I am getting conflicting accounts of what happened from Middle Boy and Younger Boy.

One of them is OBVIOUSLY lying.  The problem is this.  I have NO IDEA which one.

Younger Boy is an amazing manipulator and Middle Boy is an amazing liar. 

I wish there was a basic level of honesty in our home, but there isn't.  I am continually lied to and attempts are made to manipulate me. 

I don't even have instinct telling me who is being truthful.  The way the stories are shaking out though one definitely is and the other definitely isn't.  Neither cares enough about the relationship to come clean.

It's a lonely place for me tonight.
Tonight I noticed something that had happened in our home while I was gone.

I asked Boarder about it and he was SHOCKED and had no idea.

The thing that happened makes me want to throw up.  I wish I could talk about it, but no one would understand.

I wish there was someone who could help me parent through it, but I don't know anyone.  I'll call Therapist C and Therapist L in the morning to get their thoughts.

I hate this!
Today I got an email from Therapist L.  She wanted to meet with me tonight before Middle Boy's session.  This will infuriate him.

I met with her for about 15 minutes.  We talked about how he is doing in terms of behaviors at school and home.  It is her job to figure out his dysfunctional cycle and since I spend the most time with him my input is valuable.

He has been telling her there are no issues at home and he is going great in school.  Does he live in an alternate reality?  He is missing a TON of assignments in school.  Things are not great at home.

So she does every so often...she asked the "usual" questions about home and school with me in the room.  You could visibly see his anger level skyrocketing.  BUSTED.

She asked him the six types of abuse and to define them.  She asked if he thinks he uses any of them at home or in school.  The six types are verbal, emotional, mental, physical, sexual, and social.  He said he uses verbal, but only at home.  I disagree.  He uses verbal, mental, and emotional at home and mental at school. 

This sent him over the edge.  Therapist L actually got to see his meltdown and process him through it while I waited in the waiting room.

When he came out he walked right past me and to the car.  She marched outside and got him and had him come in and talk to me.  Tell me he was done with therapy and ready to go.  To get him to do that he was VERY DISRESPECTFUL of her.  It was UGLY.

Great....a great night it what we are in for.
This morning was a nice peaceful morning.

I'm sure the boys will try to use it later as justification for a late bedtime every night.  "Nothing went wrong this morning."

Middle Boy generally picks fights in the morning, but he didn't this morning.  The ride to drop him off at school was actually really nice.

I pray for more of these days.
It's been TWENTY one is in bed.

I wish I was.

Consequences have been handed out.  My patience for this is shot.
I got home.  Both boys were still up.

It was 11:30PM.

I asked why they were still up.

The response "we are messing around".

Okay...not a valid reason to be up past your bedtime.  You have FIVE MINUTES to be in bed or you have a consequence.
My flight was late getting home tonight.

I am exhausted and I just want to go to bed.

I hope the boys are already in bed (I know they won't be) when I get home.

Tonight C picked the boys up at home and took them to youth group.

Middle Boy was on the tech team and so he just needed to be dropped off and have dinner at church.

Younger Boy was going to eat with C.

Middle Boy decided that he too MUST eat with C.  He also ate at youth group.  I wish I knew if it was a teenage boy thing or a food issue.

I got to go to bed early last night and I got a FULL NIGHTS SLEEP.

Didn't wake up once.  Not even sure the last time that happened.

I'm still exhausted.  Probably more emotionally and mentally than physically.

Today should be a fairly easy day in terms of meetings and then the flight home.
While I was away for the night I called home twice.

Once before dinner and once after.

When I called home the first time I talked to Younger Boy's much younger self and to Middle Boy for a couple of minutes.  He was working on homework and since he does it so rarely I said I would call back.

The second time Middle Boy talked to me for THIRTY minutes.  He doesn't talk to me that much all added together when I am home unless it involves screaming at me.

It was nice to just chat with him.  I wish we did it more often.

I had to be at the airport at 4:45AM for a flight that boarded at 5:00AM.

I got up at about 3:45AM after getting about two hours of sleep.  Not two continuous hours.  More like two additive hours of disjointed sleep.

I tried to wake Middle Boy to tell him I was leaving, but he was out.

When I tried to wake him he CRIED....SOBBED, but just kept "sleeping".  I KNOW this was dissociative.  I know more than likely I triggered him.  He was abused during the night.

I wish he didn't insist on me waking him to tell him good-bye.  It is so hard to watch it.

Younger Boy told me good night the last night.  So I am all good there.

See you late tomorrow night boys.  I love you!!
One more night of Middle Boy in my room. 

I really tried to convince him it was okay to not sleep on my floor.  Especially since I have to leave for the airport early tomorrow.  Partially that and partially because it is IMPOSSIBLE to sleep with him sleeping on the floor in my room.

He doesn't sleep anywhere close to what I would call peacefully.  There is lots of moaning and whimpering...lots of whimpering.  There is some nonsense talk.  There is A LOT of thrashing around and jumping.

Breaks my heart.  Makes it impossible for rest.

I am trying to do intentional attachment parenting, but at the same time I need some sleep.

Prayers for a restful sleep...for both of us.
We did end up going out for an anniversary dinner.

It was an interesting process how the location was chosen.

What I have noticed recently is that if asked where he wants to have dinner Younger Boy has two if I tell him fast food and one if I tell him something else.  He NEVER chooses anything else.

At first I thought he REALLY LIKED these two places.  Now I am not so sure.  What I think is that he knows that Middle Boy and I also like those places and he works so hard to people please that he can't even form his own opinions.

I asked him to pick somewhere else since this was "special".  He FROZE.  He ended up enlisting the help of Middle Boy.

So...we went to a place that Younger Boy might not even like, because Middle Boy suggested it and Younger Boy was FROZEN.

It ended up being fine.  He loved his meal.  LOVED IT.

Happy Anniversary Younger Boy!!

Today is the two year anniversary of Younger Boy's "gotcha day".

Almost to the hour Younger Boy moved in two years ago.

What a two years it has been.

If I had been more on the ball we would have celebrated, but woefully I am not.

Younger Boy...know this.  The last two years...our adventure together....I would do it all again.

I love you!!
Middle Boy is back on my floor again tonight.

I am hoping we can both sleep tonight.

I want to figure out his need that isn't being met.  It is breaking my heart.
Middle Boy is so on edge.

He has been arguing most of the day with his "girlfriend".  His story is that she wants him to call her "too much" and she never has anything to say.

It is frustrating him.

He went outside and shot baskets tonight to get some of the frustration out and then we talked.

We talked about how when you are frustrated you need to talk about it, because frustration can easily become anger and then you say things you don't mean.

