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Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Adoption is survival for all"

This morning I was reflecting back over the span of the last ten years of our adoption journey. At the beginning or our journey we thought, "What a wonderful path we've chosen" However our path raised concerns and questions from our friends and family. We quickly realized we weren't receiving the positive and "congratulation" comments that we initially thought we'd receive. From there adoption wasn't so positive anymore. We stopped telling people that we were in the adoption process. Eventually our life path became hazed over with a blanket of fog. Something that we wanted to celebrate with others became a quieter transition. With time, and every adoption, our journey became an explanation. We lost friends, some family became distant and what we thought was a celebration wasn't anything at all. Only other adoptive parents know the feeling of waiting for their new child/children. It's a roller coaster of emotions and as an adoptive parent, you hope that your new child/children are accepted as if they were birthed with the nine months notice. I've personally experienced this not to be the case. Mostly I understand; hence why we transitioned quietly. As our family grew larger we noticed more distancing from individuals. We even received phone calls from other parents stating they didn't want their children playing with ours. Again, I understand. We are not like the general population. Adoption? Some people don't know the difference between adopting and fostering. A large family? What!? Why!? How could most people understand our journey? How could they understand our children's behaviors? Most people haven't heard of attachment disorders and FASD. What is that!? Why doesn't some of our children understand the simple concepts of cause and effect? Why have we had teenage runaways? Why are we so overly involved? Of course other parents don't want to associate with our children, - with our family. It is a risk. It must be the adoptive parents? Perhaps the home life with so many children is understandingly chaotic. However people need to understand that before we adopted our children, our children were already damaged. If it's not from brain damage, trauma, it's from continuous loss causing other disorders. We are left trying to pick up all the pieces, and honestly like a puzzle, some pieces are just lost. Adoption is a loss for every child being adopted. It might be an exciting time for us adoptive parents growing our family, it might be very exciting for the adoptive child however with time, that raw loss from their past resurfaces. So I get why some friends and family don't celebrate adoption. I get why other parents don't want our children to play with theirs. Why we don't get many invites but it doesn't change the fact that it's very sad sometimes to witness. I've written this before and even after ten years, with as much experience and knowledge that I have, it is sad how adoption can be so isolating in many different levels. If you're interested in adopting, you need to educate yourself not only through the adoption education course but through other adoptive families experiences, so you know without a doubt what you're getting yourself in for. 
-Loss of friends.
-Possible loss of your own family
-Judgments
-Behaviors you've never dreamed from your children
-Isolation
-Understanding time doesn't cure all. Adolescents is when attachment issues become present, if you haven't already experienced it at a younger age. 
-Understanding love doesn't cure all either.
-There is no such thing is a closed adoption anymore. We have had some closed adoptions for several different reasons, however the internet (social media) has changed this. As soon as your child becomes independent and searching for answers, regardless what you do - they will find their birth family. If you're told you're going to have a closed adoption with no access to birth family.....that isn't 100% correct.  
With our experiences I can tell you that love isn't enough. You can not change your adoptive child. There is no perfect child. If your proposed child/children have no special needs that doesn't mean there isn't a risk within their future.
Mmmm.....I guess this concludes onto why some friends and family aren't celebrating, and can't understand onto why we would choose this life path anyways!? How does a family like us succeed? Prevention. Patience. Understanding. Education. Forgiveness. Most importantly an open mind and heart. Perseverance. Recently I was speaking with this other experienced adoptive mother with a large family and she agreed that the adoption world is still a foreign identity. Our supports come from other experienced adoptive parents, and not all adoptive parents are experienced like we are. I recently read an article about raising a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, called, "I didn't start the fire" by Shelly Calissendorff, another adoptive mother. (From the Institute for Attachment and Child Development) Her article touched my heart, feeling the same while understanding that us too won't give up trying. As written above, maybe adoption isn't something to celebrate, it's a dedication to hold on too with the people that are willing to accept that it isn't as simple as a birth, it's a fragile path with rocky unknowns making us adoptive families unique, unique because we are surviving regardless if you support us or not. Please read below.......Shelly Calissendorff  "I didn't start the fire"

