About

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

My name is Linda Petersen and I am the proud mother of five wonderful, very interesting children. They also happen to have disabilities, but these have not been overwhelming obstacles, but adventures along the path of life.  These adventures are chronicled in a book entitled  The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane.  If you like the description of our lives that follow, you will love the book!

My oldest son, Francis, is legally blind and has obsessive compulsive disorder. In this blog  I recount several humorous stories of his upbringing, including his fear of skunks. (He was petrified he would step on a skunk he didn’t see and it would spray him! He HATED tomatoes and the thought of having to take a bath in tomato juice was horrifying to him!) He managed to graduate college and obtained a full scholarship to Cambridge University in England to obtain his Ph.D. He has since become Dr. Scooter, (his nickname from college, named after Scooter from the Muppet Babies). He has obtained his dream job at an unbelievable salary!

My 25- year-old daughter was adopted from Guatemala.  She came to us profoundly deaf, but was “healed.” (Read all about it in my blog!) She graduated from college with honors in International Business and also has a job in her field. She currently has a 2 year old son, a wonderful  “significant other”, and is due to have a baby girl in July.

My 18-year-old son has a long history of autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a severe sensory integration disorder. It really doesn’t matter what his disability is diagnosed as, I only know he was born cocaine and heroin addicted to an alcoholic mother, and his nervous system is wired haphazardly! He has managed to utilize his obsessions with reptiles into a volunteer position at a reptile educational facility. He is the one standing in the doorway at the entrance to the facility holding the 6-foot long boa constrictor, or the alligator, or the large lizard. He is not good with people, but great with reptiles! He has also recently become trained as an “alligator wrangler” for their alligator shows. (Really!)

My 15-year-old son was severely abused prior to coming to live with us at the age of four. He developed dissociative identity disorder, (multiple personality disorder.) Life with this disorder is every day life for him. He and his “peeps”, (his name for his personalities,) live an interesting, eventful and sometimes very frustrating life, (like when one studies for the social studies test and another one takes it and flunks!)

My 13-year-old daughter who is profoundly deaf came to live with us at the age of seven when the police found her wandering the streets carrying her infant brother looking for food. She was supposed to be a short-term placement placed with us because I know sign language. (I’m sure many foster parents have heard this spiel about a short-term placement.) Six years later she is still with us, adopted at the age of ten. Her deafness is not a disability, but her post-traumatic stress from early abuse and her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have caused serious problems for her.

I am also the loving sister to a brother who is severely developmentally delayed, legally blind and deaf due to rubella syndrome. He also unfortunately developed schizophrenia when he was eighteen years old.

While my children’s disabilities would not normally be considered amusing situations, I try to look at them in an upbeat, positive, and sometimes humorous manner. I am a happy and optimistic person by nature, and to dwell on their problems would make me sad, a feeling not in my repertoire.

I began writing this blog in August because I was looking for a stress reliever. It is amazing how cathartic it is to vent one’s frustrations in writing! Also, I have had so many unique experiences and adventures that many acquaintances have suggested I write a book. I started writing the blog not so much with the thought of writing a book, but with the thought of putting down these events for posterity, so to speak, and to share my experiences with others. In the process, I’ve reduced my stress level and I have been encouraged by the more 20,000 people who have read the blog. I am sure our adventures and misadventures will continue. (My daughter who is deaf and has sensory issues and cannot stand tags in her clothes has entered junior high school, how is she going to start wearing a bra? My son with Asperger’s has started to notice girls. Unfortunately for him, girls are usually not very approachable when one is carrying a large snake! My son who has dissociative identity disorder, with the assistance of a specialized psychologist, is searching into the deep recesses of his mind to discover the abuse, which led to his disability.)

Thanks for joining me.  It’s nice to know someone “out there” is listening!

Comments on: "About" (1,352)

  1. Hi Linda – I look forward to your next post.

  2. wearingcostumes said:

    Hello Lindsey – I have been reading your blog. You and I could be great friends…I will continue to follow your wonderful words.

  3. Hey, I like this blog! How come I never encountered it before? Keep up the great work, Lindsey!

  4. R. G. Maines said:

    Hi Lindsey,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your thoughts. I’ll be coming by from time to time to learn more about your incredible family.

    Peace & Hugs

  5. melodyofamom said:

    Thank you for sharing your life! I have enjoyed reading over your posts and getting to know you and your family.

  6. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! In looking through yours, you’re a truly inspirational women yourself! I’m so pleased to have connected with you. I look forward to staying in touch…!

  7. I just see even at a glance that you are an amazing woman! Blessings to you and your family!

  8. Hai Lindsey, thanks for sharing.. especially about your mother.. She’s very strong, because God is with her. Bless upon you and famz..

  9. Your story oozes with compassion, understanding and patience. I, too, will be stopping by from time to time to read your posts. I am so happy you have found a place for your stress … I agree, writing is a very cathartic experience.

  10. I am sure you’ve been told many times “Kudos” for being a strong, supportive person in your children’s lives; I know there are times of trials, triumphs and more. I think I’m going to link your blog so I can venture back on my blog strolls.

    Cheers to you.

    :: bows ::
    Namaste.

  11. What a wonderful family you have! I bet you all encourage one another. I loved reading your story. Keep it going strong. Have a week fun of many smiles. :)

  12. What an amazing family you have. You are such an inspiration to me!! I will be visiting often.

  13. Hi Lindsey!

    Your tales of being frugal remind me of something that I got from my parents. My parents were into health food. I grew up eating wheat germ and grape nuts. My parents idea of junk cereal was Cheerios! So, I vowed that I would let my kids eat Count Chocula, Trix… you name it! Don’t you know that when I go to the supermarket, I can’t bring myself to buy the cereal!! I come back with Cheerios!

    Please keep writing!

  14. Dear Lindsey,

    I really admire your courage in raising these youngsters. I hope you also get the emotional and instrumental support you need from time to time, which is necessary to hold on.

    All the best,
    Nutspy!

  15. Lindsey. I don’t know what to say. I was bought to tears reading about your beuatiful children and their pathways through the world. How lucky they were to have been taken into your loving family. You are an incredible, awe inspiring woman and I will be follwoing your journey all the way from this little island off the coast of England. Sending you heaps of love, support and energy. XXX

  16. I am so glad that I could find this little treasure! I love your writing. I appreciate your stories of hardship and triumph, all told with an eye for the humor to be seen within them. I greatly admire your spunk and wisdom…and I look forward to reading more!

  17. Wow, amazing. Your story has me in tears, how wonderful for you and your family to have found each other. I don’t know how your life can’t be stressful and I hope you find a place for rest, relaxation and a place to let all your worries drain away. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  18. Hi Lindsey,

    I have a 6yo who was born with a brain tumor. The resulting surgeries left her delayed in every area and also caused her to be HIGHLY anxious and prone to screaming panic attacks over little things like the cuff of her pants being flipped up. She’s on Resperdal now which has helped with the every-5-minutes panic episodes, but she still has bad days/nights when she screams and runs down the hall, throws herself against the wall, poops on the floor, etc. I don’t know what to do, or who to turn to… any suggestions from your experience? Medication ideas? At this point, it affects our family SO much that we are considering putting her in foster care or SOMETHING.

    Thanks.

  19. Hi Lindsey!

    I came over to check out your blog and I have to admit, I think you are my new idol. I’ve been having so many ‘woe is me’ moments lately and here you are, willingly thrusting yourself into the lives of these children! You are AMAZING!

    I will continue to read. You’re very inspirational.

    Thank you,
    Heather

  20. Hi Lindsay – your blog is great! I’d really like to republish the snake goddess story in our blog/newsletter http://101friends.wordpress.com/ – can you let me know if that’s okay with you? aaron@spectrumsociety.org

  21. Lindsey you are amazing! Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am truly inspired by you!

  22. ecoadvisor said:

    Courageous and very inspiring. I’ve no doubt that you would not have it any other way and that you truly understand and appreciate the gift of life!

  23. Wow! I look forward to learning more about your family’s adventures!

  24. What an amazing story! I look forward to checking in on you and hearing your stories! What an inspiration.

    Have a great weekend!

  25. What an inspiring story! I look forward to reading more about your daily struggles but enjoying life with a sense of humor.

  26. cupcakeswithfish said:

    Wow Lindsey, you have an amazing family. Thank you for allowing us to share your journey.

  27. I really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading it again when it shows up in my RSS feed.

  28. butterflysblog said:

    I hope you don’t mind – I put a link in my blog to yours, because you and your blog gives the reader the best possible thing: hope.

  29. What an incredible family you are!!

  30. Lindsey,
    I am so happy to have found such inspiration. You are a gem and I am glad for the comment you left at my world which led me here. Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to hearing of your delightful family.

    Vicki

  31. i love this.

    i want to adopt when i get older.

    i’m sitting my butt down tomorrow, and reading every entry you have in here.

  32. Hi Lindsey;
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I’ll definitely be stopping by your blog regularly now to catch up! Do you read http://www.myspecialks.com/ ? It’s a really great blog.

  33. Lindsey!!!
    It’s amazing what’re you doing, and who you are.
    You’ve got such an azmazing family!!!

  34. Wow! You are an amazing and inspiring woman with an amazing and inspiring family. I am at a loss for words at how humbled I am to read your story. I started here but will now go on to read more.

  35. Hi,

    I too have an 18 year old daughter who we adopted when she was seven. She suffered severe abuse as a street child and is today suffering from the entire spectrum of PTSD symptoms including dissociation and DID. We live in Singapore and there are no informed treatments available here. We plan on getting some treatment in the US. can ayou advise us on where we might find the best treatment for her? Thankyou.

    Usha

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      I am so sorry to hear that you are going through the same things we are. Try to get in touch with Dr. Joy Silberg. She is associated with Shephard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore. She wrote the book The Dissociative Child and she did wonders for my son when he saw her. (She’s not his regular therapist because Baltimore is too far away.)

  36. sweetangelanna said:

    Lindsey I must say you are one courageous woman! You definitely set example for others! Keep it going! I just love your blog!

  37. Hi Lindsey, You have an inspiring life and I truly admire you for your courage. Will stop by often to read your stories about your beautiful family!

    God bless :-)

  38. thanks for the reminder that spring is on it’s way. :) the sunshine this weekend helped us feel much more hopeful too. took a nice long walk and enjoyed discovering daffodils poking bright little heads out in our “flower beds”.
    i have browsed your recent entries this morning and enjoyed hearing about your lovely family. i can’t help but wondering if it is a little providential “meeting” you. my husband and i are pondering our second adoption (it will probably be a few years yet). i ended up having a dream about meeting a blind 6yr old caucasian girl in a guatemalan orphanage that wanted me as her mom. i had never, up until then, considered parenting a child with that type of handicap, but it has certainly set my mind spinning. who know’s what God will bring our way. i’m looking forward to finding out.
    in the meantime, parents of children with handicaps and children with handicaps continue to be some of my favorite heros and heroines. God bless you and your just-right family. :)

  39. kingbiscuitpants said:

    love your blog & have a lot of respect for what you do!
    My wonderful wife had 3 children when we married (and that is definately a large enough number for us) and our middle boy has aspergers, like myself though through years of conditioning my symptoms are only noticible to those close to me.
    Humor is what helps me cope in this absurd world as well keep up te good work,

  40. Hi Lindsey,I have read a few of your posts and have really enjoyed them. My oldest daughter works with people with disabilities. I really like how you capture the humor in situations and keep record of them. Your writing will be very valuable to your family for years to come. I look forward to reading more. Have a good week. Linda

  41. Hi Lindsey

    Amazing. Your’s and your children’s journey is wonderful to hear. They must feel very lucky to have you helping them through the pitfalls of life.

    I love your upbeat and humorous take on life and its tribulations. Although it can’t be easy sometimes, your positive nature will be changing the lives of your children, and that in itself is a great thing.

    http://inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com/

  42. This is incredibly encouraging! I have a son wh will be five in May, one who will be two in June, and a five week old daughter. My oldest has Autism, and there are days I wonder if I’ll keep my sanity! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  43. You are quite an awesome lady! I admire your compassion and your ability to accept people right where they are. More people like you would make the world a better place.
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  44. I just discovered your blog. Just from this intro you seem like you must have amazing coping skills and be really positive. I think people like you keep the rest of us going when things get tough. I cant wait to read more.

  45. You are an angel, you’re so amazing. To take these children in and give them love, hope and family makes you an exceptional human being.. What happened to the infant brother?

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Her infant brother was adopted by another family. We adopted Marie when she was 10 and at the same time her brother was adopted at age 3. In court, her brother didn’t know who she was and she was devastated. She kept signing to him, “It’s your sister. I fed you. I changed your diapers.” but he clearly did not remember her and clung to his adoptive mother’s leg. It was a very sad day for Marie…

  46. Sounds like God has given you what it takes to care for your family. Wow.

  47. I’m so glad wonderful people like you share such special and difficult things about your life. Thank you.

    I’ll be stopping by to read more about you!

  48. I have been reading your posts. I thank God for the wonderful person in you. You are a remarkable woman. I just can not believe…

  49. mooney=mc2 said:

    Lindsey,
    You are an amazing woman! Wow, you really give a girl some perspective. Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I am so plased to “meet” you and will add you to my reader to get to know you better!

    Yours,
    Mindy

  50. Thank you for the peek into your loving family. Humor is a gift from the Lord and seeing the funny in life’s challenges not only helps one cope, it surely smooths out the roughest edges!
    I will enjoy reading your blog.
    God’s blessing to you and yours!

  51. I just wanted to share my thanks with you. I’m a college student who had to look into a family through blogging for a class and stumbling upon yours, I’m both in awe and inspired.
    I look forward to reading more about your unique family and your humor and poise in juggling it all.
    Thank you!

  52. Hi Lindsey- I found you because you “liked” an entry on my blog. You and your family are an inspiration. I look forward to following your blog. Best wishes!
    Karen

  53. Wow…what an amazing and heart-warming story. I feel privileged for having found my way to your blog. I feel even more privileged that you would think my lowly part of the world as a place that you like. I am truly humbled. God bless you and your amazing family.

  54. Hi. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and thereby bringing me to yours. Wow, what an amazing person you must be to provide so much love and support for your family who each face such a challenge in their daily lives. I am humbled – it’s hard enough in a fully able-bodied household, so I can only imagine the strength of your character and resilience. If the blog helps, even better – I too have found it incredibly fulfilling to write and be read, to help get things out and sort of sorted out a bit. Thanks again.

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, but I really only adopt kids as a way of keeping too busy to clean house…

      • You are too funny! You have a beautiful family and a beautiful spirit and the world needs more positive people like you in it.