We talked about choosing kind words even in frustration, because words hurt and once they are out you can't take them back.

This is progress.  He recognizes frustration.  He doesn't want it to become anger.  He is trying to figure out why it frustrates him.  That will be the hard part.

I'm praying for him.  I am praying he can be kind and hear opinions of others.
I have learned that sometimes there are "emergencies" in my home that are marginal in definition.

Tonight was one.

I have also learned that when one of these "emergencies" rears its head it is FAR EASIER to take care of it than to have the trigger be pulled.

Tonight it was dish soap.  To hand wash dishes.  We ran out.  We had dirty dishes.

NOW...if you have been in our home before you would think to yourself....aren't there times when dishes go unwashed for a while.  Unfortunately you wouldn't be wrong.

Tonight the need was immediate.

So we went and bought dish soap.

Problem solved.

Now if someone would actually wash the dishes!!
Finally some sleep.  A five hour nap to be exact.

Luckily the boys had plans to go to play basketball and I had the house to myself.  They also ran some errands with Boarder.

I woke up a little more refreshed, but still exhausted.

Praying for a good night of rest tonight.
We had brunch today.  Me, the boys and Boarder.

We are a weird little family unit now.

I wouldn't have ever pictured this as my "family" at this point in my life.

That's one of the reasons why I love God.  He continually surprises me with a plan far better than anything I would have envisioned.
Today as I was leaving church I happened upon one of my FAVORITE couples leaving at the same time.

We stopped and chatted.

They prayed the most beautiful prayer for my family.  It literally left me in tears.  Tears that needed to come out.

This past week was hard.  I'm more emotionally exhausted than physically and that is saying oh so much.

I rarely cry about my journey, but today...I just shed some quiet tears.

Thank you God for J and P.  They are SO VERY BEAUTIFUL and I loved their prayer.  It blessed me in ENORMOUS ways.
Today we did recruiting for camp volunteers.

I am not going to lie.  I LOVE seeing who God brings to camp as volunteers.  I LOVE watching the new people fall in love with the orphan.

I'm excited for the possibilities of this upcoming year.

Thank you God for this camp.  For the volunteers you will bring and for those kiddos who will have their lives forever touched by the experience.
I skipped my 7AM theology class this morning in favor of an being able to double my sleep.

I am wondering if I am supposed to be in this class.  I have missed two of eight and I am struggling to keep up with the homework.

I'm a perfectionist.  I like to be good at the things I do.  This isn't working out for me.

Praying I can let go of the perfectionism and learn what it is God wants to teach me from this class.
I was WIDE AWAKE all night.

Actually I take that back.  I fell asleep at 6:20AM.

What is going on?

I had a lot of time to pray for the boys sleeping on the floor of my room.  One was talking in his sleep and the other whimpered nearly the entire night.

Father...please heal the emotional wounds of these boys.
Middle Boy is really needing his mama tonight. 

Recently I heard the phase "in hand" relating to trauma kids.  Basically it means the kiddo needs to be close enough to actually be holding your hand to start to trust.

Middle Boy needs to be "in hand" right now.

Literally the only place I can be out of eye sight of him is the bathroom.

He moved everything he needs for overnight into my room a little while ago.  He will be sleeping in there tonight.

Me being out of town was really an attachment set back for him. 

Tonight that is being coupled with a five police cars, a fire truck, an ambulance, and the medical helicopter down the street from our house.

Both boys have been flashing back.  It hasn't been good.

Slumber party in mama's room.

Now...pray for sleep.
The official word came today.

The state is renewing my foster care license.  We are waiting to hear if we have to redo all of the paperwork.

There are conditions.   Middle Boy has to finish his therapeutic program and then Therapist L has to write a letter saying he successfully completed it.

Of course they cited not the program he is in, but instead one that doesn't even exist in the state any longer.  (Why not?)

I should be happy or excited or something.  Instead I feel just blah...whatever.

My agency is BEYOND thrilled, because they never win battles with the state.

Father...your will be done with this very broken system.  If you want me to have a role, please open the appropriate doors and show me the way.
My sleep schedule is all messed up. 

I have been up until 3AM the last couple of nights.

Is this jet lag?  What exactly is jet lag?  Is this insomnia?

I am very tired.  Until it is time for bed.
Therapist L is quitting at the end of the summer. 

Essentially that means Middle Boy has until the end of the summer to finish his therapeutic program.  There are no others in the state anymore for the same reason Therapist L is moving.  Medicaid stopped paying for this therapy.  The state doesn't want the responsibility.

So...INSTEAD everyone needing this type of therapy will be required to go out of state.  I'm certain that will save the state some money (ahem).

Therapist L told Middle Boy there is NO REASON he can't finish by the end of the school year.  He is sure he can.  My fear is that he won't remember it when it is actually time to do the work.

I'll miss this lady.  She has been good for him.  No nonsense, don't give me that crap, good.  Christian counselor good.

Middle Boy can't go to therapy this morning because he "has no clean clothes".  Not one pair of pants in the whole house.  NONE.

I KNOW this is not the case.  I was gone less than a week.  I did ALL of the laundry before I left.  Unless there was a LARGE problem with dirty clothes in the interim there are PLENTY.

BUT...I was irritated.  So I told him to shower and I would swing by Walmart, Target, or Kohls to get him something to wear.

I wasn't gone for five minutes when he called to tell me the "no clean clothes thing" was a lie.  Really?  I wouldn't have guessed.

He was tired and didn't really want to go...that was the real reason.

I told him to suck it up.  It was an hour.  It is his responsibility and it is non-negotiable.  I would be home to get him in 15 minutes.

Weirdly I am proud he admitted to the lie and was also able to tell me the real reason.  It doesn't make it any less frustrating, but it is more transparent.

Prayers for continued honesty.
We are again initiating the chore of tomorrow.

This time the boys had a lot of input.  It will work out the same.  Middle Boy will work...really hard.  Younger Boy will do nothing and Middle Boy will get mad because he is doing "everything". 

He won't see that he is earning money and Younger Boy is not.  That won't matter.

I am hoping this will alleviate some of Middle Boy's fears about money.  I pray it does.
Sometimes the triggers can't be explained.  They results come seemingly out of nowhere.

Today was one of those days.  I think it was a result of being fearful about money, but I really don't know.

Middle Boy was in a "mood".  He was not feeling part of the family and was concerned about money.

He thought he was causing me to "spend too much" and since he isn't part of the family he EMPTIED his room of everything I had purchased.  EVERYTHING.  Furniture, clothes, EVERYTHING.  He moved back in the things he had moved in with him or purchased with gift money.

At some point he realized that I had actually purchased his room and that he couldn't sleep there.

