If you have something that the Lord asks or expects you to do and you don’t know just how to proceed, do your best. Move in the direction that you ought to go; trust the Lord, give him a chance, and he will never fail you.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blessings

I am trying really hard to think about the many blessings I have. But that can be a hard thing to do when all you feel is exhaustion from your trials.

Nastia is still at Center for change. We have had the chance to visit with her a couple of times and I have spoken with her most days on the phone. Each time I speak with her she cries, well sobs and begs me to take her home. She tells me she can't stay there any longer. Then I tell her that she has to stay until she is better. She gets mad at me, but continues to beg. It is emotionally exhausting to have the same conversation over and over. But I am trying to stay calm and happy with her.

Our visit with the family on Sunday didn't go so well, at least for me. She refused to look or talk or hug me. But when asked she would deny being upset with me. As we left she finally did hug me, but It is so hard for me to continue to be punished for something that I am doing because I love her.  I will continue because I know in the end it will help her and that is my goal. Even if she doesn't ever understand it!

Life at home has been a little better. Less drama, but sadly not drama free.  I think we are all still feeling the effects of the Nastia situation and unfortunately, I think that will last for a while yet.

Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts or prayers. They are felt and appreciated.

I heard this song today. Thanks to a friend. It is beautiful and I am trying to look at my life like this.


"What if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousands sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?:"

I am hopeful that my healing is coming through all the tears I have shed over the last few months. I know my Heavenly Father is near. I KNOW IT, even though I have been struggling with doubts lately.  I know it because I feel him through all of you!
I am so grateful for that knowledge. Without it, I think I would feel completely lost.

I have so many blessings and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for them.

On a different note:

Miranda and Olena had their dance performances on Friday night. It was so much fun for Mike and I to watch them perform. Miranda danced 2 ballroom dances an Olena was in a Jazz number.
















We are still pushing along with our summer musical The adventures of Tom Sawyer. It is a blast making new friends and spending time doing something fun with my kids. I hope all of you that are near by will be able to make it to see us perform! Here are some pictures from the Springville Parade we participated in on Saturday.







Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Rough One!

This is a hard one to write, but with permission from my daughter, I am going to share with all of you that have joined us along our journey, a little of what we have been dealing with lately.

This morning Mike and I admitted Nastia to an inpatient facility for eating disorders called Center for Change. Sadly this will not be a quick one or two day stay. She will be receiving 24 hour treatment for at least 2 weeks but will possibly be there for up to 3 months, depending on how she responds to the treatment and if she will gain weight. 
Luckily for us, this amazing facility, that is one of the best in the country, is situated right here in Utah. Even better, it's only 20 mins from our house. That means we will be able to attend family days and visit with her on weekends without it causing more financial strain. What a blessing.

For those of you that are unaware of what is going on, or why it has come to this. I will explain.

When Nastia came to America she weighed in at a measly 95lbs. We knew she was skinny and we knew that she would use food as a way to control situations. This has been an ongoing battle since, and her weight has gone up and down.
We have struggled to find a healthy weight for her and we have struggled to help her be happy. (We believe that her eating habits are wholly determined by her mood. Bad mood = not speaking and not eating at all) But, over the last few months her periods of not eating(days at a time) have become more frequent and her weight has dropped without any rebound.

This past memorial day weekend, I reached my breaking point. Nastia refused to eat or drink anything from Friday to Monday night. At this point I decided it was long enough and we weighed her. She weighed 80lbs (36kgs or 5.7 stones). When I saw that number Mike and I decided that we couldn't let it continue. I took her to the ER and tried once again to get her to talk to me. She did a little and told me that life is just too hard. School, English, listening to us, everything is to hard and she can't do it anymore and wants to die. I told her I was so sorry to hear that but I couldn't ignore her wish to die, so I took her in.  We had her speak to a crisis worker who tried without luck to get her to tell us a reason to believe she would be safe and not harm herself if she was to go home. We were there all night and nothing we tried could elicit a response that would help her. So we were referred by the Dr to Center for change. 

This was not what I planned would happen when we came home with the girls. I knew she was broken and needed some help. I had just hoped and prayed that our family would be able to help her, that I would be able to help her. I was wrong. Our family can't do it alone. Nastia needed help that we couldn't give her. So with heavy hearts we admitted her.
This was not easy for her either. She told me that even though we had told her on many occasions that if she continued to lose weight, our choices to help her would be taken away and she would end up in the hospital, she didn't believe we would actually take her. She thought we were just trying to scare her. In part that was true. I did want to scare her, but it didn't work to just tell her.

What does this mean now?
Well, we aren't sure. We are now just doing what the Dr's at the facility believe is best for her. She will be there as long as is necessary to help  her get where she needs to be. I am hopeful that it won't be 3 months but she is stubborn and she may make it take that long.

