Monday, November 19, 2012

Dissociation Tip

I fell onto this tip....J hardly ever dissociates anymore but when she does it's during traumaversary.  I had the brilliant idea to have her sing.  Old MacDonald, happy birthday, Wheels on the Bus.... whatever is relatively easy for them to sing over and over.

My concentration level requirement sets the volume level.  Sometimes it's whisper volume or if we're riding in the car it's equal to the volume on the radio which is usually extremely loud  boisterous.  No, we can't carry a tune but we belt it out anyway.

We've also used reciting the alphabet, lists of proper nouns, lists of adverbs, lists of adjectives.  The sky is the limit...

Whatever keeps the brain engaged and the dissociation at bay. still suck.  Maybe I should work on embracing you but I'm not there yet.

Maybe next year.

Next year I'll be waiting on you till Christmas.  So there!

Would someone please remind me of this next year????

P.S.  I have a new favorite thing coming.  More details later but you can start checking it out here.  My friend, Mitra, shared it with me and we've been using it for 3 months.  It's the bomb.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Dear Traumaversary,

You suck.

Your visit is shorter with every passing year and your symptoms are much less pronounced and I am extremely grateful.

This is the first year e.v.e.r. that we were able to celebrate J's birthday on her actual day.  I didn't have to have it 3 or 4 weeks early just to thwart your chaos.  That is huge.  I'm grateful for this as well.

Yet this year you decided to delay your arrival until after her birthday for your annual torture visit.  You were trying to trick me and I am not impressed with your deceitfulness.

So Traumaversary, we've had 7 years of your visits and I am t.i.r.e.d. of you.  Would you please just move on already?  Pretty please....

****I can hear you laughing****

That's really not nice, you know.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Side Tracked

This morning I was scrolling through my news feed really fast because I woke up really late.  Then I spotted something that looked familiar so I scrolled back up.  My picture.  On someone else's blog.  And it wasn't stolen. . .

I submitted a phone pic yesterday in Pioneer Woman's latest photography contest.  Oh. my. goodness.  I just about peed my pants.  I was picked. My picture was actually picked.  I. cannot. believe. it.  Enter many happy dances.  What a great day!

Here is the link: Pioneer Woman's Photography 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

J's Words

J graciously agreed to share her script and tapped again for me this morning, very slowly, so I could type her phrases.

Even though I hate myself, I'm a totally great kid.

Even though I hate myself, my mom totally loves me.

Even though I hate myself, I can have a good attitude.

Even though I hate myself, I can think positive thoughts.

Even though I hate myself, I can say positive words.

Even though I hate myself, my mom totally accepts me.

Even though I hate myself, I can have a good day.

Even though I hate myself, I can take care of my body.

Even though I hate myself, I can be responsible and respectful.

Even though I hate myself, I can have a good attitude.

Even though I hate myself, I can be nice to everyone including my mom.

Even though I hate myself, I can accept myself.

me: When she first started tapping this script, she couldn't say "I'm a totally great kid."  She had to tap several times a day for a week or so until she was able to say it.

Now she's added:

Even though I hate myself, I love myself.

She totally cracks me up when she does it because it's obviously accidental but it means that she's coming to believe that she is lovable.

My heart melts when she says it.

Can you say, "r.e.g.u.l.a.t.i.o.n.?"  Yeah, we got it going on.....  Amazing how that happens....

Interview with J:

Me: So why do you think this script works so well for you?

J: Because I hated myself so much.

Me: Why didn't you tell me that you hated yourself so much?

J:  I really didn't want you to know that I felt that way and I was ashamed of myself for feeling this way.

Me: What do you think made you hate yourself?

J: The past made me hate myself.  I didn't think anyone could possibly love me.

Me: Do you still hate yourself?

J: A little bit.  I think I should keep on doing this tapping until I totally believe in myself.

Me: How do you feel after you do this script?

J: I feel lots better.  I feel really heavy before I do it but after I tap I feel light as a feather.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Hate Myself

No, not really.  Well actually, some days I do.  I feel like I can't do enough, or help enough or just be enough.  I try really hard but there doesn't seem to be enough to go around so I internally beat myself up.   I really don't care for those days.  Most of the time they're just minutes rather than days of self-disgust but still....they're there and they stink.  I had parents, that from conception, loved me unconditionally and always believed in me.  Most of the time anyway cause HELLO....there were some teenage years that I'm sure they questioned my judgement. :)  So typically these thoughts don't stick around for very long.