      • hahaha. My cleaner is on holiday and I was ready to go slummy when I remembered we have 20 people coming over tomorrow evening for a charity wine tasting (sounded more fun than the coffee morning I’m supposed to have!)… love it.

  55. ok – me bitching about my fourth graders homework! Really!? You are amazing and inspiring. I’m sure I will continue to bitch – but just for the fun of it. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Hey…getting 4th graders to do homework is hard!!! I always made it a point to have written into my children’s special education plans that they did not have to do homework…

  56. Fabulous Mommy said:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can’t wait to read more about your family.

  57. Hi,

    Thanks for visiting and for the like :-).

    You have an amazing family and it’s so wonderful that you all have each other.

    Wishing all of you the best.

  58. Good grieve, you make my life look like a breeze. You’re absolutely amazing and so strong.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  59. Wow, how amazing! Thanks for the like on my blog. I couldn’t help visit yours when I saw your blog’s name. I have worked for years with special needs children so they hold a special place in my heart. (I just had to give up my job to move to Kansas for my husband’s job though.) Wishing you all the best!!!

  60. You and your husband must be a formidable team. I salute you, the Grandfather of a beautiful little girl who has Downs.

  61. Wow. Wow. You are an inspiration. Can’t wait to read more about your interesting, beautiful, special family!

  62. Thank you for visiting my blog. It’s so great to read yours. I have Aspergers, social anxiety disorder, and OCD. My daughter has autism, PID and SPD and my son has speech issues. (My poor husband had no idea what he was getting into :D ) I enjoyed reading through your most recent posts. Sometimes finding the joy in the experience is all we have. It’s not all cake and roses, but it’s not all doom and gloom either. Your kids are lucky to have you, you understand them and that, to me, is one of the most important parts of parenting. :)

  63. Thank you for liking my blog. You are an inspiration to us all!

  64. Hi Lindsey. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and click on the Like button. Your blog is wonderful and shows how strong you are physically, spiritually and emotionally. Keep up the good work your doing here. I hope to hear from you again soon. Cheers!

  65. I know I’m seeing this so late to the game, but I’m glad you came across my blog so I could come across yours. I too have a brother who was severely brain damaged at birth and is severely developmentally disabled because of this. When I graduate from school I intend to open my home to “disabled” foster children for as long as they need, you are truly an inspiration, and I look forward to going through your blog and reading more about your family.

    harmony

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. We are “kin”, so to speak. We “get it” like so many others don’t.’
      One warning about fostering disabled children, many of them leave and it breaks your heart. It’s the ones who stay that warm your heart.

  66. Inspiring and funny, thank you. Loved the post about your brother. I lost my dad unexpectedly last year while pregnant with my first child. Knowing he’s watching over us from heaven really brings me comfort :)

  67. wow, i’m not sure how, but i’ve never come across your blog until now.. and i’m so glad that i have. i hope you don’t mind if i follow it? you have an incredible story to tell – one that many, many people (esp. me!) can probably learn a lot from – and such a huge, incredible heart.

    thanks for commenting on one of my blog posts & making me feel a lot less alone and a little more understood – it actually means a great deal to me! sending you and your wonderful family nothing but well wishes & look forward to reading more about your journey along the way.

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I’d love to have you follow me…the more the merrier!
      Although we certainly have our problems, I always try to keep the blog light and humorous if possible.

  68. Lindsey,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my new blog. It is great to know I am not just sending my life out into the cosmos, but that it is actually read by someone. You are an amazing woman! I have worked briefly with a CDMS class and had a few autistic preschoolers in my class in the time that I taught at the childcare center. Working with a few students a day was a challenging but rewarding experience; I can’t imaging being in your situation. These children are so lucky to have such an upbeat and positive person as a mother. I look forward to finding time to read more of your posts.

  69. [...] little tiny baby blog, less than twelve hours old, had its first visitor last night.  Welcome  http://5kidswdisabilities.com/about/.  I have often thought about the paralells between children adopted as a result of child [...]

  70. I’m so glad to see someone who tries to find the humor and joy in disabilities. Looking forward to reading your blog.

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      I apologize…I usually try to write humor in my posts, but my last one was a little sad…I promise humor in the next one!!!!

  71. Wow you are one incredible woman. You Give so much, I am glad you are getting some positive feedback through your blog, it’s the least you deserve.

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Thank you for your kind words, but I’m just a mom enjoying life with my kiddos…

  72. Your writing is so beautiful. Your heart shines through it! I know your life must be challenging often. Your attitude and outlook are so inspiring! Sending a hug your way…

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Thank you so much, but I just love my life. The kiddos are great and we (generally) enjoy the adventures along the way.

  73. Wow. And so many of us think we have it so bad sometimes. I’d like to encourage you to write a book to help others. It’s amazing how God works. I’m a children’s author who has just finished my first fantasy novel and my young Main Character was born with a disability. Will he or won’t he be able to accept it? Thanks for liking my post, and may God bless you and your family.

    • I have written a book, The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane, available on I-Books and Amazon. Getting it publicized and sold has been slow going!

  74. You are quite the amazing person. My parents had to deal with my neuro movement disorder – dystonia – since I was 8-1/2 years old starting at a time when virtually nothing was known about my condition. These are journeys the whole family takes. As I make my way through life, I try to walk on the sunny side of the street and find humor in difficult moments. As you well know, that is where we find our strength!

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      I have empathy for your situation, but it sounds like your family supports you. I wish you well in whatever you try to accomplish in life.

  75. It is awesome to read your blog… I grew up with ADD (before it was called ADHD with or without yadda yadda yadda cuz between you and me, they were WRONG for changing it- there is a MAJOR difference.) Anyway… I was diagnosed at 13 and has been an absolute challenge ever since (among a multitude of other “disabilities” as well) and our daughter is a sensory-seeker with integration problems. My days are never dull. :) So it is great fun to read that I’m not the only one either living with or raising someone living with “quirks” :)
    Thanks so much!
    Blessings.

  76. Wow… I count my blessings daily, including having three healthy boys (well, one is partially deaf)… but it is amazing what the right attitude will do… Stay positive… it seems like that is your nature, but keep at it anyway… God bless you for your perseverance. You are an inspiration!!!

  77. Hi Lindsey. Thank you for liking my blog. I look forward to reading your posts and will follow your blog.

  78. Benedicte said:

    Because you choose the unfair, and make it worthwhile, you are inspiring… I recently received the Lovely Blog Award, and it has the wonderful characteristic of being an award you pass on. I’m so happy to be able to award it to you! http://simpletangles.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/moved-to-tears-ive-been-awarded/

  79. I have met women of strength, but you are a woman of steel–one awesome human being.

  80. Inclusive Transcriptions said:

    Lindsey, enjoyed reading some of your posts! What a great accomplishment for Francis to get his PhD! My boyfriend is legally blind, with RP, and just about to finish his PhD also! A LONG road to haul but the light at the end is in sight! I have experienced the same as you with interpreting movies. I did it once for a friend when I really had not enough skill but I felt bad – he seemed lost. Yes fortunately now there area either caption glasses (like 3D glasses) or as you found a device that sits with you at your seat. I also wanted to mention a website that may help you- Captionfish.com. It lists movie theaters that have open captioning for movies in your area. I’m not sure where you are located but I think most places now are starting to offer it more and more, especially with all the new Captioning laws coming into effect. Give it a look – maybe you will have some luck and can find some near you.

    Cindy

    • Thank you for the information. The theater we go to now has captioning at all of the movies! (Wonder of wonders!)
      I laughed when you mentioned signing for your friend but he didn’t understand it all…when Marie first came to live with us at age 7, my signing skills were poor. We went to a kid’s lecture on the Civil War and I just kept saying men fought. fought more. men died. over and over again. (And at that time my sign for died was a slitting motion across the throat and then hanging my head to the side sticking my tongue way out.) It was so funny. Actually, that’s the gist of the Civil War, so I wasn’t too far off base!

  81. Hello Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog!

    I will come back to you in given time, as I think that your blog will help me to understand many things…

    Thank You so much for sharing your experience.

    So much love and playful energy coming your way :-)

    Caro

  82. Wow. I finished reading this and realized I was holding my breath and when I let it out tears just poured out my eyes. I’m amazed at your adventurous life ! You are an amazing women and an inspiration! Thank you for writing this and I’m looking forward to reading more :)

  83. I think I’m going to love your blog.

  84. Oh my golly gosh! Have I met superwoman! And I thought I had many issues just trying to find myself, where you’re trying to keep yourself together AND teach your children to find themselves.

    New fan right here. :)

  85. What an awesome outlook you have, I feel really delighted to have come across your blog. Much love to you from Australia xox

  86. God Bless You! You are amazing:) Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my photograph…I appreciate the feedback!

  87. Love this blog and I love you’re heart. Bless your lovely family!

  88. Oh my gosh, what an amazing story. Thank you for your beautifully written story. I found you because you followed my blog (thank you) and now I’m following you. Lovely.

  89. Any chance we could talk in person? I don’t know how to find an email address or way to message you. Hmm… You can message me from my blog, maybe?

  90. Keep smiling! Laughter is the best medicine.
    As both a former Child Protection Worker and street kid, I know all too well what it is like out there.
    Writing is extremely cathartic as is painting. A few of my poems go back and tell some of the “secrets” I was not able to.

  91. You see blessings where others would see disabilities. Finding humor in difficult situations is a great coping skill. You are an inspiration! Keep up the good work, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading more of yours. Connie

    • Thank you for your kind words. I was raised to see the silver lining. When my oldest son was born blind, my mother told me how lucky I was because he could have been born deaf/blind and developmentally delayed, (like my brother.) Whee! I thought, I’m so lucky!

  92. Thanks for checking out House of Bedlam. You have such an inspiring story.
    Best to you,

  93. Thank you for checking out our blog at newhorizonsinc. I am inspired by yours! I will share your blog with our residents here. I am sure they will all enjoy reading of your experiences.

  94. Wow. I am HIGHLY looking forward to reading your blog. I’m glad you stopped by mine so it could lead me back to yours!

  95. barefootseasons.wordpress.com said:

    Amazing! thank you for sharing YOU! you may enjoy Love is the Color of a Rainbow! http://www.kathyparra.com

  96. Profoundly moved, just reading your “About us” page! You are an inspiration and I look forward to following your blog and your many adventures.

  97. My Mum always bought me up to trust thatmy disability was never and should never be a defining element of my life. She pushed me to achieve, achieve, achieve. Due to her strength and determination rubbing off on me I have a first class honours degree, I used to work asa Dramatherapist for adults with severe disabilities (some similar to my own, Cerebral Palsy) and I’m currently doing an MA at a prestigious Drama School I’ve wanted to go to for the last 5 years! Hopefully, once my baby’s born and my Masters is complete, I’ll get to do a PhD just like your son. Although, I don’t think I’m quite good enough to go to Cambridge like him! Your kids are obviously a credit to you. They sound like great people and I’m rather jealous of their achievements. Just goes to show, disability means nothing with the right mindset. Thank you for taking the time out to read my work :) xx

    • You are an amazing person. The moms can create the atmosphere, but it is you, (and my children with disabilities,) that have to do all of the hard work. Congratulations on your success!

  98. Thank you. I look forward to following your family! X

  99. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I, too, am raising a daughter with disabilities….

  100. Thanks for liking a post of mine. I look forward to going through some of your older posts and receiving new ones so I can learn from your amazing experiences with your own kids!

  101. Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post. I look forward to reading more of your adventures. I also have five kids, so we already have that in common!

  102. Chaitali Das said:

    I have a older son with Aspergers and a younger son who is just plain mischivious. I feel so stressed out from time to time as my husband is posted somewhere else and I am raising them alone. Your blog and your story is now an inspiration for me to carry on for if you can with 5 wonderful children, so can I.

    • Yes,sons like that can be a real handful. I have learned that a major source of stress for others is what other people think. I know that I, and I’m sure that you, are doing the best you can. I don’t worry about others…

  103. Wow. All I can say is wow. You must be one incredible mama!

  104. Hi Linda. I wanted to stop by and thank you for liking one of my recent posts. I appreciate you taking the time to consider the personal application of the questions, lessons and articles. And any feedback you have along the way is appreciated.

  105. AnElephantCant help thinking
    You have quite a lot on your plate
    He is pretty sure
    You are a successful doer
    And he thinks what you do is just great

    Superb.

  106. This story in your life event is a powerful testament off facing obstacles and persevering with daily challenges again and again and again make electric choice is and creating a masterpiece

  107. Glad you stopped by our blog! Wow…I thought MY kids had problems! All we had was allergies, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, a touch of dyslexia, abit of OCD and now, osteoporosis! We got off easy compared to you. Great to see you too believe laughter goes a long way to getting one through the day.

  108. Awesome therapy!

  109. Hi,

    I have started reading your blog and am really enjoying it.

    Thanks for liking mine!

    Matt

  110. what a remarkable family! i appreciate your heroic efforts to make the world a better place by taking care of people who genuinely need lots of loving care. i’m also pleased to hear that you’ve gained so many readers in such a short time. your story is absolutely original and startling to behold. thanks also for liking some of my blog posts.

  111. Thank you for checking out my blog. What an amazing story you have! I’ve enjoyed reading some of your posts. you have a great outlook on life!

  112. Wow – have been reading some of your posts. What an amazing person you are. The world is a better place with people like you in it. Thanks for sharing your story – and for giving the kids you care for a voice and a place to call home :)

  113. Wow, I really take my hat off to you and admire your strength of spirit and generosity of heart. You visited my blog and I’m now very glad to have found yours. My brother is schizophrenic and has Aspergers and I’ve done some one on one work with autistic children in a primary school setting and feel drawn to more of this work because I learn so much from being with people who have different abilities to me. I’ll have a look through the rest of your blog now…

    • My brother was also schizophrenic and developmentally delayed. I think us having a sibling with disabilities lets us automatically empathize with individuals with disabilities.

  114. Thanks for visiting my blog! I love your writing! Being a mother of a child with a seizure disorder, ADHD, and anxiety and depression, I love to read your blog because it makes me realize I am not alone!

  115. I like your blog. Eugenia Renskoff

    • No, I just love kiddos and hate to clean house. By having so much to do (doctor appointments, etc,) I never have time to clean….awww, gee…someone else has to do it! I’d much rather play with kiddos than clean, so it is a win win situation.

  116. Thank you so much for finding me over at Armoured Up so that I could make my way here. What a force you are, sister!! Blessings to you and all of your beautiful children.

