Blended Family Chaos

by Tamara Flaherty

The Wheelchair Princess and How She Got Her Crown. Michelle’s Story

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Please go to http://www.gofundme.com/WheelchairPrincess to donate, or click on the link at the bottom.

I’m going to tell you a story that just might make you cry. It’s made me cry many times. In fact I couldn’t stop crying just now as I proof read it.

It will also make you laugh, smile, and cheer.

It will almost certainly make you thankful.

I pray that you will keep reading.

I pray that when the story is finished that you will have been changed.
I pray that you will have knowledge and perspective that you will share with others.
I pray that you will act on that knowledge to prevent this story from happening to anyone else.

I’ve never told her story to an audience in this manner. As a nurse, and child-abuse prevention advocate, I’ve presented her “case” in a clinical way as a teaching tool, but I’ve never really just told her story.

Let’s begin.

Once Upon a Time,
A beautiful baby girl was born. They named her Michelle which means “Near to the heart of God.”
She arrived in this world, unplanned, and mostly unwanted.
I don’t understand why she was in such a hurry to arrive but she was.
She arrived early, and tiny.
3lbs, 8oz and 11 weeks early to be exact.

 

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I didn’t know her then, in fact I wouldn’t meet her for several months.
I had no idea when I met her that she would be my daughter, or that she would change my life.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.

She spent several weeks in the NICU before she was bundled up and sent home. She had passed all her tests with flying colors and despite her early arrival, she was given a clean bill of health. She was a fighter from the beginning you see.

She had no way of knowing that her struggle in the NICU would be a stroll in the park compared to what was coming next.

It’s really no surprise that things went horribly wrong for her.

The red flags warning of a whole host of risk factors for child abuse were whipping wildly in the wind but nobody noticed.

.

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Michelle only lived at home for a few short weeks. Home usually conjures up thoughts of warmth, acceptance, and love.

Not for this little one.

Based on her medical records, she mainly felt hunger and pain.

Whenever she cried, he held his hand over her mouth until she stopped.
Of course you realize that she only stopped because he cut off oxygen to her brain until she passed out, right?
Over. And. Over!

He also really hated it when she was allowed to eat, because it took the attention away from him, and so he would prevent that particular activity much of the time when he was home.
She weighed just a little over 5 pounds on the night he destroyed her.

At some point during the few weeks she was home, several of her tiny little ribs were broken. They were in various stages of healing when she did finally make it to the hospital, indicating that the abuse had been inflicted over time.

On the night (Sept 21, 1995) that her little body and mind were finally battered beyond repair, she had committed the unpardonable sin of crying, and she was sentenced to death by shaking.

Can you believe that?

A baby…..crying?!

What was she thinking?
How inconsiderate and defiant she was at 12 weeks old and barely 5 whole pounds, to have the sheer audacity to cry, when he wanted her to be quiet?

So in the space of the next few minutes, he picked her tiny little body up and shook her like a rag doll. He shook her HARD!
So hard that when he finally threw her lifeless body down, she was, in fact lifeless.

Many people do not understand the level of violence that goes into shaking a baby. They tend to think it’s more like a rough jostling. It’s not at all like that.

The force that is required to inflict the kinds of injuries that Michelle and other babies like her suffer, is so violent that anyone witnessing it would immediately recognize it as life-threatening.

Shaken Baby Syndrome. Learn The Facts.

That night was, at the very least, the second time he had shaken her. The previously broken ribs were the result of a prior, lighter shaking.

He would only spend 3 years in prison for what he did to her. It’s as if her life meant nothing!

 

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I believe that he should be in prison for as long as she remains in her prison and not a moment less.
It is a legal system however, not to be confused with a justice system, but that story is for another blog.

Her 18-year-old birth mother wanted to call 911, but he didn’t want her to.
She did it anyway.
She performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.
No matter what happened that night, or the nights leading up to it, she saved Michelle’s life and for that I am grateful.
I will, on her behalf, write another blog about spousal abuse at some point.

In any case, that was the night that Michelle, as she was born to be, as she should have been, died.

Even though they were able to successfully resuscitate the tiny body in front of them, a totally different child survived in her place.

