My favorite speaker was a woman named Claudia (can't remember her last name). She was hilarious and had the ability to talk about her kids' arrests, pregnancies, and parental abuses in a way that had the whole room crying with laughter. After taking in 12 kids from "hard places," the only rule left in there house is: Don't kill anyone. Her youngest is allowed to play video games as much as he wants because he can't get arrested, or get his girlfriend pregnant if he's in front of the TV.
To me the most refreshing part of the weekend was realizing that I'm not alone in my struggles. Our issues are universal. While that doesn't fix anything, it's nice to know that I haven't caused any of this!
My take away message was this:
Don't try to fix bad behavior, instead go for the heart. Our kids need relationship, trust, hope and love not good table manners.
I've known this all along but it's really really really hard for me to let some things go!
I was also reassured that it is perfectly normal and okay to hit a wall. I spent three Saturdays holed up in my room - alone- watching TV and felt really looser-ish and guilty about it. Turns out Deborah Gray (the queen of adoption therapy) actually prescribes this to parents. She calls it 3*3*4 - three hours, three times a week for four weeks. I did 4*4*3 instead, but whatever, it helped.
Here's something I learned last night- Did you know that some kids, who's parents give them Melatonin before bed because they desperately want to sleep all night, have the opposite reaction and stay awake all night? To add to the joy, they crescendo at 3am and get into an argument over who is keeping who awake. Oh...My...Gosh. It's true.
(Typo's and grammatical errors due to lack of sleep)
|People shared thoughts on a blackboard. This was my fav. Other people wrote things like, "Blessed!" And, "Dream come true!" Whatever...|
|I was pretty excited to stay in a hotel room with my sister. We slept ALL night. Awesome.|
|Kyle stayed home with the kids.|
|Jen and Don came all the way from Maryland to go to the conference! Here are my Maryland ladies! Love you girls! You husbands are okay too. :) Doesn't Kyle look way cuter, younger, happier with me back home?|
Big shout out to my sponsor Kyle Stanley! Thanks honey for taking this one for the team.