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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog
Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

Comrades is Coming!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

Melkam Gena!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

Why I Run
Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

Expectations and Reality
Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15

I Remember
Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

A Summer of Firsts
Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Why I Run

Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03
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It's hard to believe it's been almost 7 months since our last blog. I do have more to say, and I promise to get to that soon! Today, I wanted to tell you why I run.

As many of you probably know,I've once again been training for the Chicago Marathon this fall. It's hard to believe, but this week is race week! After taking the fall of 2011 off running because of the changes in our family over the past couple years, I am excited to run again this year for Team World Vision.

Last time I ran in 2010, Lora and I had not yet traveled to Ethiopia to meet Zinabu and Abatu. We were running with a picture of our boys to remind us why we run. Today, that is all just a memory for us, but I run this year with a new picture. More about that in a bit.

This summer, I took our kids out for a run. Abatu's a pretty fast little guy, and the two of us finished the mile to the Rabbit River before everyone else. We walked up on the bridge and Abatu told me "This is like the river we got water from in Ethiopia. We had to walk over a big hill and then we got to the river."
 
Imagine walking multiple times a day to a dirty river to collect all the water you need for the day. This is still the reality for a large part of the world, and it's still the reality for A&Z's biological family in Ethiopia.
 
As I mentioned earlier, two years ago we ran with a picture of our boys pinned to my jersey. This year while I run, I am going to run with a picture of Anada. Anada is a biological sister of Zinabu and Abatu. She's of school age, but doesn't go to school and part of her daily tasks involve collecting water for the family. Imagine how her world might be different if clean water were available.
 
The need for clean water in this world is very real. The effect on our Ethiopian family is very real. This breaks my heart. Although there's nothing I can do to provide water directly to Anada and her family, I can help provide this basic necessity to others in Ethiopia through Team World Vision.
 
Some of you have already supported this great cause, and I'd like to say thank you for coming alongside me and helping to make a difference. While in Ethiopia, Lora and I were able to visit a completed World Vision water project and talk to a woman who no longer had to walk 45 minutes to get water. Together, we really are changing lives.
 
World Vision has found that it takes just $50 to provide water for one person for life. Would you please consider supporting me with a tax deductible donation and once again helping me provide clean water to those in need? Perhaps providing water for just one person, or if you are able, maybe even for a whole family. Also please pray for Anada and her family. Pray for their health and protection. I'll be praying that their village is the next World Vision water project!
 
You can support me by visiting my fundraising page at http://support.worldvision.org/goto/chad_dykstra or just clicking "donate now" below. If you'd prefer to send a check, please just let me know. You can mail a check made out to World Vision to our home address (3669 36th St, Hamilton, MI 49419) and I'll be sure you get a tax receipt.

Donate now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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It's All About the Injera

Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09
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I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!
I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!
I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!
I wrote this blog months ago, but somehow never got around to posting it.  Our house smells of berbere and niter kebbeh tonight…so it was a good reminder to me to actually post it!
 
I know there are several families who have been following along on our journey via this blog.  Some families have already adopted and are sharing a similar life situation as we currently are in.  Some are in the process of adoption, anxiously awaiting an addition to their family and hoping to learn from the successes (and…umm…failures) of others.  Hopefully some others are not in the process of adoption, but are considering it as a possible future step of faith for their family.  Others maybe just want to stay updated on our family or enjoy a good evening read!  Whatever the reason you are here, welcome, and thanks! 
 
Today’s blog is mostly geared towards those who are in the process of adopting or are considering it in the future, with hopefully a little bit of interest for everyone else.
 
Every once in a while at bedtime, we like to ask the kids questions about their memories of Ethiopia.  Last night, I was cuddling with the kids and getting them in bed after story time.  I asked both boys what things they missed from Ethiopia.  The first word out of Abatu’s mouth, almost before I finished the question, was “Injera”.  
 
For those who do not know, injera is the ‘staple’ of Ethiopian cuisine.  It is a sourdough flat bread that is used not only as a food, but also an eating utensil.  Small pieces of bread are torn off and used to scoop up the various stews (wats) that make up Ethiopian cuisine.  Every letter we get from our sponsored child through Compassion in Ethiopia tells us how much she loves injera, and asks if we have it too.  Our YZM sponsor children’s mother now makes injera to sell and provide a life for her daughers.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of injera to the Ethiopian lifestyle.
 
After some prompting, asking about other things and giving some suggestions, secondarily Abatu named a few people as well that he missed, and some experiences.  Afterwards I asked Zinabu the same question, although I prefaced it with “Other than food, what are some things that you miss from Ethiopia”?  As you may expect, once again – the first word out of his mouth was injera.  
 
