Catching up on Journaling our Life

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When I began blogging I had no idea what this journey would look like. My original vision for this blog was to simply record our adoption journey with Tyler…the good, bad, and blessed pieces of this journey. My hope was that it would serve as a sort of love letter to him from his adoptive mother detailing the start of our life together. My plan was to print out the first year of blogs in the form of a book that could be given to him as an adult.

I had no idea how much more this blog would become. I had no idea the joy it would bring me to share and connect with others. I had no idea what a valuable form of therapy it would be for this frazzled mother. I have found a solace and joy in recording our life through this medium in a way I would have never expected. For me blogging has become my reward, my recreation, and a part of my day that I selfishly look forward to.

I have always enjoyed and valued the act of recording the story of life. Beginning as a girl I filled journals and diaries with recordings of the events of my life and my thoughts and observations. Once grown I was able to marry my two passions of journaling and photography when I began scrapbooking. Now that life is fuller and busier I find I don’t always have the time to scrapbook the stories of our life and thus blogging has filled a void.

I blog because it brings me joy, but I also blog for less selfish reasons,

primarily to record our family’s story.

I do this for my children.

It is a way I can leave a piece of myself behind when I am gone. My children and grandchildren will know what I believed and what I valued by the words I spoke and the things I photographed. Most importantly my hope is that they will feel my great love for them and understand the joy I received from being their mother.

Every so often  I print the previous 6 months of blogs into a hardbound book through the company, “Sharedbook.”

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These hardbound books sit on a shelf in our living room and I often see the kids lounging on the floor reading through past years of blog entries. It is better than reading a novel because it is their story. They are the heroes, heroines, jesters, and sometimes villains of these stories. 🙂 They enjoy reading their past stories and remembering.

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And for this reason some blogs I share are nothing more than a recording of the ordinary comings and goings of life. I apologize for these sort of entries that are nothing more than a time line of ordinary living…

for those blog posts that don’t make you laugh or cry,

just simply yawn 😉

But that is the reason why.

Here are some of those ordinary day to day happenings that I have been meaning to catch up on.

The last week has been one of “catching up” after a full holiday month of parties and fun. We are officially back to reality and I must admit it feels kind of nice. The last week has been filled with paperwork, appointments, working on Christmas thank you notes with the kids, and school testing.

Tyler’s report from his IEP evaluation came back and my suspicion’s were confirmed. In addition I received a lot of new insight that helps me better understand his struggles in school. While I won’t go into all that the testing revealed I will say that we have a long road ahead of us and I am grateful for answers so that we can begin that climb.

I have been through this process with three of my other children and I have become well educated about the world of special education services and IEPs. As someone that has never struggled with a learning disability  I struggled in the beginning to figure out how to teach a child with Dyslexia or other learning disabilities. I have had to relearn how to teach. I have spent hundreds of hours researching and studying in an effort to learn how my children best learn individually and teach them accordingly. It can be a daunting and overwhelming mantle of responsibility, which is why I am so grateful for school support, great teachers and therapists and a loving God that blesses me with energy, talents and patience that are not my own and come only from Him!

Molly also had an IEP evaluation this week. Her last evaluation was when she was in 4th grade. (Her first was in 1st grade.) It was in that first evaluation that she received the diagnoses of Dyslexia. For the first six years of school she had an IEP and received special education support. In 6th grade the cyber charter school she was with felt that she had met her IEP goals and no longer needed an IEP. That changed when she hit high school. Immediately her learning coach saw the struggles she has with reading, writing and math, and while she was able to maintain all A’s the amount of time and effort she was putting into getting those A’s indicated a learning disability. When I confirmed that she did indeed have a Specific Learning Disability (Dyslexia) he suggested we have her retested and evaluated for an IEP. Her test took place in our home on Tuesday. A school psychologist came out to our home where he administered an IQ and achievement tests to determine her strengths and weaknesses. We received a call on Friday that the results of the test came back and confirmed what we already knew. Molly has an IEP meeting scheduled for two weeks from now.

Gracie feels that Molly is going to find more success now that she has access to the same special education support services that Grace does (who is also Dyslexic.) But in the midst of all this good news Grace received some heartbreaking news. Her special education learning coach, Mr. Dolan, is leaving the school as a result of moving out of state for his wife’s job. He called Grace this week and there were many tears. Mr. Dolan has had a profound affect on Gracie’s educational experience and success. She credits him for encouraging her to step outside the boundaries of what she felt she was capable and comfortable with as a Dyslexic student and reach higher. At his encouragement she joined National Honor Society and even tackled the Goliath challenge of Honors English. Because of his profound affect on her life she wants to go to school to become a Special Education teacher so that she can help other kids like herself. Gracie is going to miss Mr. Dolan but is grateful to have had him for a teacher.

In addition to a lot of school meetings and testing we have been working on regulating Tyler’s medication. Getting his ADHD (which has been diagnosed as severe by his doctor) managed will help him be more successful with school…and will make life easier for the entire family. The problem we are having is that Tyler is in a small percentage of children that metabolizes medication too quickly. The result is that his 12 hour dose is wearing off in 6 hours. At our last appointment his doctor put him on a quick release afternoon dose to help control his symptoms until bedtime. It has worked but the downside of a stimulant given at 4:00pm is a child who is wired until midnight. So on Friday we met with the doctor again for medication adjustment. Before we consider introducing another medication we are going to try moving his afternoon medication up two hours and giving him Melatonin (5mg) at bed. Last night was our trial run and he was asleep by 10. We will see how tonight goes! 🙂

All in all it was a week of ordinary living without a whole lot of excitement, but it was a week of answers…much needed answers…and that is a blessing!

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