All in Parenting

Post-It Note Parenting

I crawled into bed at five thirty-three Monday morning and put my head on Rich's shoulder. It was the first time we had shared the bed that night. "Just coming to bed?" he asked, "How is he?"

"Yes. He's asleep. Thanks for the notes." I responded. Neither of us said more. For a few moments the only noise in the room was the hum of the air compressor for Nathaniel's heated humidity. I drifted into a light sleep, and Rich's deeper breathing resumed.

From under his pillow the alarm on Rich's cellphone went off.  Five forty-five am.  The shoulder I was using as a pillow moved, and then was gone.

She Said My Son's Disabilities Will Create Classroom Managment Issues

I shared on my personal Facebook wall that we received our first rejection notice from a private Christian school for Nathaniel’s enrollment next fall. Someone commented, “I get how the school could make that determination. If they don't have a special education program with self-contained classrooms, then Nathaniel would have to be placed in a regular classroom. His medical needs and communication would most likely create classroom management issues.” The school’s reason "Our methodologies do not allow for a child to have a disability in the area of communication,” was the first hard blow of the day. The comment was a second and harder blow.

Finding Our New Pace

"What if adopting Nathaniel means you can no longer do the things you enjoy doing as a family or individually?" asked the adoption case manager during our staffing interview.

Rich has just finished explaining his and our older boys' involvement in Boy Scouts of America, including the three backpacking trips to Philmont High Adventure Camp. There were fourteen individuals sitting around the table participating in our interview. They had interviewed other couples before us. They were charged with the task of selecting Nathaniel's forever family. Prior to this question, they had described Nathaniel's medical conditions and the many concerns physicians had for his future. The adoption case manager had explained that it was uncertain if Nathaniel would ever walk. "What if he can't hike and go backpacking with you?" the she pushed Rich a bit more. Nathaniel took his first steps nine months later, just a few months after we finalized his adoption.

The Water Bottle and The Loneliness

Nathaniel climbed through the van door and scooted past his car seat to grab his water bottle. We had stopped at park near home after therapy; we were leaving for home. "Thirsty Buddy?" I asked. He nodded, opened the folded yellow straw top, and tipped the bottle up. A drop of water dripped down his chin. We have been working on drinking since February. I have bought countless cups and water bottles. Some with lids leak on the cup side. Some with no lids leak on the Nathaniel side. Some seem to fill his mouth quicker than he can swallow and the leaking comes from his lips. I had high hopes this new one would work. Nathaniel handed me his cup and crawled in his car seat. I wiped his chin, buckled him, handed back the cup, and prepared to leave. I had high hopes the first drip was an opps. Before the van was to the park entrance, I had to pull over. As he continued to drink, water continued to drip down his chin and into his stoma causing him to cough and needing suctioning.