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I believe in him

I sat through a professionals meeting a few weeks back where one of the “so called” professionals professed to tell me the limitations of my son. He can’t do this, cannot control that and he probably won’t do this. I have to admit my first reaction was to lose it but I decided to let her have her say before I spoke. You see it’s easy for people to look at my son and tell me what he cannot do but I want to work with someone who can tell me what he can or what he could.

I’m certainly not naive but I will refuse to have a so called professional have her opinion especially in this case when it’s formed after a 5 minute assessment.

Listening to this woman I was again aware of some of the preconceptions people have of children with special needs and how they extremely frustrate me.

How it’s so important to surround myself with people who believe in ‘never say never’ or the endless possibilities of life.

My friend and I were discussing our family conversation this weekend, this is part of our sons EHCP plans. Where the question is asked “what does your child want to be when older”? Let’s take into consideration that my child is 3 and hers is younger. Who the hell knows what they want to be at 3. Anyway we both giggled as we had both separately written astronaut, and why not (ps I love this about my friend). Yes maybe Daniel’s chronic lung disease would put a stop to this but who knows medical science is changing everyday. I’m sticking to my family motto of “never say never”.

Why do we place limitations on our children?

Why do their disabilities have to be what defines them?

You see to me Daniel is a cheeky little man who loves to flirt, especially with his nurses. His comic timing is perfection and his giggle well it warms your heart. He is also one of the strongest people I know entering this world at only 26 weeks and fighting against prematurity, meningitis and a heck of lot more. He has raged battles against his disabilities and his illnesses and thank God has been the victor.

Who would dare put limits on this boy!

I know I’m not, whatever the future holds I want to be surrounded by people who believe in my child.

Because I believe in him.

All about me, Day 1 #Blogtober17

So its October, how in the world did that happen?

I love October the seasons are changing and the world becomes awash with colour and its the start of #Blogtober17.

So whats #Blogtober17 I hear you ask? It is a month of daily blog posts following set prompt. This means that I am aiming to blog daily, woo hoo yes a blog a day.

So lets kick this month off with the first prompt “ All about me”.

To be honest I could just send you to my about me page but decided that really wasn’t on ha ha. Also in fact its been a year of so much change that maybe an update would be rather useful.

So who am I.

Right now I am a blond haired mamma of 5 I state my hair colour simply because after 12 years of having black hair I am slowly adjusting. I have four amazing girls all at different stages in their lives. I am so proud of them all reaching for their own dreams whilst being rather awesome human beings. To be truthful there were moments where I didn’t think I would survive their teenage years but thankfully I, we did and I do rather like them all. Obviously my youngest at 16 still is at a crucial period but I am hoping the experience from the older two has given me some semblance of patience or the ability to pick my battles.

I’m also now officially mom to an adorable three year old boy, this boy has blessed my life in so many ways. From the moment he came to visit he has had a place in my heart. Its been a journey working through the adoption process but I can put my hand on my heart and say this boy is my son. He may not have been born from my womb but he was certainly born in my heart. I am excited to watch him grow and develop. His character is certainly forming and he is surprising doctors at all times. My boy rocks.

This year has been one of extreme personal growth, the adoption process challenged me in ways I never expected. Without sounding pathetic I have never felt good enough in life, there I was in front of professionals asking them to find me good enough to be mom to my gorgeous boy. Standing there in that court room hearing the judge announce him as my son will stand as one of the greatest moments ever.

Working through the process of adoption has made me question a lot, who am I?

What do I want from life and what fulfils me?

This has challenged me greatly, I usually just go with the flow but this often leaves me feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. I have learnt this year that saying No is ok. That I don’t have to people please all the time especially when it takes me away from doing things I really want to do. Also its ok to turn to others for support and guidance and that it isn’t weakness.

Wow did I really write that, so on that note.

So thats a little about me..

Losing my balance

There is a saying that “if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans”. Well I think the same should be said for Daniel as soon as I told him about my excitement to attend Blog on Xmas last weekend we then ended up on our local children’s ward.

All joking aside whilst I was gutted to miss the blogging conference being by his side is exactly where I want to be.

