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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Just please tell the truth"

I can be shocked over and over again by flawless chronic lying by at least four of our children. It can be as simple as, "I didn't throw that rock" to as complicated by making stories that has everyone convinced it's true. It's like being in a movie with a shocking twist at the end. (The truth) Most of the time I can tell if most of our children are lying, usually we want the truth told either way. Sometimes a few can be so stubborn that the truth is never revealed. Sometimes the truth is revealed once caught red handed and sometimes even that won't change a lie. "I didn't do it" is a famous line around here. We've tried everything to break the endless cycle of lies. Some of our children I swear can beat a lie detector test. It's completely amazing. I am a Mother that doesn't say, "It's not my child" If anything, it is our child but sometimes their convincing lies have beaten me. I believe. I believe so much that I'm right in that horror movie with the shocking twist in the end. Every day someone is lying about something. "It wasn't me" It's becoming a problem. We've tried absolutely everything searching for even some simple truths. Not only do they lie, they will blame another in hopes whoever will take the blame. I have gone to the extreme of grounding our children to the book, "The boy who cried wolf" A book that they would have to read over and over again until there is some understanding. Some have written lines, some will just have to sit or stand until the truth is told. Missing out in our family fun. (This doesn't break the code of lies) What saddens me and what I always explain is, it's not the crime, it's the lying. It's our trust that's being broken. So when the truth is told, we won't believe. I know with a few of our children, we don't believe anything. I can't stress enough how horrible this is when you love your child but you can't trust them, you can't believe them. Just this morning, one of our sons who's what I would call a chronic liar, is lying over something ill important but it's the lie. "Sigh" Everyday. I also understand that lying is a huge attribute that comes with having FAS. (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) But I wish for a cure, an idea or strategy that can be used for parents to either learn on how to tell what's the truth from the lies or how to change the cycle of extreme convincing story telling from the child. After all, "The boy who cried Wolf" will never be believed when something is importantly true and what about their future as adults? It makes me worry. It saddens me to know I can't believe my own child. I would love to attend a workshop for parents on how to deal with children who chronically lie and on how to deal with our own feelings on not being able to believe your child. Because honestly, the more some of our children lie, the more I'm heart broken on what to do. I also know it's not about me but to become a better parent on how to deal with my own emotions over all the disappointment sometimes I feel, I need to know what I can do better. How can I help my children with this horrible trait of lying when I've tried everything? You would think it's just so simple to tell the truth, as the truth would set you free but it's not like that around our home with at least four of our children. I was awake all night thinking for a magical cure to awake this morning to more lies from one of our sons. It's completely mind boggling to me as a parent with having tears in my eyes asking for the truth and it never transpires. Writing is my release and realizing that "lies" are a part of our life; I need to either come to terms with it or solve the behaviour. I was once told, "I'm not the saviour of the world" although I would love to have our children to "just please tell the truth"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A book to read if you're an adoptive family!

A book I've been reading that Adoptive parents should read is, "Twenty things Adopted kids wish their adoptive parents knew" by Sherrie Eldridge. The twenty two chapters include;

1. Hidden losses
2. Entering your child's world
3. I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not responsible.
4. I need to be taught I have special needs arising from adoption loss, of which I need not be ashamed
5. If I don't grieve my loss, my ability to receive love from you and others will be hindered
6. My unresolved grief may surface in anger toward you
7. I need your help in grieving my loss. Teach me how to get in touch with my feelings about my adoption and then validate them.
8. Just because I don't talk about my birth family doesn't mean I don't think about them.
9. I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family
10. I need to know the truth about my conception, birth, and family history, no matter how the details may be
11. "I am afraid I was given away" by my birth Mother because I was a bad baby. I need you to dump my toxic shame.
12. "I am afraid you will abandon me"
13. I may appear more whole than I actually am. I need your help to uncover parts of myself that I keep hidden so I can integrate ALL the elements of my identity.
14. I need to gain a sense of personal power.
15. Please don't say I look or act just like you. I need you to acknowledge and celebrate our differences
16. Let me be my own person....but DON'T LET ME CUT MYSELF OFF FROM YOU.
17. Please respect my privacy regarding my adoption. Don't tell other people without my consent.
18. Birthdays may be difficult for me.
19. Not knowing my full medical history can be distressing at times
20. I am afraid I will be too much for you to handle
21. When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me and respond wisely 22. Even if I decide to search for my birth family, I will always want you to be my parents.