I was out walking in my forest one day and discovered a fire. I was the first one there and was all alone. I started throwing water on it as fast as I could. I called in for help – lots of help. The help would come and go and some of the helpers worked hard and did a great job. Some of them tried to help and although well-intentioned, used the wrong techniques and actually made the fire worse.
I put on fire-retardant gear, studied books and websites about fire, and talked to experts on forest fires. I got better at fighting the fire and made some progress. But then a big gust of wind would come along and feed the flames. I called fire jumpers—experts–and begged them to help. They told me no. Finally I walked around to the other side of the fire and found some other fire jumpers who said they would help. I rejoiced and we all got to work.We may have all come in on different-1 I stayed with the fire every single solitary day and fought it day and night for seven years. I got singed. I inhaled smoke and got ash in my eyes. I fought it and fought it until I was physically exhausted and it nearly killed me. I was forced to take a break from fighting the fire to literally save my own life. So, I stepped back and let some of the other people I had called in “take over.” I went back to the fire a few times each week to help out as best I could. Yet, I was still trying to recover from the injuries I sustained when I was there every day. I was still weak and couldn’t help out with the same fervor and dedication that I once had. The fire jumpers started asking me questions about why the fire had grown larger and hotter. I told them that as hard as we were all working, the fire still continued to burn. It kept finding more fuel. This was a fire like most of us had never seen before. We could only make educated guesses about how to fight it. The very first helper I enlisted stayed by my side for six years and finally just couldn’t take the heat anymore. He felt he had no choice but to abandon the fire. He was strong and dedicated for six years. He took several other helpers with him when he left. That hurt our efforts but he had to do it. He couldn’t take the heat and felt he had no choice. The heat bothered me too but I said to myself, “Too bad – suffer. This is important.” There are a limited number of fire fighters. There’s a limit to how much funding we can get to pay the fire jumpers. They don’t work for free for the most part.
Whatever affects one directly, affects-3Some of the help I brought in found more help and brought them to help too. One of their helpers started asking me questions and accused me of making the fire worse because I took a break to save my own life. She said I was making the fire worse because I wasn’t there every day fighting it with the fervor and dedication she thought I should. She didn’t know the whole story.
Before long, the fire jumpers who came in to help told me they wanted me to leave the fire fighting and never come back. I was upset. After all, I had made lots of progress. I brought in cutting-edge fire fighting equipment and was more dedicated to fighting the fire than anyone. I stayed with the fire far longer than anyone else. Yet, they wanted me to throw in the towel and let them figure it out without my help. They actually insisted I leave! They said they had a plan for putting out the fire—or at least for maintaining it, but they said they had seen me fan the flames! They said I was making the fire worse!
Yes, there was a new lead firefighter who was dedicated to putting it out and she had done a great job for a year and a half. But she wasn’t there in the beginning. She didn’t find the fire or nearly die trying to put it out. If it wasn’t for me, none of them would be there working to put out this fire—all of them were there and dedicated to this fire being extinguished because of me.
I spent thousands of dollars of my own money trying to get help to the fire. I even neglected my friendships and my marriage and lost my house to fighting this fire. I gave until I had nothing left to give but kept going back to help. Some days I had to crawl or limp to get there, but I did it. Some days I had planned to be there and had to apologize and opt out because I was just too ill from the long-term injuries I had sustained fighting the fire. I knew I was too weak to be of any help and figured the effort would be better off without me in the way. And yet, I was criticized mercilessly for being late some days or for not being there at all some days. The helpers blamed me that the fire continued to grow and get hotter, even with all the help I brought to fight it.The time is always right
Some people said that I knew about the fire and took responsibility for it.  They said I should be ashamed of myself for not staying with it every single day. Yet, I had no idea what kind of a fire I had found. I had no prior experience putting out fires. But I learned as I went and became a great fire fighter. And still the fire was bigger than me!
I DID accept responsibility for this fire. I could not have known how big or how hot it would get. I would never have guessed that some of my recruited helpers would actually accuse me of making the fire worse and ask me to walk away from it. I am still dedicated to putting out this fire!
I love the trees and the plants and the flowers and the rivers and the animals that live beautifully right where the fire burns! I can’t walk away! I won’t walk away. I never fanned the flames. After seven years of full-time, unrelenting dedication to fighting this fire, how could I possibly even think about making it worse? I haven’t the slightest idea of doing so. I felt horribly guilty about having to take a break!
Even though I didn’t plant the forest where the fire was started, it was given to me. The forest entrusted me for its care for as long as I live. It’s the most beautiful forest I have ever seen. I love everything about that forest. I worry everyday about how the fire damages the beautiful forest. I refuse to let the fire totally destroy it. I will keep recruiting,  bringing resources, and proving my dedication. I will not stop until every single fire jumper knows that I am this forest’s number one advocate. I will not waiver even though it hurts to be judged, to have assumptions be made about me, and to be told to leave. One way or the other, I will persevere. No matter what.
It’s as if they think I started the fire. They know I didn’t, but I get treated like an arsonist anyway—I guess because most of the forest fires they’ve come in contact with are started by arsonists. That may be true, but it doesn’t make me one. I’m innocent. I found the fire that somebody else started. I wish they’d stop treating me like an arsonist—I haven’t yet figured out how to convince them that I’m not to blame for this fire. I will not give up trying.

