adoption support

Day 11: Being Unshockable

Okay Frank Fans, we have MADE CONTACT! If you have no idea what I'm talking about then you need to go back and watch THIS. Tonight we finally got ahold of Frank on the phone. He and his wife and daughter are coming over for dinner (and the cake presentation ceremony) on October 27!!! I will do everything in my power to force Tom and Frank to let me make a video so you can see their reunion. Frank was genuinely touched that Tom remembered those things so many years later... and he said it didn't hurt to get some brownie points with this wife. #yourewelcomefrank

For Day 11, I treated this cutie and her mama to lunch. (Okay, maybe not her... she treated herself to throwing cheerios and sugar packets.)

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I spent time with her and later, another friend who are navigating the ups and downs of foster care/adoption. We spent hours talking through issues with attachment, openness with first parents, and how to help siblings cope with changes to the family dynamics. I certainly don't have all the answers, nor am I an expert on the topic, but I have spent countless hours researching different approaches to loving a traumatized child. I have tried everything under the sun to help my son heal the wounds of a severed attachment and I am pretty sure I have logged enough hours with my son's attachment therapist to count as an intern.

A few years ago, our friends Brandi and Danny helped us create this video that would explain to people what our family was experiencing. It is strange to watch it now because we have come so far as a family. Most of our days are still hard, but they aren't like they used to be. During those really intense years, I felt like there wasn't a single person who could understand what we were going through. I prayed for just one person who had gone through it before us with any measure of success. I longed for someone to be unshockable. Someone who had answers and tools and parenting tips that actually applied to my life. Someone who would say "here's how to get urine out of the heating vent." or "I have a potion that will magically unbleach all your clothes." 

There was no such person for me. Partly because I was afraid of opening myself up to the inevitable judgement (we were often bombarded with advice that really missed the mark) and partly because people didn't even know that Reactive Attachment Disorder was a thing until recent years. There weren't many parents who walked this road before us (at least not with tools) and that kept me feeling isolated and lost. Today, I got to be the lady who walked the road first. I got to pass along the tips and approaches that worked for us. I got to encourage and reassure and remind them that however they're feeling is normal in our little abnormal world of trauma and detachment. I was unshockable. 

This may not seem like much, but I got to be the experienced mom that I prayed would come into my life years ago. As I was leaving this discussion I realized that God has taken every last thing I have learned through this process and he has made it useful. He has taken our hard days, months, years... and with them has worn a path for other families who are a few steps behind us in this journey. During the worst of it, I begged that God would equip me to be the mom Harper needed. I think I can finally say that - at least for today - I felt like I was.

 

Spanking in Public & How to Parent Like a Total Boss

I'm pretty sure my kids' principal saw me spank my husband in the school parking lot. I know what you're thinking...
"nbd, we've all been there." Right? That IS what you were thinking wasn't it?

No? Just us with the spanking?

Alright, well... if you'd had our morning you, too, would have some celebratory victory-swatting going on in public. Because this particular spank was about 3 years in the making. 

It all started when our son (now 9 years old) was in first grade. He needed some extra support because we were seeing signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder, yet were not aware of what he was actually struggling with. Without a diagnosis, there is very little support, so we ended up pulling Harper out of school half way through first grade. We had a tutor come to our home for an hour a day just so he wouldn't fall behind, but academics were the least of our worries. We spent that time home doing a lot of - what we lovingly refer to as - baby-ducking. Baby-ducking is a part of the therapeutic approach we were taking, and it's a really fun little descriptor that essentially means that your child is following you around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ya know, like a baby duck. I know it doesn't sound bad, but I assure you that it's pretty exhausting and much less adorable when baby duck (thinks he) hates your guts. 

By the time we enrolled him back in school for second grade we were working closely with an excellent therapist who specializes in disordered and insecure attachment. We had comprehensive testing done to ensure that Harper not only had a diagnosis, but all the tests and evaluations required to meet New York State's criteria to receive special education services. But here's the thing... we thought that was all we needed. We thought, "we don't have to be "those parents" who go in and demand all kinds of services, because our kid has a legit thing." And this "thing" is no longer an illusive, mysterious set of symptoms that make me look crazy. Finally, we had a well-documented, official DSM certified Severe Emotional Disturbance!! (You know you're in a rough patch when that last sentence is the good news.) Still, we thought we had everything we would need.