It's a book to buy located online or at Chapters, or reserved through Chapters.

"OK - I am selfish"

"Yawn" I always write when I'm tired. I wonder if my grammar would improve if I wrote during the afternoon? Actually that would be impossible but a nice thought. (not about my grammar but writing in the afternoon) I'm finding that when I awake, I blink a few times and the day is over! Today seemed to be one of those days. I packed a picnic and off we went swimming. The time we were home, I was bathing seven children, making dinner and finishing laundry all before 8pm! 8pm is my magical time of feeling the aching pain of my feet while being lifted off the floor. Believe it or not, from 7am to 8pm I'm on my feet. I'm not complaining. I'm the type where I can't sit down. What is nice is when I sit down to cuddle with some of our children, I get much joy out of being wanted. I know, slightly selfish. That's what this post is about. I love the interaction with my children. No offence to my husband but I would feel lonely without my children. I love the nights where my oldest and second oldest daughter's would join me on my bed to watch a movie, or watch Grey's Anatomy. All our other children would be sleeping and us older girls would make gourmet popcorn or nachos and just hang out in my bedroom together. We would giggle, talk and just be together. My bedroom seems to be the "room" Fall is coming and I'm looking forward to these evenings with our teenagers and younger adults. We even set the stage with candles. Yes, above I took a picture of a leaf. We have earlier darker evenings and the leaves are falling. Surprisingly I'm "Ok" with this. Believe it or not, our summer has changed drastically in so many ways that I'm ready to move on........back to me being selfish.......I look forward to movie nights at the theatre with our children. We take turns. I usually go with my second oldest daughter to all the sappy love movies including the Twilight series. It's a ritual we do at least once a month! I love my children and what makes me feel happiest is when they want to be with me. For back to school I've been taking two or three children at a time shopping. So it's closer to one on one. It's been fun. It's several trips but when you have a large family and you mix up your bunch from time to time, it's interestingly different. What's really funny when I go grocery shopping with five children, I will have someone always comment on how many children I have. Five children! For me, I would have to think about the past because five children now is nothing! We have all ages in our family, currently, 3,4,5,6,8,11,11,11,11,13,16,17,18,21. Basically looking at our numbers we have three sections of teenagers. Mmmmmm...... (Ha ha) I think we can do this! We are currently learning from our first batch! No kidding aside, we have lots of love here and I'm selfishly soaking it in. With one of my eleven year old daughters every night we play a game, I kiss her, she kisses me, I love her more, she loves me more more and so on. These little moments makes every day worth any struggle. My littlest daughter, she loves cuddling. She has this little moan and I know it's one of those love moans. Again, it makes my life complete. Our children have been giving me what I need most, all these little moments of "Mom" time. That I'm worth while. And selfishly this is what I need.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Value of life

Surprise! Happy Birthday to my Mother! I called my parents cell questioning their location today. While wishing a "Happy Birthday" It was my plot to surprise her showing up with one of our sons. They were camping for the weekend at a Provincial campground called Elk Falls. Elk Falls trails off the main Campbell River river called Quinsam River. It's a beautiful spot to camp. I've decided if not this year, next year we will make this one of our destinations!
We had an excellent dinner together and I met some of their good friends. I also reunited with my step-brother that I grew up with for many years. On our way home I was thinking about teenagers again. I was remembering my teenage hood. I know I've written about teenagers before although my enlightenment (brainwave) that often occurs while driving was, I need my parents more as I age. From thirteen to my mid twenties I was "Miss Independent" I'm still very independent and my own mind driven but I need my parents more as we age. If I can only explain to our teenagers about the value of life and how important it is to maintain relationships while seeking their independence. I understand it's not "cool" to hang out with your parents at that age. We completely ruin their life and their intent to party. My husband and I aren't parents that "party" with our children, so we are boring. I thought up until recently that I was a pretty cool and relaxed parent. Well....."Wrong" I'm not cool at all. I'm also perfectly fine with this title because I'm a parent that cares and thinks about their futures. I keep reminding them that it's not my future, it's theirs that they potentially harm by poor choices. It comes back to the conclusion that everyone like myself, like our teenagers need to learn for themselves. My question is, "why does it have to be a battle?" My only answer is because teenagers don't like the word, "No" If it's not their way, it's the highway. Then the highway turns out to be a long journey with many road blocks and interference. The interference is different construction workers holding up the stop sign! Workers that won't be there when the teenager is my age. Honestly as much as I understand the whole independent soul searching that teens and young adults do, I am at a time in my life where I want more of my parents. I wish the feelings I have, the understanding about the value of life could surface into our teenagers. I know they won't realize or be impacted fully until my age why family is important. Time is traveling so fast that before we know it, there will be losses. (Not just of old age) Just one day can change everything.
And what teenagers don't realize when life takes a turn, there is no mercy on how old you are when it happens. It can happen to me. I feel life is too short to be difficult. Back to my teenage hood, as much as I can write about it, I don't remember what I stressed over because it's now irrelevant. What I know for fact, the only importance for me now is maintaining relationships while I can. That's with my children, my family and my close friends. For my parents (I have four) I love them dearly and I hope a day doesn't go by with them not knowing this. What's interesting about love, there is an endless supply and we should all be using it towards each other daily. I will continue to preach to our teenagers in hopes for their enlightenment on the value of life, value of family and today was about my Mother on her birthday. A day I didn't want to miss.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We all made today special.....:)