Friday, January 23, 2015

It can start now!

"I don't know how you do it" is a common statement I receive. As I look out the window it's pouring rain, it's windy and dark. It's been awhile since I've been outside. When I think about "How do we do it?" I think about the outdoors. Every one has something they enjoy and regardless if you have one or sixteen children, allowing yourself to enjoy what you're passionate about every day for at least one hour, you can do anything. I completely believe this. I live it. My husband doesn't get "cabin fever" like I do....he just needs his garage time. I however love exploring, I love nature, hiking and traveling. It doesn't have to be extravagant, it could be exploring in my own backyard. How are we managing with our littlest daughter's recovery? It's challenging on a daily basis, it sometimes feels like an isolation, and confining us to our home base. When our daughter screams during movement and physiotherapy (that we have to provide) it can be emotionally draining. I've learned to become strong knowing that everything is happening for a reason, it's to enhance our daughter's life. I know for a fact I was given this path because I am strong enough to lead it. If I'm personally having a "moment" I know that's all it is. I'm sharing because I know individuals that are consumed by their "moments" Those moments are then stretched, it will last for days, weeks, months and sometimes even years without conclusion. I have been faced with many scenarios within my life where I thought I couldn't forgive, or I thought I was stuck within that moment and it was never going to pass. It won't if you can't move on while finding that peace within yourself because it's only up to you. I've learned that we can't change "Bob" we can only change ourselves. We are raising twelve more children out of sixteen and I know in my heart that we will have some challenging times ahead but I will be approaching them differently. Meaning you can only allow yourself to put so much energy into someone, or something and if it feels like a endless battle, it's time for that person or situation to learn the hard way by their own mistakes while stepping back rejoicing and refocusing on you. If you're not strong in your own mind, body and soul then you're not good to anyone. This is how my husband and I do it. We've learned to live in the now, to do the best we can and from there we emotionally let challenges subside because it doesn't last forever. 
Honestly.....I try not to complain. I share my "moments" but that's all they are. I feel determined to raise our children with a more active, and responsibility approach (on their part) in hopes when they become adults they have had the fundamental skills to live successfully, if it doesn't happen, we as parents didn't fail either. One of my main conversations (almost daily) is you have to take responsibility for your own actions. Growth doesn't come from stubbornness, and a refusal to change. If you want to be successful in your life - you have to have that dedication "adding the action" to achieve it, and your life will fall into place. This is the same for any of us.....this is the same thought process and all the answers I can give to someone when they state, "I don't know how you do it" With your challenging moments remember it's only a moment, it's just right now and nothing lasts forever. Find your passion and treat yourself daily with it. For your future - there is no excuses, the past (the moments) doesn't define you. With dedication, determination, action and perseverance you can have an amazing successful life. It starts with believing in your own power that you can get through anything, and accomplish the impossible. It's never too late.... your thoughts and beliefs can change now and you'll become unstoppable in a positive way for your life and others!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Please come to the MGM for Judy's 70th on Feb 21st!

