Friday, April 29, 2011

What Happens When Women Pray

Have you ever opened your eyes and wondered how you ever got to this place in your life?  
Its not where you meant to be or ever dreamed of being, but here you are, none-the-less.

Its like the curtains suddenly parted in my world and I'm standing on an unfamiliar stage, wondering how I got here.  I don't like the looks of things from here.  My spiritual life is not where it should be, it doesn't seem like the kids are seeking the Lord, all of our attitudes could use severe get the picture.  Looking behind me, I can see the slow decline that led to this place.  As if we were sinking in quick sand, never realizing what was happening.  

Its unfair to blame it all on Miss A, but all of life has centered on one thing, getting her well, and now its time to shake everyone out of their coma's and into reality!

I'm excited, I love a good project!!  

Not only will we have to implement the new behavior chart from Miss A's program into our parenting strategy for everyone, but we need to gird up our spiritual scaffolding as well.

Yesterday I was browsing our bookshelves for something to read that might inspire me.  I have a knack for collecting books, but don't have a lot of time to read.  There will be no time to rest in 'retirement' because I have such a long list of project to do and books to read!  

Anyway, when my grandparents moved out of their house about 8 years ago, I took home a few books that looked interesting.  They have turned out to be some of the best books I've ever read!  The one I chose yesterday is called, "What Happens When Women Pray"  by Evelyn Christenson. 

Its a short book written in the late '60's, an easy read, but very inspiring!
I'm already almost finished.

The author talks about how they taught thousands of women all around the nation to pray more effectively.  Through their effective prayers, they saw lives changed, families healed and churches prosper.  

David and I have seen how the effectual prayers of a few, especially his ever- faithful Mom, have made such a difference in our lives.  

It seems to me, that women all over the globe are struggling and striving to keep their heads above water in this extremely complicated world.  We are trying to swim while keeping our husbands, children, house, work, homeschool.. or whatever it may be, afloat.

We are pulled in every direction and the more we struggle to keep things together, the more they seem to sink.  

Maybe, we have it all backwards?

This book has really got me thinking that I need to simply get back to the basics of prayer.  Slowing down, bringing things to God FIRST, settling my heart, allowing Him to change my perspective before plowing forward- and so on.

But honestly,

I need help.

I was wondering if anyone would be interested in joining me in an accountability group for women on prayer?
My thought is to follow the simple guidelines/ suggestions laid out in the book to establish an online prayer support group.  
Let me know what you think...I will post the simple guidelines she lays out in the book later.

Pray about it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Making Progress-our first day in family therapy

Monday was our first day of family therapy for the MTFC program that Miss A is in.

Despite my struggle to deal with the anger that had been brewing in me for so long, I found myself saying a lot of really nice things about my daughter!
It kind of took me by surprise-in a good way :)

It reminded me that even though we have gone through some incredibly difficult things with her, she is still my daughter and I do really, really love her.
And maybe most importantly, I have not lost hope for her or our relationship.

The folks in the program continue to impress David and I with their compassion and understanding. 

Within the adoption realm there are a lot of families who are frustrated with therapists that don't 'get it'.  They fail to understand the complex issues surrounding children with trauma and attachment issues.  Therapists are hypnotized by a child's outward charms into the belief that all problems stem from a lack of proper parenting. The message that parents receive is that the issues they are dealing with originate from not doing enough to 'honor the child's culture' or 'understanding their pain'.  Unfortunately, the child hears this too and is armed with even more ammunition against his family.

We felt like we were going to face a firing squad when we left that morning.  But nothing could be farther from the truth!  Although the therapist was clearly empathic towards Miss A and all that she has gone through that has led to this place, she did not blame us or point a finger of correction at us in any way.

She seemed to recognize that we are doing our best and that we want nothing more than to see her find a sense of hope again.

We are suppose to implement at home a points/reward system that they use.  That way, when she comes home for visits and when she gets home, there wont be any confusing gaps or changes.  The program that they use will just flow over into our lives, too.
I have to admit that I'm a little skeptical.
Order, repetition and consistency are not my forte.
Also, what we do with one child, we will have to do with everyone, which makes the idea even more overwhelming.

But, I'm game.
Who knows, maybe it will be just the ticket for everyone-?