Imagine packing up and moving to rural Asia.   Regardless of the obvious changes in climate, language, culture, surroundings, and everything else, your diet is now made up almost entirely of rice.  Man – after a while, wouldn’t you just kill for a cheeseburger with fries?  Over a year later, our boys are still longing for their cheeseburger and fries. 
 
Compared to many, our children are not doing without their injera.  A few weeks ago, we went to Little Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant.  This past weekend, we bought a bag of injera and I made a full Ethiopian meal of red lentils, a chicken dish, and an Ethiopian bread.  They’ve been munching on it for a few days now, and just today, the leftover injera was finished up.  Tomorrow night, we are getting together with friends and making another full Ethiopian meal including – you guessed it – injera!
 
After all this, our boys still long for injera.
 
I’m not an expert on the subject, and I don’t have any documented proof to back this up (though I’m sure I could find some)…but food has to be one of the largest sensory connections to their previous culture that adopted children have.  The smells, the look, the taste, the texture – it is a powerful sense of familiarity and something that they often long for.
 
I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard a story from a fellow adoptive parent who had a friend that had their child home for around a year.  After a year, the parents and child were discussing the child’s experiences after coming home.  The child told the parent that when they first came home, they thought Mom and Dad didn’t love her because they wouldn’t give her “her injera”!
 
There is one disclaimer that I would like to add.  Your personal experiences and that of your child may vary.  We did go through a phase with Zinabu where he said he wanted nothing to do with injera and said that it was yucky.  Try to avoid it as he may, he always went back and ate it.  The food itself isn’t what was yucky, it was the reminder of their difficult past that it can bring up that is yucky.  This is a fine line that you will have to walk according to your personal experiences and the desires of your children.
 
We are fortunate to absolutely love Ethiopian food and to enjoy the challenge of preparing it.  Even if you don’t – maybe find out what the “staple” in your situation is…and embrace it!
 
The doorbell just rang and it’s meal time.  Time for some injera!

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Expectations and Reality

Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update.  I even have one or two blog posts written in a mostly finished state that never got posted.  Maybe I’ll get them posted eventually, or maybe I just needed to write them for therapeutic reasons.  Thus is life – you get into the daily grind of life and things like blogging get put on the back burner.
Disclaimer:  This is not a happy-go-lucky blog post.  If you’re having a great day and are looking for something upbeat, I’d suggest you stop reading now, or maybe just skip to the very end.
Over the life of this blog, I’ve talked a lot about expectations and reality.  Most definitely, there were things we experienced that we were not expecting.  I’ve written about some of these over the past year.  We did expect upon returning home from Ethiopia that our world would turn upside down. It did, and that was OK. We expected life to be really hard.  It was – and we were ready for it.  We expected there to be a lot of transitions.  There were.  Some of them were easy to work through, some not so much – but we were expecting them.  We expected after a few months for things to start to get a little easier.  In many ways, it did.  We expected by a year to be settling back into somewhat of a “normal” life.  This is where things get a little fuzzy.
A year is a magical length of time.  One year from the day you were born, it’s your birthday!  Just like that, you’re a year older.  Maybe more mature.  That one day older makes all the difference.  Just like a birthday, a year after the “gotcha day” is a special day.  Any adoptive parent can attest to that.  We hoped that a year later would prove to be that magical milestone in our journey.  Things would keep improving.  Our life would begin to take on some form of normalcy.  But you know what?    Those were expectations and not reality.
Life after a year has continued to be really hard.  Many of the things we battled plague us still.  Many of the things we hoped would go away haven’t.  Starting at one year, many things seem to have even gotten worse.  It can be really hard to have expectations that things will get better and be taking steps backwards.
On a daily basis, we still deal with multiple tantrums.  We still deal with extreme fairness and selfishness issues.  Our biological children are still learning bad behaviors.  We still deal with physical and aggressive behavior toward siblings.  We shudder to see the school’s number come up on caller ID.  We get notes from teachers.  We’ve seen letters from the bus driver.  Just in the last few weeks, we’ve begun dealing with repeated stealing behaviors.  Some are minor, but some are not.  Bad choices follow more bad choices.  Fight or flight takes over so quickly, and things just spin out of control in an instant.  Emotions are like a light switch.  Big straws and little straws keep piling up and the camel’s back can only take so much.
Every day we look forward to 11:55am when the school bus comes.  The house is quiet for a few hours, but 3:57pm is coming, and along with it that big yellow bus.  Life is chaos until bedtime, and by the time the kids are finally in bed we’re so exhausted that we usually just collapse into bed ourselves, even if it’s only 9:00. Get up in the morning and do it again.
Through our family blog, I’ve tried to be honest and real about our feelings and experiences.  I know there are other families who go through these things too, and there are families that will be going through them.  I really wish I could put a nice big bow end of this.  Give it a little “turn-around” or pick-me-up moment at the end saying how we’ve solved all our problems – and maybe world hunger too. I’ll do my best – but unfortunately, there really hasn’t been a magical fix or an easy button.  It’s a battle a day at a time.  We are doing the best we can with the tools that we have, and we are expanding our toolset through reading and counseling.  We have a very supportive family that we’re so thankful for.  We love the opportunities we have for “date nights” once in a while.  We usually just sit across the table from each other in silence, but that’s all we really need.  Sweet, sweet silence.  We both exercise regularly to help our sanity.  I am running 6-7 days a week.  Lora goes out with her mom’s group a once or twice a month, and I get out with the guys a couple times a month as well.  Every opportunity to get out of the house or get away for a few minutes and unwind is really a blessing.
Thanks for sticking with us through this journey.  If you’ve made it this far into this blog, you must really be with us for the long haul.  We appreciate you more than you know.  Now I’m off to hit the treadmill for a much needed sanity break.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update.  I even have one or two blog posts written in a mostly finished state that never got posted.  Maybe I’ll get them posted eventually, or maybe I just needed to write them for therapeutic reasons.  Thus is life – you get into the daily grind of life and things like blogging get put on the back burner.
 