Being home is so much better and now our mission is to have our daughter feeling spectacular! However it's going to be a hard journey with Physiotherapy. It's definitely not for the weak at heart......and our daughter is a strong little girl - Mommy and Daddy are learning through her! Now what does a little girl need that would help her go anywhere!? A stroller extraordinaire specially designed for her! With creating "Emily's Angels" our family has collected $3500.00 making tiny shell angels and shell trees! "Yay" Our goal is $5000.00 so we can have Emily's stroller adapted just for her with all the bells and whistles. This little girl deserves to experience life with no limitations and that's our mission! SO.........

 I wanted to remind every one that on Feb 21st at the MGM in Nanaimo Judy is celebrating her 70th birthday party and has dedicated her special occasion to help fund raise for Emily. It's a birthday stroller-fun-raiser party! There will be live music, dancing, a silent auction and a dinner menu for children and adults. The party starts at 4 pm. If you're wishing to attend, this is a RSVP party. Please RSVP Judy at judithkarlson@yahoo.ca or phone 250-933-5839.We hope to see you there! And as Judy always states, "Wishes do come true!" 


"I believe with the power of action anything can happen - Me"

Friday, January 16, 2015

WE ARE HOME on day 11! Here is some notes that I wrote during our hospital journey........

I've written this post at night, usually in the dark completely exhausted beside my daughter's hospital bed. I didn't have access to the internet to post any updates except for my phone. I wasn't going to try and write a blog post over my phone being exhausted with one eye open. So this post is an overview of the past week, not edited, lots of details and thoughts are missing, just a few notes I would write at night when I could. Now that this is posted – it means we are home and our daughter's recovery begins......”

Day before hospital:
Heading to the hospital early was not only a great idea, it turned out to be a great adventure. We visited friends along the way. My daughter and I went bowling, we went out for dinner and we walked around the beautiful lit Parliament Buildings. The Parliament Buildings were still lit magical for Christmas. I've never seen the Parliament Buildings lit for Christmas, it was a nice touch.
Emily's biological great grandmother came over from the mainland and she spent a few days with us. I truly enjoyed getting to know her better. She was a great support and clearly loves Emily lots. (Below are some pre-hospital pictures of Emily and some selfies of us both before the big surgery day)



Day 1:
The first big moment I had was when I accompanied our daughter to the OR room. I stayed with her until she fell fast a sleep. If you haven't experienced bringing your child to the OR, it's definitely one of those moments where you feel you're handing your child's life over. Watching your child take their last breath is what it looks like. I left understandably in tears. Approximately five hours later I saw our little girl in ICU. ICU (Intensive Care Unit) is a daunting place. We were there for two and a half days. However it was the best place for Emily to be. During Emily's ICU stay my father surprised me from Campbell River. My heart raced when I saw him. I guess a 42 year old needs her parents too! Emily also had two more visitors that we adopted into our family. A Grandma, and an Aunt. Adoption can take all forms. We don't need a piece of paper to legally extend our family! (Below is Emily in ICU and Grampa Gary's surprise visit)


