His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today, The Day Before Tomorrow!

Well, the girlies are all headed to bed. At 6:00 a.m. Erika, Sarah and I will be headed to camp. 
Daddy, Anna and Alli will start their "Camp Minich" week. :)

We have been preparing Alli for her first time away from Mama.  She has had a really great day, and is helping Sarah finish packing, as I type. :) 

Daddy is READY for a good time.... and we will talk every night as usual. 
I have to say, I'm really proud of Alli today.  She had a great day all day. :) 

I am going to miss the rest of my family, but am happy that Daddy is a great daddy and I can relax and focus on camp for the week. :)

So, signing off for the week.  Maybe Daddy will post an update???? :) If he has time.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Let The Countdown Begin!

In 32 hours, Erika, Sarah and I will be traveling to Youngsport Texas for CAMP!  We are headed back to Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children.

This is the one time of year where it is good if you are missing a few limbs! :)  That is the requirement for this camp. "Multiple Limb Loss/ Limb Difference".
Both Sarah and Erika qualify.... it is a wonderful place!  Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

Thank You Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and Peaceable Kingdom!

A Not So BCLC Moment:

courtesy of ME! Turned into a BCLC moment....
Today started out as a great day. Everything was going well... Alli was very excited about her treasures from the Euro Deli and said some really sweet things.

Then....all of a sudden.... there was complaining, there was arguing, there was demanding, and it went on and on and on and on......
There was the story cd in the bedroom she insisted she didn't want to hear because it distracted her from playing.  When I went into the room to check, she had brought a BOX of dirt into the bedroom to make a "habitat" for her fake frog, onto the white carpet.  LOL

I very nicely told her to please take the dirt outside, we cannot have dirt in the house like that. She pointed out that I have plants with dirt in them all over! "So Why Can't I?"  I told her it wouldn't be fair to the old vacuum cleaner.   She then proceeded to pout and pout and argue and argue.... and I was not budging. "Go take your dirt outside. The frog habitat will have to stay outside."

And then, it was time for chores.  She complained about doing her part and how she always has to do more and that it isn't fun and that she is tired and how everybody leaves everything everywhere on purpose and.... and.... and......

I also had to purchase crutches for Sarah. She is having trouble with her leg and can't wear a prosthetic right now. Alli asked to play with the crutches. I said, yes, but if Sarah needs them, she must give them to her.
When Sarah needed them, she said, "She doesn't really need them...." So , I had to take them away for good while Sarah is needing them. 
After several hours....

 Mama, blew it.  Her voice was getting louder and I got louder.... and I said, STOP!!!! NOW!!!! STOP IT! 
AND SHE SAID, "I don't like it that you raised your voice!" 
I said, "I don't like it that you have been raising your voice all day!"
And she said, "NO! NOT ALL DAY! I played with Sarah for about  10 minutes and we went to the store! THAT IS NOT ALL DAY!"
And I said, "Since Noon! It is now 4:oo!"
She said,
"Well, just because I raised my voice doesn't mean you should!" Hello!

And then..... I said, "YOU ARE RIGHT.... I SHOULDN'T AND I DID!"
And You are WRONG! You shouldn't EVER raise your voice to mama!

And so, we went to the rocking chair and started over. WHEW!

So, since she has had so many opinions on my parenting today, I made her the parent and I became her.
I did my best to act like her, sound like her and do all the famous facial movements.....She watched with amusement and when it was her turn to instruct me, she blurted out..... "I have NO IDEA WHAT TO SAY! I'm just a kid! I don't want to be the mom!" LOL

Yes, she takes her role play seriously. :)

We then had a talk about trust. And I was able to tell her how much I love her.  After that we snuggled for a while and we came up with some ideas on how to get out of the bad habits she has formed over all the years.

We talked about how hard it is, because it IS a habit.  She responded well to Bananas, but today I didn't do it.  She has responded very well to prayer and breathing... but today, I didn't do that either. 
So when the right time came, I told her that I KNOW she CAN do it! She can do VERY WELL, and I also know it is hard work.... just like it is for me to be a mom.  Just like she couldn't think of one thing to tell me when she was pretending to be me.... sometimes it is just that hard for me to be a mom too.

I want so much to help her see that there are some destructive behaviors that she MUST rule over!
"If you want to control something, control your temper!" LOL

I guess today was a 2 steps back day. :)  I know she is feeling anxious about me taking Erika and Sarah to camp on Monday, and that will be the first time we have been separated. 
Daddy is making plans for a fun filled week for Himself, Anna and Alli.

