Friday, March 29, 2013

Rules . . .

By Gari Lister

Experts advise that kids with developmental trauma need calm, stability and predictable limits.  And in fact I know my youngest does better when she knows her schedule, and exactly what is expected of her.  The problem is that peace, stability and a well-ordered life are not always easy to come by in a household filled with a bunch of poorly behaved dogs and cats, not to mention the children or broken appliances.   For that reason, I’m always a little defensive about our organizational dynamics.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Manner of Goats

By Marc Deprey

I don’t know everything about goats, but I do work in land conservation and deal with landowners who face problems with invasive species of plants and livestock issues. What I do know is that goats are nature’s eliminator. They really do eat anything and everything.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hope Overcomes Heartbreak

By Gari Lister

My post last week was scary and sad for some of you, but please do not confuse heartbreak with a lack of hope.   I have a huge amount of hope for our kids, and for the progress that we are making in helping them.  For every child like my Katya, there are many, many more children who can and who do heal.  My youngest, in fact, is a poster child for healing – at 10, she is perhaps a little odd, and she is certainly a little quiet.  But she has an amazing sense of humor, she loves to ice skate and take ballet and she can talk my ear off when she wants to – a far cry from the little girl who screamed for hours every night when we brought her home and from the 5 year old who didn’t and wouldn’t talk.  Now, yes, we haven’t lived through her teenage years, so perhaps there are crises yet to come.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How Many Kids Do I Have? . . . Month Two as a Throw-Away Mom

By Gari Lister

Our oldest daughter, Katya, has been gone nearly two months.  She packed the car with everything she could find, changed her phone number, blocked us on facebook, and disappeared into the urban Dallas wilds.  In many ways, our life is back to normal, and I have adjusted to my new status.  Only a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stop myself from pulling away from the little girls in subtle ways.  I finally realized I was petrified they too would throw me away, walking away without a backward glance.  I’m mostly now able to accept the risk.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Why Trauma Wouldn’t Let Me Attend the Trauma Conference

By:  Marc Deprey

Last Sunday, my son went into a rage so severe that he assaulted me and destroyed my car’s windows and body with head-sized boulders. He was arrested and taken to Juvenile Hall. It’s the first time I’ve ever been assaulted—by anyone, let alone my own child—and this is his first arrest. My daughter, who is also afflicted with developmental trauma, has been especially reactive this week beyond her usual explosiveness and destructiveness. So the trauma I have been experiencing this week has been so severe that I got sick (my immune system is probably in full retreat) on top of it all. Yesterday, I just gave into reality and cancelled my trip to the Trauma conference.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Are Dead Children the Benchmark for Adoption?

by: Julie Beem

This whole Russian adoption ban issue is ridiculous! 

There, I said it.  I suspect many of you were thinking it.  A knee-jerk political reaction designed to make Americans in general, and American adoptive parents in particular, look like violent, evil monsters.  The Russian government uses the deaths of 15 Russian-born adoptees as the fuel to stop thousands of adoptions and to insist that they be allowed to come to this country to provide oversight on our adoptive families.