Thursday, March 17, 2011


It's hard to have our life in public sometimes.  There are people that look for ways to criticize.  People who look for avenues to hurt you.  People who are jealous that we DO have support.  People that feel we've in some way wronged them.  There are people who are critical of our parenting.  People that are critical of our children.  There are people that, no matter how positive a blog it is, will find the negative in everything.  There are people who see our family and since they wouldn't choose it they think we're crazy.  There are people that struggle with their family with "different needs" than ours and who are critical because they don't feel they could "handle" our crew.  There are people who, for whatever reason they may have, are reading along on our family's journey not for encouragement or because they care about us or our children.  Instead they have selfish desires, ill intent, or who knows what... but they certainly aren't here in a positive way and make that known.

Those people are the ones that make it even more difficult to ever share any of the struggles of parenting special needs children.  They make it hard to be completely honest about difficulties because of their attitudes, notes, and other attacks that they give when anything negative is written about.

They make it hard to write about our own areas of struggle as parents.  They see a little issue as a big one and the idea that no one's perfect as a reason to criticize.

Being real comes at a cost.  It comes at a cost to us, because the times we share anything that can be seen as negative are misconstrued and often thrown back at us.

I won't stop being real, admitting our difficulties, seeking help, or sharing our lives just because someone else takes it into their own hands to make life difficult for us in doing so.  We have nothing to hide, and as you can see from the previous post, we are well connected with services and specialists and people who are in our lives weekly and daily that know we are doing the best we can and, yes, we are thriving.

Sometimes we have to meet challenges by backing away slowly.  Sometimes we meet them head on.  Today, I continue to blog because I hope and pray that my being REAL here will help others to see the realities of raising a large family made up of birth and adopted children with and without special needs.  I hope someone's life will be touched to then touch another's life.  I hope that if nothing else, I can look back and see this record of our days, our good stuff, our struggles, and our time with a family of young kids and have it to remember these days by.  After all, that was the original purpose of this blog... to record the journey of Aleksa's adoption.

If you happen to be one of those people that's here just to criticize or find something wrong with our parenting, I invite you to find a more constructive way to spend your time.  My posts are often long and drawn out, detailing our lives and really of no interest to you if your intent is only to raise a fuss over the way we parent.

If you're here to share in our parenting family, the lives of our children, and the special blessings they are to us, then I invite you to stay, share with us, enjoy, and read along.  You are the reason we've continued to keep this blog public and to share our journey here rather than in a private setting.


  1. Oh, you have NO idea just how much right now I can relate to this post! It's very hard at times to be so open. We have children w/ FAS and it is something very misunderstood by many folks. I am honest. Sometimes, too honest. But, in the same token, I have gotten many thank yous from others going through the same thing. I wish you all the best. Many can not understand why we live the life we live. the important thing, no one has to. Only God knows why. Take care Meredith.

  2. Meredith,
    We are in group 2...and you have touched our lives so much in a very positive way. Thanks for sharing what you do.

  3. Thank you for being honest and open. i hope that the negative people find something else to occupy their time. We have recently made some changes with negative people in our lives..while it is hard to do..sometimes it must be done! May God continue to bless you all!

  4. I really enjoy it when you are "real" about the goings-on in your house. But I also totally understand not sharing everything as there is so much that never ends up on my blog, intentionally. Having more kids now, I really appreciate a glimpse into your life and seeing how you guys deal with things. :)

  5. I love to see the love you show
    I love to watch your children grow
    It isn't easy knowing what to do
    But be assured God will guide you thru
    You are obedient to Him
    It's a win-win
    Don't listen to what others say
    They will have a price to pay
    You have listened to His call
    It will surely be worth it all!

  6. I feel where you're coming from :) putting it all out there sometimes makes people think that you need their advice. We're dealing with some of that now, but I learn so much from other people's blogs that I hope someone gets something from mine! I love your posts and I'm really glad our paths crossed.

  7. Hi Meredith,
    Just think how many people you must be reaching on your blog if you are reaching the negative and nasty ones! It is an honor that you are able to minister to these people whose hearts will slowly and surely be changed through reading your blog--regardless of what mean-natured comments they leave behind. Keep blogging, your family is an amazing inspiration to many!

  8. I love reading your blog, and the challenges and joys your family goes through together. Whoever is harassing you needs to get a grip and take a lesson on what being a family truly means. It is so frustrating to hear of people attacking others who do so much good in the world. I'm sorry that happened to you.

  9. Hang in there awesome friend! If a 15 year-old girl would rather come hang out with you and your sweet kids than tour DisneyWorld (which M would totally do) then you must be doing something right!

  10. Your family is beautiful and valuable - and you ARE educating people and giving them the opportunity to see the word, and people with disabilities, from a different perspective. Perhaps they have never been to Holland, and have never seen all the amazing, worthwhile treasures to be found there. You are something of a travel guide for people who have never had a chance to broaden their horizons.