We were wrong.

Apparently, we needed to get to a point where I ALSO had a severe emotional disturbance.

Check, annnnnd check. (See post about the time I went B-A-N-A-N-A-S here.)

After the bananas, we knew that we had gotten to the point where we were willing to be "those parents" and we then requested another CSE meeting. So, on Thursday my husband, Tom, and I went in. He was a total boss. To be fair, he was the kind of boss who is so steady and relaxed, you wonder if he might be stoned... but he was a boss nonetheless. (*He was also not stoned, mom, so settle down.) He's just really calm and so nice by nature that he can't even be a boss in an unpleasant way. He (waaaaaay over-)prepared information from some intimidating group called something like The Justice League of Super Hero Lawyers for Moms About to Lose their Ever Lovin' Minds. And before the meeting, he even sent a semi-scary email, in which, he took a firm and serious tone.

It was pretty hot.

Riding Tom's over-prepared coattails, I closed in with an impassioned speech about why Harper truly does need to have an aide assigned to him - at least during unstructured times, like recess, lunch, etc. I didn't cry or start spontaneously swearing, which is how I usually imagine myself unraveling in these high-stress scenarios because I have been teetering precariously at the edge of insanity all school year. 

So here we are, at the end of third grade, and WE HAVE ARDENTLY AND SUCCESSFULLY ATTAINED AN IEP!!

Not only did we get that Individualized Education Plan in place, but we have secured a 1-to-1 aide for our guy during all unstructured times - which is when a child like ours really needs the extra support. I had been told repeatedly that getting an aide for him would be an impossibility. I mean, MULTIPLE times, I was told "It's never going to happen." 

So, forgive me if I walked out of that building with so much relief and empowerment that I spanked my husband while aggressively sports-yelling at the side of his face "We did it son!"

How was I to know that the school psychologist and principal would be right behind us? After our performance, one could only have assumed that all other meeting participants would still be in the conference room, doing slo-mo replays of our boss-like successes in parental advocacy. How was I to know that they would just leave the meeting after it was done? When such dope parenting had just taken place before their very impressed eyes, how could I conceive that they would have the wherewithal to move on to the parking lot?

Ah well, at least they didn't see all the chest-bumping and athletic growling that I forced Tom to participate in when we got home.

Actual photograph of us on Thursday morning...

And all Thursday night...

And well into Friday...

Wave after wave of glorious relief on Saturday...

Then Easter Sunday we took a break from all the fanfare, to celebrate a much greater victory... Jesus overcoming death and evil.

But this morning, I'm not gonna lie. The sense of triumph came back full force. 

Next year, this child of ours will go on to a bigger school, with more transitions, more kids, more freedom, less structure. This is good for a lot of kids, most kids in fact. For my child, however, this transition was like a train heading straight for us. We kept seeing it approach, the speed never changing and all we can do as parents is anticipate the damage that will be done on impact. So, we prayed and prayed and prayed. And Tom prepared and prepared and prepared. And I went just a titch ballistic. And we became "those parents" because the alternative was simply too dangerous for our kid. 

So... spanks all around. Because I know that this taste of relief is temporary. This rare and glorious optimism that maybe next year will be a little better and little easier than the last, is fleeting. We needed that victory spank. We needed a triumph. Because even though we really do believe in a God whose only son was sent to earth to triumph, once and for all, over death and evil... we know that life on this side of heaven, is still wrought with train after train, pain after pain. And though we have fought long and hard for our bizarre little children to feel a little safer, a little better, on the tracks... life always has another train ready to barrel over us. It sounds a little doomsday, I know, but pain and suffering are just a reality in the life of a human and I accept that a new obstacle, a new train, will be set in our son's path. But, we've worked really hard to learn our stuff, to drop the right names, to know his rights, so until we stare down that next train... we get to bask in the sweet relief of a temporary win on earth, and an eternal win beyond these earthly tracks.

And when you are in that place - a place of hope and favor and full, unrestrained joy... a place of amazement at God's faithfulness in this victory and the victory on the cross - you really must spank someone in the parking lot. Because these moments are all we have to sustain and energize us as we over-prepare for the next fight, like a total and complete boss. 

 

The Time I Went B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Yesterday was a bad day. A really, really bad day. I basically failed at life yesterday.