Sweet, Sweet Promises

Isaiah 43:1-7

But now, thus says the
your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name;
You are MINE!
When you pass through 
the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers,
they will not overflow you,
When you walk through the fire, you will 
not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, 
Your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and 
I love you,
I will give other men in your place
and other peoples in exchange 
for you life,
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, 
'Give them up!'
And to the south, 
'Do not hold them back'
Bring My sons from afar,
and My daughters from the 
ends of the earth.
Everyone who is called by My name,
and whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Wonderful Resurrection Sunday!!!

 Never too old for an egg hunt...but the competition is fierce!

 Our beautiful niece :)

 Its serious business when some of the eggs have money!!!

 Feelin' pretty good about his stash

 Hmmm...should I keep looking or call it a day?

 Not sure what happened here :-P

 We were blessed to have our nephew and his wife "The Chefs Extraordinaire" 
they prepared a French style rack of lamb with Apple and Endive salad 
as an appetizer-Yyuuummm!!!

 5 star restaurant style

 The chef and my sister


 My two sisters playing Just Dance on the Wii
don't you just love the aprons!

 The hungry gang!

Good times :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Much Deeper Forgiveness

At the risk of stating the obvious, Gods timing is so perfect its almost comical!

Miss A has been in the program for a week now.  Each day she has been away I discover new feeling sprouting from my heart like buds on the Maple trees outside my window, but much less pleasant to witness!  Out of the core of me is coming such a rush of anger and bitterness, its taking me by surprise.  I had no idea how much animosity had been stored up over the years toward my own dear daughter.  It hurts to admit it.

Witnessing our other children bask in the peace and quiet that comes in her absence, makes me realize how much of a hold she had on everyone.  She controlled every aspect of our lives.  Each day, I woke with the dread of waking her not knowing if she would be in a decent mood or a bad one.  If it was bad, our whole day would be a nightmare!  The other kids would walk on egg shells all day for fear of arousing her wrath and go to bed at night afraid of what she might do to them in their sleep.  All of this became the marshland that I navigated each day.  No time to stop and consider or raise my eyes from the path, lest I stray into danger.  "Keep to the path, don't lose focus" was the chant inside my head that my feet beat the path to.
Now in relative peace, comes the reality of where we have been and the rush of emotions we held tight in our chest until in safety we dare to look at them.

Thank you Lord for the reminder that now is the time to forgive!

Over the years, my thoughts and energies were fixed on the work at hand.  I was careful to establish my heart in the fact that she was hurt and it was my job to minister to her needs.  Pouring every ounce I could muster into loving her the best way possible, day in and day out.

When the Psychologist suggested that much of what she does is for attention, that she really does understand what is going on and that she is quite possibly not psychotic as we had been led to believe, something broke, and I think it was my heart.
There's no doubt in my mind that the motivation for her behavior is pain and trauma.  That she doesn't 'mean' to do it, but to hear that she continues to hurt, lie and abuse for personal gain...well, frankly, that is so distressing it makes me angry!

BUT, being the season of the greatest example of forgiveness given by our Lord Jesus Christ, there is hope yet for me :)

I long for a restored relationship with Miss A.  I hunger for a deeper relationship with Christ.  Therefore, I WILL forgive her!  Its not my favorite thing to do.  Hurt and anger are familiar friends whose company comforts me.  Difficult to admit, but true.  They whisper to me that forgiving leaves me powerless, that only in holding onto hurt can we really make the other person SUFFER!              LIES!!!!!

To hold onto hurt only rots my own heart and gives power to the enemy!

My prayer is now-

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me and know my anxious (evil) thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
and lead me in the everlasting way.

So, Gods timing is perfect in that He should expose the depth of my unforgiveness in this season.  The same time of year 7 years ago, that He asked me to "walk to the cross" for a hurting little girl and her brother, in the same way He walked to the cross for me (knowing FULLY what I am, a sinful wretch).  To lay down my life for her as He laid down His for me.  Yep, 7 years ago those were the words that came in confirmation to adopt Miss A and Mr B!  And today He asks me to go much deeper in forgiveness!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Puppies, Puppies, make you SMILE :)

Time to relax and refuel, the key to keeping a marriage healthy

Early Saturday morning, David and I decided that we would sneak away for the weekend.  The timing could not have been better.  Both of us were wound pretty tight after the past few weeks of dealing with Miss A, I think the kids were as happy to have us leave as we were :)
There's a decent hotel in Silverdale where we can get a huge room with a kitchenette and little living room for a great price.  We get there quick and spend the time we would normally be travelling, sitting in the hot tub!  It may not be the most exotic get away, but we have lots of "down time" which is critical for us. nice to relax and enjoy each others company

A quiet dinner, movie, laughter and sleeping late is just what the doctor ordered.

