Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Doing okay


We are working on a new direction to go with the main instigator, Chase. No surprise there either. He's very set in his ways and beliefs.


I am stepping back and changing my approach to him. Dad is taking on more of the issues with him. It's giving us calm right now as he reacts totally different to dad when he is talking, asking, telling him things. So as long as it works and reduces the strain, then we are doing okay:)


Started the counseling with Chance and Chloe, just a trip out for ice cream at this point. A good start though. Chase was at a track meet so he didn't go.


I have felt amazed by the love, care, calls, e-mails, comments, help we have been given. I haven't returned them all yet- sorry. But I can tell you, it helped. SO much. I am only human and honestly we were slammed by these kiddos last week. We took some hard hits. And at times I felt very alone in their issues. WELL--- not any more! I am so thankful for everyone who reached out to support us, it's helping us feel the power of prayer and God's Will for these children.


I've been crazy busy showing the house 3 times in 24 hrs. Yeah, 3 times! 3 times to get everyone out, the dog relocated (who freaks out each time) and have the house as clean as possible. I told hubby we can't have immaculate for a showing but we do have the fact that we all live here and everything obviously works. I think that makes up for not being immaculate.


Not that it's a dirty house, trust me, but it was! When I went to work Monday evening I knew there was a showing for Tuesday morn. I was in a hurry. I left dad with the kids and supper to handle, a 7 pound can of ravioli to open. (Our local Walm#rt carries these:) I said "don't worry about the house, I'll run the sweeper in the morning." Welllllll..... wrong thing to say. They left me dishes, dirty floors, dusting, even the kids rooms were not cleaned. OIY.


The urge to strangle someone came over me, but I was the one who said "don't worry about it" so it was strangle self or hustle and clean. I hustled and cleaned. So far the feedback is good, 2 out of the 3 showings are seriously interested parties, the third was a single person and the house is really too big for a single person. I *think* we are done showing for this week, but you never know.


Very busy but most of it good so that's always positive. And honestly, for all of you who sent up prayer or thought of us, thanks. It means a lot. God never told us these kiddos would be easy, but He did give us them to parent and love.


And we do. If they "get it" great, if not, well, we aren't going to stop trying or loving. We just can't.



At least for now we feel we are wading again, not drowning. Ahhh. I really don't like that drowning feeling. It's just downright scary.


I'll take wading. Sure will:)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Expanding on RAD

I has a nice follow up post about RAD planned and even posted so if you read fast you saw it. But as I tried to edit the spacing it just got worse and worse till I give up. This blog is out to get me, I swear. The teens are starting counseling this week and we hope to see that help our situation. It should give them someone to talk out things with. We plan to have them do this individually as well as all three together. So for now you just get cute pictures and a request for prayer that things improve with the counseling. It's been a rough week with all 3 of them acting up and that's not fun. So that's all for now. Stinkin' blogger.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who has RAD?


You know for some time I have avoided the term RAD. And I don't mean Really Awesome Dinners. I mean Reactive Attachment Disorder. It's just so SCARY. And a LABEL. I don't like labels.

But with kids that pushed me a bit too far again yesterday, I decided to brave my fears and look up the symptoms of RAD. And yes, I have 4 kids that all, in some ways, fit the criteria. No surprise here, just acceptance. WHY am I so unconcerned?

Well, first, I wasn't shocked. I think I've known for some time. I just REALLY don't like labeling my kids. But I also do not want to feel as if I am denying reality either.
To feel as if I am not "doing enough" to help my children adjust. And doesn't it always seem to come back to how inadequate we are as parents? Ohh dear, home 2 years and they aren't thrilled to have us parent them? How can that NOT be "our fault?"
Well... I'm about as much of a fan of laying blame as I am labels. 'Cause neither one gets me far. But as we struggled last night with the teens AGAIN- their attitudes, their disrespect of a teacher at school, and some other behaviors I won't bore you with, I am ready to embrace this RAD. NOT as an excuse, NOT that it changes how we parent them.

It just gives me some understanding of where they come from, with their behaviors. And it makes me feel somewhat better when they act so terrible and we try to talk to them and they come off with asking if they can move out and live in the streets. Yep, Chloe said that- over being called out on her behavior toward her sister in their shared room. That was her "solution."
I'm not going to tell you they don't frustrate me. THEY DO. Or that it doesn't cross my mind for a second "WHY did we go to China twice for these ya-hoos??" IT DOES. I am human. Painfully human.
But one of the things I found really, really interesting when checking the signs of RAD?? Next to the list of kid's behaviors, there was a list of RAD signs in adults. And guess who meets the criteria for MANY of them?? None other than ME!! Most were true of me in the past, as a younger parent, but it was still enough to make me take notice!

