Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Don't Waste This RAD

I have felt the spirit of oppression beating down on me...every day.  This is very unusual.  I am pretty sure no one would call me "suzy sunshine", but I do tend to look for the positives in each day and concentrate on the good.  Lately, I have been incredibly focused on the bad.

Like George hiding his graded papers and then lying about what scores he was getting.

Or, George telling me (again) that I am the worst parent in the history of all parents who ever lived.

Or, George doing his best to triangulate Joe and I (RAD term - basically means he tries his hardest to get Joe and I fighting or disagreeing with each other).

Or, George picking at his fingers until they bleed and them blaming me somehow.

Or, when I get an email from George's teaching telling me that he announced to the class that Joe and I worship Satan.

Yes...you read that correctly.  Joe and I worship the D man, himself.

And so the oppression just kept piling on.  And I felt as if I were drowning.


God started sending me little messages.  First, they came from the radio.  Then, they came from a Bible study. And finally, a message from our nightly family devotionals.  The messages were tweaked a bit here and there, different words and different applications, but for me the message was the same.


But, my God, I want to give up!  I want to throw in the towel, raise the white flag, surrender...this is truly too much!  My heart hurts every time I look at my family and see the destruction one broken little boy can cause to very healthy people.  My marriage takes a hit every time Joe and I disagree about how to handle George - which is OFTEN when George is causing problems every hour of the day.  My relationships with other women are...well...non-existent.  I just can't relate to anyone else around here - and even if there was someone out there suffering like I am, I am not sure I would want to sit around and have a pity party.  So instead, I stick to myself.

Psalm 116:1-2, "I love the LORD , for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live."

This is where I have to start.  Knowing that God hears me...sees me...knows what I am going through.  And then, He sent me messages.

Don't waste this!  I am up to something you can't see.

But, I don't WANT this.  And I WANT to see what you are doing.

Just wait upon me.  

Wait?  Who wants to wait???

I realized that if I fail to wait on the Lord, I will miss out on what He is doing with my life...and with George's...and probably the rest of my family!  If I fail to wait, I will never see the tapestry He has been weaving.  If I fail to wait, I will stop changing...which means I will fail to look more like Jesus.  God is giving me a testimony to share, a testimony that will someday bring Him great glory!  And during the wait, I am charged with using this life and this time to bring glory to Him!  I  told God that He can use my life...so how can I now tell him that what He has given me is something I no longer WANT?

Then, in our devotional, we read about a famous speech Winston Churchill gave to some students as he recounted Great Britain's first 11 months into WWII.  He said, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in..."

As Joe read these words to our family, I was moved knowing that yet again, God was sending me a message.  Never...never...never...never....never...give in.  George is worth the fight.  God's glory is worth the fight.  Our testimony of God's goodness is worth the fight.  

And then I heard today, words spoken by John Piper, "Don't waste your cancer."  Of course, we don't have cancer, but the premise is the same.  Don't waste this RAD!  

I must not waste the opportunity God has given me to grow more intimate with Him.  I think about those moments when I am laid out prostrate on the floor of my bedroom crying out to God with a broken heart.  I have never
felt more intimate with God in those times.  Or when I look at George and wonder how I am ever going to get through this.  Those are the times that I clearly hear God whisper in my soul that He is with me. 

I must not waste the opportunity to share our story.  My hope is that through this little blog, I can teach others about what RAD is, what it does to a family, and how one might minister to other adoptive families who are parenting a child with emotional issues.  I must not waste the chance to be honest and transparent, even if it reveals the ugly parts of my heart.  

I must not waste the opportunity to be sanctified.  Oh how I want to be more like Jesus without the pain - but frankly, I just don't see anymore how that is possible.  I must walk through the dark days holding on to His hand to learn that it is Jesus who sustains me.  I must confess and repent of my selfishness in order to burn away the
chaff that is useless and weighing me down.  I can only learn patience by living with someone who drives me up a wall.  I can only learn how to love the unlovable by parenting a child who most days, does not want to admit he loves me or needs me.  I can only become more forgiving when I am giving many opportunities to be betrayed, and thus facing the choice to forgive...again.  

