Been a long time since I last posted and so many changes have occurred. I am now the legal mom to 2 more children so that is a total of 4 living in our home. In August of 2016 we got custody of a ten yr old daughter and in April of this year we got custody of her 12yr old brother. None of which would have occurred if I had not been able to clear my name in court and prove my innocence. This year has mainly been focusing on everyone adjusting to our new family dynamics, getting the kids used to the new expectations and changes in their lives as well as preparing my 18yr old daughter for being an adult.
Lets start with our youngest. He is 4 now, and as you recall he was born with a cleft. So his speech was delayed. We found an amazing preschool program with a great speech program. He LOVES school. He thrived there and will be attending again this September. We did have a scary situation happen with him at the end of May. He got diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease. Something I had never heard of before. If you are curious about it here is a link where you can read about it:
Our 4yr old had a low grade fever for a couple of days and then complained of a sore neck to the point he could not turn it. So we took him to Emergency. They figured he just had a stomach flu so sent us home with instructions of fluids and rest and kids medicine. Our immediate concern was Meningitis when we first took him in that day but the doctors didn't have enough symptoms to go on. That evening our son threw up so we figured they were right. With meds his fever would go away and the stiff neck too, till the next does. But Wednesday morning he woke up with swollen and dark and splotchy looking hands, the red eyes, he had small areas of heat rash. We took him in agian to emergency and they let us know they had two concerns. Meningitis or Kawasaki Disease. Luckily they were able to determine that it was Kawasaki's disease and they admitted him. He was such a brave boy. I was so worried. Sadly he has my small veins so it took several pokes of the needle to get an IV in. And though he cried and begged the nurses to stop he didn't move his arm at all. Once it was in he settled right down and started to play with the toys we brought him. He was there for several days. And one of his wonderful teachers even stopped in to visit him with some cards and drawings that the whole class had made him and a stuffed owl from her. I could not hold back my tears of appreciated when she did this. Our son adores his school and teachers. We did have to take him up to the Childrens hospital to get his heart checked and then agian a month later. With the treatment he was able to get back to being his normal active and happy self. This is something that we will have to continually keep an eye out for, for several years. Till he is 8. Before they can say if he will be cured or have it the rest of his life. But after his second heart check he was cleared for a year. So those are the adventures for our youngest.
Our 10yr old daughter has been doing really well. She had a great year in school, and impressed everyone with her grades even while adjusting to a new family and living situation. That is a lot on a girls plate. One of her favorite activities of the year was her horse back riding 10th b-day party. She had never had a party like that thrown for her before. She also was not used to having a b-day party that was all about her, without other siblings being there, where she could have fun with her friends. I made up her cake myself as well and she and her friends loved it. She now has a very strong desire to learn how to do horse jumping and has had a few horse back riding lessons this year. She has had some testing behaviors, which is to be expected after being in care for 8yrs and multiple placements. But everyone who works with her agrees that she has made so many improvements over the past year that she is like a totally different young lady. She loves earning more freedom and privileges, and though(like most kids) she has not like learning about or doing chores, the responsibility she is learning from that, as well as learning to take pride in her home and self, is helping her to see that she is an amazing young lady who doesn't need to copy anyone to be noticed. The shy young girl I met 2yrs ago has disappeared. Now she can't wait to make friends and try new things. It took her a while to learn that it is ok to have her own interests and now she loves learning about new things and finding out what she might or might not enjoy. She is very excited to be moving to grade 6 especially since this will be the first year she and her brother are in different schools. We love her grade 6 teacher and can't wait to see her thrive even more when working with her.
