The biggest praise last year (end of November) was that our older son was amazingly better overnight after a very rough 4-5 months.  He had 2 craniosacral fascial sessions at The Family Hope Center and has not been violent for 6 months!  Not once!  I was really shocked, and even my very skeptical=wise husband couldn’t deny the correlation.  My son’s M.D. felt that the marked change in behavior was due to his first roller coaster rides, which were the week before the trouble started.  His healing came as a real answer to prayer after he was anointed at church at the beginning of November!  We still have a long road to travel to reach good attachment, interpersonal relationships, academic achievement, and problem solving skills, but things are so much better, and he is healing from RAD, ODD and developmental delays.  I believe he has already been healed from ADD through all the therapies we’ve done in the last few years (brain organization, diet, supplements, reflexes, etc).  I am so proud of him for all the hard work he has done in therapy, etc. – I know it is not easy!

Isaac, at almost 4 and a half, continues to be one of my favorite people and one of my best friends.  He is just such a joy – so fun and pleasant and happy.  He loves to be with people, ride his scooter, sing, jump on the trampoline, do preschool & therapy and wander off with that gleam in his eye!  Everyone in the family enjoys spending time with him, and that is, of course, such a blessing for me to see – others blessed by his life every day.

We skipped his appt. at The Family Hope Center last time, to save money, and b/c we have focused more on my older son b/c of his serious issues.  Isaac does about 30% of the program with his oldest sister who works for us this year (a real answer to prayer!), and takes supplements as well as having a very healthy diet.  His heart checked excellent again, and the dentist said his teeth were in the top 5% for people with DS.  His sleep study revealed that he does have pretty serious sleep apnea, though, so we are researching ways to get better breathing (CPAP, removal of tonsils and adenoids, oxygen therapy, orthodontic expander).  Any advice out there?!  We will start with the expander and pray about the other options, too.  We hope to see our older son graduate from the FHC program in the next year or two, and get Isaac up to 100% as soon as possible.  The director said children w/ T21 often graduate in 6-7 years at around 80-85% function for their age.  I think that is terrific and worth all the hard work!  It really keeps me going to do the therapies with my older son, and I need to stay strong for all the children.

We met a man with DS yesterday at the store, and he was very fit and able at 56, as well as pleased to see Isaac and get a hug from him!  His mother leaned over and said “I think we’ve been given angels from heaven.”  :o)

Family news: We had a film crew come Thanksgiving week, as our older son is part of a documentary being made about adoption and attachment.  We so enjoyed the crew, as they were so kind and really a blessing to have in our home.  We just had a nice, pretty normal week, and they were the “flies on the wall.”  We look forward to seeing the finished project, and pray it helps at least one desperate parent and child!

Papa works hard to put bread on the table, and pay for our new house we started building last summer.  He plans to paint it next month, with a little help from the older ones.  Everyone enjoys running errands with him, and we appreciate his care of us, and when he takes us out to Red Robin, too!  He enjoys buying and selling planes, and flying them once in awhile, too!  Our second son has begun his flying lessons with him, so that was exciting to see him filling out his logbook and planning flights.  Before I know it I’ll be watching him solo, Lord willing!

Our third homeschool graduate is moving on to other things this year, so that was fun to celebrate.  She is an artist, and hopes to use her art to bring glory to God and bring others into His kingdom.  She is also interested in foreign missions and is thinking about Africa.  We have another graduate on the way next spring, and she is interested in neonatal nursing, so we’ve been researching that a bit this week.

Our oldest son got his first full-time job as a systems analyst.  We are so pleased that he will be using his skills and will be challenged and learn a lot as well.  The company seems a very good one that takes care of their people.  He is a junior in college and plans to continue his studies for his B.S. in digital forensics.

Our oldest daughter learned a lot and was blessed by a recent Christian writers’ conference she attended.  We decided to rent a cabin and had a lovely time together, getting about 3 feet of snow in the mountains.  It was just beautiful, and Isaac hiked all over with us.  We were glad we went prepared, with snow pants, etc.

We just finished school Thursday and the “middles” and “littles” (ages 11 down to 4) all are buzzing with their interests this summer – baking, building “houses”, gardening, riding bikes and scooters, singing, reading, playing games on the trampoline and X-box (thanks Grandpa!).  They also enjoy the “Torchlighters” series of missionary videos, but I tell them to get outside, as it’s finally warm up north!  (Last Friday I drove to singing practice in a hail storm!)

