Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Kids

I had quite a few people comment that they were surprised that I got my "kids" to go camping with me at their ages (25 and 18).

I thought it might be a good time to explain some things to my newest followers.  Both of my kids have special needs.  They are both verbal and appear to be like any other person of the same age.  Except, they aren't.

Their needs are similar in some areas and very different in others.  This may be due to the fact that they come from different biological parents.  You see, my kids are MY kids through adoption.  Yes, I chose them and they chose me.  They are the greatest gift I have ever received.  Nothing will ever compare to them.

If you had known me before I became a mother, you would have known someone completely different.  I was shy, wouldn't argue and had little or no self confidence.  I still don't really, unless it has to do with my kids.  I am their Mom, their advocate and their protector.  Believe me, I am no saint as I lose my patience more than I would like to and am so not proud of that fact, but it is the truth.

They are both happy.  They have been through things that no one, especially not a child, should go through.  I am always amazed by their resiliency.  Some everyday tasks come easy yet others do not.  Time and money, for example, can be very difficult concepts for them.  Social skills are a challenge.  Similar, yet so different.  My son isn't as likely to jump into something...a bit reserved in new situations.  Not my daughter...she jumps in with both feet! She doesn't stop for anything or anyone!  Even me. ha!  They are both adults now but they are vulnerable adults and always will be to some degree.

This really does lead me to how I get them to go camping.  Every summer, beginning when they were little, I had to try to find an activity they would enjoy together.  With 8 years apart and some pretty splendid differences, it was a challenge.  Last year, we took up camping.  It was great to have the "boy" join us for a few, uninterrupted days as he resides in a group home.  It was a good time for us to reconnect and re bond as a family unit.  The boy does come home several times a year but the camping was a new adventure for us.  As I mentioned before, I think I'm hanging up the tents stakes for good so who knows what next year will bring.

Not a great picture but they are MY kids and I love 'em.  And besides, we WERE camping, you know! =)



And now you know the rest of the story.


27 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

thanks for this. you are quite the wonderful mom to your 2 wonderful kids.

Furry Bottoms said...

I know you spoke about your kids being special needs, but I don't think I understood quite how they were special needs. You said both have trouble in the verbal department? I just wanted to make sure I understood clearly. I hadn't wanted to ask before because it's none of anyones business, but then I felt like a hypocrite because I WANT people to ask me about MY special needs. So if you are not comfortable sharing more, you've got my total respect!

And why are you putting the camp stakes away for good? It looks like you all had a great time! Ill go back and reread your camping post to see what I missed. There's plenty of time for you to figure out next year. Maybe go to the shore for a few days. Stay in a cheap motel by the beach or something. I would love to do that RIGHT NOW!

I definitely think you're an awesome mom with them... just the way you talk and love them. I'm eager to learn more about you!

Kathy said...

It looks like you've got a really neat family. I think it's great that you make the time and effort for "re" bonding! All families should do that.

missing moments said...

Jill, thanks for this ... all explained. Taking in these little ones and raising them says a lot about you. I am glad to get to have a peak into your world!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Thanks Jill, you must be a very caring person and parent. So wonderful to have folks like you around.

Ellie said...

Thanks for sharing this Jill, I know a few people who foster and adopt children. I think it takes a special type of person to do this. You obviously have a lot of love to give and are doing a wonderful job of bringing up your children. I think you are a GREAT mum. Hugs to you all.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I actually love this photo of your kids, Jill. They look happy and healthy, and that's all we can ever really wish for. :)

Gloria said...

Thank you for sharing! You have captured a piece of my heart as I use to work with special needs adults!

Dianna said...

I, too, think it's a great photo. And I think you're a wonderful person with a HUGE heart!

Donna said...

I have a sister & nephew, both have cerebral palsey...I know how you feel. A great struggle but SO rewarding! Their love is Such a gift!
Beautiful children!!!
hughugs

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

So awesome that you chose your kids and they chose you :-)

My vote? Don't put the tent stakes away. Never say that! ;-)

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

You have a nice family, Jill, and you are a wonderful mother. Blessings to all of you!

Sharon said...

Lovely children, Jill, we got our special needs children, the natural way, by being born to my son and his wife. I do not believe as infants, they would have adopted them, so I think YOU are very, very special!

Debbie said...

thanks for sharing this story and your wonderful journey!!

love the picture of your beautiful kids.....what a joyful post!!!

Jackie said...

Your Children are beautiful Jill. You are all lucky to have each other. The kids are especially lucky to have a mom who is willing to pitch a tent for her kids, and do it all by yourself. You are a good mom. :)

Valerie said...

A word about my sister. She is a wonderful, creative and loving person and mother. She takes care of a big yard full of over 200 hundred pine trees all by herself. She handles everything by herself and I can't keep up with her. She is a gardener extraordinaire, decorates for every holiday, and loves each precious moment in life. Our mother always said of Jill and her love for her children that "She's like a mother tiger." When I was very sick she kept tabs on me and encouraged me daily. My husband and I love her cooking and count ourselves lucky when we spend holidays at her home. Playing Christmas Bingo with Jill and the kids is a favored tradition. She perserveres in all things, she NEVER complains and I love her more than she knows. We are all lucky to have Jill in our lives, but I get to be her sister.

Samantha said...

Jill, you absolutely and completely ROCK.
We are lucky to *know* you.

You and your kids are blessed to have chosen each other.

MyMaracas said...

Your family is beautiful, in so many ways. And there's nothing like a camping trip for bonding. You are all so luck to have one another!

Madi and Mom said...

Jill,
God bless you and your beautiful children. Your good paranting and love is very evident in their pictures. Great big hug to you all,
Madi and Mom

1980momoffive said...

Loved this post, Jill. What a great mama you are!

Bonnie said...

Jill, what a beautiful and inspiring story. You certainly are their mom and they are your children. I can read the love in every word you wrote. It is true, our children can bring the "Mama Bear" out of the most reserved of us. Your have a lovely family and one to be proud of. I stand and applaud you.

Heidi said...

All I can say is "MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN!"

Paula said...

They look so happy in the picture and I'm sure your love has made them that way. What a wonderful Mom you are and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. An inspiring story. My deceased husband's younger brother was mentally challenged and I had the honor of keeping him when his mother was in the hospital at times.

Anonymous said...

I am so lucky to count Jill as my
sister-in-law and T.J. & Becky as my nephew & niece. These two young adults couldn't not have gotten any luckier when Jill was chosen as their Mother. She is one of the kindest, biggest hearted women I know. She raised these children with so much love it is no wonder that they turn out to be two exceptional people that we in the family can be proud of. Jill, you are amazing in all you do and we love you for it.

Adriana Iris said...

your kids are so beautiful. you are so blessed to have them.

Marissa ♥ said...

This is beautiful, Jill. I love this photo of your kids.

Your sister Valerie's comment brought me to tears.

(Hugs)

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

You are a truly good Mom...nice pic too. Lisa at Two Bears sent me here:)