year old, I know she is not on the inside yet, so I do NOT allow myself to feel any guilt for the Protection I have chosen to be in Her Life.

The difficult part of this role I play, is the Judgments from others. There are very few people in my support system that actually understand the parenting situation I face with a Physically 15 year old daughter, with the emotional development of a first grader. If I am over protective, then just remember the NEEDS an average first grade child has. A first grade child is not ready to face many peer situations a 15 year old is expected to understand and make choices that may effect the rest of their lives. Many 15 year old children ARE and Do experiment sexually, and in other ways, and that will be the way of life. But, my child is emotionally 7 and considered to be 100% Line-of-Sight. That has a completely different meaning in every way of life. So far, I am willing to take the judgment and do the right things for my child. That is what I signed up for.

Marty's needs are very different... He is Now a Tween and will go to middle school next year. He has Not had a disrupted education like his sister. He has had learning delays, she did not have. His emotional issues are completely different then her Reactive Attachment Disorder. He is able to handle the social mainstream a little better then she would be. He has been exposed to the "general population" all along. He has the good opportunity to be able to overcome his learning delays and do well in life.

At this point, it seems he is emotionally passing his sister. This has been very clear at home in many ways. This is where he needs some support and help because it is a fact he is likely going to do better in an emotional way then his older sister. This is a difficult thing for a little boy to understand, along with his own knowledge and understanding that he too was exposed. It is time that he learns to understand the differences between his special needs and the special needs his sister has.

He was safe, loved and cared for as an infant and was adopted at the age of one year old. She was Five and those years were completely different for them. No one can ever replace the early years Makala experienced in life. This is the big difference between them, and he will need to learn about what that means and why his issues never have been and never will be the same as his sissy has.

Marty just needs to learn to read, write and have confidence in himself. The rest of it is pretty normal stuff, and he will be able to manage in the main stream if he will accept and understand his whole life has been completely different then his sisters. She has not had a single school year in the main stream. Not one grade without a psychiatric hospital stay, day treatment, residential treatment, containment transition school, special placement school. I believe she has gone no longer then 4 or 5 months in a main-stream setting with an IEP and over 45% special education... She has always seemed to Learn the things that keep her looking normal... She is blessed with survival instincts and an ability to recognize patterns, and memorize anything. It works well for Her and she has hope because she is bright under the damage done to her.

It has been good for Marty to spend the weekdays with Me and his sister. He is learning to understand that He does not have the same issues she does, and he just needs to understand her needs are different than his and he will eventually learn to read and write just fine.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Schools Day off for Budget Cuts

I do my best to keep politics out of my blogs and generally do not like to get into debate on the Internet about political issues. I suppose it's a lot to expect my government will make the same kinds of choices I have to make when I need to cut my budget. Usually, as a mother, when I have to cut my budget I choose to cut out those things that effect my family the least.

When I need to cut my costs I tend to buy ground beef instead of steak, learn to do my own fingernails instead of paying for them to be done. I set the thermostat down a few degrees, find fun things to do near home and focus on those things I can do that don't cost as much money. My children are growing and will need new clothes, hair cuts, shoes and socks... It would be foolish for me to think I should cut my costs in areas that effect my growing children. I can ware the same shoes another month or two, since my kids feet grew another size and we can't ignore that fact.

It seems however, that the Public Schools chose to cut their costs in a different way, and give all the kids another day off school!  Spring break is only 2 weeks away and My kids have today Off for an "Unpaid Budget Cut" This cracks me up because the only money being saved will be for those people being paid by the hour--certainly not those paid by salary! Unless, the pay checks actually, specifically doc the pay by one day? I would love to see proof of that!

Today, the bus drivers, lunch staff and those people paid hourly are all off work and not earning a pay check. And, the children are HOME with or without supervision because there is no school. I could think of a million ways to save some money that would Not have the impact that cutting random school days does on society.

I doubt cutting more school days really saves that much money, considering the majority of the staff responsible for being involved with my kids at the school are salary and paid anyway. To me cutting out the responsibility my children have to go and get a good education is irresponsible and teaching them the wrong priorities. For society I believe cutting school days is risky and leaves countless children without supervision today as I doubt the parents were given a day off to be home.