Somehow, I think everything will be ok, in spite of my personal failure today.
And since about 5:00, she has been a perfect little angel. It is now 9:20! :)

Glad we finished this day off like it started. :)

Alli and the Deli

I took Miss Alli and Erika to the Russian Deli, located in Dallas.  They had so much fun!  Alli couldn't believe there was such a store with all her favorite foods, so close to home!
She picked out all this:
The sausage on the top left is from her particular region in Russia! You would not have believed her excitement when she pointed it out! I know that Sausage!!!!  She remembered the Pelmeni, and the cookies and soups and cavier and fish and candy....and..... the only thing we didn't get a picture of was the roll stuffed with cabbage. She and Erika downed those on the way home. :)
Here is a picture of her eating the stuffed roll from my cell phone. :  I remember having this when we were in Ukraine. I believe they are called Perogis.We stopped at a roadside bakery and picked some up. Oh they were delicious! I would have had one, had it not been for the gluten.  :/

I have never seen a child so excited about food. LOL  On the way home she called Daddy and told him all about it, and then she said, "Mommy, I never dreamed a mama would do something so nice for me. "
Made me want to cry.
I am THRILLED she had such a great time and that it was such a positive surprise for her.
The man at the Deli spoke to her in Russian, but she couldn't remember any. :(  We are working on it with Rosetta Stone. However, Erika surprised me and actually answered something back in Russian .... the man said, "Very good!" :)  Yea for Rosetta Stone. :)

On Monday, Erika, Sarah and I plan to go to Out on a Limb Camp.  Anna, Alli and Daddy will be on their own for the week. :)  Daddy has already arranged for our friends from Russia to come over and cook a Russian meal.  Smart daddy! LOL

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Zoo Trip 2011

We love the Dallas Zoo..... I am used to taking Katie and Lilly Bean, but this year, they are in NM, so we missed being with them this time. I'm sure there will be a next time.

HOWEVER.... We are thrilled that Alli could go for the very FIRST time! :)  We took the train  to the zoo and that was an experience for everybody. We love taking the train.

The last time we were at the zoo, we really wanted to eat where the Lions were, but it was way too crowded. Going on a Thursday payed off!  We got  to sit right by the Lion window. The girls had so much fun watching them sun bathe.
Alli thought it was terrible to eat in front of lions. She thought they might be hungry and wondered where all their food was. LOL

Overall, we had a great time together, and now Alli is a Dallas Zoo Fan, like the rest of us. :)

And here is the famous video of Lillian 3 years ago on the zoo carousel.  I still love watching her little face change from joy to uncertainty in seconds. LOL

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A VERY Cool Moth

Mike found this moth tonight. It is SO pretty. Can't wait to find out what it is! :)

Well that didn't take long.... I love Google.   It is a Vine Sphinx. It originates from Argentina!

Family Worship

We have our family worship time every Tuesday night.  For some reason, for the last couple of months,  we were not wearing our head coverings during family worship, but wearing them at regular worship.    Yes, a total inconsistency on my part.

So, out of the mouth of babes.... LOL
Alli said, "If we are worshipping and praying, shouldn't we have our head coverings on?  Ummm.... Yes we should!
And with that, they all got up and joyfully ran to get them. LOL
I just love the practicality of little kids. :) 

Erika and Sarah

It is amazing what a transformation  has occurred in these two. The first picture is Erika and Sarah at the orphanage. They were 4 and 5.  The last picture was Erika's birthday last week.  They are 12 and 13. 
I am so thrilled that though they were separated for 2 years, they are sisters today. They were always meant to be together! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So What IS Love Anyway?

This was the question I posed to Miss Alli today.  Her answer? I don't know.  She has heard people say, "I love you."  She has heard it spoken in movies, she has heard it spoken in our home.  And her answer is exactly what I thought she'd say.... because we only have 1 word in our language that we typically use for Love.... It is LOVE.  And in her case: It has never lasted. :(

But for many, love simply means "I like you", I like what you do for ME, or I want something FROM you....
And then we hear the words "All You Need Is Love" da da da da da..... what kind of love? Phileo? The friendship kind?  Agape'- the eternal kind?  Arros, the lovey dovey kind?  What Kind?

