An Honour to the Special Men in Our Lives

Today we celebrate Father’s, and I am more than thankful to be blessed more than I could ever imaged or hoped for. 

 

My Father has always been the one to push us forward towards success, although we might not always be able to see it. He argues every opinion we throw at him, and as a teenager, I always thought that he was just arguing for the hell of it.  As I grow older I see that his strong opinions enabled me to be come a strong, (sometimes opinionated), well rounded woman. He did everything he could to made sure we were taken care of, even if that meant taking a job in Iraq. He sacrificed, so that we could live a life better than the one he had.

 

 

Just 11 months ago, my Dad’s status was upgraded from just ‘Dad’ to ‘Grandpa’. He waited in the waiting room as Luca came into the world, and since that day he has loved, cared and provided for Luca in ways that only a Grandpa can. He was the one I talked to at 5am after I had been up feeding Luca all night. He sat with me in the hospital room as we waited for a diagnosis, even sleeping in a chair. He came with me to my appointments, talked to doctors and asked the hard questions when I couldn’t. Luca Guilio isn’t just an Italian name I picked out of a hat, it was specifically picked with a special person in mind, my Dad. 

 

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As Luca’s first Father’s Day, theres someone else I wanted to show my gratitude to, my Uncle, Randy. When Luca was in the hospital, he visited everyday. He stayed for hours holding Luca, asking questions and researching possible diagnosis. He drove me to appointments at 7am, and stuck around the halls of the hospital till we were done. Although Luca and I don’t visit as much as we’d like, we are still so grateful to have him in our lives. 

Although they might not be fathers yet, my brothers will one day be and I am so proud of the men that have turned into. 

 

Last but not least, I have a very special man to thank, Joshua. 

 

Josh came into our lives when Luca was eight weeks old. I still remember the day he asked if he could be Luca’s dad, I nearly cried. A year ago, I was so worried that Luca would never have that, yet here Josh was stepping up to a plate another man left on the table. Joshua loves my son, and Luca is no longer just my son, he’s our son.

Luca crawls around the house after Josh leaves, saying, “Dada?” as he looks into every room. Luca gets so excited when Josh comes home from work and crawls on Josh’s lap after a long work day cuddles into his chest and tells him all about his day. He loves cuddling with his Daddy. They take Saturday afternoon naps together, snack on popcorn twists and watch Disney movies. 

 

 

As time goes on, my heart grows fuller with love for my two boys and the bond they share. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love, patience and understanding Josh is passing on to Luca. 

 

Luca and I are blessed beyond words. We both have so many important men in our lives, its impossible to thank them all. On this Father’s Day, we want to thank all of the amazing men in our lives, thank you for being exemplary role models for both Luca and I. For showing us love, understanding, humility and strength. 

 

We love you! 

 

Kruze

This is a long post, grab a coffee and take a read

I’m a mom to one and a sister to thirteen. Yep, that's right, it's not a typo, 1-3...thirteen.

Everyone always has the same reaction, so before we go on, I'll answer some questions. Yes, they are all real. No, there are no 'step' or 'half' children, my parents are the parents to all fourteen of us. No, my parents are not Mormon but funny enough they are Catholic and yes, they do believe in birth control. 


Our family is different in many ways, you might take a look at our Family Photos and notice that in this family we range in flavour from vanilla to caramel to dark chocolate. You might think that we look more like a day camp than a family and you'd be right, we do and sometimes strangers make it known to us how strange we look as a 'family'.

We're 'different' and in today's society that makes people nervous, but one little boy taught us that different doesn't have to be a bad thing; this story is about him. 



My parents became foster parents when I was 10 years old, for the past 16 years they have dedicated their lives to helping others, to rehabilitating families and restructuring their own. We have had 47 children come and go from our home through Foster & Respite Care. Some stayed for years, some months and some only weeks. Some stay forever; no refunds or exchanges, and that's exactly how we went from a family of six to a family to a family of sixteen. 

But this post isn’t about us, this post is about someone very special. Take a look at the attached pictures and you’ll see one little guy stands out a bit more, the youngest boy. This little guy is my littlest brother Kruze. This is his story.


My parents first met Kruze when he was 4 1/2 months old, he had been in Foster care from birth. He was born at 33 weeks gestation and spend his first weeks in the hospital. His birth story is so traumatizing and dramatic, it sounds like it was written for a movie, and not real life. 

When Kruze first arrived to live in the Ruzic Household, he could barely hold his head. He didn’t make eye contact or smile. He wasn’t reaching the milestones of a typical 4 month old baby, he was lightyears behind, but not only that, Kruze was completely blank. At four month old, Kruze chose sleep as his escape. 

