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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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A Family Made Out Of Miracles And Rainbows (Part Five)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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The continuing saga of the Sandusky Family, now numbering eleven: nine children, two (frazzled) parents.

*Part One: How The Family Got Started* (Continued)

Chapter Five:

I. Things Settle Down (Somewhat):

Even though it was hard at first, we still managed to love all of our children. Sure, we had more than our share of trials (i.e., Johnny's behavioral issues, Ronee' 's breathing, Anh Kim's "night terrors"--these would wake him in the middle of the night, screaming his head off--, Richard's violent outbursts, Jae Mee's medical--and other needs--, Mariko and Michael's seizures, etc.), but we persevered. It wasn't long before my nursing skills took over, and I soon had the children's medical needs (fairly) under control.

Add to all this, Stephanie's moody nature, and Barbara's ending up in the emergency room again; seems that child was always injuring herself. She may have been a little girl, but she was all tomboy at heart. To her, there was nothing more enjoyable than climbing the highest tree in our backyard, playing football or baseball, or roughhousing with her brothers and sisters. Yet Barbara wore her injuries like banners; she was proud of all her injuries. It just proved to her how tough she really was.

She was a most spirited child.

II. And The Barriers Came Tumbling Down.:

As the kids were assimilating themselves into the family, I was busy learning several new languages (Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese--or at least the basic componants of); I wanted to be able to communicate with my foreign-born children, tell them in their native languages that we were now their family, that we loved them very much, that we would take good care of them here in America. Maybe then that would ease some of their fears.

However, I found parenting a child like Jae Mee most challenging. When she screamed or acted up in public, I couldn't scold her or discipline her: she was beyond understanding, beyond comprehending. It was extremely frustrating on both Bill's and my part.

In addition to the discipline dilemma, Jae Mee's medical needs took up a good part of our time. She had to be tube fed every four hours, day and night, and she had to be diapered, dressed, etc., just like a baby. She could not talk (she could make noises, just not words); yet her noises told us how she was feeling: if she was hungry, sad, happy, sick, etc.

It was like parenting a three-year-old infant. It was frustrating because we were sad that she wouldn't develop much further mentally or physically than where she was at right now.

At the age of three, Jae Mee couldn't walk, talk, even go to the toilet on her own. She needed help in all areas of her life, and her care made us spend time away from the other children, who also demanded, wanted our attention.

Due to the special needs of my children, we had no choice but to have special ramps installed for those who were in wheelchairs (Johnathon, Jae Mee) or used crutches (Ronee', Anh Kim). We had to make our house accessable for them. We also had to put the handicapped ones on the lower floors so they wouldn't have to keep battling the stairways, made sure that there was lots of room for them to run around and move.

My husband knew this, too: as a victim of many a back surgery, he walked on crutches due to worsening arthritis; getting around for him was difficult, too. We had to consider his needs as well.

III. The Kids Get Noticed By Others.:

Whenever we went anywhere, we drew (unwanted) attention. Most of the time, people were supportive in our decision to adopt children with special needs; yet we always ran into those types who pelted us with rude or inappropriate comments or questions.

For example, while at the store with Jae Mee, Johnathon, and Ronee', a lady came up and said (and I quote): "Don't you think it would be wise to discourage the adoptions of the inferior?" (meaning children like mine). I was incensed. Thank God Johnny, Ronee', or Jae Mee didn't hear (or at least I hoped they didn't), but I sure did. In my rage, I blistered that woman's ears but good, then quickly hurried the kids away.

I left that woman standing there, her mouth hanging open in shock. She didn't know what to say.

Another time, I was at another store, and I overheard a kid no more than three at the most pipe up: "Mommy, look! Look at all the crippled kids that lady has!" It was embarrassing, especially when half a dozen heads turned in my direction. I felt the heat of their staring eyes; it quickly made me uncomfortable.

I wanted nothing more than to get out of there and back to the safety of my van, where I then could drive back to the safety of our home.

~End of Part Five.~

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Reviewed by Charlie 12/27/2007
Louisiana May-- Don't get imbarrassed. Times like this, you hold your head up proud and inform that little kid why you're so lucky--of course, that's just in theory. You can't do that every time, and not enough mothers teach manners to their little ones these days... --Charlie
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 12/26/2007
excellent write my friend...touching and profound, makes one stop and think, and count and recount their blessings...well done!
Joyce B.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 12/21/2007
Merci, Karen. Amour et paix,

Reviewed by Mary Coe 12/10/2007
You are a very talented writer. A very good write.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 12/5/2007
This is another great installement of the Sandusky series
God Bless
Reviewed by E T Waldron 12/5/2007
Karen I don't know how they ever made it, but with your faith you found them a way! Superior writing from you with this series!Bless your heart!;-)

Reviewed by Carole Mathys 12/5/2007
This special family has a long road ahead of them, but it will be
tempered with patience and love...good story!
peace and love, Carole~
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 12/5/2007
I blistered that woman's ears but good

Good For You!
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 12/5/2007
If Lousiana hadn't been there, all those children had experienced the cold and churning revolving wheels of a system that keeps turning without going to nowhere, in a society that will commend her for what she's doing but which will not give an helping hand.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/5/2007

I don't know how Louisiana did it--I couldn't raise more than one multiply handicapped child. The expense, for one thing, the language barriers for another, seeing a child in pain or stared at for eye opening write, well penned.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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This book is an inspirational book on experiencing joy, peace, passion, and energy in daily life. It is designed to demonstrate the powerful roles of thoughts, action, and faith. T..  
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Faces On The Clock by Steven Ulmen

Faces On The Clock is the autobiography of Larry Bauer-Scandin, who for many yeaars was a professional foster parent in Minnesota...  
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