First let me start off by saying long time no talk. I am sorry I have been gone for a while. A lot has happened in my life since the last time I posted anything on Mari’s website. I look back at the date of June 23 and it seems like a lifetime ago.
On July 15 Keith and I headed to Chicago to be with Mari (so to speak) on her 3 year mark of being gone. July 16 was officially 3 years and we spent some time at her grave. It is hard to believe that 3 years have already come and gone but they have. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that we were in the hospital watching her slip away in front of us.
Then we had our 15 year old niece Crysta and our 6 year old nephew Trevin (they are cousins) fly out for a visit. Crysta comes out every summer and this would be the first time Trevin not only came to visit with us but to even fly on a plane. What ended up starting out as a visit with our nephew turned into him coming to permanently live with us, for at minimum, the school year. And to top it all off we also flew out our 7 year old niece Athena to come and live with us as well. Crysta flew out on my birthday and Athena came to live.
Keith and I went from being just the two of us and having the freedom to do what we wanted or needed to do to now having two young children to take care of. It is a shock to the system so to speak. To say it has been interesting I don’t think can quite describe the past 4 months.
I guess the question you might be asking is do you think it was good for us. I can say without a shadow of doubt that absolutely yes. Keith and I needed something like this in our lives. It forces the issue of not just thinking about Mari. We now have two children to take care of. I think of them as our own kids. It treat them as if they are our own kids.
Don’t get me wrong, it has been a very hard adjustment in that Trevin has pretty severe ADHD. It is really hard for him to concentrate and sit still. He also has speech issues. Neither of these things have ever been dealt with by my brother or the mom. But the abuse that both of these two little ones have had to face in their short lifetime is completely inexcusable.
We have had both Trevin and Athena tested for ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities. What was great to find out is just how smart these two are. Trevin’s IQ is good at about 105 (I think) and Athena’s is 127. Both of them have such high potential. I can see such a bright future for them.
However, the abuse is going to be a hard road for the two of them. If we just raise our voice to loud they become scared to death that we are going to hit them (and when I say hit I mean beat the crap out of them). Scared doesn’t even quite describe how scared these kids are. You can see in their faces they are literally petrified of being hit. Your heart just melts when you see it as you just feel for them.
Trevin has issues with lying about everything, especially in the beginning. He is slowly but surely getting better but I still know it is a long road ahead. Athena always tries to manipulate the situation to her advantage.
Even through all of this, I know Keith and I are really helping these two to be able to have a better life as they grow up. They have stability for the first time in their lives. Trevin is now in a basketball league and Athena is cheerleader for his team. They are both excited to be doing this.
They have clothes that actually fit them and are now appropriate. Trevin actually has underwear to wear now.
I think the kids are happy and Trevin has even told me he wants to live with us permanently. I think it is really sweet.
It seems like when Keith and I are finally doing good in our marriage something else always seems to creep in to put a strain on it. This has been a rough adjustment. I mean we have literally been thrown into parenthood. Being Mari’s mom and dad was completely different than being a parent to your typical, average children. Mari had severe autism. It just doesn’t even compare one to the other. So as you can probably imagine we have different parenting techniques that we have had to try to implement quickly. I mean, we didn’t even know what would be the right time to put the kids to bed for the night (we decided on 8pm).
Through it all it has been good for Keith and I. I know God has a plan for us and it will be interesting to see how everything continues to unfold.