This morning we weren't sure what our day entailed. I packed a picnic lunch and myself with eleven of our children and two dogs and went South. I wasn't sure where we were going. I drove through the drive through at Tim Horton's the wrong way apparently. I never seen so many angry people swearing at a van full of children before! It's interesting encountering these quick tempered individuals, I felt sorry for them as we turned up our music! A nice older gentlemen allowed me to budge in front of him so I wasn't the target of drive through rage anymore! I kindly paid for his order and high tailed it outta there! I still had no clue where we were going, I drove through a little town called Cowichan Bay. I never knew it existed until today! (It reminded me of Tofino in a way) We quickly stopped off at a friends house and finally ended up in Victoria, our final destination. Victoria is such a beautiful place. It was a bit tricky on how I was going to accomplish the ideas I had with our traveling animals. (The dogs) We always enjoy Beacon Hill Park, for me; it's a reminder of Hawaii with all the amazingly beautiful flowers and plants. This is where we had our picnic. Then we headed into the petting zoo. Right now they have baby piglets. In the above right picture I had to explain what the babies were doing AND why the Mommy pig was constantly oinking. Some of our children seemed concerned. It was funny. I explained they were nursing (in a more detail explanation) and maybe some baby piglets were biting their Mommy, and that wasn't very nice. This petting zoo allows your friendly canines if they don't bark or pester their animals. Our newest daughter was so happy being able to brush a goat. She was all smiles! Shortly after the farm, we left our van at the Beacon Hill Park and started walking towards the Parliament Buildings. During this time, seven of our children went in to see a Imax while the four left plus me and our two dogs sat on the grass waiting, playing on the field at the Parliaments. The day was working out......on our way back we stopped off to cool down at the tea-cup sprinkler. (Picture above left) I think it's the coolest sprinkler ever! One of our sons even washed one of our dogs off that rolled in duck poo while I was trying to take pictures! To end our day of unknowns, we went to our favorite place to bring children! Red Robin! The atmosphere is perfect. It was one of our sons birthday's recently, so while having dinner, the staff told him to stand on a chair while they sang, "It's your birthday!" It turned out to be a great day. Full of endless adventure. Our children were wonderful and helpful to help make it happen. (As it's not always positive) We have our moments where the day shortens immediately but not today. On our way home we screamed out our windows, honked the horn at our oldest daughter driving by in Victoria. It's a small world. We were home by 8pm with many "Thank yous" and comments stating, "Today was awesome Mom" My response was, "Thank you for listening, Thank you for helping" "We all made today special!" Now with silence, as I'm retiring off to bed, our oldest daughter called stating, "She heard us screaming!" That was with city traffic, different lanes, different directions in motion, some helium fed larynx's.....we were heard! A great ending to our day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Help