The new Michelle had a stroke that paralyzed the left side of her body.
She suffered severe, irreversible, brain damage.
She had her eye muscles torn so badly from the shaking, that she needed surgery to point them both back in the same direction.
She has cortical visual impairment.
She has cerebral palsy with spastic quadriplegia and will never walk, stand, or even sit up unassisted.
She has sensory integration disorder that tormented her for years. The sound of an envelope being ripped open would send her into a panicked frenzy.

Over the years she would have multiple surgeries.

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Photos: Seafair Pirates at Seattle Children’s Hospital

ALWAYS with a smile on her beautiful face and a song in her heart.

Rods would need to be placed in her back to help her sit upright, as years of sitting in a wheelchair had bent her spine so badly that her left lung was at risk of collapsing. She still suffers from chronic back and neck pain as a result.

A pump would need to be placed in her abdomen to deliver medication to keep her limbs from tightening up.
That pump would need to be replaced and then removed after an infection nearly killed her. Her limbs are now so tight that it is almost impossible to dress her without extreme difficulty.

Her tendons in her left hand would have to be cut, so she could use that hand. The surgery didn’t work however, and she can only use her right hand now and even that is with increasing difficulty.

A feeding tube would be placed in her stomach to feed her because she never learned to chew solid food.

I’ll stop there. There’s so much more, but I think I’ve painted the picture clearly enough.

When she was 2 years old we adopted her.
She had been in foster care up to that point. I was blessed to become her mommy, and my (now ex) husband to become her daddy.
She had three big brothers who loved her as well.

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She was Home!

When she came home to us, we were told by her pediatrician to just make her as comfortable as we could and that she would never do anything more than what she was doing; Sitting, eating, and sleeping.

We saw something in her eyes however, and just couldn’t do that. We deliberately ignored all of the “experts,” and began treating her just like one of the other kids as much as we could. Reading, singing, and talking to her. Putting her in. “Time-out” when she threw one of her infamous fits, and generally treating her like a normal kid.
The boys would “drag” her off to the big castle we had in the living room. She would be the Princess and they would fight each other to rescue her.

Soon she was talking! Her first word was “tree” when she was about 2 1/2. She didn’t speak very clearly but well enough that the people who loved her could understand her.

She settled in nicely with her 3 bothers and before long, life settled down into our new normal. She went everywhere we went and did everything we did.

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When she was 3 years old, I took her to Shriner’s Hospital for a wheelchair evaluation to get her a power chair. They said that they couldn’t recommend one as they did not believe she would ever be able to drive it.
We got home and I called a wheelchair company. They sent a rep out and he did all the paperwork to get her first power chair.
Boy was I nervous the day it arrived. I had let the doubt creep in and was panicking thinking that I had just made a 10,000 dollar mistake.
She proved everyone wrong again. She was driving like a Boss within weeks!

Michelle

I never doubted her after that.

She wanted to roller skate at the local rink with her brothers so I put on my skates and headed out onto the floor pushing her manual wheelchair in front of me.
The attendant stopped us and told us she couldn’t go out there because it was too dangerous and she might get hurt.
I calmly pointed out that there were dozens of kids,
on wheels,
on a concrete floor,
without helmets!
At least she was strapped in for goodness sake. She had no argument to counter with and so off we went to do twirls in the middle of the rink with Michelle laughing with abandon.

She sat for months and watched her brothers play little league. She desperately wanted to play baseball just like her brothers, and so a bunch of volunteers got together, and helped build a league for children with disabilities. Buddy Ball was born.!
She had her very own team and she loved it!

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Two years ago she went skiing for the very first time with an amazing non-profit organization called “Outdoors for All” check them out! She had a blast riding the lift and skiing down the mountain. She even wiped out.
She continues to amaze me with her spirit!

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I can see I’m going to have to shorten this story a bit.
So much has happened over the past 16 years.

If I could use only one word to describe my daughter, that word would be joyful!

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Michelle finds joy in anything and everything. She smiles through her pain and she loves deeply, even those who do not love her.

She has been through more in 18 years than most of us will ever face in our entire lives and has done it with grace and laughter, as anyone who knows her can attest.

Her physical care is difficult, heavy, and exhausting.

she is lighthearted, joyful, and content.