It was totally irrational.  There is NOTHING I can say or do when he is like this.  I just have to ride it out and figure out the "big feeling" that is going on.

This one took a couple of hours.

Then I helped put his room back together and assured him that I love him.  I love him.
This morning a stranger rang our doorbell.  He was offering to scoop the snow from our driveway and on our walks....really cheaply.

We'll take it.

Can we get your number so we can call you every time it snows?

God...thank you for sending these men to our home to scoop snow.  I appreciate them.
I'm getting too old for traveling like this.

I can't even walk today.

All of my joints and muscles hurt from sitting in the "airline seat" position.

Luckily I had some forethought before I left and scheduled a massage for this afternoon.  I am sure it is going to be painful, but hopefully it will make these muscles actually move again!
Today is a snow day from school.  I wasn't planning to work, because I was still supposed to be traveling home.

There is NO SNOW on the ground.  It isn't supposed to start snowing until noon.

We are getting a day to sleep in.  Most of us anyway.  My schedule is all goofed up so I am up early...way too early.
Because I got home early and it wasn't on their schedule neither boy acknowledged my return home even though they were both still up.

I tried to talk to them, because the last time I came home from a trip I was accused of ignoring them and just wanting to be alone.

This brush off.

I get you are mad at me for leaving.  I get that I came home on the wrong day and it doesn't fit in what you thought was going to happen.

I am waiting for the ramifications of being gone.  I know they are coming.
This trip has been a whirlwind.  There is no other way to explain it.

I have NO IDEA what time it is anywhere.

I don't know if the clock on my cell phone is right or not.  My body isn't telling me the difference between day and night anymore.

Here a little of how the trip went...

Sunday - Leave home for Denver.  Layover in Denver 2-1/2 hours.  Leave for Honolulu.  Spend night in Honolulu.

Monday - Leave Honolulu at 4:30AM for Majuro.  Arrive Majuro mid-morning TUESDAY, because we crossed the international date line.  Work the remainder of the day.

Tuesday - Meetings in the morning and part of the afternoon.  Working on the report the rest of the afternoon.  Leave Majuro for Honolulu at 8:30PM in Majuro.

Wednesday - Arrive in Honolulu in the middle of the night.  Fly to Los Angeles.  Find out my flight home from Chicago on Thursday is canceled due to weather.  Go to customer service to find out if I can get home tonight.  Run to flight to Denver.  Fly to Denver.  Fly home.

I am home early.  I am exhausted.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  I'm actually too tired to sleep.
As I have been in the Marshall Islands I have noticed so many things about life there which is so very different from life at home. would be so easy to not concern yourself with anything other than the present here in Majuro.  There TV is tape delayed from South Korea, Australia, and the United States TWO WEEKS or more.  In fact I watched the Super Bowl tonight.  NO JOKE.

Second...there doesn't seem to be much regard for taking care of things.  It is evident pretty much all over.  From the cars to their buildings to their health...everything.  There was a comment made in our meeting that all buildings are expendable.  We tried very hard to explain in most locales maintenance is done on buildings to prolong their life.  The building we were studying actually had stalactites growing in the ceiling space.  There were no words.

This country is a cash only society.  Maybe that would be a really cool thing here.

I like some of the things here, some of them make me incredibly sad...and I am ready to go home.
I told the boys I would call them when I can during this trip.

That means a call this morning from Denver.  Just a quick hello, thinking of you.

Then a call this evening from Honolulu.  Here they wanted a picture of a palm tree and to know the temperature.

 I can call again in the morning before leaving for Majuro, but then no cell phone or internet until I return to Honolulu on Wednesday morning.

Once Middle Boy settled down he did the only thing he knows how....pushed me away.  Wouldn't tell me good night.  Doesn't want to be woken up and told good-bye in the morning.

I should just go.

He is joined in this sentiment by Younger Boy. 

So...isolation here tonight.  Doesn't make me feel guilty about leaving or anything.
All I can say is SUCKED.

All day I have dealt with emotional turmoil from Middle Boy.  Everything has been a trigger.  EVERYTHING.

I am leaving on my work trip tomorrow.  He doesn't want me to leave, but he can't even articalate that.  Instead it is coming out in a million other ways.

The culimnation was him standing in the entry-way SCREAMING "You always leave.  I thought we were a forever family."

Abandonment runs deep here.  My hands are tied.  I have to go on this trip for work.  I have to leave.  I will come back.  I know you are heard it before and it has been a lie.  I know you don't trust a word I say...not a single word.  I will come home.  I really will.

Pray for us...this day has been so emotionally very hard.
My agency called the state today to tell them about the updates in our case and ask what we needed to do to get the license renewed.  Do they still have the paperwork or do we need to resubmit?

The court closed the case which was the requirement they gave at the big meeting last month.  Not only that...Judge T had the record sealed.

Now the state needs some other information. don't.  The information you are asking for now is not part of the regulation and the place you are pulling your information from is SEALED.  Sorry.

If you chose to UNSEAL it time I WILL NOT give you the benefit of the doubt.  You violated the law the first time and I gave you grace.

I'm still waiting to hear back from them.  I haven't gotten the "ruling" that was supposed to come today anyway.
I'm so ANGRY right now. 

Middle Boy has been on this almost continual mantra telling me he is putting forth full effort in school right now.

This morning I got THREE emails telling me about missing work.  In one class he hasn't turned anything in since the first week of the semester.

I'm defeated.  He's a liar.  It's really that simple.  I am sure somehow this is not his fault, but mine.

I no longer know what to say to him or do.  He truly doesn't care about consequences (thank you RAD) or rewards (again...thank you RAD).  He doesn't care if I am disappointed, because he doesn't trust me anyway.  No empathy (thanks again RAD).

I'm so very frustrated with him right now. 

Let's say you got a gift HANDED TO YOU from a judge.  HANDED TO YOU.  Things are really looking up for you.

What would you do?  Well, of course you would sabotage it by not going to school today.  Why not?  Why not make yourself one step closer to having to go to court for truancy by making yourself throw up?

Today I saw a post which in the past I would have thought was absurd...entirely ridiculous.

I love this Valentine's Card.  I totally get it.  It is the kind of card I could get, but didn't.

Instead I got a card from Middle Boy saying "I'm starting to love you" and a card from Younger Boy saying "I'm sorry I ruined Valentine's Day by being someone no one can love".

Younger Boy's makes me want to cry.  I tried to ask why he thinks he ruined Valentine's Day.  He doesn't know.

He didn't ruin Valentine's Day...that's silly.

Thursday is Middle Boy's normal therapy night.   I asked him a number of times if he was sure he had therapy.  Yes, he has therapy.  He is sure.

