Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Allegiance

video
OK, So I know I'm her Mama, but this right her is just pure cuteness.  My girl has gone through over 300 hours of therapy since she has been home.  She is almost 4 years old. Selfishly it can be exhausting, and some days I feel like we have made NO progress.  But this video does give me some hope.  My girl is a smarty pants, I have no doubt about that.  But I will be honest and saying we have concerns.  Both Marc and I feel that there is something that is just "off" with her development.   We worry.  But this is the hard part, I ask her therapists and teachers and they all fall back on moments like this video.  She can memorize the "Pledge of Allegiance" and she taught herself her letters and numbers even before her big sister.  So what I hear from her teacher when I question her development is, "I think Finn is doing great, she is the only one who knows her letters."  But our intuition is that something is off... the simple things for Finn are so much more difficult.  And finally we found someone who is willing to listen.  Someone who came highly recommended. Someone who, hopefully, will be able to see through her wide open, friendly personality and see what we see.  And part of me hopes that they will tell me what all the others have told me, "Finn is great.  Her speech will catch up and she will be just fine by the time she starts Kindergarten."  and the other part of me wants them to see what I see and give me an action plan, a diagnosis.  We are thinking there may be a processing disorder, but we shall see.  I would love to either rule it out or get to work on it!  But I'm nervous too.  Her appointment isn't for another 3 weeks...oh the torture of waiting.  I would love prayers that she receives a correct diagnosis, whatever that may be so we can move forward.  I'm so lucky that I get to snack on those cheeks everyday, my happy place :)
Thank you!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hey all,  I just had to share that I am cross posting Ty's one year gotcha day over www.weargraftedin.com today.  You can also click the button on my sidebar located just at the top right.  I LOVE this blog for the honesty and to get a glimpse into the real heart of adoptive families and I am so happy to be a contributor!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Anticipation

There is a Christmas morning style excitement around our house lately....
 The best Grandparents in the whole world just closed on their farm house....
 Said farmhouse is about 6 miles away from our house....and I have a feeling we will be crashing it...OFTEN.
 Kobi has been soaking up every second of her horse lessons and I have seen her blossom right before my very eyes.  My once shy, skeptic....has found her niche, he confidence, her passion....it is a beautiful thing.  
 For starting out, we will be leasing some horses from a wonderful summer camp program for a few months, while the camp is out of session.
 So the crazy countdown has begun..." Mommy, how many more days until we get the horses?"  About 77 times a day.  I will admit to being just as excited :)  We have 4 more weeks though, sigh.  Halloween has nothing on horses.  We are set to get them day of or day after, so I doubt pilfering for candy will happen this year.  Shame, I so loathe  look forward to that holiday. Not the costume part, the greedy candy snatching part.... mostly because I have no will power and always end up stealing all the good stuff outta their treat bags the second they are out the door for school.

 Finding her balance, and scaring the whits outta her mama :) No worries though, a very capable horse with a more than capable trainer close by.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Entitlement & Ladybug fingernails

One of my goals in parenting my kids is to raise them without that spoiled brat sense of entitlement.  It seems like a wide spread epidemic of sorts.   I may not have done everything right but I know I got this one point right with our grown teenager as he is the one that calls me out when I whine or complain about the little things that get me all twisted up.    

But as a mother it is a fine line where you want to give your child everything you possibly can but you don't want to spoil them.  I had a bit of an eye opening experience a few months ago and yeah...I'm just now getting around to sharing it.  Stick with me now,,,there is a point to this story.  

Kobi's teacher just happens to be the most fun teacher you could ever have as a kid.  She had noticed that I had painted Kobi's fingernails to look like ladybugs and she invited me to the classroom to paint all the girls nails.  They were studying insects and ladybugs so we could put a fun spin on their lesson.   See, super fun teacher!  Of course I jumped at the chance.

So I ran out to the store to buy the necessary supplies.. and $5.00 later I came out with this....

Now, I will have to say that we live in an area smack in the middle of suburbia, where 99% of the children have never wanted for anything.  Most of the children in Kobi's class have a nicer wardrobe than I could ever hope for.  
 I got to her class and set up my little salon.  The girls took turns and one by one I sat there painting their little nails. I chatted a bit, but mostly listened, and these little girls were teaching more than I could ever imagined.  

The joy on their faces was priceless, they were over the top thrilled by their little ladybug nails.  But it was their words that got me.... "Do you paint Kobi's nails like this all the time?" "Kobi is so lucky that you know how to do this"  "When I grow up, I'm going to learn how to do this so I can paint my daughter's nails!" "I wish I could do this at home"  "Where did you get all of this cool stuff?"  " Do you have these things at your HOUSE?"  
 At that moment I was climbing towards "Taylor Swift" status.  I know for sure the joy on their little faces would have been the same if we were sitting in a poverty stricken orphanage.  

