Monday, February 20, 2012

24 hour miracle

  OK well not that great but since starting to apply certain methods we learned the two boys who always woke at 5am everyday slept until 8am the first day home, 7am today.

   Today when one of the boys became obviously threatened by a misunderstanding of words I was able to resolve it with him. He came back to "the scene of the crime" willingly and redid the offence in a respectful way.  You see he is still learning English after 2 years in America and has not moved out of the easy fight or flight response. He only hears about half of what we say and feels so threatened and unsafe by anyone who cares for him . He takes many things, on a daily basis out of context and then stomps off angry at the world. He is rarely ever able to rejoin the group for a long time as he holds on to the anger and can't let go of the fear.He is the one who is snarky, snotty and disrespectful on a daily basis. I can not remember one day, no exageration, in the past two years in which he hasn't been disrespectful.
Today he was crabby and disrespectful but went back and made it right. This is absolutely amazing. Ok ok I know that we haven't slain the fear demon yet but it felt wonderful to lead him from anger to safety today.

The adoption journey starts when the child comes home.

  I spent half of last night thinking about that statement. Instead of sleeping that is.  I heard it at the ETC conference this past weekend and it was one of the many phrases that made a lot of sense to me.

  The waiting, paperwork, looking at photos and even the travel to meet your child is just a memory when you get your child home. That is where the real journey begins.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Empowered to Connect

First day of a conference in Dallas that we are at. Its called Empowered to Connect.

Wow, wow, wow

The good news is that we are on the right track with our parenting style. We are learning how to tweek and make specific type behavioral changes. Really cool to learn practical tools to use in our everyday life.

I love that I am hearing people in person who have children who "know" what it's like to walk in our shoes. They are walking the same path. To see others using our "voodoo" methods and they are working with deeply hurt kids. I call it voodoo because from the outside, the family with only bio kids and no personal experience of traumatized kids, think our methods are off the wall. I have seen the stares from our fellow church members and our neighbors. Even our family we can see bite their tongues as they want to say, " those kids need some ole school discipline." We have heard from family, " he just needs a good **&^*)) whooping"

 So it felt validating to see professionals and successful adoptive parents telling a huge group of people that the methods we have been using are ones that seem to heal our trauma kids. OK so we are not perfect and have already gained some insights into how to work with our two most challenging children. What we can do differently and how we are making their behavior worse with the current parenting plan.

  I am super excited to share what we have learned. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Neuro options

Our EMDR and Neuro work at home has made some interesting changes Zach. I will write later tonight or tomorrow about the progress.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Isn't this fun!

One boy curls up in a ball in the middle of the trampoline. Then the other three bounce as hard as they can to lift up the ball. I think they call it "dead man". Pretty funny huh


neurological reorganization    Kids, like ours, come from hard places.

 The other day when I was given an article by Zach's therapist. It was called "When Baby Comes Down." It was a scientific article about what we have believed all along. That Zachary's emotional and learning difficulties likely started in the womb and he was "born this way." Growing up in the orphanage for a year and a half only solidified his distrust and anxiety of the world. 
  Great, we have an agreement with a professional, a doctor of psyhology,  that our sweet son is dysregulated and dysfunctional on a neurological and biological level. Ugh, we forgot to talk about a treatment plan besides EMDR. Which is what is used for PTSD. How do we resolve PTSD from the womb or infant stages I ask? 
  So after reading, what seems like hundreds of pages of documents, about how kids get ADHD, attachment disorders, Asbergers I found very little about treatment methods. It was like saying, " my car is broken." Then not finding a way to fix the car. 
  Well on the billionth page of research I found of a treatment called Neuro Reorganization. It goes on the theory that the kids, like Zach, who have these problems are thinking in the most primitive level. A survival mode that causes us to have the flight or fight response. With kids like Zach the response is never ever shut off. Therefore his normal state of mind is what we feel like when we are in a severe state of stress. 
  Think about a time when you were driving down the road and a deer jumped out, or a car pulled out and you came a second from hitting it. What happens chemically is that our bodies go into a flight/fight response with adrenaline, epinepherine, cortisol and a few other crazy sounding chemicals. Our heart beats faster, breathing becomes shallow and rapid. We are unable to think clearly and completely. Study after study shows that orphanage kids, or early kids with early trama, have super high levels of these chemicals ALL the time. They were never able to shut the flight response off. This leads to learning issues, adhd, aggression and violence to name a few. 
  What the therapy does is allows the child's brain to relearn these "normal" responses. The damaged pathways will never heal in Zach's brain but hopefully with this movement therapy it will help Zach's brain find different pathways. It will help his brain work together, left and right, front and back. Right now he only thinks with the midbrain, the part that is needed for survival. 
   We have our first evaluation at the end of Feb. in Tulsa.