These days, I feel a bit like Moses.  I have been given a task and have been asked by God to see it through.  Moses was overseeing the Israelites as they battled Amalek.  While Moses had his hands raised above the battlefield, in prayer to God, the Israelites were winning.  When Moses lowered his hands, they began to lose.  Lately, I don't have the strength to keep my hands raised over the battlefield.  But the beautiful part of this passage in Exodus is that Moses' brother and friend stood beside Moses.  And then, 

When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

I need that right now - and I am humble enough to admit that I need someone to help hold my arms up as I face this battlefield.  So, I write this to ask, will you pray for me?  Will you help me?  Help me to not waste this RAD.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Who God Is

I can't believe I am closing in on the end of September!  Fall is always an incredibly busy month in the Weldie household.  Football games, band competitions, pee-wee football games, middle school volleyball games...everyone is typically going in different directions.

This fall has found me tired.  And working hard at mending some deep spiritual issues.

The big news I have to share - and probably why I haven't written in a long time - is that Joe lost his job in August.  It was a very hard day for us and I am sure some day I will be able to share what happened.  That time is not yet.  We were scared.  We told the kids and it was a very emotional night with lots of tears.  But, we chose in that moment, to trust God and in His faithfulness.

Despite my fear, I never lost faith that God would see us through.  In fact, I immediately looked at the firing as a blessing.  No more travel.  It has been a very long three years with Joe traveling as much as he has...and I would take him being home, even if it cost us a job.

But we were so blessed!  Our neighbors were amazing!  They brought over food...and then more food.  Then they brought over laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels and soap!  Then came more food.  And then cash.  I could not believe it - and I am still humbled by their generosity.

The past month, we have not wanted for anything.  We cut out several extras that we didn't need and we ate some very simple meals, but in all honesty, it felt so good!  The kids were amazing - they never complained about the every other night of spaghetti (the best way to fill up my kids with a healthy meal that is cheap).

But then God did something amazing.  He provided Joe a job...here in Greenville...with no travel...at a company that was not even looking to hire.  Let me tell you about our God.  God blesses whoever He wants to, whenever He wants to, however He wants to.  God blesses because He is good.  God blesses those who screw up and make big messes of their lives...just because God is who He is.

I learned something important this past month.  My theology was always pretty straight when it came to salvation.  I know I am a screwed up, black hearted sinner.  And I know there is NOTHING I can do to earn eternal life in the presence of God.  I will be in heaven with God because Jesus paid my penalty for all my sin.  Period.

But I think I was a bit messed up when it came to the every day life stuff.  I would never have admitted it, but I believed somewhere deep in my heart that if I was a "good girl", good things would happen to me.  So, if I prayed that day and was in the Word first thing in the morning, I wouldn't get stuck in the traffic jam.  Or, if I said just the right thing to my daughter when she was afraid, God would totally give me a good day with George.  And if all my good days kept piling on top of each other, God would some day give me the most popular blog award (ha!!).   I know...as I write this it sounds so completely ridiculous!  And it is !  Like I said, I would never admit these thoughts - maybe I didn't even consciously have them - but they were lurking deep down inside.

Until God blessed Joe.  God gave him this amazing job.  Even though Joe got fired!

When I told my friend about the job, the first thing out of her mouth was, "God is so good!"  And I had to admit for a split second, I was frustrated.   Whey should Joe get the job?  Why was God coming to his rescue.  Why is it that I seem to be the good girl in the corner who just gets crapped on all the time (more to come on that, it has been tough time with George lately - but what else is new, which just adds to my anger)?

At one point I was crying and yelled at Joe saying, "I just want to go out and be really bad!!!"  But then I was angry because I knew I couldn't be bad and even if I could be bad I knew it would not do any good.  So I am even more angry that I still was trying to be good.

But after I settled down, I got a good glimpse into who God is (and a frightening look at who I am without God).  God IS good.  God pursues the 1 and leaves the 99.   God came for the sick, not for the ones who are healthy.  God so passionately loves and cares and provides for His children.  God lavished love on Joe simply...because...

Don't get me wrong, I am so, so grateful that we have a job! And I AM praising God that Joe will no longer travel and will be at all the games and concerts and plays and meetings.  And I am humbled to see how much God loves us.

