Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Trigger, SEEN , and NOT a Cat

A jar of baby food...

You never know what a "trigger" might be for a child of trauma.

Could it be due to his hunger in the "not good" place he came from?  Could it be that he was sometimes given a "treat" after a long time without food?  Could it be? Could it be?  There are just so many reasons and no known answer.

It's not the food itself, but seems to be what the food is in.

We had the longest period of melt down stimming we have seen to this point today.  It lasted about 45 minutes.

It's hard not knowing what the triggers are.

The word "trigger" is very appropriate.

Here is one of Mirraim Webster's definitions, "something that acts like a mechanical trigger in initiating a process or reaction."

It is also the mechanism in a gun that "sets off" the explosion. 

We don't know what they are at this point.  We should have had an idea. 

Last time we brought a jar of baby food, he started stimming as he was eating.  It is almost like a level of uncontrollable excitement to the point of not being really able to eat.  After he was finished (last time) he calmed down.  This time, half way through, he was stimming so badly we had to put away the food.  We offered him banana and other things, but He MELTED.  He wanted the baby food, but couldn't eat it calmly in ANY way.  There was no distracting and it was VERY difficult to calm him.

He eats the applesauce from the rectangular containers we brought with us, but the traditional ones....uh oh.

We know now though, a baby food jar is one trigger.

Who knew?

Yet, can we get angry or frustrated?  We shouldn't.  Our child relives so many events that we weren't a part of.  We couldn't protect him.  Someday, we pray, he feels safe enough to realize we will always be a source of food for him...but triggers may always happen.

Certain perfumes, the smell of the ocean, so many things bring back memories for me and trigger certain emotions.  This is just more extreme.

It was a battle of the wills, BUT it was not about stubbornness. 

Yesterday was a great day with him, he opened up.  As many parents that are parenting a child of trauma (and no adoption is without initial trauma/loss) it is NOT uncommon, after a VERY good day, to have a series of very difficult ones.  The child relaxes, starts to trust, forgets their hyper vigilance, and starts to attach/trust.  They realize they are starting to trust....and basically freak out (that's the official  Every time they have trusted, they have been hurt.  It's easier to push away than to trust.  The bad days are the pushing away.  The awesome part is that at the end of the bad days you have taught them about God and HIS love.  No matter how hard our child pushes away, we love them.  We want them.  Just as God loves us when we push Him away.  Such a very cool lesson after a wearying or painful day.

This is Ben getting mad at us.  Ya, I'm mean...I took a picture.  Truthfully, wasn't sure I'd get a non melt down picture today.

Well, we have been invited to see a lot more of the institute the last few days at....
*The party on Friday which we were invited to at the institute
*Yesterday.... a long walk to a back bathroom (cat hole was Thomas' military phrase) and seeing the large BACK part of the compound
*Today we were able to deliver fruit directly to those in charge in the back of the compound.

The fruit that we paid for with donations...again, thank you.

We have found it is HUGE.  As we walked past the nurses office to the right....

...we face a wall with black buckets where grown men/boys would sit to use the restroom.  This we had witnessed before.  As we continued tin sheds (painted with childlike pictures faded in the sun) held grown men, with the precious awareness of young boys.  They sat in the shed and a bench outside of it.  We tried to look them all in the eyes and smile at them.  You could see their minds going (tears here)...thinking, "She looked at me! She smiled at me!"  You could see it.  The joy of around twenty seven boys.....being SEEN. 

The sheds were metal and though provided shade, in the summer they would have to cook like ovens...heating up instead of protecting.

We turned behind the nurses shed to the left (behind this two story building)...

..... and another shed, almost exactly the same, silver metal with painted pictures held many younger boys.  There was our Benjamin.  During this warm morning about 12-17 young boys, small gathered in this shed wearing the same dark blue and white flannel long sleeve sweaters.  We handed the bags of fruit to the caregiver.  We think one of them might not have been too happy, but the lovely nurse trusts us.  We didn't take pictures, but wanted to remember everything.

The nurse wanted to change Ben's clothing, so after dropping off the fruit, we left the nurse leading Ben into the back of the two story building.

I keep on praying to see three particular boys.  If you think about it...we would appreciate prayers.

After the baby food incident (lets call it), we the local restaurant to eat.  Thomas is only here two more days.  I feel sad...there's no other word, no matter how colorful or describe it.  My best friend is heading home.  Our kids need him.  My brother is coming, for which I am so very thankful, but half of me will be missing.  I will need to step up to an even greater degree.  I'm NOT complaining, but will miss my husband.  He's amazing...just sayin'.

Though I will miss my husband, today needs to be recognized as momentous for our family.  This is the day that marks the end of our ten day required "appeal" period for our adoption of Benjamin.  Tomorrow the work begins.  Enough is going to be happening, that I am going to do a specific prayer request post...separately.  So many things need to happen, but we want God's will ABOVE all else.

