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I promised to blog about this, and kept putting it off. My procrastination is not a measure of the importance of this post, but rather, just me.
So there's this family at church, the Browers - Delmer and Ann Michelle. Their children are adopted (yay adoption!). When you adopt a child, you don't know what you are going to get. Any child is a mystery, but adopted children are more so, because the medical history of the parents is usually unknown, or sometimes incomplete.
This is what happened with the Browers.
Their second son, Kennan, was adopted as a baby. He had some issues that they dealt with, or if they had questions, they were told it was "terrible twos" or something that kids grow out of. But Kennan didn't grow out of the behaviors, and continued to have problems.
His profile said that his birth mother didn't drink or do drugs during her pregnancy with him. After years of problems with Kennan, Ann Michelle learned about fetal alcohol syndrome and the effects on the baby. She and Delmer researched it and then consulted the pediatrician. They also contacted the caseworker from the adoption and asked him to find out if there was any information on whether Kennan's birth mother drank or used drugs.
As it turns out, she did drink (they don't know how much or how often) and also used cocaine during her pregnancy.
Kennan has been diagnosed with a slew of disorders and conditions (more info here with photos of the results of some of his bad days):
He is now listed as having ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), SPD/SID (Sensory Processing/Integration Disorder), DBD (Disruptive Behavior Disorder) and an unspecified Learning Disorder with the probability of an FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – more specific ARND (Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder)).
Ann Michelle and Delmer are raising funds for a service dog to help Kennan learn to modify his behaviors (calming effect) and head off or lessen meltdowns. They believe this will help their son in many ways.
There is a 5K fun run/walk (today) in Fort Dodge. It costs $25 to participate. Signups start at 7:30 a.m. at Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center. I'm planning to help with signups and wherever else I am needed. If you can't participate but want to donate, there are links to donate at the 4 Paws For Ability site, and on Ann Michelle's blog, Canine4Kennan (look on the right side for the FirstGiving widget.
My daughters are Amanda, 19, and Cayla, 16. They are both in high school. They are reasonably intelligent creatures, with a good sense of humor.
However, they are not the most helpful children around.
Cayla used to be. But around the time she officially became a teenager, her attitude changed. She didn't become surly, exactly, but started giving out these "put-upon" vibes.
Now, this may be legitimate, as I had relied on her helpfulness quite a bit, especially since her sister is the type to simply ignore commands, suggestions and orders.
Now, they've both got it.
Before I left for work yesterday, I asked for a few simple tasks to be done:
Empty the dishwasher.
Fill the dishwasher (and start it, although I didn't actually say that).
Do one load of laundry for me.
Take out the garbage (from four wastebaskets).
How much of that do you think got done?
Well, when I got home from work, I emptied the dishwasher, filled it and started it. I put a couple more items of clothing in my hamper, to wash in the morning. I gathered the garbage to take out in the morning.
So, all my tasks are nearly complete - it's just that I am the one doing them.
Things are still rather unsettled since our recent move and Mom breaking her leg. She's going to stay at the nursing home for several months at least, so Donna and I (and any of our offspring willing to help or at least coerce-able) have to pack up her apartment.
She can't even supervise, as it's not practical for her to come back for any length of time. For example, if she would need to go to the bathroom, we wouldn't be able to help her and make sure that she doesn't put any weight on the broken leg.
So we are flying blind, so to speak.
Donna and I met with Mom on Sunday and made a list of certain items and categories of items and sort of decided what to do with them. Donna wants a specific bookcase. I think Mom should be able to have a different bookcase, so she can have her books (as many as will fit) with her. Mom also has a dresser and some smaller chests/end tables/what-have-you, and other pieces of furniture.
She has many, many cookbooks and other books.
She has a massive three-piece corner entertainment center that nobody wants.
All of her things have to be sorted, as there are things she wants and things we need to find (her patriarchal blessing, her birth certificate), and things we need to distribute to various members of the family.
And it all has to be done by the end of the month.
I don't even want to start.
But I'm trying to arrange a couple of days off this month to give me more time. I've got a storage space that we can put things in for the time being, although I don't want to keep paying that fee. I promised to take on paying Mom's life insurance, which is nearly $70 a month and I wasn't expecting to have that when we moved to a more expensive place. (Rent is more expensive, but I don't pay water/trash/sewer and since I'm not driving as much, I don't have to fill the car up as often.)
So, here we are. A massive project that nobody wants to do, but it must be done in a timely manner. And I have to keep up with all my other obligations as well (keeping apartment clean, earning a living, attending church and fulfilling callings, my blogs - which I've been neglecting since we moved, making sure my daughters get to school and have food and so on).
So I'm going to work on a schedule - get it down to days and approximate hours when I can be at Mom's. I wrote checks for the rent and cable, so we'll have the TV on when we are there, for company/noise. I find it creepy and lonesome to work without some background noise at least.
I always feel behind and inadequate, but the latest crises have made me feel even moreso.