Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I haven't talked about this before and it has been going on for quite a while.
You see, our eldest, Adison, has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
I *knew* for a while years before the diagnosis, but had been avoiding it.
I don't think I was in denial, more of a "let's wait and see" type of thing.

In the womb Adison was active, I swear she seemed to kick 24/7.
When she came out of the womb she was always awake and wanting to see/touch/interact with the world.
She did everything early, walking- check, talking- check, you name it-check.
She was ALWAYS busy, into everything, checking out new things.

I never really thought about the fact that she was different from the other kids.
At reading time at the library Adison simply could. not. sit. still. and. listen. to. the. story.
At church, more often than not, the youth pastor would have to go sit in her classroom with her because she was all over the place.
At preschool she was everywhere, doing everything, all the time.

I thought it was just her.
We are all made different, with different strengths and capabilities.
So she was just active, engaged in everything, a quick learner.

I can't tell you how many "talks" caregivers of different sorts would have with me about Adison's "behavior". 
It was infuriating.
K and I loved and still love that Adison is her own person, she marches to the beat of her own drum and does it proudly.
She is who she is and we have always been so proud of her.
She is simply an awesome kid.

There were so many struggles though.
Having to remind her of the same thing over and over and over and over and over again only to have her forget or get distracted.
Telling her something and her instantly doing something else.
Talking to her about self-control and making good choices only to see that those talks went in one ear and out the other.
Trying to talk with adults that had chosen to work with children at vacation bible school who just couldn't seem to understand that not all kids were made with the ability to sit and listen quietly.
Who rather than showing my child love and attention chose instead to be mean and horrible to her.

K and I had talked about getting her tested for ADHD but had always hesitated because we didn't want her to be labeled as ADHD.
We wanted people to see her for who she is rather than that "ADHD kid".

One day, last year, while I was at Adison's soccer practice, I stood on the sidelines and just watched her.
Heartbroken and just sad.
While other children had grown out of their inattention and distractibility, my child was all over the place.
The coach would give them drills to run and she just couldn't stick with it.
When the kids were supposed to be patiently listening to the coach mine was on the ground rolling around with her ball.
I thank God that she is who she is, that she is oblivious to the differences, but my heart hurt for her.
All of the past struggles she had had and everything else were there, staring me in the face.
She was struggling, this was more than we could handle.
I had a psych degree and had worked with children, I had tried everything I could with Adison and this was beyond what we could work on without help.

That night I talked with K, told him what had happened and we made the decision to talk to our pediatrician about getting Adison tested for ADHD.
I was so impressed with how quickly the whole process went.
I picked up some questionnaires for K and I to fill out and to give to two of her teachers at school.

Filling out the questionnaire for us was no big deal, easy peasy.

Seeing the results from what her teachers filled out what so incredibly hard.
To see how much she was struggling broke my heart.

Meeting with our pediatrician, Dr. C, was no big deal.
I think that facing how hard things had been for Adison made the appointment easy.
We just wanted to help her.
We went through the questionnaires together and consulted with the DSM-IV.
Adison did, in fact, have ADHD.
We talked about different options and in the end decided to try medication and continue with the techniques we were working on at home.

The change was dramatic, she was still Adison but a more focused Adison.
Things were so much better and at school she was flourishing.

The only thing that was a concern was her weight loss, but Dr. C was on top of things, checking her out every couple of weeks.
Her weight did even out and she is thriving.

She is still Adison.

She still has her quirks and is still distractable, but not to the extent that it had been.
She is doing amazing.

Looking back, I wish that we would have done this sooner.

I wish that we wouldn't have waited.
But, that's the joy of hindsight, its always 20/20.

I know that things could be much worse, I know that other parents have much more difficult struggles.
I am aware of how blessed we have been.

But, in our little life, this was and is a struggle.
A struggle that we are blessed with, you see, I wouldn't change a single thing about our little family.
We all have things that we work through, that help shape us into being who we are supposed to be.
I'm just happy that have the honor of being this little girl's mama.


  1. Oh man, I can't imagine how hard this must have been for you guys. I'm really glad she's benefiting from the treatment and that you are all taking this challenge on with such a positive attitude! You are such an awesome mommy!

  2. Danna and K,
    With such amazing parents Adison (and the other cupcakes) are sure to have amazing opportunities as they get older. Just having parents that love them and believe and support them as much as you guys do they already have a head start over so many children. You guys rock. I hope you know that!