Thankfully he is doing ok but it’s another reminder of how life likes to throw you curve balls.

Daniel has a form of diabetes that needs balancing, too much or too little can cause us an issue.

Finding balance isn’t easy but it’s a life lesson we all really need.

It’s been a busy couple of months in my chaotic household it’s not an over exaggeration to say I survived summer by the skin of my teeth. I’m exhausted and emotional not a great combination.

Finding balance has been far from easy.

Life is being a little strange right now, relationships are changing and I’m hurting myself with expectations that often get crushed. My lack of balance is affecting my clarity I’m trying to see the wider picture which isn’t that easy when you are smack in the middle of the situation. Taking a step back isn’t always my first decision and hindsight is just that , hindsight.

Plans can and will change and whilst I thought I was getting better at accepting this I’ve realised I’m holding on to so many things that I really need to let go.

Change is inevitable so I must learn to flow with waves and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Complete?

Someone asked me the other day if I now felt complete after adopting our little one and I didn’t know how to answer. 

You see Daniel has blessed my life in so many ways but he cannot fill the hole left by Livvy, nor should he.

Each of my children have their own unique place in my heart and Daniels adoption was never about filling the void left by Livvy.

Daniel is his own kind of wonderful he has brought a new sense of joy to my life. His smiles do lighten the darkest of days but he isnt Livvy and he never will be.

Losing Livvy took a part of me that can never be replaced. I know that my missing piece is waiting for me in heaven but until that day my heart will never be whole,  never be complete. This missing piece is shaped by blond curls and piercing blue eyes. By a smile full of mischief and mayhem. 

My Livvy shaped hole cries out to hear the infectious laughter that used to fill the air. My heart aches to be whole but the loss of a child leaves a void that can never be refilled.

Daniel is a truly wonderous gift but to see him as a replacement is wrong. Livvy cannot and never will be replaceable but also Daniels value is so much more than that of a stand in.

My cheeky brown eyed boy is his very own kind of magical. His smile can break down my barriers in seconds. His singing and his teasing of his sisters are moments my heart cherishes. Daniel is my son, my beautiful curly haired boy. 

He does often remind me of Livvy, his mischeviousness for one and these moments often do bring back memories that I hold dear, but he isnt tied to the past. He has a future of moments to be made into memories. He will learn of his missing sister just as he will learn of the three here to love upon him. Livvy willl be alive with him as she is with us in memories and stories shared. I will tell him of her character, challenge him with her courage and share with him how im sure she played a part in him becoming mine.

So no I am not complete but I am one very thankful woman, I am so grateful that I get to be mom to four equally incredible girls and now i’m also mom to one completely gorgeous boy.

I am so very lucky.

A special field

This weekend I received some news I knew was coming yet never wanted to hear. My friends child had passed away, disappeared into the hours of the morning leaving behind a heartbroken mother. My friend knew she didn’t have forever but was praying desperately for one more day.

One more day.

How often I would wish for Livvy one more day, one more hug, one more giggle.

How often do i allow grief to consume my heart?

Too often .

This last week I have been camping in a special field in Shropshire, the field itself isn’t rather special but for a week or two each year it transforms into something rather remarkable.

From the grassy emptiness it becomes full with love, laughter and friendship.

It overflows with energy, life and living.

For this time each year this field becomes a place where friendships are forged in life experiences.

This field becomes a place where children the world tells cannot, CAN.

This field is rather dangerous though, it is rife with infection, a infectious disease known as hope.

It creeps up into your soul and you start to believe that anything is possible.

Children who can not communicate start to talk, children who cannot walk take steps.

Parents close to breaking become refreshed, families divided are reunited.

This field has no barriers, its a place where everyone gets to be exactly who they were made to be. Not everyone gets on but there is a freedom in acceptance. We are all walking our own pathways and sometimes they can be overwhelming, but here on this field thats ok. You can cry, scream or break down, complete in the knowledge that we all get it.

Over the last week I have become a people watcher, I have observed shy children blossom in confidence, from the first awkward hello to beginnings of life long friendships.

From fire pits to bouncy castles friendship has flowed around this field, some already a lifetime in the making, others being created in that moment.

