1. I believe wholeheartedly in inclusion. I ALWAYS have, even before I knew what that word meant. Long before I met my sons. We all belong. And throwing children into a classroom without proper supports and resources IS NOT inclusion. That's setting a child up for failure and heartache and the adults who create those environments and experiences should be ashamed.
2.Yes I truly believe in what Ross Greene says about our children. Children do better if they can. I believe in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and NO I don't think that being stricter with my kid or "teaching him a lesson" in a punitive way will help him to reach his full potential. I do not believe "kids like mine" need to live in "bootcamp settings" or that they need to be regularly restrained or put in isolation to learn to follow rules.
3. Just because of what I said in #2, don't for a second believe that means there are no rules in our house or structure or routine or consequences. We have ALL of those, in abundance. We just try to be clear with ourselves and our boys about the rules and the reasons for them.
4. My husband and I are the lucky ones. I get what you are trying to say when you tell me our boys are "lucky to have us" but do people say that to you about your biological children???? And really, you think my BOYS are lucky? WE are the lucky ones. We are so blessed to be given the responsibility to raise these two young men. Saying it the other way devalues our children.
5. If you keep telling me how lucky my boys are I might one day have to hit you. I'm not a physical person. We have a "hands off policy" just like the school. But we all have our limits and I'm just declaring mine.
6. I don't want my children to EVER feel beholden to us because we "saved" them. We wanted to be parents, we were being selfish. We had no illusions of "saving" anyone. If anything, my boys have saved me - over and over again. They give me purpose, they challenge my view on life, they have helped me to grow and change more over the past eight years than I ever would have without them.
7. We ARE their REAL parents. We didn't create them and I didn't give birth to them. But we are their PARENTS for now and forever.
8. I have not nor will I ever try to be a PERFECT parent. There is no such thing. So if I say I need help with something or something is going really bad - BELIEVE me. I am NOT just being too hard on myself.
9. If I had it to do all over again - marriage, fertility treatments, adoption - I would do it all in a heartbeat. And if there was a chance that changing even one minute detail would change anything about the wonderful people in my life - I wouldn't make that change.