But I learned so much more about God this past month - and that is the true reason for my thankfulness.  I think I still have some wrestling to do with God - trying to work out this whole idea of not needing to perform for God, or get it all right all the time.  Until I get this all figured out in my head, I will chose to practice the presence of God in my minute to minute life.  I will cling to the knowledge that God is good.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Summer is Over

This time of year, every pastor says, "The kids are about to go back to school and all the parents are saying, 'Yes, Lord!  We made it!!'"  I have listened/watched several sermons on line over the last few days and every.single.one. said the same thing.

I am not that parent.

Yes...I like school.  Yes...I like the structure that comes when school is in session.  Yes...even my kids like school.

But, I always have a bit of sadness that our laid-back, easy going, sleeping in - staying up late days are over for 9 months.

Several years ago, I was a home-schooling mom and I loved that!  I love home-schooling, I love the time I spent with Eleanor, Harry and Isabel as I learned things right along side them (thank you Tapestry of Grace!).  But, God clearly called us out of that season and I am grateful for how He has continued to clearly lead us and our choices in education.

But because of those home-schooling days, every year around this time, I feel squeamish in my stomach because I desperately want to home-school my children again.  I long to set up a home classroom and look for yummy breakfast recipes and write out lesson plans.  I want those quiet mornings of my children waking up on their own (no noisy alarms) and give them the freedom to do work when they want to.  And I simply do not look forward to having to say goodbye in a car line and then send them off into the "world" for 8 hours...8 hours in which I have no influence or no say or no guidance in their lives.

Why do I send them all to public school now?  Well, there is a complicated answer to that question.  The best answer I can give it two fold:  1) God led our family to this decision and 2) the kids all WANT to go to public school.  In all honesty, my older kids are learning WAY more than I would have been able to teach them.  And with George's special needs, I have determined there is NO WAY I could teach him (I tried - many times - and every time, I fail miserably).  I still struggle with the wasted time in the elementary grades - but, they little ones are very happy and ARE learning - so we just go with that.  I don't want to make this decision more complicated than it needs to be - they are learning, they are enjoying school, mom and dad are happy with that - so we send them to school.

But, fear starts to grip my heart.  I liked our little bubble we had created.  And frankly, I love being a mom - so why wouldn't I want to have my children with me...every day...all day?

I like the summer.  I can hang out with my kids at the pool for hours.  I can let them stay up late with me to watch who won Food Netw*rk's Next Great Star (shout out to Lenny -we all wanted him to win!).  We can hang a sheet in our backyard and have a late-night "sit in" and watch funny movies.

 We can drive the beach and play in the water for hours catching waves on our boogie boards.

In fact, we had an amazing summer this year!

Standing in mud as we worshiped the Lord

Watching Ghana in the World Cup with friends from Ghana!

Lots of days at the pool.

And even more lazy days at the pool.

Kayaking on Lake Marion and being chased by an alligator (that's our story, and we are sticking with it!"

Sleeping in a tent for 6 nights in Mt. Union, PA with 60,000 other Christ-followers.
Having a BLAST during that camping trip!

Getting to do it all over again with Eleanor in Washington.

Fall comes around and all of that changes.  Suddenly we are a wound a bit tighter;  we have places to be and things to get done every.single.day.  Our schedules have to be coordinated because I have this one to pick up here and that one to be dropped off there and those two driving home late every.single.day.  I have lunches that need to be packed and homework that needs to be done while we wait in car-line and snacks that need to be provided and projects that need tri-fold display boards and printed out graphics and zip drives loaded.  I have 27 emails in my in-box each and every day from teachers.  I have 6 automated phone messages on my phone as well.  I am asked to send in box tops, sign up for lunch relief, pick up a new calculator, purchase gym clothes, send in food for the band boosters, and make sure I have signed all the forms.

So, I LOVE summer.

But, I also like when my kids are back in school.

It means Friday night football games at the high school - watching my daughter have fun with her classmates as they cheer their team on.

Those same nights, I get to see my son march in the marching band and turn up as they lead the crowd in crazy dance-circles (or something like that!).