I have heard so much laughter than even in my grief it has lifted my spirit.

We have had fancy dress from the cute to the never to be unseen, quiz nights, animals and magic. We have hosted our own special Olympics with a level of competitiveness and determination I still can not get over. A child may not be able to walk but they can scream with joy at whizzing over the ground determined to get a medal on their chest.

A balloon release so painful yet so beautiful, how can the most painful part of the week be the most amazing? My heart breaks as I watch those balloons lift up into the sky, my soul aches for my Livvy so desperately I can hear it scream. Yet as my eyes drop to those around me I am struck by how wonderful life is. How everyone standing there beside me gets it somehow. Some may have experienced a loss, others may live in fear of it.

Yet fear of death isn’t found on this field, fear isn’t welcome here.

This field, this camp is about living.

Its about packing life into every moment.

Its about cherishing one another and holding on to what really matters.

The world isn’t allowed on our field, for a week each year we are protected from the daily battles our lives bring to our doors. People who don’t understand don’t visit this sacred place, every chair is filled with people that understand or accept.

Different struggles, different issues, different lives but we are united in our love, our love for our unique wonderful courageous children.

Our special kids. 

 

  • A big thank you to  all at Lower Lacon caravan park for looking after our special field for us all. For welcoming us in a way I have never experienced on any campsite anywhere else and for also being just truly wonderful people that I am pleased to call my friends.

Weaning fun

This year we have been given the go ahead to really start weaning my little one. Although we don’t think he will be able to eat enough to fulfil his needs it is exciting that he can try new taste’s and experience different textures.

So starting on this journey I was rather chuffed to see that the highly-anticipated Aldi Baby & Toddler Event is returning to stores across the UK.

They have a fantastic range of products which will be perfect for our journey into weaning.

The event  will be starting online from the 10th August and in stores across the UK from the 17th August.

Weaning Daniel is going to be different from when I weaned my girls as he will only be able to eat small amounts so storage and the ability to make my own puree’s is a must, as so far I am wasting a lot of the jars and pouches I have opened.

Daniel seems to be enjoying his tastes and tries and so far we seem to be loving strong flavours and not liking pumpkin but we will see. Todays banana was a big hit.

The smile says it all.

 

 

  • I was gifted the goodies from Aldi’s for the purpose of this shout out about the baby and toddler event but all opinions about it being awesome and well worth a visit are my own.

Inspire

The beginning of this week saw me in Swansea watching my daughter graduate university whilst I am still in shock that I have a daughter old enough to graduate, I was left wondering what future was out there waiting for her and all those that graduated alongside her. What did the world have to offer these newly educated minds?

Yet ten minutes later as I sat watching the waves crash against the shore, I realised that I was completely wrong in my thinking.

The truth is what has these graduates to offer the world?

A new generation, full of life, energy and potential have a wonderful opportunity to make this world a better place.

To invest not just in the financial wellbeing of the world  but in the people.

To ask not what this world can do for you, but what you can do for this world.

To inspire kindness, acceptance, equality and love.

Times are changing, our world cannot survive if we all continue to live as if we are individuals, alone in our decisions, responsibilities and actions. This world was created for communities, relationships and connections.

Watching these graduates I was struck by how many were more stressed about getting the perfect selfie, the perfect social media photo then actually rejoicing in their academic achievement.

Have we really become a society consumed by how we look rather than who we are?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a selfie or three but photographing an event should never come at the cost of experiencing it.

The tears and tantrums for perfection has certainly robbed some joy from this moment.

I think we really need to look closely as a society on how we prepare our children for growing up. Asking them what they want to be when they are older to better the world. Challenging them to be the inspiration this world needs to change.

Every job can and does make a difference.

Every child can be the change we need in this world.

So to the graduates, congratulations on your degree. May it be the start of a career that fulfils you and challenges you in every way.

But please remember as you start your journey that the likes you get on social media are not and never will be your truth, your validation.

Put down your phones, switch off your tablets and look into the faces of those that love you. Your parents, your family, your friends these are your true validation.

I wish you all a lifetime of success, happiness and love, be strong, be brave but always be kind.

This world needs kindness more than ever right now.

