Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fresh Start . . .

(my) Tattoo by Zeke Edwards @ New Republic Tattoo Fort Wayne, IN

I have read numerous blogs lately about starting your kid's day fresh each day.  One was a question asked on Smiles and Trials, and four others were mommas opining that giving kids a fresh slate daily was a difficult task.  A couple were even questioning whether it was possible or a good thing.  

This is something that I wholeheartedly believe in for a number of reasons.  The most pressing reason is that I am selfish!  I want that clean slate for myself as well!  I make mistakes.  I get frustrated with myself.  I am the first one that needs to forgive myself.  If I allow my self a clean slate to start each day, then why can't I give it to my children?  Of course we need to start fresh. There is no need to revisit and stress over past decisions.  Wishing that we could change the previous days events is not getting me anywhere.  I need to move forward and make new and better decisions that allow me to move forward instead of looking back.

Forgiveness is freeing. There is something about a good night's sleep that allows me to wake up renewed and see things in a different perspective.  It allows me to distance myself from the trauma and look at it with new eyes.  It is liberating to take that eraser and wipe clean the cobwebs and the stress from the day before and look at things with a new and bright hope.  It allows me to drop the chains that bound me to the "crap" of the day before and embrace day of new possibilities.  I can better process what happened the day before it I allow myself some distance from it and look at it in an unemotional state.  For me it is not enough to JUST forgive, I must also let  go of the pain, frustration and/or drama it cost me in order to fully embrace the future.

I believe it is what God does for me.  I believe that the blood of Jesus wipes away my sins.  I believe that if I am freely given that grace then it is my responsibility to grant it to others. My children make their own decisions just as I do.  Their sins are no greater than mine.  We should be willing to grant that grace.  It serves no purpose to hold on to the crap from the day before and allow it take up space in your heart.  Allowing this just gives anger and resentment a place to grow.

In the case of my son, he is "broken".  The early trauma he experienced was life changing.  Even if he did not have prenatal brain damage due to alcohol consumption while pregnant, the trauma he experienced is enough to rock anyone's world.  Yes he makes his own decisions.  Yes, sometimes they are deliberate.  Yes, sometimes they are made to hurt others.  Is he capable of not making those choices? Maybe.  But each day should be a chance to prove it is possible to make better choices.  If I don't believe he is capable of that, how is he supposed to believe he is capable of that!

I have been on a journey recently and have taken classes in Reiki.  I just finished my second  certification and will be continuing my education and receiving a Master Reiki Certification.  The Reiki principles have resonated deeply within me and I have embraced them wholly.   They are :

Reiki Principles
Just for Today, Let Go of Anger.
Just for Today, Let Go of Worry
Just for Today, Do your work honestly.
Just for Today, Be Kind to all Living things.
Just for Today, Give Thanks for your many Blessings.

If you would like to know more about Reiki and energy work, you can visit Reiki.org  or Reiki for Chistians.
For me, Reiki is about pulling strength from God and allowing him to work through me for the greatest good.  It is not about me, it is about being in tune with that energy and allowing God to use me as he wishes.  It has given me a peace and a sense of oneness with God and myself.  It has definitely made me look at each moment in the here and now and not to focus on past anger and worry.  I have to remind myself daily that worry has no place in my present.  Giving that  clean slate helps dismiss all that previous garbage and ocus on the present.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good times . . .

Adoption . . .

Adoption is on my heart today.

I read a post on the Livesay's blog that talked about the work they do with Heartline Ministries in supporting mother's in Haiti and helping them raise their children.  In that post it said this:

"The Heartline prenatal program exists for a number of reasons; among those reasons is a desire to reduce the number of orphans in Haiti. The program seeks to achieve that by reducing the maternal mortality rate in Haiti and also by encouraging mothers that they can raise their own children and that material poverty doesn't need to mean placing a child in an orphanage."  
Last month Tara posted something very similar (I am too lazy to find it right now) and it has been on my heart ever since.   I struggle with "adoption".  I struggle with the term "orphans" being tossed around. I have a love hate relationship with adoption and all it entails.

So here is Sheri's Adoption Random Thoughts :

1.  I hate that Dustin lives with brain damage due to his mother's choices.  I hate that he was abused by her boyfriends.  I love that I can give him a home and love.

2.  I love that he is forever part of our family, but I hate that his birth certificate says I birthed him and does not reflect his parent's names and his original name.

3.  I hate that he is torn between loving us and wishing he was with his "real mom".  I hate that he has to make that distinction and I hate that I am involved in that triangle. I wish he didn't have to be ripped from his family either.  I love that he is safe and cared for.

4.  I love looking at him and seeing the child we took in 11 years ago, but I hate looking at him and not knowing what he looked like as a baby.  I hate missing a huge chunk of his life and I hate that I cannot share that with him when he asks.

5.  I hate knowing that there are people in this world who have a HUGE hole of grief in their heart that he once used to occupy.  I hate that his grandmother died without ever seeing him again.  I hate that our adoption has to be closed due to mental health issues.  I love that our extended family looks at him as one of our own and makes no distinction between him and the other kids.

6.  I hate that children have to sometimes be removed from their families.  I hate that parents can't make better decisions. I hate that sometimes their illnesses make it nearly impossible for them to raise healthy kids.

7.  I hate that people think that LOVE is ALWAYS enough.  Sometimes it is not.

8.  I hate that some people think that I am selfless and should be praised for adopting.  I hate the phrase "God bless you for it, I know I couldn't do it."

9.  I hate Early Trauma and what it has done forever to my child.  I hate being a part of that trauma.

10.  I love the community that I have joined as an adoptive parent and with a kid of early trauma.  I don't know how I have lived my life without them in it.  I am blessed.  I am a better mom because of them.

11. I love that my husband and I parent as a team and work together to tackle this daunting task. And in the same breath, I hate that we have to "tackle" this task.

12.  I love that my bio kids are much more tolerant of differences and I hate that my bio kids are exposed to much more trauma than necessary.

13.  I LOVE my child and I mostly HATE his behaviors.

14.  I love that I have no regrets.  I hate that I even have to think about that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Class of 2012 . . .

Dustin is a senior this year in school.  He will attend school until he is 22 years old, but he will receive a certificate of completion this year.  He attends a Functional Skills Class that serves moderately mentally handicapped kids.  They work on the skills he will need to participate in society as a whole.  He can make change, he can tell time, he knows the difference between men's and women's restrooms.  He is only reading at a prekindergarten level, but he can decipher a basic grocery list.  It is a program that has been successful for him.  I am not certain whether he will participate in graduation ceremonies, but I took his senior pictures today.

Johnny Appleseed Festival 2012

 Our favorite part of the Festival . .  Sassparilla
 My boys with their bottles filled.
The Sunday afternoon crowd