My sister-in-law, Carlie, recently sent me a song that has become my anthem. I have this song on repeat for much of the day, and I'm telling you that if you watch this video, and watch it all the way to the end, you're gonna straight up pray that sinner's prayer. Okay, maybe you won't, but that is the impact that Miss Tasha Cobbs has on me when she's singing this song. This song, it is my anthem.

Plus, my voice sounds a lot like hers.

I can not overstate how this has become my battle cry. "I am empty before you, fill me up God." 

I don't know how it is possible to feel so empty, and also so full of my own self. I am empty, and yet, I am stuffed. I am stuffed with selfishness, with fear, with stress, with rage, with pride, with self-loathing, with a desire for control, and more than anything else, I am stuffed with a desire for relief. I am stuffed sick of my self, and at the very same time I feel completely empty. So, I listen to this song on repeat and I let Ol' Tasha usher Jesus into my empty places, and I let him sweetly pour me out, all of that junk that is in me, I beg him to let it spill out so that He alone can fill me up. 

I know that this sounds ridiculous if you have never encountered Jesus as a living leader and active forgiver. But, for me... this song is like being in a spiritual spin class. Where the instructor is leading me into an excercise that I lack the motivation and discipline and know-how to do on my own. Listening to this song has been a spiritual excercise, and the incredible voice on that woman is walking me through the process of opening up inside, and letting a holy fire burn out whatever is left in me, so that I can be an empty vessel that God, in his mercy, can fill to overflowing.

Yesterday was a bad day. Yesterday, I was empty. And I am realizing now that "empty" just means that I am actually full - of all the wrong things. So, yesterday I was stuffed. And I lost it. I absolutely lost my mind. I have a new respect for the phrase " go bananas" because I truly and completely went bananas. Ironically, about 14 bananas were actually involved in this particular incident. I won't go into the whole mess of the thing, but let's just say that lives were saved by the fact that bananas are a soft fruit. If we were talking pineapples, I'd be in jail right now.

It wasn't pretty y'all. My entire dining room was a battle scene, the evidence of our struggle was everywhere. The floor, the table, most of the chairs, the walls, all of it, was caked with smashed banana, and my heart was caked with shame. And while I was on my knees, face down, sobbing in the literal and figurative mess of my life, I heard Tasha Cobbs still playing on my phone. It was at 3:56 into the video and in the song she is begging God to fill her up. 

Fill me up, God

Fill me up, God

Fill me up, God

Thirty times in that section of the song, the phrase, my anthem, is repeated.  

"Somebody ask him," she sings, "I need a fresh annointing... Somebody ask him, fill me again. I need more of you. I've been running on empty. I need you to fill me again. We cry out for more. More of your spirit is what we need. More of your annointing, more of your glory, fill me up. That's what I really want, that's what I really need. I'm so tired of me, I need more of you. I gotta have more of you. "

A couple weeks ago, I was the key-note speaker for a weekend retreat. Next week I go to Michigan for two speaking events, and when I get back home, I have even more events lined up, or maybe not after I publish this post. Either way, I am not selling out arenas or anything, none of these events are necessaily huge or impressive. But, I stand before people and I tell them about my life, I tell them about the wisdom in the Bible, the truths of scripture, but ultimately... I only ever say one thing, that Jesus is the bringer of hope and redemption. That is my only message.

Sure, I write and speak about my life. I talk about parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. I talk about being a multi-racial, adoptive family. I talk about racism. I talk about the violent end to my brother's life, and my response to his death (#AdamsActs) with you all. I share my family's personal experiences - my daughter's current health struggles, my mistakes and my struggles, about throwing down with bananas, cross-country road trips, general shenanigans, and all the in-between stuff. But, all of that sharing is just a pouring out. It's just an attempt to overflow what God is doing, has ALWAYS done, in my life.

I have nothing to say, I have nothing to write, that isn't about redemption.

People often tell me that I should write a book. There are even times where it feels like it could actually be a dream realized. But the question remains - what would my book be about? 

The answer is redemption. The answer can only ever be redemption.

Because I am empty, and yet I am stuffed. And I am the worst. And I lost my head and I went crazy and I let myself lose sight of who God made me to be. And so much banana was involved. And still, somehow, God still lets me speak to rooms full of people. God still lets me tell you my story. He lets me tell you his story.