Our 12yr old son has had a harder journey. He is on the Autism Spectrum as well as having ADD. He also had many behavioral issues as well prior to coming to our home. Like his sister he had been in care for 8yrs with multiple placements. With all the community supports in place we decided to add one more. Air Cadets. Normally he had major issues with authority figures so some of his support team was not sure this would be a good experience. Luckily his new social worker agreed with us and we all signed him up. We filled his cadet leaders in on his disabilities as well as his history as we see all of his support people as being a part of his team with us. He has thrived in Cadets and loved it. And the respect he is learning there for people in authority positions has been changing how he treats everyone in those positions. At the end of year banquet he even earned his 100% attendance plaque. As well as sat at a table during the entire banquet with his air cadet friends(with no parents at the table to supervise) and all the kids were as good as gold impressing everyone. He did have a couple of issues this year while adjusting but thanks to having an amazing teacher(who was so supportive and great to work with) and great support team he has made improvements significantly in all areas, from school to home. He also has not enjoyed learning about responsibilities or chores(what kid does) but now he takes more pride in his appearance, puts more effort into what he does, and tries harder in his school work. His principal was so happy with the changes this year that at the year end assembly he pulled us aside to let us know this was the best year our son had ever had and that he amazed everyone in how hard he was trying in all areas. In April we proudly got custody of him. He is looking forward to grade 7 and a new school with new opportunities to make friends. He is also looking forward to cadets starting agian in the fall.
My oldest daughter is now 18 and this year she graduated. It has been a big change for her in many way. We did a step up program, that I came up with, to help her adjust over a couple of years. We started when she was 16 and had to have a job. She now has a full time job as a housekeeper for a hotel. The past couple of years she has been learning about cooking on a budget, how to make a budget, priorities, saving money and so forth. This year we also solved the mystery of who her dad was. For years I had begged my ex to take a DNA test to confirm if it was him or the other guy who was a possibility. My ex always refused even when I would offer to pay him. My daughter had always been told when she turned 18 and she was ready, I would contact the other guy and see if we could get him to take the test. I had not seen or spoken to him in almost 19yrs at this point. In November, after her b-day, she asked me to find him. So I went on FB and found his sister and asked her to pass on the message. After a couple of weeks he contacted us and agreed to the DNA test though he was pretty positive it would say he was the dad as she looked like a twin to his sister. We paid for it and he was right. We were all happy. He lives a province away and she now has 3 more siblings. 2 step siblings and 1 half sibling. I decided to help them build a relationship so I paid for phone contact for the next 6 months. He actively tried to get to know her. In June he came down for 5 days for her graduation and was a part of everything involved. Our daughter looked radiant and she felt so happy to have both her dads there. This year she will be going back to her High School to upgrade her Cosmetology class so that she can go to hair styling school to become a hair dresser. She is also hoping to take some writing classes at the college as hair styling is just to support her till her writing takes off. Like most 18yr olds she is loving the freedom being an adult brings but hating the level or responsibility and costs. She is also saving money to buy a condo for when she moves out. She has 0 desire to rent so she already talked to the bank and has set up a savings account for it. She is also already looking into health insurance and RRSP's. She knows our desire as her parents, is for her to have a better life then we did when she reaches our age. So far a great start.
Still now word on my two legally kidnapped sons. I know some day they will seek us out and learn the truth. They will quickly see that everyone in the family knows who they are and wants them home. They will quickly learn the truth of their kidnapping and the lies everyone, including the family who has them, told them and the professionals to keep them from coming home. They will quickly see the steps everyone took to cut contact between them and their sister. They will also learn that we are not at all what they described us as being and they will see videos showing just how happy they were when they were home with us. But until then we wait, our hearts break and we miss them but we wait.
As for us our lives continue to improve each year. This year we will hopefully have our very first litter for our new breeding program. I am breeding FCI White Swiss Shepherds to donate pups that temperament test as being Service Dog candidates to training facilities. I can't wait to be a part of the chain that helps give someone part of their independence back. As well as I am training my new PSD and he is 16 months and sailing through training. Last year I also started a Facebook group for Pet Advice and in 1yr it grew to over 1600 members. It gives me a sense of community and a place to be me with a lot less pressures. I am loving being a mom, though my family will always feel incomplete till my sons come home. I am also enjoying ending the legal battles. 7yrs of it was exhausting in every way imaginable. And now we are adjusting to a new rythem of life and just being a normal family. I went from being a mom to 3 amazing children to being told I was an abuser and having my children ripped from me and lied to for years. Then to clearing my name, still having 2 of my children sold and legally kidnapped and then becoming a mom agian to 4 children. It has been a long, emotional and exhausting journey.
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