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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • Psalm 7:10-17

    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Fish oil may have positive effects on mood, alcohol craving, new study shows

Fish oil may have positive effects on mood, alcohol craving, new study shows.

This Woman’s Story Sounds So Familiar…

Monday, December 13, 2010, 5:59 PM – a story from a fellow adoptive mom…

The local caseworker told us early on (when they were threatening to charge us with neglect for not picking up our RAD daughter from the teen shelter after her two weeks were up) that DCFS “does not want your other kids. We don’t want Rob [either]”.

Yet we were repeatedly and relentlessly threatened with the loss of our other children and they actually filed a petition asking the judge to make them wards of the state (although not to take custody of them), then tortured us for over a year and a half by making sure the judge never ruled on that petition. I have heard horror stories about familys who were destroyed when DCFS pulled their other children as punishment for refusing to take back their very troubled RAD child/ren or in response to wild tales of abuse cooked up by the “problem child”. In those cses, the other children were severely traumatized and never the same by the abuses they suffered in foster care (often from the child/ren who the parents had been trying to protect them from in the first place) and by “the system” in general.

It totally destroys a child’s sense of safety to be pulled form a family where there is *not* a problem, especially when they have just gotten free of a troubled sibling and are now dumped back into a home with him or her – most often one where the [foster] parents are clueless and thus unable to stop the abuses.

I found myself searching for a source for cyanide and wondering how many peach pits it would take to cook up a fatal batch myself so I could take brownies with poisoned frosting to my first “visit” if they pulled my other kids – so all of us could die together and be safely in the hands of God instead of in hands of DCFS (state child protective services) — that’s when I began looking for a safe house for my children to go to during every court hearing and pulled the last one of them out of the public schools.

DCFS in IL is notorious for being cowardly and pulling children out of the schools instead of visiting their homes. I’ve heard terrible tales of how parents panicked when their kids didn’t show up after school and didn’t find out they were in DCFS custody until the next day. Most of those cases I’ve heard of were those where the kids were pulled in retaliation, not for actual abuses. And we have fostered 3 dozen DCFS wards, so I’ve heard those parents’ stories too. I have a friend whose 9 year old son broke his arm at a Little League game. The next day, a (particularly nasty) neighbor called CPS, telling them that his father had hit him with a baseball bat in the backyard. They pulled the child from his classroom in the middle of the school day without even talking with his teacher, his Little League coach or either of his parents. It took them almost a week to get him returned to their home. The poor child began wetting the bed and has severe separation anxiety and all of her children had trouble sleeping for months afterward.

At the very least, you should talk with your other children’s schools – principles, teachers, guidance counselors, maybe also bus drivers – and let them know what’s going on and what the dangers to your other kids are. Ideally, most of those people already know because you’ve had to explain to them why your children have been a little odd in school during your troubled child’s latest bad spell. I’d include any after school caregivers, coaches, scout leaders, etc. It helped us greatly that our school principal knew what we’d been going through so he was able to sit in on the CPS investigator’s interview of my 6 year old (they just couldn’t do it in our home?) and served as a buffer for her if the questions got scary and kept a leash on the CPS guy so he didn’t intimidate her.

This was early-on in my RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) daughter’s ever-escalating accusation history, so they had not yet threatened to take the other children away. You cannot assume that DCFS/CPS will behave in a reasonable fashion. It seems there is no limit to what kind of stunts they will pull just to prove their power over everyone and immunity to the consequences of their actions.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome series: Living with FASD

Here is an article that does a pretty good job of explaining some of the difficulties that those with FASD encounter: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome series: Living with FASD.

Eva and Rick’s Incredible Journey

Wow. Check out this story about a single mom and her adopted son with FASD. It will give you a good look at some of the things our family has lived through  – a journey not many can identify with or even try to understand.

“He wore out his welcome in a few months wherever he went and had survived at least 13 homes by the time he came to live with me. One of his “homes” was the psychiatric ward of a county hospital where he stayed for three months when he was two. Immediately preceding this, he visited his birth mom and returned in a catatonic state. He wouldn’t stop rocking and staring into space. His foster parents couldn’t break his trance and after a few hours took him to the emergency room. When he was discharged, they refused to take him back.

All of the placements ended because of alleged abuse in the foster home or because Rick was no longer wanted. Because of this I expected him to have an attachment disorder but when he was 5 a pediatric neurologist diagnosed him as having possible Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and prescribed Ritalin. My medical dictionary and other research didn’t tell me much; just that it was a cause of mental retardation. Rick didn’t look like the photos and had none of the physical characteristics. I dismissed it. I was in denial. I figured a secure, stable, loving home would work wonders for my Ricky.”

