Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time to Travel...'s done! With the help of my older daughter Raelyn, I got Danielle's plane ticket purchased for her trip to Maryland. She is going to spend a wonderful two weeks with her sister and brother in law. I am so jealous!!! But I know she will have a wonderful time. It's funny though, years ago, Danielle was flying to California, all by herself (I think she was about 5-6 yrs old) and now that she is 14 I am having a harder time with her going. I have to ask myself is it because her disabilities are more prominant now? Her judgement not so keen? No...I don't think so, I think a lot of it is me, learning to let go. Knowing that Danielle is going to be just fine without me. I want her to have that autonomy away from mom, I want her to have a life. This is the first step, at least for me, in letting go. Danielle is going to spread her wings and fly and she will be great.

One of the exciting things about her trip is that she and her sister Raelyn and Mitch will be going on a tour of the White House. How cool is that. I have to remember to get her a camera.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"I Will"

I will never have the child I dreamed of adopting
But I do have the child
God planned for me to adopt.
So I will adopt new dreams
For my family and daughter.

I will never be able to be the mom I wanted to be.
But I am “her” mom
So I will be the mom she needs.

I will never have a “normal” day – one without meds,
Doctor appointments, therapy, IEP meetings.
But I do have normal moments.
So I will learn to savor the moments
And take each day as it comes.

I will never be able to assume my daughter can
Follow the simple rules, act appropriately, understand the
Consequences of her actions, or be safe.
But I can surround her with a support system
Who will think for her, remind her of the rules
And consequences, and keep her safe.
So I will be her external brain.

I will never know what my daughter could have been.
But I can celebrate the wonder of who she is and what she will
So I will give her all the love, support, encouragement
And the tools she will need
To become a productive adult.

I will never be able to change the fact that
The birth mother drank during her pregnancy.
But I can forgive.
So I will not condemn, pass judgment or hate her.

I will never know a bigger joy than watching my daughter master a new goal,
Remember a rule, or sleep thru the night.
But I can lower my expectations of them and myself.
So I will celebrate with my daughter every mountain climbed
And hurdle crossed.

I will never have a day that is not wholly consumed with the results of a
Woman who drank during pregnancy. But I can raise the community’s
Awareness, education and support of this totally preventable birth defect.

So I will…
So I will…

Friday, May 22, 2009

Please Stop the Merry-Go-Round!

Just when I think I have things figured out...I don't. Just when I feel comfortable with how things are going...something comes along to topple my world. With Dani's disabilities, she has a hard time distinguishing what is reality and what is not. She has a hard time also staying in the now. One of her problems she is working on with her counselor is staying in the now. She tends to worry about either the future or the past and not focus on what is happening now. But when I got home from work, she was telling me her sister in Maryland called saying how excited she was for Dani to come out for a visit in a few weeks. I checked the phone and there was no call from her sister. I asked her about it then she said she thought she was talking to a hispanic girl who had a cold. She had somehow gotten the two confused, I don't know how, the brain is such a tricky organ that I can just imagine how things get jumbled up. But even though the evidence was right there that Raelyn did not call, she stuck to her story true and true. Then she got frustrated, irritated, aggitated and just plain mad at me. This is about the time she should be practicing her coping skills, which I am proud to say...she did! That was the right step in the right direction. Now I understand where the saying of "Choose your battles wisely" comes into play.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Catch-Up Time!

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I updated this blog. Life sure has gotten away with me. So, let me catch you all up.
Danielle came home from the state hospital last October 08' and what a transformation she went through. I look at it as if she were in this cocoon and she came out this beautiful butterfly. She knew who she was, where she was coming from and where she is going. Once home, she started at a transitional school (Canyon View), to where she was full time, only small amount of kids her age, then she was transitioned into junior high by one class at a time. We are up to two classes in the afternoon, but that still has a way of stressing her out. We have discovered, by track record, that around February-March she starts getting worn out. Her Bipolar attributes come screaming out of her. By this time she had almost forgotten how to use her coping skills. I was feeling a little frantic on trying to help her remember but the more I tried, the more angry she got at me. We started back to counseling sessions and of course monthly visits with her psychiatrist. Her medications are good, she was on 4-5, now she is only on ONE! She doesn't hear the voices anymore, her self-esteem is up (fluctuates once in awhile, you know how girls are). She has tapped into her talents and skills. Danielle is a very creative young lady, not only does she draw and paint but I discovered she writes songs and poems.
Now she is at the age that I start worrying about her future. She is going to be 15 this year and I wonder what kind of quality of life she can have. I had a candid talk with her doctor today, she assured me that there are many programs, that once she hits 16-17, she can get involved with that will teach her survivial skills. She takes care of herself pretty well now and she does know how to cook, but it's the common sense things that worry me like how to catch a bus, how to get to your destination without getting lost, etc. As a mother, I want her to have a full life so she feels she doesn't always have to be with me.
There have been rough times since she has been home. Battle of wits between mom and daughter, chores, responsibilities, anger management, etc. There are times I have felt that she would have been better staying down at the hospital a little longer. You have no idea how often I have felt guilty over feeling that. But in a conversation with a friend of mine, who works with "Allies with Families", she said it is SO normal for a parent to feel that way and at times feel resentful. It's just that by the time I get home from working my full time job, I don't have the strength and energy to deal with the problems. I have my own health issues and I have a hard time taking care of myself. I have dedicated most of my time to Danielle and researching new things. But then I see the other side of her, she may be 14 but her disabilities have her marked at about a 12 year old, I see a little bit of Heaven in her. There is an innocence in her, that at times I don't see it because of my own problems.
But each day is progress, we can only go forward. We may fall back one step but she and I have a way of forgiving each other and going on. I know I have so much more to say, but its after midnight and I need some sleep. Love to you all!