 It also means volleyball games and more football games and sweet times of driving my kids to school where we can talk each morning and I can encourage them as they start their day....and we can talk each afternoon as we re-cap the highlights.  Back to school means I get uber organized - finding new crock-pot recipes so that dinner is ready when we need to eat early because of games, my homework tub is stocked and ready in the car so that the kids can get their homework done in a timely manner, and my calendar is loaded with activities and reminders so that we (hopefully) don't miss anything.  (But, don't kid yourself, I inevitably miss something each year - last year I missed a volleyball game - and I WAS THE COACH!!)

We have a big year this year....Eleanor is a SENIOR!

 I can't even begin to explain the emotions swirled together in that one statement.  I am so excited for her...but I am so sad for myself.  I just want more time with her, but I am thrilled to launch her out and watch her make her own decisions!

 George is going to middle school...I am terrified and on my knees daily over this one.  He was diagnosed with a significant learning disability and will be in a self-contained classroom for the first time.  He is nervous, scared, excited and I am just petrified.  School is so hard for George.  He lacks in social skills greatly  - as emotionally he is more like a 5 year old than an 11 year old.  Not to mention how difficult the academics are!!  He is going into 6th grade but performing at the 2nd grade level.  My prayer is that these middle school years in the self-contained classroom are GOOD for him - and I pray that God will be WITH him each and every second of the day.

As for the other four - Lincoln and Anna will be the only ones in elementary school - which may actually give me some days to volunteer there!  They are moving to the "big side" of the school (the K-2 kids are all on one side of the school, while the 3-5 kids cross over to the other side).  Lincoln is nervous about this crossing over.

 Isabel will be in 7th grade at her IB school and has sights on "ruling" the school again.

 Harry will be a 10th grader at his IB school (and by the way, that 14 year old son of mine is now 6 feet tall!).

God has blessed me with 6 amazing, talented, funny, loving children...and I love being their momma.  Now, I pray over them and send them out into the "world" for 8 hours a day and trust that God goes with them.  It is a bittersweet time for me each fall as I realize another summer is over.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I Blinked

I did it.  I blinked.  People warned me not to.  Family constantly reminded me it would happen.  I believed them, I really did.  But, the reality of what happens during that blink still caught me by surprise.

In the blink of an eye, Eleanor grew up.

I can look back over her 17 years and see this:

the first 10 years were wonderful - homeschooling, reading together, playing in the backyard
the middle 4 were a little awkward - the tween years, fumbling and bumbling about, a little attitude
the last 3 have been amazing - seeing this hard working, funny, smart young woman come to life

Whoever said that raising teenage girls was hard/miserable/frustrating was dead wrong.  Raising THIS teenage girl has been the biggest blessing in my life!

And God has given me a sweet gift this summer - time with my precious daughter.

It has been a sweet gift because THIS is happening

College brochures are arriving in the mailbox each and every day.  Soon, my first born will be heading out.  We think she will be going to college, but she is still mulling over the idea of a gap year and going to see the world to serve.  

I have to back up a bit, because as I load these pictures, I realize the gift of precious time with my daughter actually began last September when we boarded a plane for Medellin, Colombia.  I saw Eleanor come to life while she put spoon fulls of food into the mouths of hungry children.  I saw a teenage girl who never once complained about the heat or no TV or  not eat lunch because there simply was not enough food to go around.  It was in that week that I knew how special this sweet child is becomming!

But, thankfully, God has given me even more opportunities to just simply BE with "my light", Eleanor.  

Like late night ice cream runs

Or National Honor Society inductions

Then, THIS happened

And I saw Eleanor work.  And I saw her amazing ability to make people smile and be at ease.  And I saw her be passionate about a cause that is much greater than her

I saw Eleanor not just sell products - instead I saw a young woman who believes in a mission to truly, holistically help people she may never meet.  I heard her tell people that she has a brother and a sister from Africa and how that has forever changed her.  I watched as strangers smiled at her and laugh as they shared a joke.

And a few times that week, it was just Eleanor and I enjoying a mutual passion - music.

Then, God blessed our girl with this!

Clearly there were others there who see the same things I do.

We drove home when the week was over and Eleanor told me that she wanted to do this type of work for the entire summer.  God blessed her again when Ornaments4Orphans offered her a summer internship!