  117. Hi Lindsey,
    Thanks for visiting our blog, from one big family to another! You are an inspiration!

  118. The world could do with more amazing people like you! You are my inspiration!

  119. hi lindsey, i just read your blog for the first time. i have so much admiration for you.

  120. I have just nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Here’s the link to my post if you are interested in re-posting: http://harrietmuller.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/one-lovely-blog-award-thank-you/

  121. Wow. You blew me away. Your writing is remarkable. But your outlook and sense of humor are absolutely incredible and inspiring! Thank you so much for “liking” my blog…..I’m so happy to meet you! Darlin’, you have plenty of love and support on WordPress! You’re in good company here. As I’ve said only once before . . . welcome, we’ve been waiting for you! Love & blessings to you! xoxoJulia

  122. Wow….amazing, just simply amazing. You sound like THEE Wonder Woman!

    • It’s funny, but I think of myself as completely normal. I am just a regular mom doing what she likes best. I’d much rather raise kiddos than clean house! it is much more fun…

  123. So far I have just read your “About” section but I am intrigued to read more! It sounds like you are a fantastic woman who has given several children in need a great home. I am amazed that, unlike others in similar situations with varying severity, that you sound upbeat and completely at peace with everything.

    • I am fortunate in that I was raised to think that anything was possible and that nothing was ever a problem. It is in my nature to be upbeat and optimistic. I figure I’m doing the best I can to raise these kiddos to the best of my ability, and I assume they are better off had I not adopted them in the first place. They are great kids and fun to be with!

  124. I can’t even imagine life under your roof. Bed time must be quite the adventure. I’m naturally positive too, but I wonder what would happen if I’d chosen a path similar to yours. I do, however believe in my heart that every person who has breath has value. God don’t make no junk – to quote a poster I once read. There is no place in this world for rejection. Rejection is one absolute way to break a spirit. You’re a saint.

    • YES! God don’t make junk. That was our family motto when I was a child as we totally accepted by severely handicapped brother. I can honestly say that he lived his life to the fullest, and we were all better off for it.

  125. robinbeverly said:

    Hi, I think your blog is a great idea to highlight the fact that children with disabilities can be a huge blessing. My son Ian has Muscular Dystrophy and has been the greatest gift to me. I hardly think of it anymore because we’ve learned to adapt until the next health hurdle. Bless you for your insights.

    • Thank you for your comments. I think parents with children with disabilities understand where I am coming from. Other parents see it as heroic or amazing when, in reality, it is just our matter of fact daily lives with our very lovable children!

  126. Thanks for stopping in and liking my “Conquering Fears” post. Gee, you are amazing. Compared to you I have nothing to complain about. Good luck to you and your wonderful family.

  127. Wow, I just ‘found’ your blog… (or rather you found mine).. I am guessing you are something along the lines of a saint! If it’s sometimes overwhelming to have one kid, can’t imagine what sort of daily adventures you have with 5 !!
    I admire your outlook and look forward to reading more…

    • Thank you so much, but I am no saint. I am just a mom raising her kiddos and having great fun. Besides, as I’ve said before, I HATE to clean house. I”d much rather play and love the kids, which leaves no time for cleaning…

  128. I am just blown away by your, do you know I don’t know what the word I am looking for is! If it presents itself to me you will be the first to know. You are a rare and blessed breed, and I don’t say that lightly. You have your hands full and by the way things are going you are doing a wonderful job.
    I understand how cathartic and stress relieving blogging can be. Blogging has been my saviour too. May you always have the strength to cope I am following you now. I am pleased and grateful that you visited and liked my Crow angel. Good luck to you all. Hugs willow. ;-)

  129. meandmymenopause said:

    Oh my lordy, you are a gift from the gods to this world. I came to visit you to say thanks for stopping by my blog. I always like to read the “about” page and I was blessed with your words. You are such a special person, making such a huge positive and loving impact on other peoples lives. I can’t wait to read the rest of your blog. Take care xxx

  130. Hi and thanks for swinging by my blog.
    I wrote a short story about a boy with Aspergers on this blog, which I thought might interest you; http://kateswaffer.com/2012/04/09/a-short-story-and-too-tired-for-a-real-blog/
    Keep up the great writing and wonderful parenting :-)

  131. Perspective: now I have it. I just wish I had at least half of your grace, too. Thank you for leading me to your wonderful blog.

  132. You seem to be an amazing mother Linda. Your wonderful spirit of acceptance must be one of your greatest assets.
    I am bipolar and my sister Carmen is legally blind due to being dropped on her head when she was 40 days old. The first 19 posts of my blog http://coconutspeak.wordpress.com is about my youth and there are two posts ‘Carmen’ and ‘Blue Trunks’ that may interest you.

  133. I love your blog and I’m grateful we found one another today.

  134. I found your blog and spent 2 hours yesterday reading your stories on the tiny screen of my phone…You and your children are amazing and inspiring!

  135. Wow. Your “About” just made my day. Thank you!

  136. Just found you and can’t wait to start reading regularly:)

  137. I’m so glad I found you–your blogs are very compelling, and I look forward to reading more–and your book as well.

  138. Thanks so much for your letting me find your blog. Great stuff. Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Brett

  139. Hi Linda

    I very much like your about page and can certainly agree your life and that of your children is extremely interesting. I feel unless you have life experiences of disability issues, other people have great difficulty in understanding how you can progress through life. They perceive disability only as a problem and not all the other aspects that are around giving enjoyment.

    My best wishes for your future life and of your delightful children.

  140. marymeddlemore said:

    You are indeed a rare and blessed breed – as someone here said. Your writing made me think of Children of a lesser god that I saw a long time ago. It is so inspiring. Thank you.

  141. It is amazing that you have time to write!

  142. Wow, what an amazing family! You must be incredible parents to be able to do what you do and to even blog about it! I’m very impressed!

  143. Hi Linda,

    Thank you for “liking” my most recent post on “Into the Dance” (the one about celebration and Thanksgiving). And thank you for sharing your experiences with others via the wonderful (if ambiguous) world of blogging!

    I work with adults with developmental disabilities myself. It is a challenge, but I have never had a more humanizing experience than interacting with this population. I very much look forward to your future posts.

    Best Wishes,

    -Dan

    • Thank you for your comments. I am lucky I was raised with a brother who was developmentally delayed, because being around individuals with disabilities has always been natural to me.

  144. Your blog is awesome!

    I can’t imagine how you find the time to do it. Your writing is lovely and inspiring. I am humbled AND energised to strive more.

    Thank you!

  145. I am not a religious person, but gods bless you (though I think you would say they already have) for accepting the challenges along with the delights of mothering these children.

  146. You’re awesome Linda. I know that saying that won’t change a thing but I had to say it. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  147. I am fascinated by your story and look forward to reading more!

  148. I hope your lifes journey this holiday season is one of peace and joy!

  149. Hello! I nominated you for a Liebster Award: http://laughingmom.com/2012/11/25/liebster_award/. Keep up the good blogging!

  150. Thank you again for visiting and liking my blog. I meet with special needs kids weekly in one of my school libraries, and these sessions make me appreciate even more what you, and all parents of these special children, do day in and day out.

  151. I followed your “like” back here, thank you for finding me. :D My grandson Hayden is an aspy. Brilliant beyond belief, but can’t tie shoes or work zippers. He’s been the most amazing and enchanting child I have ever had the pleasure of working with. You and I have several similarities including a severely handicapped brother of whom I am guardian, two adopted kids (though I have a hard time remembering which two they are and both have overcome their trauma of their early years) and two born to me and my husband. Four fabulous grandchildren all being brilliant, beautiful, sweet and all around great people…oh, forgive me, that’s the grandma gene taking over, again. ;)

    Like you I also started blogging to help me through the trauma of life. At the time I was watching my mother die a little bit each day for ten long months. A time together I cherish, but the hardest job I have even done.

    • I also went through my mother’s death…if you look up my post on Angels Among Us, it details it. I don’t think there is anything harder in the world than caring for a mom or dad as they pass away…

  152. Hi Linda, foster and adoptive parents like you leave me in awe of your commitment and willingness to step in there where the “more sane” fear to tread. It seems that Children’s Services, regardless of the state, seem to love that so called short term placement that lasts years. Since change in these organizations takes place at a glacial pace I guess it is not unreasonable to expect that short term means decades ;-)

    I commend you for seeing the humor in life. It is far too easy to get wrapped up in what is going on and then forget that much of what happens is humerus from a slightly different perspective. It keeps us sane. Hang in there, you are clearly doing something right.

    • Thank you for the kind words. We were foster parents to 17 children, able to adopt three of them,(3 of our 5 children). Our youngest daughter, Marie, was to be with us 2 weeks. It is 9 years later…

  153. Amy Persons Parkes said:

    Sounds like you might know something about prayers! :) Your story is inspiring; I’m glad you are sharing it.

  154. Linda, Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. It truly puts into perspective how much we take for granted. You are a real life super hero, not only for your children, but to us mothers as well. Your story is amazing!! Can not wait to keep reading!!!

    • Thank you for your kind comments, but I am just a mom doing what I love to do best! Because of my upbringing, living with a mom who saw the silver lining in everything, my little brain is just always optimistic.

  155. You sound like an amazing person! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog…I will be back to yours to read more :)

  156. You are a very rare individual, one the world sorely needs. I’ll be reading your blog with great interest!

  157. Hi. You are one amazing woman. Suddenly my journey does not seem so arduous. Thank you for sharing your stories!

  158. Hi Linda! You have a great blog and I love the story behind it, keep up the good work! Thanks for stopping by my blog :) All the Best!

  159. After reading “about” page your blog means a lot more. and i know when i have the time i will definitely come back here and read all the wonderful stories of triumphs and tears. thank you and may God bless you and your family more. Keep inspiring!

  160. You are an amazing woman! I will certainly keep reading your stories so please keep sharing :)

  161. Hey Linda,
    Really great…and moving…to read your ‘about’ article. In a sort of providential way, I began working on my little Square Bear book with my kids. I have 4, and they don’t have any particular health or medical struggles. I only mention that because we wrote the book together (my 8 year old narrates) and the family unity of the project spread quite a bit among bloggers and reviewers. But then something really wonderful began to happen. Because it was a young voice and a pop-up style book format, I began getting very encouraging emails from parents of kids with certain disabilities. The arrow tabs and lack of “exploding” elements were really drawing in kids who needed a “predictable” but independent format. Basically, the kids were able to do the book themselves while not feeling that it was a reduced level. We didn’t know it would have this kind of effect, but my own kids (6,8,13, and 15) were really lifted up by the response. I was honored at your “liking” the book and just wanted to say…if we never are able to support our family on this, we are still happy! And it’s people like you who fulfill us in that.
    God bless, and may your household always be a place of strength and love. Your new fan – Eli Hooper

  162. Your blog is very relevant to my life, I have an uncle who is mentally disabled. I witnessed the ignorance around people with disabilities as a child. As a parent it has been my goal to raise a loving and accepting child of people and their differences, no matter what it may be. This blog will provide me further insight into the continued struggles my grandmother experiences as someone caring for adults with disabilities.

    Thank You! You are amazing!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. It never ceases to amaze me that most people who do not have some kind of experience with people with disabilities are afraid or look down on them. They are people just like everyone else!

  163. Your life sounds full and interesting. Did you look around and also find my other blog (which I won’t name here because this is not about me shamelessly promoting – I write it because it’s close to my heart in my work with children).

  164. Wow – thank you for the like on my blog today, and I look forward to hearing your many adventures in parenting! I, too, am somewhat challenged in the crafting department – to the great astonishment of my 8-year-old – but happily, she has many aunties to help her where mom fails. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  165. God has blessed you with a huge amount of courage and strength, but that pales to the amount of love you have for your family. I look forward to reading your stories. A bit of humour always makes the journey more enjoyable.

  166. God has blessed you with a huge amount of courage and strength, but that pales to the love you have for your family. I look forward to reading your stories. A little bit of humour really does lighten the load.

  167. I am going to have to come back and read your blog. I have a feeling I will laugh and cry at the same time. God Bless those that take on and then love those extra special kids. YOU ROCK.

  168. Hi Linda,
    Thank you for liking my post ‘Friday, November 30th 2012.’ It has made me smile to read your blog and realise which tremendously amazing people there are out there in the big wide world.
    I have been a nanny for a number of years and I volunteered with Family Services. I hope to complete my sign language course in the New Year to better assist children.
    All the best.
    ps – my dad went to Cambridge University too and lectured there for while :-)

  169. You are an amazing woman. I admire you very much!

  170. Good evening!

    Thanks for looking at my blog and liking my post!

    Sounds like you have your hands full. It is amazing the things that we can do if we are pressed into action.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

    Shawn

    http://www.shawnflaherty.com

  171. salena2012 said:

    Wow. I can’t wait to read everything!

  172. This is so inspiring. God bless!

  173. You sure are an amazing mother. It’s hard for some moms to cope with just one child with a handicap.
    I wish you luck and peace in your writing.

  174. You my dear are a saint and an inspiration. God obviously gifted you with an ability and patience to handle these poor children that have had so much stacked against them

    • Yes, I do see it as a gift from God. I am very fortunate that my little brain accepts things as they are. My rant against the police during this recent episode is probably the first thing I have ever truly been angry about.

  175. You have the heart of a lion sir, the heart of a lion.

  176. What an aweome life calling you answered! You are definitely a “chosen” one by the Father.

  177. Wow! You’re an amazing woman!
    And an inspiration to keep smiling and caring, thanks for sharing your stories?

  178. Hi Lindsay! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and reading my latest post. GOD BLESS YOU for all that you do with your children! They are certainly worth it, aren’t they? Best wishes to you and your family, and Merry Christmas!

  179. amidalife said:

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for reading and liking the post about my transgender daughter.

    I’ve read some of your posts and am glad that you’ve chosen to share your life experiences. You’re pretty awesome and so is your family!

  180. Congratulations on your positive outlook; as you’ve dicovered even that can be stressful. I’m glad the writing helps you, too. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

  181. You are an inspiration. I came here to thank you for the like on my blog post, but after reading your story, I am compelled to keep coming back.

  182. Linda,
    You are an inspiration! How wonderful you found and accepted your calling so beautifully! All the best,
    Susan

  183. Hi there. Thanks for dropping by and liking my post. Great blog.

  184. HI, Linda.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You’re quite the inspiration.
    Blessings,
    Lori

  185. You are an amazing women! I would love to read your book! I totally agree about writing as a stress reliever. I just started as well but my stories are not inspirational as yours. I complain a lot but reading your stories makes me want to run, hug and kiss my children right now! God Bless YOU!