Disclaimer:  This is not a happy-go-lucky blog post.  If you’re having a great day and are looking for something upbeat, I’d suggest you stop reading now, or maybe just skip to the very end.
 
Over the life of this blog, I’ve talked a lot about expectations and reality.  Most definitely, there were things we experienced that we were not expecting.  I’ve written about some of these over the past year.  We did expect upon returning home from Ethiopia that our world would turn upside down. It did, and that was OK. We expected life to be really hard.  It was – and we were ready for it.  We expected there to be a lot of transitions.  There were.  Some of them were easy to work through, some not so much – but we were expecting them.  We expected after a few months for things to start to get a little easier.  In many ways, it did.  We expected by a year to be settling back into somewhat of a “normal” life.  This is where things get a little fuzzy.
 
A year is a magical length of time.  One year from the day you were born, it’s your birthday!  Just like that, you’re a year older.  Maybe more mature.  That one day older makes all the difference.  Just like a birthday, a year after the “gotcha day” is a special day.  Any adoptive parent can attest to that.  We hoped that a year later would prove to be that magical milestone in our journey.  Things would keep improving.  Our life would begin to take on some form of normalcy.  But you know what?    Those were expectations and not reality.
 
Life after a year has continued to be really hard.  Many of the things we battled plague us still.  Many of the things we hoped would go away haven’t.  Starting at one year, many things seem to have even gotten worse.  It can be really hard to have expectations that things will get better and be taking steps backwards.
 
On a daily basis, we still deal with multiple tantrums.  We still deal with extreme fairness and selfishness issues.  Our biological children are still learning bad behaviors.  We still deal with physical and aggressive behavior toward siblings.  We shudder to see the school’s number come up on caller ID.  We get notes from teachers.  We’ve seen letters from the bus driver.  Just in the last few weeks, we’ve begun dealing with repeated stealing behaviors.  Some are minor, but some are not.  Bad choices follow more bad choices. Emotions are like a light switch.  Big straws and little straws keep piling up and the camel’s back can only take so much.  We wish we could just enact swift disciplinary action for bad behavior, but it's a gray area. Fight or flight takes over so quickly, and things just spin out of control in an instant. 
 
Every day we look forward to 11:55am when the school bus comes.  The house is quiet for a few hours, but 3:57pm is coming, and along with it that big yellow bus.  Life is chaos until bedtime, and by the time the kids are finally in bed we’re so exhausted that we usually just collapse into bed ourselves, even if it’s only 9:00. Get up in the morning and do it again.
 
Through our family blog, I’ve tried to be honest and real about our feelings and experiences.  I know there are other families who go through these things too, and there are families that will be going through them.  I really wish I could put a nice big bow end of this.  Give it a little “turn-around” or pick-me-up moment at the end saying how we’ve solved all our problems – and maybe world hunger too. I’ll do my best – but unfortunately, there really hasn’t been a magical fix or an easy button.  It’s a battle a day at a time.  We are doing the best we can with the tools that we have, and we are expanding our toolset through reading and counseling.  We have a very supportive family that we’re so thankful for.  We love the opportunities we have for “date nights” once in a while.  We usually just sit across the table from each other in silence, but that’s all we really need.  Sweet, sweet silence.  We both exercise regularly to help our sanity.  I am running 6-7 days a week.  Lora goes out with her mom’s group a once or twice a month, and I get out with the guys a couple times a month as well.  Every opportunity to get out of the house or get away for a few minutes and unwind is really a blessing.
 
Thanks for sticking with us through this journey.  If you’ve made it this far into this blog, you must really be with us for the long haul.  We appreciate you more than you know.  Now I’m off to hit the treadmill for a much needed sanity break.

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