Which led to this

Eleanor and I boarded another plane together - this one bound for Washington, where we again were found doing this

This time we worked with a much smaller crew (3 of us), but we were blessed with hours of laughter and long talks.

We also go to meet some musicians!

We literally rocked out together - to Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATH!

As I look back on this summer, I am overwhelmed with the joy of spending TIME with Eleanor.  I have always called her "my light".  Her name means light -but she also brings such light into my life!  I am so confident that Eleanor will take off for...college...mission field...or whatever and do  it to the BEST of her ability!  I know she will bring light wherever she goes.  My heart breaks a little realizing that our time is quickly coming to a close, but at the same time I am so excited for what God has in store for her!  While she hasn't had the "typical teenage life", I can't wait for her to realize her dreams, fall in love (trust me, some man is going to be incredibly blessed by Eleanor - she loves football, she can fill out the box scores in a baseball game and she can get ready to go out in 10 minutes!) and continue to explore this amazing world.

I wanted this blog post to be full of heartfelt words of my deep love for Eleanor.  Instead, I am simply struck by the sheer beauty of Eleanor in all of these pictures.  She would say she doesn't take a good picture - but what I see is an infectious smile....a deep love for others...and an unbreakable bond between a mother and her daughter.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Part Two

*if you haven't read my blog post from last night - you should probably read that one first

I really don't like disruptions.  Joe and I have had countless hours of discussions about disruptions.  If it weren't for a disruption, sweet Anna would not be in our family!  But, far too many adoptive families are choosing disruptions as a way to avoid a difficult journey.

I have to tell you that Dan does not want to leave his family.  He has been with us for two weeks and has not said one negative word about his family.  Every night, he cries and says he loves his parents and does not want to be "looking for a family that will take him".

What pain a 13 year old boy is suffering!

Last night, Joe and I made a point of pulling Dan off from the others to have a quiet conversation.  Joe started by asking, "Do you know the gospel?"

When Dan shook his head to indicate no, Joe walked Dan down a beautiful path of God's love and redemptive plan.  And then we told Dan that God loves him and that God is indeed his FATHER.  This Father will never leave, will never turn his back, and will never stop loving him.

We went inside to do our family devotionals and decided to just go straight into prayer.  The air was heavy in the room as we all knew this would be our last night with Dan.  I started, and prayed fervently that Dan's parents would welcome him home with love and mercy.  I prayed that this family would be restored!  Lincoln followed with sweet, 8 year old prayers for Dan that really raised the emotional level in the room.

Then Dan prayed.  For the first time.  And he prayed for Lincoln and George.  He knows they are starting football this week and he asked that God would keep them safe....and then...he just broke down and started sobbing.

George ran over to Dan and wrapped his arms around Dan's neck and then said, "Oh Dan...I am so sorry.  I have been such a jerk to you.  Will you please forgive me?  I want you to be happy.  I want your mom to change her mind."

And the two of these tween boys held each other and cried.

We wrapped up the night and tucked all the kids into bed - kissing their foreheads and reminding them...again...that they are loved.

And then I walked straight to my computer and began pounding out a letter to Dan's mom.  I begged her to reconsider.  I begged her to get some counselling, to find a church that will offer support, to use us as a respite family...anything..but please stop shopping around for another family!

I went to bed last night with a heavy heart.

All of this stinks!  This is NOT what God intends for children.  Yes, we are now making adoptions just like marriages - if it's not easy, if you don't FEEL good - you just dissolve the covenant.  And I am really sick of it.  More and more children show up on the desks of social workers each month from families that decide they are done.  People, I get it!  I probably say I am done every day!!  But then, I think about George...and what it might do to his little heart that is just now beginning to be sown back together.

I have a child sleeping away in his bed this morning with a heart that is completely breaking apart before my eyes.  He longs to go home and be wrapped up in the arms of his momma.   Please, friends, join me in storming heaven today that Dan's mom will change her mind.

Because Dan is worth it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Making Really Hard Choices

I am sure I am putting myself out there to simply be hammered by many.  I am sure some of you will not understand.  I am sure some of you will yell at your computer screen and maybe even call me names.  But, I had to make a really hard choice this week.

