Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hair Emergency

Wow, I thought my heart could not fit below my stomach but it sank right to my knees (crowding out my bladder) when hubby, whom I swear has this warped sense of humor said "there's hair in the bathroom and it's black." Warped why? Well, he has said this before and it always turned out to be a trim of bangs of one of the older girls or something and I have totally freaked out thinking the worst and it's nothing. Urge to hurt hubby here.

This time was the ONE. Malaree did something to a hunk of hair that it was no longer attached and then left the sissors on the sink in the bathroom, aka Kat's play area. (the girl LOVES water- she constantly in there messing in the sink)

So I am on the phone, trying not to freak out my sitter when I find the 3-4 inch piece of BLACK KAT HAIR. yup, it's hers. So as I finish my phone call before the screams erupt and deafen our sitter forever, I check out her head. Can't see where it came from. Really have to look as she is hiding her head now, knowing she has Baba and Momma in the room , looking at her and asking "did you do this?" BIG TROUBLE.

So after figuring out she chopped a piece off the side, I went with what I had been thinking of doing for a few weeks now. A TRIM. Toward her face angle since she had a hunk of hair that is still growing out of the "shaved off all her hair just for our Gotcha in October 2006" and was only about 5 inches long on one side of her head. the other side it was down to her shoulder. Now it is all even, angled and trimmed up neatly and after drying the tears (hers NOT mine) and a STERN warning that she is NEVER to do that again, her hair actually looks better. Hummm and didn't I just take her for pictures today. Go figure.

Yes, Miss Emily and Miss Kat are the best of friends and we met up with them at the mall and got the girls pictures taken. Talk about CUTE. We both had traditional Chinese outfits in purple for the girls and for some reason I have not gotten around to having Kat's picture professional done with her China clothes that we love.

Em's mom even had a Chinese umbrella that completed the picture. We shared the sheets of pictures, spent very little (thanks for the great coupons Lisa!!) and got the cutest pictures of our girls. Em smiled wonderful, what a sweetie that girl is. Kat was less cooperative, can't imagine that she is sick of picture taking, can you?

What did we do this week, since a whole week has past by so fast? Let's see. Appointment for H since she had a toothache that was ignored for over a year, took her to an endodontist after our dentist said she needed surgery for a botched root canal. Well, ends up she had a filling on the root canal tooth that was too big and rubbing, causing her pain and was fixed in less than a minute. Unbelieveable that she dealt with this all this time. Wow. C got a good report from school, his grades are good, improved very well although his teachers voiced a concern of him not having friends.. I guess it's common for this issue with teens, they come to a new home and school, don't want to make friends since they want to go home and making friends means you may have to stay with us awhile.

Malaree finished up with field hockey, and Camden finished soccer. Both were showing big improvements over the season. Donovan is going out for basketball, he thinks. He isn't sure yet. Camden is READING- he read me a Dr. Suess book, the whole way thru. He is in FIRST grade! Wow. What a great kiddo. He told me earlier when he had set up Kat's play table and they had playdough, he was trying to show her to do something a certain way and she refused to do it his way that "teaching her is too hard." It's not hard if she wants to listen :) She is just too stubborn. Smart as a whip, but stubborn as a mule.

So that's about it for the excitement at our house. That's enough for me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We survived our birthdays!

Yes, this was a week of craziness. Malaree began it with her birthday being on Wednesday, Sweet 16. We had planned a surprised b-day party for the evening with her friends. So they ignored her day including her boyfriend and she was sooooo mad by the time the party was to happen we were afraid we couldn't get her to go to her brother's apartment next door, where the party was being held. She was in a total snit.

This all changed when 20 of us yelled SURPRISE!!! and the party began. Dad thought she wouldn't like it but I KNEW better, and she had a great time. We- aka ME even left the apartment cleaner than when we got there, dishes done, bathroom clean and left over cake for the use of the apartment. I don't think we got him kicked out :)

Kat CRIED as she wanted it to be her party, her patience for HER day had run out! But the next morning when she woke up and I said "Happy Birthday Kat", she was full of smiles and squeals of happiness. I sang to her 3 times, took her to gymnastics where they all sang to her, then we had her cake and gift opening in the evening when her brothers could all come in. She was very, very tickled with a super special gift from SUZY, a wonderful e-mail friend of ours whom we pray gets the blessing of a China girl in her life:) She sent her a pastel rocking horse, with tons of love from Tennessee!