This afternoon I was tired and we called a driver ($2.50 each way).  The exhaustion is not just physical, but it's combined with emotional.  There is SO much celebration, but facing what satan wants to be his domain head on...not easy.  Is is AWESOME??? YES! Thankfully, God catches us every time we are weary, sits us on our feet and kicks satan's rear.  Yup, HE IS ALWAYS THAT GOOD!!!!

Tonight was stimming again.  Thomas got a little beaten up.  In the end though, Benjamin CHOSE to climb on my lap when there were MANY places to sit.  He chose touch.  Progress is good, often coming with pain or sacrifice...but worth it.  Thomas handled it really well.  Ben's learning....

Truthfully, I can't think a ton tonight, so of course I will revert to sharing our random thoughts, random pictures, Skype pictures, and prayer requests.  Hugs and wishes for MUCH sleep (smile).

Random Thought of the Day

The bubbles on my screen saver are awesome.  They change color normally, but when they bump they change color every time.  My husband disagrees.  He doesn't think they change color when they bump.  He is just so wrong.  (Sigh, not sure what to do with him.)

Random Pictures of the Day

Remembering my Russian...ya, I'm thankful for big hands.

NOT a cat....

also NOT a cat....Karl Marx statue

NOT a cat...
NOT a cat....
Not a...shoot....

Very tired kids (after a senior banquet at Church) talking with a very tired Mommy.

We continue to appreciate all prayers.  We ask that you please continue to pray for Benjamin’s name to be removed easily from the orphan registry.  It can be complicated, time extending, and expensive. 

ALSO, please pray for protection of Ben when we are not with him...not only from others, but also from his fears and anger (anger because we left him and fear of us not returning).

Please start praying for our trips to the place of Benjamin's birth on (possibly) Tuesday and also our trip back to the States.  Being in an enclosed area may cause Ben to stim.  He needs peace and calmness beyond human understanding.  Please also pray that Thomas and I know what we may do to prepare (wisdom and ideas).  Lastly, please pray everything works out in the capital to process things quicker (if it's God's will).  It looks like it may.

An  extra prayer... For a family dear to us that is fighting for the life of a family member against the addiction to drugs.  Please pray he turns to God and seeks help. 

Please also pray for another of our family members that is dealing with a neighbor that is mentally unstable.  There is limited the police can do since others in the neighborhood are afraid of retaliation should they report him.  It's serious and his actions toward our family members are scary, as well as some of the local children.  Thank you!!!!

ALL Prayer Requests

*Please pray that God continues to prepare Benjamin's heart and calms his spirit.  Giving him restfulness.  Please pray he attaches and learns to love (and learns what family is) quicker than we can fathom.  This will be scary for him.

*PLEASE pray that the master of lies hands are tied. 

*Please pray that the small town's gates are “figuratively” thrown down and God’s love floods the streets.

*Please pray our children at home (and on a senior trip) are safe...physically/emotionally/and spiritually.  Attacks on the kids happened last time we were gone on the trip to bring Jael home.  PLEASE cover them. 

*Please also pray as our children at home try to stay organized in our absence, that things go smoothly for them and time passes quickly.

*Please pray for my husband and I, for our SAFETY and that we remain WELL.  We are going somewhere VERY rural with no one that speaks English most of the time.  

*Please pray for my mom, brother, and friends as they care for our children (safety, smoothness, etc.)

* Please pray that the current trip has a speed that can only be explained as a blessing of God. 

*Please pray that our trip home with Ben is peaceful and uneventful.  Please pray that calm (beyond understanding) reigns for our sweet Benjamin and that we see what we need to do to help him.

*That ALL paperwork needed is sped (by God's Will) in country (with NO hiccups). That the registrar quickly and easily removes Benjamin from the orphan registry, making things easy.

*Please pray for comfort as we continue to mourn Jonathan.
*Please pray for us to have a connection with the head of the institution. God has given us a love for the head of the institution and the caregivers.  Also, please pray for our connection to those in the village.

*Please pray that the head of this institution shows us where Benjamin has resided these last two years...and around the institution and laying rooms.  This is a wish, but we respect their decision.

 *Please pray the trip  itself is smooth.  There are NO issues.  That every blip, every ironed out before us.

*Please pray that our lines of communication with our children are successful (Skype, Magic Jack, international texting).  We will be in a very rural region.

*Please pray that we will feel rested and adjust to the time change while here.


"About Benjamin He said:'Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.' Deuteronomy 33:12


  1. Only catching you here on your blog now. Need a break from FB (what timing, right?)
    It must be so hard to have to watch Ben's stimming and not be able to just "make it alright".
    Praying for y'all. Thinking of you as Thomas gets ready to leave. Praying Ben's name is removed from that registry and the rest of your stay goes by quickly.

  2. Tears Tears.. Doggon it! And tears reading my hubbys comment on your last post! Yup he`s reading! Hugs... What can I say... I get it... Hang in there!!! What a beautiful and incredible and hard and painful journey!!! One only God can orchestrate.

  3. Girlie!! Thank you for taking us along on your journey to/with Benjamin! We are praying for y'all and love that Benjamin is having good days that he chooses to sit with mom rather then by himself. It's a long journey but ohhhhh so amazing!!!


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