I drove him all the way to therapy...all 25 miles.  We got there and he said "Shoot, today's valentine's day isn't it.  I don't have therapy."

I thought my head might EXPLODE off of my body.

His therapist asks that the kids keep track not the parents.  She communicates only with them as a method of teaching them responsibility.  Clearly it is not working for us.

So...we drove the 25 miles home in complete silence.
So....I'm skeptical.  Very skeptical.

I think HHS has something to do with Middle Boy's court case being closed, because not only is it closed Judge T ordered the records sealed.  They automatically seal at 17, but usually you have to petition before that to have it done and there has to be a really good reason.  Attorney N and I were just discussing it yesterday.

Middle Boy has to do a project for his FACTS (life skills) class.

The project is about budgeting.  It is an interesting project.  I am helping.

Basically they are supposed to look at their life when they are 30 years old and then figure out their expenses.  They are supposed to figure out what their dream house and car are.  They figure out all of the expenses on a monthly basis and then look at the career they have chosen and what a person in that field makes after about 5 years of experience.


Of course Middle Boy thinks it is stupid.
He wants to be a therapist.  He tells me that after 5 years they make $150,000 per year.  I tell him he is wrong.  I ask what their starting salary is.  He says about $40,000.  I tell him that after five years I think it will be more like $50,000 then.  He said "no, my teacher said it doubles each year".  I MUST HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR THE WRONG EMPLOYERS ALL ALONG.

He finished up his monthly expenses portion of the budget.  He needs to bring home $6,700 per month...after taxes.  That would be a salary of something like...$120,000 per year...give or take.

Clearly he has done the project all wrong.  There is no way just living costs that much.  He didn't put in anything he wouldn't NEED.

Then he has to adjust to what he would actually make with the job he wants....REALITY CHECK.

This part is REALLY STUPID...according to him not me.

This whole thing is due in two weeks.  It is a good exercise.

Younger Boy's conferences really weren't as bad as he had led me to believe they were going to be.  I think he was kind of relieved.

Both his science and reading teachers talked about the importance of telling the truth and being trustworthy.  All of the teachers talked about his "respectfulness and kindness toward others".

They all talked about his "spaciness" in class.  As his mom I know it is the dissociating.  I asked them to tap him on the shoulder when they noticed to try to help ground him in the present.

His language arts teacher knows some of his story.  He is also the one who notices it the most.  This teacher emails me a lot asking how things are going at home and asking if there is anything they can do to help.  His social studies teacher does the same.  They also continually remind him he is a good, smart student.

Somewhere those two have learned some trauma-based teaching skills and I really appreciate it.

I was pleasantly surprised by conferences.  Younger Boy was almost shocked.  It is hard for him to hear he does anything well.

This afternoon we have Younger Boy's student led parent teacher conferences.

We sat down at home to talk about them before going since last time I was COMPLETELY BLINDSIDED by what the teachers had to say.

I asked Younger Boy to think about anything they might say.  He originally said "I don't know".  That's his cop out answer when he knows you won't like the real answer.

I asked him to write down one thing he thought each teacher might say about him.

He CRIED.  He said he teachers are going to tell me he isn't trying and he isn't doing any work in class.

I asked why he thought they might tell me that.  He said it is because in class he spends the time doing the work "in his head" instead of on the paper and so it probably looks like he isn't doing anything because he doesn't use paper.

Honestly I had to fight back laughter. 

I asked him what he thought they might want trying to look like.  He said actually writing things on the paper.  Hmmm...probably a good start.

EGAD...this should be interesting.
This hearing was a status hearing for Middle Boy's case.  He hasn't complete his therapy program and is still on probation.

I was expecting us to just continue along as we had been.  Probation had recommended things remain the same, because that is what they expected Judge T to want to do.

Judge T shocked EVERYONE.  He closed Middle Boy's case.  He still has to finish therapy, but no more probation and no more court case.  As a result, there is no more barrier to having my foster care license renewed.

Sitting in court yesterday all of the attorneys were STUNNED.  They told us afterward this NEVER happens.  The judges NEVER close a case when there are still therapeutic requirements.  They NEVER go against the recommendation of probation reports.

Friday is the day they were going to make a judgment on my foster care license.  Now there is nothing to make a judgment on.

As I look at my entire foster care journey through life...especially starting six years ago with camp...I can see God's hand in EVERYTHING and his perfect timing EVERY TIME.

Yet...I still doubt.

Thank you God for this blessing.
Middle Boy has court today.  He is a MESS.

He is convinced he hasn't been doing enough and the judge hates him.  Therefore this will make it so he will have to go to a residential treatment facility.

It doesn't matter what I say.  I "don't know".  Nothing ever works out for him.  NOTHING.

He wants to have his favorite meal for lunch "just in case".

He wrote Younger Boy a note "just in case".

He sat one the couch and hugged Sophie and told her good-bye and to remember him "just in case".

I didn't want to argue with him.  He doesn't believe me anyway.

It was hard couple of hours waiting for court....really hard.
Tonight we had a family dinner.  Our family is pretty "non-traditional" but it is family just the same.  Me, Boarder, Middle Boy and Younger Boy.  We laughed a lot.  We talked a lot

After dinner we started a game of Risk.  We are going to be playing for a while.  It is pretty competitive.

I love this.  I love that we had time to do this tonight.

Thank you God for clearing every one's schedule and making tonight possible.
Boarder and his girlfriend broke up today.  They had been dating for a long time.  I think it was a couple of years.

The boys are distraught over it.  They can't understand why.  They are afraid to talk to Boarder about it, because they don't want to make him sad or mad.

I talked with Boarder about it.  I asked him if he would be willing to talk to them.  I told him I was sorry about their relationship and he could chat with me if he wanted to, but by no means should he feel obligated.

Boarder talked to the boys.  He did a GREAT JOB.  He told them that while he is sad there was something that was a core belief for both of them that didn't match up and it was very important to both of them.  For both it was a non-negotiable.  He didn't give them all of the details, but he talked about relationships.

He has been so good for our family.  God knew we needed him.
Today after therapy I had my regular consultation with the therapists.

While I am VERY ENCOURAGED by the progress we are making I can't help but be worried by some of the things we talked about.

Younger Boy is showing signs of Dissociative Identity Disorder.  This used to be referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder.  They believe the regression to being a toddler and his ability to quickly switch back and forth are early indicators.

They also believe that his alternative personality is not fully formed and that it can be stopped through continued therapy.  Perhaps more intensive therapy than we are currently doing, but stopped nonetheless.  They do think had it gone on another year or more that the other identity would have formed.