However, my beautiful daughter did not have that luxury.  She had 27 moms before me telling her with their actions (sometimes words too) that she was not enough, she was a horrible kid and that she was bad.  She internalized that belief because it was mirrored to her over and over and over again.  It's part of her core belief system.  It doesn't matter how much I tell her over and over and over again that she is beautiful, precious, smart, funny, kind and loving.  She. Can't. Hear. It. because her internal belief system tells her something different and it doesn't matter how many self-esteem building exercises I do with her, nothing is going to change that until she changes her internal belief system.

Several years ago, Kristy tried to get me to do "even tho I hate myself," tapping with her.  I. Couldn't. Do. It.  How on earth could I make her say those phrases when I have been working so hard on building her self-esteem?  Yes, I know how tapping works and that you have to embrace the negative to get to the positive.  I get it.  BUT I couldn't make myself say those words to J.  I really thought (in my pollyanna brain) that if I just kept working on the positive that she would eventually believe it WITHOUT having to do the "even tho I hate myself" phrases.  I also didn't really believe that she truly hated herself.  No, that's not being totally honest.  Actually, I didn't want to believe it.  It hurt too much to think about it.  Besides, what does it say about my parenting if my kid still hates herself?  So I didn't do it.  I went along my merry, pollyanna way and did everything but that particular tapping.

Some months ago, on Therapy Tuesday's, J was stuck and she couldn't process.  Kristy started, "even though I hate myself, my mom loves me....." the light bulb came on for J.  She was able to say it emphatically and was immersed in the tapping.  Kristy continued on tapping over and over "even though I hate myself" phrases.  Seeing her reaction to this tapping script was shocking.  To say I was stunned would be an understatement.

Now it's a part of her morning routine.  It's the one tapping script that she's been able to do completely by herself.  She comes up with all of her own phrases without any help from me or any reminding.  Her morning routine starts with:

1. Wake up.
2. Make her bed.
3. Do a set of brain gyms.
4. Her yoga routine (she has a 6-7 minute routine that she does daily)
5. Tapping

Then she moves on with the rest of her morning routine.

I can hear her phrases while I'm making breakfast.  I have been amazed with her phrases.  I have been really amazed at the healing that has taken place since she's started doing this.

Now I get to beat myself up for not starting this years ago when Kristy suggested it.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I should tap on that.

I will ask J tomorrow if she would like to share her tapping phrases.  If she does, I'll post them.

My friend and fellow trauma parent, Brenda McCreight, has two new books out.  Everyone should own copies.  They are that good.  Healing from Hazardous Parenting and Family Matters: How to Strengthen Your Family (Without Paying for Therapy or Changing Your Lives).

Brenda, if you're reading, Kristy (our AT) said to tell you, "Great Job!"  She loved them too!

I'll be telling you more about these fabulous books later..... on another tapping note...Brenda, in all her fabulousness, is working on personal tapping scripts for parents.  She's doing this to help us recover.  For free.  Because she's awesome like that.  So if you're interested, let her know.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Love Is All That Matters

I long to live in a world filled with love.  While I'm at it, I'll tell you that I'm wishing for a world with peace, acceptance, tolerance, kindness, and more groups that promote these attributes.  A world where all human beings have enough.  Enough kindness, acceptance, food, love, family, connections.....  A world where love rules.

I choose love.  I choose tolerance.  I choose kindness. I choose compassion.

In the past couple of weeks there has a been a public firestorm that has been spewing hatred and venom.  Behind closed doors, I have silently wept a river of tears.  Tears for members of my family and friends that I love so dearly that have been ripped to shreds with this venom.  Tears for complete strangers that they have to be subjected to such judgement and condemnation.   I thought we were supposed to stand for love.  To stand for ourselves but not against others. I thought someone else a little higher up managed the judgement factor.

Living in a small, rural town with small minded people can be very difficult and I have stood by, watching and listening and feeling overwhelmed.  I have read words written on social media and witnessed acts of hatred, prejudice and judgement and I have tried to ignore it.  My pollyanna-ish self wishes to ignore it and hopefully it will go away.  I have hung my head in shame for not standing up for my family and friends.  Yet, I am also loathe to add something for fear of perpetuating the self-feeding storm.  Negativity breeds negativity.

Yet several members of my family are being hurt and that hurts me.  In years past I've had friends that killed themselves rather admit their partner preference.  I have friends that have yet to admit to themselves, much less anyone else, their orientation.  I have family members that cannot claim their relationships with their spouses "out loud" to anyone at their workplace for fear of being fired.  None of this is ok.  Not even a little bit.

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.  I would never want to infringe my beliefs on someone else.  It's the negativity, violence and hatred that has been spewed about my family and friends that is so abhorrent.  What happened to love????

Today I read Christine's post and the dam holding back the flood burst open and I could. not. stop. crying.  Then my fab cousin, Brian, posted this link.  Then I cried some more.  Actually a lot more.