So, back to the question at hand.  What is Love?  What does it mean when I say to Alli, "I LOVE YOU!"  Does it mean that I love her just as she is? Does it mean that I accept her just as she is?  Yes and Yes... but there is more. Love wants MORE than that. Love doesn't want us to be stagnant but to grow. Love is the water poured into another's life so they CAN grow and heal.
God's LOVE for us was so great that he Sent HIS SON TO DIE.... so we would not be stagnant in our sin, but we would heal.  This is the kind of love we should have for one another; laying our lives down  and putting them aside for another. This kind of love can only come from God.

Love denies oneself for the benefit of another.  Love does not consider it's own needs above those of another.  Love does not run off to get away.  Instead..... Love faces, embraces and WINS!  Love meets the needs of another head on.  Love is a well that doesn't run dry.  Love causes another's cup to be full to overflowing.... and continues to pour the refreshing waters into their dry and parched soul even when they don't understand it or receive it....Love continues, joyfully. 

The Word Love is an action word. It is a VERB... it shows itself in many, many ways, but the best I can put it, is:  Love ALWAYS does what is the VERY BEST for the OTHER person. LOVE puts OTHERS FIRST.  LOVE DOES NOT DOUBT.  LOVE HOPES, ENDURES, BELIEVES..... and IT NEVER,EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, GIVES UP....EVER, EVER, EVER.  LOVE NEVER FAILS.

So, Miss Alli, and to all of my children.... When I say, "I LOVE You".... it isn't cliche', it isn't shallow. It means.... well..... I LOVE YOU A WHOLE HECK OF A BUNCH! :)

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

How vast, beyond all measure.... that He would send His only son, and make a wretch His treasure.....

Oh these words pierce my heart. I am that wretch.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch, like me!

Yep, there I am again.

Yet, I am an adopted child of the most HIGH God.  Not because of my deserving nature; not because of what I do; not because of who I am.... but because HE chose me to be, from the foundation of the earth.

These words, Mike and I have been pondering in light of adoption.
Our children are ours and they are loved.... not because they are perfect, not because they are talented, not because they are beautiful.... not because they give us anything in return or make us feel good about ourselves.    Our children are loved, because we have chosen to love them..... God has chosen us to love them and pour ourselves into them.  He has chosen us as instruments in His hands to bring forth healing into their lives.  And in the process, He is working on US!

There is something about adoption that brings about  the realization of just how broken we all are, in light of our great and mighty God....He is Perfect. We are imperfect.  He has perfect love. We have imperfect love.   He sees us in light of eternity.... we see ourselves in light of now.
He guides and teaches us, and in turn, we guide and teach our children.

His Love is not conditional. It is not based upon what we do and our love for our children is not conditional.... it is not based upon their performance.

All this frees each of us in a unique way, to love completely, and be loved completely.
He Fulfills all things, and makes ALL things Beautiful, IN HIS TIME. :)
Evan..... a wretch like me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Crazy Bird!

He is still at it! :)  All Heaven Declares, The Glory of the Risen Lord!
You cannot see anything, but you sure can hear this guy praising the Lord.... I just wish he would do it before bedtime! :)  I tried to whistle to him.... but my whistle isn't very good. :)

Summer Projects

Erika is teaching Alli how to knit!

Chicken Mama

Miss Alli  has been doing so well. She is growing by leaps and bounds. :)  But today, we had a bit of a slip up.
She was teasing a little bit, and I asked her to not tease. She stomped into her room... I called her. No response.  I called again. No response.
Then, she finally came out.  I asked her, "Why did you not come when I called? "   She said, " Because, you are going to go to the rocking chair with me and say, "Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah..........BLAH!"
She did apologize for being rude and not listening. AND THEN.....

I said, " I wonder what it is like to just sit and say, "Blah, Blah Blah....".  :)

And we came up with this:
And that is what it is like to say  "Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah!" :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

 Daddy says he is a very fortunate man to have so many beautiful daughers. :)

 Father's day was fun around here!  Anna woke up early and gave daddy the card she had made. He really liked her card. :)

We headed off to church and then we had Fajita's for lunch with home made tortilla chips.
After that, daddy left to go to the nursing home and do a bible study early....

When he got back, Erika, Sarah and Alli gave him the gift they had been working on for a few days. I thought it turned out really cute. It is a diorama of our business and house.

We ended our day at the lake and daddy got a real work out throwing girls around into the lake. :)
Unfortunately, I forgot the camera. :(

Oh well...... next year. :)
Happy Father's day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guess Who's Hair!

She wanted a 70's look. :)

ANNA!!! :)

And here is her new look! :)

That was a scary experience.   I was afraid I'd mess it up really bad..... but I think it turned out pretty cute. :)

 My sweet girl. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Is The Back Door Method?