  186. Courage, compassion and commitment. These are the qualities I hear echoing through your blog, over a base of love with the spice of humor. You are beautiful.
    Thank you for stopping by The Brass Rag. I hope we can ofer you a little additional “stress relief.” Come back and see us again soon. Meanwhile, live well and happy writing.

  187. LOL I couldn’t help chuckling as I read about your daughter who can’t stand tags on her clothes. Both I and my 88 year old Aspergerian father carry pocket knives so that we can (among other things) remove the offending tags from our clothes; and neither of us wears a bra. He wouldn’t, even if he was female, because like me, he can’t stand tight or scratchy things contacting his skin!

    I get around the “bra” issue by wearing two or three tank tops under baggy shirts of the button-up, non-stretchy variety. Since I don’t care what other people think, it’s not an issue for me ;-)

    You’re an amazing wonderful kind giving person.

  188. Haha looks like someone got to it first! My name’s Katie. I have muscular dystrophy. I’m an English major in my second year of college, and I love to write, so my mom suggested we write a book together about our adventures! Your kids sound super cool, by the way!

    • Good luck to you and your mom in writing a book. I think writing is a great way to work through your feelings, and share them with others.
      My kids are super cool. I am very lucky!

  189. Thank you for visiting and liking my blog. I’m inspired by what I’ve learned about you. Your kids are very lucky indeed.

  190. What a wonderful thing you have given these children. And good for you for finding relief through writing! Take care of yourself, too.

  191. You have quite a full and busy life – I’m inspired by the loving care you are giving to your kids! Keep up the good work…you are amazing! :)

    • Thank you for your kind comments, but I am just a mom who happens to love her kiddos. I was raised not to worry about things. If you read my post about A Christmas Gift from Above, you will see that I have an “inside line” to God. Knowing for sure that He is there makes all of the difference in the world.

  192. Thank you for caring, loving and taking care of not only “one of us” but 5… I only have to look to myself and know how difficult 1 can be, dealing with 5… you must be one helluva strong and loving woman!! I’d give you a hug if I could. I guess you’ve found out by now that even if we that have been to hell and back as children are difficult to get close to, but once you’ve managed to get through our defenses, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to help you if and when you’d need it, regardless of our own “demons”.
    You have my utmost respect!
    //Kitty

    • Each of my children have different demons, and I love them all unconditionally. It is really no harder to love 5 than it is to love 1.
      I have such empathy for your in your travels through life.

  193. You are in inspiration! Thank you for sharing your stories and heart.

  194. Dear Linda, I came to visit your blog and I discovered a very fine woman, and wonderful mother. I will not be reading your blog. I am just unable to do so. I never read just about anything having to do with children, because my childhood was a terrible nightmare, and I can’t bear to be reminded of it. But I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done for your children… and how much that gives me hope for the world. When I was a child, I was seen as a ‘gifted child’, but unfortunately, I was too different from all the other children around me, and also born into some very negative circumstances, and so I was completely alone till I grew up. My parents didn’t know how to raise me, and had problems of their own, and so I got very little help. I think it’s wonderful that you overcame the disadvantages, and raised your children to enjoy and appreciate life. I wish both you and them every success.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. I have such empathy for you having a poor childhood, especially the lack of understanding about being gifted. It is hard to develop your gifts if they are not understood and encouraged.
      You could come back and read my blog…I promise not to write anything that will bring up bad memories. I usually write upbeat, humorous posts!

      • Believe me, I can’t. And I know that after what you’ve been through, you can understand that. I haven’t told you even a small part of what I went through. I never usually talk about that past. But I am terribly scarred… and grateful that when I grew up, I was able to live a good life, and raise five children of my own, and even contribute to society. I have been fortunate in life, and for that I am grateful. But the scars stayed with me. I haven’t read Dickens, and many great books because of that. I wish I could read your blog… but I can’t.

      • I will be thinking of you and wishing you peace…

  195. Thanks for stopping by my site (http://300wordlimit.com) and I look forward to reading your stories. I, too, raised a difficult child and have just started blogging for my sanity.

  196. Hello. I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Please stop by and check it out here: http://debdundas.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/very-inspiring-blogger-nomination/

  197. You are a blessed blessing! I am praying for your daughter who was spoken about in your most recent blogs. Also for your heart. HUGS!

  198. I don’t know how someone takes on such a difficult lifestyle, it would be very hard for me to work with disabled children as an occupation. I’m very happy that there are people out there like you, for the sake of the children needing such heaps of extra care, realizing it, and doing it. I hope this blog relieves much of your stress (surely nothing can relieve all of it), and I hope the book is a big success and helps you and your family also.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I love working with kiddos all around, I’d volunteered or worked with children with disabilities for a good 20 years before I had kids. Of course, when they are your own responsibility, it is a little more difficult,but still fun for the most part.

  199. Hi there,

    As a child of abuse AND an adult with Cerebral Palsy and Bipolar Disorder, your story REALLY hits home for me. You are a saint. To adopt these children and take on their problems out of the kindness of your heart is simply amazing. I have a blog here as well, and in it I describe how my parents pretty much just locked me away and forgot about me when I was younger. My parents were told my CP was mild, but I am discovering that the effects of living “normally” as my parents made me do when I was young, are taking their toll on my body terribly now. I am 31, and can barely get around. Its a day by day thing with me.

    I suffered emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of my father and my ex husband, and thats what caused the bipolar disorder. So I can totally relate to your children. Again, you are a SAINT. I have come to terms with everything and now I am living the life I want to live and I am happier than I have ever been, seeing a shrink and everything. I have a girlfriend who is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me and as it turns out she has a background as a caregiver. If it werent for her, I wouldnt know half of the things I do about myself. Shes my angel.

    Your blog really touched me. Thank you so much for sharing. You DO make a difference!

    • I am definitely not a saint. I just happen to be lucky enough to have been raised by a mom who loved everyone and everything.I love my kiddos unconditionally. I am so sorry that your parents did not. I have read your blog, and have such empathy for you as I see your story repeated in the early childhood of my children Marie and Angel. When early memories are not that of unconditional love, it is hard to get over that. Thank goodness you have made such progress and that you have such a supportive person by your side.

  200. Your kindness is very inspiring. Thank you for being who you are.

  201. Hello, Like so many before me have said your post touched me, I find you to be truly amazing. So many individuals are so much better off having you in their life. Thank You, I would also like to thank you for stopping by my blog and “liking” my post. Please take care, Bill

  202. God Bless! Inspiring! :)

  203. maryamchahine said:

    Not everyone can do what you are doing…it takes a big heart!

  204. Your blog infuses so much hope in humankind. Resilience, they say, is a very important life skill. But sometimes, we just don’t seem to be able to jump back. Your life is a lesson in how to do this, every time. I learnt other lessons too: tenacity, perseverance and to find happiness instead of looking for sadness. Thank you for leading me to your life’s story. I will share many of the lessons I have learnt from you with people I know.

  205. Hi Linda, Thank you for sharing all that you share on your blog.
    Clarabelle

  206. Hi Linda,
    It’s great to meet you. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about you and your children. You say you are a “proud mother” and who wouldn’t be proud of what your lovely children have achieved? Your last commenter is right – you look for happiness where others would only see sadness. It’s a rare gift. Happy Christmas to you and yours.
    Helena

  207. Linda, Hi, I understand your situation very well as I have a Nephew who has Cerebral Palsy is unable to talk, walk or use his hands, almost completely paralyzed from neck down, But a really wonderful young man.
    Your have a wonderful Christmas with your very unusual family.
    Hugs

  208. Hi Linda, I just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Congratulations!

  209. Hi, I think what you are doing in this blog is wonderful. I support you and I cannot wait to read more! Well done :)

  210. How did you find time to read my post? Just kidding! I believe in a balanced universe and now know where all of my energy is. You have it to deal with all of our compassionate outreach to children in need. Writing is a great way to learn a great deal. I have had a wonderful time writing both of my books and multiple websites and blogs. I learn more from the writing than I could ever hope to without it. My goal is to live well whatever comes my way. You are more a seeker of challenges and I salute you for your generosity of spirit.

    • I was actually having problems sleeping and checked out your post in the middle of the night. Your theory about a balanced universe caught my eye. I can’t say I understand it, but I also try to live well whatever comes my way. I guess we have the same mantra, just different philosophies about how we get there!

  211. What an interesting blog and life you have! Thanks for blogging — I’m learning things.

  212. Greetings Linda, thank you for visiting my blog today and ” liking” my post about grief. Your story is very compelling. My late son had CP and my husband and I have remained active in our local CP affiliate. My husband is now Chairman of the Board of NYS Cerebral Palsy Association. We do what we can. So do you. Blessings to you.

    Jude

  213. We all have messages that are in our heart to share for others only if their cup is not full.

    I enjoy this life because we can learn a lot here and also in the spirit world.

  214. I didn’t know how else to reach you so I decided to comment here. I am relieved that you agree with my view on the Newtown tragedy. Knowing several people with mental and developmental disorders, I believe that these unfounded theories are very hurtful and unkind

  215. I have just scratched the surface reading your blog–what amazing strength you have, and what a beautiful family. I look forward to reading more!

  216. Hats off! What an inspiration you are! I am totally awe-stricken. world needs more people like you. (even one-tenth of yours strength will do)

  217. Hi Linda, the next time I come across a parent who is complaining about how tough it is raising kids, I am going to invite them to read your words above. You are doing a great thing by telling your story.

  218. We married in June 1973 at 23 and by October 1974 we were house parents at an emergency shelter in Louisville, KY. 16 beautiful children of every color and kind came into our home in a converted church fellowship hall. I appreciate you and your great and powerful love: patient, kind, filled with faith and hope. “Love one another as I have loved you.” You got it Linda.
    Jay

  219. I admire your love and compassion. You have taken Gods command to love one to your hearts. I look forward to knowing you through your writing and how we can encourage and uplift each other. God bless you and your family in the New Year.

  220. What an inspirational story! I can’t wait to follow ur blog!

  221. you have a very big heart, and your love reaches people and places i am sure you wouldn’t have imagined. thanks for your blog!

  222. Hello again! I had to nominate seven blogs for the Beautiful Blogger Award. It was quite hard but you have been chosen. If you want to participate you can find the rules here http://beinquisitive.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/beautiful-blogger-award-i-am-nominated/. Keep up with the good work!

  223. Lindsey,

    You are truly an inspiration. Thank you for being the person you are. You, and people like you are the reason my blog is alive today. Thank you. Namaste.

    Daikue

  224. I love your blog so far. I love your attitude! I wish more than anything I could sit down and have coffee with you. You seem like a very loving and interesting person. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  225. Wow!! You have quite the family. I look forward to reading more about them in your posts.

    Blessings for a happy new year 2013!

  226. Linda, you are an inspiration. Period.

  227. I have 5 kids ttwo have autism 1 has low end the other high endd children with disabilities is like having 5 trees and they all want to grow up and be a tree. We may want eagle’s that fly but after all they are a tree and they will demand to be one.

  228. This is a lovely blog. I have passed the link to this over to my mother (I have a younger brother who is severely autistic) as I think she will enjoy this greatly.

    Hope you don’t mind.

  229. you are so blessed! and a blessing! may God multiply your life into others who will do great things as you are :D

  230. Shannon Pardoe said:

    You are truly inspirational and I admire your strength very much

  231. You are simply amazing! Namaste, my dear sister, you love your children just as Christ loves and how blessed they are to have found you.

  232. Your blog is a gem. I am excited to read more of your posts! You sound like a modern day superwoman (:

    • Na…not a superwoman. I just love kiddos. I don’t do well cleaning. (In fact,it was a joke with my husband that every time one of my children would get a little bit older and not be so much “work”, I needed to get another child. Otherwise I’d have too much free time and I would be expected to …UGH… clean!

  233. I admire your strength and the humor you find in even the stressful situations!

  234. Thanks for writing this wonderful blog. Keep up the great work. Best wishes for the new year to come.

  235. Inspirational stories such as this are truly humbling.

  236. I am a retired teacher and the proud single parent of a former student. He had major medical, emotional, and behavioral issues but is slowly overcoming them. He is an English major and a wonderful writer. However, I am amazed at the depth of your love. The time raising just one “healthy” child is demanding.

    Being a single parent raising one child w/special needs was almost more than I could handle, but a choice I am glad I made. God has equipped you with wonderful skills to guide, love, teach, and help the children you have adopted. They are so lucky to have you! I praise God for your servant’s heart which is so full of unselfish love.

  237. I am new to the blogging world and don’t know how to send you an email directly. I was wondering if you might be interested in using our blogs in ways I’ve been reading about- doing guest entries, etc. I can be reached at darcy.helpforhealing@verizon.net if you think you might be interested! Thanks :)

  238. What a treasure you are to your kids and the world. I’m looking forward to reading more about your story – I’m humbled by your perspective and your deeply grounded heart. Blessing to you and your family!

  239. What an amazing story. You are wonderful! Happy New Year!

  240. I hear you, Linda. I admire your strength and your humor.

  241. What an adventure you have been on and continue to be on! Bless you for showing these children what a loving home is! And thank you for sharing your stories with us!

    Wishing you and yours a healthy and wonderful 2013!

  242. You are aMAZing (as are your kids)! Happy New Year!

  243. Hello Linda. I read your most recent post and then read your “About” page and all I can say is that I am speechless. You are indeed a remarkable woman. Your children will be eternally grateful to you for your love and support.

    Happy New Year! I hope it brings to you all that you hope for and more :)

  244. Linda, my hat goes off to you. You found my blog on raising my severely intellectually disabled Girl, and the ‘adventures’ we have. Well done you.

  245. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! Where do you find the energy? Amazing! Hope to see more of you in 2013. Best wishes.

  246. This is a wonderful blog you have here. God bless you as you run this marvelous race He has set before you…

  247. I’m glad to have come across your blog and beautiful family. You are truly an inspirational woman with a Heart of Gold!

  248. Your about page is truly inspiring. My wife and I are raising two children with ASD and other challenges. I’ll be subscribing to your blog for doses of humor and inspiration

  249. [...]  Read the rest of this inspiring story at this link.  And don’t miss Linda’s ABOUT [...]

  250. Oh my…I stand in awe (with a tear in my eye) after reading this. People like you are the ones who give me hope when everything seems so dark (at times). Thank you for sharing.

  251. I just read your about me and I am so looking forward to looking through your blog. I am actually in the process of becoming a foster parent so I can be a relative placement for my cousins. You have a great way of telling a narrative just as if you were talking, love it!

  252. You should really know that you are an inspirational person

  253. I look forward to reading more of your experiences as mother to such unique children. Hopefully I will learn a thing or two!