J came to comfort me and asked why I was crying so hard.  I explained it to her the best I could.  She started shaking her head and said, "but mom, I thought love was love."

Then she said, "Can we make some signs that say Love Is All That Matters?"

Why, yes, honey.  I think we can.

As for me and my house.....we choose love.  Wherever you are in your life, in your beliefs, in your choices, in your lifestyle, in your partner preference, your color, your size, your nationality, your gender, your whatever.....

We choose to embrace you in love.

We choose love.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


If you're looking for some cool things, go check out Corey's auction.  All proceeds go to the scholarship fund for ETAAM in 2013.  More about ETAAM here.

Laptops, books, jewelry, games, handmade items....lots of super cool stuff.  Click here to jump over and visit.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Today I have a guest blogger.  Wendy is a teacher, fabulous trauma mama and great friend.  We met in Orlando and haven't looked back since.  Here's her story:

My journey with tapping:
In the beginning there was me.  Single parent.  2 boys.  Foster care system.  Need I say more?  Things were great when they moved in.  Not really.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Didn’t know how to be a parent.  Let alone parent trauma and this little thing I learned about call RAD.  I was in over my head, but I survived.  My son ended up in RTC and eventually came home.  We learned.  We got a good attachment therapist.  Things calmed.  But I knew we needed more.  My kids didn’t talk about their past.  Ever.  I knew I had to get that to happen, but I had no idea how.
What I did know is that I was tired.  Tired of feeling crazy.all.the.time.   Tired of being angry.all.the.time.  Tired of my kids.  Tired of being a mom.  Just plain old tired.  So I decided to listen to the voices that kept telling me to go to Orlando and I went.
It was the first time I was ever away from my kids for an extended period.  First time in 3 and a half years.  And I left them with my mother.  And I was around 89 people I didn’t know.  It was all. too.  much.  We were doing this scavenger hunt and I was seeing all these new people and I was freaking out.  I was quietly freaking out, but I was freaking out.  I was anxious and scared.  Then I ran into someone who said, “do this”.  Here I am sure you want me to describe to you what happened.  I don’t know.  I was tapping on my head and on my face and on my chest and I was repeating the words this woman was saying and after about a minute or so when we were done, she left.  I stood there.  I couldn’t believe the calm that had come over me.  It was surreal.  That was my first experience with tapping.  I know it is vague and I apologize but I was taking in so much that day.  That weekend.  
That feeling stayed with me for a while.  The shock of how it came over me stayed too.  It was amazing.  When I got home I wanted to find out more.  And so I did.  Lisa had it on her blog here
And then I learned about Brad Yates.  I fell in love.  The words.  The tapping.  It was SUCH good stuff.  I missed a lot of those messages growing up.  Communicating.  Not my strongest suit.  But through tapping, we are learning to talk.  
Brad has tapping for kids and adults.  So I showed my kiddos the kids stuff.  Had them tap along.  We had some pretty big behaviors come out.  Big stuff.  So I took another look at tapping.  I wondered what in the heck was going on.  I found out that the words were really, super hard for my kids.  When he said, “even though blah blah blah, I am a totally awesome kid” MY kid would say under his breath, “not”.  I learned that my kids didn’t believe they were awesome.  THAT is big stuff.  So we slowed down.  I did more tapping around them, left it optional for them and tapped with them only if they wanted to.  When I did tap with them I made sure I said the message and looked at them when I said it.  I really need them to hear this message.  I really need them to believe in themselves.  We started to incorporate tapping in to our nightly routine.  My youngest really took to it and wanted to write his own script.  He came up with this.
“Even though I feel sad about my past, I’m a great kid
Even though I got tortured when I was a little kid, I’m a great kid
Even though I was hurt in my past, I’m a great kid
Even though I didn’t want to do things in my past and people made me, my mom still loves me.
Even though people in my past didn’t treat me right, I’m a smart kid now.
Now I don’t have to do what they told me to do
I’m safe at a nice home with a nice mother
I’m letting go of my hurt
I’m letting go of my sadness
I’m letting go of my weird feelings
I’m choosing to forgive them for what they did to hurt me
I’m choosing to forgive myself
Even though I am hurt I’m a really, really great kid.  I choose to deeply and completely love, honor and accept myself in body, mind and spirit.”
Keeping in mind this is a kid that never talks. THIS.WAS.HUGE.  It gave me something to work with.  I could be genuinely curious and ask, “what do you mean by that?  or tell me about this? or can you say more about this?”
Through tapping we are learning how to communicate.  How to communicate these really hard thoughts and feelings.  This is huge.
We also had a visit with their other mom and guess what they wanted to do when they got home?   Tap.  My oldest, who I didn’t think was that into it, tapped 3 videos with Brad that night.  
Tapping gives them a way to communicate.  
It gives them a way to feel ok with their feelings and talk about what is going on.
I had my son tap about school.  School is a big struggle for him.  I was getting calls and e-mails EVERY day.  Once he started tapping, I received 1 e-mail in a 3 week period.  I think my kids just need to believe in themselves and I am so glad I found tapping to help them do that.
For me, tapping has given me a whole new door through which to reach my children.  Earlier this week I had a super, crazy night.  Other mom was asking for money.  I was giving it.  Older son dropped my computer and then lied about it.  Which led to a little rage about it.  His rage led to the little one crying and through it all I was able to tap and talk to my kids.  “Even though your brother made a mistake, he can fix it and he is still an awesome kid”.  “Even though you broke your mama’s computer, your mama still loves you.”  And there he went with his “no you don’t, I hate myself, I want leave, I can’t live here” and I stayed.  With my tapping.  And my message.  And he eventually heard me.  He listened.  He slowed down.  He went to sleep.  Crisis averted.  Not too long ago that would have really escalated in to something big.
Tapping is a way for my kids to communicate and finally get some peace.   Obviously this only the VERY beginning of our journey with tapping.  But I must say it blows my mind what my boys have been able to do with this.  I blow my own mind with the skills I am gaining from this.
Want some peace?  Try some tapping.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never Say..

