Wednesday, July 24, 2013

my yellow bird.

It's surreal to think about how Ossi behaved back then.

He is still highly frustrated, but it has become entirely outside the norm for him to try something verbally or physically abusive to get his way. No more "I hate you, mom"s or "I'm going to kill you all"s. And no more extreme threats to the safety of others.

Mostly he just bawls to indicate he's hit the frustration wall. He'll push his brothers from time to time but it's different from before. Before I caught him doing things like trying to suffocate his brother with an emergency blanket.

He's basically become a regular kid. Only a little more likely to be stumped in social situations.
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Our big sisters from China love the kids. They have noticed that Ossi is a little different from the others. One girl drew a picture of the boys and while Liam and Finn were smiling widely, Ossi's face was scowling.

It makes me a little sad to know that other people will continue to see him that way. It makes me a little sad to know that he's frowning often enough to make that impression. But the fact that we can even safely take in foreign exchange students is a clear sign of dramatic improvement.
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A couple of nights ago we gathered our family for what we call "Family Home Evening." It is a special meeting we hold as a family every Monday night when we sing together, pray together, and teach one another, sparking some of the greatest discussions.

Ossi spoke up, telling us he'd like to teach us something. He hid under his blanket while he composed his thoughts. Emerging from his hiding spot, "Angels are important people who have once lived on the Earth," he said. "They are like missionaries and they share important messages to people. I want to be an Angel someday." And he popped back under the blanket.
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That is one, sweet kid. He went on to teach us for a very long time, peeking his head out to tell us many things he believes about spirits and the nature of God.

Ossi has always had an incredible sense of spirituality. Maybe that's why he has so many obstacles to overcome. Heavenly Father is slowing him down so that the rest of us can keep up.
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Like I said before, the change has been so phenomenal that I can hardly believe my own memory of what he did during the peak of his behavioral struggles.

When I opened this surprise gift from a loving friend I sighed a happy sigh. My yellow bird.

It was cathartic to see Ossi gingerly hold the frame and tell me it was perfect.
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Thank you everyone who has been thoughtful of our family during this last year of great turmoil and unrest.

Thank you for sending me messages of encouragement and fellowship. Thank you for sharing your similar experience with advice or questions giving me hope and purpose.

Thank you those who are near him for changing your diets to match his and for learning new approaches to communicating with him.

Thank you all for standing by Ossi and loving him even during his worst moments. And by me in mine.


Staci said...

it's so good to hear there is hope for ossi and for all our kids when they go through stages of hardship. You are so inspiring. I'm jealous of your bird and I'm gonna have Steph make me one now ;).

joolee said...

first of all, your friend does beautiful work! every piece inspires me. i'd love to peruse her site more and post about her on my blog.

second, i bet ossi has seen those angels himself or felt them near him. how sweet, those moments when children teach US. adults need those - i know i do! :)

William Reger said...

We've had the same impression about our son with his hearing impairment--it challenges him and brings out his strengths. Also, that gold-rimmed plate you have hanging on your wall is exactly like a set of china my father brought back from Japan when he was there during the Korean War. We still have most of it and use it at Thanksgiving.

Emily said...

I remember reading your post quite a while back about your struggles with Ossi. He came back to mind as I started reading a blog where the mom was having similar problems with her son and finally linked it to food dyes. I don't know if that is something you have looked into but I just had little voice tell me I should share that with you. Hope all is well.