I pray that the Lord will bring them through their childhood and make them stronger and more compassionate through living with Akila and her FASD behaviors. I pray that they do not grow up and resent Michael and I and wish that we had done too many things differently. We do a lot of things to try and give them some specialized attention, here are a few:
- Date nights with just one kid, twice a year for each kid (including Akila)
- Michael brings one kid out to breakfast often on Saturdays
- My friend Angie takes Akila out every other Monday night so we can have time to focus on the other kids
- I try to get some friends to take Akila for a weekend once in awhile, although it only happened once last year (thanks Lori and Curt!). This is mainly the only time my kids can have friends over for a sleepover or play date (if Akila is home, it is all out war, even if she has a friend over too)
Michael and I need to be better at making sure we have time together. It is getting more difficult to have babysitters over and this is hard for us. In the past (meaning just 6 months ago), we usually averaged a date between just the two of us, every 4-6 weeks. It has been much less often lately. Need to change this. Michael's brother Dan, and his wife Tara, usually take all our kids twice a year for an overnight, which is awesome. They did in October, and I remember still sleeping until 10 am and being shocked when I woke up.
We are wanting to take the kids to California on a vacation (we have only had one real family vacation and it was when the kids were 6 months, 1,2 & 3 so it doesn't count-we had to go to Florida to finalize Zeke's adoption). Michael is really nervous to travel with Akila and is nervous that she will ruin the vacation for everyone. I understand where he is coming from, but I think we could make it work. I would like to bring an extra person with to kind of be Akila's PCA. They could have the majority of the daytime hours off to themselves while she is medicated, and then help us out in the evening hours. It would work.
Akila has had 7 really good mornings in a row now, and I am so thankful for that. But it is amazing how one little thing can ruin that. As the kids were getting coats and backpacks on this morning, I was letting them know that I would be picking them up. Hezekiah asked if I meant Akila too (silly question since the reason I am picking up is because of her). I said yes and he got a silly face and did a double thumbs down, right in front of her. Well this set her off, and getting her out the door was not as smooth as I had hoped.
I of course got down on Hezekiah and said thanks so much for the help. After they left, I sat down and prayed for forgiveness and will ask Hezekiah for forgiveness after school. I get mad at him or one of the other kids, expecting them to act like an adult and to think ahead as to how their behavior will affect Akila. But the truth is that they are kids. They are somewhat "normal" kids, and I know that our family dynamics are hard on them. I wonder if it would be so hard if they all had more issues. I do wonder. But I also know, that it would be extremely nutty around here if they did. The Lord made them all 4 perfect in His eyes.