We have had quite a discussion from my post here, and Frankity asked what I meant by "going through the back door", when teaching our supposedly unteachable son. :)

I figured my answer was so long, I may as well make it a post. :)

I have to start with me. :)
I struggled with school. I was not the worst student, but it took great effort to do well, and reading was never for pleasure with me.  I actually HATED reading and never could understand why anybody would want to.  You see, I had horrible comprehension. I would read phonetically, and oral reading was quite good...But understanding what I read never connected. Therefore, studying a text book was awful. It took hours to complete homework assignments and studying for tests was just as hard.
I was frustrated beyond words.
When I was a child I checked "Little Women" out of the library several times, but never read it. I never read "Little House on the Prairie", even though I loved the ideas of the books.  I could read them... I just couldn't comprehend them.
Fast forward NOT TOO FAR.... :)

I married at 18, and had my first son at 20.... So I was still a bit of a kid.  Our second son came at 22,  3rd son at 23 and 4th son at 24..... I loved playing with them. And playing included a LOT of crawling.
I never crawled as a baby, I had always known this....but I never connected my not being able to comprehend with left brain right brain engagement. I didn't know about that yet. :)

What happened was I played with my boys and crawled all the time on the floor for about 5 years. LOL
About 3 years into crawling, all of the sudden, I had this insatiable desire to READ! Everything I read was fascinating to me and I couldn't get enough of it.  I had never felt that way before.
I loved reading factual articles and scientific articles, especially medical things, since my son had so many  issues.
What I found one day was a study on left brain right brain connection and the importance of crawling in regards to reading.  The study took adults and had them crawl 20 minutes a day for several months and then gauged their reading improvement.  All of them improved slightly....
I connected that since I was crawling probably 2 hours a day ( we loved crawl races) for several years, the pathways from left brain, right brain made connections that during that time everybody thought were unable to develop, because I was an adult.

Tim had learned to crawl correctly. I made sure of that.  But his brain still had damaged areas.  All I did was take him back to the beginning and encourage him.  We purchased some OLDER materials that were used in the 1800's.  (McGuffy's Readers)
I knew he was very oral, so we did a lot of oral learning.  He would read a sentence and I would read a sentence.
I did not grade his work at all. No tests!  He would stress out on this style of rote and scoring, and would shut down.  He would not be able to get anything out of his head onto paper when stressed.

In a relaxed environment, I pushed him to make himself learn.  He became VERY self disciplined and was so excited when reading came just 3 months after we began. He also covered 2 years of math in one summer.
He would write a paper and turn it in, thinking he had written something fabulous.... Every sentence, EVERY SENTENCE had maybe 2 or 3 words and everything else was missing.  So we would sit down and go sentence by sentence...
"What did you think you wrote?"  He would tell me and I would write it, then he would copy it.
We did this for a few years.  Then, like magic, his brain started filling in the words.
On days where he would wake up and forget everything he ever learned in his life, and it happened several times a month.... we would go for a drive and do art work. This helped the right brain get the exercise it needed and reconnect with the left. By the time afternoon rolled around.... he was back to normal.
I also had him rewrite every lesson in every McGuffy Reader in his OWN words. They are designed in shorter lessons with numbered paragraphs. This built his vocabulary. I read Real books to him and he illustrated as I read.  (all the boys did this)
And then, we would WATCH A MOVIE about a book we were GOING to read, so he could get the characters down, BEFORE reading.... and then read the book.
Many times in school they have the kids read the book and THEN watch the movie. For Tim, and Marc, they needed it to be the opposite.
For mathematics, we used Saxon, which is a repeat, repeat, repeat method, building on concepts. We also used Math U SEE blocks so he could visually see his math.  It really helped him understand why larger numbers in fractions are actually smaller in value.

The only tests I gave him, were the state basic skills test when we started teaching at home. He was in the 3 percentile. When he took the 12th grade test, he scored in the 88 percentile.

Our back door, was to keep working both sides of his brain to cause them to connect. It was to stay away from testing, and use real life books, instead of all text books.  It was to teach him orally, in as many subjects as possible, until his reading skills caught up.  And it was to give him the confidence that HE HAD TO WORK HARDER THAN ANYBODY ELSE if he wanted to compete.  