I can no longer lift her and do her daily care as a result of my own illness.
After several placements into medical care homes over the past year and a half while we tried to figure out a plan, her dad (my ex-husband) quit his job and moved here to care for her full-time. I am grateful beyond words and she is finally home with her family again.
He is doing a fabulous job and she is happy.

She wants very little in life. The one thing she has always wanted is to be able to walk.
That hasn’t been a reality for her and unfortunately it never will be.
She has come really close though.
She had a special standing wheelchair that she could independently stand up and drive in, but she lost it.
The story of how she lost it is both infuriating and heartbreaking.

The standing wheelchair in the pictures that you see her in, was a loaner from the vendor.

 

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She was allowed to use it while her custom wheelchair was being ordered.
My husband was active duty Army at the time and she was covered under a program called ECHO.

This is a program for disabled children of active duty soldiers and it allowed her about 36,000 dollars a year for needed equipment. We had never used or requested any of the funding until this request.

Her ECHO benefits were being administered by US Family Health Plan (USFHP), a civilian provider of military benefits in the Pacific Northwest.

We started the process of getting her chair about a year before my husband retired from the army.

We did all of the evaluations, sent in all of the documentation of medical necessity, and after what seemed like one delay after another, we finally got the approvals!!

Once the vendor got full approval, her wheelchair was ordered.

Michelle was so excited and we were excited for her! This was a custom fitted chair with everything she needed to be as independent as possible.

My husband retired on August 1st, 2012 and her chair arrived from overseas on August 3rd, 2012
Because it arrived 2 days after my husband retired. USFHP refused to pay the ECHO benefits.

As a result she lost her custom chair and because she no longer had one on order, the vendor came and picked up her loaner chair. (I don’t blame him for that. Pete was as upset as we were).

Michelle was heartbroken!!

The benefits of this chair for her were numerous.
She was able to stand whenever she wanted to, with the push of a button, and without help.

The chair had thigh and knee supports to hold her up. This took pressure off of her tailbone which helped prevent pressure sores.

Standing helped her expand her lungs better which helps to prevent pneumonia, one of the most common causes of mortality in children like her.

Being able to stand helped her stretch her legs out, which slows down contractures that develop from being stuck in a sitting position.

She was able to reach the microwave, the sink, and the refrigerator for the first time in her life. Standing allowed her access to things that she couldn’t reach in a standard chair.

Most importantly she loved being eye to eye with her peers. She loved being “tall”.
This chair allowed her to interact on the same level as others.
The bottom line is that it made her life so much better and she loved it so much!
She really deserves to have this chair and I hate the way it was taken from her.
I was so devastated at the time and so hopeless that I admit that I gave up. I let them win. I stopped fighting for a while. I was defeated.
I’ve caught my breath and found my fight again and I’m ready to do whatever I can to help her get her chair back.

Her body is now tired, twisted, and weak.
She has a fierce spirit however that has fought through Hell and back, armed only with her courage, her love, and her joyful heart and so I’m not going to end this story because it’s not over yet.

Help me write an ending that’s fit for a princess!

Will you click on the link below and help me give her the only thing she has ever asked for?

Become a part of the miracle that she needs!
Become part of her story.
Can you give even 10 dollars?

DONATE HERE PLEASE!

You can also donate through paypal. My email is madre_of_many@yahoo.com

http://www.gofundme.com/WheelchairPrincess
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Click HERE to Help and even if you can’t give financially, please Share, Reblog, and get the word out.

Thank you!>

102 comments on “The Wheelchair Princess and How She Got Her Crown. Michelle’s Story

  1. katilak4
    April 29, 2014

    Hi! I have a few questions. What state did you adopt her in? Families who adopt disabled children in every state receive adoption assistance until the child turns 21. Also, every disabled child adopted through a state automatically receives straight medicaid (much different and much better than medicaid that is based on income.) Straight Medicaid does provide customized electric wheel chairs. If you did not know this, you need to get in touch with your adoption social worker, who can assist you with this. Every child adopted through a state is assigned an adoption social worker after the adoption, and remains your resource person. Theyalso will help you make the transition from medicaid and adoption assistance to medicare and social security when she is 21.
    How do I know this? I am an advanced practice nurse and former military officer who has fostereddo and adopted a number of medically fragile infants: who now range in age from 0-20. Although I do not intend to come accross as doubting in any way, I am asking these questions as a fellow nurse who has gotten pretty proficient in accessing what is available through the states and through medicaid. I hope that I can help you with this!