I recently saw the movie, "The Help" It's a story about black maids working for white families back in 1962. In Jackson, Mississippi. A white woman wanting to be a writer thought it would be a great idea to anonymously write about what it was like to be a black maid working in white families. It was a great, great, great movie! I recommend everyone to see it! I will warn you, you will cry several times. You will also laugh. It's one of the best films I've seen this year! I don't want to write about it and potentially ruin the movie but I will 100% yell, "It's a must see!" In fact I just purchased the book. For me, I found "The Help" a very powerful story. Heroic and courageous! This movie was inspiring for me because believe it or not, I used to be a shy non-confrontational woman. Now especially lately I feel it's important to stand up for what I believe in, stand up for not only my rights, for my family's. I've become a huge advocate where- ever, to whom- ever possible to educate individuals about our larger family. Also for many years now I've become more comfortable with myself. In the past I had many insecurities. With any insecurity there is a mask hiding it or who you are. I can say I was that person but with growth I feel confident of who I've become. The biggest attribute is loosing the fear. Fear that someone might not agree, might not "like you" but the reality is, "We can't please everybody" Everyone is different with different ideas on the way life should or shouldn't be. I'm one not to argue with anything but I will advocate and educate with what I know (or think) to be true in hopes to make a difference. While watching "The Help" it really touched home for me and it even gave me more moral strength then I did before! It's a must see and definitely a must read! Sven Goran Eriksson quotes, "The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure" So true.......

Sunday, August 21, 2011


It was a great weekend consisting of a multi-family dinner and having a relaxing afternoon swimming. What made it great was our company. We have some close family friends. People that I would drop anything for. (Well not anything glass!) During the course of our dinner I was popping out hill-billy sayings, basically I was resorting back to my childhood. Well I thought it was entertaining because I was referring to our family. After all we do live in a rural treed area with no landscaping. We love it this way because it's dark at night, quiet and during the day or night we can have a bon-fire, ride go-carts and quads. No one is looking down our driveway because we have huge piles of fill growing weeds, we basically don't have to worry about peepers. It's a perfect place to raise our children. In fact for my own curiosity sake, I did a little research on what a true "red neck" really is. A few facts: 1. You need an estimate before confirming your barber......mmmm one step better, I line all our children up one by one and cut their hair, into the shower and done like dinner! 2. You have flowers planted in a bathroom appliance in your front yard.....mmmm another step better, we have no flowers but dried up twigs in our front planter boxes! 3. Around here, our vacume cleaner is a multipurpose tool, it not only cleans the floor; with home-made attachments made out of straws we can pull toy car wheels out of noses and suck belly buttons clean easier then using soap! 4."And I'm a monkey's uncle!" half the time when our children tell elaborate stories! I was thinking about true hill-billies and my husband wins the prize! 5. He's one of those plier teeth pulling garage types that flutter around once in awhile like a tooth fairy. No kidding, our children have witnessed it! 6. Around here my tongue usually twists around my eye teeth and I can't ever see what I'm saying which makes me hoot and holler! 7. Shoes around here are a choice, leaving in bare feet saves time. 8. In the above picture is one of our sons birthday cakes being lit with a propane torch cause we couldn't find a lighter. 9. Waking up to the breath of not your husband but your dog! 10. When it snows, quading your children around with their sleds forget sledding hills! (Just a few examples that our friends see from time to time) During dessert there was discussion about leaving the spatula out of the pie but instead just pass the pie amongst friends, after all we're all cousins and related in some way so what's wrong with sharing!? I know I sound nuttier than a port-a-potty at a peanut festival in this post but what's a little sense of humor once in awhile? Speaking of, have you ever mistaken Cheerios for a donut seed? Me neither but my husband came home with apricots instead of kiwis one day! It's "Ok" if you know my husband and I, we have fun with each other even if it's the truth! So in conclusion of this ridiculous post, if you see me walking by in my bare feet just realize I saved at least 10 minutes of my time trying to find my pairs. AND I was recently told that it's very therapeutic to walk in bare feet, we have many pressure points that will help our posture from the feet up! My ending quotes for thought, "You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life" and "If I had to sum up friendship in one word, it would be comfort" Terri Guillemets. AND that was our weekend, comfortable with great friends.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"We're real"

