Jan 282015

I remember sooooo many times that people misjudged what we were doing with Lilly, because it just did not seem right to them. For example, howPenguins could we eat at a restaurant, but not give the cute little girl with us a meal? If you haven’t read Chasing Lilly, you’ll need to, in order to get the answer to that one. 🙂

A good example of this kind of jumping-to-conclusions happened today to Bruce and I. We were pulling into a parking lot, and a man in a car was beeping his horn loudly at a car that had two, cute elderly ladies in it. They paid him no mind, and kept their car slowly crawling forward until they finally drove away.

I said, “Look at that man, beeping at those old ladies! How mean!”

It was only after the ladies’ car left, that we discovered why he had been beeping. The elderly lady driver had crunched in another car and left the scene, however slowly!

I’m still laughing over that one. Let’s not be too quick to jump to conclusions unless we know the whole story, unless of course, physical abuse is occurring.   😮   Nealie


Jan 252015

I went to a recent fund-raiser that had an afternoon lunch and an auction. I wanted to participate in the auction, but the directions didn’t make any sense to me, so I asked for a second explanation of how the auction rules worked. It was different than anything I had ever heard of, and my mind wasn’t grasping it, so I opted out and gave a donation instead.

It turned out that someone else sitting at my table didn’t understand the rules, either, which helped me not feel so DENSE! Don’t you hate it when you just don’t get something? It could be a computer skill thing, a new game, or a car repair explanation.

There may be  a back-story behind some mental freeze-ups, though. Maybe you were embarrassed because you didn’t understand a game as a child and others made fun of you. So now you hate to play games for fear that you may be embarrassed, and you’re  forty years old.

My back-story is that thirty years ago I went to an auction with Bruce, and we just watched everything going on, because we were new to auctions. When it was over, a man told us where we could pick up our purchases and pay. What? We didn’t bid on anything! Or so we thought. It turned out that we had accidentally bid on two small furniture items. Thank goodness that we had the money. I still have one of the pieces to remind me. 🙂

It’s the same with the traumatized kids that we try to work with and love. They may have a back-story that causes them to behave in certain ways, and react in a totally unexpected way in some situations. Remember empathy and patience as you help them have successes. And never take them to an auction. Just kidding! -Nealie

Jan 202015

big snowflakesSee the huge snowflakes? It was one of those lazy, fluffy snows today. Just wonderful.

I was watching the slowly falling snow and thinking about how people seem to be blown away by the perseverance that I showed in the Chasing Lilly story. (Bruce gets credit for that, too. He supported me all the way.) Most who’ve read the story say that they could never foster or adopt -it would be way too hard for them. I understand, but remember that our story was very unusual, to say the least, and does not reflect most fostering-challenge scenarios. Don’t be afraid to foster. If your heart is tugging at you, then do it.

We are all gifted for certain things. I could never play an instrument with any level of skill, because I’ve never been wired to play one, and I don’t have the dedication or drive to do it. That is one example among hundreds, and is exactly why we need to remember that we all have a part to play in making the world a better place for traumatized children. Your part may be much different than mine, but there is SOMETHING that you can do.

I made a list of  people who helped us along the way with Lilly, and they played an integral part. Feel free to comment or add more:

Social workers, police, teachers, neighbors, doctors and nurses, praying friends and family, court-appointed guardian, therapists, counselors, paramedics . . .  and don’t forget the people who donated time and/or money to The Center for Helping Children (CHC).

Surely you can see yourself here somewhere! If you do, THANK YOU, we couldn’t have done it without you. -Nealie



Jan 152015

volcano kitSeveral of my grandkids know that I like to make volcanoes with play-dough, baking soda and vinegar. (I mentioned how to make those in a past post.)

Recently, I was excited to find a kit to make a sand and plaster volcano. Ari and Sev were there during the plaster-mixing, and spent the night while the volcano dried for 24 hours on top of the fridge.

The kit came with orange “lava” tablets, (yay!), and I had to buy some club soda to go with them. So we were excited and all set to see how our fairly realistic volcano would look with the lava oozing out of it. The directions even said not to get too close, and that added to the excitement!

When it came time to pour the soda into the volcano, we realized that we had a problem. The volcano kit had not figured in a bottom for the volcano. Anything poured into it would simply be dumped out onto the table. UGH!!! There was no eruption, (except for our protests of disbelief). We think that we followed the directions, so it should have worked.

I have been thinking about it all day. Did we miss something? It occurred to me that some kids are like that volcano kit. You can do everything according to the directions (or expert advice), but sometimes there are malfunctions because they have been damaged in some way. The big difference, though, is that with the damaged kids, you are very likely to get volcanic eruptions when you don’t want them!

Whether the lava is spewing at your house or not, hang in there! Check out my resource page for some helps. And speaking of helps, if you haven’t read Chasing Lilly, please do! You don’t need a Kindle. When you order it, give an email address, and it will be sent to your computer. Easy-peasy. Love my readers! -Nealie