God has given us such super people via Kat's adoption, we are so blessed to have you all! When our families were less than thrilled that we adopted, and some of our co- workers were less than supportive, it was hard for us to understand. But God has shown us what is truly important- loving this girl. He brought us new people in our lives, making the others unimportant. They miss out on the joy of Kat's life, not us:) He knew our need even before we did- as usual.

We also got a POOP shirt from Lyn and Manda in Australia, it's actually WinnieThe Pooh, but Kat still can not grasp that POOH word. So Winnie The Poop he is :) That was another squeal of joy. I wish I could use the camcorder and catch those squeals, they are sooooo sweet. I got her doing one on film with her "Hello Kitty" cake. She still says Hello like "Head-o", very cute so it was Head-o Kitty cake she told everyone she had. Even the poor telemarketer that was dumb enough to call that day:)
Kat was thrilled with her rocking horse gift, she also got mongee (money) a set of pans for her kitchen, play food, also for her kitchen, cuddle pop (some stuffed animal that rolls into a ball) and a guitar that she's driving me nuts with. Hanna something that sings for her and she turns it on then walks away, I guess for my hearing enjoyment- NOT!

So then it was my birthday yesterday, I woke up, went to the bathroom, looked in mirror, don't look a bit different. Still sporting some white hairs, still fluffy but now 40- yep, I'm admitting it, I'm forty. Wow. I got a wonderful gift from Suzy, thanks AGAIN- you are so sweet!

My mom feeling inclined to admit she gave birth to me on that day, stopped in and even managed to go to Camden's last soccer game of the season. She had cards for the girls' birthdays- for which I wish she would have made the effort to see them on THEIR birthdays, not mine. But whatever. I then trudged off to wrk, not thrilled that my boss saw fit to not allow me my birthday off, even when I was supposed to have the day off. She had to pay me time and 1/2 for the shift so I guess I got the last laugh there. Forty, fluffy and paid well :)
It was a quiet evening with nothing special going on, no babies even born on "my day." We didn't have cake, I was about caked out with the girls' huge cakes, so that was okay. Sons #1,2,3 didn't even call me, I got #1 good though, I left him a guilt full message on his answering machine that I could just sit in my house and cry since he didn't remember my birthday and hadn't called me. Don't worry though, none of them take me too seriously :)
Camden gave me a "winner" necklace to wear, it was so cute of him. He got it Friday when we went to Chuckie Cheese for Kat's birthday fun. She had a good time there playing, she is getting better at the game and so is Camden's he got 700 points, he only had 200 last time. We went shopping afterwards and I bought new underwear for my big 4-0, I just KNEW everyone would want to know that:) So we managed to survive the craziness, enjoy the week and I still feel like I am 38- that's what the kids say I am- I think they decided it's time for me to go backwards. That's fine with me till I hit the 5-4-3-2 -1 and they have me back in diapers. It's coming soon enough, I think my bladder is somewhere near my knees now, as it is- oops did I write that?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kat's 4th Birthday

I am by far not a poet, but for some reason this was in my heart and mind and needed to come on out. So here it is and it's a tribute to my precious daughter's birth mother.

The Mothers

4 years ago today, the pain in your womb ended.
As the pain in your heart began, will it ever be mended?

Do you wonder where the girl is, do you shed a many tears?
As you surely did that October morn, when you realized your fears.

As the child you labored to bear, was female and sickly, not a cause for joy.
As laws allowed just one child, you had hoped for a boy.

Wrapped in a blanket she was just hours old as you wrote a note.
Tears streaming down onto the paper, as your heart surely broke.

Please let her get well, please let her have a good life.
Let her forgive us someday, you hoped that she might.

The babe taken in, nurtured back to good health.
Had gotten the blessing, of safety and wealth.