It's a sad day when a child, your child decides he's not interested in having a family. What's really unfortunate being young, the decisions are very harmful for their future. As an adoptive Mother with many children with attachment disorders, different special needs and basically children easily lead down unknown rocky paths can be disheartening. After all, when my husband and I started adopting, it was not only to grow as a family but to hopefully change a child's life. To give them permanency. To make a difference. This path we've chosen to adopt isn't for the faint at heart. Sometimes when I write, I often wonder if I should share certain experiences but then I would be cheating my readers if they weren't enlightened about the adoption negatives. Adoption is exciting. It's especially exciting for adopters that have no children. Adoption isn't perfect. The system isn't perfect. In fact, nothing is perfect in life. If it was, many individuals wouldn't have a career. Children we adopt aren't perfect. I'm definitely not a perfect Mother but I dedicate my days for our children. So when I know a child is making the biggest mistake of their life, what do I do? I try to convince otherwise. Now this is where my post twists. Absolutely nothing we do or say fact children coming from care seem to know how to outsmart, outlast and outplay not only their parents, the system to hopefully, eventually seek out what they're entitled too. I'm not exactly sure what that is, usually it's financial support to independently live on their own. When I was seventeen on my own, I didn't venture to the Ministry office but I also wasn't programmed to do so either. This is where before adopting, understanding entitlement and attachment issues I believe is a must. Education is important because even with disappointment, the heartbreak, even the anger from feeling abused as an adopter, there is understanding. Now don't get me wrong, I don't understand and accept everything.....I'm human and I'm not perfect. I'm also entitled to feel. For me, even adopting an older child, waiting for months up to over a year for a placement is like having a baby. In my heart I feel like I birthed my next adopted child. I might of not seen the first step but I wanted that child like I wanted my newborn baby. I accepted all imperfections within the process. Although I did, the older child did not. This is the chance we take as adoptive parents. I always write about acceptance, acceptance from me......but when the day comes when we're not accepted, then what? It might not even stem from attachment issues, it could be from outside influences.........birth family and friends that think they know how or what adoption should look like. Even different professionals that have no idea and are detrimental to the child. It's amazing on how many individuals can step in, influence and potentially help make harmful life changing decisions with someone elses child. It's in fact mind boggling. It makes me wonder about the future........who in fact will be there? The influencers or the actual family because we don't live out of a book or out of our imaginations. We're real.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It`s been a week, welcome Friday!

I've been up to NO good. Actually I went to Seattle. My yearly shopping trip for our children. While in Seattle I went to the Pike Harbor where the famous fish throwing place resides. It was really "neat" In the above left picture is where fish is sold. When a fish is bought, they throw it to one another to be wrapped yelling. American food is plentiful and always looks sooooo good! In the above right picture is the cobblestone road where there is endless gift shops and trinkets. There was rows of flower bouquets, BIG beautiful flower bouquets for only $5-15.00! Here, a bouquet like that would be anywhere from $50.00 - $100.00! It was amazing. I'm always intrigued talking with the locals and listening to numerous amounts of street talent. I managed to get lost while looking for the I5 in the downtown streets of Seattle but there was always someone to direct me in the right and yes, sometimes the wrong direction! It was an adventure. I always have liked a great adventure! I also purchased a trinket I thought was interesting made out of St. Helen's volcanic ash. It's from the eruption of 1980. This lady makes sculptures from the materials and minerals from the earth to create mementos from this historical event. The process takes 15 steps to create each sculpture to make them stone-like and durable. SO of course I needed one! During my two day stay, I dined alone at Red Lobster. My favorite restaurant. I had appetizers and a full course lobster meal! I was slightly in heaven. Mainly my agenda consisted of shopping for our children. Shoes, shirts, hoodies, pants, under ware, coats and a dress. I'm getting the hang of finding deals. For example, Billi bong, DC, Element and Quicksilver brands starting at $2.99 for shirts, $9.99 for hoodies and as low as $7.99 for running shoes. $15.99 for winter jackets. BIG blocks of cheddar and mozzarella cheese for $12.99 comparing our price here for $26.99! It takes me a few tiring dizzy days but I find some great deals! The only problem was missing the ferry by fifteen minutes. I had over a two our wait for the next ferry then a two hour ferry ride! Now at home with everything put away, it`s been busy. We had a foster parent visit then shortly after our new dog arrived! Yin Yang is here! She`s a really nice and loving animal. That`s her in the picture above. The bottom picture with Wilbur and Yin looking out the window is cute but with a sad story behind it. When she was dropped off, we made sure she was comfortable staying with all our children. When the previous owner left, Yin has been waiting for her return. Staring out our windows. It almost brought me to tears. With adopting we completely understand the loss and grieving our children had to go through, still go through with endless healing. Watching our new dog wait for a loved one that isn`t returning is sad. It makes me think about all the children that get apprehended, then they wait in foster care for their birth parents to eventually find out, they are not returning. Then finally settling into their foster care placement to be moved again and again. For some like one of our sons, over 10 times before the age of 9! This is why adoption is so important. It means (hopefully) never moving again. For our new dog Yin, she`s been in several different homes. It will take sometime but soon she will realize we are her family and the waiting is now over. So like adoption, it`s exciting for the new adoptive parents but for the child it`s understandably unsettling until they can feel secure, safe and reassured this is home. Like our children, Yin is now home! AND after this week, it`s now time to relax with each other!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yin Yang