I do not have any answers, but I will say it is about time some priorities are set! It's very difficult to teach our children responsibility when they are not important enough to account for when the Big People need to save money. I am wondering how many other parents are caught off guard today--and did not realize it was Another Day without School?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

A Parent's Network: Solid Foundation

A Parent's Network: Solid Foundation: We have heard it a million times--It's an old saying, and a fundamental teaching in nearly all mental, spiritual, religious, and build...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Changing the Entry

Old Entry
Front of the House the day I returned 2/2010
New Windows, new garage door, a waterfall and now all we need is a Dry day to paint the exterior!

More happened on the inside, than you can see from the outside. The front door is now where this window Was!

Front Room Before

Front Room Now

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Complete Remodel -- Special Needs Style

The work has--mostly--been done for months and months now! It has just been one thing here, and a little thing there to finish up with. It all started with me and my brothers and this little house that I have been part of for nearly half of my life.

Not much, but it's always really been my home. Even with the dangerous and outdated electricity and plumbing problems we will not talk about... Even, knowing there must be something awful behind that wall... And while those two huge fireplaces were nice to have, the mess and spiders and Space they took up were not worth it.

We started almost exactly two years ago! Times flies when there is a life to live at the same time. And, nothing changed about the demands of being the mother of my kids... We had chaos for awhile, so they fit right in! It has been a very full past two years!

It all started when my brother Jamie, (or as he would like to be known Glenn) flew out from Illinois to spend then next 5-Weeks with me and our brother John with the intention of spending many thousands of dollars replacing every wire, every pipe, the sewer line, which also meant most of the walls would be cut, redone.

We started by removing both Fireplaces!!! There was at Least 50 square-feet of space taken up by both fire places.

The Back "Family Room" Fireplace

Today this Space Looks Like This:

If you don't notice the Fireplaces they are gone... 

It has taken a lot more to get the rest of the house done. I have hundreds of pictures of the whole ordeal! We completely remodeled the house, replaced every window, doubled the size of the kitchen, added a bathtub, moved the front door, replaced the garage door, all the doors inside and out..

I will write more and post more pictures as we get things all finished up. Just a few final touches inside and then we can officially say it is completely finished! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

RAD Mom's Unite

I have spent the past few years coming to terms with my roll in life. Or at least where my life is today. It is the same open minded, optimistic, hope in life that keeps me going with the same spirit I had ten years ago when I met my youngest children for the first time.

I knew the implications of the choices I made to become a mother again, right at the same time my biological children were leaving the nest. Sometimes we beat the odds and other times we face a road that only makes us stronger. When I chose to adopt siblings from foster care, I did not think I would eventually be diagnosed with "Post Traumatic Adoption" but, I have been. I did not believe I would find myself parenting a 15 year old, line of sight child but, I am. I did not even imagine my marriage would end in triangulation but, it has. Even still however, I somehow keep finding that spark to move on with.

Like any other trauma in life, recover is a cycle of feelings and time. It is also a choice. I am actually still in the middle of it all, with a 15 and 11 year old to finish raising. They will likely be emotionally 18 when they are about 26 so, I imagine the road ahead will still be very long. I have been through every phase of the Grief Cycle. And, just as our children have their grief we as parents have our own--when the reality does not match the original dreams.

I nearly gave up. A million times.

I might give up again.

I may give up in the end.

Right now, however I am still in the game and moving through the grief cycle one day at a time. I have spent my years on forum sites, built my own website once--we had a thousand members, and some good people online. It was my only life for awhile there. A way to reach out and find anyone else who might understand what it was like to be the mother of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. It is easy to be Angry with the world and can feel like a miracle to find someone else who Really Understands.

I recently read a blog from another RAD Mother, Overcoming Myself . She calls Us Sisters, and I can relate.

The best advice I can share at this point, is to stay strong and understand the cycle of grief. Work past it all, find hope and see the little things that are improvements in our children. Do not ignore the red-flags. With a RAD Child respond instantly and move on. Do not isolate! Do not think you can find everything online, with computer friends. Bring real people into your life. The more humans in the room, the less issues our children will create. Empower yourself it is the very best example we can show our children.