And I wondered, how can that be? I had parents. I wasn't orphaned, abandoned. But there you have it.
It leaves me wondering exactly what there is to this thing called RAD. It's part of why I am not getting freaked out, it leaves me parenting exactly the same, plugging along and leaning in the right place for guiding them and for my guidance- GOD. I would be so lost without Him in our lives.

Not that I am adverse to counseling if I see someone needs it. Nor am I saying this RAD thing isn't BIG. Yes, it is. But did I honestly NOT think all 4 of ours WOULDN'T have some signs of it?? Deep down I knew.

Without a doubt, I don't think ANY adopted child, no matter how well they adjust, how long they have been home, what age they were adopted at, where adopted from-- will NOT have at least ONE of the signs of RAD. And it's just how it is.

So for today, I continue to parent my kids, RAD kids being raised by a RAD parent- no wonder we are so odd- ha ha. And I don't lose sleep over Reactive Attachment Disorder, or Really Awesome Dinners.

It just doesn't scare me anymore. I've seen it, I accept it, we go on. What a relief:) I feel emboldened to keep on, keeping on. I'm glad I faced it. I did call our Chinese friend who spoke to the kids after school today and she tried to help.
The kids came home from her "talk" to them and they all apologized correctly except Chase. He said it in that "ha ha" voice that means he doesn't mean it. And I told him that. So he is mad at me again. He sure does spend a lot of time mad:(
He will learn that going head to head with momma will NOT end in him getting away with anything. Nope, I care too much to allow it.
Since no day here is without a little bit of funny, thank goodness since I need it-- I'll share what gave me a laugh today. Camden said this morning "What day is today?" And Miss Kitty said "Thursday." When Camden looked at her like he couldn't believe she knew that she came right back with "Hey, that's what my UNDERWEAR says so it must be right!"
Yeah, tiny hiney girl is still wearing toddler undies with the day of the week on the waistband.
Oh well, maybe ya had to be there:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The price we pay

Today was a rough day. First I went to the bank for the house project. OIY. I mean, why do we do this to ourselves? Oh, that's right, it's the dream of 2 bathrooms. No crying over needing to pee so bad it hurts (okay mom I'll stop and act my age, but it's gonna be tough)

So the remodel estimate knocked me flat on my hiney. Good thing it's well padded.

Then the bank didn't really like the amount for the house, since we have to put so much into it. Humm, really? Do you think maybe some of those fees THEY charge (sending someone out to see if the contractor is doing the work as scheduled twice) shouldn't be FREE since we are already paying them booo kooo bucks just to borrow the money from them for the contractor to do the work?
Uhh, no. They are not on MY wave length, that's for sure. Not one thing loan officer mentioned used the word "free".

The kids are so anxious about the house, every time I have any appointments or anything they ask "Are we still moving?" It's hard to explain timing of things to them, they don't get it. So far, no buyer for our house either. That's another question we can't answer for them.

In other news-- we have 2 injured kiddos. Chase is very sore from track pratice and carrying ice around in bags on a mightly basis.
Chloe's injury is a bit different. She scraped her foot when she dropped a steak knife at the supper table. Thank goodness it was just a scratch. The girl uses a knife like she is attempting to kill the meat before she eats it. Matter of fact, I was teasing her about that exact thing when she was laughing and wasn't paying attention and dropped the knife, thus cutting her foot! (Yeah-- all my fault)

She's scary with a knife, and we have tried to show her how to use it correctly. Along with telling them all to eat with their mouths closed, no spitting, and lots of other really fun (NOT)table manner lessons.

Also at suppertime, Chloe told Kat that she was "disgusting" which Kat took straight to heart. But Chloe meant that Kat's fruit was touching her meat on her supper plate. Ohh, how awful, I know. So when I told Chloe it wasn't KAT that was disgusting, and she wasn't being very nice, I got a snotty look. I know, you can't imagine that, from my daughter??

Chloe has been less than thrilled to "have a mother" these past few days. WHY?? Well, it boils down to this. I check the weather. If it's doesn't seem warm enough to me, I make them wear jackets. And I refuse to let anyone wear flip flops to school. I know I am terribly mean, since it IS spring already. (I've been told this often)
At least that's what Chloe thinks. And I tell her, this is what it means to have a momma, I care about what you wear, I will not allow you to wear stuff inappropriate for the weather.
Much to her dismay.