When someone (especially with trauma) is upset......

Never tell them, "It'll be OK."

Instead say....

"I'm right here and I'm not leaving."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Heart to Heart

If we're totally honest, we ALL have issues.  Every stinking one of us.  Not a single one of us is perfect.  It's just a fact.  One that drives a perfectionist like me crazy.

One of my core issues is anxiety.  Another is being accepting of myself and my challenges.  When J first came home my anxiety was through the roof.  And she fed off it.  Our kids are clueless about their own feelings but they can take on ours in a New York minute.  There was no progress until I could start letting some of that go because she was taking my anxiety and turning up the volume to 100.  Our household was anxiety on crack.  Kristy kept telling me she would feed off my feelings and to keep trying to relax.  Easier said than done but how was she ever going to get better if I didn't "fix" myself first?  I was telling my kid that I accepted her and her flaws yet if I didn't accept all my flaws how was I going to help J accept herself????

It took a lot of will power to want to let these go.  Those anxious feelings and feeling less than had become my comfort zone.  It was an eye opening moment of seeing into my kid's behaviors.  I lived through trauma as a child but it was NOTHING compared to my child.  I am an adult (sometimes) and have the tools to change and I still didn't want to do the work.

Looking back there was no wonder that she couldn't sleep well.  Living through the scary things that happened in dark rooms in the dead of night before she came to my house and I couldn't let the anxiety go so that she could feel safe at night.  If I was so anxious how was she supposed to relax and feel like I was strong enough to keep her safe?  How on earth she made it without any sleep those first few years is beyond me.

So I was back to putting the oxygen mask on myself first.  Double dog dang it.  I didn't like it one little bit and no one was going to make me like it.  I did it anyway.

I still have moments that I want to sit on my pity pot.  I allow myself to do that.  I'll put a time frame on it. Today I am going to sit with the pity pot, anxious feelings, etc until 5 PM.  When the time is up I do something about it.  Tap, brain gyms, Reiki, or whatever tool I need to use is then implemented.  Sometimes it is "D" all of the above.

I also allow J to do this.  I give her an allotted time (or she chooses a time) to enjoy the pity pot, anger, sad, whatever.  Then we get with it and do the tools.  Most of the time she picks the correct tool to help herself.  Sometimes I have to help her but I try to let her pick so that she can get in the habit of finding what works for her.

Before this journey no one told me I was going to have to fix myself before I could help my kid.  It's probably a good thing they didn't because it would've ticked me off.  I have left claw marks across the floor where J has dragged me with her on this healing journey.  I have had to heal searing childhood pain, bitter failures, practice using tools on myself, learned to regulate my emotions, and realized that I needed therapy and then utilized it.  My girl is dragging me into emotional health and well being.  I'm a better person for it and she is too.  The healthier I am the greater her chances of happiness.

It's worth the work.

Below are some of the tapping videos I use.  Yes, I tap in front of J so that I am always modeling that I have to use tools too.  No, tapping one time on any of these is not going to fix the problem.  It takes tapping several times a day for a while.  However long it takes..... but it does work.  Again, I would've never done all these things for myself but I did them to help my kid.