The weather smiled just long enough for us to have a wonderful walk along the Clear Creek trail.  Birds were everywhere.  A pair of Killdeer cautiously allowed us to watch their 4 little babies peck around in the mud before calling them to safety under moms wings.  
Daddy Killdeer standing guard

We determined to make bird watching walks a regular date time.  Amid all the chaos of life, David is always so willing to invest in our marriage any way he can.  I am so thankful for the enduring friendship we share.

A little Junco in our tree

Two woodpeckers, a Pileated and a Flicker at our feeder

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Wonderful Hubby :)

This sweet man has been my best friend and love of my life for nearly 25 years now.  He is an amazing husband and father.  There is no one else that I would rather walk this road with.  May God richly bless him for his kindness and loving sacrifice for his family.  I love you babe!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


4 hours of paperwork and interviews and she is with her temporary family.  The foster mom seemed very nice but no nonsense.  Abby very calmly but shyly explained to the therapist why she was going into the program and what she hoped to gain from her time there.  We were shocked and relieved, she totally gets it!!!
David and I are so emotionally and physically drained that we came right home and went to bed, despite the fact that it is still early evening.  I doubt he will go to work tomorrow.
It continues to feel like the right move and we look forward to focusing on the other kids' needs for a change.

Wednesday, April 13

Today is the day!  Long, restless night without much sleep.  Miss A was restless too.  I suppose it feels a bit like knowing you will have to walk the plank in the morning.  We tried to give her lots of snuggles and encouragement, but no matter what we say, this will be one of the hardest days of her life.
Confirmation came for David and I throughout the day yesterday.  Parents who had gone through it with their own children called to remind us that there are times we have to make the hard decisions for the good of the group.  Even my 18 year old niece, who is also from Ethiopia, called to give her thoughts and suggestions.  Normally, that would seem a little strange, except that she has walked a very similar path as our Miss A.  She too, struggled to control her anger.  In her case, she ended up spending 6 months in Juvenile Detention for assault.  A very real potential for Miss A, as the last blow up involved assaulting me and her brother.  My niece had some great ideas about how we could stay connected to Miss A while she is away to lessen her feelings that we 'abandoned' her.  Things like not forgetting to still make a big deal about her birthday, daily letters to let her know she's not forgotten, and involving her in family events, are all things that meant a lot to my niece.  We had already planned on doing all of that, but it was good to be reminded to not let it slack.  She really felt like the most important thing she learned while away was how to use positive activities to release anger, instead of bad ones.  Practicing those activities daily to make them part of a daily routine makes them something that she would be more likely to choose when feeling stressed, was her advice.  I thought that was brilliant and definitely something we would want to work into her behavior plan that they implement in her therapeutic home.
Miss A is incredibly unmotivated!  She despises doing anything that takes physical exertion or effort.  Therefore, what inevitably happens is that she will sit for hours in a chair near the fire and gradually feel worse and worse about herself and everyone else until she finally blows.  Its a pattern we have seen played out time and time again.  Any suggestions on our part to get up and do something to derail the train and change the trajectory of the anger, is met by a brick wall of refusal.
As I understand it, this program will be designed around teaching her that she needs to earn the right to do what she wants.  In that way, she will need to do a certain number of 'positive' activities in order to earn the right to sit in a chair by the fire.  My niece said that it was being forced to do good things each day that got her to really enjoy doing them, but it was a battle at the time!
I know without a doubt that we are not the people that can most effectively teach Miss A those skills.  We have tried and tried but it has become a game for her to refuse.  She has designed the framework in such a way that she 'has to' push back or accept defeat, which is way too scary!!!!  It is our prayer that a change of environment will allow her to change her framework without us hovering over her and watching. Plus, she will have the natural motivation of coming home to spur her on.
Oh, my friends, this will be a day to remember.  My heart is aching and I covet your prayers!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday, April 12

