Posts Tagged Chris Keith

Fatherlessness and my A.D.D

     I was talking with my son today about the world and how not everyone is fortunate enough to grow up with a loving dad. A loving dad who plays basketball with them every single day after work. A father that will turn on music and dance like a dork just to have fun with his kids. Or a daddy who will stomach (literally) several kicks to the groin just because his kids want to wrestle. I am not perfect but I do all of those things just because I know what it is like not to have that love from a father.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had family in my life but just a different kind. I lost my immediate family at 5 years old but a giant, loving family was already being orchestrated for me by my Heavenly Father. My grandparents raised me and did their best and did a great job. I just wasn’t the easiest kid to raise. And my grandparents hadn’t picked up the latest copy of ‘How to raise a little kid who is a sole survivor of a family/murder suicide’. (Note the sarcasm!) My grandpa did a great job of playing catch with me out in the yard every now and then and as an adult with kids of my own, those memories are still close to my heart. I want my kids to have those memories. OH MAN! Did I get sidetracked again. Sometimes reading the blog of someone who has A.D.D and, who knows what else, can be interesting.

In fact, anytime I email friends, I always add a code word at the bottom just so I can make sure they read my whole email because my intentions are to keep it brief but once I start writing, I can’t stop. (Isn’t that a Miley Cirus song?) #sidetrackedagain

Back to the lecture at hand (90’s Hip Hop reference), this was supposed to be about how I got the opportunity today to talk with my son about being a father and mentor to someone. How, even though I didn’t have that so-called father in my life, I had several people in my life that stepped up as mentors and helped me in my times of need. I thank God for the father/son moments where I can share some of my limited wisdom with my oldest son as we shoot hoops or other activities. I will attach a documentary about fatherlessnes that I was a part of a few years ago. Check it out if you haven’t seen it. There are some great stories in the film. I recommend the whole movie but if you are short on time, my story starts at around 28 minutes. If you are still reading this, the code word is elbow. What the heck is the point of poison ivy? Anyone? -cK


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Summer of 2011

Our family this summer

Whew, this was a crazy summer. I will try to summarize it. It started in May when we got licensed to foster/adopt. We had done respite care for a few weekends for these three amazing little kids and received word shortly after that they needed to stay with us for the summer (can’t go into why). So we welcomed them with open arms even though we weren’t prepared for what was next. Our house went from one kid who likes to sleep in to adding three kids who were used to getting up early. It was a shock and also the fact that the two-year old constantly was destructive with everything.  They all had their quirks but we still grew to love them all. At first we didn’t get attached but as time went on, we definitely got attached and knew that when they left we would miss the heck out of them. We did as much as we could to keep everyone busy. Not only the kids (so they wouldn’t have to think about their current situation) but also for us because the more activities we did the more we kept the house from getting destroyed, haha. We went to Legoland many times, countless sprayparks, regular parks, several water parks, the lake, and even took a 14hr road trip to Atlanta for my brother in law’s wedding. This has been the busiest summer that I can ever remember. The kids left at the end of August and things here got weird. No more 6am wake up calls and while we are very sad that the kids are gone, my son has taken the biggest hit. He has prayed for years for some siblings and he got pretty depressed when they left. He stopped eating, etc. He is a good kid and I know he will bounce back. I had the opportunity to share my story at several places this summer as well. I spoke at a conference in Dallas in July (video here) and also spoke at a conference with Big Brother/Big Sister in August (video coming soon) I had a blast and wish I could do this more often. I am also scheduled to share on a talk show in Chicago in October but I won’t talk much about that until it gets closer just in case plans change. Crystal is doing well, she is just now catching her breath from parenting four kids all summer. She is now adjusting to Dylan’s new home-school schedule and they all love it. Dylan is learning so much. I have been quite surprised to hear him recite some of the things he has recited when I get home from work. We just went to Colorado with my wife’s parents as they were heading down there to look at some property and they offered to let us ride with them. It was a short vacation but much-needed. It was amazing to actually have to wear a jacket because it was cold. This Texas heat has been depressing all summer and hopefully it’s over for the year.

We just got a phone call to respite three more kids for the next week. We are excited and it should make things around here a little crazy, in a good way. We love having a big family. Even if only for a week. ** Update** The week is over now and the kids have left. They were very cute kids. We experienced our first trip to the ER since we have been fostering. The little 3yr old girl jumped off the coffee table and did a twirl but her feet got caught on her way down and she face-planted onto our tile floor. She was vomitting everywhere and they said she had a concussion. It was a crazy day. We are still in the process of adopting but we haven’t had any progress in that area yet. Soon, I hope. We are looking forward to the holidays and hopefully we will have a bigger family to take to Tulsa this year for Christmas.

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Xray of bullet fragments still in the back of my head.

Bullet fragments in back of my brain from my dad's .38

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I was 5yrs old that Sunday night, when my dad came over…My parents were seperated in the midst of getting a divorce. My dad was an alcoholic and also frequently used drugs. He was very abusive to my mother. At one point, my mother took my brother and I to live at a battered women’s shelter with her because my dad, at many times, became physical. That Sunday, my dad asked my mom for another chance, so she agreed to let him come over and talk. My mother was warned by several friends not to take my dad back, she told them “he would never hurt the kids” and so she would try to reconcile with him. That Sunday evening, when my dad came over, he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. My brother and I went off to bed as my parents were arguing. Their argument continued to the bedroom. My dad started to strangle my mother and ended up suffocating her with a pillow on the bed. He then grabbed his .38 Read the rest of this entry »

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