We are all looking forward to a plane trip out to PA this summer, where our good friends’ daughter is getting married – our older daughters’ friend!  It seems the older children have friends courting and marrying left and right. It’s a new season, and it’s fun to see all the older ones turning into wonderful young men and women, but to still have middles and younger ones to teach and enjoy, too.

It’s a rich, busy season, and one I won’t wish away!



I John 5:4


Revisit to the Family Hope Center

It’s been such a busy year, that I haven’t posted about our first revisit to the Family Hope Center in May.  (Now it’s almost time for our next one!)

Isaac gained 4 months function in 6 months, and although he didn’t gain in terms of % function (as his peers would typically gain ~ 6 months function in that timeframe), he is doing very well.  He is at the 50th percentile for height and weight on the regular charts, and his energy level is great!

He is honestly one of my favorite people, such a joy to know and care for, making us smile and laugh throughout the day – and I really need that in this season of my life!  We’ve got some work to do socially, as this summer at a swim meet he just walked up to a table (not ours) and started drinking from someone’s cup!  Oops!  But people just seem to love him, and I’ve had a few that wanted to take him home – no way! 🙂

My older son with RAD, ODD, ADD, and developmental delays made great gains, jumping 3 grade levels in Reading and 2 grade levels in Math in just 7 months time!  Behavior and decision-making/logic skills improved, too, and for the first time he seemed motivated to get his work done so he could go play (something that is common in children, but was not with him in the past).

During the 2-day appointment, we got word that the searcher I hired had found his birthmother in Guatemala.  He acted indifferent (typical with him when it comes to relationships), but did want to see the pictures, and asks appropriate questions at times. We received a new program and started some work on laterality (right dominance).

In the spring I attended the “Empowered to Connect” seminar on Trust-based Relational Intervention, a parenting model for hard to reach children and teens from hard places (our son was neglected of food as an infant before he came to us). They have even had success with teens already in residential treatment centers.  We gradually implemented the strategies, and it seems a very good model for him.  I finally learned why he does everything he does (whereas before his behavior was such a puzzle), and have tools to deal with any situation.

In June we attended the Latin American Heritage Camp for Adoptive Families in the Rockies.  It was a fun time, playing games, meeting new friends, cooking some Latin foods, and talking about adoption, too.  The next week we traveled to Ohio to a family wedding and my family reunion.  It was another fun time, but without much therapy at all.  The FHC doesn’t recommend taking so much time off therapy, and I read later that children with RAD do better if a vacation is not more than a day or two!  Well, I love my son and certainly want to do my best to help him, but I/we must think of all the other family members, too.  It means some tough decisions to make at times.

It was after this that our son seemed to go downhill behaviorally.  The summer schedule was a bit more relaxed, but certainly still structured, and included his full program, if we could get it done.  He became increasingly defiant/resistant and violent at times.  Was it the heat?  Hormones? All the adoption issues that were addressed?  The vacation?  The new parenting model (they work at really connecting positively with the child, and that is what they fear, b/c of past neglect and/or abuse, so they can be very resistant, even though it’s done kindly and with respect for the child)?  Or a combination of these?

At one point we were having to restrain him daily.  It was so sad to see him so miserable, and not know how to help him.  All we could do was go on in what we knew best.  It was a very rough summer, but with the structure of the fall things got better.  The violence lessened to once a week, so we were much relieved.  Our eldest daughter is working for us this school year, so she works half days with him, and I work with him in the afternoons.  Since I was really overwhelmed from the summer, this was a real answer to prayer, and has taken much stress off of me.  I am able to teach the other children in the morning, and I have soooo enjoyed that!

Unfortunately, the defiance and violence have increased once again in the past few weeks, and I’m so worn out. My heart breaks for him, and it’s so hard to accept that we don’t seem to be helping him very much, if at all. 😦  I’ve shed so many tears, and prayed so many prayers over this situation. I’ve learned that I can work very hard at it, but I cannot force him to love or to accept our love.  And I cannot make choices for him.  In the past year, I was sure we had found the best brain program and parenting model for him.  We’ve had him annointed, but God has not healed him yet.  But I must just continue to do my best for him, and leave the rest to him and God.  I’ve researched a couple of other options/programs, but for now we will continue in what we’ve chosen, and wait to see how his next evaluation is at the FHC.  Then we will decide how to proceed.

We’d REALLY appreciate your prayers.  My prayer is that he would come to know Jesus, and that God would be glorified through his life.  Thank you!