As anyone who knows my mother, you’ll know that he was hers as soon as he was dropped off. You read about the stories of the animals that ‘adopting’ the strays, they care for them, provide them and protect them. That is my mother. So as soon as Kruze was placed in her home, she became his; his provider, his protector and his advocator. 


My mom carried Kruze around in a sling for months, she wanted to instil the love that he had been denied at birth, she wanted to show him that he mattered. It took months. Mom worked tirelessly with the Child Development Clinic trying to teach Kruze the things that ‘typical’ babies do. Professionals knew something was wrong; no one could ascertain how his traumatic birth could or would affect him long term. Possibilities, such as Celebral Palsy, were thrown around. For months it was uncertain if he would ever walk, or even stand on his own. Worrying and praying became a part of our everyday life, as we waited diagnosis. 

Kruze was a year old by the time he had even learned how to roll over. By the time he was 13 months old, it was like something clicked and he was able to sit up by himself. He was crawling by 15 month and shortly after he was living up to his name.  

Doctors mentioned Autism when Kruze was only 20 months old, by 29 months Kruze was diagnosed with Severe Autism.

Kruze’s adoption was finalized 6 weeks after.

Darlene Ruzic, has been a problem solver since birth, putting everyone ahead of herself and insuring her children got the best. She did it in everything aspect of her life, from returning gifts bought for her at Christmas time to pay for field trips, to driving a beat up old Suburban and working extra so we could attend a private school to get a better education. Mom's generous heart didn't just extend to her kids but to her entire family, on to strangers and people she barely knew. Mom was the reliable one; the one you called when you needed a co-signer, or a new fridge; the one you called when you just couldn't figure out how to install your new carseat. She was the one who stopped everything to watch your kids. She found an answer for every question and solved every problem.

Autism, that isn't something you can 'solve', it isn't a problem that can be fixed by sacrifice or extra work. Autism is life changing. You wonder what you could or shouldn't have done. You wonder how your child will ever have a 'normal' life. It took us a long time to realize that Autism isn't a problem that needs to be solved.

Kruze might be different; but he lives and loves in more colours than we can even imagine. 

 

 



Today Kruze is a four year old ball of energy, he has a beautiful spirit and and infectious smile. The world, however, isn’t made for him. Kruze struggles with many parts of day to day life. He is non-verbal but vocal; he has a high-pitched screech when he is happy and excited, he hums when he’s nervous, scared or upset. He has a challenging time going into new and even familiar places, any transition is difficult. A simple traffic detour causes a meltdown and can ruin his day.

Kruze has no understanding of safety. He attempts to pull pots off the the stove or open the oven. The microwave has become his newest obsession. This results in burns; to my mother as she cooks and dodges his hands. Sadly, Kruze has also been burned. Kruze doesn’t seem to respond to pain, therefore he doesn’t learn through cause and effect or even just natural consequences.

Most recently, Kruze has figured out how to escape both the house and the yard. In the past two weeks, he’s been able to escape five times. For someone who didn’t walk till nearly 2, boy, can he run and he is determined, too. He giggles, looking back at you chasing him and runs faster.

We work with a team of professionals at the LEAD Foundation on strategies to keep Kruze safe and even with all the precautions that we have taken, even with a team of professionals my mom still worries about the safety of her son. As a mother myself, I can only imagine the helpless feeling it must bring to her.

Recently, Kruze’s team has suggested a Service Dog, after a lot of research we think it would be life changing, not only for Kruze but for our family. A service dog would help improve Kruze’s quality of life. It would provide safety in and out of the home, control his meltdowns and hopefully help people understand that Kruze is a little bit different.

We are currently turning to social media to help us crowdfund a service dog, we have applied to a few place but do not have the funding required and are currently at a standstill. Yes, there are a few government programs that will cover the costs, but the wait list is 3-5 years 

Kruze doesn’t have that kind of time, he needs a service dog to keep him safe now.

Kruze has taught us many things, but most importantly Kruze has taught us that different is beautiful.

We are asking people to please, "SHARE" our post and "GoFundMe" Page with you friends, family and followers. No donation is too small. 

My hope is that by raising awareness the government will increase its funding to programs like these and which in turn will dramatically decrease the wait times, giving children with Autism a fighting chance at living in 'our world' and alleviating some of their parents stress and worries. 

 

www.gofundme.com/Kruze 

Why I Will ALWAYS Argue with Anti-Vaxxers

For the past few months, every mommy group I have been in posts nearly daily about vaccines and each time I see one I cringe. 

I have strong opinions on vaccinations.