They also said that the amount of trauma Younger Boy has experienced in his life is in the top five of any that they have ever seen in their practice.  They said he is the hardest kind of kid to work with because he is high functioning yet is unable to identify his own feelings and thoughts.

However...there is hope.  A lot of hope.  Therapeutic parenting is going to play a huge role. 

Therapeutic parenting is hard, but I am lucky that it is the only type of parenting I have ever had the privilege to do.  God thought I was up to the task.  He has prepared me for it for my entire life and has given me every tool I have needed.

Now...I just need to trust in Him and his plan for Younger Boy.  I will do my part.
During the second session, after reviewing with Therapist C, Therapist D decided to take it back to the basics with Younger Boy.  He is constantly walking around trying not to get in trouble.  Spending every ounce of his energy trying to figure out what others want him to think, say, or do.  Never thinks about his own feelings and opinions...has NO IDEA what those are. more opinions in therapy.  Just facts.  Back to the basics.

We defined trauma this morning.

Trauma - an event that happens to use which causes bodily harm or upsetting thoughts

We talked about some examples. 

Spilling milk - not a trauma
Breaking a bowl and needing to get stitches - a trauma
Forgetting to do homework - not a trauma
Car accident - trauma

We talked about how trauma can give us thoughts that aren't right about ourselves.  Breaking a bowl could turn into "I'm so clumsy.  I should never use bowls.  I can't be around glass.  I screw everything up."

We talked about some of his trauma and what thoughts he might have.  He was actually able to identify a few.

His thought is "I am bad.  I am stupid.  I mess everything up.  No one should want me."

We talked about how those are stuck in his brain and getting in his way.

It seemed like he was starting to catch on.
Today we had two therapy sessions with Younger Boy...back to our normal routine.

The first session was interesting.

Younger Boy is CONVINCED he is a "bad boy" and "very naughty". 

Here's the new perception I gained from the session.  When traumatized kids have "big behaviors" they often don't know why they do it BUT they do feel guilty about doing it which is actually further trauma to them. 

At a former home Younger Boy used to urinate and defecate on the floor in the family room.  Lots of possible reasons why.  Maybe no one ever really potty trained him and he was left to figure it out himself...who knows?  Ideal behavior?  Absolutely not.  Infuriating for the caretaker?  You bet.  Further trauma for the kiddo?  Yes.  I didn't get that before.  Now I do.

Younger Boy refuses to talk about those things.  Lots and lots of things.  REFUSES.  His core belief is that he is still going to get in trouble for them.  Did you pee on the floor three foster homes ago?  No answer.  Tears.  He could still "get beat". 

He doesn't believe that he can't get in trouble for the past.  He doesn't believe that all kids make mistakes.  He doesn't believe that he is safe now.  Doesn't believe it.

All of this breaks my heart.  This stuff has to "get out of his head". 

Tonight we went and purchased Valentines Day cards for Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Grandma.

The boys must have had a light bulb moment while we were out, because when we got home they asked Boarder if he would take them shopping for gifts for their "girlfriends" and for a "secret person".  I wonder who that could be?

He was so nice about it.  I'm not sure where they went.

They both came home with small stuffed animals to give their girlfriends.  Purchased with their own money. 

I was looking and the gifts and asked a question about the one Younger Boy bought.  It is a little black puppy holding a red heart.  The red heart says "kiss me".  I asked about it.  None of the three of them noticed it.  BOYS.  We were able to cut the heart off to avoid HUGE EMBARRASSMENT for Younger Boy who was mortified.  Of course the other two couldn't quit laughing about it.

Middle Boy bought a white stuffed dog with a red heart collar.  He did inspect it pretty closely after the "kiss me" incident Younger Boy had.  It was deemed acceptable.

Now...if they just remember to give them the gifts.
Today I found out about another trip I will be going on for work.

I return from Majuro on Thursday and leave for Biloxi on Tuesday.  It will be a quick trip.  I will get home on Wednesday night. 

It will be another disruption to routine....I am worried.

Pray for God to take that worry from all of us.

Praises for putting Boarder in our lives to make this easier on all of us...except maybe Boarder.
If I didn't have the boys I would be kind of excited about my upcoming work trip.   Here's where I am going...

Majuro, Marshall Islands.  I went once before.  This is actually a picture I took from my hotel room the last time.

I will leave a week from Sunday.  I am doing the trip in the SHORTEST possible length of time.

I have a six hour meeting there.  I will be gone from Sunday through Thursday.

I will be punished by the boys when I return home...even though Boarder is staying with them the entire time and no routines have to change.

It will be a step back in attachment.

They know about the trip, but are pretending I never told them...every time I remind them.

Pray for Boarder while I am gone.  Pray the boys will forgive me for being gone.  Pray for rest for me during the trip and patience when I return in spite of being exhausted from jet lag.
Middle Boy spent the evening in his room.

I think the emotion of the day was a lot for him.  He wasn't having big behaviors and he wasn't sad.  He just needed some alone time to think.

That's okay.  It was a big day.  He knows I love him.  He knows God loves him.  He knows I am okay with whatever his feelings are...they are his feelings and he isn't hurting mine.
The visit with biological sister was good.

I enjoyed her and her fiancee a lot.  They brought their 8-month old little boy who is ADORABLE and looks a lot like Middle Boy.

Middle Boy thought he has seen her recently.  He hadn't.  The last time was when he was 9.  He is 15 now.

He got the opportunity to hold his nephew and play with him.  He got to ask questions about all of the relatives he has lost touch with.  He got to talk about his mom.

I found it interesting, because he only talks about this sister, but there are three other kids in that family.  This sister is the oldest and she is 24.  There is another sister who is 21 and brothers who are 22 and 17.  He never mentions any of them.  It makes me wonder why.

He did ask about them and looked at pictures of them.

He wants to go to the wedding.  Bio Mom is invited, but Sister says that she won't remember to come, because she is still an addict.  This sister is the only one who still has any communication.  All the rest have cut Bio Mom out of their lives.

I think we will try to make it.  These people are our family.  We are going to try to meet up with them regularly.

It makes my heart happy for him that he was able to see her.
What on earth was I thinking when I signed up to take a 7AM class on Theology on Sunday mornings?

I am enjoying the class a lot.  I was concerned about feeling "in over my head".  There has been some of that, but the people in the class are "real".  They ask amazing questions.  I'm learning A LOT.

Still though...7AM on a Sunday morning?  What was I thinking?
The rest of the day was filled with cleaning...massive cleaning.

Don't get me wrong...our house wasn't like an episode of Hoarders, but it wasn't in great shape either.

Middle Boy and Younger Boy wanted to be a team and work upstairs while I worked downstairs.  My skeptical side said that they weren't actually going to be doing anything and I would end up doing it all, but I agreed.