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      April 29, 2014

      Hi thanks for the comments. We adopted her through the state of Indiana (where she was shaken). We never lived in Indiana. We adopted her through an interstate compact from another state. We did receive adoption assistance that ended when she turned 18. We also had the Medicaid although I didn’t realize there are different types of Medicaid or that they paid for different levels of benefits. She still has Tricare and Medicaid. We are applying for Tricare for life for her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • katilak4
        April 29, 2014

        I am familiar with, as I also deal with the interstate compact. It makes it a little difficult, as you deal with the original state for adoption assistance and the state that you live in for medicaid. A single page has to be filled out, documenting that your daughter has not outgrown her disability, and the state of Indiana will extend her AAP until she turns 21, as well as pay retroactively for however many months since they stopped paying. It doesn’t sound at all like your post adoption social worker has been proactive, unfortunately. I suggest find ing out who it is…usually assigned alphabetically. I would call that person once, and see if they would get on the ball and send out the right paperwork. If they were not helpful, go over them to their supervisor.
        I have SO much info to share with you. I’ll find your fb page and private message you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Blended Family Chaos
        April 29, 2014

        That sounds good! My FB us Tamara Flaherty. Not the Tamara K Flaherty one. That’s an old page but I want to keep videos off of it is I haven’t deleted it.

        Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      April 29, 2014

      We never really had any support from Indiana. No social worker etc. Once we adopted her, we were pretty much on our own.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Government Bureaucrats Took This Disabled Girl’s Wheelchair | Our Tyrannical Government

  3. Pingback: The Wheelchair Princess and How She Got Her Crown. Michelle’s Story | Charles Watson

  4. Brandon Haywood
    April 11, 2014

    Hello, I am looking for a way to contact you to talk over the phone. The local Knights of Columbus council would like to explore the opportunities to help such an amazing fighter. Please email me when you get a free moment. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. swtspontaneous
    April 9, 2014

    Reblogged this on Shine Bright Like a Smile.

    Like

  6. travelsofcaroline
    April 9, 2014

    Reblogged this on Lovely Joints and commented:
    Amazing story. Inspirational. I want a warrior spirit like her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thandiubani
    April 7, 2014

    giving a new beginning to another is a unique gesture worth imitating. may blessings pour your way and may Michelle be a blessing to you.
    keep doing good.

    Like

  8. Moxie in the Making
    March 31, 2014

    Reblogged this on Moxie In The Making and commented:
    This story is definitely worth a read. Fair warning, it might make you cry. If you’re me, you’ll probably cry quite a lot actually, but read it anyway. In fact, read it because it will make you cry. Tears are proof of its honesty and potency, and I think you’ve all realized now that I appreciate honest words.

    Like

  9. Pingback: Baby Steps Will Get You There | The Ruff Draft

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 29, 2014

      Thank you so much !!!

      Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 29, 2014

      I just read your blog and I’m so thankful for people like you!! I put your blog on my twitter feed as well. Momentum matters and you are helping to build it. We hit 2400 dollars today. Thank you thank you!!

      Like

  10. nutttmeg
    March 28, 2014

    Reblogged this on megansblogblog.

    Like

  11. Pingback: “Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate” | Mind Chronicles

  12. thank you for taking time out to go through my blog and following it….i wish michelle the best and commend you and your ex husband for a job well done for raising a wonderful daughter….hope she gets closer to her wheelchair

    Like

  13. Deb
    March 27, 2014

    Bless you and your family for loving her. It’s wonderful how she’s blessed you as well! Horrifying that someone could do that to a tiny, helpless baby (or anyone for that matter).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 27, 2014

      Thank you Deb! She’s an amazing girl. The momentum is dying down though and the donations have stopped. I’m just asking everyone I know that was touched by her story to please help! Share on Facebook, Twitter, reblog etc.
      Thanks if you can help. Here is the link to the story.
      http://wp.me/p2qxDQ-5N

      Like

  14. J-Mae
    March 26, 2014

    I can’t describe the feeling of anger that took me while reading what that man did. If it seems appropriate, I did write a song about this. I admire Michelle’s courage and joy, and I hope she continues to get all the love and care she had the wonderful chance of receiving. She’s beautiful, and was such an adorable baby. As much as my words here are said on a light tone, however, the lyrics I wrote are much more grave. If it means anything to read them…

    http://jessicabloody.wordpress.com/music-and-related-stuff/songs/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 26, 2014

      Thank you Jessica for allowing her story to touch your heart. I will go listen to your song. Thank you.

      Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 26, 2014

      The lyrics are beautiful, and strong. They recognize her value, her beauty, and her strength while condemning the person who took so much from her that wasn’t his to take.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nosymums
    March 26, 2014

    Amazing how Allah (God) can give us strength to pull through…

    Life is full of cycles of hardship and ease. Always stay hopeful and positive that He will guide and protect you and give you ease…hang in there 🙂

    Passionately written and very inspiring!

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 26, 2014

      Thank you! I’m glad the her story touched your heart. Your kind uplifting words are appreciated.

      Like

  16. pratique21
    March 26, 2014

    Both of you are beautiful. Wish you all the happiness. I hope you raise enough for the wheelchair. Good Luck 🙂

    Like

  17. jadoremusic89
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on J'Adore Music and commented:
    I wanted to share this on my blog because I find this to be a powerful story, that can give you hope to smile through the tough times. Please read it, it will bring you to tears, but the beautiful smile on this girl will give you hope.

    Like

  18. isa13na
    March 25, 2014

    This is such an amazing and inspirational story, and she’s amazing!

    Like

  19. grotmanharry
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on harrygrotman.

    Like

  20. Portia
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on Moon Star Soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Miss Havisham's Tea Party
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on Miss Havisham's Tea Party and commented:
    Love.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Kelly Flaherty
    March 25, 2014

    I can barely fathom how on earth someone could be so cruel to a newborn. How the majority of people long for the privilege to hold a baby in their arms. I will pray for all of you and share your campaign.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. pleasantlyneurotic
    March 25, 2014

    ‘Tis a true heart changing story. I cannot help financially, as I am currently unemployed. However, if you allow me, I can share your blog, and maybe other people, who can help more than me, will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      I would love for you to share her story! That a huge help.
      I’m sorry that you are struggling and pray that it improves for you quickly.

      Like

  24. Madhura
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on Miss Moody and commented:
    Fantastic story… brought tears to my eyes… read and share the story people!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: The Wheelchair Princess and How She Got Her Crown. Michelle’s Story | Life in CSIA?

  26. Madhura
    March 25, 2014

    I’m crying and smiling at the same time. Overwhelmed, really. We never really think of such woes people go through until it directly affects our life in some way. And your post did just quite that. The way you tell this beautiful story, made me feel like I know Michelle, too. Her fierceness of spirit comes as an inspiration. I respect all that you have done, and she is an amazing lady! My heart goes out to her! She is a fighter indeed and definitely a princess. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  27. ksbeth
    March 25, 2014

    what a beautiful beautiful story and you were so lucky to have found each other ) beth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Thanks Beth, that’s how we’ve always felt. People would say that she was lucky to have us and it just felt wrong to agree. We are blessed to have each other! The lessons she has taught me , the example she has set, the spirit in her that never gives up or gives in. That is more valuable than anything we might have given her!
      That’s why I want this chair so badly for her.
      If you can share the site http://www.gofundme.com/WheelchairPrincess

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Kittykatmandoo
    March 25, 2014

    This puts one’s mild woes well into perspective. I’m so sorry to learn of her beginnings. How frightening and horrific. What a flaming spirit she is, and you are such an extraordinary family.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. jadoremusic89
    March 25, 2014

    I’m crying, you are an incredible person and you have a good heart. She seems like such a lovely and joyful girl, despite everything she’s been through she is still smiling. This is inspiring for anyone going through a tough time, keep smiling and going forward.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. papaburgundy84
    March 25, 2014

    She has one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen and you are an amazing mother. Will donate what I can when I get paid!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Thank you papa!
      Also just share her story, reblog..however. That will make a huge difference.