Please don't tell me how amazing I am in response to this. Please. If there is ANY good thing in me, anything at all that is inspiring, or encouraging, or worthy of admiring in me then you must know, that is not me at all. I am on the floor covered in fruit. I am dry, and empty, and still sickly full of my self, my shame and my sin. But, still, he uses me. I am not amazing, I am broken and he redeems me for his purpose. And that is the miraculous power of the living God that I serve and rely on. Because if, even for a second, I take my eyes and my hope off of Him... I instantly become part of the broken mess. 

And every time I go to write, or speak to other people there is nothing I am more aware of than my own lack. My shortcomings, my limitations, my total and complete depravity are never far from my mind. The day I lose the awareness of my own need for redemption is the day I have no business writing or speaking to anyone again.

Yesterday was a bad day. A really, really bad day. All of us can relate to that. Anyone parenting a difficult child, or does life with somone who has mental health issues, may be able to relate to some degree. Those of you parenting a child with disordered attachment... you have a banana battle story of your own, I'm certain. And as I kneeled down, filthy and sobbing and ashamed, I begged God - out loud and in front of my empty, hurting child - to fill me up.

"Fill me up God, Fill me up God, Fill me up God"

I do not deserve to write or speak to so many people. I am not worthy to speak a single word about a Bible that I can so easily disregard in a moment of anger or exhaustion or emptiness. But,

That. Is. Redemption.

That in the unlikliest places, that at the unlikliest times, in the unlikliest people, God chooses to fill, to forgive, to heal and to sort it out for good. And as long as he continues to redeem me and fill me and give me another go, I will simply never shut up about it.

 

 

Please Excuse My Mental Breakdown

I am sort of the queen of hastily published, crappy first drafts. I know you are supposed to read your work, then re-read, edit and have it edited by a discerning second set of eyes. But... yeah... that's not how I do things. This is a blog, and a mediocre one in comparision to the zillion other blogs out there, and if that was my process I would never write. In fact, I write infrequently (in part) beacuse I feel like that should be my process. 

The other night, I abandoned that mosty-self-imposed pressure, and I went with my own process. Which is very scientific. 

Step 1: Have feelings.

Step 2: Tell everyone what they are.

Step 3: Panic when people start reading about the feelings.

Step 4: Live in deep and immediate regret.

Step 5: Have new feelings (which trigger some sort of vulnerability amnesia).

Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 and continue to produce crappy, unbridled first drafts until someone makes you stop, or arrests you. 

That's it, that's my process. If you don't like it, you can arrest me. A mental health arrest would probably make the most sense, and given my last post it is probably quite obvious that a stay in some sort of facility would feel like a vacation and I welcome it. So go ahead a make the call. I dare you. Nay, I beg you. 

Alright, now that we've set the standard super low, I apologize for the mental breakdown that I published the other day. But, I am only a little sorry because after 4,000 reads, I feel semi-confident it reached the suffering mamas I was hoping to reach, and it met them right where they were - mid-breakdown of their own, no doubt. So, while I am a little sorry, and a lot embarassed, I am not even that sorry because the best thing for a child with RAD is to be loved and supported by a parent who has all their faculties. And the longer one is parenting a child with RAD, the less in-tact their faculties become.

I'm only a loose 30% sure I am using "faculties" in the correct context here, but we already discussed our writing standards and what you can expect here. Just be glad I'm not yelling swears at you for questioning me. Understand? Good.

So, here's what took place to bring me to the hysterical crescendo that was my written tantrum the other night. It's hard to know where to start, because well... my own birth makes the most sense as a starting point, but that feels a little heavy on the backstory. So, let's just start with the holidays. The holidays are like Baggagefest '08 for anyone with RAD kids. It is all kinds of trigger. There are gifts and parties and treats and all the other things that kids with attachment issues will sabotage because they don't believe they deserve good things. This, combined with the extra-special contradiction of demanding all the good things and an attitude of entitlement to all the good things, makes for a good time had by all. And by all, I obviously mean nobody within 6 square miles of us. 