Here's an update on my previous post regarding a friend for Wilbur. I find it interesting when sometimes the power of suggestion actually happens. First a female for Wilbur isn't happening anytime soon. Although I received a call asking if we were interested in "Adopting" a four year old purebred Shitzu girl. The lady is a local dog groomer that rescues dogs. Well this Shitzu has been fixed, all shots are up to date, is healthy and happy. I wasn't completely convinced about the idea of an older dog. I was worried about the interaction of our dog and on how this Shitzu would be with many children. Instead of saying, "No" my curiosity became the best of me. After all, what if this dog was a great match!? With no more being said, I took three of our youngest children and Wilbur to meet this little lady. Well, well, well.....Wilbur played happily with her like they already knew each other. Some of our children interacted with no problems. This little lady is a calm, loving and beautiful dog. A dog that I can see with our family. SO we have another pre-placement visit on Sunday. This Sunday we will bring more of our children and let Wilbur play a bit longer. It does need to be a good match. It reminds me of something, how about you? Then next week, this little lady will come visit at our home! If visiting at our home goes well, we will be in placement stage. A bit of history, she loves sleeping on beds with her owner, she loves to go hiking, barely barks and does the frog dog really well! (Laying flat with her back legs out) Her ears are shortened because of previous ear pulling attacks but basically friendly to everyone! I think she's a keeper. Then we found out her name.........YIN YANG. Yes........already the jokes are in the air, the laughter on her behalf. Although for short, we have two choices, Yin or Yang. I just can't see myself yelling, "YIN YANG" across a park. Yin yang is Chinese and means two forces. It could be good and evil or feminine and masculine. One is not better then the other. You need a balance of both. Interesting, in a home years ago we owned, in our bedroom was the Yin and Yang symbol. I always thought that represented my husband and I! The yin yang symbol is traditionally black and white. The outer circle represents everything while the black and white shapes represents different energies. For example, Yin could represent dark while Yang represents light and you need a fine balance of both. Perhaps that's why my husband and I are so connected........anyways turns out our soon to be new little girl is named Yin Yang. That's if the matching process goes along without a glitch. I also know why the previous owners named her Yin Yang, she's black and white and definitely a part of this universe. For us, Yin for short will suffice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We need a "Mommy!"

We've always owned two dogs. The reason being is because when we do leave them home, they have each other for company. When we only had our Bull mastiff, he was completely stressed, vomiting inside our home until we brought home Wilbur. After that, our dogs stress was gone. Now that time has past from loosing one of our dogs, I've been thinking about a friend for Wilbur. For me, once you own a pet, you already have the responsibility therefore what's another? I know you're probably laughing because once you have three, four, five children, what's another two or five right!? I know! That's my point. Once a leap of dedication is made either to children or animals, your life is in a path where it could be easier to add then take away. For example, many people wonder how we manage everyday with so many children. Well, our days are dedicated. When we are missing even one child for dinner, I have a hard time remembering not to prepare their plate. Every time some of our children are missing, I'm developing a learning disability with subtraction. I can not grasp making less food, subtracting plates and when there is missing bodies at our kitchen table, I don't even sit there. There has been so many times where I've prepared food when our children weren't there! Like laundry, I have piles starting from youngest to oldest, when there isn't laundry for one of our children, I seem lost in my placement. Weird? Probably BUT I can add children more easily then taking away! What's really interesting, we have been spending sometime with my Mother. We will get into the van after a days adventure, my Mother will be counting children. (Making sure they are ALL there!) I keep saying, "Mom, they are all here and accounted for" I don't need to count our children, I know immediately if someone is missing. Although if we don't have our usual children that come with us daily, I have to remind myself they aren't with us. Subtracting of our family is more difficult then adding. This is an excellent trait because if someone went missing, I would notice immediately as stated above. Our dynamics change, this is what's weird. Most families with four children are cooking dinner, if we ever had only four children here, I couldn't cook dinner. There isn't enough people to cook for. For me, it would be almost pointless. We would probably go out for dinner! I also noticed that our children get lonely without their siblings, so can you imagine leaving a dog that isn't used to being alone, alone!? This is what saddens me with our dog when we leave him home. Animals are a part of our family and I would never leave one child sitting at home alone. (Well unless they were capable, old enough and wanting too that is) I doubt Wilbur would ever agree. So my thoughts lately have been on a dog. A companion. It seems to be a harder decision then adopting children. First off, should we bother? Then what breed? We aren't interested in large breeds nor yapping, snipping annoying breeds either. Wilbur is a Mini Labradoodle, his breed is loving, loyal and friendly to everyone. He barks but stops when finished. Non shedding, hypoallergenic and we just adore him. We never had him neutered in hopes for him to become a "Daddy" This is where I thought we could have the pick of the litter. Which brings my thoughts on finding a female. Know of a "Mommy" anywhere? This is what my thoughts have transpired for today! A possible search to make Wilbur babies!