Day 3: (I think) Day 2 – visitors above in ICU
They had to move Emily out of ICU early due to the lack of beds. This transition went sideways. They had to take her off of the epidural pain management and transition her to morphine. She started hallucinating, screaming, yelling, crying and she became combative. I've never seen her like this before. They had to sedate her until she fell asleep. This was my moment two. We were asked to leave. I cried. Great Grandma took me down to the cafeteria where I sat and rejuvenated with a peppermint tea. Also on day three Emily began a fever. She also started heavy upper body movements and facial twitches. I watched these movements happen all day. Every time I seen a new doctor, or a new nurse on shift I would ask, “What is causing this!?” Medication! Side effects! “Is this trauma and stress related!?” Finally approximately fourteen hours later it was confirmed Emily was having ongoing seizures. This was my next moment. Moment three??? I went outside and cried. I couldn't help to think about how I just sat there watching her having seizures. What an idiot! I just wanted to scream. Yell. Swear. Start an another earth quake during this moment. It was a mixture of many emotions. After having this temper tantrum in my mind, it was over. I was good. I accepted and went back to my daughters bed side.
Day 4:
Emily was still having seizure like movements. She was still struggling with a fever. She hasn't eaten nor has had any fluids. The tests began. How am I doing? Honestly, I was tired and overly emotional. The moments that I have come and go. At least I was still in control as much as everything was out of control. “Momentary breakdowns” I call them. I started thinking about how I was grateful that in the light of everything, things aren't any worse. I am strong. My daughter is strong. During the morning of day 4 while sitting beside my daughters bedside waiting for tests to begin, I looked outside the window. I never pay attention to the sky very often. The sky was filled with a light layer of clouds. I could see glimpses of blue, then off to the right I could see a rainbow above the hospital. I thought....maybe a sign!? Regardless it filled me with peace. A new day. My heart felt relaxed. During day 4 some tests came back. The EGG was good. She does have a UTI infection but controlled with medication.
Day 5:
Happy Birthday to me! I'm now 42. My husband came down to visit. He delivered cards from our kiddos. It was an emotional day for Emily and Daddy. Emily cried when she saw her Daddy and Daddy was strong holding his in. Unfortunately throughout the day Daddy witnessed a broken IV, blood everywhere, plus witnessing the diaper changing where Emily is propped up on her side. (She screams) Plus the transfer from her bed into her chair is amazingly hard. It was hard for Daddy to see. For me, in an eery way I've come accustomed to the challenges. Day in, day out and throughout each night I'm with our daughter nursing her. I was once this emotional mother, now I've become this stronger mother more in control of her emotions. Unstoppable – at least in my mind most of the time I think I was. When Daddy left it was even harder. Emily was very upset all night. (Below I'm holding up a beautiful birthday card with all my children's pictures and wishes on it) 


Day 6:
On day six some of the tests came back positive for Ecoli. Ecoli was found in Emily's urine. So they had to find medication that would be compatible with the seizure medication, and pain management. They pulled me aside to explain that if it spread into her bloodstream it would be become serious. So that was the next test. During day six my sister and a long time friend visited. During the evening on day six, one of our EA's visited. (Now a friend) Having visitors is so nice because it breaks up the days for me. Days are very long in the hospital and it feels like an isolation. When I leave my daughter's room for even ten minutes, I am surprisingly reminded that there is a world out there. There is people! We have been at the hospital for one week, and in a weird way not only have I become accustomed to the hospital, it feels like we've been living here forever. Forgetting that the world even exists sometimes. To end day six, Emily was growing a new super bug but the antibiotics should curb this.....it's from ESBL. A prolonged hospital stay.
Day 7:
It was like a party in here. A Paediatrician, some residents, nurses, an OT, PT, a Dietician and the pain management team came in explaining that Emily has one of the most resilient Ecoli UTI's and while picking up that super bug from ESLB that we had to stay at least another five days because she needs to stay on heavy IV antibiotics. (My apologies if I'm not making any sense) I am exhausted and I am writing this beside Emily's hospital bed in the dark. I do feel optimistic and positive today knowing that everything is getting figured out and for me, just hearing maybe another five days was music to my ears. I thought I would be upset – however I know in my heart while I write that this is already a memory, and we are closer to home to start Emily's recovery. During day seven, Emily and I played with toys. Well...I played with the toys while Emily laughed. It was joy to my ears. A wonderful lady by the name of Cindy came by today delivering food. She lives in Victoria and we only met a few times before. I had another moment. I don't know what number moment this is, however it was a good one. I'm just in “awe” of all the support we have received from others. “Thank you”
Day 8:
We are in better spirits. Emily was in her wheelchair more and we circled the Paediatric unit numerous of times. Every day is an improvement. Every movement is a challenge however I'm starting to see glimpses of that sparkle our daughter has. When changing her bandages, we noticed that her right hip incision has opened up. Hopefully (fingers crossed) that no infection starts. While Emily is happier and seeming to feel much better I'm hoping signs of home are in our near future. (In this picture below we were very exhausted)