  254. You life sounds very busy and very blessed! Best wishes to you and your family (and their families!) in 2013.

  255. Michael Busby said:

    I love this blog! It’s uplifting, funny and personal! LOVE IT!!!

  256. I’ve truly enjoyed reading and learning from your blog! You have many unique challenges, but you have turned them into gifts. Thank you for sharing these gifts with us so we can all learn and grow as a result of your experiences. Bless your family!

  257. Linda, Light and joy and grace and humor to you and your blessed family! I am so glad to have found you here! ~marissa

  258. Read you blog a book descriptions. Amazing. I have ponderings of fostering also in the future. Our first is from Guatemala and second is domestic. They are our gifts from God. Thanks for the like. Please refer and share so we can together help other families welcome their gifts home.

  259. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! In looking through yours, You’re a truly inspirational women ! I’m so pleased to have connected with you. I will be following your blog. Wow, you are doing amazingly.

  260. I love your blog and look forward to your posts!

  261. Wow – you have given me hope and made me smile at 1 am…thank you!

  262. I really enjoyed the posts I read and will be back for more!

  263. Oh my word… if anyone ever complains to me again, I’m referring them to your blog. You and your family are inspirational!!! I’ll be back to continue reading the story. HUGS

  264. PS I’ve just posted a link to your blog on my FB page!!!

  265. you are a beacon of light and an anchor of energy….blessings. what a journey. thank you for sharing and being an inspiration to all.
    namaste.

  266. Hi there!
    Thank you so much for liking my post ’3 Photographs’. I’ve just had a browse through your blog and I am now following you. What an amazing journey your life must be and so great for you to share it with the world!

    I’m not a huge fan of social media (I don’t even have a Facebook page!), but with my mum’s passing I have found blogging incredible cathartic and I completely understand why you blog name refers to staying sane! Now I can really see that blogging can serve a purpose beyond simple vanity (unlike a lot of other social media), especially inspiring blogs like yours. Thank you for sharing and I am sorry to see that your brother passed away in 2011, I’m sorry for your loss and hope you are in a better place in you grief now sometime has passed.

    Take care and keep in touch!

    kx

  267. You and your family stay blessed, and sane lol!

  268. [...] Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog – http://5kidswdisabilities.com/ [...]

  269. I came across your blog because you liked a post I published. After reading some of your posts, I was wondering if we could chat sometime, maybe via instant messenger or facebook? I have wanted to adopt since I was little, and I’ve had so many people try to discourage me from doing so, but I really want to give some children a home. I would love to be able to pick your brain sometime.
    ~Liv

  270. Keep smiling in the face of adversity. It’s the only way to stay sane. Love your blog and wish you and your family well.

  271. Hi Linda,
    You are indeed a brave person and an outstanding mother raising so many disabled children. The world needs more people like you. Best Regards,
    Roy.

  272. Really funny story about the snake. I really enjoyed it.

  273. Very inspirational and powerful story. My baby brother is deaf and has Goldenhar syndrome. He is a terrific kid. Your blog is amazing, and thanks again.

  274. Hi Linda,
    I’ve been checking out your blog and I love it! You are great at telling stories and such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  275. “Thank You” for what you are doing giving those kids a stable family life. Imagine what the world would be like if all of us were so understanding to kids like yours.

  276. Hi Linda… I think your blog is awesome, wow…the book would defiantly be an interesting read.

  277. Looking through your site has been so inspirational and life-affirming. Thank you!

  278. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry after reading this post. You are such an inspiration. God bless you and your wonderful family.

  279. Hi Linda,

    Thank you so much for liking my recent posts. If you’re really enjoying my blog, please feel free to follow and receive e-mail updates.

    Also, loving your Jelly Bean post – I was thinking of doing a similar one in the coming weeks – will make sure to link the two when I do :)

    Keep up the great work!

    kx

  280. wow, you are amazing and very kind hearted too. I would be sure to follow your blog. Lovely blog and an even lovelier you :-)

  281. You have a wonderful blog :)

  282. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Once upon a time, I trained to be a foster parent, but because of illness I never had the privilege of following through with providing foster care. Instead, God gave me my soul mate and his three children to raise after they lost wife/mother to a sudden heart attack. While my children haven’t suffered some of the tragedy you have described, they have certainly been challenged by the tragedy of losing a parent at young ages. Your blog encourages me with your positive outlook and love/acceptance for your children. May God give you strength and wisdom as you give of yourself to them! Thanks for sharing.

  283. May you be blessed because you are a blessing.
    We all are differently-able.
    Your gratitude list that I looked at today is amazing. May love and laughter continue to inspire your wonderful family.

  284. Hey Linda, what you are doing is remarkable and beyond imagination. God Bless all ur children and ofcourse for being such a beautiful mother to all of them.

    • It would be great if i could use your help in creating some awareness through your blog to end second generation trafficking.
      Please let me know. :)

      Thank You.

  285. Oh my goodness you certainly have a full plate but I love your blog and the hope it gives me. I am new to the blogging world and haven’t written about them yet but my oldest son has Asperger’s and my husband has ADD. Reading your blog made me smile! Thank you!

  286. Life is full of bumps and hurdles. This is even truer with regards to children (well, adults too) with disabilities. I am happy that these children were lucky enough to be born in or find a family that had the will, dedication, resourcefulness and courage to take on the challenge head on and help them through the obstacles that they faced. I can’t wait to read the rest of your blog and am eager to read your book.

    Sophie

  287. You are an amazing woman!

  288. I’m in awe of what you handle on a daily basis!

  289. Your story was very moving.

  290. What an amazing and accomplished woman you are! I have 3 children and can hardly keep up, and you have 5 children with varying disabilities and they are all accomplished as well! I think you are a rock star!

  291. Thank you GOD for women like you!.. you make the world a better place.!!

  292. I’ve only read your ‘about’ and I’m already hooked. Will read more when I get the time. You sound like an amazing mum.

  293. I am looking forward to reading more!

  294. Grateful for your blog, loved reading through some of your posts this morning. Your kids are blessed to have such a great mom as you!

  295. Feeling Joy said:

    You are an inspiration! All of our stories are precious gifts! ~Pam

  296. We have one beautiful challenged Grandson we are raising! He also was a product of two parents addicted to Heroin and Cocaine! He has been an absolute blessing in our life! I too write to relieve stress! Some days are overwhelming! At 50 I never thought! After raising 5 babies of our own it has been a mission! A lovely one at that! God bless!

  297. I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! I enjoy reading your posts. Display it with pride.

  298. I love this! So heartwarming and positive and inspiring. Perspective is everything life, and you have made joy out of what many would see as a hardship x

  299. Sounds like you have an incredible family – look forward to reading more of your posts in the future! :)

  300. I am going to have to keep up to date with your life because raising one son with autism and what seems like a strike on school alone is all to frustrating. Looking for some keys to help me out.

    • I have such empathy for you. Fortunately, I live in a wonderful school district where my children have all received a wonderful education. It was a lot of give and take on both parts, but we always ended up respectfully agreeing in the end. I am SOOOOOOO lucky!

      • Yes, you are very fortunate because living in North Carolina their are very few alternatives for our children as far as schooling goes. I believe that God is going to do a work on him though. He brought home a perfect score for a quiz he took so I am feeling very encouraged right now.

  301. You are amazing! Well done, this is a great blog, and I look forward to reading more on it everyday.

  302. Geez, I don’t know how you do it! I have 2 teenage girls and most days I barely get things done…too busy blogging :-)
    Kudos to you!

  303. Wow, you are an inspiration! Reading this really touch my heart. Thank you for sharing. You are an amazing person

  304. Wow! I am so impressed and humbled by your story! You are a true example of resilience, perseverance, and compassion. God bless you abundantly! :)

  305. Wow! I’m in awe of you! You’re so inspiring! Your children are very lucky to have such a super mum and you are very lucky to have wonderful children that have achieved amazing feats despite their difficulties. I think you’re all wonderful. Looking forward to following your new adventures and smiling along with you. =^.^=

  306. Laurie-Ann Simpson said:

    Keep writing. You are an inspiration to us all.

  307. stormyslayersharon said:

    I only had time this morning to read this blog but can’t wait until I get home to read the rest that I have missed. You are an awesome person and I totally salute you!

  308. Thank you for all you do. Being a teacher, I appreciate your devotion to children. The greatest gift is in the service of others. May the Gods continue to shine upon your loving soul.

  309. I enjoyed the “About” section and look forward to reading more posts.

    BTW, I was a mental health counselor for more than a decade, was a roommate/caretaker to a 50 y/o gentleman with Downes for 3 years and have worked in other positions with severly developmentally challeneged children and adults. I applaud your daily acceptance of this role. I am sure they are as much of a blessing to you as you are to them.

  310. Hello. As a disability service provider and someone who has a disability, I appreciate the difficult road you travel each day. May you keep the positive outlook you have and enjoy every unique moment that being a parent of an exceptional child brings!

  311. Hi Linda! You’re a true hero, and you have a wonderful positive attitude that must surely be contagious to the rest of your family. Please keep writing — you do a wonderful job!

  312. My! It looks like you have many “ears.”. Looking forward to reading more.

  313. Hi Linda,
    Can I firstly say what an amazing impact you’ve already made on me…and I’ve only just read your “about” section! Your courage, determination and compassion is evident in the way that you write so lovingly about your very special kids. It’s comforting to know that there are people out there willing and dedicated to caring for people with mental disabilities, as they can often be overlooked in society and lack the chance of a normal life. I encourage you in every way and I absolutely cannot wait to read more about your extraordinary life!
    God bless you and your 5 angels,
    Alice x

  314. you:re amazing! you must be an angel!
    i believe that great things aso happens to real great people…
    i am looking forward to explore more and somehow be a part of your experience…

    -je-

  315. Hi, I’m glad I came here to take a look! Love your posts, keep on writing, You are a very strong mum ! Keep on going!!

  316. feelingjoy said:

    Hi Linda. Thank you for sharing your stories! We can all learn from them. Like Marie, I’m learning I have to undo patterns and beliefs that I’ve accepted for myself that are lies and do not support the truth of who I truly am. I believe we all do and this takes great courage the older one is because we’ve fed and held onto the beliefs and patterns for so long, it’s what we know and feels comfortable and at the same time feels emotionally painful. I believe we are all precious and perfect. Our physical sight blinds us. Many blessings to you and your family! ox

  317. As the mom of a special son, I know there can be humor in unexpected situations. I’m looking forward to visiting your blog often.

  318. Wow, what a remarkable person you must be. My work with injured soldiers is important, but pales in comparison to your lifetime commitment to these kids.Keep up the good work!

    • Your work with soldiers with PTSD is as important because they have chosen to sacrifice the quality of their lives for our country. I have such empathy for them…having chosen to be put in harms way. Of course, a child has no choice…
      Either way, it is a difficult and heart rending situation for all involved, especially those who have no control over their thoughts.

  319. I salute Moms like you!!! You’re inspiring! I’ll link your site to mine as i advocate for PWDs here in our country.

  320. hi linda just wanted to say that you are awesome. this world will be a better place with people as caring, dedicated and generous as you

  321. Your story is very inspiring and I look forward to following your story.

    -Christine

  322. You are inspiration x

  323. What an amazing story, and an even more amazing family! I have 3 kids, the 2 oldest have been part of an integrated program in a special needs preschool. As typically developing kids, they get to be in the classroom to role model behavior, language skills etc etc to special needs kids of all physical, emotional and intellectual abilities. It has been such an honor to be a part of this wonderful school! My children now have many special needs friends and the cool thing is that they don’t even know it!! I applaud you for your life, and really enjoy you candidness. BTW, are you on FB or twitter?

    • No, I am not on Facebook or twitter. I’m not on Facebook because I try to keep some of my life private. And I don’t know how to Twitter, and I think if I did, I’d be twittering all day long!

  324. Linda, you are a true gift and an absolute inspiration.

  325. I’m intrigued and inspired by your story. Thanks for having us all along on your journey!

    Blessed be,
    Meg

  326. Hi Linda – your posts are amazing, your experiences are truly humbling.

  327. I’ve been following a few blogs these past few weeks since I’ve become a blogger myself…but I find I really, REALLY want to try and keep in touch with yours. Your positivity is so contagious as is your courage. I’ll be reading your book too, as soon as I can. I have a friend with six children, all of whom have a disability of one kind or another…a couple with aspergers, one with full-blown autism, a little girl with chronic health issues etc. She too, is amazing. So strong, so gentle, so giving…and she sure knows how to have a good time too. I think your children may have chosen you on some level, knowing that you are just the person they need in their bruised lives. By the way, you also write beautifully, not something that all bloggers do well. Good for you! Love and light…

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I think that those of us who choose to raise children with disabilities must have a gene that lets us look at the good side, otherwise we would never survive!!
      Good luck with your blog!

  328. Love what you do!

  329. God bless you and your family.

  330. Hi Linda –

    I am in awe of you! Hats off to the great work your are doing raising your kids. By being you and loving them you give them the chance of being the best they can be. I admire you and your great family. Will love to hear more.

    Elke

  331. Hearing about your family is just beautiful. Thank you for being such a dedicated and compassionate parent. May God bless you and your family!

  332. This looks interesting and a lot of fun – love your positive outlook in a situation that would have most people on tranquilizers! Have signed up to follow your blog.

  333. Your blog looks absolutely amazing and so inspirational! Looking forward to reading through your posts. Best of everything to you and your family.

  334. I am amazed, and look forward to reading more of your stories. Well done, five times over ad infinitum

  335. Like, a hundred other people below me, i am so glad you noticed one silly little post on my blog, as it meant i got to read yours. Me and my mother who is a child carer, have sat and read your blog today. I am so pleased that for every story about your family you have written that made my heart ache for some of your kid’s beginnings. You also have a ton more that made me laugh and smile.
    My mother thinks you and your husband are like a super couple, I have found it very interesting reading about a mothers viewpoint of the many disabilities and health issues you have had to deal with. (I have two very close friends, one with borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia & another with emotphobia, agoraphobia & severe anxiety and have never once seen their lives from their parent’s view points.)
    I will be checking back here from time to time to see what else you guys get up too!

    Best wishes to you & your family.

    Joey

  336. Wow. You are amazing.

  337. Linda:

    You must be incredibly strong, and which a much richer view of the human organism than most.

    My best … with much respect,

    ~kp

  338. Wow! Looking forward to reading your blog! God bless you!

  339. What an amazing story you have here!

  340. I thought I had a fairly good vocabulary but I have no words that would adequately express my amazement and admiration. With a plate as full as yours you still took time to come to my blog and like one of my posts! Please excuse my bald head as I take my hat off to you. I have only read your introduction but I’ll be back.

