About Me

I am a single mom of three amazing boys!  All three of my sons entered my family through adoption.  All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!

Monday, June 14, 2010

home almost a week

Well, we have had 6 days together as a family, and life is becoming routine again. I have had the opportunity to have some pretty important reminders.....

1. Matthew is seen differently by new people or people who do not see him all the time.
I am working hard to take some time to see Matthew as people who don't know him well see him. This is not easy for me, but I feel it is super important. Every human has to feel good about themselves. We all deserve to be loved and seen positively daily. While I struggle to deal with all that is Matthew daily, it is all that he has to offer, and so I have to see what others see and appreciate what he offers to new people.

This weekend we went to a get together with a bunch of my old friends from high school. The first person that Matthew spoke to he asked if they had a drum set. I immediately started to roll my eyes because to me this is an old question. A routine fall back question for Matthew. For my friend though, this was a NEW question...one that he found charming and endearing and since the answer was YES, he did have a drum set, Matthew immediately fell in love and spent the evening with my friend. He talked with my friend about having a band. They talked about what kinds of drums they each had on their drum set. Matthew idolized my friend, and hung on every word he spoke. This was a first time conversation for the two of them. For me this is a daily, tired conversation, so it is hard to be excited by it. But when I remembered to listen to the conversation with the enthusiasm of Matthew the drummer, and I remembered that he is truly a talented drummer, my heart smiled, and I could be joyous of all that Matthew the drummer had to offer!

2. When Matthew asks for something, it is usually filling a need he has. Saturday and Sunday it rained, was dreary and on the colder side, and was just simply not pool weather. However, for Matthew the town pool opened on Saturday that means YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE POOL! I must have been asked more than 100 times if we were going to the pool. If the pool was open. What time was it open. What time does it close? What time are we going.......finally I broke down.

I'll show you I thought....THE POOL IS CLOSED!
Only problem with that......

the pool was open.

He jumped off the diving board for over an hour. And David and Jacob and I hung out by the pool. We played in the pavillion, we watched Matthew jump off the diving board.


we were not alone at the pool. So others were there too...even on this cold, cold, wet day. I have to remember to say YES whenever possible...even sometimes when I think it is not possible.

3. Smiley faces and treasures may just keep us all sane!
I am not a believer in toy bribes. I think that kids can be taught to do the right thing for intrinsic motivation. I believe truly in the power of doing what you are supposed to because it makes others happy and because you are part of a team, in our case TEAM BLOOM. However, I have gone out on a limb, and currently the boys are each working to earn smiley faces. 10 smiley faces can be turned in for a piece of junk from the dollar store! They are loving it, we are working on goals that need to be tackled, and you know what they are learning.

David is able to tell me if he listened or not and whether that deserves a smile.
Jacob can tell me if he whined or not and when and why.
Matthew can tell me if he listened to my requests on the first try.

By design it takes them days to earn a toy, so hopefully they are learning to make good choices because good choices feel good and make us happy....but if a toy that costs less than a dollar can make our lives this easy....well I may just have to rethink my parenting strategies.....

But I do have a question....if I do a good job, and I am patient this weekend....who is buying me a toy?


  1. YOU are buying you a toy. Make a list for yourself of non-dollar store 'toys' that you'd like (anything from a DVD to a mommy date out for a cup of coffee) and set yourself goals to achieve them. Maybe every time you remember the first two reminders, or fulfill another series of goals/hurdles?

  2. I LOVE it Leah! and you are so right....when i care for myself and make those mommy dates I am so much more likely to acheive my goals! A mommy date every 2 weeks goes a long long way towards our success....and most of the time I go out AFTER the boys are asleep but I still feel like I have treated myself to an amazing present!