Day 9:
Night of day 8 seemed endless and day 9 started out rough with blood work and the lack of sleep. Then they had to change her IV to a different hand because her vein was tired in the opposite hand. Emily also had her first real sponge bath lowered in a lift. Then we were allowed to venture off the Paediatric floor so we went shopping at the gift shop. Shortly after we went and visited a friend that just had surgery and was located in a different area of the hospital. I even managed to have a shower. There is a parent room located on the ward. I've come quite comfortable walking around in my Pajama's and helping myself to whatever we need. It's a weird feeling - feeling comfortable, like we've settled in. I even climbed into my daughter's bed where we took selfies. What a roller coaster of events and emotions this has been. I have to say, it's one of the hardest experiences I've been through. And believe me, I've been through many. Now onto Day 10.
(Reflection on night 9 - “Broken smiles” It was so difficult for our daughter on so many levels. Every day there was a new challenge. Even replacing the IV was an attempt after an attempt. A simple diaper change is a huge ordeal. As her mother I stood by her side remaining strong with a smile on my face. Inside I had broken smiles. I kept wishing, “Please let this be the last attempt with that IV site!” I felt like I was begging inside all the time. After every ordeal my daughter would politely say, “Thank you” in her petite afraid little voice. I knew that her “Thank you” was her hope everything was over. Gently stroking her hair, while telling her it was “ok” I knew it was never really “ok” It just wasn't. Every day she would smile. Every day her smile became broken as mine did inside. It was challenging for me to know what was happening next while she innocently trusted me by her side. It definitely felt like broken smiles)
Day 10:
The surgeon came in and asked if I was comfortable bringing our daughter home tomorrow!? Of course I am! After all, I have a first aid background, I am a mother of sixteen, and I'm basically someone that could easily slip into any professional position! Anything I didn't know, I know now after being here almost two weeks! We are ready! We are positive! We had all our hospital moments! Our family at home has been preparing for our arrival and even a little over board with decorating Emily's room with Elmo balloons including a life size blow up Elmo! It's time to start recovery at home! I know our moments aren't over but that's why I always call them moments, and the only way to move forward is knowing we live in the now, and tomorrow is a new day! So on day 10 I'm getting excited......I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for their support. Even with reading my blog, or my updated endless ongoing posts. I find writing and sharing is the best therapy. I appreciate my readers and supporting our on-going journey at sweet sixteen. Tonight I am confident it's our last night at Victoria General. I AM SO EXCITED! And I can't wait for our daughter's smiles to continue without any breaks in them!
Strong together

Day 11:

Emily finished her IV medication. We packed and we were discharged! The ride home was difficult. And it was an emotional homecoming. I'm very tired.......


My husband did amazing while we were away. We are a team. #strong #together #forever I must say I have the best family and supportive friends ever! Now onto a new day.......yay! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Couldn't leave with moment two.....moment three is so much better!