    • Aha! So that’s why you wear a hat!!!
      I love reading other author’s blogs, just to see that everyone is struggling as I am to sell their books. Writing is great, but it certainly doesn’t pay the bills. (A dinner out now and then, though, which is more than I had before!)

  341. My youngest has CHARGE Syndrome and is DeafBlind… http://www.kodiakmylittlegrizzly.com
    I blog to teach people about what he has and to show we love him anyway!!! :-)

  342. I’m so glad I found you! I look forward to many more inspirational blogs from you.
    Leslie

  343. Hi Linda, Rose here from Love Many Trust Few. I just wanted to let you know that after having a pretty difficult time of it the other week, I read your ‘no, no, no’ post about Marie and the reference to your book about staying sane!! I was compelled to download it that minute and I started sneaking reading time into every super busy day. It was such a great read. I loved the stories about your childhood and I really connected when you talked about fostering babies – something I have done a lot of myself (and would like to do more of). So I just wanted to thank you for getting your impressively human and compassionate story down into a great book. So good to know there are others with a similar drive to myself. My three boys have got a nice long list of diagnoses as well but I love them more than words can say. All the very best to you and your family.
    Rose

  344. Hi Linda,
    I am speechless after reading your story. Am too has a little girl with mild autism. I love her so much that at a slight sign of sickness, I am no longer a strong mama. I can’t stand seeing her in pain every time a fever strikes. Your story is one of a kind. Who am I compared to you? You’re such a miracle lady with a strong and benevolent heart. My thumbs up!

  345. I just read your about page and feel drawn to your blog. You must be an amazing woman….looking forward to read more of your blog as time allows….

  346. Reading your “About” page, I have to say I am awe-struck by the wonderful, giving love you have for your family. Your writing is filled with positivity and humor and lots and lots of love, and I admire that very much. I’m looking forward to following your blog and getting to know your wonderful, beautiful family a little more. Thank you so much for your positive, loving attitude and for writing this blog.

  347. Yipes! Indeed your “About” page feels like it must be covering 5 lifetimes! Thanks for reaching out to my blog and liking an entry. I’m always amazed by how we find one another “out there” in the cyber world. I’ll for sure subscribe to your blog and see if I can understand more fully how you fill your tanks each day and continue to display such warmth and resiliency.

  348. you are such an amazing and inspirational woman! i spent my last year volunteering and shadowing at a clinic with a nurse who worked exclusively with people with developmental disabilities; the world definitely needs more people like you.

  349. I have only managed to read your “About” page but already curtsey to your sincere love and patience; something I could learn from.

    You must have a heart of gold and I so look forward to reading more from your blog.

    Sincerely, JW

  350. You have a wonderful blog, I am following your blog now. All the best!

  351. Crazy subject to know about – you can probably get “tagless” bras (although if you daughter is just starting into them, maybe those Haynes t-shirt things will work) from the lovely people at http://www.decentexposures.com – they do custom stuff. Might not be cheap but will last. Your family life sounds like an extraordinary, overwhelming journey — I am grateful for folk like you.

  352. Hi there! I’ve just had a squizz through your blog and I have a real admiration for you. Definitely following your adventures!
    Thanks!
    Deanna, Little Blonde Lionheart

  353. Loved the stories I have read and looking forward to reading more! I have a daughter with Down’s Syndrome.She keeps me sane and keeps me laughing. I love it when she pats my arm and says “mom, you’re special”. Thank-you for taking the time to read my blog.

  354. You have my deepest admiration.

    Amy

  355. Linda, I’m looking forward to following your blog. You are one busy lady! I have someone who is very close to me who is severely mentally and physically challenged. But my situation is one, not five! Bless you!

  356. You are one amazing woman.

  357. wow… just wow.
    May God bless you and your whole family as you continue to touch lives.

  358. I haven’t read a single post, and I am already amazed! I know I will be informed, entertained, inspired, touched, rebuked and encouraged by this blog. I thank God for bringing me here!

  359. Linda, you are an inspiration to all mothers… you are one ‘Supermom”.

  360. As a parent, I will also try to write about my journey. It is wonderful to read about your challenges and being able to handle the constant change and brilliant ideas.

  361. Your kids have a great mom.

  362. Sounds like you can use some prayers from the monk whose blog you visited today.

    • I am very fortunate that things have always worked out well. I am very spiritual, (you must know a little bit about that…) I believe God has been with me guiding me on this journey.

  363. You have had your hands full! How do you do it? My oldest has ADHD with sensory issues. We are still in the process of getting to the bottom of what exactly the issue is. Some days I don’t think I have it in me to stay calm and be what he needs. However looking back on many situations I have been in I laugh. It is the only way to get through it.

    • My son, Steve, was had obvious sensory issues even when he was a baby. The only way we could live through his autistic tendencies and ADHD was to change the way we live. We have a strict routine and no extra sensory stimulation. (Even Christmases have been minimal decorations, presents, etc.) I know most parents could not change their lives around their children, but it was the only way I could stay sane. He is now a teenager who still freaks out if there are tags on his shirts or seems in his socks, but otherwise he is pretty okay. He knows now what his own limits are. He would never go to a mall or a parade. His life is simple and he likes it that way.
      If I had to do it again, and if we were not able to accommodate everything for his needs, (that is…if we had to send him to regular school and try to train him to overcome his sensitivities,) we would not have been able to adopt him and raise him as our son. I was lucky we were able to make it work, and I have such empathy for parents like you in this day and age of mainstreaming. Yours is a hard job!

      • Owen has a hard time in many situations. I have a strict routine for him so he never question what to do next. School is not easy. Life in general is not easy for him. Everyone around him always telling him no. He has a beautiful mind. Its comforting to know that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

  364. Wow! is all I can say Linda. I will be reading more from your blog. I find writing very stress relieving, too.

  365. asizCreatives said:

    I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog and I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award because I think what you do is a true inspiration. Thank you for writing and inspiring me!
    Here is the link to my nomination:
    http://wp.me/pCPXk-7A

  366. Well I am one more person “listening.” I am following you now. Thanks for sharing your family’s inspiring stories.

  367. Wow, you are an inspiration! Thank you so much for dropping by my blog… I don’t know how you get time to read anyone else’s stuff!!

  368. You are simply a great mom and a hero to many, I am starting to like you now!!! God bless you!

  369. Hi! I have to tell you that your comment in response to greatlife@31 was hilarious!
    Thanks!
    Leslie

  370. Thanks for your blog!

  371. What an inspiration you are! You’re a special gift to your family, and I’m looking forward to your future posts : )

  372. Hi, I nominated your blog for the liebster blog award. http://jenkinskatie847kj.wordpress.com/achievements/my-1st-liebster-award/ , keep up the great writing. Looking forward to your next post.

  373. I love your positivity and your words “when my children’s disabilities would not normally be considered amusing situations, I try to look at them in an upbeat, positive, and sometimes humorous manner. I am a happy and optimistic person by nature, and to dwell on their problems would make me sad, a feeling not in my repertoire.” I’ve just had some rubbish news about my daughters knee which hasn’t grown properly and your words were just the thing I needed to hear… :-)

  374. Beautiful! My daughter was written off, prior to birth even, and then after by modern medicine. We showed them!! I love what you are doing. Everything is possible. Thank you for this!! much love!

  375. Very inspiring!! Thank you!

  376. We showed your blog to Mom and she thinks it’s wonderful. She has a sister with disabilities and she thinks it’s great that you find the positives in everything. Yippeeeee and purrs for you!

  377. Hello! Just found your blog and will certainly follow. I’m a high school history teacher and nearly done with coursework for my MS in Inclusive Education . . . . I’ll pass your blog along to my cohort, too! Thank you!

    • I have a whole host of inclusive info, mostly about my son who has Dissociative Identity Disorder and my son who is blind. Despite my firm belief in inclusion, it has not in every child’s best interest. My son, Steven, who has severe ADHD, Asperger’s and OCD, was educated one on one in a very small special education school because it was the only way he could learn. (He was born addicted to heroin and cocaine and his nervous system is “all screwed up”…my mom scientific term. The stimulation of other kiddos was way too much for him to bear.) My daughter, Marie, who is deaf, has been tried in inclusive settings, but with her psychiatric problems, she is also currently in a specialized program. If she were just deaf, I would ensure she was in an inclusive setting.
      God Bless you in your work. Inclusive education is a huge challenge!

  378. Thank you for reading and liking my recent blog post! Have a great day!

  379. Can I just say you are an amazing lady, and how lucky you and your children are to have found each other.

  380. Thrilled to meet someone else who has adopted from Guatemala and has a heart for the orphans. My husband and I started a ministry to help those looking into adoption and foster care. I have a page about it on my blog.

    I love your attitude toward your children!

    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE Guatemala. My daughter and I have been fortunate to be able to go back several times to assist with the opening of a soup kitchen in Antigua. The people are so awesome and their culture is so beautiful. It is humbling that they are so happy with so little.
      Are you still involved with them? I couldn’t tell from glimpsing at your blog.

  381. We visited Antigua several times during our visits to Guatemala when we were trying to bring Melinda home. It’s a pretty city. We learned a lot about the people and culture while we were there. Your soup kitchen endeavor sounds intriguing!

    We haven’t been back to Guatemala since we adopted in 2008 but would love to do some work there sometime in the future.

  382. You’re an angel! I loved hearing about your family and their accomplishments!

  383. Wow! What and inspiration you are!
    Many Blessing to you and your family,
    Hannah

  384. You’re such a big heart and your blog is so inspiring for a mom like me. i have two hyper active boys who are always keeping me on my toes and I’m grateful that I have came across this blogging stuff so I can be relieved with the stressful moments through writing and reading blogs like yours..keep posting!

  385. Linda, I found I was moved to tears reading your post. Not tears of sorrow but of Love for our amazing heavenly Father.

  386. You are a very special person, from reading the above. Having worked through mental health issues myself, I know how tough they can be on a family. It certainly sounds like you’ve made the best of it, however, and I have complete admiration for what you’ve achieved.

  387. couple of days ago i happened to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsF49PV8S44 this programm,
    about a girl who developed multiple personality disorder after sexual abuse as a child.
    she has 30 (!) identities (or “characters” as she calls them)
    it was the hardest and most disturbing thing i ever saw. i know it’s all in hebrew but i thought i should tell you about it anyways.one of this girl’s identities is blind and plays piano, while non of the others do, one deaf, one a 4 year old boy, and so on.
    she let this TV channel make a documentary about her (them) and watched the footage to really “meet” them. she is the first one in my country EVER to go public on TV. overwelming really.
    so…thanks for your blog and for your courage :)

    • Thanks for the link, but I don’t think I will watch it, (although many of my readers may want to.) I have to confess I do not want to see another child in pain. Living with a son with this disorder, I see it on a daily basis. It is disturbing and unbelievable sometimes< (think "the Exorcist" but in real life.) We tend to work through those moments, and even try a little laughter afterwards to lighten the moment. If we don't, it might be impossible to live with.

  388. I pray that the Lord will bless you and your family!
    Jim

  389. Amazing how God has empowered you with divine strength to take this on & stay cheerful!!

  390. Wow – you are such an inspiration! I found your wonderful blog, which I am now following.

    I am really looking forward to reading your posts. They really make me stop and think about my life and how blessed I am.

    Best,
    Nancy L.

  391. Thanks for the like. You are an inspiration and your children are lucky to have such a wonderful mother.

  392. How you manage to do all you do just amazes me. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  393. It is great you found an outlet to pour out your frustrations rather than self- destructive behaviors. You are an inspiration and keep doing what you do. God bless.

  394. That’s amazing! I can’t wait to read your posts :)

  395. God bless you!

  396. Thanks for sharing Linda. I’m now a follower and looking forward to learning more about you and your wonderful family.

  397. I appreciate your blog as it something relatively close to my heart and family. Two of my aunts have been foster parents for quite some time. One of the little boys they had gotten was born to crack addicted mother and found roaming the streets in the winter with only his diaper. He was delayed in speaking his first words but by the ripe old age of three he was playing the piano better than me and I played much longer than he. What a little patience can do. He is now a happy well adjusted tween who has skipped a grade and by golly still plays the piano better than me. Now following your adventures.

  398. God bless you for giving those precious kids a loving home !! I have four kids but we did not have the challenges you have and I think you are brave and smart to put it all on the blog for you to keep sane , I wish computers had been around when our kids were growing up, I know it would have helped me , and to share your experiences with the world. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  399. I think your posts are amazing; but somehow I clicked ‘notify me of follow-up comments by email’, and every day my mailbox fills up with comments of your posts. I can’t see where to cancel this. Please let me know how to do so.

  400. Wow, your blog warms my heart. I am a special education teacher so I relate to your blog so well. I am so happy to see you inspire so many by sharing your posts. I can’t wait to read more in the future. : )

  401. How wonderful is your blog! it is just amazing to see how much your children have a achieved despite everything. My mum is principal at a school for children with multiple disabilities and it was an eye opener when I first went there. At first i felt sad. But they are just normal kids that just want to be loved at the end of the day. it is so wonderful to hear of their achievements and to see how they are doing every time i visit. I love children, so the only thing I have had to be mindful of is going into their ‘space’. But they are so special, every single one of them. Well done to you!!

    • Thank you for your kind words. It would be great if everyone were comfortable with children with disabilities because then they would see that they are “normal”. It is the fear of the unknown that makes people scared.

      • :-) People forget that there are some brilliant minds in those bodies. And if people just showed some love, understanding and patience, there is no telling how much more awesome they can be. :-)

  402. This is very inspiring!

  403. Your dedication to your children is profound. I can imagine just how much joy you bring everyday to your family by encouraging acceptance and unconditional love and it is very heartwarming to hear just how upbeat your personality is. God bless!

  404. Honestly, I found your blog through you liking one of my posts, but now i’m a huge supporter!!! Although I have Asperger’s and ADHD, I have a deep love of helping ANYONE with disabilities and I am enspired by your perserverance in raising those 5 unique and beautiful children. I currently plan to adopt children with disabilities when I get older so your story is proof to me that it can be done!! Thank you for sharing you’re story and the stories of your children! :)

    • I liked your post because you are a successful person who happens to have Asperger’s. Good for you! (I have hope my son may be even a little bit as successful as you!)

