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Life is an adventure. Sometimes I yearn for boredom, yet it never comes. This is an account of my struggles & triumphs- my struggle to know God & understand the "why" behind it all. "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain" This is just me - learning to dance - sometimes gracefully, but most the time - stepping on my 2 left feet..

Thursday, November 24, 2011


A couple of years ago I read all the Little House books with my oldest two children.  I'm not sure which book it is in - but in one of them a big swarm of locust (or grasshoppers) come and eat all the crops - they totally wiped out everything.  How devastated these families must have been!
"And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25)  This is a verse I have claimed over and over again for the past almost 7 years.  Abuse and Neglect were my sons locust and they ate a lot the first years of his life before we knew him.  We have seen the effects and my heart has cried many times, many times I have prayed "please restore what the locust has eaten."

About a week and a half ago was "Novemberfest in our town.  This is a time of year my kids really look forward to.  One of the local churches bring in all kinds of carnival rides and it’s like a street fair.  The kids get arm bands and they can ride as many rides as they like.  My two youngest wanted to ride the Ferris wheel -- I hate heights -- always have.  So my hubby was standing in line with the two of them - when they reached the top of the line the man said "only 2 riders per cart"  everyone looked at me. I took a deep breath, told myself to put my big girl panties on, smiled and got beside my son and said "I'll ride with you".  Now please understand - this is a carnival Ferris wheel - it swayed every time you moved - it was horrible!  My heart was in feet and I was just trying to maintain a look of a calm, sane person.  Up, up we went and my son started moving around pointing at everything "look mama" I could hardly breathe the cart was swaying to and fro and all I could say was "Baby could you sit still please"  He looked at me and said "are you scared?"  Now - do I really want to tell him I'm scared - but how do I hide it - the truth is -- I am terrified. "Yes baby, Mommy doesn't really like heights - just sit still for me okay"  Then he looked at me kind of like I was stupid and said "well if you were scared why did you get on?"  "I got on because you wanted to ride"  All of the sudden you could see the dots in his little head connecting..."You got on so I could ride, even though you are so scared?"  "Yes baby - Mommy loves you and you really wanted to ride"  My son then did something amazing -- he reached over and touched my white knuckles (because they were grasping the bar so tightly J) and said "I'll sit really still Mommy" and he did.

Now the amazing thing about this is that last year if he knew I was scared he would have found reasons to move because it would have been funny - he would have had the power - he chose to show me compassion.  The other amazing thing is he was able to recognize that I made a sacrifice for him because I love him and he was able to receive that love.

God is restoring what the locust has eaten....

Those of you that know my family personally know that my son is having a tough time presently medically.  He has been in the hospital for about a week now with low lung function, but I guess that would be my next blog....

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and yours!

Dancing through a field of locusts who are losing their power,


Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Baby is Home

Wednesday we were scheduled for court at 3:30 - our case was called  little after 5.  I am so thankful for the judge that has been following our case - many judges would have called it a day  and rescheduled court for those remaining - he stayed hours after our case was already heard to make sure everyone who was on the docket was heard.

It has been a long journey to get to where we are now.  I look back at the last few years of my life and honestly it's like a movie -- surely that woman cannot be me - and yet she is.  I have come from a timid person who tries to please everyone to a person who will scratch, claw and fight anyone for the sake of my children.  I have become a mama bear.  I have cried out to God on many occasions telling Him that it was too much - I can't be asked to give my child up to keep my family together - it is more than I can bear...God would lovingly remind me of a verse or send someone to help strengthen me.

The day that the decision was made and we signed the paperwork placing my child into state custody was the worse day of my life.  I literally felt like I was going to die - I cannot even begin to describe to you the immeasurable sadness, inadequacy, loss and fear that I felt.  Yes we were assured by the state and everyone else that after he had gone through treatment we could have him back -- all we had to do was say we want him at any point - (which by the way - it was not that easy) -we knew this is what they were saying - but once the papers were signed - we had no control.  But in the end - what choice did we really have -- my child needed serious help that he could not get any other way - so I did the hardest thing any mother could ever be asked to do - I gave the state control over my child.

During the last 11 months I have monitored his medical and mental health outside of my home.  I have kept track of medications - picked him up and took him to doctor visits - comforted him over the phone - fought with every state agency I think there is (I think they all now dread the name Amy Pacheco - she's high maintenance) prayed endlessly, moved my whole family out of state so we could be near his hospital, did all the "normal" parenting things with my other kids and discovered who I am in the process.

I have found out that I have many faults – but I have many strengths.  There are those that simply do not care about my family that in the past I desperately wanted them to love us – now I have found others who love us for who we are and hardly give a thought to those other people any more.  I have found both friends and professionals that I & my family can count on – I have found people that I want to be part of their lives and I want them to be able to say of me “ she is someone I can count on”

Wednesday reunification was granted and my son moved back into my house - my heart is full.  He is merging back in so nicely ….but that’s another blog….