Trauma & Abuse

Loving Yourself

Rejection and Abandonment

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brain Gems

Brain Gyms are considered Brain Gems in our house.  Sometimes they can switch up things in a blink if things are spiraling out of control.  Kara & Jordan do them every hour, after their recess, during school hours too.  There's a video at the bottom of Kara doing her Brain Gyms before swimming at the lake.

Brain Gyms:

Focus on two-sided (left-right) movement across the midline of the body. Development and/or properly functioning bilateral movement skills are important for crawling, walking, seeing depth, and are a prerequisite for whole-body coordination and ease of learning in the near-visual area. The Midline Movements help integrate binocular vision, binaural hearing, and the left and right sides of the brain. Over the last century, crawling has been used in neurological patterning to maximize learning potential.

Activates the Brain for:

Ability to cross the midline.
Centering and grounding.

Relaxation of the central nervous system. Cranial rhythms.
Behavioral / Postural Correlates: Improved reflection and expression
A heightened energy level. Diaphragmatic breathing.
An improved attention span. 

More info here.

Brain gym exercises offer dramatic improvements in Asperger Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum disorders, Down Syndrome, ADD and ADHD, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia.  They are great exercises to do as a family and even NT children and adults will see great benefits.

Here's a link with more exercises and why they are good for kids (and adults).

If you're new to Brain Gyms, don't be surprised if your kid has a hard time doing them in the beginning.  That means you are seriously on to something that will help them and that they really need it.  Have them practice quite a bit and it will become more natural.

J's best friend, Kara, volunteered to model the series that we use daily.  There is a side view and a frontal view so that your kids can follow along if they would like.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Attachment to Time

One thing that Kristy has mentioned on many occasions is that our kids need to be attached to time.  It took me a long time to figure out what she was talking about but eventually I got it.  Our kids probably aren't going to have a strong attachment until they have an attachment to time.  They tend to be real floaty,  falling down over nothing, running into walls, not remembering when something happened....if it was yesterday, 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago.

Working on proprioceptive exercises is important to help the floaty, walking into walls stuff.  Building core muscles is really important because our kids really didn't get that in infancy.  They weren't bounced enough and held enough to develop the core muscles.  I've written more about that here.  Hooping helps, as does a bilibo.  Thanks Dia for turning me on to this.  Standing on a balance board.  Using a paddle board is really great if you can find one to rent and use in a lake.

For time attachment we go over the day's events with today's date, the order that each event that  happened during the day.

I woke up,
made my bed,
brushed my teeth,
brushed my hair,
ate breakfast,
did the dishes
brain gyms,
went to school,
worked on math,
language arts,
all the way till bedtime

There was a time when this was a really frustrating exercise but in time it started getting better.  Then we added the events from the day before with the date and using "yesterday".  Enter more frustration.  Then it got better.  Then we added the day before that.  That one took a good bit of time.....and a good bit of frustration.  But we made it.

Now she can correctly state when things happened in this month, last month, last year, etc.  This is also really helpful for J to remember who caused the abuse in her life and that it was not me.  She doesn't confuse the times of the abuse now.  Huge!

That alone makes this exercise totally worth the initial frustration.

Attachment to's important.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Anytime you want to go to the beach and be calm, peaceful and relaxed, here's your opportunity.

3 minutes of bliss to overcome the crappy day....


Even tho I’m so stressed, because it’s been a terrible, rotten, horrible, no good day, I totally love and accept myself.
Even tho it’s a horrible day, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even tho I feel like I can’t go on another minute, I know I have tools to help me.
Even tho I don’t want to give up this feeling of stress, I love and accept myself.
Even tho these feelings have become my new normal and I don’t know how to change it, I totally accept myself and right where I am at the moment.
Even tho on this day I feel so much despair and crankiness, I can choose to change it.
Or not, 

or I can choose to keep it.
I know I have this tapping as a tool to help me to change it and I can change it, I really can change it.  

If I want to.
I can choose to change it right now.
Letting go of the stress,
Letting go of the fear,
Hearing the waves in the background
Lulling me into a calm and peaceful place.
So I know on a cellular level that when I hear the calm sounds of the waves of the beach I too can be calm, I can be peaceful, I can relax.
Because I deserve to relax and when I’m relaxed I can think clearly, I can take care of myself and in turn take care of my family.
I deserve that.
My family deserves that.
I really deserve that.
Anytime that I feel these stressful feelings coming on I know I can come here and I will be relaxed and I will be calm and I will be peaceful.
I will listen to the sound of the waves and keep them in my mind anytime that I’m feeling out of control.  The sound of the waves will calm and soothe me on a deep level.
I will be able to breathe in and relax immediately anytime I think of the waves gently lapping at shore.
I will let go of the fear
Letting go of the stress
Letting go of the crankiness
Just hearing the peaceful waves and I will be calm and soothed in body, mind and spirit.