I don't let this bother me. WHY? Well.... it's part of having a teen daughter. And although it probably wouldn't cause her to get sick, it's a way to show her I do care about her even when she says "I wish you didn't care." Ahhh, my girl.... she sounds so, well, NORMAL. Just a teen girl. I love it, I love HER.

She was busy watching movies in her room and when she finally came down I said to her "who are you and why are you in my house?" She said "why do you say that?" I told her she was in her room so much watching her movie I missed her. So she hugged me from behind. And said "oh mother." See why I love her so much? She reminds me so much of myself as a teen, I can hardly believe we don't share blood.

Speaking of, that --Chance. He said he would not take a bite of food I had that he wanted to try because "we don't have same blood." I informed him that I would kiss him, eat after him, all because he is my son, blood doesn't matter. He said "that gross." Another teenager. Ahh. You just gotta know how they think. And not let much of what they say get to you.

Miss Kitty had "blood issues" today too. She brought home a paper about donating blood. I said " Donating blood, I don't think I want to do that." And she looked at me with big eyes and said "Does that mean I have to give them MY blood?" I assured her not. She was greatly relieved.

I guess like I am focused on blood since I feel like I gave up everything but BLOOD for our bank appointment for the house today. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day:) For now, I'm drained........................

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Work


Friday I started my new job. I am so happy to get back into nursing. It's one child, home care. One on one, my fave kind of nursing. A 4 hr evening shift.

I was nervous to go but it was all good. I have a ton in common with mom since we had our precious baby Tristan and had nightly nurses for him. So I totally understand how it's a help but also weird to have someone in your house.

Miss Kitty was deeply concerned. Not about me working, but about daddy feeding her supper:) She asked "who will make me supper?" When I explained I would see her after school, leave before supper, be home before bedtime. And I told her "Daddy." She MOANED and said "Oh no!"

All I can say is "Drama Queen" because hubby really is quite capable in the kitchen as well as most of the time when I worked 3-11 shift before I left something in a crock pot ready for them to eat.
Dad took Chase yesterday and went to the church. Work day. Cleaning, painting, etc. Chloe and Chance spent Friday night at their friends house together, then went to work fixing their fence without being told. When their friend's mom told them they didn't have to work, they said "that's okay, you will be helping us with our new house." Ohhhh. So that was the motive. GUILT. Aren't they smart?

Speaking of "new housing"-- my brother and his family have been relocated within Japan at this point. They will decide within 10 days to leave there or stay. It will be a hard decision. The enormity of what has happened there and continues is heartbreaking. One amazing thing my brother commented on- no looting, no fights. Only helping one another, camaraderie. He said it's amazing to see.

I managed to get some of that camaraderie this morning, okay-- so maybe I DID have to threaten not to let them get up till I got a picture of the 5 youngest together and all smiling. Haven't done that in a while and they all looked so nice.
You can't even tell they weren't thrilled, can ya?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Min theory

For all you newbies, I decided to go back and tell some of the story of our girls that is amazing. Not the story of the boys, I can't imagine there isn't a person out there that doesn't know that:)

More about the girls. About God's hand in our lives LONG before the boys. Yes, Kat is a GuangXi girl. QinZhou to be exact. And a MIN. Meaning her last name (which comes first in Chinese culture) was MIN. She comes from a very small orphanage where all the kids are named "Min."

She was fostered through Grace-Hope, a WONDERFUL organization making a HUGE difference. Need something to donate to?? See below the header, Grace Hope is there.

We actually honor Kat's foster family by sponsoring another child's foster care and have since Kat came home:) It's amazingly easy, tax refund time comes, check goes. Paid for the year. Never miss it but making a world of difference for a child in need.


So back to the girls. In 2008 I felt like God was whispering "I have another daughter for you." We had 4 kids at home, 2 teen foster kiddos and our precious foster baby Tristan with his severe birth defects and daily care issues. I couldn't imagine that we were being called to adopt again. But we were.

Then we saw Chloe on a website. We had been thinking a girl about 9 or 10. She was 13. (Although we found out later she was really 12) But we knew, just knew this was our daughter. I don't even know what drew us to her.

So when we asked for her file we were informed a family was already applying for her. This was on a Thursday; on Friday the agency asked us to consider 2 other girls of the same age range as we inquired if the family was really serious about the girl we thought of as "ours." We were told they were.

We prayed, oh, did we pray for answers as to what we were to do over the weekend. Come Monday morning, no answers had come. NONE. I felt so torn. I mean here we were with 2 other girls' files, not a thing wrong with them that we wouldn't be willing to adopt them but they just weren't our child:(

On Monday afternoon, I received an e-mail that we could get our home study updated for $800, just the amount of $$ that we had set aside for this. So we knew we were meant to go forward. But for which child? Within an hour another e-mail came. The family had backed out of going forward for Chloe. If we wanted, she was ours!