We got a call from the director of MTFC at Kitsap Mental Health.  Miss A has been accepted into the Therapeutic Behavioral Management program and will be going to her therapeutic home on Wednesday.  I'm as jumpy as a cat on a hot stove today!  I have such a rush of conflicting emotions.  If you would have told me  8 years ago that we would accept this girl from a disrupted adoption, only to have her live with another family for 6-9 months while she learns to manage her anger, I would have said you were crazy!  Then again, if you told me that 8 years later our whole family would be held captive by her anger and that I would have the bruises to show it, again I would argue that to be impossible!
I love my daughter and would gladly give my health and sanity to make her well.  But that is not the question we need to ask, it is this...would we give up the health, sanity and safety of all the other children for hers?  I have always been the one to take in children that can't stay in their homes, it doesn't just break my heart to send her away, it many ways breaks my conscience.
The only thing that makes this bearable is the way the program is designed.  She will go and live in one of their specially trained homes not 40 minutes away, we will meet with her for weekly therapy sessions, she will get to come home for visits, she will get one on one attention in her new home and come back home in 6-9 months better able to manage her anger.  Meanwhile, David and I will adjust our parenting skills to be more affective, we will get the other children help with their trauma, tighten the reigns on the unruly behaviors that can be very provocative to Miss A and in the end (hopefully) have a much healthier family.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday, April 10

Miss J  :)

Its this beautiful girls' 13th birthday tomorrow!  She has only been with us since August, but I can't imagine what life was like without her.  She truly struggled in her previous family, despite their best efforts. She was with them from the time she was 6 years old, but was the situation was just not working.  I really believe that there are times when it "takes a village".  What doesn't work with one family, seems to work fine with another.  Some kiddos just need a change in environment in order to see the light.  Miss J was making very difficult choices.  Although they were a good family and did everything they could think of, she was just unable to make the changes that were needed while in their home.  I feel really bad for them, because we are truly reaping the fruits of their labor.  She is a joy and a delight in our home.  David and I are so thankful for her cheerful, willing attitude.  She is full of laughs and always there with a hug whenever you need one. 

Late July of last summer we were asked if we'd consider taking her into our family.  We had just gone through an extremely challenging year with Miss A and obviously had some serious concerns about taking on another child.  I remember walking along a quiet road, praying about the decision.  I hardly ever "hear" God speaking to me, but that was one of the rare times.  He very clearly said that she was a "gift" for us from Him, that she would bring sunshine into our weary hearts and give us hope again.  And she has done just that, and more!  Happy Birthday Sunshine :)

I'm sorry I didn't write on Friday.  We had a VERY eye-opening meeting with Miss A's new psychologist.  He confirmed what David and I were already thinking, that she is using her mental illness as an excuse to rage.  He called it Dissociative Disorder.  When she gets really stressed or feels very guilty, she sort of "checks out" and becomes someone else.  He didn't think that it is psychosis anymore.  She has learned how to use her sickness to control us.  He was very concerned for our safety and felt that we should strongly consider putting her in the behavior modification program through Kitsap Mental Health.  We will hear some time this week whether or not she is accepted into that program.

If she makes it inot the program, she will stay in a therapeutic home for 6-9 months ( barring any violent outbursts) and attend weekly therapy sessions with David and I.  If she doesnt get to do that program, then we will continue to work closely with the psychologist to develop a management plan of our own.  He was adamant that she not be home with me when David is out of town, though.  It is his firm belief that her violence will continue to escalate, putting us all at risk.

The only way that I would feel good about this is if we are working toward reunification.  I am absolutely positive that she can be a part of this family, if she learns to regulate her anger.  Six to nine months is a very long time, I will miss her terribly.  Despite the bruises on my heart and body, she is my daughter and I will never be complete unless she is with me.  

She knows what we are thinking, and agrees.  When she is calm and lucid, she HATES the physical and emotional pain that her behavior causes.  It is HER worst fear that she would cause someone serious damage.  David thinks that she has a sense of relief that we found a program that might be able to help her.  

More when I know what's happening.... 

An Article I recently wrote for Ibsen Adoption Network



"On 12 January 2010, the central region of Haiti was devastated by the strongest earthquake the country had experienced in more than 200 years. Over 220,000 people were killed, 300,000 were injured and 1.6 million were displaced and forced to seek shelter in spontaneous settlements. Children, who make up nearly half the country's total population, have suffered acutely in the earthquake's aftermath. UNICEF estimates that half of those displaced are children, and 500,000 children are considered extremely vulnerable and require child protection services. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Haiti's population is between the ages of 10 and 19, and their situation was extremely difficult even before the earthquake." (Unicef-2011 State of the Worlds Children Report)

The latest reports show that there are over 143 million orphans worldwide. With recent devastating events around the globe that number is sure to rise. For a child that lacks the care and protection of a parent, life is incredibly frightening and dangerous, these natural disasters make it even more so.