Fast forward through the holidays. (I wish this were a real thing we could do but it's actually just a saying we use to reduce the backstory in crappy first drafts). We barely get through the holidays, and I'm still having PTSD flashbacks to our Christmas break. One particular low-point included the children vomiting all over the marble floors of city hall during a big family reunion photo session. We were dealing with RAD stuff, and normal big family with lots of kds during flu-season stuff. And then there was London.

As some of you may remember she had a rare blood disorder as a baby called Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood. So, when she starts to look pale and thin and worn down, we take it pretty seriously. We noticed that she had been looking and acting sick for a couple of months, and we did the routine bloodwork to ensure that the TEC was not back. It wasn't, but she continued to be very pale, acting more tired at school and at home. She was not herself, and her appetite was waning. She has a never-ending incurable rash on her leg, she has lost 6 pounds in four weeks, her thyroid levels were elevated and I discovered a few gray hairs on her head. 

She is seven years old.

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In the midst of everything swirling around me in my normal life - holiday preparations, parent-teacher conferences, hosting family and friends, general parenting and care of five kids, Christmas shopping and cooking and hosting and the subsequent cleaning, all the vomiting, and the subsequent disinfecting, four January birthdays in our house, and the subsequent poverty - there were all the RAD behaviors, and then this slow-motion awareness at the center of all of the peripheral chaos, that London was not okay. 

I spent whole entire days in various doctor's offices watching them draw vial after vial of blood for tests that would give us inconclusive results. Until nine days ago when we were told that she came back as a strong positive for having Celiac Disease. (Feel free to punch a bagel in the face right this very minute in her honor.)

While we still don't have all the answers as to what is causing what, it looks like having a serious, genetic autoimmune disorder go untreated for great lengths of time can apparently cause your thyroid to poop its pants a little. The jury is out on the gray hair, but we are still looking at this from every angle. But, the bottom line is that we are beyond relieved that she has something that (while a huge dietary undertaking) is managable and not something more sinister or life-threatening.

See? You see now why I have been slowly building up to a mental breakdown? Because everything felt like it was falling apart. My oldest daughter, Annalee, became a teenager, then she broke her arm during a track race (which she finished like a total boss, btw) but the break went through the growth plate and they have to closely monitor it in order to prevent surgery.

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My youngest, Jay, is still adjusting to his new hearing aids (and by that I mean, he is chewing his ear molds like gum when we aren't looking.)

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And we are just trying to keep our heads above water on this RAD stuff. Then you throw in a gluten rash and no good pizza or soft bread for life? It's enough to make anyone crazy.

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Here is what I do regret about my mental breakdown. I regret not reminding any and all of you who are in the thick of it, that it isn't always this low. It's not always this bad. There are times, however brief and however infrequent, where I am dellusional enough to believe that maybe we have turned a corner on this RAD stuff. Of course we never do, but there are small rests and there are little breaks in the chaos... just enough to let the light peek in for a moment. Just enough to make us hope again. 

So, that is my real regret. Not adding one more reminder. So here it is.

11) There is always hope. Even if it doesn't get better forever. Even if this is as good as it gets. There will be little bright spots - not because your child successfully manipulated someone with their deceptive charm - but because one teacher believed you. Or because one friend met you for lunch so you could sit in Panera and cry until you had a snot mustcahe. Or because you found a blogger who lacks a sense of appropriate boundaries and is crazy enough to say what you can't.

There will be those bright spots and Jesus knows when you need them most and he will deliver them to you in his mercy and good timing. Let's just hope they come before you publish that first draft. 

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This is an actaul candid photo of me, caught in the wild, begging for my way. All signs of a mental breakdown were there, and ignored by those closest to me. I blame Tom, who probably gave me my way while in this state. Like an enabler.

To All the Other Haggard Moms Parenting a RAD Child

There is nothing so painful as unrequited love. And there is no love as powerful as a parent's love for their child. So when you love your child and he does not, can not, love you back... it might be the most heartbreaking scenario of them all. 

At least that is how I am feeling now... that (apart from losing a child) there is no pain I can fathom like having a living child that you cannot reach. 

Unrequited attachment, unabsorbed love.

And the world takes the salt of misunderstanding and rubs it into the proverbial wound. All kids lie, they say. Or steal, or hurt others, or themselves.

All kids want control. All kids say hurtful things.

All kids... 

He is not all kids. He is my kid. And I know him best. I know what makes him sicker. I know that treating him like "all kids" is one of those things.