His HARD WORK AND PERSEVERANCE payed off. He literally studied from 6:30 a.m. until about 7:00 p.m. EVERY DAY.... and he was joyful about it.  He was the first handicapped, homeschooler to attend the local college. They didn't quite know what to do with us, when I told them he needed to have extra time for tests, and he was going to college for CREDIT, like everybody else.
I was asked, "Where is his psychological report?"  I went home and wrote a paper that said, "Tim is well adjusted. " I had it notorized and turned it back in, with a copy of the law that says, A home school is considered a Private School.  I was the administrator. :) Boy was that lady mad! LOL

Tim took 7 years to graduate instead of 5. He went to Jr. College first, then University. He got a scholarship.  Taking upper level teaching classes was very interesting for him, as he was a former special ed student. LOL
When he would tell them he couldn't read at 11, they were shocked.

I believe that all the left brain, right brain stimulation.... and the exercising one side and then the other helped him make the neural connections he needed to learn.  He also worked HARD.
He tells his students now....(he teaches special ed)  You can do it... You just have to work really hard!

Birthday Girls Dance With Daddy

I get great joy in watching daddy dance with his daughters.  I can't help but think where they could have been....or what could have happened..... It makes me shudder to think.... and then, I get tears of joy......
Alli wanted to join in on the birthday dances...... Anna ran for the hills. LOL
I think Mike had his work out for the night. After chocolate cake and strawberry cheese cake, he needed it. LOL

Erika's Day

I'm telling you, I am SO PROUD of this little girl, who is now a teenager. :)  For my newer readers, Erika came to us 5 years ago from Ukraine.
After adopting Sarah, she talked alot about her best friend that she left behind in the orphanage, and how much she missed her.
We found out, from the same missionary who Erika was.
There were many things we didn't know, but our hearts KNEW Erika and Sarah belonged together.

Erika was born in the same region of Ukraine as Sarah.  She was in a left to lay room; a dying room, for her first 4 years of life. This meant she rocked back and forth, day in and day out and NEVER got out of her crib.
I still do not understand HOW, but she was transferred FROM the laying room, TO a special needs orphanage, at 4 years of age. God had His hand on her life, and one of the orphanage workers taught her to talk, walk, and eat.  She also had a series of surgeries that eventually led to the loss of her feet in the United States 5 months after she came home.

Erika is so amazing! She is smart and sweet and has an inner strength that causes me to want to do better.  We heard  that she had a condition called Arthrogryposis.  When we asked about it, the orphange director said, "Her Joint Don't Work"..... that was a bit of an understatement. LOL

When we finally got to Ukraine, and met her, we were so excited.  Her reply to meeting us: "Where have you been? I've been waiting 50 years!" LOL

She was so brave when we left.  This little girl who had never been out of a small crib, and then a tiny area of an orphanage, went on a train, a plane... she looked at the world around her with awe.  And she was determined to learn to walk all over again after her feet had to be amputated.

When the Dr. said that this would have to be done, she was rather matter of fact.... "Doctor going to cut my feet off like chicken!"  (thick Russian accent) He nearly fainted. :)

Erika is one of those kids, who, though she has been through more than you or I could imagine, seem to SHINE.

So here are a few pictures of her day:

 There's the famous chicken again, jealous of our pink egg. :)

 Love you, my girl!


Here is the Happy yet SLEEPY face of our fifth teenager! :)  More to follow! :)  I cannot believe she is already 13.  And a lovely girl she is. :)
Happy Birthday Baby Girl! :) 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The End Of The Day.....

I think Everybody is all Partied out! LOL  Tomorrow! Erika turns 13. :)

What WAS Normal VS. What IS Normal and Language Comprehension

When parenting traumatized children, one thing goes out the window..... NORMAL....Whatever that is. :)
I posted yesterday about STAGES, and how our children can be 18 months old emotionally, physically 8, or 10, or older, have the street smarts of 21 and the understanding of 5.... and we have to know where they are and what age they are operating in, in order to parent them.  It is a HUGE requirement to be IN TUNE with your child in order to parent them according to where they are at any given moment.

Just as it would not be fair to expect a 2 year old to act 12. It isn't fair to expect a 12 year old with 2 year old emotions to act 12.  You MUST parent him at 2.

This sounds strange I KNOW.... It sounds like coddling, or giving in... but it VERY MUCH IS NOT! In fact, it is a requirement in order for your child to heal and move into wholeness.

