Monday, March 29, 2010

Trashed Heart

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fried Heart

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baby Sling Recall

We are all about keeping those babies close. We love slings and wraps and backpacks. There are changes in both the Momma and the baby to have that little one bumpin up against you all day long. Today there was a recall though. Be sure to check and make sure your sling is not one of the ones that has been recalled. One million in the US alone. If you have a newborn, preemie or failure to thrive, etc you should probably stick to a wrap.

Be safe with those snuggles. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do you remember when I talked about secular psychology breaking down because they superimpose adult thoughts of process onto child minds?

SUCH a perfect example erupted this week. One of my kids had to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendicitis. But what are both my RADish and her sister GRIEVING??! The loss of her umbilical hernia that was fixed during the operation. It was an after thought to us. It was doing a little tuck to prevent her having to go under a second time. It was small. No big deal to us. See? This isn't even heart wounds and trauma of the past. Kids. They don't think the way we do. We can't crawl into their minds to see their perspective. That is why we need to be consistent and clear and biblical in their instruction and discipline. Because until they can use their words, we won't guess what has really hurt their hearts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Answer The Question Asked, Please

DD had a relatively calm day. We were in public for most of it, which always helps. Saving those pretty behaviors for me. ;)

BUT one of her default behaviors is to avoid the question answered. She likes to give some long extended explanation about things similar to the topic but not answering the question or crazy lying about something that the senses negate.

E.g. did daddy say you can wear that? daddy says the dress is too small. . . and on and on.

E.g. do you have brown shoes? ~no. do you have brown shoes? ~only big ones. do you have brown shoes? ~a little brown. do you have brown shoes? (maybe 12 times later while I am holding the brown shoes) yes, I have brown shoes with white polka dots.

Sometimes it is so subtle that you may not notice it. You have to attune your ears to bunny trails and the avoidance of intimacy or fault. I will continue to ask the original question or say something like "oops! that's not what Mommy asked you. Try again." There are little ways they are pushing away a normal interaction with you. Press in. Little here, little there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Explaining Attachment

Felt the need to repost this. There are lots of moms coming forward who are just realizing their child has RAD or have a new baby home. I know for me a lot of my weariness came from try to explain what we were struggling with to people that had previously had no exposure to wounded children. I hope in a small way to say, we've been there. You are not alone. Here are some words that helped us. I originally wrote it on my personal blog in 2008. . .

I am tired and frustrated beyond tears. Loving a child that doesn't want to be loved is the hardest thing in the entire world. I know at the heart of it, she wants desperately to be loved and the rejection has more to do with my position-not me personally. But her actions all day long say, 'you are horrible, I don't like you, I will not do what you say, I don't like my siblings and I hate this house.' It is sometimes disobedience done with a smile or quiet manipulation. But even the parts that look happy are fake! And by God's grace, He prompts me to ask questions and reveal her sin. And yes, it is sin. But there is no breaking. And when there are tears, I have learned it is usually something selfish like she has to pee and not because her heart has really softened to repentance. And then comes the stillness. It is the cold, hard, apathetic, self-protective stare that scares me the most. It says to me, I need to save her from this moment or it will only get worse. Next time, will she resort to something harder or harsher? Every day, I am balancing consistent discipline-usually not in my flesh-of the one while not ruining the day of the others. It is exhausting and depressing. It is isolating. Explaining it to others and having to explain why you aren't crazy really prevents you from talking about it. Please. Please. If you know someone that is struggling with their child-traumatize bio or adopted, please do not tell them it is just like your kid. It isn't. It is not a strong willed child It is not what all kids go through.
You can research and read if you really want to learn more. But I have found telling people to research something they are not affected by won't happen. I get it. So I have been trying to think through how to explain it to others without the science and psychology. Most people think we are dealing with a strong-willed child. But it is so not like that. When a strong willed child is hurt-say a gash on the knee-they still cry. They still want Mommy to comfort them. They may be the most independent, sassy kid on the block, but they know their parents will meet their needs. They know they really can't do life without their parents. They communicate their needs-down to I am thirsty, I am hungry, I am bored. They don't flail around, pick at their fingers, take deep breaths, twitch and shake before they can look you in the eye. They show their desire for control because they want their way. It is not to communicate clearly to their caretaker you are not in control, you are not doing a good job, so I feel the need to take over. And most of all....YOU are attached to your child. That is the hardest part of the equation. As a mom, I want to connect, gush, and be moved by my child. When a naughty, independent, strong-willed child is giving you a go, you are still passionately in love with your child. I love her in the she- is- my- child- given- by- God and I will do my best for her, but quite honestly, there are not warm fuzzies right now. And that is really really hard. I know I am a good Mommy. But I don't feel like it right now. Love is an action and I submit my heart to what He is calling me to do. We struggle to attach to the Lord who loves us sacrificially. I want that joy in the sacrificial love. But He also loves us as children and friends..... and I long for that, too. Please pray for us as parents to have wisdom and for our girls as they learn to trust, to obey and to feel safe.