My strong opinions are because I had to become a strong woman and a strong mother one terrifying day in September. 

It was the friday of Labour Day Weekend, Luca was six weeks old. He seemed a little warm when we went to bed and then had been up all night crying. I was exhausted but I called my mom and asked her to drive me to my 6 week check up.  While I was there, I asked her about fevers in newborns. 

‘If your baby has any type of fever. Take him to the hospital as soon as you leave here.” 

I left and stopped at the pharmacy, “What's a fever?” The pharmacist handed me a print out from sick kids. Luca’s fever wasn’t above 37.7, was it? 

It wasn’t. Guarded with my new thermometer, I took his temperature religiously for the next 3 hours. I watched it climb. When it got to close to 37 degrees, I called my mom. Take us to the hospital

I watched them take my baby from my carseat and strip him naked on a table. I watched a crowd of ten people crowd around my 9 pound baby, shoving needles and tubes down every orface of his body. I watched my baby lay there and barely move, as the colour dissipated from his skin. I watched my baby’s heart rate spike to nearly 200bpm and then..  

I watched them prepare for my baby’s heart to stop. 

I held his hand as a man used a hand held machine to breath for him. I listen as they threw around the words ‘septic’, not fully understanding what they meant. I listen to them discuss where they were placing him, ICU or the General Ward? I listen to him cry to be held, to be picked up, to he cuddled. 

 

We weren’t going home and we didn’t go home for the next 10 days, we became residents of the children’s hospital.

 

 

As we were moved into our room we were told that they did not know what happened for Luca to end up there; they tested for both viral and bacterial infections.

There isn’t any peace when they tell you that the fate of your child will be arriving … soon. 

I didn't leave. I didn’t sleep. I don’t think I even showered. I sat beside his bed, unable to pick him up. I watched his temperature climb and his heart rate spike. I watched as they poked and prodded. MRIs, EEGs, Spinal Taps, and hourly assessments. He laid there, a shell of what my baby usually was. 

 

When I see someone post about not vaccinating their children it makes me sick, I want to scream at them, I want to hurt them. 

There are usually 2 reasons people don’t vaccinate, the first is the risk of autism. 

Andrew Jeremy Wakefield was the first researcher to ever say that vaccines cause autism. Did you know he’s been discredited? His 1998 research paper was considered fraudulent.

The bases of vaccines causing autism is based simply on timing; the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine is around the same time symptoms of autism begin to appear. 

These people are risking their kids life based on a theory about timing. 

Scientists cannot pinpoint what causes autism, theories are faulty genes mixed with environmental factors such as: chemical imbalance, viruses, chemicals at birth. In rare cases autistic behaviour is caused by rubella in utero. 

Did you see that? In utero…? In RARE cases, it can be caused if the mother has rubella while pregnant. Hmmm, momma, looks like you should have got your shot. 

The second reason people chose not to vaccinate their children is Government Conspiracy that vaccines are deadly poisons. Do you actually think Trump could keep that a secret?  

Just for good measure, I google searched “Secrets the Canadian Government kept from the People”. There were 2 dozen cabinet decisions kept from us for years, but thank God not one of them is about the poison in the vaccines we give to babies. 

Unsurprisingly, people like this have existed since the beginning of time. Edward Jenner, pioneer of the small pox vaccine, had a group of angry movement literally claimed that getting a small pox vaccine would turn you into a cow. 

Mhmmm… sounds legit.

The only place the anti-vaccination movement is getting any traction in on social media, because we are a generation of “Click and Share”. Because we’d rather take our information on vaccines from our Instagram friend with 2.2million followers rather than doing our own research or forming our own opinions. We are a generation of sheep being lead to slaughter. 

Luca gets his vaccines on time, every time. He got his six month shots on his six month birthday. I’m not naive, and I’m not paranoid; I’m well-educated and I might even be opinionated but I’ve sat next to him and watched him crash, I’m not doing that again. Luca will continue to get ever vaccination he can and should.  Luca will have his shots on time, every time, because I’m not willing to let an illness be my fault. 

A few of my friends didn’t get their children the flu shot. Honestly, it makes me mad. They’ll read this and they’ll know, but it bothers me. I think its lazy; I think its illogical.  In 2015-2016 there were 1532 Paediatric Hospitalizations because of the influenza, there were thirteen deaths. Eight of them were in Alberta, does it still seem like too much work to walk into a pharmacy to get your kid a flu shot? 

No.

If you can protect your child, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to protect them? That’s your job. In fact, as a parent that is your only job. Keep them alive, and protect them.

They go hand in hand, so do your job.