After about three hours I checked their progress.  I didn't willing wait that long, but I was "banned" from the upstairs.  They weren't doing bad.  I should say, Middle Boy wasn't doing bad.  He asked if Younger Boy could be moved to my "team", because he wasn't really doing anything except getting in the way.

So...Younger Boy joined me on the first level.  I kept him on task.  At one point he said "I should have helped Middle Boy more." are probably wishing that about right now.

The house looks AMAZING.  We are finished.  Nothing got crammed in unused rooms or the garage.  Actual cleaning was done.

We rock!!
Middle Boy's therapist is out of town for a funeral so we have NOTHING today...NOTHING.

I decided last night we would all just sleep in until we naturally woke up.

I was the first person 1:20PM.  What? 

Middle Boy was second at 2:45PM and Younger Boy came in third at 3:40PM.

There seems to be a shortage of sleep going around here.  I feel much better today though.
I have a new tactic which has been temporarily successful.

Some days there is just not a lot of respect in our home.  Some of it is RAD, some of it is teen boy.  Either way...not a lot of respect.

In the past I have gotten frustrated and/or mad.  Sometimes I even took it personally.

Now I just remain calm.  When someone says something disrespectful to me I simply say "I prefer to be treated with respect."  I don't comment on the demand or the comment that was made to me just simply "I prefer to be treated with respect."

So far it is working.  It stops both boys dead in their tracks.

I don't know how long it will work, but for now.  It is working.  Praise God for that!!
We are having Middle Boy's sister come to our home on Sunday.

He is FREAKING OUT about cleaning.

All of a sudden he has become Mr. Clean.  On a side note he is dressed in his all white outfit today so it kind of fits!!

He NEVER worries about cleaning.  He NEVER picks up after himself.  He thinks he does, but he doesn't.

Should be an interesting couple of days.
I hate RAD...there...I said it.  OUT LOUD.  I HATE RAD!!

Every Tuesday and Thursday Younger Boy stays after school for their tutoring program.

Every Tuesday and Thursday he calls me THREE TIMES to remind me he has tutoring and I need to pick him up. 

I have NEVER forgotten to pick him up.  I have never even been late...NOT ONCE.

We talk about it EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY how I will pick him up and he doesn't need to call me, because I will remember.  I promise.

If I don't answer he keeps calling until I do.  I "have" to talk to him at least THREE TIMES about this topic or he isn't convinced.

I want him to stop calling.  I want him to trust me.  It is turning into my issue as well, because honestly sometimes it makes me mad.  REALLY MAD.

I have talked to Therapist C about it.  I am trying to just "roll with it".  It is hard.  She told me about another kiddo who freaked out every time his mom came to daycare to pick him up, because he was convinced she was going to take someone else home instead.  They never did convince him.  That was three years ago and he is still positive she is going to forget him and pick someone else up.

I HATE RAD.  I hate what it does to these kiddos.  I hate the situations that caused it.

Father...I pray for healing...for all of these kiddos.  For attachment, for trust, and for bonds to be formed...especially with you.
Middle Boy stayed up too late last night.  Happens a lot.

When it happens he is always "sick".

The unfortunate thing about his is that when he is over-tired he vomits.

So...he was home from school, because he vomited at school.

This makes me CRAZY.

"He doesn't have a sleep issue."

He is worried about hitting the 20 days of absences and being truant.  He should be.

He doesn't see the correlation between not sleeping/"sickness"/absences.  Those are NOT RELATED and I am "making things up".

I can't wait until his current therapeutic program is over so we can change therapy programs to address some "life issues" sleep.

Until then...please pray for rest in our home.
Middle Boy has EXTREMELY low self-confidence.  EXTREMELY LOW.

His method of coping with it is by showing off and being the "class clown".  It is to exaggerate his skills.

Things like "I am one of the BEST EVER in such and such video game" and "eleven random girls came up to me and asked for a hug today".

Somehow I need to talk to him about this without making his confidence lower.

Pray for wisdom in how to address this with him.  How people will still like him if he is just himself.
On Wednesday nights we are always in a rush. 

I get home from work in time for us to leave for youth group.

Usually we have time for a quick bite either at home or while in the car on the way there.

Tonight was different.  We had some extra time so we went to dinner with Coach Z and the S, the camper I used to mentor and she mentors now.

S knows both of the boys because they go/went to the same middle school.  Plus we give her a ride home every Wednesday night.

Dinner was interesting.  They get along almost like siblings.  They all show off a little bit, but it absolutely isn't any kind of flirting.  More of a friendship thing.

It was nice to have dinner with them.  The boys got to show her "the best BLT EVER".

Coach Z...thanks for meeting us.  We had a blast.  Let's do it again some time!!
Younger Boy had turned in to the world's slowest eater.  It is beyond absurd.

We can finish a meal, clean the table up and start the dishwasher with Younger Boy still eating.

Tonight it took him FORTY MINUTES to eat a chocolate chip cookie.

I don't know what he is doing or thinking about.  It is just crazy.
A while back Therapist C and D suggested it might be best for us if we did homework at a neutral location, because then it would make our home more about connecting and relationship. 

Rarely does any form of this fit into our schedule, but tonight it did.

So tonight the boys did homework at a coffee shop while I did my homework for the theology class I am taking.

They actually did pretty well.  They stayed focused and both of them did work.  A lot of homework.  In fact most everything that was missing got done.

Middle Boy even asked if we could do this more often.

Yes, we can.  We will try to make it work.

As always happens after the survival brain meltdown there is some guilt and then the need to reconnect.

Middle Boy had a while to think.  A while to realize how over the top he was.

He came to me and said he was sorry.  Sorry for yelling and sorry for saying he doesn't need me.  In general just sorry.
I asked Middle Boy about the email from Spanish Teacher.

Wow...major meltdown.

She is stupid.  He didn't throw anything in the classroom.  He sat in his desk the entire class.

He isn't missing any work.

Tell him what work he is missing.

I expect too much from him.  He is too stupid to do the work required in high school.

He is just going to focus on Spanish and fail everything else.  EVERYTHING.  Then I can see how I like it.

He is trying.  His way of trying doesn't have to look like mine.  It can look however he wants it to.

He doesn't need help.  Only weak people need help. 

He is just fine by himself in this life.  He doesn't need me.  Not for anything...NOT ONE THING.

Today I got an email from Middle Boy's Spanish teacher.

He hasn't been turning in homework or doing the in class work.  He has also been disruptive in class by throwing papers toward the front of the room when she has her back turned.

She is going to give him a referral to the office, but wants to chat with me first.