I am exhausted. I am fed up. I am done explaining to people that yes, a child can be traumatized inside a womb. Google it. I am tired of trying to convince people that an unborn baby who develops in a bath of cortisol (stress hormones) instead of bonding chemicals will not respond to life or love in the same way as a typically developed child. I am all done explaining how exposure to different substances may harm a child's ability to bond and connect. I will not keep explaining that my child is both brilliant and unable to choose wisely. I will not keep asking for support only to be questioned or accused or dismissed. I am done.

Except that I'm not. I'm never done. As much as I freakin want to be done... I am not even close.

We are on four different waiting lists for various supports and schools and services. We have four siblings who are confused and wounded and are trapped between knowing that they must forgive, and their natural instinct to protect themselves from a person that causes them pain. 

I cannot describe the sight of a small, furious, hurting sister shaking her fists with the totality of her exasperation. The helplessness in her eyes, matched by my own.

 And all I can say is "I know baby. Me too." 

I cannot take away my son's pain. I can not make him feel unabandoned. I am not enough to fill in neurological gaps or heal his amygdala. My love is not that big. My love is not enough. YOUR love is not enough... so don't try to be his friend, or tell me to love him where he is at. I do. It's all I have done. And it isn't working. And I will keep doing it because there is nothing else to be done. But, all I can do is still not enough. 

I read the Bible so I know that God IS enough. I know that. But, right now... it's looking a lot more like

God + an unreasonable amount of time + so much pain in the interim = enough

I know that I sound hopeless. I know that all this is raw and scattered and probably sounds dramatic. But of one thing I am sure, there is at least one set of eyes on the other side of this screen that are filled with dysfunctionally relieved tears. One set of eyes that are seeing their feelings put into words, maybe for the first time.

So, I am writing to her. To the isolated, discouraged, helpless mom who's love is unrequited:

Hey. What's up? Thanks for somehow finding my blog. (Probably at 3am.) What you are going through is really, really hard. For you, and even harder for your child. You probably chose adoption because you wanted to be the family that helps to complete a child and now you are realizing that - surprise! - your family is being torn apart instead. Listen. Here are some things I need to hear on a regular basis and sometimes I have to say them to myself. 

1- You are not alone. There are a crap ton of us out here going through this, but most of us are too ashamed of ourselves, or too protective of our kids, to talk about it. There are a lot of anonymous blogs, but be careful, people are angry and exhausted and they sometimes bash their children. That's not okay, and it's not helpful for you.

2- You didn't cause this. (Unless you are an abusive dirtbag and you did cause this.) You didn't cause this.

3- Nobody, literally nobody, will understand what you are going through unless they are also a parent of a RAD kid. Social workers, psychologists, attachment therapists, adoption specialists, respite providers, felllow adoptees, friends, family... they all have their place, and they may even be excellent and able to help. They will not understand. Unless they are raising a child with RAD, or have done so in the past, they simply won't get it. 

4- A lot of people won't believe you. They probably will eventually, but until then, there will be a lot of advice and suggestions and have you tried's. There will be a lot of judgement. There will be a lot of people who try to "rescue" your child by loving on him, because they can't understand that you have done that, and it wasn't enough.

5- Get a door alarm and a video monitor. You need sleep, and peace of mind, and you need both of these to have a snowball's chance at either of them.

6- It's okay to go away. You need respite. Your other children need respite. Your hurting child needs respite. You all need to breath, and it's really okay to make room for it. It's not just okay, it's necessary.

7- Find a Lexi. A Lexi is a faithful friend, a champion for your self-care, a devoted caregiver, and defender of the weak and a giver of good gifts... like breaks from your child and cups of hot coffee. She doesn't have to be named Lexi, but mine is, and I couldn't do this without her. 

8- He can't love you. It's not that he won't, it's that he can't. He might want to love you, or he might actually love you, in his way, but he can't show it. He can't stop protecting himself from your love. Your love is scary to him, but it's also all you've got. And when you run out, it's okay to fake it. 

9- This is probably going to be the hardest thing you will ever do, and the biggest fight you will ever fight. You will probably not see results for a really long time. You might not ever see results. You must keep going. You signed up for this, even if you didn't know it at the time, and it is your job to keep going. And it's going to break your heart over and over and over. 

10- I know baby, me too.