To read the rest of this article go to: http://ninezeroproject.blogspot.com/2010/05/eva-and-ricks-incredible-journey.html

Stress Test

Stressed Out?

STRESS I am not sure exactly how this works, but this is amazingly accurate. The picture below has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels at the Mayo Clinic and later at Fletcher Medical Center in Burlington.

Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study revealed that, in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress will find many differences between the two dolphins. The more differences a person finds, the more stress that person is experiencing.

Look at the photograph and if you find more than one or two differences you may need to take a vacation.

Scroll down…

Chicago Tribune – FASD Misunderstood by Courts

Click here to read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a young man diagnosed with FASD that is presently in the court system. It will give you an idea of what deficits those with FASD struggle with – these issues are life long because of brain damage in utero caused by the birth mother drinking alcohol during her pregnancy.

World wide interest has been sparked by the story of the little boy who was sent back to Russia by his adoptive parents. His special needs that were too much for the family to handle.  Many FASD children are sent here from Russia to American adoptive families, often without the families being aware of the extent of their special needs.

A Plea for Help From an Adoptive Parent

I have a friend on my adoptive parents Yahoo email group who is in dire need of a solution to her family problem. She’s in the place we were months ago with no solution in sight. She has one week. I am asking prayer for her and her family as well as any input you all might has as to a solution. Below is part of her story from her blog, Adoption Drama…The System. She lives in Michigan. The comment in red with brackets is mine.

Michigan’s Post-Adoption Support Fails Youth, Families, and the Community.

I am an adoptive mom and a professional in the foster care system. I cannot sit back and watch the post adopt system fail our children. The children that are in adoptive homes today and those awaiting adoption. At the time of adoption, some children qualify for Michigan’s Adoption Subsidy support – medical and/or financial support. The concept of this support is to provide adopted children and their families with the support they need to meet the needs of the adopted child that were present prior to adoption. These needs are considered prior to signing of the adoption document. A family has to option of submitting documentation after the adoption is finalized to add other conditions that were present before adoption but not diagnosed until after adoption. No where in any of the support, does it say there is a limit to how much they will cover for the qualified condition.

My son is 16. He came into foster care when he was 4 and adopted when he was 5. The conditions he lived in prior to adoption have had a lasting impact on who he is and how he operates in society. Its like he is miss-wired because of the abuse he suffered (prenatal drug exposure, severe physical abuse and neglect). His behaviors started around age 6 and became out of control at age 12. Things continued to escalate and he went for residential treatment at 14 1/2 years of age. Well in the first facility, things got worse and he acted out more, placing more people in danger. He was moved to another residential program and spent the last 1 1/2 years there. He’s completed their program but not without incident. Their program has not addressed all of his behaviors or needs, but has touched the tip of the iceberg.

FUNDING HAS STOPPED. Despite the fact that he has not addressed the initial needs that placed him at risk or a danger to himself or others, FUNDING HAS STOPPED. It doesn’t seem to matter that the need hasn’t stopped – the qualifying need that got him adoption subsidy. But all they can say is, “FUNDING HAS STOPPED.”

The reality is that if he makes any of the same choices he made prior to going to residential treatment, he will go to prison. The reality is that he has lived in a very structured program of 2 years and they are just open the door and send him on his way. No transition back into the community, even though programs exist to help him transition back and be successful. All this because FUNDING HAS STOPPED.

Where is the adoption subsidy support that is suppose to help him get the care to address the needs without a limit? Without a limit doesn’t align with “Funding has stopped.” Helping him be as successful as he can be given the past he was dealt, isn’t a part of their plan. Where are my son’s rights to care and treatment from adoption subsidy?

The transitional program costs money. If I had the money, I’d pay for it myself. I don’t have the kind of money the program costs. I want nothing more than for my son and the other adopted children in the same situation and the foster children with the same struggles that are waiting to be adopted to have a chance for a successful future. To be given the opportunity to use the “support” from adoption subsidy they were promised. As adoptive parents, if we don’t pick them up when funding ends even though the need has not, the state threatens to file CPS neglect charges on the parent. Yet, Adoption Subsidy it the one who is neglecting their need and the agreement to support the treatment of that need. [If we bring them home and a child is hurt, we will be charged with “failure to protect. This is a lose/lose situation for the adoptive families.]

Please help me help my son and others in the same situation. Our funding is scheduled to end on 3/19/2010. Coming home places me and the other children in the home at risk due to his violent and sexual behaviors. He has threatened to kill me and tried once before. I love my son dearly and want for him to have a chance of being successful. Home and back in the community is not where he belongs right now.