Bubba DID finally put on his Halloween costume and went trick or treating. I think it was seeing all the other kids walking up and down the street that convinced him it just might be kinda fun!

Also…and this is a BIG deal…he started walking from the car to his classroom! I haven’t heard “my legs don’t work” in quite awhile.

AND…he rode the school bus home on Friday! It about broke my heart to see his little face with those big blue eyes peeking out the bus window, but he was soo proud of being able to ride the bus with the other kids.

This morning he informed me that he was NOT going to ride the bus today. We shall see if he holds to that or not. We only live a few minutes away from his school so I cn easily go and get him if he refuses.

He has now been home with us for one year today!

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Bubba vs Halloween

We have tried to convince Bubba that dressing up in costumes and trick or treating is great fun.

he remains unconvinced.

I have bought 4, yes 4, halloween costumes this year for Bubba. All of them costumes of characters he likes.

Elmo- he wont even LOOK at the Elmo costume.

Caterpillar- took one look at it and told me to GO AWAY

Packers Football uniform- I thought for sure this would work, as its not one that has a mask, or “looks” like anyone/anything. His response “I Don’t like GREEN”

Fireman jacket and matching ‘helmet’- Sassypants, Bubba’s little sister, LOVED it (course she loves anything that she can dress up in) and wanted to wear it as soon as she saw it. Bubba said “hooray, fireman” when he saw it. Until I asked him if he wanted to try it on.

He then ran down the hallway to his room and slammed the door shut.

I then tried a new tactic. the lure of candy. yum. candy. What three year old doesn’t love candy?

“Bubba, if you wear one of your costumes and go knock on people’s doors on halloween and say “trick or treat” they will give you candy!”

I got the “boy are you stupid, mom” look and this reply “But Momma, you can just BUY me candy.”

Today his preschool class had their halloween party. All the kids were decked out in the cutest costumes.

Bubba wore his camoflauge overalls, a brown thermal shirt, and his beloved John Deere baseball cap.

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Scratch That….

Have thought long and hard about the doctor’s off the cuff diagnosis of Bubba (seriously, he didn’t even discuss it with me, I just read the dreaded RAD on the sheet of paper…how professional and caring is THAT?). I have discussed this with several people involved in Bubba’s life in a professional manner (foster kids tend to have a lot of “peeps”) as well.

No one (and this includes peeps who are very experienced with RAD kiddos) believes that Bubba is truly RAD.

To be honest, I really don’t think he is either. And no, its not because I am in denial about Bubba’s struggles.

The truth is, Bubba isn’t fitting any one “diagnosis” neatly.

The aforementioned psychiatrist has labeled Bubba as: ADHD (no one denies this), anxiety disorder NOS (no one argues with this one either), and, at our last meeting, tossed down RAD on his paperwork.

His counselor believes that the majority of Bubba’s behaviors are due to ADHD, seperation anxiety, sensory issues, and the unfortunate legacy of being in foster care.

His mental health worker says that he is at high risk for RAD, but she isn’t seeing that with him at this time. Definitely sensory issues, anxiety, ADHD, and possibly Aspegers.

He has great difficulty with emotional regulation. Certainly more so than the average 3 year old. This does fit RAD.

His social/emotional development is easily 18 months behind his chronological age. he is not very interested in playing with other kids his own age,  prefering instead to play by himself. in school he is currently participating with the class/following classroom routines 50 percent of the time.  Aspergers, maybe? Or is he simply delayed in this area due to the trauma of being in foster care and having multiple moves? As I noted in an earlier post, the majority of his visitation with his birthmom took place in a playgroup setting….I tend to think PTSD is coming into play right now, as his classroom is structured very much like playgroup.

Transistions are pure hell for Bubba. Any transition. This could be some kind of Asperger-ey behavior. This could also be another expression of PTSD. 

Bubba does not do well in larger groups or “busy” environments. he tends to get very clingy and anxious. Hence activities that one would think an active three year old boy would enjoy (such as going to the farm/corn maze/pumkin patch/petting zoo/tractor ride event) are very overwhelming for Bubba. That being said, given enough time (not to mention being willing to carry all 38 pounds of him around due to his mysterious temporary leg paralysis disorder mentioned in a previous post) he does eventually relax and have fun.