About a month ago, Joe and I were approached about an opportunity to adopt a 13 year old boy whose adoption was being disrupted.  I will call him Dan.  Dan had been with is first adoptive family for most of his life and some circumstances had led to the parents decided they wanted a new family for Dan.

Joe and I said, "Ok..but first we need to see how he fits into our family."

So, for the past two weeks, we have hosted Dan.  We have tried to make this a very normal two weeks.  And from the beginning, Joe and I thought we could do this!  Dan was sweet and got along with everyone...well...sort of.

Then there was George.

I do not want to bore you with details of the endless amounts of strife between Dan and George.  But trust me, it was tense in the house.  And it wasn't Dan.  It was George.

Everything came to a head last night.

I was having a conversation with Isabel when George came in from playing outside. He was clapping his hands, singing, yelling stuff and was talking to me about what I was making for dinner.  I turned to George, like I would with any of my children who were being loud and interrupting, and asked him to be quiet for a minute and that I would talk with him after I finished my thought with Isabel.

George looked at me and yelled, "Idiot!"

Oh my!

I simply walked him up to Joe - told him what just happened and walked away.  Joe calmly directed George to his room and advised him to settle down for a few minutes and that we would talk then.

Screams.  Slamming of the door.  Growls.  I went to check on him and he had taken a black marker and had written all over his face and chest.  I asked for the marker and he lied to my face about where it was.  I told him it was time to change out of his bathing suit and he openly, defiantly refused.

I left him alone and told him he needed to take a few deep breaths and that we would talk when he settled down.

More screams.  More slamming of the door.  He yelled we were making him a slave (that is a recent favorite of his).  He yelled he wanted to run away (but...strangely, he never left his room this time).

I took some food up to him  and a cup of cold water.  Joe followed and thought it was time to talk.

We KNEW what was behind this massive blow up!!  George was completely, totally upset about Dan being here.  It had been a roller coaster for George ever since we told him.  What hurt the most was that Dan was being disrupted after 11 years with his family.  When we told our kids the story, George said, 'You mean you could still give up on my after 11 years?"

And all that progress we made...well...it was in jeopardy of completely sliding backwards.

When George had this massive blow up last night, he did not know that Joe and I had already decided that we were not going to follow up with adopting Dan.  We had already told the social worker and Dan's parents.  There was great peace for Joe and I  - and we had been diligently praying and asking others to pray for us.  And God granted us peace.  I don't know what the future holds for Dan, but I do know that we were able to pray for him, with him and to tell him that God loves him and will never leave him.

So, as we talked to George about what was going on in his heart to cause this massive blow up - George confessed that he was so upset about Dan coming into the family.  I can't explain the details - maybe they were too close in age.  Or maybe they were too much alike.  Or maybe George and Dan just didn't "click".  Whatever the case may be, Dan's presence in our house was causing a huge problem for George.

I had been witnessing this over the past 10 days.  And as I prayed over this situation, God reminded me that George was my SON.  George had rights.  I wrestled with God for a few days asking, "You mean I have to sacrifice the future of one child for the sake of one son who doesn't even love me most days?"  And God said, "Yes.  Chose George."

So, we chose George.

And so we told George.

I looked him in the eye and said, 'I am choosing YOU, George.  I saw your fear.  I saw your hurt.  And I want to make sure you know that I see and I am choosing you."

The wave of relief that came over George's face was huge!

Dan is going back to his family tomorrow.  I do not know what is going to happen.  I am praying for reconciliation.  I am praying for restoration.

It may not happen.

I might.

But, for now, we are sticking with continuing to walk down the road to healing with George.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christ is Enough

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro that emphasizes disturbing memories as the cause of psychopathology and alleviates the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Neurodevelopmental Healing This comprehensive approach allows children and adults to address the root cause of their concerns. It requires commitment and dedication to complete a program of neurological reorganization. Once you have completed it, the person should be free to live the fullest possible life. Most of the families we see have tried several modalities with little to no lasting change. We specialize in unlocking the potential in all individuals, including the most challenging children.