    You know that your children with disabilities need more time to really learn things. The people who are saying the negative things to you have a different kind of disability - we all have our own, don't we? - and may take a little longer to reach. I think it's worth it to keep trying.

  11. Your blog was the very first non-Swedish blog that I found and the very first RR blog too. You opened a new world to me. You have changed my whole life. Please continue! :-)

  12. Meredith, keep on blogging! Your stories are a joy to read and I have learned a thing or two about parenting and teaching children from you. As for the Negative Nellies, I say ignore them and pray for them. They have their own issues that you will never be able to solve! Stay strong and keep doing what you do! Blessings to you all!

  13. I enjoy your comments about the reality of life with special kids. There are so few forums for parents of high needs children to "be real". So may God bless you with a tough yet flexible shell to let all of the negativity wash away and let the LOVE that flows through you for these little ones shine!

  14. Sometimes you've just gotta consider the source. For every person who feels the need to criticize or judge when they are not in your shoes, there are dozens others who are blessed to share this "part" of your life. I love reading your blog and getting to know your beautiful and unique family this way! You are such an inspiration to many!

  15. Oh, Meredith!I was weeping to read this post...Just tears, tears and tears...I`m so sorry about you.Your post touched my heart.You are such big blessing for many people, parents, friends! Do right,keep blogging! Do what God tells you to do! Psalms 121

  16. I LOVE reading your blog please don't go private. You and your family are such an inspiration to me :-)
    God bless

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your family with us! It takes a lot of courage to share really personal things with strangers but I do think it really helps people not only with their own struggles but also with just understanding another way of life. I read blogs because the differences among us really fascinates me. Honestly, I would not choose your life BUT I do not think you are crazy or a saint for doing so, I just think you are a different person than me. I've had many people question my own life and choices and I think that when people say "I don't see how you do it" what they really mean is "I don't see WHY you do it". Some people really do want to understand but sadly some negative people think that because they wouldn't choose it then you must be wrong in how you are doing things.
    I have a blog but I keep it light and rather impersonal. I share basics but not our thoughts on the foster care system and birth parents, or the pain of having non-typical children who often can't be controlled in public, or the journey through the mental healthcare system and the struggles of having a child develop schizophrenia. I don't have the strength to deal with these on a personal level AND share them with people who are not supportive (or downright mean) so I really admire that you are able to share honestly.

  18. Oh Meredith! I will share with you that I find your detailed blog to be an amazing source of ideas and encouragement and sheer inspiration. I only wish you would write more! We are starting to make our tommy an adaptive bed similar to the plans you posted. I have used your ideas for meals and organization too. We are blessed to have you in our path! Keep on.

  19. I am the mother of a 10-year-old son with Down syndrome, and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy following your blog and seeing pictures of your beautiful family. How anybody could criticize you is beyond me. I hope you will continue to keep your blog public, because you are an inspiration to me and you make me want to be a better mom. Toni

  20. I just found your blog (I have a 17 month old son with DS) - and I love your blog already!

    I've started to support Reece's Rainbow as a result of finding a few blogs out there w/ wonderful children adopted from RR. What can I say other than the blogs that are REAL are the ones that help me get through the days sometimes! :)

    My son is perfect in every way, and a true blessing from God, but you know what? It isn't always roses! Our amazingly good days far outnumber our not so good days... and I'm blessed with that - but anyone dealing with a teething and cranky toddler can tell you, it truly isn't always all roses!!! :) When we've had a tough few days - it helps me to realize that I'm not alone - that other folks also sometimes have to hunker down and stay joyful and appreciative even when life isn't "perfect".

    So I say keep it real, it helps immensely when we tell the truth. I know God wants us to dwell on that which is worthy of praise and to be joyful - at the same time I think He gives us other Mom's going through real challenges to help us realize we aren't alone, and that we can share our challenges and be uplifted by the support of our friends. I promise any comments from me will always be on the positive side of life - I can't imagine criticizing a Mom who is clearly an awesome Mom with healthy and happy children!!

    Love your blog, and am inspired that you have saved so many perfect and wonderful children from some tough situations in orphanages.

    God bless you!!

    Kerin (mom of 1 son w/DS)

  21. I'm so sorry that some people are so mean and rude. I haven't adopted....yet, but I'm inspired by your family and enjoy following your journey. Keep up those fantastic posts! Peace, Allison

  22. I have immense amounts of respect for you Meredith. I look at your kids and your family and I am just thankful you share with us. Also, I totally want to come visit! haha

  23. Thanks for linking me to your blog on FB. People will always find a reason to think negatively on others, not every person but some. But regardless of the negative, I think the world needs more people like you and Mike, willing to take on things that others might deem "crazy." If it weren't for you two, some of your children would be suffering right now. I have enormous respect for you two, every parent struggles but to do it openly and with such faith is a blessing.

  24. Parents who pretend everything is peachy just make it harder for those who are struggling. Sharing the good and the bad is so encouraging. THANK YOU for blessing so many through this blog!