Children lack the ability to affect change in their environment, they lack understanding, they are weaker, more fragile, have no money, they lack the voice or power to control. Cold, hunger, pain, and fear are felt so much more keenly by a child. What happens today is their entire existence; the future and the rest of the world do not hold meaning in their reality and cannot bring them comfort. Many more dangers threaten their lives than those of adults in the same situation.

Children are easy victims and fall prey to the most devastating atrocities. A child living on the streets must be constantly on guard against those who would like to exploit them in their vulnerable condition.

Unicef documents that children living without the protection of an adult, are many times more likely to be forced into gang activity that includes drugs and violence, captured and enslaved as a child soldier, sold into the human trafficking business which includes slavery and prostitution, and many other evils that are difficult to track and document. These children lack the basic human rights to health, safety and an education. They are robbed of their childhood and hope for a future.

The faces we see on the television are not just commercials; they are not propaganda used to get into our pocketbooks. They are real people, with real names. The circumstances that led to their current condition were forced upon them, they did not choose it. But we can choose what our response to it will be. They may be geographically distant, but in Gods eyes they are our neighbor. What does He want us to do? If we are His body, we are made for motion. Our hearts must be touched, our eyes open, our minds engaged for action. Our commission is clear, to touch the weak and the lonely. But nothing can be done unless we are willing to be moved.

A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely: He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious swell in a parched land. Psalm 68:5-6



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday, April 7

According to the calendar, spring has arrived.  This year it finds me sitting on a heating pad in my bed with a stocking cap on, while I write this post.  It is 33 degrees outside and we are out of dry firewood, not usually a problem for this time of year.  I don't mind though, its cozy in here and the sun is shining, giving me hope that the day will warm.
I'm hoping that it warms enough to make viewing Mr. C's baseball game a bit more comfortable, though.  It will be the first one this season that I have seen.  Between rain-outs and lack of communication on his part,  I've missed a lot of action.  For some reason, he wasn't telling me when he had a game and I decided not to push it.  My hunch is that he was unhappy with how he was playing and waited to have me there until he loosened up a bit.  Poor guy, I wish he didn't wrap so much of his personal identity up in his ability to play!
Miss A continues to be stubborn and angry with me.  I find it almost peaceful, since she refuses to talk to me.  Sounds horrid of me, I know, but typically she nips at me and everyone else all day long.  The peace is refreshing, even though you could cut the tension with a butter knife :-P
I spent most yesterday on the phone with the DCFS Family Reconciliation Service Agency, our Psych office, pediatric doctors office, friends that have friends that might be able to help, Kitsap Mental information and resources and trying to put together a plan that will help us have a workable scenario for keeping Miss A home.  Like a dog in the garden, I'm digging like crazy to find that hidden bone- a perfect plan that we can grab onto that allows her to remain at home without sacrificing the peace and safety of everyone else in the process. I caught a few sniffs of possible options yesterday, but will need to follow up today.  Ir sounds like Group Health may help pay for outside help if they can agree upon a treatment plan with  the "outside" provider.  This was wonderful news!  We really like the Psychiatrist that she has, but treatment has focused primarily on stabilizing her Psychosis with meds and not dealing with the underlying issues or on her behavioral problems.
A workable plan might be one that includes emergency respite care for when she has an "episode" and behavioral therapy/management and treatment for her underlying PTSD.  It needs to be with someone who isn't easily manipulated or ensnared by her charms into believing that she's fine, which is what we have struggled with in the past.
So all this = more calls today.
David and I were able to get out for a bit together after the kids went to bed.  Living with all this tension has taken its toll on our relationship.  Our unshakable unity has always been a source of strength and comfort to both of us in the past.  Lately, we find ourselves questioning the other persons tactics or motives in dealing with the children.  Its sad how quickly that shakes the foundation of a marriage, thus the family.  Living with people who are unstable mentally, creates an atmosphere of  instability that taints how everyone thinks.  You can't trust your own feeling or anyone else's.  No one behaves rationally because they are functioning from a place of fear.  One fear that may be helpful for us is the fear of NOT being unified.  We are so afraid of having to parent alone that we will do whatever it takes to keep our marriage together and stay unified.  I say that with a little smirk on my face, but really, its true.
Our was fun, coupon shopping at Rite Aid and Albertsons!  Its become sort of a hobby with us to hunt down the best bargains combining sales with coupons.  Toting our "coupon binder" in which we've collected and carefully filed away coupons from the Sunday papers, we head out to the stores with the best advertised deals on products we use. Our big wins last night were- 10 boxes of cereal for $1.25 each, a Venus razor for $2.00 (normally $11), 5 boxes of granola bars for around $1.35 each and Purex laundry detergent, 46 loads for $1.99 each. In the end, we spent around $60 and saved close to $100, plus got $9 off our next shopping trip.  Love it!  David is like a kid in a candy shop when we find a good deal -so cute!  We make it a little competition to see who can find the best deals, high fives and fist pounding to whoever discovers one.  Great fun!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 6 6:30 am