Monday, August 8, 2011

No place like home (this week)

From Miracle Beach, Port Alberni, Youbou to sending our second oldest son out commercial fishing, we've been making miles. It's been nice spending time with friends, basically other adoptive family friends. We must all have something in common! (Ha ha) One thing I know is when one, two, five of our children are behavioural, it's "Ok" (I think) Every time we get together with any family friends all our children seem to get along really well. They've even developed little crushes on each other. Then others are just in love. I often wonder if our circle of adoptive family friends will become all family through marriages one day. This picture was taken at Miracle Beach, a beautiful beach where the tide never seems to move out! (Kidding) Just not that day! Although we had enough sand for everyone to play in! Then a few days later we were invited for dinner at a friends home where our littlest daughter was able to sit on a bike. A bike designed for support. Not only support but the bike latches her feet in so she automatically gets the stimulation of bike riding while it's being pushed. This is the coolest outdoor mobile machine I've seen so far! The bike above is too big for her but it gives an idea of what she needs. It will also help strengthen her legs because one day she will walk! It was so cool to see her on a bike! We have a loop that we often take our children bike riding on and our littlest daughter doesn't like following in her wheelchair. SO this bike is on our next list of items to obtain! (I've hidden her face for identity reasons above) I noticed today that our children were more behavioural then most days. Louder, sneakier and I've decided that our day trips are coming to a relaxation mode here at home. Some home entertainment, some good times with friends coming over here for dinner and truthfully, there is no other place like home. Even our children know this.......until next week where we head out camping once again! Thank you for your invites and I'm glad that we feel we could return again! That's supportive friendship!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Workers in progress

What I'm about to write may offend some young viewers. Basically any teenager. We also have five young adolescents from age thirteen to twenty one. All in which are seeking their own forms of independence. I think for most teens life becomes confusing. Each and every one of us are completely different. When I was a teenager I went through the delinquent stage. For two years my friends were more important then my family, I believed that it should be my way or the highway. I still state to this day that my older daughter saved me. Looking back on those years of "Carrie" gone wild wasn't me. It was like a hormone imbalance with the delusion I was the only person in charge of my life. Absolutely no one was going to stop what I wanted to do. Even my parents. I often like to reflect back to remind me that most teenagers seem to go through the delinquent stage, just the spectrum levels can vary between individuals. Most parents have one or two teenagers that will cause them this grief, although our odds are much higher. I don't believe this means we're horrible parents, in fact I don't believe any parent is horrible because their teenager has decided to venture off on their own. I don't believe the teenager is horrible either. It's a process that just happens and happens differently for every adolescent. I have to write as a Mother it's been difficult balancing being a caring protective parent to letting a teen learn for himself. Really there isn't anything we can do when a teenager starts deciding for themselves. Their perception is what it is and until they figure it out, like I can be a rocky road. I have compassion for the high end spectrum of the delinquent stage (what I call it) because I remember for myself how confusing life really can be. Teenagers are a "work in progress" meaning they're still figuring out who they are. For our adoptive children I can only imagine their confusion, with the confusion, their hormones and any possible special needs that can completely cloud their soul searching vision. I can only try and guide our children, continue to explain that every choice made can effect their future. Their future can be positive, bright and full of potential by believing they can do anything. We are all given a life, most teenagers don't seem to like theirs regardless of their situation. Being "adopted" can be an excuse for teenagers to use although what they're not realizing is, this is a good thing. Adoption. They were one of the lucky children to move out of a temporary situation such as foster care. There is so many children in need of an adoption placement. When I attended a seminar on Permanency for Youth, it made having a family that much more important for me. It saddens me to know that teenagers age out of foster care, are on their own and they don't know where their next Christmas will be. For me, fine.....a young adult can live on their own. (Try it) BUT they will always need a family. These extreme adoptions that sometimes happen, meaning adopting a young adult makes sense. It's not just about their childhood. Extreme adoptions from what I understand is giving a already independent adult a family. So he/she knows where Christmas will be every year. Where any celebration, injury or support can be called upon. Even visiting a familiar face without question. I know for our teenagers there will be different situations, different levels on the delinquent spectrum and definitely so. I do understand but I will always as their Mother remind them about how their choices can impact their life. That, I believe is a caring parent dealing with their little workers in progress. Hopefully like I did, like most individuals, those hard confusing teenager years become learned lessons that they can preach with their own children. Until then I can only have faith that most of our children will get through the adolescent years without a huge hitch pulling them down an unclear path.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A day it was

