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 Even with the dangerous and outdated electricity and plumbing problems we will not talk about...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!
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"