I call myself a mom* because it is too exhausting to think about all of the titles that asterisk represents. I’m an epilepsy mom and a neurotypical mom. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom, a student mom, and a working mom. I am a mom by fostercare, adoption and biology. I write about epilepsy, orphan care, faith and pure exhaustion. I’m not willing to box myself into a corner and commit to just one topic forever because there are lots of things I want to speak out about.
When life was simple, we had a church and friends that we thought would stick around through anything. It turns out that life can get pretty lonely when your kid starts having seizures. I don’t say that to shame the people who bailed, I write about our journey to let other parents know that they are not alone. I am still a Christian and we have a church we love now but sometimes I still have to remind myself that we’re safe there. I’m also still working on adjusting to life with a monster in our house.
I earned my master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University while learning how to parent a special needs child. Now I work as an adjunct psychology professor at a local community college and I see clients at a non-profit counseling center. Someday I am going to travel the world and make a difference for at least some portion of humanity.
The Players in This Story
As a foster mom I was not allowed to post pictures or names or any information that could identify my children. So if you look back through my posts, you may notice me using nicknames.
At this point, that sounds a little weird so most of the time I call everyone by their first names. We do still refer to our youngest two as “the litttles” around our house though. It helps us remember how lucky we are to have them in our lives. So here are the players in this story:
Hubby / Curt
We’ve been married for 12 years. He’s my best friend and my favorite bald guy in the world. I don’t know how I would have survived this journey without him.
Captain Bad Guy Fighter (Captain for short) / Noah
For the record, he chose that moniker himself when he was little. Noah is 10 and our only biological child. He is my MMA fighter, incredibly smart at math and science and has a heart of gold. If you ever want to have a deep conversation at 3:00AM about whether zombies have souls or the ethics behind time travel, he’s your man.
Little Man / Bradley
He is 4 now and was our first real foster child. We took in a few respite (short term) kids first but he’s came to us as a 5 month old and never left. He loves to cuddle with me and always has a smile. We adopted him almost 2 years after he was placed with us. I recently described him as having the spunk of 1000 hyenas. That pretty much sums him up.
Little Miss / Alyssa
Alyssa is 7 years old and the reason my house is covered in pink. She is Bradley’s half-sister. When she came to us she was a scared and hurt 2 year old that would scream for hours and was more than a year behind in her speech. While we were waiting on her adoption to be finalized, Alyssa started having seizures that wouldn’t stop. Several months after the adoption, she was diagnosed with a rare and severe genetic disorder, PCDH19 Girl’s Clustering Epilepsy. Her seizures are currently controlled though medication but this diagnosis still impacts our family on a daily basis.
Me / Le Shepard
I guess I should give a little bio on myself too. I’m in my 30’s and earned my master’s degree in counseling psychology in 2015. I used to work with pregnant teenagers but had to quit when Alyssa got sick. Now that she is more stable and I am out of school, I am working as an adjunct psychology professor and a counselor. I am often sarcastic and random. My interests range from MMA (mixed martial arts) to scrapbooking. I love to travel and secretly fantasize about selling everything and roadschooling my kids.