From Monster trucks, racing evenings, boating, caving, to concerts to beaches, we've been busy! This morning we left at 8am catching the 10am Denman Island ferry. We thought we were making excellent time until we stopped suddenly at the Hornby Island ferry. We waited until noon for the next Hornby Island ferry. I asked an employee why? He explained they were cutting costs by cutting back ferry trips. "Seriously? After it cost me $153.00 to get to our destination!" there was nothing to do but wait patiently. Finally arriving to Tribune Bay, a place I call the Hawaiian Island of BC! A beautiful bay where the sand is white, the water sparkles blue and boaters come in to dock. Our children played in the sand, collecting clams and swam. After our picnic, we were getting ready to go and I over heard a family next to us say they were from our community. It turned out they were another adoptive family and their daughter was going to Kindergarten with our son come September! Amazingly small world! After the beach we went over and hiked around Helliwell Park. A park with bluff views! While there we decided to frolic in the long grass taking pictures. Leave it to me, I love taking pictures! Our children sometimes roll their eyes at me..........but my response is, "You will want these pictures one day to show your own children" (In the above right picture is a picture of one of our sons) It turned out to be another great adventure. On our way back we stopped for ice cream for dinner then returning home for pizza for their snack! Our children had a kick out of that, after all; it's summer. Who says ice cream for dinner is wrong!? Now topping our adventures it's been nice to see most of our teenagers with us. Our second oldest son has been enjoying all our travels, now heading out commercial fishing with my Uncle. Good for him! While he travels by boat, we will travel by van almost anywhere! Next? Now that is the mystery question! But for now, I'm off to bed! I'm surprised I can see to write anything........I've told our children that their back to school question from Teachers, "What did you do this summer? better be LONG!" I can hear it......."I did nothing, my summer was boring" mmmmm mmmmm and I'm Charlie Brown!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Traveling Gypsies

The last day of July we ended up in Tofino. After spending many hours at Long Beach surfing the waves and having a picnic, we ventured off to Ucluelet. There is a really nice West Coast trail walk out to the lighthouse and back. All our troupers made it there and back! For me, the views are always breath taking and it reminds me that I'm happiest outdoors! Sharing these experiences with our children is even better. I know their appreciation is limited but I truly believe they will develop this same love I have with nature, given these childhood experiences. When our children are adults I'm most positive some will revisit areas with their own children. Nature always amazes me. During our trip to Tofino and Ucluelet my Mother joined us. Believe it or not and like many others, my Mother hasn't experienced our own backyard! Vancouver Island! So during her two weeks holidays, she wants to join us, "The traveling Gypsies!" BC Day was celebrated at the Horne Lake caves. We reserved a family tour, 90 minutes of going beneath the earth. Did you know there are over 1600 caves discovered on Vancouver Island? We had an awesome tour guide called, "Cave Dave" who was very informative during our caving adventure. When we turned off our helmet lights; it was completely black. There was no focus adjusting, no shadows, we were below the "Twilight zone" where there is no natural light. It was really "Cool" A place I could probably sleep much better except for the drip, drip of water forming calcite. (Beautiful crystal formations) We took all our older children plus a boyfriend into the darkness, it was a great BC Day and we wouldn't have wanted it any other way! Now after a days rest (Grocery shopping & Laundry) we're off to Hornby Island. Another little favorite spot of natures finest, then who knows, I'm thinking tee pee camping! Because I just found out that tee pee camping exists only an hour away! Now that would be an experience! We will see, if not, reservation ideas are already forming for next summer!