Collect

If I was to ask my friends what i collect they would probably smile and say “children” between fostering and adoption my family has extended in a wonderful blessed way.

Yet if I was to ask myself what I collect my answer would be “moments”.

Moments that i get to cherish for eternity

Moments that i hold close in my heart.

Moments that hold my missing complete.

Some moments are full of joy and laughter, other are tender and sweet and some are heartbreaking and raw.

Yet each and everyone of them is a moment I lived.

Sunsets at the seaside,

Peace and quiet in the mountains.

Watching my girls take there first breathe, my heart breaking at Livvy’s last.

First steps, first giggles, first days at nursery, school, university.

Experiences that I will never forget, moments that become cherished memories.

Lifetimes are lived in moments.

So I’m proud to be a collector, proud to have a heart and mind full of some many precious moments.

Thankful for the memories,

Grateful for the moments.

Still I’m far from done,

I am so many more left to collect.

I want to watch my new son grow and flourish, my girls continue to achieve their dreams and love on life.

There are places I want to visit, people I want to meet and many I want to hug in real life.

I want to spend my days collecting, hugs, hearts and happiness.

Not a bad way to collect at all.

 

 

 

 

“Joining up with the “Five Minute Friday” community. Set your timer for five minutes, take the weeks chosen word and write.’

I need some directions

Sometimes i feel confused by the world. It’s as if my compass has lost its true north.  My heart is yearning for something but I have no idea what.

I like plans, i like directions i don’t like this feeling of waiting.

I’m not the most patient of people, the whole adoption process was agonising for me. Waiting for others to do their parts or for reports to come back in was the most frustrating . I was told it should be easier for me as I had Daniel already but having a child on a foster placement is very different to having a son.

I’m wondering if this is why I am uneasy now. The adoption is complete and my beautiful boy is ours.  I’ve finished my degree and my time is my own again (well as much as your time is ever your own when you are a mom). So i’m lost.

I just love being busy, I love having my brain occupied, being challenged. As much as I panic about not being able to cope I am fulfilled when life is full.  It’s who I am, my body often cannot keep up with my brain and my energy often gets exhausted by my will but its me, its what makes me tick.

So waiting isn’t good for me, in fact in drives me insane. Yet one thing I have taken from the adoption process and fostering in general is that not everyone works at my pace. That others have other priorities and thats something I have to accept.  Again this isn’t easy, I expect everyone to work to the same principles as me. If i say i’m going to do something i do it. If i give you a time frame I stick to it. Patience, acceptance i have to really work hard on those in situations like this.

Yet as I have said many times before I am a work in process and far from perfect.

“Own worst enemy” was my husbands comment the other day, he believes in time for relaxation and rest he struggles to understand that being busy and having my mind stimulated is my idea of relaxation. Yet after 22 years of being together he has learned just to listen to me go on and supports me in all that i do.

So whats next for me, what does God have planned and where am I heading? I guess with the summer holidays it won’t be far from the kids as they are certainly going to be keeping me busy, but who knows?

I’m ready and waiting for the next adventure thats for sure

 

A big three

This has been a week of celebration as my little man turned three. Its been a time of  joy but also a time of real thankfulness.

If you had asked me two years ago if could i ever imagine having a three year old again I would have smiled politely but actually wondered if you were crazy. My youngest was 14 and three year olds seemed a long time ago.

Yet from the moment Daniel came for his emergency weekend my heart was his. It wasn’t professional of me to have such thoughts but i honestly believe that that God had his plans and had heard the cries of my heart.

Watching my son celebrate his birthday this week has filled me with such joy. Being surrounded by his friends and the wonderful people that he has brought into my life was so incredibly special. Through Daniel I now have some wonderful friends, some amazing parents who are walking this journey of special needs with me. We have shared some moments of sadness but a lot of laughter. I have seen Daniel blossom with his friendships, becoming part of an unsociable duo, finding his confidence in his group. I love my rainbows.

I have loved watching his sisters love upon him, seeing them forget everything in his smile.

A house full of laughter and annoying toys that go off randomly at night.

Daniel has brought us all so much joy and my heart is so full.

Its been a special week and one I am so thankful for.

 

My baby boy is now a big three.