As she grew from a babe, to a toddler you see,
She was loved dearly, first by her foster family.

God had a plan for this child, He was making sure all went right.
His timing was perfect, her future in His sight.

Afar in a land so very different. Lived the mother of 5 birth sons.
Yearning for a little girl, God knew this child was the one.

Papers were sent, 5 pictures of her we had.
Time past by so slowly it seemed, when travel time came we were so glad.

As they handed her to me, I felt a tug in my heart.
So skinny and scared she was, but we loved her from the start.

We are her forever family you see, as we were meant to be.
She brings us great joy, as the baby of our family.

But as the day of her birth comes round again.
My mind wanders, and I long for a message to send.

To you birth mother, the one she will never know.
I’d like to ask you, did you notice her toe?

It’s an extra nail there she has, along with 5 freckles too.
Did you commit them to memory, did she get those from you?

To ease your pain, I’d like you to see.
What a beautiful girl she’s turned out to be.

I’d want to tell you I will give her my best.
I’d die for this girl, to put your heart’s ache to rest.

She calls me Mommy, birth mother, something sadly you will never hear.
Not from her lips and it sounds so dear.

I’d thank you birth mother, for the care that you took.
It’s not our way to judge you for the road that you took.

We gave this precious child a family for forever and more.
A mom, and a dad, a big sister too, and some brothers for sure.

By far she has given us so much more you see.
Than we will ever give her by becoming a part of our family.

She turns four today, with her midnight hair and almond eyes.
She is happy and lively, we do our best to maintain her Chinese ties.

I will teach her respect, to love one another.
I will tell her of you, her birth and first mother.

If you never do see her in this life here on earth,
She will always know of your love for her, starting with her birth.

She will be loved always, hugged, cherished and treasured.
For our love for her is not something you can measure.

Her start in life came from you, you see.
She is my daughter of my heart as she was meant to be.

With love and thanks to my daughter's Birth Mother, from her Forever Mother

Monday, October 15, 2007

Children's Day

Did anyone know that it was National Children's Day yesterday? In China, Children's Day is celebrated June 1. It is a huge celebration as the Chinese treasure their children. Funny to say when they have so many orphans?

Yes, but figure that you live in a society that your SON will care for you when you grow old, your SON will be able to work to earn more to help the family, the government will not allow you to have more than one child and you have a society that does not allow the freedom to have daughters. The government is attempting to cut the population as the country can not support it's numbers now, to better the life for the future children, so it's hard to place all the blame on them. So what happens when you have a girl? Do you celebrate? Do you hide it and leave her to a ?better ? life if she can be adopted?

We live in an imperfect world and no one has the answers. Certainly not I :) But all in all we clearly saw how important their children were to the Chinese, even these girls, seemingly unwanted, but actually just given a different path. I knew how painful it was when our guide from our group CRIED, this guy, who joked and laughed thru all our tours for 2 weeks, broke down and could not finish speaking when he THANKED US for taking the girls and giving them a chance and to be sure they knew that they are Chinese and China did not give up on them, that they can be proud to be China girls.

It was a moment when we were truly awed by the blessing our God had given us, to be given a glimpse as to the pain it is for China to lose these precious girls. Not everyone in China is unfeeling toward their girls, and this one man showed us that HE understood what a treasure each of these girls lives were.

So back to our Children's Day that probably not ONE American reading this KNEW it was Children's Day (shame on us) we celebrated our children! We went to a tree farm, went on a hay ride, painted pumpkins, iced cookies and ate it, got Kat's face painted with a broom ( she picked that out, Camden said "Why does Kat have a spatula on her face?"
The older kiddos, including Dad went to the corn maze, Kat and I stuck to the hay pyramid. Fun, fun and more fun. We roasted hot dogs, shared a meal with a group for foster care and just generally had a blast. We fed the reindeer to help fatten them for Christmas. Dad wanted to go back in the corn maze at night with flashlights, mom is not that brave at all.