As if this wasn't enough of a sign I asked God, just as I had with Kat, to show me, without a doubt, this was our daughter. We did our paperwork for her and waited for Pre Approval (PA). We received a call stating they were "returning our call" but we hadn't called the agency about 12 days later.

After a bit of confusion as to "why the call" they informed me they had received our PA. We were thrilled. At that point I asked, "by the way, what is her Chinese last name?" (For privacy they had blacked out her last name in her file)

And I was stunned beyond belief when they said "MIN." I actually said "MIN, as in M-I-N???" I know they thought I was stupid. It was like God blinking a neon sign saying "She's the ONE."

Chloe and the boys are from Henan, a small orphanage as well, although larger than the one Kat came from. And as far as we know, the ONLY other orphanage that assigned the "MIN" name.

Matter of fact, they are trying to help the children who don't get adopted by assigning a common family names to abandoned children now. So the odds of us having 4 MIN children is very rare.


Now the Min as their last name in Ch*na was an insult. Because Min means "of the people." It is not a family name, so it points them out as an orphan. We considered dropping their MIN names because of that reason, but for us, it would mean taking a part of them away. Because to us they ARE "of their people," they are Chinese.

And can be proud of that. So for us, we chose to keep the name Min as a middle name and see it as an honor of their heritage. They no longer have to give that as their family name. They have our family name.

It's why I am "Just a MINute Mom". I wanted to write about this because last night we got to talking about names, and the boys confirmed what I had thought for some time, the "Lu" in Chloe, Chance and Chase's names were given to them by their bio parents.

I thought so since they were the only "Min Lu---" children from their orphanage as well as them being "Min Lu Fei, Min Lu Yun, and Min Lu Kai. Interesting, huh?

So there you have it. How God worked it out so that we were certain we were meant to be the family for this girl, not one doubt about that.

And for Chase and Chance, well, God knew that we would respond how we did and follow His plan, that we would praise His Hand in getting them home with their sis.

And give them a "common" with a new sister, Kat, also a MIN. As well as the same family name as the rest of us. Making all of them part of our family without a doubt. Our amazing blessings.

Please keep my bro and family in your prayers, they are being encouraged to evacuate, we aren't sure if they are moving to a different area within the country or coming here.

Either way is tough with 2 boys who don't really understand what is going on:( This is an old pic of him but you can see, we share the red hair:)

As much as we hope they come here and are okay, we think of the people who aren't able to leave and are there suffering. Our prayers and thoughts are with them tonight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Attitudes?

As we creep closer and closer to our new/remodel home project the subject of it comes up quite often here. The kids want to know what will their rooms look like, since most of them at this point don't even have WALLS!

But for some reason coming home from church yesterday, Chloe asked "when we move to the new house will we have new attitudes too?" Hummm. I was wondering what she could possibly mean but instead of the 50 questions to find out I cheated out and said "yep, I'm gonna be someone totally new." And her rotten brother Chase CHEERED. Oh, the stab to my heart. He hurt my feelings:(

If only he knew that his sister Chloe, just that morning, complaining about how long he takes in the bathroom was nice enough to say "you should have left him in orphanage, not bring him here." As I know Chloe is a grouch in the mornings, I just let that one slide on past. But he could have felt her stab him with meanness as well.

Sometimes it surprises me how readily these kids insult one another and ME. Only then I realize they ARE teenagers after all. The masters of insults. Not how I want my kids to be, and I remind them often as they fight on the way to church and home, not how God wants them to behave either. Less than perfect we are, I totally admit it. Not raising any angels here. But I sure love the little devils:)

Chase spent some time Sat. night on a video call with his orphanage buddies, some who are getting adopted soon. Answering questions to ease their fear of the unknown of here. It was hard though to hear them ask first off, "Can you go to store and buy whatever food you want, do parents have money to do that?" He told them "yes" but then told them all the food is "not good-ahh". Burst their bubble, I'm sure.

Chase took the computer around and showed them what our house looks like. Even the toilet! Kids:) They kept asking to see Camden, the red head, I guess to them he looks odd. I was shocked when their favorite auntie got on, took one look at Kat and exclaimed "GuangXi?" Uhh, yeah, hit the nail right on the head there, she's a GuangXi girl. We may not be able to tell them apart by the differences they have from province to province but they sure can!

