We are so thankful for the continued healing of our son diagnosed with RAD, ODD, ADD and developmental delays. We are so proud of him! He has worked so hard on his therapy when it gets very monotonous for all of us. I feel like this is the first year he is really allowing us to love him and wanting to love us back; after 12, long years, this brings me much joy! He has progressed emotionally, behaviorally, relationally and academically, and there is a lot less conflict – yeah! I was so unsure for many years, but now we have turned a corner. I know he will make it – praise the Lord!! He will be a fine, young man, and a blessing to others. He has gone from 66% function for his age to 83% function in 3 years on the neurodevelopmental therapies, diet, etc. Empowered to Connect and Love & Logic were very helpful during these difficult times. We also did an intense parasite cleanse, and he was so much calmer after that. Cranio sacral seems to make a difference, too, but we don’t take him often, as it’s not nearby. Just a year or two to go, and he should graduate from the Family Hope Center, Lord willing. It will be thrilling to see those labels dropping off his medical report one by one! (I really don’t think he has ADD anymore, but they haven’t officially dropped it yet.) It definitely is a marathon, so we dialed back the intensity a bit the last year so we could enjoy some more fun, family times. I think we all needed that!
Isaac is progressing, too. I just had him evaluated by a Talk Tools therapist, and she said he is 80-90% there on his speech! He is speaking much more clearly than last year, and his energy continues to be good on Armour natural desiccated thyroid. He is 5 and 1/2 and very ready for phonics. Today he sounded out two, 3-letter words without my help. He loves people and often wants to do what the others are doing, whether it’s cooking or going out to do the pony chores. He lost his first tooth, and the new one is growing in quickly. He had to get glasses, but his heart checks are always good. The doc said the repair was so good that he cannot even see one of them anymore. We got an expander to help with the apnea, and he has expanded nicely. We are also planning to start a metronome breathing vest, but we are trying to make it ourselves to save money, and it’s not finished yet. The FHC has Isaac on several supplements (Vitamin D, minerals, digestive enzyme, methyl assist, fish oil, something for his skin/allergies, and blue-green algae), and he’s such a trooper about taking them. I may consider adding more from Jett Durkin’s supplement list (http://dsdaytoday.blogspot.com/2011/03/complete-protocol.html), but the FHC was concerned that Isaac wasn’t digesting well, so not really getting the benefit of them all. We switched to the FHC diet from GAPS – it’s similar, but with 1 gluten-free grain per day allowed. He seems to be sensitive to nightshades, which we eat a lot. 😦 But his cheeks are a lot less red when he stays away from them. He still has digestion issues, but I’m not great about using the fermented foods, and I’m pretty sure that would help. I’m looking forward to our other son graduating so I can work more with Isaac. This year we plan to have him in a classical Kindergarten, as we have a daughter with dyslexia who really needs my help. (I sure am thankful for the “village” when it comes to special needs!) I found a brain program for her healing (Connect Education/Dianne Craft), so we are looking forward to much progress this year. Hopefully Isaac won’t be too tired in the afternoons for his therapy. If so, we can homeschool him for K instead.
Family update: Wow – so much happens in a year with so many people in the family! I got away for 2 days to a teacher’s conference in KY last summer. Met some new people and learned a lot about classical homeschooling. A real treat was our trip out east to SMBI Family Week, a challenging and fun week of classes, singing, fellowship and fun activities. It was our first time, and we met so many nice people. I was blessed by their emphasis on missions, and we were able to visit family and friends on the drive. We always enjoy Grandpa’s visits each year, and were able to witness the total solar eclipse with him. “The band” was only 2 hours north, and we enjoyed a fun day with friends on a generous rancher’s land. What a sight to see! A highlight was the 360 degree “sunset.” Just amazing – and gorgeous!!
Papa is still a wonderful provider, flying the Dreamliner (787), but getting tired/slowing down. We still hope to start a business here with our small aircraft, that our son can take over once he learns to fly and has enough hours. We are starting to prepare for “retirement” which makes me feel old, but being around all our children keeps me young!
Our eldest daughter (the first to move out) went to teach Kindergarten in PA and finished her second novel. She learned so much and made many new friends and memories. We all went out for Spring Break (combined with our FHC appts.) and had a very special time meeting her new church family and school colleagues. The younger boys and I got to sit in on classes – always a treat for us homeschoolers! We have her here for just a few more weeks this summer, as she plans to go back as the special needs assistant this fall.
At Christmas we were planning our 2nd Annual Family Ski Trip, but then a couple of children got quite sick. I spent my Mom & Dad’s Christmas money on a ping pong table, and we did that instead! (It didn’t matter what the activity – we were together!) After about 2 years of building, we finally moved into our new, much more spacious house in March – the day before I flew out to PA. Not the wisest plan, I’ll admit, but we had renters waiting on us.
We tried to adopt a sweet, little boy with Down Syndrome (Peng Peng) from China, who our friends’ were fostering there, but the govt. turned us down because of our family size. Now he is back in a state orphanage, so please pray for him! We looked into special-needs programs in other countries (Bulgaria, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, etc.), but God seemed to be shutting the doors. So we became foster parents instead! We are done with all the training, etc. and are awaiting our first placement. Always an adventure around here!
Some of us went to my cousin’s wedding in NE this summer, where he shared his first kiss with his sweet wife – very lovely story. She was adopted from Vietnam, and we felt blessed to share in their special day. I was so happy that my sister (who led me to the Lord!) and niece from Mexico/Arizona were able to join us for the RV trip. We talked and talked and talked, having so much in common with our experiences in teaching, mental health issues and special needs. Two of the boys went with Papa to their Grandpa’s and tried to beat the FL heat instead. Not that NE was very cool!
Our second daughter went on a mission trip to the south of Spain for the summer and had a wonderful time. Our eldest son is on his way to Africa for missions, too. Another daughter is finishing up 12th grade and getting her driver’s license, a bit overdue! She and I enjoyed an excellent, Christian music camp in Canada, and I met new, mom friends and a wonderful group of single ladies. Oh, how we laughed – such good medicine! I was also able to go back to my childhood vacation spot on the Georgian Bay. It was like going back in time, and so neat to see how many things were unchanged! The smell was so familiar to me, and I hadn’t been back in 25 years! The rest of the children are busy as usual, lately a lot of them working on stories for a family writing contest. They should be outside, as it will soon be cold again!
God be with you ’til we “meet” again,