      • I don’t know if I would call myself successful!! Simply a bit more articulate than others! I’m often just as confused and lost as everyone else! Also, I’m sure your son will be very successful due to the mass amount of support you give him! The support of parents is a key part of being successful! :)

  405. Trinity Parker said:

    I started my blog (only very recently!) for similar reasons to yours. I was looking for a way to get everything out of my head and maybe be able to see things from a different perspective. What I didn’t expect to find were so many other people out there with similar stories to my own. I am so thankful that I have stumbled into this little blogging community and am finding myself in such great company. I have read a few of your recent posts now and I look forward to going right back to the start of your journey and getting to know you and your amazing family. I feel it’s going to be an amazing ride.

  406. redshortcomings said:

    Hi Linda.Your children are so fortunate to have you in their lives. Remember: it can’t rain all the time.

    DB

  407. I’ve read several of your posts and will definitely be back.

  408. I have some idea of the direction your life has taken, as we have a son who had severe Tourette’s/ADHD/OCD until a few years ago, when it seems to have tailed off, leaving just mild ADHD. Congratulations on remaining sane, I know from experience that it must have been a challenge.

  409. I came to read your post and will now be following your interesting and inspiring blog.

  410. What an amazing and inspiring story! You are an extraordinary person. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  411. We have a daughter who has the worst case of OCD the State of Oregon has ever seen. She is also hearing impaired, developmentally delayed and has several other diagnosis. Unfortunately, my daughter is not able to control her anger and has to remain hospitalized to protect her from herself and from harming others.

    She was 14 when she was first put into the state mental hospital and has spent most of the past 10 years in and out of there. She gets out for a short while into a specialized group home, but doesn’t last long before she has another “blow up” and is back in state’s care. She has to be restrained and put on “safety” quite often. It’s been extremely difficult to say the least.

    She can’t function very well and her conversations are very limited, she want’s to go to college and become a cop, have a baby and grow her hair longer than ours. She will never be able to obtain her dream of becoming a cop and with all the medications she is on, should not be having children. She’s 24 now and is still like a 7 year old who will throw and break things, hit, kick, spit and punch if she doesn’t get her way. I’ve tried to keep her at home, but we just can’t manage her and have had to call the police for help too many times.

    You are very blessed to have children who are functioning and able to meet their dreams! Not all are so lucky. God bless you all for sharing!

    • Yes, I am blessed to have children who are functioning. They will not, however, be able to meet their dreams. (But that is a subject I do not care to dwell on.) My readers only see their functioning levels as I choose to show them, but there are many many things they cannot or will not ever do. (marry, drive a car, work in their chosen profession, etc.)
      I’ve many times, and even recently, had to have a few of my children hospitalized because they were a danger to themselves or others, sometimes for months at a time. It is always heart wrenching, but a necessity in our life together.

      But your situation must be sooooooooooo much more difficult, when you know that your child will not be able to come home and have a somewhat happy life. When my children are hospitalized, I tell myself that I have done the best I can, and that they are somewhere safe. I cannot dwell on the fact that they are hospitalized or that they will never be able to live their dream lives or I would go crazy! The depth of a parent’s emotion can be bottomless and dark unless you accept the situation for what it is and try to make the best of things. My feeling is life is too short to be consumed by worry, regret, anger, and frustration, (although I definitely could have chosen that route.) I try to focus on the positives and what they can do rather than worry about the negatives. It is the only way that I can parent these very difficult children.

      I have such empathy for you and your feelings about your daughter. I would suggest seeing if there is something good that the 2 of your can do together. If bringing her ice cream during a visit, or some toy/book/puzzle/stuffed animal that she can use bridges the gap between you and makes the visits a smidgen easier, then you have done a wonderful job as a parent.

  412. Linda…you truly have a remarkable life and I’m sure your stories will be worth reading.

  413. You’ve had your hands full for quite a while. I’m having a cocktail in your honor.

  414. You are clearly a very awesome lady. I salute you and your life. Being able to see the joy in situations others would fund stressful, challenging and demoralising is a skill you seem to have mastered. I am looking forward to reading more of your blogs. with love to you all Karen

  415. Linda,
    You are an amazing woman! Kudos to you for facing these challenges every day and having a sense of humor. Best of luck going forward! I’m looking forward to hearing about your family.

  416. I completely admire your honesty as you tell your life story. I hope one day I can also be brave enough to do the same. Cudos to you and your family :)

  417. Hi I came here to thank you for liking my sons photography blog he has just started (trees and streams) and after reading your about I am amazed you have time to write never mind look for new things to read! You sound like an incredible woman and I am off to read more.

    Just to say you will have made another child smile when he wakes up in the morning, as he is already amazed at the fact people across the world are liking his words and pictires

  418. Kudos to you in handling all these challenges with such evident grace.

  419. Hi! Just reading your About page and your most recent post, I’m in awe of your compassion & Olympic-grade coping skills! Keep up the great work.

  420. Your life story is truly amazing… Inspiring to read. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis when I was twelve. It’s been an interesting road to be sure, and though now I realize some of the things my own mother had to endure (mostly me complaining about the pain). Thank you for the like over at Bryanpgdumas.wordpress.com (Fair To Middling). I hope that you enjoy the sarcasm and the middling perspective on history and politics I try to tell.

    • I have such empathy for your with such a painful condition. I may sound like I’m a big baby, but I cannot take physical pain or seeing physical pain in my children. I am so lucky that they are “healthy” in the “normal” sense of the word. No operations, no pain. And mother’s don’t “endure”…it comes with our job description!

      I do enjoy your sarcasm. (I prefer to call it being “facetious”…)

  421. Wonderful site, wisdom and perspectives. My wife and I married six years ago, and we both came into things with custody of our two children — one boy and one girl each. Our son, Connor, from my wife’s previous marriage, has Asperger’s and will be 14 in May. As a family, blending together has been a rewarding, hair-pulling, life changing process that I wouldn’t trade for anything (on most days!). Not only because I’m absolutely crazy and constantly inspired by my wife, but because of the things we have all learned about ourselves, each other and life by coming together as a family. It has forced me to dig deep as a father and husband, and deep inside is where we find the best of ourselves. Connor and I have developed a special relationship in that I can talk with him in ways no one else can. He’s even accepted — and adopted — my sense of humor, which was very difficult for him at first. I really think his ability to recognize — and participate — in humor has helped him deal with his anger issues, and learn to see things in a different way; not everything is a joke about him or at his expense. Watching that realization blossom has been an amzing process. I’m looking forward to following your posts and appreciate what you sharing your experiences :)

  422. The change of perspective allows me to widen my world and realize what is really important. Even at this stage of my life I’m determined to grow and learn Thank you for your inspirational stories.

  423. I LOVE your perceptive and insight. It’s wonderful to read. I know I will enjoy following you from now on!

  424. Hi Dear, I have nominated you for the most inspiring blogger award. Please accept and oblige.
    Here’s the link http://thoughtsummary.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/inspiring-blogger-award/

  425. Love your approach when life throws stuff your way. Keep writing!!

  426. Appreciate your humor in the midst of trying situations! It’s like taking a photo from another angle to show an interesting side of things. You’ve encouraged me! Keep writing and blessing others!

  427. Wow. Every single day God sends me something really special. Today it was you! :~) Grace & Peace!

  428. hi
    you are truly truly a wonderful brave person

  429. All I can say is, Wow. I can’t wait to follow your journey!

  430. Heh there, got a notice about a new posting but the link is mal-functioning. It started with
    A Humble Request of My “Followers”… any idea where it is?

  431. VERY INSPIRATIONAL BLOGGER AWARD

    I have nominated YOUR BLOG as Very Inspirational

    Please visit i-nation.me to receive your award.

  432. Oops – forgot to post the actual blog link for the Inspirational Blog Award

    http://i-nation.me/2013/02/22/the-very-inspirational-blogger-award-2/

  433. Hi.. Mrs. Linda. You have the beautiful life, great mother, and amazing story..:-)

  434. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I admire your courage beyond words. Truly, God has blessed you in a way that lots of people wouldn’t consider blessing! I have a missionary friend who used to be in Mexico, and when hurricane Rita, I think it was, devasted their little village, one of the national believers said, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, and He will give again”(!) I think that’s your attitude.

  435. You are one amazing woman with an incredible family! :-)

  436. You are a true inspiration! Keep up the amazing work :)

  437. Wow Linda! You’re great! I absolutely agree on venting through writing, I couldn’t live without it!
    I feel also ashamed when I think how much I complain in my daily life reading just your story!
    I just have a question (Sorry you might have answered already, but I’m in work and not able to go through all the comments!): what happen to the baby brother of your younger daughter?

    • He was adopted by another family. It was quite sad, actually, because we had both Marie’s and Christopher’s adoption at the same time, (a few years later.) Christopher did not remember Marie, and her version of speech as a child who is profoundly deaf, was scary to him and he would not come near her. She was very sad…and we have not seen him since as his adoptive parents did not want to keep in touch.

      • Oh no, this is sad. I love happy ending and this is really knocking me down. I only hope when they’ll be grown ups they can finally meet.
        Thanks for your quick reply and congrats for your great job!

  438. Thank you for caring for these children. My sister is mildly disabled and I have a special place in my heart for those kiddos. You are a super hero, a super mom and I tip my hat to you.

  439. hello,I just wanted to congratulate you on an amazing accomplishment. As the disabled daughter of a single mother I understand the challenges you face. I would not be nearly the person I am without my incredible mother and I am sure your children feel the same.

  440. Linda,

    God calls us all to different things, and it is clear from your blog that you are responding mightily to that call. It is clear here that you are an amazing woman! I wish your family many blessings. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  441. Just wanted you to know I love reading you and have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I love how inspiring your site is. Happy writing!

  442. You have some inspiring reads here. Thanks for sharing!

  443. You are the most amazing person! Just reading your “About” is inspiring!

  444. What an amazing family you have and I cannot begin to fathom how much patience and energy you must have. I work in a school and I wish the more apathetic children there could listen to your story and hear you speak of your wonderful children who strive, everyday, to become everything they can possibly be despite (in spite of?) their disabilities.
    You’ve made my day. I hope someone makes yours. Big, big hugs from Oxfordshire, Uk.

  445. I am very moved by your life-there are angels in this world. Thank you for being here and sharing your journey with us. I will recommend your story to others.
    David

  446. You are great,long live as the proud mother of your children.

  447. You have incredible stories to share that I find so much inspiration and food for thought from.

    • I really do appreciate the award nomination, but I really don’t “do” most awards. They are really not something I can follow up with….it involves work on my part and I am really quite lazy!
      Thank you anyway.

  448. eehbahmum said:

    Thanks for stopping by – where on earth do you find the time?

  449. Hi, I’ve nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Just check out my site for details. – http://ellelainey.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  450. Thanks for reading my post ‘Why do children break your heart?’
    Popped by to see what your blog was all about.. kudos to you with 5 disabled children.

  451. There is only one word to describe you: inspirational

  452. You may not think so but there’s no question about it: you are an extraordinarily brave and compassionate woman. And that makes you extraordinarily lucky, as are the five in your charge. Extremely moving. I can cry now…

  453. You are such a beautiful and inspiring person. Thank you :)

  454. I’m glad to discover your blog.

  455. Hi Linda, you are a gifted writer and an extraordinary individual!

  456. Love and blessings to you in all your endeavors….. I would like to recommend a book that is so inspiring and life changing that I am sharing it with everyone.. It is called “Love’s Voice Changes You” the website is http://www.lovesvoicechangesyou.com... This book is totally life changing…Virginia
    .

  457. Wow, you are a brave lady to help and heal the souls of our world. You are a loving lady with a giant heart! :~)

  458. Holy smokes, you have a lot going on!! What a great person/family you are!

    I look forward to reading more of your, uh, adventures?

  459. You have such a great attitude!
    “I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist.” – Max Lerner (Journalist)

  460. In all of these comments, has anyone said you are LOVE PERSONIFIED? Hope I’m the first. Thank you for coming through all that you have with the attitude that does nothing short of create miracles for others. Blessings galore, Linda. A great big fat hug to your whole crew!

  461. I have learned in my 60 years, we ALL have a lot going on in our lives. Thanks for visiting, commenting and responding! For some inspiration, why don’t you try:
    everydaypowerblog.com Let me know what you think.

    • I checked out the blog and I love it!

      “The world is more peaceful and prosperous than it’s ever been. Indeed, there are tons of problems, but history shows that we the people ultimately solve problems!”

  462. Love love love, truly inspirational! Such a role model for others out there. Thank you!

  463. Hi Linda,
    I’m amazed at how much love you have for children with disabilities. Caring for kids with disabilities, I know firsthand, is a HUGE responsibility!!!

  464. Hello I am one of the ones, “out there,” also a mom with a kid with disabilties, (as in plural), thanks for having the courage to tell your story. I will follow along.

  465. Hi. I look forward to reading more from you.

  466. I admire you. You are certainly a very special and compassionate person. Taking care of these kids wirh all these disabilities, but the Lord gives you strength and purpose everyday to continue. As I was reading I had to pause because my eyes were so watery I could not see the computer screen anymore. You’re story is very moving. We should have more people like you. I raise my hat to you. I am looking forward to read more of your posts. I too started writing in January to keep my sanity. Well I hope all the best for you and keep on writing. Take care!

  467. You are clearly an amazing person – I hope you are blessed every day and in many ways for all that you do!

  468. You are very inspiring. I look forward to reading more.

  469. Your blog is both inspiring and funny, just like life should be. One of my best friends is disabled and she regularly teaches me more about life and happiness than anyone else I know, I am honestly amazed and inspired by her. I look forward to following your blog and hearing the rest of you stories. What a wonderful family you have!

  470. Hi Linda! Lovely to meet you! As I read your words I felt a connection with what you had said! I have a grandchild who has autism but is coping rather well. I like your blog and it is much appreciated! I hope you have a rather awesome weekend! Cheers, Barbara.

  471. hi linda
    i just read your “about” page and as of now you have a new follower! have a great day.. a great weekend.. and looking forward to your future posts :)

    mimu

  472. Wow you are an amazingly positive person. You are blessed to have an upbeat, positive attitude.

  473. Hi Linda,

    I found your blog as a result of you “liking” a post on my site: “Would Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Be Diagnosed Mentally Ill and Drugged?”

    Your attitude and compassion are admirable. I wil be sharing your blog with others who will find your journey encouraging.

    I would also like to connect with you in regards to a nutitional formula that has been observed by 39 research scientists in clinical trials at fourteen universities in four countries, and is backed by twenty published studies.

  474. A truly Wow story! Amazing woman you are, blessed with strength and character, and a loving heart, embracing the challenges presented to you and turned them into positive energy. I know now that when I need inspiration I can turn to your blog for comfort and a good smile. Stay blessed 8)*

  475. Hello!!! I just nominated you for the Liebster Award Keep up your amazing posts. Check it out…http://rachelwhims.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/i-am-the-champion-my-friends/

    • I really do appreciate the award nomination, but I really don’t “do” most awards. They are really not something I can follow up with….it involves work on my part and I am really quite lazy!
      Thank you anyway.