The kids there told our guys they are "beautiful", here we call it healthy and happy. Kinda funny how they were checking them out, asking about their hair cuts, seeing how much they have grown, but happy that our boys are not FAT. I guess we pass muster as their parents. Good thing because even insulting me, we ain't sendin' them back.

Chloe refused to even go to the computer, she was mad at Chase. She has been watching a few Ch*nese movies and he told her if she watched too much her grades would suffer. I told him that was MY CALL- not his to make. He needed to stop trying to parent her. She was happy I stuck up for her, he was not happy I put him in his place.

I found out tonight why he cheered when I said I was going to be someone new. He decided that when I was trying to get through to Chance, a few days ago, about Chance saying something and trying to get Camden in trouble, that I was wrong. And so he was mad at me about that. I took something I did- pretended to karate chop Chase, who just so happened to haul off and punch my arm HARD- to ask him if HE should have been in trouble when I started that? He caught on quick and backed out of that FAST. He has such a deep level of protection/parenting for his sibs, he can't just shut it off. He must trust us to parent them. It will come.

We went to a dinner tonight, to share the teens story with a missionary group, to share the miracles God performed in getting our sons here. Sharing the joy of THEM. It was a small group, and since I'm not a public speaker, speaking scares me terribly, so I have to ask God to help me tell it to honor Him. And I think I did. Some ladies were in tears. Most were just thrilled to meet all our kids and be able to look through their life books.

Now I'm up at 1 am, can't sleep again. Just got an update from my brother in Japan, although they are still fine, there are deep concerns about the radiation and they are staying inside, may need to evacuate. Although it's not a laughing matter, he assured me they are not glowing in the dark yet. OIY.

Usually when I can't sleep I figure God is giving me time to pray in total silence, something I do not get often. So tonight I am off to pray for my brother, his family and all the other families affected in Japan, as well as 2 precious little girls who lie heavy on my heart tonight that I am praying for along with the people who love them.

Going to hand all this over to the Big Man, the One who can handle it all, and so very thankful to know Him and have Him to turn to.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happiness and hardship

The kids had off school today. Not that I got to sleep in. Nope. Phone call from mom, stating Japan had an earthquake, did I know if my older brother was okay?

Thank God, he is. Without power, but him and the family are all okay. I'm closest to my big brother, even with the distance issue, so this was a great relief to hear.

Although it's terrible to see the devastation that has occurred and thinking of the families affected and did lose family members:(

I got the weekly updates for Chase and Chance from their teachers. One in particular said Chase is making amazing progress in her class. So much that other students (uh, no surprise here, they were girls) had come to her crying in HAPPINESS for him. It's a leadership class and they are learning how they MUST depend on one another. Trust.

She said he is clearly becoming more comfortable and feeling a part of his peer group. Sharing things, learning things, not shutting himself off from people. It's funny because if you know him like we do, you can see him shut off. Like a blind going down over the face. Done.
And we aren't seeing this much anymore. I love his progress. I told him this morning he was just so cute I had to kiss him and he said "okay, go ahead" and held out the cheek:) I just love him so much.

Can't have too much progress going on though, no way. Chance slammed right into his "brick wall of life" again today. Head first- slam. It all started with something quite innocent, which is usually how it goes. He has been getting rude toward Camden at times.
And honestly, Camden is no angel. So he sometimes does things back. But Chance started something then wanted Camden in trouble when it went too far.

And when I called CHANCE out on it, he got MAD. He cried. He yelled. He told me I was "annoying." And we had "the talk". This is your life. You chose- each and every day, the same as we all do, am I going to get up, do my best, or am I going to sit around miserable, unhappy, crying, mad? That WE can't fix this for him, he has to find his way, but that we will not give up on him.

He's learning to be a big brother which is tough, but he must. There's no other choice. He will have Kat, Camden as his younger sibs.
And that honestly, I have to watch him that he doesn't fall back on his bad behavior he had when he first came here toward Camden and think I will side with HIM (Chance).

I told him that Chloe went through the same thing. As well as Chase. And even Kat, although less difficult for Kat. It's the acceptance of what is good here. Having a family and all that comes with that. And accepting that not all of it may be super but his life can be great here, depending on his decisions.

He wasn't thrilled to get "the lecture" again, but at least I feel like he understood me quite well, no language barrier to keep him from "getting it." So hopefully this will help him to move forward. He tries really hard at times, but then other times he will do things he knows is wrong, or he will get in trouble for. Testing. We totally understand. It's hard to see his struggle, because we love him so much.