(Change the words to whatever works for you.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Feeling Claimed

It is blatantly obvious that J feels more "claimed" since the commitment ceremony.  She has a comfort level in our family environment that I have not seen before.  I hear her saying more "we" statements rather than "I" statements.  As in we're a team and she "feels" it on a very deep level.  How I wish we had done this sooner!  She laughs at herself more rather than feeling embarrassed.  She is laughing more period.  Appropriate, "I am delirously happy," laughter.  She is trying new things that before she wouldn't attempt for fear of failure.  She is sleeping better and her previous heightened startle response is almost nonexistent. 

It has been very interesting and informative to watch the difference.  Yes, I "knew" that I claimed her but on some level she didn't feel like I really meant it.  Even after 5 years of being home.  Now she feels safe and loved to her very core.  You can see the changes on her face AND in her actions.  Her breathing is even more steady.  She can hear better because she's not trapped in her amygdala wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.  She is more relaxed.  Things that used to frustrate her to no end is now a piece of cake for her.   She will readily admit when she has made a mistake and moves through it rather than feeling she has to be perfect. She feels safe. 

I am so glad that our anniversary will not be anywhere close to her traumaversary.  By family vote we have decided that from now on we're not going to celebrate the adoption date and instead celebrate our commitment day.  My gift to her was a music box that covers 4 of the 5 senses.  Another stellar idea from the keepers of wonderful ideas. It has a picture of us inside, peppermint essential oil (our favorite) dropped inside and it plays, "My Girl".  She keeps it very close to her and you can see her face light up every time she reads the engraving and hears the music. 

J gave me this beautiful angel.  Yes.... I was a puddle.  Not that I, in any way, think I'm the miracle in her life but that she is mine.  She has changed, touched and moved me in ways that I didn't think possible.  However, I was very touched that she was so very thoughtful. 

Garth Brooks, "You Move Me" speaks volumes of our journey.  Here are the lyrics:

This is how it seems to me
Life is only therapy
Real expensive
And no guarantee

So I lie here on the couch
With my heart hanging out
Frozen solid with fear
Like a rock in the ground

But you move me
You give me courage I didn’t
know I had
You move me on
I can’t go with you
And stay where I am
So you move me on

This is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowin’ what they mean
And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn’t budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch

Oh but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I’m burning with love
And with hope and desire

How you move me

You go whistling in the dark
Making light of it
Making light of it
And I follow with my heart
Laughing all the way

Oh ‘cause you move me
You get me dancing and you
make me sing
You move me

Now I’m taking delight
In every little thing
How you move me

This mama's heart is singing. ♥

Monday, May 14, 2012



(originally posted June 29, 2011)


We gather together at this time to celebrate and seal the commitment between Lisa and Jordan Amos. Lisa, you come here today to celebrate your adopted daughter. We honor and bless this child who is placed into your care and keeping.

A gift from life itself, she came to you -- a special gift because you have chosen and have been chosen to receive Jordan. To you she has been given. In due seriousness, and with joy and keen anticipation, we mark the moment of this new commitment to each other. This child has come into your life and you have come into hers. May this union bring happiness, growth, and lasting good to both of you.

Jody to Jordan: With joy and blessings we recognize you as daughter in this family. Your mom wishes to express in our presence her love and commitment to you as a parent and she has invited us to share this time with you.

Jody to Lisa: What is the name of your daughter?

Lisa: Jordan Olivia Amos

Jody to Jordan: I say your name in the presence of all, Jordan Olivia Amos, and welcome you into your mom’s love. The two of you share the name Amos as a sign to all that you are mother and daughter.

Jody to Lisa: Lisa, do you take Jordan as your daughter?

Lisa: I do.

Jody to Jordan: Do you take Lisa as your mom?

Jordan gave a very emphatic, "YES, I DO!".

Lisa to Jordan: I take joy today in recommitting my life to yours. From the first day I laid eyes on you. I knew you were the one. So beautiful then and even more beautiful now. Side by side, step by step, may our journey together begin here, from this day forward.

What I have promised before, I gladly promise again: I promise to love you forever. To love all parts of you. To be open, honest and faithful to you. To nurture your spirit and support your dreams. To honor your thoughts and feelings. I promise to comfort and challenge you. In return, all I ask is that you never give up.

When you need strength, I will offer mine. When you need words of encouragement, I will listen and provide support. When you need solace and comfort, I will understand. I place you in my heart today, before all others.