      Like

  31. justme0486
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on justme0486 and commented:
    I have CP and i am in a chair myself so I understand a bit of what she is going through. I hope she gets her chair soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ana
    March 25, 2014

    She is a lucky girl to have you as her mom. This planet needs more people like you!

    Liked by 3 people

  33. oawritingspoemspaintings
    March 25, 2014

    It is inspiring & brings hope to find thoroughly good people in this world! Your story is one of heroic quality which not many of us can match without braking down… You have my full admiration.
    My very best wishes go to all your familie’s well being, may life bring only good tidings to you all from now on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Thank you. The past few years have been tough and I’ve let her down in ways that I never wanted to. She loves my anyway, just the same. She is thrilled to be living back with and close by her family again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • oawritingspoemspaintings
        March 25, 2014

        You have never let her down! You did what you had to do with the tools & circumstances you were given & you did it PERFECTLY.
        I’m sure she knows that & acknowledges it through her demonstrations of love & affection.
        I’m sure you are all happy to have her back home for the time being & wish you much luck with everything 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Like

  34. susanddhavle
    March 25, 2014

    Michelle is so fortunate to have you. This is a story with a sad loveless beginning of her life and what has happened with the love and support from you and your family. I hope that you are able to get that new wheelchair.
    I blog about caring for my elderly mother at searandyellowleaf.wordpress.com perhaps you can check it out I wish you tremendous luck and want very badly for the joy in your daughter’s eyes to be seen by many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      I think we are far more fortunate to have her, at least I am. I feel like I should be doing so much more than I do for her!

      I’ll check out your blog. Caregiving is a difficult job on done days. Take breaks for yourself.

      Like

      • susanddhavle
        March 25, 2014

        Thank you…and of corse you are fortunate to have such a fighter. Bless you all.

        Like

  35. Andrew Shoemaker
    March 25, 2014

    The link does need more exposure.

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Yeah I just updated it above the last picture. I can’t figure out how to load the code for the widget. It just keeps disappearing. I need a blog designer .
      BTW son I didn’t ask if I could expose your picture to thousands of people….oops! Too late now!
      I love you!

      Like

  36. Blended Family Chaos
    March 25, 2014

    Thank you for sharing Michelle’s story!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. silvijakb
    March 25, 2014

    What a moving story! She is truly a princess, a warrior princess who beat all of the odds to thrive and flourish with the help of her flock of angels, your family. Sending many thoughts and prayers and hopes for only the best for all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. misstrie
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on kraexhaust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • misstrie
        March 25, 2014

        Thank YOU for all you do and have done for the wonderful and beautiful Michelle, Tamara. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Blended Family Chaos
        March 25, 2014

        Aww. The support and love for her and her warrior spirit is overflowing tonight.
        Thank you

        Like

      • misstrie
        March 25, 2014

        ❤

        Like

  39. Laxman Prajapati
    March 25, 2014

    Thanks so much for visiting and following my blog! I appreciate it very much. 🙂

    Like

  40. Em_
    March 25, 2014

    she’s very beautiful! God bless! 🙂

    Like

  41. J-Mae
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on Jessi's Realm.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Miss Lou
    March 25, 2014

    #Crying

    The journey of your family is amazing. Michelle is an inspiration. You are all an inspiration.

    3 years does not seem like anywhere near enough time as a consequence for the action would caused so much damage.

    I take particular note of your reference to spousal abuse and I’ve witnessed this so many times both in my work advocating for change within the Out of home care system, as well as in my own family. My mother was an alcoholic, prescription drug user (abuse of) and also found herself in the most violent and vicious relationships.

    I’ve tears flowing down my face reading of the injuries she suffered – both physical and psychological.

    So much pain and suffering and yet the beautiful smile she has looks like it could light up the entire world for a year!!

    I wonder how she fared during her time in foster care? Did you know her carers very well? Had there been many or just one family who cared for her?

    I congratulate you on ignoring all the experts who told you to ‘just make her comfortable’ The ability of children with these types of impairments is absolutely amazing. They are often underestimated by people who have not taken the time to spend quality time observing and engaging with the children to truly have any idea of their potential.

    The description of settling in to you ‘New normal’ leaves me with a HUGE smile on my face… I love that!