Trust-Based Relational Interventions® (TBRI®) is an emerging intervention model for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems. It has been applied successfully in a variety of contexts, and with many children for whom numerous other interventions have failed (e.g., medications, cognitive-behavioral therapies.) TBRI® is based on a solid foundation of neuropsychological theory and research, tempered by humanitarian principles. It is a family-based intervention that is designed for children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, maltreatment, and/or neglect. For the past ten years, Drs. Purvis and Cross have been implementing and evaluating TBRI® , and their strategies have proven extremely effective in creating healing environments for children who have come from “hard places.”

When using Neurofeedback training, the person has electrodes placed on his head and ears. The electrodes are simply reading the brain waves as is done with any EEG test, relaying to the computer the level of the brainwaves: Delta, theta, beta waves, and SMR (sensory motor rhythms). After having the electrodes placed on his head, the subject plays computer games.

Are you as confused as I am?  

When you suddenly find yourself in the world of parenting a child from a broken place or a hard place, you can literally drown in all the advice.  I know I have written before about how I read all I could from one particular leader in the area of parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder...and then read all I could from another leader who holds opposite views.  Then, I watched all the videos from another leader in the area....and now new therapies and treatments are being talked about on every support group webpage I am involved in.  

I am so confused!!!  

Do I put electrodes on George's head or do I put him in a "time-in"?  

Do I put bandages on every cut and scrape or do I send him to therapy once a week to dive into the deepest recesses of his memory?  

Do I find a horse for George to bond with or do I take everything out of his room when he has a blow up?  And what about essential oils?  

I am getting told constantly to try essential oils and to throw away the ADHD medication (by people who do not live with George - mind you).  

I realized long ago that I can not parent George the same way I parent any of my other children - including Anna (who also comes from a hard place).  But all the advice is NOT helping at all.  It makes me feel guilty.  It makes me feel like a failure.  It makes me cry into my pillow full of shame.

Every time I get to this place of being completely overwhelmed by all that I am doing wrong because I am not doing the latest, greatest therapy...I cry out to God.

And He tells me the same thing every time.


And so, a calm washes over me...and God shows me that we ARE making progress and we ARE making connections and we ARE bonding.  And yes, God shows me that we have an incredibly challenging son.  But He reminds me that He placed George intentionally in my life for MY benefit.

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Suffering produces perseverance....yes, we have had to persevere for over 5 years now.  I used to think, "Get me through one year and it will be better."  "OK - how about 2 years and every thing will be better."  It was around year 4 that I realized, this may never get to where I want it to be - and I am OK with that.  I will chose to persevere.

Perseverance leads to character...I often say I like who I am so much better now than who I was 6 years ago!  Having George in my life has HUMBLED me greatly!  I know how much I screw up.  I know how hard my heart can be.  I know where my strength comes from and I know it is not something I do on my own.  I have more compassion for others because of George and I am far less judgmental.  So, I guess I have to take my lumps in order to see my character begin to change.

Character leads to hope...Because of the humility God taught me, I have HOPE that I will make it.  There were dark days when I thought I would NOT make it through another day living with such pain in my heart.  But, I now have hope that God will deliver me, that He will sustain me, that He will give me what I need each day to love and parent ALL my children.  

And Hope does not put us to shame....that shame I feel every time I read the latest blog post or FB entry about therapies and essential oils and ideas, I fight the shame that wants to surge and instead have HOPE in the Lord.  

Then, look at the last part of that verse...God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit....THAT is the key to my life!  I know I can't "cure" George.  I know I can't "fix" George.  What I do know is that God has called me to LOVE George.  But friends, there are so many days when I CAN'T love George!  That is when I KNOW that it is God who is loving George.  It is God's love that that Holy Spirit is pouring into my life that enables me to forgive...to show mercy...to love...again.  

I am not discounting all the therapies and strategies and oils!  Please do not hear me saying that!  I celebrate with those parents who report huge breakthroughs and successes!  But every time I seek God's will....He reminds me that He is enough for me.  

"Christ Is Enough"

Christ is my reward
And all of my devotion
Now there's nothing in this world
That could ever satisfy

Through every trial
My soul will sing
No turning back
I've been set free

Christ is enough for me
Christ is enough for me
Everything I need is in You
Everything I need

Christ my all in all
The joy of my salvation
And this hope will never fail
Heaven is our home

Through every storm
My soul will sing
Jesus is here
To God be the glory

I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back

The cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back