It is a commonly known understanding that where ever trauma happened, many children will get STUCK at that point and be unable to move ahead, until they are parented at the age the trauma happened.
I remember very VIVIDLY, when I was in the 8th grade, a girl who was new to my school. She came at an odd time in the middle of the year, and was seated next to me.  She giggled uncontrollably, but I sensed she was more embarrassed.  She had no idea how to converse and was VERY awkward socially. She was a foster child.
In Art Class, we had to draw, and I remember her drawing. She drew about like a 3 year old.
I was no artist at all, but I remember her nervously trying to draw what the teacher asked, and it stuck with me.  This is the first time I have ever written about this.... BUT I have come to understand what may have been going on all those years ago in 8th grade and it hurts to think what happened to her.
Is she homeless? Did she make it?  She seemed so very damaged. :(  

A child who is in the midst of trauma, or has had severe trauma, has a very difficult time learning.  They may be smart.... but they cannot use the part of their brain they need to function educationally, because their emotions are over riding and dominating the thinking part of their brain.  I know this isn't very scientific, as I am not a scientist, but it is my observation and experience.

I would liken it to nearly getting into a fatal car accident and then trying to do algebra.  It AIN'T Gonna happen!  Try remembering your social security number and doctor's phone number when you are in a panic! There is a REASON they created 911.... people cannot think when they are in trauma.
Why do we expect our kids to?

Our children come to us with THEIR version of NORMAL, which is very much upheavel. They do not know what a loving family is. Many times they don't understand the concept of a family at all!  They are taking care of #1 and that is it!  They need no one, though they like the concept of a mama and daddy.... they don't understand the roles....
We PATIENTLY have to introduce them to the NEW NORMAL....
Sometimes, they will LONG for the old comfortable way things were.  It makes no sense to those who don't deal with trauma, but for a child who's brain has been trained to function in dysfunction, they can crave it, and will try to RECREATE it!
As a therapeutic parent....YOUR job is to REWIRE their little brain and write the NEW NORM on their heart.

I remember when Anna was little... we would get in the car and she would take the seat belt into her hands and yell, "WHY DON'T YOU JUST HIT ME!"  She needed the adrenalin rush that she was so used to.  Instead, I rocked her.  I sang to her and it made her MAD sometimes..... She was trying to fulfill all the familiar in a sort of odd way.  Familiar is comfortable....even if you don't like it!
That is what she was doing...Trying to make the familiar happen, because the NEW norm was very scary.
With Alli, we are having some of the same things happen.... She is working through stages of healing, but also sometimes tries to recreate chaos.  She doesn't know or understand why.   Poor baby.
It was her norm for so very long that she knew nothing else.

Today we had a great talk about words and how important they are.  She SO LACKS understanding in English.  She is SO SMART, and speaks English well.... She just doesn't understand it.
I know it sounds weird, but we went through the same thing with Sarah.

Speaking comes BEFORE comprehension.  Sarah spoke perfect Texan...but didn't know or understand MANY words. This made her original family think she was manipulative and rebellious and she wasn't.
In Alli's case I suspect the very same thing.... but she is older, and carries many burdens from her first families accusations.   She was declared RAD, ODD, and a number of other things....and it was assumed by some counselor that she knew exactly what she was doing because she spoke English so well.:( 
FRANKLY! There has GOT to be more professional training in this area!
If I went to Russia, and spoke Russian for 2 years, I SERIOUSLY DOUBT I could carry on a deep conversation with ANYBODY! Why do we expect this of our kids?  It is just like you hear people say, "Ah, kids are resiliant".....UGH..... KIDS HURT JUST LIKE ADULTS! They are people!

Alli and I talked today about working extra hard on vocabulary and understanding. Much of her frustrations come from not being able to say what is in her head.  The problem is SHE HAS NO LANGUAGE  IN WHICH  TO SPEAK her more complex thoughts.  FOLKS that can be frustrating!
I would equate it to the frustration of an altimer's patient who gets upset when they cannot communicate!
 She told me today that I was the first person who understood why she would get upset and say never mind.   That really makes me sad. :(
Alli is on her 3rd language, none of which have been mastered. :(
Yet to hear her speak, you wouldn't have a clue. 
I think I am going to get a fun vocabulary workbook for her and for Erika for the summer.  That way they can continue to work on English comprehension.

Alli had a really great day today and really got into celebrating Sarah's Birthday.... I was really proud of her!

I know this post was all over the place. :)  Sorry about that.

Sarah's Cake

Every year, the girls get to design their own cake. Sarah picks Chocolate Cake with Strawberries every year.... but she asked for an oblong cake this year. :)  She also requested that it be gluten free so I could have some too.  I have to say...... It was FABULOUS! 

You Are Still Holy