C and H had a good time and C got to see his sister who is now in care also. She went to a different foster home, we asked C if he wanted us to take her if she got placed and he said "no." So we respected his wish on that. Such a shame to see a family torn apart so but these kids and parents need a wake up call to be able to be together again and function as a family. C pulled something bad on Friday and we had a meeting today that went well, I think. We seem to be getting into him that he is working on being good to go HOME, and he has lost 3 weeks time now that we can't say "yeah C is doing great, he is ready for more visits, can handle them and should be able to go home soon." We WANT to be able to say that. We aren't trying to KEEP him, we are to help and get him to go back. Foster care is NOT for the weak of heart or rules, but it is rewarding. When he is smiling and baking a cake to prove his is "better than mine" he is a really sweet kid. He just needs back on track.

Kat knows it's Happy Birthday week, she thinks it's today! She says "Happy Birthday -me." She knows 3 days is SOON. Dad and I went shopping Saturday night and ate out all alone, as in just the two of us, like me and him, Dad and me, do you get my joy here? No one needing to go "ali-yah" in the middle of supper, no one whining in the stores, no crying that nothing was bought for them. WOW.
It was NICE, thanks Grandma Y, for babysitting the brood. Of course, I could not find what Kat asked for "a puppy sweeper" it has ears that go up and down and it barks. Made by Little Tikes and I have to get searching to see if I can find it on line. I did find her a guitar I know she will love but I wanted to get her the sweeper too. I guess if we can't find it there is always Christmastime.
It is party central here this week, Malaree is 16 on Wed., Kat's 4 on Thursday, Mom is ?? on Saturday. We are all Libras and funny enough all born in the Year of the Goat. By Chinese Zodiac that rotates through 12 animals then back through. So if you are REALLY smart you can figure out my age- Ha ha! I'll just leave you with that puzzle to figure out:)

Friday, October 12, 2007

One Year Later

A year later and how is life? Fantastic. Kat is growing so much and is such a precious child. I have been awed by her spirit and her personality from Day 1. Even shell shocked, as she looks in her pics of a year ago, she was so very precious.

What does she recall of that day? Not sure if she sees pictures and remembers parts but she says "you come China get me, give Kat M & M's, I cry." She even pretends to cry and I say "yes, you missed your Po Po, you were crying."

At Day 2, one year ago today, Kat said her brother's name, albeit with that Cantonese twist. "Cam-dean- ahh" we heard as she looked to the back of the bus where he and his pals always were to get the best view. I am sure he will be her best bud for life now, he took his Nintendo DS last night and Kat cried so hard he GAVE it to her. His favorite toy! She has him wrapped right around her finger!

I heard Camden say this morning when Kat turned on the TV, "Kat, you can't watch that, give me the remote" and he changed the channel to an appropriate show for her. I don't think she will have much trouble growing up with him to protect her :)

Yesterday we went with my second mom to the flea market and had a fun day out, Kat got a pink and purple fur phone that she is now calling everyone on. She calls Po Po. "Po Po how are you? Good, okay, my name Kat, I good. Bye." Maybe the telemarketers will miss her?

Kat came down this morning with a red velour outfit on, pink socks, and the comb, band and an orange bow for her hair. Quite the colorful girl, just like the fall colors so we went with it. I stopped at the roadside and threw her up on the guard rail yesterday to get pics of our gorgeous lake and the beginning of the leaves turning.
We live in a beautiful world. God sure is subtle and I think He is for a reason. We must STOP as we drive along and take time to SEE what HE has made for us. Just looking at my precious daughter, home just 1 year, but laughing as I plop her on my car hood to snap pictures of her with God's beauty in the background and I felt the blessings pouring out at me. Just awesome.
One year and she speaks complete English, with about 15 words of Cantonese we maintain. She is in size 3T. She is very curious, she loves to explore, she sings all the time. Not even songs that make sense, she makes them up to sing. She is very happy. She is a joy, each and every day.

I try to help a number of people considering SN children to honor the blessing God has given us, just being supportive, helping them understand the process, giving them tips for travel and such. I really feel God had a purpose to us being her forever family and I want to honor Him.