Jody to Jordan: As a symbol of your awesome mom’s commitment to you, she would like to give you a necklace that represents her love for you.  (This is where I explained each of the charms to J.)
Jody: With joy we greet you as mother and daughter.

To each of you in this new family we wish:

May each of you be a blessing to the other.

May your hours together be enriched by shared interests and pleasures.

May your home be a welcoming and safe place.

May you find strength and understanding in each other.

May you help one another to attain the best of which each of you is capable.

Let us pray.

We give thanks, O Spirit of God, for the blessing bestowed on this family in their commitment to each other. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to love what is true and admirable, just and lovable and gracious, so that their lives may be a blessing to many. Amen.

***At the moment I'm reading these to J every morning while she's doing her strong sitting.  She loves hearing them each day. :) More on the ceremony in previous post.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Commitment Ceremony

Originally posted on 6/28/11

Last weekend when the Rancho Chico clan were here, N & C suggested having a ceremony to reaffirm J's place in the family.  They are brilliant!  The seed was planted and the plans started when they drove out of the driveway.

Tab (another trauma mom who still doesn't blog dang it) wrote the most perfect vows ever (I'm posting those later).  I scrambled to get a necklace together (again another brilliant idea from N & C) and a music box ordered to be here in time. 

On June 25, 2011 a commitment ceremony took place between J & I with Tab's husband, Jody (a pastor), officiating.  When her adoption went through in 2007 I was just praying she didn't tell the judge she wanted another family (or major expletives of hating me) and it took years before she was ready to be a family girl and accept love.  This has not been an easy journey or either of us.  Today, almost 5 years later, she wants to be my daughter.  Who knew?

Kristy came and she energy tested both of us to make sure we both were serious about the commitment. My friend, Connie, was the event photographer. J's long-time sitter and our friend, Ashley, was there as well.  The whole event was beautiful, meaningful, poignant and affirming.   There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Wishing the Rancho Chico fam could've been here with us but they were here in spirit. 

Kristy energy testing J.

Left to right: Jody Anderson, Tab Anderson, me, Jordan, Kristy and Ashley.

Here's a close-up of the family jewels:

Our commitment certificate created by Tab (can you spot all the words - mother, daughter, Lisa, Jordan, Amos, Family, Faith, Hope, Believe, Love, Commit, Kind, Courage, Peace, Forever.)  Tab is super talented as you can tell.

At the bottom Tab listed our gotcha and adoption dates:

The journey from this side is so much sweeter because of what we have gone through to get here. 
Never, ever give up!!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I'm scared to put this out there because I don't want to offend anyone.  I'm certainly not trying to challenge anyone's faith or beliefs because it's not my place.  I make a conscious effort to never blog or speak on issues around religion or politics.  I have my own personal beliefs and choose to live by example and actions rather than words.  Hopefully.  Some days I'm just an example of "how NOT to be." Being J's mom has also taught me so many lessons in judging others too.  I'm much more careful today not to judge others.  It's really not my place.

I do have faith, even though during this journey I have lost it and found it many times.  However, for my child, who was punished (before me) in the name of religion too many times to count, faith is difficult.  In a previous foster family she was told she was the devil, she was evil and God was going to get her.  Then she was locked in a dirt cellar with no lights.  Understandably faith comes hard for her.

In fact, there was a time when it was a huge trigger for her.  Shortly after she came home I made the decision to not take her to church because this was not a hidden trigger.  It was easy to figure out.  If anyone mentioned God, the devil, Jesus, the cross, angels, Holy Ghost, etc. there was a huge tantrum almost immediately thereafter and weeks of night terrors followed.

Looking at a normal attachment cycle it's easier for me to understand.  When a baby is born they have no idea about faith or religion.  You, as the parent, are their god because you are meeting their needs.  They cannot think outside of what they see because Hello....they are infants.  Faith comes later in attachment when they are able to trust you, verbal skills are attained and they are able to see outside of their world.  It comes in time....not in infancy but after they have built a trust with their parent and are emotionally older than 5.

1. Baby is born.
2. Baby has a need.
3. Baby cries.
4. Needs are met by caregiver.
5. Trust is developed.

Somewhere between #4 and #5 is where faith starts to form.  They start to have faith that the caregiver will show up and meet their needs.

When this cycle is broken, how can they have faith or believe in anyone or anything???

If she didn't trust me and I was standing right in front of her, how on earth was I going to teach her to trust something that she couldn't see, feel or touch????  The answer:  Attachment had to happen first.

When J first came home she was five and had verbal skills but I wrongly expected her to have faith in God or some other higher force.  But how could she?  Emotionally she was an infant.  A very hurt infant whom all those people she could see, feel, and touch had hurt her on a cellular level.  This was not going to be easy.