Has it affected the other children?
Yes I believe it has. The chaos she has created over the last few months has definitely caused a level of stress in our home. That in turn has made the other children feel a little neglected and tired of the upset. They cry about nothing or fight over silly things they wouldn't have before. I am hopeful that the break will do them all good.

What can you do?
Please just pray for her. She needs to feel the love of her friends and family and their support. She needs to recognize the Lords hand in her life right now, so she can heal.


I will keep you all updated on her progress. We are only allowed to call or visit on the weekends. She will be allowed other visitors on the weekends as well. So if any of  you feel like you might like to stop by and see her, just let me know so I can tell her Dr's.
Thank you to all of you that have been a support to our family. Life has been rough and I am sure that it isn't going to get much easier for a while yet. But we can get through it, and



Friday, April 25, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

Sometimes I feel like I am drowning. Then, just for a few minutes it feels like someone or something pulls me up for air, only to let me fall back in again. This is my life lately.
It seems like this blog has become less about our daily life and more like my journal from when I was a teenager. I only ever wrote in that when I was upset or mad about something. Then every so often I would read back over it and tear all the pages out because I was embarrassed by how unhappy I sounded. So I want to  preface this blog entry with this, I know it seems like it is all  miserable times here in the Maurin family. But, I promise it isn't. There are many days when everything runs smoothly and there are no incidents, or tantrums or consequences that have to be dealt with or dished out. It is in fact beautiful! But sometimes it feels like those days are few and far between. That is how the last few weeks have been for us.

I found a quote from a fellow Ukrainian teenage adoptive parent yesterday that said "Our goal is not perfection, but incremental progress." I clung to that thought all day because while I understand logically that perfection is unattainable, I STILL WANT IT! I want to see improvement in behavior. I want to have them recognize that their lives are better just by being here and being with a family that loves them. I want them to understand that they now have so many opportunities that they didn't have before. And in the words of Verruca "I want it now!" But like I said, I know logically that those things come slowly, and because of that my wants are are just that, wants.  SO my new goal is to focus on the incremental progress that is attainable, and that is visible. It is just so slow and painful sometimes.

There are so many stories I could tell you all, but in an effort to follow the rules I shared in my last post, I am going to do my best to not over share about my kids.
But I will say this, the last few weeks have been HARD!


Every time I feel like I break through the wall, it is built up immediately, much stronger then before. I am repeatedly punished for trying to love and teach. I am punished for days, sometimes longer, whenever I feel like I have made a breakthrough, because (I am told) I was shown a vulnerability that I wasn't supposed to see. I am punished when I say no for a request to buy something. I am punished when someone else gets attention instead of them. I could go on and on. 

I am punished a lot, But I STILL LOVE THEM.

I am told by my therapist (yes, I see a therapist. It is so great to be validated and taught skills) that none of these things are about me. Well yay. But does that knowledge make it hurt any less? No!
I say out loud sometimes, "It isn't about me. It is about her and her fears!" and most of the time that knowledge helps me calm down and address the situation a little better then I was before. But it still hurts. It still sometimes feels like I am having a knife stabbed into my chest. 


But I STILL LOVE THEM. 

I don't know that I will ever feel like I am fully equipped to deal with the issues that are set before me. But I am going to continue to try. I am emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted almost all the time. My house is a wreck because I just don't have the will to clean it most days. I am tired of the extra arguments and sassy-ness that have come from my other children because of the stress level in the house some days and because of lack of attention. I am so tired of the stress that some situations puts on my marriage and the arguments it causes. 
But I am grateful, SO grateful, to have a husband that still loves me, even though most days lately, I don't have a lot left in my bucket to give to him.  Life would be much harder without him and his support.
 

Adoption is hard. Would I change it? NO! Why? Because I know that these girls are meant to be here with us. I know that we are meant to be their parents and they are meant to have a family around them to help them through their tough times. I know that Miranda needed sisters her age to be there for her. I KNOW that this is the path that our family was meant to take. So I will continue along this crazy path and continue to try my best to show them love and support and teach them that they are GOOD and KIND, SMART and BEAUTIFUL and that the things that have made them so afraid are NOT THEIR FAULT!!!
I will keep watching for their incremental progress, because even though it is slow, it is definitely there, and that is a miracle.


Here are some pictures of some of yesterdays bright shiny moments. I love days when smiles are in abundance :) The girls and I had a Dr's appointment in American Fork yesterday. Since Miranda goes to school up there and I didn't want to make two trips, we decided to meet up with some of my friends and see the tulip festival at Thanksgiving point to waste a little time until we had to pick her up.  It was fun to relax and not have to think about school or chores and just enjoy the beautiful day with friends.  (My friends asked me to share some of the pictures I took of their kids. I am still learning how to use my camera, so they are not fantastic, but the colors were so pretty!)




























It's smiles like these that keep me going :)

























Her smile just cracks me up!! Holly, I love her :)



If you haven't had a chance to go, visit the tulip festival. It's beautiful. My amateur pictures don't do it justice!
Keep smiling!!