My previous post was going to be my last post before leaving. This is. I didn't want to leave my blog within that moment. I contemplated deleting it however it was a moment I promised I'd share. This is literally my writing outlet, an ongoing book with endless turns of moments, and possible confusion. My daughter and I are ready to go. Every one is as prepared as they can be. The reason why I'm back writing is because I had this enlightenment that I plan on telling myself with every low moment. This enlightenment came from my sister in law up North and I believe this to be true. Here it is....I wasn't put on this earth walking this path if I wasn't strong enough to walk it. If I wasn't strong enough, our littlest daughter wouldn't have been given to us. My sister in law reminded me to cherish what is. It will be hard but "we" get to cuddle her. "We" get to make her giggle. She's our daughter and no longer a child in care. A girl with a family. A family given to her that is determined to give her, her best life possible. So yes, I'm still leaving with lots of emotions, lots of worries but I'm not going to forget who I am, who she is, who we are as a family and why. There is a reason for everything. There is a reason why children are born with difficulties, there is a reason to have challenges throughout our life. I've written before that without challenges, we don't experience and therefore can not gain strength. There is a bigger reason why our daughter has to go through her challenges. Not just to enhance her life. For us; as her parents by her side - it's giving us more experience and more strength to raise her. Perhaps it will give us more experience where we are helping others within our future, helping other parents that feel as helpless as we have sometimes. So I'm leaving this post with a more powerful note....that this is going to be difficult but this is our journey, our family's journey for something bigger for all of us. To conclude, our girl has a big supportive family by her side and a momma that is unstoppable. 


Friday, January 2, 2015

Moment two - "I don't know anything"

It's Friday night. I made dinner for our family, then I took two of my older children out for dinner. Then I came home to pack. As I packed with Emily by my side, I tried to explain what we're doing. What's going to happen.... she just smiled at me showing me her empty kinder egg. I remember years ago when we were in and out of the hospital due to her not eating because of sicknesses. We always tried to avoid any illnesses because we didn't want our daughter back in the hospital. My husband and I syringe fed her. We were up all night long with broken nights. I don't even know how many now. The past year has been great. No hospitals. No sicknesses. We were on a roll. Knowing that life has to get worse, to get better is so bitter right now. I've tried absolutely everything to keep busy, to have our best months possible and while I pack I can't help feeling helpless, soured that life has to head in this direction for our daughter, for us. Have you ever had the feeling of getting ahead, getting through all those endless sleepless nights and days then to feeling you're stepping one hundred thousand times backwards!? This is how we feel. As much as I'm trying to be positive, I can't help but envisioning whats next. So I hate this. I actually hate this so much. I don't know anything. I feel like a grumpy sad mother. I started packing my Oprah magazines and books that had inspiring stories in them. Then I took them out of my bag. What could I possibly read to make anything better right now? I have one full day with my family, then my daughter and I will leave towards the hospital. I do have somethings planned, some visiting and some fun adventures before admittance. Then from there......I don't know anything. I hate this feeling. I hate the fact I'm told it's going to be "ok" I know eventually everything will be "ok" I don't care about that right now. I know people have heard enough. I've tried hard to keep our emotions under wrap. Maybe I'm making a big deal over her hip surgeries. However I doubt that. I know how challenging its been while keeping positive through everything. I feel now our emotions will be hard to control. Good bad or indifferent this is our reality for awhile. I don't like this part of parenthood. I don't like the fact that our daughter (and other children) suffer immensely. Born and forever fighting for mobility. Pain that most children never endure. Challenges that they don't exactly understand. I was told once that it's not my trials to absorb. Interesting comment given I'm her mother. A comment that really bothered me was, "You didn't have to adopt her" No we didn't. Ignorant is my only word for this. If she was my birth child born with disabilities and challenges, would that have provided a more compassionate comment? This is my last post before our daughters surgery. As I finish packing, struggling through mixed emotions I look around. I miss my other children already. I feel sorry for them that their parents are preoccupied, and frustrated. How do they feel? How will they feel when I return with their sister? It's not something children witness everyday. Definitely life skills that some children, some adults never see. So here we go....hopefully these surgeries will have our daughter walking one day. At least after her recovery period, her chronic discomfort should dissipate.....we hope. When I can, I will write on how her surgery went.