Dancing in a full house,


Friday, October 7, 2011

Do it Anyway

Okay - so I know I have been silent for a little while now.  Let me give a simple explanation - we are currently in the reunification process and I have been given the legal advice to be very careful with my blog because things can be taken out of context and used against us -- I think you all probably understand.  I am dancing despite the storm -- but silently.

I have run across some words that were found on Mother Teresa's wall in Calcutta that are such an inspiration to me and wanted to share them with you -- she may have written them -- but today they are from my heart to you.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

The storm may be raging on in your life.....dance anyway.
Dancing in the storm,

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Sometimes all that is needed is a small sliver of a chance & the impossible proves to be possible.

Enough said.

Dancing in the possibilities,


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pieces of the Puzzle

This past week has been – well for loss of a better word -- yucky.  It's much nicer having my son near me - but it's hard not being the one that controls things.  Right now I am not in control of when and where he goes to school, the doctor, church or anything else - not easy for a mom.  Saturday will be the first time since he has come to Florida that he will be allowed on a pass -- I can't wait!

If I have learned anything through this whole process is that none of us really have control - oh we try hard to grab for control, sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that we have it, but when it’s all said and done - outside factors can take control of any given situation at any given moment - control over our lives is just an illusion.  Thankfully, I do know the One who is truly in control.

I was reminded of that this week by my 7 year old.  It seems they were discussing in church that sometimes things are hard - but God knows the end result.  I was told she shared with her class that God is an artist who paints the picture of our lives.  Any good picture has both shadow and light -- it makes the picture pretty.  We get our picture like a puzzle - God only hands us on piece at a time - some of the pieces are shadow pieces - but they help make the picture pretty -- you just have to remember - it's only "one piece" of the puzzle - God has the rest of the pieces.

Wow -- I am amazed - I told my children that analogy over a 2 years ago -- and she obviously took it to heart.  I told them this because I wanted to help them through a difficult time when God just didn't make sense. 

When I lived in Japan my husband was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer - it was an incredibly hard time in my life.  A very dear friend of mine gave me a puzzle piece and said "Amy this part of your life is like this puzzle piece - by itself it doesn't make much sense - but God has the rest of the pieces - trust Him."  I can't tell you how many nights I held onto that puzzle piece - it's imprint sometimes on my hand.  My friend gave me a good piece of wisdom and something tangible to give me hope - it worked so well that I have since shared it with others and now my children - the "puzzle piece" continues to make since out of a hard situations and brings peace.

So this is what I want to tell you today -- whatever it is that you are going through - remember "it's only one piece of the puzzle - by itself it doesn't make much since, but God has the rest of the pieces - trust Him."

Dancing piece by piece,


Saturday, September 3, 2011

My own little hurricane

Yesterday was a "full steam ahead" kind of day.  My day started at 2:30 am.  I double checked everything : airplane tickets, something for my son to do on the plane, court orders, my laptop -- check, check check -- so off I went. 

This was going to be a tight schedule - but not an impossible one.  The idea was that I was going to take an early flight to Arkansas so that I could pick my son up and bring him back same day.  I choose the earliest flight they had because he wasn't coming to my house - he was going to a new environment and I did not want him walking in at midnight -- I wanted to give him some time to acclimate before being sent to bed.  There were no non-stop flights so I was to change over in Atlanta.  

The plane touched down and off we all went -- this airport was HUGE! and busy!  and wouldn't you know it -- my connection was on the clear opposite end of the airport.  So -- full steam ahead.  When I got to the gate it was closed - the plane had already left.  AHHHHH!!!!!!!  To my knowledge, none that had this connection made it as there were a lot of us feeling the panic -- so they sent us to a desk “down the way” to be "rescheduled"

 When it was my turn the lady wanted to put me on a late afternoon flight -- I explained that wouldn't do because I was supposed to be on a plane at 11am with my son headed back to Florida.  She very condescendingly said "I sorry for the inconvenience"  Okay - I will admit it - I was  more than little upset and trying hard to maintain my composure.  So I just laid it on the line.  I said "Look - this is not an "inconvenience -- this is a disaster.  I am picking my son up from a hospital today that it took a court order for me to be able to go get him - I am flying on court orders - if I do not have my son on that airplane then I am going to have to go back in front of the judge - which I will have to wait for a court date -explain why I didn't pick him up- get another court order and do this all over again. -- this is NOT an inconvenience -- I "need" not "want" a flight in a reasonable amount of time."  Still condescendingly
 - she replied "I understand all that - but what do you want me to do about it"  I said " This is your airlines fault - I want you to fix it"  I was just about to ask for a supervisor when a man that was about my father’s age came up behind me and addressed the woman.  He said "I got the last ticket for the 9am flight and don't "need" to be there that early -- can you give it to this mom and give me her ticket please"  I still am in a little shock.  (I don't remember who said it - but I remember learning the quote in school)  "You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat someone who can do absolutely nothing for them"  Mr. Jones expected absolutely nothing from me  -- what a wonderfully kind and compassionate man!  God bless Mr. Jones!  Please when you say your next prayers - pray a special blessing for Mr. Jones.   Anyway -- the ticket agent made the switch - handed him the tickets - he handed them to me (and hugged me) and off I went to the next gate.

