Yesterday’s adoption conversations

​Minnie: Momma, what is it like to grow up with your birth mom

Me: I don’t know how to answer that, because I don’t know anything else. What does it feel like to grow up with an adopted mom?

Minnie: Lucky! Good. Happy. But also weird, because it seems like someone I should know is missing. 

Me: I think that is a normal way to feel, because a piece of who you are is a mystery to you.

Minnie: I guess…people ask about her and I just think it is weird that I don’t know her. 

Me: I get that, I can try to fill in the blanks for you….

Minnie: No. I have a real mom who is the best mommy ever, I just wondered if it felt different to grow up with your birth mom. I’m good, I don’t actually have any questions right now that I want answered…except… can we stop for candy?

Adoption is a very regular topic of conversation around here – so regular that it crops up on the way home from the pharmacy. #adoption

And then there is this beautiful pillowcase she made. It says “Adoption 5 years ago I was adopted! It was the best day of my life!”

We are going to call this a good day for adoption topics in our house. 


New meds

So, Mickey had been struggling at home and at school prior to the holidays.  Nothing terrible, just overall – more anxiety, more frustration, more (non-stop) asking for things, etc.  His therapist suggested that we might add a medication.  I am resistant to doing that, but what we were doing wasn’t working.  So, I mentioned it to the doctor at our last visit, and she agreed.  See, Straterra has been a game changer for us.  We did entirely too long on stimulant adhd meds, before someone suggested that they might be contributing to his aggression.  When we came off and switched to Straterra (after trying several others), we saw a huge difference.  He was able to focus at school, he wasn’t angry all the time, he didn’t explode the way he once had.  But, it did nothing to calm his body, which moves every waking minute.  It also did little to control his impulsiveness, but overall we were pleased.  The doctor suggested we try Clonodine – just a tiny dose in the morning – to see if that helped him take the edge off.

Well, he fell asleep repeatedly on day one – this wasn’t a huge surprise, he took Clonodine for sleep when he was in foster care, but it was a much higher dose).  And he took 3 naps on day 2.  He has adjusted though. But, as we sit here two weeks after we started the Clonodine, I was prepared to write an exciting, awesome update.  But, it was not to be.  The school called and after two weeks of raving about how awesome his behavior has been, he fell apart today.  Now, that isn’t necessarily reflective of the meds, but it is disappointing.  The new medication does make him a bit sleepier, so he is quite a bit crankier than I would like in the evenings.  But, overall we may be on to something here.  **

I asked Mickey how the new medication was going for him and his response was this:

“I love it. I feel….less…I don’t know…edgy?  I don’t want to adjust the med because I am getting my work done, I am not annoyed with my teacher and the day is easier.  Minnie still annoys me though”

I love that he is able to vocalize that (not the part about his sister annoying him, but the part about how he feels and how the medications help him) – it makes me feel like we are doing the right thing.  He is quick to voice his displeasure with a medication too (Ativan, which we have an emergency only prescription for – he HATES it.  Doesn’t like the way it makes him feel and will generally refuse it).


**Before you ask, yes we talked to his therapist and tried working through the issues before we went to meds.  We also religiously use essential oils, in an effort to minimize medications.  But, I am the first to admit – with zero guilt – that he requires medications to be functional.  Our objective is the fewest meds possible for him to function.  We limit sugar, we don’t do food dyes (with very few exceptions).  We tried gluten/casein free for 8 months, which did nothing to improve behavior, but it did make every single meal a war zone.  Food is Mickey’s go-to coping skill and making that a battle just made the only peaceful time of our day utterly miserable.

17 days

Sorry for the silence – 17 days of 24/7 togetherness did me in.  I hope you all had the happiest of holiday seasons.  It was a long 17 days.  Lots of fighting (the kids), lots of nagging (me), lots of fun (all) and lots of frustration (all) and a little bit of sadness.

Christmas went well.  Mickey got a new hybrid record player/CD writer/tape player/radio in a retro design.  He has recently started collecting vinyl, so this was the BEST GIFT EVER!, per Mickey.  That was from my parents and Uncle bought him some vinyl and I got him some Cds.  Minnie got her top 3 items and she was thrilled.  We opened Santa gifts and then went to my parent’s house and spent the day there.  My brother was in good spirits and feeling well – well enough to laugh at the stuffed kidney I got him for Christmas.

We went to Six Flags and got some coaster time in.  We looked at a billion or so Christmas lights – one of our favorite family activities.  Minnie had two rehearsals for dance team, but otherwise we were blissfully dance class free. Everything was good until New Years eve/morning.  As is our tradition, we went out for Mexican food, said goodbye to our favorite light display, the kids went to bed and I woke them for our midnight toast of sparkling grape juice and noise makers.  That was fine.  It was 2 hours later when I noticed the cat was playing with something….

Sherbert is a sweet cat, in general.  She is also not a fan of our hamsters, but has never acknowledged the gecko or the fish.  That changed on New Years.  After 8 months of Spots the gecko living with us, she found her cage, got the lid open and fetched Spots from the cage.  It didn’t end well for Spots.  So, when the children woke up New Year’s day, I had to tell them that their beloved Gecko was gone.  We loved her – I was extremely resistant to getting her – she was rescued from being released outside from a family that had her half dead in their basement. They told Minnie their plan and an hour later we had a gecko.  I ended up finding her to be a delightful pet.  One that hung out on our shoulder, loved attention and was low maintenance.  We had a cover on the aquarium and Sherbert had never even noticed her cage before (unlike the hamster cage, which she stalks daily and has had to be tied to a wall to protect the poor little thing).  I feel like we failed her greatly, but I held her when she died and then I held my children as we buried her and had a funeral.  It was a sad start to 2017.  RIP Spots – you were a good pet.