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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have been overwhelmed with Iryna a lot lately. I expect good behavior from my children. I want for them to respect me. Because of Iryna's FAS, she reacts before she thinks. For example, on Sunday I needed to practice a song after church with a friend. When Tyler told Iryna that we weren't going home yet but staying at church a little longer, she slapped his face knocking his glasses off. I was livid with her behavior, but Tyler was so patient and just ignored the behavior, knowing that she was upset and simply reacted that way. Later on, she apologized to Tyler for what she did. This behavior really bothers me.

I had a long conversation with Tyler about this on Sunday. The behaviors that Iryna exhibits make me not want to be around her. I struggle with being patient and I sometimes I have to force myself to be affectionate, whereas it isn't forced with Keith or Anna. Then I swing to the idea that I am not a good mother for her. That she deserves someone more patient and loving, who understands her FAS and can give her what she needs. I feel so lacking as her mother. I have a hard time separating the FAS and the sweet little girl Iryna is. I feel guilty even writing this blogpost, but I feel like I need to. After all, I don't think you will judge me, but hopefully give me encouragement and maybe nod your head, because you get what I'm saying here.

I've been praying about it. After crying and struggling with myself, I came to the conclusion that I would just do my best, even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it's enough. Maybe it will get better in the future with Iryna. She has already made progress thus far in the past 3 years, so that's good.

And then yesterday happened - Iryna came home off the bus. No whining. No picking/pinching herself. She was sweet. She was helpful, thoughtful. She did what I asked the first time. She was sensitive and affectionate. She was a delight. And this continued all. day. long. It was so refreshing! I saw all the things that I love about Iryna. I feel as though it was mercy given to me from God. I am so grateful for His mercy. He reminded me of who Iryna is and who she can become. I don't expect the same thing to happen everyday, but it was nice to see it and experience it yesterday. It has helped me rededicate myself to being the best mama to Iryna that I can be.


Diana said...

Nodding...nodding...nodding. Uh huh. Yes, friend...I get it. Wish I didn't, but I SOOOO DO! There's no ands, ifs or buts about it...parenting hurt kids is HARD. Some days it's CRAZY HARD! And it's lonely.

At the same time, it's also a gift. Our kids who need us the most to help them also give us the greatest gift of healing ourselves. They also bring us to God's throne. Sometimes they force us there simply because we can't do this by ourselves. It's too big. However we get there, it's a blessing, though.

I love those glimpses of who our kids really are...the days they are regulated and happy. They carry us through the rest. And they do remind us to keep going and keep pushing forward.

Carina said...

Wow...that is amazing. I can only imagine how hard this has been for you, for Iryna, for your whole family. What a sweet, tender mercy from our Lord to help both of you get a glimpse of that amazing girl she really is--the way that He sees her. Prayers are going up for you! Love you, and ((((HUGS))))!!!

Sarah C said...

You are a WONDERFUL mom!!! Iryna is very blessed to be your daughter. I am glad that you had a good day with her. She is a sweet girl.

Courtney said...

Totally get this! Two of my girls I have the hardest time liking, just because of their personalities and behaviors. I have to remind myself (A LOT) that they missed out on a mama's love the first several years of life and they are so hungry for it now they have a hard time behaving appropriately. And I do notice that my mama feelings towards them are getting easier, so I am making just as much progress as (maybe more than) they are! :)

Shannon said...

Jill, I'm so glad you shared this! It has been a bumpy road for us with our Joseph. Even though he doesn't have FAS, his ADHD and PPDNOS bring fits of rage and aggressive impulsivity towards others that is downright embarrassing and influences the other kids' behavior. One thing that has changed our lives for good is getting in home behavior therapy training for him. Tricare covers almost the entire cost, so for 12 hrs a week we have someone who comes in and works one on one with Joe. Our therapist has taught us all how to navigate the trepidating waters of responding effectively to tantrums, understanding the origin of behaviors, and how to discuss incidents from point a to b to retrain the brain to respond appropirately, vs knee-jerk, impatient reactions. I finally have the emotional support I need and it has made a world of difference in our family and my ability to grow in wisdom and patience as a Mother. xo God is good!

nicole said...

Wow, I feel for you Jill. You are such a wonderful mother. I always have to remind myself in parenthood (or anything)... "PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION." :) What a gift for you to have that special day with Iryna to see her for who she really is. Love and Hugs my dear friend. xo