I contacted the hospital - because this change in plans left us a bit tighter than originally intended -- my plane was now to land at 10:38 and the next plane with my son (which was a different airline) was taking off  at 11am.  How I was going to go through the gate to get him (the hospital was meeting me at the airport - but I have my sons ticket) and back through security to catch the next plane I wasn't sure -- but God wasn't going to let Mr. Jones generosity go to waste I was sure of it.  So there I was on the plane - as soon as it stopped being one of "those" people who stand in the isles waiting for them to open the doors as if standing there will make them hurry up J -- I rushed through the open doors to find my child and his nurse standing there (evidently a nurse can escort a child through security without a ticket and the hospital called the airlines explained the situation and the airport let both through without tickets - to meet me off the plane -- we rushed to the next gate -- which the RN had waiting for me -- the plane was already loaded.  I was signing discharge papers as the ticket agent was saying "you have to board"  ( it was like the movies)

So on we went onto the plane with the most disagreeable flight attendant I have ever met in my entire life.  She took one look at my son's percussion vest and said "you are going to need to check that"  Now please understand - I am already feeling a little flustered and trying very hard not to let it show - my anxiety affects my sons - so at all costs - I need to "have it together".  I told her "I have a prescription right here that explains that this is a $16,000 fragile piece of medical equipment - it cannot go under the plane -- it's all stated on the prescription it says it has to fly on the plane with me as does this box of meds"  She glared at me.  She said "This is a small plane - it doesn't fit you'll have to check it"  I responded as sweetly as possible "On the small aircrafts when we have traveled in the past - the flight attendants put it in the flight attendant closet"  She said "that is not going to happen!"  A man stood up and came over and said "what about right there - it looks like it would fit there" she in a very ugly manner said "Sir either take your seat or deplane"  Then she looked at me and told me to go talk to the ticket agent -- so back down the little "connected hall thingy" where not only a ticket agent stood but also a man in a pilots outfit - not our pilot -- but still a pilot"  I chose to speak to him.  Long story short.  The percussion vest ended up in the flight attendants closet.  She was awful the rest of the trip - I asked what time the plane was going to land (because I was trying to figure out how much time we had for our connection) and she said "I have no idea - we don't get that kind of information"  Really? the flight attendants do not know when planes are supposed to land?  My son kept saying things like "Mommy she is really rude" and I had to keep saying quietly "It's not going to help a situation by making a disagreeable person angry"

Of course this all had to play out with me sitting on the front row for the whole plane to see -- I was a little embarrassed -- people did continue looking constantly.  As everyone deboarded I was surprised at what happened next.  We waited because I had to get the vest out of the flight attendants cabin - so I let others deboard first -- so many people said to me "I am so sorry that women was so rude (mean, horrible, etc.) to you.  (okay feeling a little less embarrassed)  Then 3 separate people asked for her name as they were deboarding (hmmmm - I wonder why)

Okay - so our next flight happened without any major incident -- Praise God!! I don't think my nerves could have handled much more. 

I took my son to where he will be staying for the next few days and am so thankful that he is once again near me.

When I came home - I came home to find that my 15 year old daughter had cleaned the house to help me so that I wouldn't have to do it this weekend -- isn't she a jewel!

So we encountered a few really rude people on this little adventure – but I will always treasure the extremely kind people we encountered – their kindness far outshone the ugliness of the few.

Dancing through the airport,


Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today was a bittersweet day for me.  Monday we start school full swing (we only did the subjects that are in our co-op this week), so I was busy most the day with lesson planning and preparations.  I know 3 of my 4 kids are going to have a fabulous school year.  I have planned wonderful activities for them and my youngest has lesson plans packed full of games and all the "artsy stuff" that she adores.  I am in sweet anticipation of what the year will bring for them.

Well that was the "sweet part".  As I was doing prep work to some of the projects for my youngest - I was sad and happy at the same time.  Happy because she will enjoy learning....sad because this time last year I had to prepare 2 projects not one.  My son is still not medically ready to be home.  It strikes an awful cord in my heart.  Most of you do not realize how long it has been - so I'll share --- it's been 8 months since my son has been in my home. I miss him.  Despite all the many problems - he is so funny and sweet.  I miss the ever source of energy that used to exhaust me.  I miss taking his hand and trying to explain things that just do not come easy to him.  I miss his soft blond hair & saying night time prayers with him.  I miss his unending excitement. 

I am very thankful that he is getting the help he needs.  I am thankful that even though our insurance has exhausted - he will continue getting treatment just in a new environment.

I am thankful for many things - but tonight -- well tonight, I am just a mommy missing her child.

Slow dancing,