It is time for us to collaborate and create a compressive understanding about the realities we have faced and overcome. Mental health, services and funding will continue to be a topic of conversation and things always change we can choose to stay invisible or use our experience and education to help cause some change.

One stage of grief is Acceptance. It is easier to be in the acceptance part of the cycle and more productive. As Rad Mother's, As Sisters, Anger is natural and part of grief. Acceptance is challenging to maintain but a far less stressful place to be.

We are sisters in more ways than facing life parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. We are also the same mothers who chose to adopt our children and that is the same spirit inside that will lead us to overcome and cause change.

I am reviving APN... Except I have changed the A from Adoptive to "A". APN, is now "A Parents Network"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I have an Announcement

I am excited to announce I am going to finish my Bachelor's Degree(s) and try to put my life experience and education to some value in this world. I was thrilled to death this week, when I went back to Portland Community College and discovered that all of my credits are still valid with only 20 remaining for the General Studies block transfer to Portland State University.

I was even more encouraged when I went to my pre-admissions meeting at PSU and discovered it is very simple today to attend classes and complete my degrees. By March 1st I should be duel enrolled and able to knock things out in a matter of time. I plan to get my Bachelor's in Social Work with either a minor or a duel Bachelor's in Psychology in 2 years or less. The ONLY reason it will take me this long, is the second language requirements. I am planning to take American Sign Language.

My hope, is to find a position with a non-profit or public agency supporting Parents of special needs children with a focus on children from foster care and or children affected by prenatal drug or alcohol. I feel my experience and education would be valuable in this area.

I did not plan to be returning to college at the age of 50, but realize that I will probably not be able to retire until I am 70 so when I look at it that way, I have decided I won't lose a thing by finishing my college education.

The best part is that I have already finished all the junk classes, and already paid for all the education I have to this point so, the rest will be fun and I should not end up with a huge debt in the end.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Ten years, and a lifetime to Go

It was 10 years ago, I remember like yesterday. I left Portland just after the first of the year and drove over 300 miles to meet my youngest children, for the first time. To this point it had all been paperwork, home study, and committee decisions. Nearly two years, of training, support groups and classes. The creativity of making our "Family Storybook" and a lot of wishing and dreaming.

I remember, very clearly the last night I had to call all my own. My biological children were grown adults and all things considered, I did the best I knew how. I know my children grew up with honor, integrity and self respect. They managed to make good choices, and cause me little stress. Surely, I would be an even better mother this time around. I knew, that frozen night returning to the hotel room, would be the last I had for many years, without the concern of little ones. I knew this was a turning point in my life--and that as always, things could go well, or not.

Either way, nothing would be the same as it was before. This time, I would drive over 300 miles home, with two new members of my family... My youngest children a little girl nearly 5 and her baby brother just about to turn one! I knew, it was a risk, that I was turning 40 and that my marriage would face those things marriage faces when people chose to become parents. I knew then and there our marriage would grow or fail. I believed it would grow. Turned out I was wrong about that.

It is always easy to look back and see where different choices here or there might have resulted in a different outcome. Doing that, won't change anything. What happened, happened and can't be undone. I was never one for finding fault or blaming things on something or someone else. I don't blame a second failed marriage on anything other then a failed marriage. The kind of marriage I wanted, would have grown and overcome the stress and difficulties we faced parenting two--very high Special Needs siblings. Instead, it did not turn out that way.

I still do not regret the choices I have made as a Mother.

And here I am, turning 50 now! Clearly more then half way through this gig of life! I was that silly little girl who just dreamed of making a nice life, with someone who loved me, and raising happy, healthy and able adults. I don't consider being a mother the act of parenting children, I see the big picture--and realize I will have a longer relationship with my adult-children then I will have with them as children.

My oldest child has finally asked his girlfriend to become his wife. With any luck I will finally become a grandmother. I have expected this for the last ten years, and seen zero hope!

When I started this blog there was no such thing as a blog. It was a journal... one of the little tools offered as a perk along with the web building tools I used to make primitive websites and learned HTML. I was very proud of the skills I developed, the sites I created and the support and information I was able to gather together during the Forums site boom! This journey, and I think every journey as a parent, did not go exactly they way my imaginary dreams had planned. That's all right, because I know I still have a few years left for some New Memories.

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