I asked that brother (Chase) and sister (Chloe) to talk to their wayward brother and both of them sounded identical when they said "No way, no thanks." Ohh, okay. Let him suffer is the motto?? I guess so. I know they feel he is being a "drama king" and they don't have a great deal of patience with that.
Might be better that they didn't talk to him, he went to his room upset, took a nap and came down later behaving much better.

I got my CPR card, my second TB test, clearances and I am ready to go to work. Yeah! I can hardly wait. I'm ready to work. When Chase asked me what my CPR card was for and I told him he said "good job." I guess he's ready for mom to go to work.

Looking forward to the weekend, hoping to see some progress on the house plans. Just waiting on others now, not much WE can be doing. Just leaning and trusting on God, knowing His timing is perfect and everything will work out according to His plan.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Insults

The boys (Chance and Camden) were playing together in their room last night. As boys (and girls) are apt to do they started throwing insults at each other. And they ended up coming downstairs and trying to insult Donovan. But they ended up laughing like a bunch of nuts.

WHY??? Well, Camden called Chance a "goober" and Chance called Camden a "RED-head." Gasp! So insulting:) So then Camden called him a "black head" and they burst out laughing.
Then they came down and called Donovan a "brown head" and more laughing ensued. It really wasn't even THAT funny but just to have the 2 of them teaming up and joking around was cool.

They are doing this more and more. Being brothers. Not fighting for position, worrying about entitlement, just having fun with one another.

Poor Donovan was clueless. He said "why did they just come down and call me brown head and run off laughing?"

Chloe shared with me this week that a child known to us has been bullying her. And I say bullying because if they school caught her at what she has been doing it would be considered bullying. Without a doubt.
Petty, silly stuff all done in jealousy of her friendship with her BFF. As Chloe is not someone to tattle, or be easily offended, I was surprised, but glad, she came to me for help.
You see, she had been assigned to a big project with Chance and this other girl.


And she went to the teacher, but she also came to me:) Her momma. To get that changed because she couldn't handle being teamed up with this mean girl. And I took care of it, you bet I did.
I won't sit back and let anyone hurt my children. Especially when they were treated so poorly in their schools in Ch*na. I am glad she understands she doesn't have to tolerate that here.
Chase started track this week. OIY. He limped to the van yesterday then kept telling me "3 days no go, trouble." This means he can only miss 3 practices or he is out.
I told him to go, trying to make him understand he will be sore, but if he is injured he will not be able to go. But the track coach will determine if he is injured verses just sore.
He thought I didn't understand him. I did. I figured he didn't understand me, and Chloe was laughing as we both were saying to her "can you help him/her understand ME?" Him in Chinese, me in English.
Chase decided to skip Wed evening service at church since he was sore.
He was on his new net book which he has all set up in Chinese and even can listen to his beloved music. We could not figure out how to download it to the I-pod.
I heard something and couldn't figure out what it was. Then I realized it was him, singing softly along with the music. He's really enjoying his gift, along with just seeming to be so content lately, it's a joy to see that.
I didn't start work yet, waiting on my CPR card. Got some cute uniforms. Seems weird to be buying those again but at least working with children I get to wear fun ones.
Tomorrow night we meet with the contractor for the new house project to see how far the money will go. OIY. Say your prayers for us, we so badly want to have a nice home for our children, and this remodel is a big, scary, unknown for us.
Speaking of unknowns, guess who no longer has the "unknown ifs" about a family coming for him??? You got it-- ADAM!!

him finding out, he IS coming home with Titus, his brother. Makes me want to cry. We still need to get going on those funds to get that mountain knocked down. Let's get 'er done. Comm'on:)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Faces of Special Needs Adoption

A big discussion going on right now in the adoption community is about Special Needs adoption.

About the children, the real faces behind the almost 2000 children (no pictures) listed on a BIG list waiting, waiting, waiting for a family to say- "hey, I wonder what #1398, limb difference, cranial malformation- girl 2003 is about?" Could we handle that? Is that OUR daughter?

This is what that child looks like---
Yep, it's none other than-- Miss Kitty.

A limb deformity that actually means she has a toe that is larger than normal because an extra toe started to grow then stopped, giving her a slightly larger 5th toe, a double toe nail and her 4th and 5th toes are webbed.
It's actually pretty hard to notice. I can't even get it to show up in a picture for you to see it! Her foot looks like any other little girl foot:)

The "cranial difference?" A translation error when trying to describe her toe being bigger because in Ch*na they call their "big toe" the "head" and that got translated to something going on with her head.