Lucky me.
Today we only had therapy with Therapist C.  It was interesting.

I was able to share with her the story about coughing/hyperventilating/not wanting to be comforted.  She was not surprised.

I also shared with her the way Younger Boy insists on eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  All crammed into the same hour if need be.

He still isn't sleeping like he should be.  She decided to "get tough" with him.

When he came in she asked if he was tired of talking about sleeping.  He said, "not really".  She said, "Well, I am.  I am this close to recommending your mom sits in your room until you go to sleep at night.  EVERY NIGHT.  You are just doing this to be a stinker."  No remorse...just an "ok".

Then we talked about trust.  She asked about the coughing episode.  She said, "how did your mom get your attention?"  He said he didn't know.  She told him to think, because he does know.  He said, "yell?"  She asked him why on earth after I asked him to calm down and sit down and breathe in a bag did it come to me having to scream in his face to calm down.  She asked if he thought that was weird.  His reply, "maybe a little".  She explained to him how it shows that he doesn't trust me.

Then we talked about him wanting to eat breakfast and lunch before dinner on the day he woke up at 4:30PM.  She asked what he was doing at breakfast time...sleeping.  What was he doing at lunch time?  Sleeping.  When he woke up was he hungry?  Yes.  What was it time for?  Breakfast.  She asked him to think.  What is he doing on "normal" days at 4:30PM?  Getting home from school and getting ready for dinner.  Then why would he need breakfast then?

She told him she knows that if we had gone somewhere that night he would have told his friends that I "didn't let him" each breakfast or lunch that day.  He admitted that was true. 

She asked if there have ever been meals I didn't let him eat.  No.

She again showed the lack of trust.

She asked him to lean against me.  He couldn't do it.  It was AWKWARD.

Long way to go toward attachment.  Our homework.  He has to initiate sitting next to me on the couch each night for 15 minutes.
Some updates on the biological sisters of the boys.

Older Sister (Younger Boy's sister) lost the baby.  She had posted an ultrasound picture last Friday and then posted about a miscarriage a couple of days later.  Praying for her healing.

The next thing I am not sure how to pray about is Middle Boy's visit with his biological sister.  She is going to be in town this coming Sunday.  I want it to go well.  He hasn't seen her in YEARS.  Like three for sure and maybe more.  I don't know what kind of memories, triggers, or feelings it is going to bring up.  I am a little nervous for Sunday after she leaves.  Pray as you see fit regarding this.

Thanks for praying for us.
For the record...just because you don't feel well (Middle Boy) you don't have a license to be a jerk to everyone you cross paths with...just saying.
When I got home from work today I was preparing to make dinner.

The boys stopped me.  They would rather fend for themselves since I have Bible study.

Is this a reflection of what they think of my cooking?  Maybe.

I'll have to try it again tomorrow night.

No...if they would just fend for me!!
Grades were posted last Friday for both boys.

Not horrible, not great.

I sometimes wonder if Middle Boy has a complete lack of self awareness when it comes to grades.  He told me just last week he is doing "fine" in everything except CAD where he is failing.

Nope.  Has an A in CAD and is failing JROTC and Science.

He did make up his math quizzes that "weren't missing" this afternoon and turned in all missing science so he shouldn't have an F there. can you fail that?

Younger Boy is 200 pages behind in reading.  He is mad at me because the choices are he can either read 20 pages or 20 minutes per day.  I chose 20 pages for him, because it is concrete and you have to actually do it.  Twenty minutes is far more subjective.

I'm starting to hate school.
Over the weekend Middle Boy assured me it is MY FAULT he never gets to school at the time he wants to.

We agreed that we would do something different this week.

When you are ready to go you go and sit in the car.  That way there is no question about who is ready first or last. 

So this morning (as I would nearly every morning) I arrived in the car SEVEN minutes before Middle Boy.

Younger Boy's bus had already been there.

When he got in the car he remembered something and had to go back in the house.  It was something I had asked him to pack in his backpack the night before, but what do I know?

Would you believe that it is STILL my fault he isn't going to be there on time?  I forgot to tell him to get up when his alarm went off.

Shoot.  I hope I remember that tomorrow!!
My family can tell you that I hate random repetitive noises and statements.  Always have.

Today Middle Boy had a particularly bad day with this.

A ridiculous sounding whistle.  Some clapping.  Some random noises made with his mouth.

Some random sentences like "I just killed a koala bear."

Usually this is a cover for something else...what is it?  What is it?

I asked him and he doesn't know.  He "just feels like doing this."

All day today I had a toddler in my a twelve year-olds body.

He jumped on furniture.  He ran through the house.  He lay on the floor and kicked when he didn't get his way.

He stomped up the stairs. 

He refused to eat.

He was purposefully defiant.

Not a fun day.

He just didn't seem to be able to get himself in the present no matter what we did.
Younger Boy's bedtime is 9PM.

So...the logical thing to ask me about at 8:47PM would be to see if you can dress really warmly and go outside and play with your remote control car.

When I gently suggest you check the time, because you are in charge of your own bedtime you kick the wall.  You figured out you can't go outside to play with your car.

Instead of going and getting in the shower (which you are behind schedule on) and getting yourself ready for bed the "choice thing" to do is to go in the garage and hide.  That will probably make everything better!

This bedtime thing is "kind of" working.  When he is in his "most adult" self.  Today...not so much!
This morning we had a planning meeting for the teen camp I volunteer at.

I am so conflicted about this camp.

The meetings irritate me to no end every single time.  There has not ever been a single decision made at one of them.  At least none come to mind.

I'm sure the other people think I am an obstacle spotter or heartless at the meetings, but I want to think about the population we are serving.

It will never work to have some of them do something and others not.  Are you wanting a disaster?  More free time?  These kids all operate in survival brain.  Give them more free time and you are just asking for it.

At one point I actually said, "Camp applications go out in less than a month.  At this rate we are going to have to do EXACTLY what we did last year."  That's me...throwing it out there.  Blunt and letting people know what I think.

Before the end of the meeting I was texting Coach Z telling her I am done doing this.  She can cover for me from here on out.

I don't know what I was thinking...or what cause the lack of thinking.

I am enrolled in a eight week class through our church.

It meets at 7AM on Sundays.

The book is over 500 pages.  It is called Bible Doctrine.

There is 1 - 2 hours per week of homework.

I know it is going to be worth it, but GEESH...what was I thinking?
We drove around for about two hours.  Just me and Middle Boy.

The first hour was him screaming at me.  Screaming and crying and taking deep breaths.

Then he calmed down.  He felt guilty.  REALLY GUILTY.