  476. You are really inspiring and I look forward to reading your posts.

  477. Hi Linda, I was a former foster mother for a little girl who had some severe issues, mainly emotional due to abuse and neglect. I enjoyed her, but I also know how much just one special needs child can physically and emotionally drain a person. Hat’s off to you for five children for life. Because of your wonderful gift, God blessed you with five extra special gifts, your beautiful and unique children!

  478. Such an inspiring blog and positive attitude!

  479. Just joining the group above. I think I am going to enjoy reading your adventures. I am ADD and dyslexic. I am pretty sure I have a few other things going on but too old now to diagnose and care. I notice them when my own kids demenstrate them and I am like – hey I do or did that…Any who – I too have 5 right now. (Foster too) My oldest birth child has ADD, attachement issues (bio dad stuff) and depression. My three middle adopted children have RAD issues, ADD, ODD, OCD and one is on the Austism spectrum. My youngest birth child was born too young and has a lot of speech and developmental delays. Not sure what else, yet is going on. So, I know the alphabet soup and love every letter! Thanks for making me smile.

    • You really have your hands full! RAD, I think, is the most difficult disability because you love them so much but getting any love back is hard. I hope I can keep making you smile to take your mind off your other difficulties! (That’s why I write…)

  480. I look forward to reading your future posts.

  481. I enjoyed reading this blog and I must admit I was getting teary eyes as you was describing your wonderful family. I am a mother of six children and they may not have any disabilities, but they are still stressful as H E Double Hockey Sticks!! LOL

    • I am not saying that raising my kids isn’t stressful, (very stressful,) only that I tend to ignore that part of life…(but I most definitely understand what you are feeling.)

  482. Hi, I know how very hard it is to raise a child with disabilitys. May God bless you and your family.

    I also blog as a stress release.

  483. bobcomeans said:

    We only have to raise a son who has had two kidney transplants in ten years. Having read your story, I feel like we are getting off easy.

    Thanks for liking my story “They Were Rock Stars.” You can read about my wife giving her kidney to our son, “Three Kidney Donor Moms…”

    You have a new follower in me!

  484. Hi Linda very nice to meet you :) Your life is very inspiring :)

  485. Hello! You are like an angel on earth…what a wonderful role you play in this world! I too look after my brother who has learning disabilities and i have been doing so since a young age and can be very trying and rewarding. I look forward to reading your blog and feeling inspired!

  486. You go, momma! What a jumbled joy your life is!!

  487. I just had a chance to read your blog and service as a parent to deserving children. Thanks for the inspiration.

  488. Wow, I believe you are my hero! I have a son who is disabled too (has Hurler syndrome). He is the youngest of my 5 kids (a twin as well) and I thought I had my hands full. I am no stranger to loving those who might be a little different. My brother has Down syndrome (we call it up syndrome), so I have been blessed many times with so many in my life. Although, with 5 having disabilities and not going insane…. you are amazing! :)

    • Welcome, kindred spirit! My kids are aged pretty far apart, so I have fortunately not had to coordinate their lives and needs at the same time. I have 3 now living at home…and you have 5!

  489. I like your blog and writing style. I can sympathize with a lot of what you have written about your family. My wife and I foster medically fragile kids and have adopted 2 of them. My son, the second child we fostered (and the second we adopted), was one of those “short term” foster situations. Of course the paper work said he was a “she.” There is nothing like talking with the pharmacist saying “He needs…” and having them correct me saying the hospital’s paper work says “she.” I answered, “I just changed his diaper and I say ‘he.’” What is told to foster parents seems to rarely match reality.

    I love seeing stories of other families raising medically fragile children. There is so much we can learn from our children, and as somebody with MS, I can honestly say I have gotten at least as much out of my interactions with them as they have gotten from me. No, it’s certainly not the path to easy riches, but the first part of this sentence is only true if one measures riches in dollars instead of experiences.

    In any event, thanks for the fun read.

    • Parenting medically fragile children seem much more difficult, I guess because I can’t stand to see a child in pain, plus it can be life or death. Having MS on top of it all, it must be doubly difficult for you. If I can bring any smile or hope to you, then I have done good!

  490. I tell a lot of my coworkers fostering kids with medical issues gives us at least one advantage they haven’t enjoyed. When their kids are born, they are hoping for health but know they will learn to live with and love their kids no matter what the medical problems may be. My wife and I can say “We can’t deal with this medical problem. Our house isn’t equipped to deal with it.” We get to pick and choose with what we will deal…of course that is some what a lie because the information coming with the kids so often ranges from murky to wrong. Still, we knew when we were taking home a wonderful blind young girl.

    On the life or death front, I agree that can be hard. I resigned myself before we began to the goal of providing the best home we could for as long as they are with us. Before my daughter had her 3rd heart surgery, I told my wife if things went bad I wanted to reserve the right to rethink the fostering of critically ill kids. Still, I can’t imagine turning away from any of the kids in need. If not us, then who remains to care for them? Everyone wants the healthy kids who look like them. The numbers in need compared with the numbers who can provide for them is scary…and I’m not even one of the ones in need for whom it must be terrifying.

    The inability to turn away a kid in need for whom we are a good home is why we struggle now deciding what to do for our blind foster daughter whom the state wants us to adopt. No answer is fair for my wife as I can’t promise much in terms of future ability to help (MS). Still, how many are better set up than us? If not for this, then for what are we working? At a certain point, we work and to a large part exist to provide family and a launching point for some lucky kids. Luck is not defined by length of time on earth or material living standards. I believe it’s defined by opportunities to give and receive love and affection.

    I’ve always been lucky.
    (sorry for the long response…I tend towards the wordy when talking about my family)

  491. I am really taken with your blog.

  492. theintegratedschooloftheatrics said:

    Thank you for liking my first post! I’m delighted to have such a strong, caring a high achieving woman contact me. Please follow, I’d love to stay in touch.
    Kind regards,
    Meghan

    • I am interested in having a theatrical class with my group of students with disabilities. I think acting would be a great way to boost their self-esteem.

      • The Integrated School of Theatrics said:

        It is a great way to boost their self esteem and the feeling of achievement for any student makes them feel special and essential in life ;)

  493. I love finding other blogs about similar lives. So glad to see you’re here.

  494. I enjoyed reading very much your story. I love your outlook on life. It’s inspiring!

  495. Wow, I can’t wait to look at your blog tomorrow morning with my coffee… Thank you for finding me so I could find you…xo

  496. Hi Linda
    You are a person after my own heart and I can truly relate to your approach to your children. Finding humour in their daily lives shows that you have a healthy fascination and love for them. I bow down to you – keep it up, you are doing something truly amazing.
    Deni
    xx

  497. Wow, you are my newest hero!

  498. Interesting blog. I have a brother with Cerebral Palsy. I cannot imagine having 5 children with disabilities. I applaud you. And thank you for sharing about it in this blog. You seem to be a very strong mom. Having these children have made you stronger, I assume. Keep it up!

  499. Dark_Night said:

    You are really an amazing person. :)

  500. you make me sick lady. how dare you adopt children with serious trauma and disabilites and make a living off of it like this you really disgust me stop liking my personal posts about trauma i feel bad for your kids they deserve better than to be treated like props for your character development.

    • I understand that you think I am using my children for my own purposes, but I am only trying to get their situations out there so people can understand them and accept them better. I actually am not making any money and am truly quite penniless because getting good therapy and services, as well as the mileage and travel back and forth, costs a lot. I know for a fact that if we had not taken one daughter, she would have led a life of poverty and starvation, as she was malnourished when she came to live with us. Another daughter and son had been molested in homes. I give them a safe environment and lots of love. If sharing that love with other people is wrong, then I am wrong. But I write to relieve my stress, which I guess is the same reason that you write. I am sorry if my “liking” your post is offensive to you, but I thought that was why we put posts up, for other people to read.
      PS: the names of my kids and the location where we live is confidential, so I do use them only for character development. And what great, wonderful characters they are!!!

      • Hi, not only am I humbled by what you’re doing but I’m so inspired by the way you reply to negative & unnecessary comments. Don’t allow Cyber Muscle to bring you down even for a moment. Please know that you may inspire others, even if just one person, to do the same as you for a disabled child and that is worth more than any money one can possibly make from a blog. Not to mention the comfort you give those who also have disabled children.Please keep doing what you’re doing. Please!

      • Thank you for your kind words. I am actually very very lucky…the comment from Cyber Muscle was my first “hate mail”. I think that makes me famous now…

  501. Hello, You positive attitude shines through in your writing. Positive mental attitude is a great message.

  502. Looking forward to reading future posts!!!

  503. You are an amazing courageous person and you will be blessed in life for the love you have given so unreservedly. Thank you for dropping by my blog and liking my photo “Floating Flowers”.
    Greetings from Sri Lanka!

  504. I am interested to read some of your stories about your children. We hope to do foster care and adoption some day in the not too distant future ourselves. My heart breaks for children who suffer so because of how they were treated early on. Thanks for your optimism. I look forward to reading more about your family.

  505. Hi Linda,

    I love that you can be so positive about this situation. I have two disabled brothers (one who passed away) and treated them like normal siblings. They needed that extra attention but I never allowed myself to see them as a disabled brother. They were annoying at times, sometimes I’d get angry but I love them nonetheless. I think it’s completely ridiculous and and absolutely wrong to treat them as disabled. If you can’t look past that, you are more unable than them.

    • I agree completely. The funny thing is, I consider myself lucky because my brother and I never argued. When I “grew up” and had children, I was soooooooo surprised that my kiddos argued. It was soooooo annoying and I couldn’t understand it.

  506. [...] humbled because the author of a Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog read and responded positively to my post featuring a sculpture by one of Norway’s celebrated [...]

  507. liliesandleaves said:

    Thank you ever so much for dropping in at my blogs… I really appreciate it as it seems to me you have your hands FULL! Thanks for making time. I thought of the words…”As you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers (and sisters) you have done it to me.” Jesus said it. God sees and He rewards.

  508. :) I loved reading your family story! Wow!

  509. The next time I feel overloaded I’ll think of you….Truly amazing!

  510. Howdy; it is my honor to notify you that you have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Take a look at this page for rules and requirements. Best of luck to you! :)
    http://darkstarpublishing.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/a-very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    • I really appreciate the thought, but I prefer not to “do” awards. I find they generally require me to do some work and think. I do thank you for the compliment, though!

      • Are you absolutely certain? Yes, there is some work involved, but it is not that difficult; or at least I did not think so. Please let me know for sure before I nominate someone else. Thank you.

      • Thank you anyway. I have stayed away from awards because I don’t really want to set my blog up to be anything other than written by a down-to-earth mom, certainly not an award winner! Please feel free to pass the honor onto someone else!

      • I’m not out for awards either, but.. I will honor your wishes. Take care! :)

  511. You’re an amazing person, wish we had more of you in the world! I look forward to reading your next post!

  512. You are amazing and so inspiring. l love reading your blog :)

  513. Hi Linda,

    I am so happy to read your inspiring stories of your family. I love it and look forward to reading more of your posts.

  514. I am truly enjoying your blog! You are such a blessing to those around you. Cherie’

  515. Hello! I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Don’t feel obligated to go through the acceptance steps, I realize that life gets crazy. I was more interested in sharing your blog with my readers because I love it so much. However, if you’re interested the details are here: http://stinasjourney.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/who-doesnt-like-the-occasional-pat-on-the-back/

    • I really appreciate the honor. Thanks for sharing my site with your fans even if I don’t follow through with the requirements.

      • You are very welcome and I completely understand. It took me forever to follow through with mine. I’m more interested in the “spirit” of it anyway which is to share the blogs we love with others. :)

  516. Wow! I stand in awe, you are such a gift to so many. God bless you!

  517. Leib Krainess said:

    I saw your blog and I thought that you would be interested in the exciting project that is inspired and spearheaded by my 12 year old daughter, Aviva. She has been battling Lupus and blindness caused by steroids for over 5 years, but continues to smile through it all. Now Aviva is setting the stage for a revolution in KID’S ENTERTAINMENT. Welcome to Aviva Productions, and welcome to MIND THEATER!

    Mind Theater is like watching a Hollywood movie but where you create the pictures in your own mind. Every Mind Theater story conveys an important life message like, happiness, kindness, forgiveness, appreciation of all the blessings in our lives, appreciation of others, trying our best and loving others – to name a few. The stories and production are very high quality with awesomely talented actors and a world class sound engineer who has produced songs for many of today’s music stars, including Matisyahu.

    You can check out our video and trailer on our official project page – http://www.themercava.com/projects/mindtheater

    • That is soooooooooo cool! If she doesn’t mind, I would like to use it with the children with whom I work. (I am actually working with two girls with arthritis and blindness, sort of similar to your daughter, but certainly not as serious.)

  518. Thanks for liking my blog! I have especially loved reading yours. Our daughter has generalized anxiety disorder, your blog about tags on clothes reminds of her when she was 3-5 years old had a terror of automatic toilets. We laugh about it now :)

    • Oh, my word! Automatic toilets!! YES! They would have freaked my son Steven out. Unfortunately, he is so anxious that he does not generally go out to anyplace that has them. Come to think of it, even I am often afraid of automatic toilets…whoooooooosh….AGGGGHHHHH!

  519. You are an inspiration!

  520. Hi, I have taken the liberty of nominating you. I hope you don’t mind.
    http://theseeker57.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/breaking-the-rules/

    • I do appreciate the thought and the nomination, but I don’t “do” awards. My brain has all it can do to come up with a post once a week, and doing the award requirements can send it over the edge.
      Thank you so much for the honor, though!

  521. I understand. I know it is way too much and now I am suffering the consequences of too much computer work. Ugh. Thanks for your responding.

  522. Hi Linda,
    God bless you lady and your family!
    -Heather
    40YearWanderer.com

  523. God bless you.. again because I know He already has!

  524. Hi Linda! I’ve just nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award ’cause I think your blog’s great! Here’s the link to give you some more info: http://clairebear2013.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/

    • I really appreciate the honor. However, my brain has all it can do to think up my weekly post, so there are no brain cells left to fulfill the requirements of the award. I do thank you for thinking of me, though.

      • No problem at all, Linda! I can only imagine how busy you are kept! Even if the award just highlights your blog to some new readers… I think what you write about and how you write are both fantastic, and deserve to be recognized as such! All the best with everything, and everyone! Claire :)