Is she anything less than PERFECT to us? Nope. Not one bit. I wonder sometimes how we lived before we had our Miss Kitty, her unprompted little hugs she gives throughout the day, the "I love you and I am so glad you are my mommy (daddy)." She is a totally love bug. I dare you to find the "not perfect" in her.

Then came Chloe. Age was her special need. Too old for many to even consider. Matter of fact, WE had thought 9 or 10 year old. But when we saw Chloe's picture we knew she was "the one." Her age, but a number. Again, perfect fit.

The boys. They too were too old. Had sat on agency list after agency list, never chosen. We know why now. They were meant to be our sons. Their age, also just a number. They are now our sons. Do they look to you like they didn't NEED parents to love them?

All 4 of these children- Special- you BET! The need?? OURS. For them, to be their parents. Our life would be so empty without them. It's hard to imagine.

Should anyone consider SN adoption? Do you have the NEED? The special will come. It's an amazing blessing. Are you ready to be blessed? Then get going! Right this second you can pray, donate to someone adopting, get started on adopting, from anywhere. 147 million orphans, God has a blessing waiting for you.

As far as the "needs?"Well, God gives each of us special talents, that's what makes it so wonderful to be part of this world. We are all different. Each one of the children out there, needing parents, there are mothers, fathers out there for each one of them.

No matter their needs. I've heard time and time again, parents that find that they live near a hospital that specializes in what their child's medical need is. Or they have a great community already in place for their child's SN. They only have to access it. God has that all worked out:)

It's a matter of looking past a big scary worded LABEL and seeing THE FACE. Your child. No matter what label has been applied. The label might be right. It might be wrong. But it's NOT who your son or daughter is. No WAY!

To each family, their child is PERFECT. In their life for a reason. No matter their former LABEL. They are a JOY unsurpassed. DO you need a little JOY???

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our Kat with no Hat

Funny title huh? Yeah, Dr. Seuss week at school. She missed crazy hat day, wore striped Hello Kitty socks for Tuesday, Wednesday she packed so she wouldn't have to eat Green Eggs and Ham, Thursday she wore green, her "Daddy's Lucky Girl" green shirt.
Dad was teasing Chloe by telling me Chloe wanted a shirt that said that. Chloe didn't get it at first and said "nuu,uhhh." Then she got it and so did dad, she slapped him. (playfully)

But Friday was by far, the most fun. Dressed in black with hair up in buns to look like ears, and eyeliner gave her a button nose and whiskers. Dress, like a cat they said, so our Kat was a cat.

Camden tried to tell her she was K-A-T so she didn't NEED to look like a cat, since she is one. So she wasn't thrilled to wear the make up.

But she looked A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E. No doubt.

We got to go to the new house today with the contractor to work on what we want done to get the estimate of costs of our big remodel. It's gotta be big since my list of things we want done is 4 PAGES long. OIY. The good thing is we will begin the work soon, YEAH. We're all looking forward to that.

Tonight we all headed to bowling, our church family rented the whole alley for us to have supper there and bowl away. We always have a blast on church bowling night. It was funny 'cause Donovan put "mother and father" in for our names. When it got to our turns it had shortened us to "Mo and Fat!" Kat said "Dad, you're the "F" word!" (FAT) We all got a good chuckle out of that. Fat, I mean Father won both games.

It's been 10 months since we got our sons. We are at a point of comfort with them now that I hardly notice that "anniversary" date. Mainly because it seems so odd to think we have only parented them for 10 months but they are such a part of us now. At first it was like -- we made it- Month 1. Still surviving- Month 2. Feeling frustrated-Month 3. It was basic survival and blending in. Now it's "really only 10 months?" Seems longer, like they were always here. It's GOOD. Not without issues but we've seen them grow and they are blooming.

Chance continues to be somewhat quiet. Grieving for the changes he must accept. We had to take his I-pod as he was hiding in it. Not wanting to talk with anyone, just playing games on it. Not good for him. He is not sullen, but he's not his ever smiling self. Still hard for us to not be able to "fix" it for him, but we are still here, behind him. Supporting and loving him as he finds his way over his "brick wall."

Humm....I wonder what color brick it is. If it would go well with tan and brown??

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Miss me?


Anyone miss me? Took a little break, been busy. I know, I know, you can't imagine. I'm "only" trying to sell a house, buy a house, arrange for the major remodel of the new house, start a new job, and right now, trying to type with a cat pushing my hands off the keyboard:)

And it's past midnight. Can't sleep. It's kinda a good "can't sleep" because it's the excitement of the house. I know it's early but honestly this is March and things are moving along. So I can't help but be "decorating in my head" my new place:)

What have the kids been up to lately? Well, let's see. Monday, Kat and Camden stayed home with sore throats. I think they pulled a fast one on me, 'cause not long after that bus went without them they seemed too perky and lively to be very "sick." Hummmm. TURDS.