So I didn't work on her faith until after she had achieved the emotional equivalent of age 6 around year 3 of her being home.  We worked on gratitude (and still do) instead.  Slowly she was able to start building on the gratitude into something more.   Then she started developing faith.  It has been a slow process of her finding her own faith and a God of her understanding.  Her God is a God of love and acceptance now, not a punishing God.  It took a long while for it to happen but first we had to have a good attachment.

In April, I read this post by LT.  I didn't comment but honestly, she spoke what was in my heart and exactly how I felt when J first came home.  I was pretty pissed that God had allowed all these horrible things happen to my child.  It took me a long time to forgive God.

Then shortly after I read an enlightening blog post by my friend, Sunday.  You can click here to read it.
She wrote, "Anyhow, I think people who deal with kids from trauma have to remember that they do not process things the same way as they do.  One person's source of comfort could be another's source of terror." 

One more thing to tell me I need to be more open to seeing the world as J sees it.  Her perception and mine are two entirely different things.  Praying I can be mindful of her needs....

My boyfriend (he doesn't know it so does it count?), Brad, is going to be on the free tapping world summit tonight.  Here's the link.  I believe it's on healing childhood stuff tonight.  You can attend for free for 24 hours from original posting.  Then tomorrow night there will be another posting available for 24 hours.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


All of you know that the complete seminar is available on an audio cast on my blog here.  You can listen or even download to your i p*d.   Several of you have emailed me about video taping the tapping sequence.  So I did.  *gasp*  I transcribed the audio and did the video below.  If you're feeling despair and you have no idea how to keep keeping on.  Watch and tap with me.

Here is the script:

Even though I feel this despair. I choose to love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel this despair  I choose to love and honor myself anyway.
Even though I feel this despair because this is so hard 
I had the best of intentions but I’m not sure I knew it would be this hard and I’m not sure I can handle it .
In fact there are times when I’m sure I can’t handle it.
Even though I feel all this despair I choose to deeply and completely love, honor and accept myself and my kids and anyone else who might be involved in this.
All this despair
All these feelings of despair.
All these heavy feelings of despair
I’m not sure I can make it
I’m not sure I can do this
This is so hard
This is so challenging
And I’m not sure I can do it
And at times I’m sure I can’t do it.
I can’t hold on much longer.
I want to help
But I just can’t do this.
Oh me of little faith.
All this self doubt
It’s challenging
It’s hard to have faith in myself
and part of me doesn’t want to
Because if I have faith in myself I have to do this
And part of me wants a way out.
I want to be able to say I’m sorry I just can’t do this anymore
And no one can blame me
it’s a lot to ask to someone
and if I can’t keep going on I need to do what I need to do 
but I choose to give myself permission to clear the self doubt
that puts me into despair
and to clear all this stuff that puts me in to despair
all this despair
this fear that it will never get better
this fear that it will never end
clearing all that stuff that puts me into despair
this fear that it’s never going to get better.
this fear that its going to be forever
even though I know it will end because my kid is going to move out eventually
one way or another
they may not grow out of their issues but at some point they’re going to move out
in some way shape or form
this is not a permanent issue 
and maybe i do have what it takes to stick with it for longer
I choose to have more faith in myself
I’m also open to the possibilities that are there ways to make it less difficult
I’m giving myself a new tool right now
I’m giving myself something to help me cope
and cope in healthy way
this is a much healthier way to deal with stress
than maybe some of the things I’ve done in the past
and with this tool
I can let go of some of this despair
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel
in fact I can allow myself to see some light right here and now
and in fact I’m lightening up right now
I choose to lighten up
clearing the despair
clearing it at a cellular level
clearing it all the way back through my past 
back through the time I’ve been with this child 
and back through my own childhood
releasing it completely.
or as much as I can allow myself right now
I deserve to be free
I deserve to let go of the despair
I don’t need it anymore
it’s not helping me
its safe to let it go
its safe to let myself feel better
and as I let the despair go
I find myself having more patience
when I feel hopeless and I feel like I’m serving a life sentence it’s no wonder I get impatient
there’s no way I can feel patient when I feel like it’s going to be this way forever
Clearing these fears
and as I clear these fears I have greater access to patience and that feels good
that’s a gift I’m giving myself.
its a gift I’m giving my kids but it’s also a gift I’m giving myself
it’s a win-win situation
and we deserve that
continuing to let go of stress
releasing it from every fiber of my being
releasing these fears
releasing these doubts
I’m allowing myself to relax 
as an act of love to myself
which I really deserve
in body mind and spirit
Deep breath and slowly let it out.