 It got me to thinking once again about the little things.  We all strive so hard to acquire the best of the best or to lavish our kids with all the latest crazes and gadgets. They come to expect these things like they are just a right of passage.  We deserve a fancy car or phone or computer or latest style just because everyone else has it. For $5 I had enough supplies to paint hundreds of little nails, it is time these kids want, NOT stuff.  The one thing I think we ALL crave the most is someone to take the time to see us, spend time with us, make us feel special, and take care of us.  I may not be able to give my kids the finest material things, they will have to deal with not having name brand clothes, or cell phone (unless they have earned them) in middle and high school.  But my job is to make them feel special without needing those things.   I'm sure I will have to learn more tricks than just painting fingernails, but it is a start.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

gotcha day

So I have been MIA while my computer was at the doctor... man I accomplish so much more around my house when I don't have access to a computer :)  Anyhow, while I was away I missed blogging about a pretty momentous milestone around here.  Ty's one year Gotcha day.  It has been a year filled with witnessing miracles and one of the hardest years of my life all at the same time.  For the girls we always celebrated their gotcha day with a yummy dinner and a small gift that we bought for them in China. But we are treading on different ground this time around.  Last week when we told Ty that his special day was coming up he started to get sad and has a lot of questions.  Not the kind you would expect.  He does not ever want to talk about his time in China.  We bring it up often or try to ask him questions which he NEVER answers.  We all love China and talk about one day going back with the entire family.  He will quickly pipe up and remind everyone that he does NOT want to go to China.  When the conversation does turn to China he usually starts to question me and asking me, "Mommy, what took you so long to get me in China?"  "Why did it not take a long time for you to get Mina and Finn in China?"  "Mommy, you should have gotten me first!" "Mommy, I want to be a baby when you get me in China."  I think he blames me for the fact that he waited so long. 

 And then sometimes he just tells us that he WAS a baby when we came to China.  I think he would love to just gloss over and pretend that is how it all went down.  Denial.  I totally understand that.   I don't know if I will ever be able to tell him the truth that I had seen his sweet face waiting on waiting lists for over 2 years before I even thought about the possibility of adding another child to our crew.    I do know for sure that for the past year this boy has loved like I have never seen, he has the biggest heart I have ever known and I am blessed to be his Mama. 

Needless to say we didn't celebrate too much, I don't think he would have appreciated it.  He wants so badly to just forget, to be just like his big brother and not have this past.  So we just went on like any other day.  But I went back to look at some pictures of my boy one year ago and I broke into tears.  
 In this picture I see a pale skinny little kid. I remember how weak he was.  How ridiculously uncoordinated he was.  How he hoarded food.  How he flinched when you tried to give him a high five. How he tested his limits to see if we could protect him.  How he would carry 17 toys at the same time for fear he would lose one.  How he was too nervous to leave my side for a second.  How he would  try to win our love by sweeping, and cleaning like mad. How happy he was during the day and then we would go in to find him quietly sobbing at night.   How he would wet the bed every night for fear of getting out of bed.
Now, if you put these pictures side to side I wouldn't pick my boy out of a line up.  He is a totally different child.  He looks and acts like he has aged 4 years in the past 12 months.
So last year in China I will admit that I was scared...he couldn't even tell his colors to the guides, he couldn't hold a pencil and trace a straight line.  His Mandarin, the few times he tried was barely understandable to anyone in China or here.  I was worried that he was very delayed...  Now that he is  a few weeks into Kindergarten, I spoke with his seasoned teacher and she said he was doing fabulous...better than a lot of the kids that have been here their whole life...she said she would have him reading by the end of the year!!!!!  I cried huge tears of joy!  I am crazy proud of how far he has come. He is so brave and so determined and so loving.  and I am blessed!

Friday, September 9, 2011

School days

The kiddos started school!!!  I L.O.V.E. these little people, love them a bunch, love them with all of my heart, so please don't think I'm a horrible person when I confess that during the last few weeks of summer, I have a little countdown to the first day of school playing in the back of my head.  In case you were wondering, having 6 kids is hard, like really hard.  And summer break is about a week longer than I am personally qualified to keep this crew together 24/7 without becoming homicidal or suicidal...but that is just if I'm being honest.    Any-whooo...this is my motley crew early , 6:45 a.m. early, after a long summer break...we all walked them in the first day...Finn is yawning and wearing a shirt that belongs to one of her older sisters. Lord help us!  
 My school kids!  Ty's first day was actually an assessment so he had a week off in between his first and second day.
 We are also going full force in soccer this season...yeah all 5 are on a soccer team.  Marc and I are trying to figure out how to clone ourselves so at least one of us will be able to make it to each of their games  ( 3 outta 5 are on "travel" teams).   so 5 days a week for hours at a time we find ourselves hanging at the soccer fields...

Now see this  pic..  when you look at it do you get the impression that my girls sit on the sidelines soaking up educational books at great lengths?  Quietly, and all mellow like so we can relax and enjoy the games of the older kiddos?
WRONG!!!
 This is Ty, his actual first day with his actual teacher... he was so excited!
 My sweet guy coming off the bus..smiling ear to ear.
 And then this week was the little girls turn for starting preschool.
 Finn was just about as broken hearted as I was when we said goodbye and severed the tie that has been between us for the past two years.  Her first day of preschool and we were both devastated to be on our own for a few hours.  Can't you tell by the look on her pathetic little face.
So now I have actual free time a few hours a week...child free for the first time in 18 years...  I'm not gonna lie... it doesn't stink..  Having a few hours to recharge my Mommy soul does wonders for the psyche.     And my heart actually leaps at the sight of them when I pick them up from preschool or I see them stepping off the bus.   I love these little people!