A new day, always a good thing!  A little sleep, a fresh cup of coffee with my morning Bible time, while the birds sing outside the window.  We will make it!
The kids are milling around getting ready for school.  Well, most of them, anyway.  Miss A is slumped on the couch deciding whether or not to cooperate.  I'm trying to decide what my plan will be if she chooses not to go.  We already have a few rules established for children who refuse to get up for school-ie, I will not excuse them, so they suffer the consequences laid out by the school and they have to do chores while at home.  The challenge today is that David would rather that I not be home while she is here, at least until she decides to respect me.  So Mr. M and I will have to find something to do today.

Well....happy to say that I get to stay home and have a "normal" day today :)
She got on the bus after all.

My stress level is still fairly high, so I'm going to suit up for a little fresh air and exercise before I start chores.  No music, no phone...just my own huffing and puffing, and the birds singing-ahhhhh, therapy!!!!

Until later, have a blessed day-xxoo

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday, April 5

I may sound a bit grumpy tonight, my apologies. 
Most of my day was spent trying to compose a simple email asking friends and family if they would consider helping us out by taking Miss A when David is out of town on business.  Why is it so very difficult to ask for help?  It seems so selfish to ask other people to disrupt their lives in order to help make ours more manageable.  But I am more convinced than ever that I cannot be left home with her when he is gone. 
She confessed to me and everyone in the car on the way home from school, that she doesn’t obey me, only David, because he has a more intimidating voice.  It’s sad.  After everything that we have gone through with her and for her, that she doesn’t have any desire to obey us, just out of love and respect.  It  only comes down to the tenor of our voices!  I wonder how far we have really come in 8 years of relationship building-? 
The rest of the afternoon went from bad to worse.  She went around the house demanding this and that from me and other people.  Dictated what we could and couldn’t say or do.  When we refused to comply, her grumpy mood escalated.  At that point, I decided that the other kids didn’t need to be subjected to her foul mood.  So we loaded into the van and left her alone with herself.  I treated them to pizza and ice cream, a much better way to spend the afternoon than listening to her grump. 
Part way through the evening I got a call from a police officer saying that she was at our house in response to a 911 call.  Apparently, Miss A had called 911 to say that she was not getting along with her parents and wanted a new home.  The police officer came to the house, checked things out and saw that she wasn’t in any danger and hadn’t trashed the place and calmly told her that she needed to work things out with us.  Escape is  our daughters only solution.  She cannot see any other way.  She has no tools for resolution and no desire to do the work needed to gain the tools.
Again, I apologize for complaining and talking bad about her, but I’m at a low spot.  A place that I know many others have been at before with their own children.  For better or worse, I’m determined to share our journey so that others can learn from it.  Take the good and be blessed or learn from our mistakes and vow to do better-either way is good.
The strain on our marriage is hard to bear.  If we could always agree on how to handle her, or be ever-so-careful to not place blame, it would be so wonderful.  But that is not always the reality.  David and I are a team, but when you are both so tired and stressed, its easy to let hurtful words slip or imagine you are being attacked.  You imagine all sorts of things that may or may not be true.  It’s not o.k. to lash out on your child, the very person causing stress yet the one you are both desperately trying to save, so you lash out on each other.  But all you have is each other.  You agreed to have the other persons back.  They are not the enemy!  So you remember that, vent a little, cry a lot, and reposition onto the same side of the playing field again.  Game on!