    Your description of her ‘Driving like a Boss’ has been recovering from a tearful session to a bit of a giggle. #AbsoluteAwesomeness

    BuddyBall, Wheelchair Rink Rides – You guys have reinvented the wheel!!

    Along the way it sounds like you have had other family struggles too. It’s wonderful Michelle’s father is now at home and helping pull things back on track.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your very personal story with us, the world 🙂

    ML
    ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Wow! My best comment ever! Thank you for the thought that went into it!
      Her smile really shows you the purity of her spirit , especially in the midst of her suffering.
      My family, my health, the kids….chaos for the past few years. Still trying to find our way but getting better.
      I’m sorry your mom (and you by extension) went through all if that.
      She was lonely in foster care but still connected to everyone. It was a voluntary placement for medical/personal care reasons. She still spent time at home and had holidays and birthdays and such with us . She was in one foster home and two great pediatric medical homes. One because she needed IV meds for 3 months through a PICC line. I’m just glad she’s home with family again. She will be having a slumber party with me Friday night. 😉

      Like

      • Miss Lou
        March 25, 2014

        #AbsoluteAwesomeness 🙂

        Never loose hope for the outcomes you like, because with faith) and hard work and consistency, you just never know when what you need will come to you 🙂

        Miss Lou
        xx
        ♥

        Liked by 1 person

      • Blended Family Chaos
        March 25, 2014

        I’m just praying that people are seeing the link to help get her chair back. Is it pretty clear?

        Like

      • Miss Lou
        March 25, 2014

        No, unfortunately the link is not clear enough!! It is there, which is great but there are other things you can do.

        You need to place a banner on the home page of your blog – the place where everyone lands before they actually get in to read any posts.

        One of my girlfriends did this for a family members ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign. – check it out here: http://tammie-myaura.blogspot.com.au/

        It is on the right hand side.

        I have not done it myself so cannot offer specifics, but if you go into the campaign page, you should be able to get some assistance to work out how it can be done.

        The other thing I would do is follow up with a post directly asking for help and link the post you have done into the new post – that way people can read about the history.

        The photographs are really wonderful way of placing visuals into our minds and make things that much more clearer for us as readers – so be sure to always include them as it connects us well 🙂

        Regular updates are really important and acknowledgement of help already provided is always wonderful. In my experience, we love to feel like we have made a difference 🙂

        Hope it helps 🙂

        ML
        x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Blended Family Chaos
        March 25, 2014

        Ok great. I’ll try to figure out how to do that. I want to make the most of this exposure for her.

        Like

  43. lindandoa
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on LindaNdoa..Forever I Do. and commented:
    This story brought me to tears….

    Liked by 1 person

  44. ying
    March 25, 2014

    Reblogged this on Hearing it, Reaching for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. mocha
    March 25, 2014

    Came across this on a reblog and my heart is still in my throat.Amazing and powerful. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 25, 2014

      Thank you Mocha. I’m a brand new blogger/ writer (I don’t think I can call myself a writer yet) so the reblog was great.
      My daughter has been an inspiration to everyone who has had the privilege of being part of her world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mocha
        March 25, 2014

        Inspirational indeed. Today I am touched and I needed that. Well done

        Liked by 1 person

  46. Cristian Mihai
    March 24, 2014

    Reblogged this on Cristian Mihai.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. parkhurst6
    March 24, 2014

    good Job…..I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Deanna
    March 24, 2014

    An amazing young lady. She has flourished and blessed to have you as her mother!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 24, 2014

      She is incredible. I was thinking today how much whining and griping I do about my limitations as I was writing about gets. Ashamed of myself! Going to change that as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  49. justsandrajm
    March 24, 2014

    This is such a heart breaking story. Your words were so powerful and I loved reading it but it also brought to mind the evil in some people’s hearts. She is such a strong young lady and I sure hope she gets her standing wheel chair very soon!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blended Family Chaos
      March 24, 2014

      Thank you for always taking the time to comment (when you can 😉 ).My comment section gets pretty lonely all by itself.
      She is an amazing girl and her spirit is inspiring. I may write a part 2 to this to go over all the changes in her life the past few years and how she has handled all the chaos and change.

      Liked by 2 people

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