Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Older Ones

I am setting this to post while I'm gone. I'm (hopefully) in Orlando with Tyler, Jessica and Jasmine. Our Disney passes run out next week. Ty doesn't have one so he's going to hang out at the hotel while we go to Disney Saturday afternoon and evening. Then on Sunday we are going to Discovery Cove. In case you are wondering how we have money to do all this, we don't! We live on a tight budget. But last year about this time I got my advance on a book coming out in July. I used that to buy everyone in the house at the time a cheap Florida resident Disney pass. Those who wanted to upgrade did so with their own money. Tyler wasn't here so he didn't get one. At that time we assumed he'd be back in college this fall. Adam only used his ONE day so I wish they were transferable. For Discovery Cove I booked ahead for their November extremely reduced prices.  How many people want to snorkel in November? We aren't doing the dolphin swim part. I had enough reward points from traveling this summer to get a really nice room in Orlando. Coming and going we stop at the cheap hotels and since no one likes to share beds, they bring sleeping bags and half sleep on the floor. We take our food with us. The kids don't mind because they know this is the only way we can do the things we do.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to update everyone on the older kids. Such a time of change for them. When you're raising little ones everything seems so crucial--whether or not they talk on time, walk on time, potty train before preschool and so on. Sometimes the comparison game gets brutal when you have children with delays.

But then they hit their school years, teen years and young adult years, and you look back and laugh at how seriously you took the early stuff. If you're parenting young children it may not seem that way right now. But, for instance, I parent the twins differently because I've been the whole road with the older ones and it helps put those earlier problems in perspective. I've also learned not to take their behavior issues personally and that  helps. And we are definitely dealing with issues with one more than the other.

But, on to the older ones.

Tyler has been living at home since the beginning of May. He has not gotten a job. The aspergers makes interviewing difficult. He can't make up answers to questions on the spot, he doesn't read people or emotions well. He doesn't have the natural charm a couple of mine have. Basically, he can't play the game. 

He talked to the USAF recruiter about going in the Air Force and he has the ability. They gave him the ASVAB and he did great. Then they found out about the aspergers and it was all over. He's not on any medications and is not in any counseling, but they didn't care about that.

So we've been looking into Job Corps for him. It's a residential program where you can get training in many areas. The career field you choose determines where you go. For some reason Tyler has decided he wants to do welding. That is kind of out of the blue because he's always wanted to work with computers in the past. I don't know if he really realizes how much work welding is. He went to orientation. He went to his interview. He's turned in almost all his paperwork. Now we wait to see if he's in. If so, welding is in Kentucky. That's about 600 miles north of us, or 10-11 hours. But it would be a good experience for him. And I might be able to talk my sister into visiting him too because she's in northern Indiana so only about six hours from there.

I'm not sure when we'll have a definite answer about Job Corps.

As I write this Friday morning, Jessica is on a scuba dive to a sunken shipwreck. She is loving the scuba and her ear is holding up. Yay! That was the only concern. She's done several different kind of dives. She has a night dive next Monday. That was our original day to go to Discovery Cove because it's during Thanksgiving vacation but there is a dive, and it is mandatory. I wouldn't want her to miss it anyway. Since we found out before we were inside the 30-day time frame, we were able to change dates without a penalty. The water is COLD this time of year even here in the Florida panhandle. My brother sent money so Jessica was able to buy a wetsuit for the remainder of her dives. (I hope she remembers to have someone take a picture of her in it so she can send it to him!) They'd lent her one, but it didn't have sleeves so she was pretty cold each dive. I'm glad she has the wetsuit this morning because it's 50F right now, going to 72F later, but it's a fairly deep dive.

A few weeks ago something occurred to me that Jessica might want to do and after looking into it, she's pretty excited. But there were a few glitches so she hasn't announced it yet, so I won't either. But I'm hoping for her because it could mean big opportunities. We'll know by Christmas so you'll know by Christmas.

Jeff was home from October 24-31. He initiated the visit because he's leaving for Afghanistan in December. He ran the army ten mile race in Washington D.C. He said it was hard because there were several thousand runner (at least 20,000) so the front people got a fast start but it took a while for the rest of the pack to spread out and take off. Even though your personal time didn't start until you went over the start time, it was hard to get moving. He did it in 57:33 which means he ran the whole ten miles in under six minutes a mile!! He was third in his age group.Not sure how many were in that group.

Jeff seems to be doing well in the Army. He wants to do special forces, and I know that if he sets that as a goal and focus on doing what he needs to in order to accomplish it, he will. He is very capable. He always has been, but he let behavioral issues over run his life earlier, even up until the time he enlisted. He may not be living by all the values we'd hope for, but he is making his way. 

Those of you who have older adopted children with attachment issues probably where we're at. He does well when he's here for visits, but he's never really attached to us or even the people who worked with him for several years. They just don't realize it because they don't understand attachment and don't realize what they think is attachment is really phony charm. But Jeff is safe, happy and succeeding within the structured environment of the army. I'm glad we have the chance to get to know him as an adult and cheer him on.

Jeff in D.C.

Since Jeff will be in Afghanistan over Christmas, we had him pick his Christmas presents now.  Lest that look like a small pile, the two hats to the right of the picture were $52 alone!!  Glad I had him pick it all because his taste in clothes is way different than either Tyler or Adam. With Jeff and Adam it's all about brand; with Tyler it's all about comfort.

Adam thought last week (district) was his last race because only the top 13 go on to regionals. But he placed 12th so he's not done. The top runner from his school was unable to run, but even so, Adam would have been 13th and still made it. So Adam will run in Tallahassee tomorrow. He's not too excited because he knows he's going to be "blown away." I told him not to worry about that, but just try to beat his PR of 18:4. I told him to get me a 17:52. He might. He hasn't been able to get under 18:00 but maybe the tough competition will effect his time.

Adam made the soccer team so is juggling cross country and soccer. Also school work and his job. There are a few issues with this that he needs to work out, but he will. He's finally getting it and seeing all he can became. Yay! I've always told him that when he gets it figured out he's going to be amazing and unstoppable. 
He's starting to believe me and it's starting to show!

Track starts sometime after Christmas. Hopefully not until soccer ends, but they may overlap. I guess it will keep him busy!

Adam will go to Marine boot camp next August and then be in reserves while he attends college. At least that's the plan for now. He doesn't know his career field yet.

That's my update on these four for now. All four have exciting changes ahead!


"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

LOVE your update on the olders :) Praying and wishing them well!!!

Hevel said...

I love how your boys both run! Running is such an awesome thing.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for Tyler.

Rose Anne said...

My Haitian Sensation is just starting to strain the strings! He will be 12 in April and is only 69lbs and 4'6or 7 in. He ask to come homeschool again and wanted to know if he could through High School, I told we will take it on year at a time. He doesn't run well because of his flat feet.
So he is starting to open up through or local theatre.. Thanks for the update on your older 4!
Blessings to them on their journeys!

Kathy C. said...

Thank you for your comments. Running is the one thing Jeff and Adam did consistently growing up.

Hoping for Ty too. If he doesn't make it in, there is a local training center that has welding. He's never shown an interest in manual work before so the local center isn't something we'd looked into.