You are not alone. It is a long, hard marathon. But God wants to redeem this child for His glory. And He wants you to help Him do it. You are not up to the task, but turn towards Him. He will equip you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bubble Gum Queen

One way to mimic nursing for an older child is chewing gum. The jaw motion and sweetness are calming. So I've become the bubble gum queen.

Here are my couple of rules:

1) anytime between breakfast and dinner (or when the sun is up, etc) you ask for bubble gum in an honoring way (May I please have bubble gum?), I will say yes.
2) You may not touch your gum, take it out of your mouth, etc.

This not only calms them and gives them great sensory input but it also helps build trust. The always affirmative answer helps my RADish trust me with a fun want. Everyday for the first week, I had to remind her it was there and what the rules were. It was over a week before she mustered the strength to ask.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sensory Input

Purvis said the vast majority of kids with wounded pasts will deal with some degree of sensory processing issues. She suggests doing the checklists in a book like Kranowitz's Out-of-Sync Child. You can also have an OT do an evaluation. You can also use one like Dawn has suggested here, too.

A lot of sensory issues will mimic attachment and vice versa. Babies learn to interpret their worlds and learn to later make decisions through their senses. If they don't learn how to interpret senses coming at them, they interpret all of it as danger. I love that Purvis wants parents to use a breastfeeding newborn as the standard of a sensory bath. Think of all of the ways a baby is washed with + sensory input when nursing. Our kids need sensory baths. all. the. time. However, everything she does is age appropriate.

~Simon Says
~Chair sit-ups

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I've gotten stuck a few times as I sat down to type out some these thoughts from the conference. I think mostly because so much of what she shares she touches on in her book. BUT I am just going to hit the points that resonated deeply with me and gave me some hope! Again, I am just sharing from my notes, for what they are worth. Obviously, you'll have to do your own research and find what's best for your child.

There are many reasons I was crying several times throughout the day. As I shared before, she is about treating the whole child. What she said made sense to me, if that makes sense. You can't look at these kids and separate out the physical or spiritual or emotional parts in hopes that just addressing attachment will resolve all the other parts. Because therapies and teachers are usually treating the child individually, these people silo their efforts and don't treat the child holistically. We as parents need to be the primary therapist (like you didn't feel this or know this!) and set the vision for care and advocacy.

First and foremost, she would say these kids need comprehensive evaluations for things like parasites, allergy tests, urine assays, blood work, etc. We usually bring our kiddos home and test for parasites and general communicable diseases. But I think a lot of these kids have so much more going on. You need to know everything you are dealing with to be able to make the right plan of action.

A child with a wounded past, as Purvis described it, has a different brain chemistry. The trauma they have been through (even an unwanted pregnancy) alters the brain chemistry (dopamine, seratonin, lead, etc) of a child. She suggests a urine assay that will help determine if you are dealing with toxins/inbalances that chilated mineral or other supplements could help with.