Chase got a net book for his birthday. Kind of. He opened it and the "ice" color which to me meant WHITE was a pink plaid. OIY. Back it went. Ordered a blue one. It came. Color was fine, hinge was broken. So he awaits the arrival of #3, of which we hope is "the charm." I'm sick of messing with it. He is anxious to have his gift. But of all the kids, he is the most patient, so there is that.

Chloe has been showing us HUGE signs of security. Of being very happy. She told us about a dream she had that we took her back to the orphanage and left her. She was laughing when she told us. Why is this such a big deal? Well...... even 6 months ago, I am betting she still thought, just maybe, if she did something bad enough we might actually do that and I doubt if she had the dream then she wouldn't have even told us. It takes a LONG time for some older kiddos to get it, that we are forever. Her telling us and laughing as she told it, shows us that she KNOWS we are never going to do that.

She has been writing a paper about a "wall" and the people she put on the wall is who she respects. And she put ME:) first, for coming and adopting her. She put dad on it too, just further down and added that we went back for her brothers.

I see her finally getting the whole family thing. She told me something about "you should do this" about something for Kat, and I said "why?" and she said "because that's what mothers do for their children, she's your child." Ohh, okay. I get it. Good thing I have Chloe to keep me in line, huh? She's such a spit fire, which is funny.
Chance has settled down for the time being but is quieter than usual. I am hoping this is a sign that he too, is getting calmer, understanding everything isn't about playing. It took Chloe about a year to calm down, and he seems to be much more like her in his time frame of adjustment. Before that their doctor actually wanted to treat them for ADHD but I refused, knowing much of their behavior was total overload from being in orphanage care to here. It's a lot to take in. I didn't feel it was fair to them to medicate before we knew them well, and once we did we saw that it really wasn't ADHD anyway.

I noticed when Chance got his last hair cut his hair is blacker. It used to be a brown shade, I guess from not too good of nutrition, and his hair grows really, really slow. Unlike Chase and Chloe's, their is black as midnight as well as grows so fast it's hard to keep up with Chase's to keep it trimmed like he prefers. But Chance's hair is now much darker. Kinda odd to see, since I got used to that" lighter hair at a glance was him."

Camden is just itching for warmer weather. He wants to be out playing. He is an outdoor lover so the cold is a big bummer to him. He got good grades on his report card but a first ever "check mark" for none other than "talking in class"--- whaaaattt? Surely, not my kid. Oh, yeah, he is. (Stop saying "no wonder" MOM) He claims it's "Amanda's fault because he just looks at the time and she asks him what he is doing and when he answers then HE gets in trouble." Uh, huh.

I went to Kat's conference and her teacher immediately wanted to know-- Is it true you are moving and WHEN?" I told her she would have Kat for the rest of this year no matter what- and she was visibly relieved! She said Kat is advanced in Reading, she is almost at a 3rd grade level in 1st grade:) Her math skills are advanced as well. She is most likely headed for the enrichment program as she is clearly quite bright. Kat is fretting that at 7 and almost a half, she has not lost ONE tooth yet. Not one. Everyone else, she informs me, has lost many, many teeth.

So to be that OLD and not even have a loose one? Oh, the shame. I personally am fine with it, hey, less chance of breaking any of those permanent teeth like I chipped my front one as soon as it came in:(

Donovan is doing a ton better since I enlisted the help of the support teacher for Chase to help be a "go -between" for him and a teacher he was clashing with. I never allow Asperger's to be used as an excuse, but I also expect my child to not be told to "shut up" and laughed at when he is being totally serious. And yeah, he gets on tangents about stuff none of us care a whit about, but that isn't reason to laugh at him. To him, it's very important. Some teachers could maybe use Chloe's assignment on RESPECT assigned to THEM.

Dad and I are working on house colors. He likes a nice brown/ tan combo. I am bound and determined to have my front door RED. He doesn't want "too" much color. I thought brick would look great on the whole front of the garage, he says "it's too much brick." I'm learning things like there are tons of colors of brick, did you know that?? I had no idea. I'm hoping we can come to a happy medium on what colors/ materials, but we have time to duke it out if we can't. (Mom, really, just joking) Honest.
Mountains are crumbling as we watch the funds come in for Adam..... whooo hooo. So wonderful to see that. He's getting such an awesome family it's a honor to help them bring these special friends home.