It's so much fun to watch her learning and growing, she counted Grandma's pumpkins yesterday 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9- just as fast as could be. I'm just so amazed at our wonderful daughter, at this point one year, but excited to see what will the next year bring?
My cute little love bug, Kitty Kat, Min An Tong, we will love you and cherish every day we have with you forever and ever. We don't need a blood tie to know you, we are all yours:) Sing away my girl, "my momma, my momma" is one of her favorite songs to sing, and she is right on, I am her momma, forever and more and she can sing it all she wants :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Pictures are in!

Yes, the pictures came back and I am happy to say that although many of them were not too much better than what I was able to get the crazy 7 to do, there are a few really good ones of the whole bunch. I want to order a big one of the group then each individual one as they turned out really nice, just as mine did:) Then one of the group all looking down at Kitty, and one larger of her since we have less pictures of her than any of the rest. At least hanging on the walls, that is.

I was surprised that many of the shots had goofy smile issues, stiff back issues, closed eyeballs, and Kat's lips were frightfully blue in some :( But then it was 30 degrees with no shoes and a short sleeve dress on :( But I picked my faves and I'll post the one of the group and the one of Kat alone. The rest are good of each kid but very similar to the ones I took, just outdoor background.
Speaking of pictures, tomorrow is Camden's picture day at school so what happens? He walks out on the porch where Dono bin and C are messing around with weights and walked right into the bar, giving himself a black eye. YIKES- Ba Ba was mad, he says this always happens. But it was an accident and accidents do happen.

Tomorrow is our 1 year anniversary of Gotcha. I feel so happy it has been a whole year, but then I feel saddened that her Po Po (foster mom and now grandma) cried terrible when she left, for they loved her dearly. I hope her heart has mended with the love and joy she knows we have received by being her family and that we will forever keep her in their life. She still remembers doing things with her Po Po and fondly recalls her foster brother Gie Gie ( big brother). I hope that Po Po is able to see her pictures we send and know how happy her Kat is and how much we love her. She is growing and thriving as well.

We are already planning to go back, not for another child (so stop threatening to disown us grandma!) , but to go back to visit Po Po and see more of Kat's China someday. Although if God sees fit to give us the money to call us to another child we aren't gonna say NO! So there.

Saturday Camden had a soccer game and we roasted as he played. The temps here are unusually HOT for fall, it was about 90 degrees, which meant we HAD to go for ice cream after the game. He made at least 6 goals after he told me he liked practice better as he is the best player and he ALWAYS wins. No issue of self confidence there, huh?

Tonight we had storms and it cooled off. It's supposed to stay cooler now. Pheww.

We moved the furniture all around in our livingrooms, we have a front livingroom, then a second livingroom/family room. We had a recliner chair that son #1 plopped into and BROKE, so Baba fixed it and wanted to bring it back in the house from the garage. Momma, in the meantime, had used up the chair space :) So we rearranged and I swear every time I try to get one room done Kat is off messing up another. She trashed her room and was caught dunking Camden's Nintendo Mario game in the sink! That girl! It took me 2 days but I finally got all the rooms back in order.

Camden is very tired of Kat touching his stuff while he is at school, he lined up his games on the table today and left her a note. It said "Kat- Do no touch my stuf, I meen it, don't do it wile I am at skool. I am cerios (serious). From Camden. No Love or anything- so he meant business! Too bad those lined up games were within reach as her fingers were on them in no time. He came to me and said "mom, she touches everything", as if I didn't KNOW this. I hate to break it to him, I do know!
I can't imagine what we did without her, just a year ago, it seems such a short time, but she is a bugger and we love her so much, even ornery and all:) So glad we GOTCHA Kitty, forever and more!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Poodles of fun

Yes, poodles of fun in the house today, as Kat put on her pink poodle outfit and pretended to be a puppy. She looks so funny in it!
My second mother came in and had lunch with us, we sure enjoy her company. She brought Kat 2 pumpkins from her garden which Kitty just loved.

Kat started gymnastics today and had a good time, she went to the balance beam ,where she was lifted up to and took off, almost faster than the safety person could keep up with:) Kat looked at her like "let go already" which was hilarious. All the other kids were creeping along scared to death, not the monkey girl.