We talked about how our relationship needs to be repaired.  How there is NO TRUST on either side.  I honestly am not sure I will ever earn his trust due to RAD, but I am working as hard as I can.  His was lost through deception and lying. 

We talked about all of the things we wish were different.  We talked about how life is never going to be perfect.  How there are always going to be things we wish we different or better.

We talked about prayer.  About praying for the big things.

I asked him if he had ever asked God to take away his anger.  He hadn't.  He said he wasn't sure he could.

I told him I believed he could take it all away RIGHT NOW if that was his plan.  I explained that it most likely wasn't going to happen that way, but God is that powerful.

I asked him for five things we could pray for as we drove. 

I prayed for us.  For our relationship.  For healing of anger.  For trust.  For motivation and understanding.  By the end we were both crying.

We'll get there.  This boy makes me fight with everything I have to build a relationship.  Thanks God for having him teach me it is worth it.
The escalation was ugly.  So ugly.

I was attempting to try to hold him accountable for three fairly minor things.  He came unglued.

He swore at me.  He told me I suck as a mom.  I am unfair.

He can't do anything right.

I should get over myself.

He doesn't have any friends.

He may as well die.

He can't do ANYTHING right.  Not one thing.

I don't love him.

He should move out.

Maybe he would have been better off if he had died during the abuse.

I don't know how to be a "real" mom.

I don't care that he is trying in everything.  He is too stupid to get good grades.

He doesn't need my help.  WITH ANYTHING.  Especially not his past.

Flooding out.  So many things. 

I have cried more tears of frustration and sorrow with Middle Boy than I have cried in my whole life.

He is so angry.
While Middle Boy was in therapy this morning I went through his text messages.  It is part of our agreement for him being allowed to have a phone.

It didn't start off very well.  He is supposed to give me the password to unlock his screen.  I had it for a long time, but he recently changed it and didn't tell me.  Not really a big deal...likely an innocent mistake.  So...I had to go in and have him unlock it.

Item two...swearing via text.  We have discussed this multiple times.  No swearing or even alluding to swearing.  It makes me ill how much of the text language contains swearing.  Not good.

Item three...repeatedly blaming things on me via text to "girlfriend".  Allegedly I told him last night he "had to go"  right now.

When he got back to the car I asked about it.

He was remorseful about changing the password.  It was an honest mistake. 

He claimed anger for the swearing.  We discussed whether you are angry or not swearing is not an option.  He apologized and said he deserved a consequence.

Blaming me to girlfriend.  He didn't see it.  Apparently that is how everyone ends text conversations whether it is true or not.  He then tried to claim that he said it because he and I had agreed he would be done texting at 10:30PM.  When I pointed out the text was sent at 11:10PM he told me it must be computer error.

From here it escalated.  In a major way!!
This morning I was catching up on the few blogs I read.

One of them asked this question:  Who is in your circle?  That circle where the people TRULY understand what you are going through?

Wow...that question hits home.  I don't know anyone with close to the same circumstances as mine.  I have some online friends who get the part about RAD and raising a kiddo who is struggling to attach.
I have some friends who are single parents.  I have some friends who are women in professional jobs.  I have some friends raising teenage boys.  My circle of people who understand it all...quite small.

Don't get me wrong.  I am so very thankful for everyone in my circle regardless of circumstance.  God put each of you there for a reason. 

Every now and then it would be nice to just have someone "get it"...all of it.

I am lucky that God "gets it".  In fact he picked me for all of it.  Sometimes it is so hard to remember it.
This morning as I reflected on the speaker last night so many things from the past year came flooding back.

I wouldn't necessarily classify my past year as "suffering", but it was hard.  In very many ways hard.

I thought about my dad and the whole situation with him.  How he went in for a simple surgery and nearly died.  More than once.  How through that I was able to clearly see the hand of God on my family. 

Moving to a new home and selling our old home.

The adoptions.

Middle Boy's emotional health.

Younger Boy's emotional health.

Starting a new division at the company I work for.

Trying to hold it all together as a single parent.

It hasn't been easy.  Some of the things she said last night spoke to me in ways I would have never understood before this past year.

Thank you God for allowing us to suffer so that we can have a clearer picture of you.
My women's group is starting a new study soon.

We have decided we are going to do a Beth Moore study.  I have done a couple in the past and they are quite intensive.

By our meeting on Monday I have to pick my "top three" choices.

Anyone have a suggestion?
Tonight I went to a women's event at church.

There were two sessions and after the first session I just really wasn't sure why I was there.

The speaker was Nancy Guthrie and she was speaking on "Holding On To Hope".

She had a lot of good points about hope and prayer.  Thoughts about suffering and why we suffer.

All things I want to reflect on...when I have had more sleep.
More "less than accurate" statements about homework and therapy homework from Middle Boy.

From my viewpoint he is making things up.  Lying by deception and omission and justifying.  In fact, if someone else was doing it he would be the FIRST to point it out.

He ISN'T doing these things.  He doesn't get why I don't trust him.  His teachers are all just idiots.
I think I have mentioned this before, but today it happened AGAIN.

It doesn't matter what time either boy gets up he MUST eat three meals a day...IN THE CORRECT ORDER.

So here it is 4:30PM and Younger Boy is ready for breakfast.  He has just woken from sleeping the entire day (hallelujah).

Doesn't matter that in about an hour everyone else in the house will be having dinner.  It is time for his breakfast.

If I suggest that he eat something small now and eat dinner with the rest of us he gets mad and pouts.  What about lunch?

Intuitively it is pretty clear that at some point in life both boys went without food or at least not enough food.

I think we are going to end up working on this therapeutically.
Finally...some rest.

Younger Boy finally fell asleep about 6AM.  He was in his bed.  Sleeping with a rattling breathing, but sleeping nonetheless.

Just in time for me to wake Middle Boy and take him to school.

I am going to have to stay home from work again today with Younger Boy.  Partially because he is sick and partially because I don't want to abandon him in the event that some attachment is forming.

Praying he sleeps the majority of the day.

Praying I get some much needed rest.
Younger Boy was up all night.  Not his usual up all night where he wakes me a couple of times, but an up all night in which I was a full-time participant.

He coughed and hyperventilated and screamed and cried the majority of the night.  He was certain he was going to die.

There was nothing I could do to comfort him.  The interesting thing is that while he didn't really want me, he kind of did.  He stood/sat/lay outside my room with his screaming and coughing fits.  He didn't want to come into my room, he didn't want me in his, and the couch in the family room was a no go.  Outside my bedroom door.  That was the appropriate place.

He can't/won't be comforted.  I felt completely helpless.  I spent a lot of time in prayer, both silently and out loud.

Praying for rest and for healing...not just physical, but emotional as well.