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November 2012
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March 2013

Adoption, Belonging and Finding Family

Familylove

I am fiercely passionate about what happens in my home, and the family life we make. My mothering, my marriage- the relationship we have with our children , how they feel our love, and the connection we share. I am not aiming for perfection, and it has nothing to do with Zoe’s special needs and acceptance. It is all about belonging, I want my kids to know that family is a place where they belong. I am adopted. 

I am an adoptee, I have searched for and found my birthparents. I was lucky enough to unravel the truth behind the false birth certificate I grew up with. All of my original  records remain closed,( for now in the state of Ohio ) yet still I was able to first find my birthmother, who told me the story of my “ famous” father. I was able to reunite with my birthparents and find that part of “me”. I was even fortunate enough to co-present with my birthfather, the keynote address at The 30th Annual American Adoption Congress , Adoption Network National Convention.

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Special Needs Siblings: Great Expectations

Sisterscoll

My girls are twenty months apart. " O" the big sister, is almost a teen- she wears wedge flip-flops, designs elaborate doodle drawings and can master most online games; All enviable accomplishments to her little sister, Zoe, who does her best to follow in her sister's  footsteps. Where " O" can run , Zoe uses her walker. When the girls do "" Just Dance 4" on the Wii, Zoe has some pretty mean moves that are meant to model the spins and bounces her sister effortlessly exerts. The girls share the same medical diagnosis, however in our house, O is the " typical " kid ,and my expectations for her are great, maybe maybe even sometimes..unrealistic. 

Olivia was about 8, when we started talking in detail about Zoe's diagnosis. It was then that I realized through O's little girl eyes, that she was expecting Zoe to get better. The medicines, the therapy appointments, even doctor's visits.. were all meant to make Zoe better, help her learn to walk and speak clearly. O was just waiting for it to happen, and waiting and waiting, until one day when she asked me if it ever would. And I told O what I knew to be our truth,. I watched her eyes fill with tears and waited for her words of grief, and instead heard her little girl voice ask" Does Zoe know, Mom?" She was protective of her little sister, trying to imagine if Zoe knew this, if Zoe, with her great  love for life and easy laugh, knew this to be her future or if there was more hurt to come.

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Fitness For You.. Mom Review On Fitbit.. Weight Watchers, Map My Walk, Fitness Pal and More..

Fitbitscreen
A few days ago I posted on " Taking Care of YOU" and how I finally found my fitness start after 10 plus years of waking through the night with Zoe, gaining a few pounds a year, and feeling pretty unhealthy. The response has been very cool! So here is the scoop for those of you who asked! 

Living the life of a special needs mom, organized classes, gym visits, and bootcamps just won't work. I needed to focus on me, and pretty much do it on my own. I started researching first, and after talking to a friend I started with Weight Watchers online. It was an awesome introduction that helped me start losing weight right away. The online tools, recipes, apps ( bar code food label scanners, trackers and more!) were awesome, and the content on the website was plentiful. Inspiring, interesting and helpful tips and tricks to get started. 

Here is where I was coming from..I needed to slow down.

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Now She Knows She's Different


Zoemall
When Zoe was little I spent a lot of time thinking  ( and writing) about about how different she was. Then she grew, and through her grade school years blossomed with the encouragement to try and do her best as I made sure she was always included, and treated just like everyone else.

Zoe will be starting sixth grade next year, and growing into who she is meant to be. She is quick to laugh and smile, full of pre-teen sass.

I have always maintained my own set of rules for Mothering Zoe. Many of them involve not making a big deal about her disabilities, within our family .. even in small ways.

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A Personal Confession: Taking Care of You, Getting Fit.. and Taking Care of Family.

Zoes drawing
I never imagined Zoe as the 'tween she has become. She talks alot now about growing up , and asks those difficult questions that make me feel old and sometimes sad. The last ten years have flown by, but when I look in the mirror I can see every moment. The way my life evolved from a master plan to just getting through each day.. learning to shift my life from " black and white" to an okay shade of gray. The way there is little time for anything besides family, home and work.

Things have been kinda calm lately, and after a whirlwind of working non-stop for the last year,parenting my girls ,ten plus years of not sleeping through the night, and long talks with my husband with his repeated reminders to " slow down" ,  I kinda had a revelation. Something has to give.

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