We had our post placement report done for our 1 year- WOW- one whole year. Seems to have gone so fast. Our stats are 5 1/4 lb growth from 23 3/4 lbs to 29 and 35 inches to 38 inches- yes, 3 whole inches!! She's very slender and clearly will always be. When we try to get her to eat something new she will pout and say "this not good for me" so she is still very much eating as close to Chinese diet as possible here. Noodles, noodles, always a favorite, corn, watermelon, meat with ranch dressing, corn dogs, grapes, apples. She eats very healthy, drinks lots of water and doesn't touch soda or much candy at all. She does like tea though. I am just thrilled she will never have my hips :)

Kat has figured out now that since we brought her home everyone has had a birthday but her. She did not know what we were doing when we celebrated her birthday in China last year so it was difficult for her to wait all this time for it to be "her" turn. She asks me every day "mom- it MY happy birthday to-day?" and I have to say "No, but soon." She is also been asking for EVERYTHING she sees on TV for "her birthday"- she sure learned that fast!
Kat had a wonderful conversation with a telemarketer today, it went like this "Heddo. My name Kat. What you name? Mom in dining room, my name Kat. What you name. I paying, who this? Okay bye." I had to laugh. She will talk to anyone apparently! I'm only surprised that she didn't sing the poor guy a song, she loves to sing :)

1 year already, amazing how time flies when you are having a blast. I am thrilled we have been able to have a year of her here with us. That we are learning about her culture and teaching her of ours. We are rejoicing in the blessing of her. We thank God for her life, her joy, her spirit and her very presence in our family, she is greatly loved and adored. Our Kitty Kat is home forever. It seems like we have had her so much longer but then seems so short of a time since we went to China. Overall we are thrilled with our newest family member, that she is so sweet and loving and knows how much we love her. Truly a happily ever after :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Okay, already mom!

I think my daughter has had enough of my picture taking! Now just because I have 3, yes, 3 scrap books for her and another one to start, does not mean I am overdoing it. Okay, maybe a little. But she is so stinking cute- and I don't want to miss a change. I think it is so cool to look thru her books and see the difference in her from the start of the book to the end. But I think her latest pictures show her indifference to my efforts to preserve her every day life. The TURD. She is the Queen at ignoring my camera too. Too bad she's cute even being a turd :)

We were off early today getting C to the doctor to remove his cast. Kat was totally fascinated with that except for noise of the saw. She plugged her ears with her fingers. Then we went to get "pictures of Carat" as she calls him, of his hand. Back to the doctor and then on to pediatrician for C's eye, which mysteriously started to swell up and I didn't even pop him or anything. ( ha ha! ) Doc said bug bite, he thought, should heal on it's own in a day or 2.

We dropped C off at school, even when he thought he could ask to stay home and I laughed and said " you must be bleeding to death or vomit in front of me to stay home from school in MY house- get in that school." Nice try C. He's such a funny guy. I have to laugh at him with his efforts to stake out what he might get away with, he is soooo much like my boys and they pulled everything imaginable to try to not go to school so he is not going to come up with one I haven't seen or heard. Bummer for him.

H has a job already and is doing very well. She even likes to scrapbook and does dishes without being told. All I can say is "WOW" - I may want to keep her forever. Although I am sure she isn't planning on that :)
Kat enjoyed walking to the store with her yesterday and buying a lollipop. She was thrilled to "keep the change" as in $2 and some. Then she told me today when she wanted money and I handed her my coin change in a store- "no, I meant Mon-gee mommy, DOLLARS!"
Camden did really well at the soccer game Saturday, he made at least 4 goals and I heard another team's parent say " wow, can he run!" He is really fast. Makes for a good soccer player :)
Mal's team won a game in field hockey this week but then lost today, they seem to be better than last year but still not aggressive enough with the ball.
Can't believe it's October already, it just kind of snuck up on us:) We are enjoying the cooler weather, the nice days, but it's getting dark sooner. We like to bike ride with the kids in the evening often and Kat said tonight on our ride at about 7 pm, "it getting dark mommy" and it was:(