Bubba is incredibly oppositional at times. Exhaustingly oppositional.  He also works very hard at being the center of attention.  This can be seen as being RAD-like.  Then again, he is very ADHD. And he is 3.

Maybe I need to spend my time focusing on practical ways in which to address his (for lack of a better word) “symptoms” and set aside the search for a “proper diagnosis.”

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Leaving Bubba’s appointment with the psychiatrist today I held a pieces of paper in my hand- the standard DX sheet that is to be turned in at the front desk.

As I was lugging Bubba to the front desk (he had yet another sudden onset of his mysterious “legs don’t work” disease) I glanced down at the sheet.


WTF????RAD RAD RAD??? NO!! NO!! NO!!!!

rip my heart out. sucker punch me in the gut.  snatch the breath right out of my lungs.

How do I even begin to process this?

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Transistions and Trauma

The majority of Bubba’s  visitation with his birthmom (prior to TPR) took place in a playgroup setting. Essentially Bubba has attended playgroup from the time he was a few months old until a few months before his third birthday. He hated playgroup. He hated that I would bring him there and leave him. When he was reunited with his birthmom and then came back into foster care, the playgroup once again became the place for visitation between birthmom and him. He Hated it even MORE.

Now we have him enrolled in a special education classroom (ECDD). And once again I am taking him to a place that is very similiar to playgroup and leaving him.

I suspect on some level of memory (sensory?emotional? maybe even a bit cognitive?) he feels/thinks “here we go again.”

I have no idea how to help him through this other than hope that, with enough time, he will “get it” that this is NOT the same thing as playgroup/visitation.

No wonder he is terrified that I might not  come back.

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Conversations with Bubba

Bubba sneezed.

“Bubba, do you have sneezes?”

“No, I have Bless Yous”

Oh Bubba, you poor, scared, anxious, struggling kid. you bring such joy to my life. Bless You.

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Bubba vs Preschool

Poor Bubba. the tranisition to preschool has been really rough. In fact, our efforts to have him in a “normal” preschool were an epic fail. he simply could not handle the level of chaos, the loose structure,  and the number of kids in the class. His seperation anxiety went through the ROOF. He simply could not handle 3 hours twice a week away from home. He was adamant that I would not come back and clung to me like a spider monkey having an anxiety attack. I could not move an inch without him clinging to me and begging to be picked up because his “legs don’t work.” All day, every day for the last MONTH.

“for the love of all that is holy in this world Bubba I am notgoinganywheresowouldyoupleaseohforGod’ssakepleaseGETOFFOF ME!”

We were able to get him into the ECDD class at the elementary school thanks to his ADHD dioagnosis, his Anxiety NOS diagnosis and his abysmall scores on emotional regulation and attachment on the TABS and DECCA assessments.

of course that meant yet another change in his world, yet another transition, and OHMYGOD this kid would climb into my WOMB if it was at all humanly possible.

anytime I attempt to take him anywhere he loses it. his legs stop working. his arms grow a billion feet long and grab at me. I feel like I am lugging around a freakin 38 pound OCTOPUS.

he doesn’t want to play outside. he doesn’t want to GO ANYWHERE. he won’t even play. he just clings to me.

I feel like I am going to suffocate. My heart breaks for him. I LOVE THIS KID.


Bubba’s little sister, my biodaughter, is 20 months old. SHE is seriously ticked off as she also wants to be on me all the time.

This morning the teacher had to peel him off of me (as he yells at me DON’T STEP FORWARD. JUST WAIT A MINUTE MOMMA. DON’T STEP FORWARD. like I could freakin move with his arms wrapped around my ankles) and I had to dash for the classroom door to leave.

holy moly batman. if he is this disregulated at 3, where are we going to be when he is 6? 10? 13?

Oh  how I wish we had a qualifed therapist in this area who understood trauma and loss and attachment and the rest of the garbage that is the legacy of kids in foster care.

I love this kid fiercely. and I feel like C.R.A.P. that I don’t know how to help him.

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