Saturday, March 29, 2008

Maryellen....Wild Life Photographer

We had a great day at the zoo on Thursday (sunny 74 degrees). My Dad has been visiting this week and he has not seen Sophie since we were all in China. He can't believe how crazy she is:) and how much healthier she looks. "all nice and rosy"

He also can't believe how big Ben and Hannah are since he last saw them in China. He is also wondering if Ben will make it to 15 years old....Mom's of 7th graders out there know exactly what I am talking about!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Birthday....

Happy birthday to my sister Patti! (the cute blond girl in the picture) We are a year and a day apart. This picture is so funny to me, it really shows how different two sibs can look, me with the darker skin and hair and Patti with her light skin and hair. For the record she is younger:)

Spring Break "To Do" List

I wish my list included things like sleep late, have lunch with the girls....but I guess I will just have to put those two things on the top of my summer break list!

* Get rid of some junk! We used to move about every 5 years which was great because I would have to pack and get rid of junk. We have been in our house for 6 years and it is time to get rid of some stuff.

* Clean. And then clean some more.

* Take the kids swimming at the Y.

* Go to the zoo when my Dad is down for a visit.

* Eat at Friendly's* near the zoo with my Dad and the kids. (I grew up going to Friendlys, but the only one that I know of in NC is near the zoo).

* Clean out Hannah's closet.

* Bring Jazzie to the vet.

* Move weight bench to storage, I am pretty sure Ben won't need it until high school.

* Hound, I mean call local SW to check status on our application for "nonrecurring adoption costs". Check with your state to see if they offer this program. This is for families adopting children with SN's and your application must be submitted before your adotion is completed. You can receive up $2000 to offset medical or other adotion costs.

* Blog. I have had 2 posts floating around my head for some time....need to get them posted.

* Write an IEP for a student/parent meeting for Monday when we get back from spring break. (what was I thinking!)

*Make an appointment for Sophie's re-adoption...before our homestudy agency(which is also an adoption agency) goes out of business. They sent all their clients letters stating that they are in dire financial need due to Guatamala and Vietnam suspending adoptions.

* Submit application to have student loan forgiven. (if you are a teacher with student loans and have worked for 5 years of more in a low income school in a high need area such as math, science or special education you can have up to $17,500 of your student loan forgiven!)

* Get Sophie's blood work done for her April MRI

* Last but not least.....Enjoy time with my kids:)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

3 Word Sunday...

Happy Easter! I have to say that I love Easter Mass. I love the part in the Easter Mass when we renew our Baptismal promise, brings tears to my eyes every year.

I tried to bring Sophie to go and visit the Easter Bunny this week.....but she looked at me like I was crazy trying to get her to sit on the lap of an over-sized rabbit! So no Easter Bunny picture this year...maybe next year.

Yep, that is my first year baby picture on the bottom. I can never remember having my birthday so close to Easter. I think the next time that Easter will be on March 23rd will be in the year 2228! The last time Easter was this early was in 1913, and I assure you I was not born yet!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just My Two Cents...

I guess what really bugs me about our fellow countrymen slamming another country, in our case our daughter's birth country, is their egocentric perspectives and need to impose American opinions, politics and culture upon other countries.

Chris and I were discussing China’s one child policy looking for a way for me to handle “those questions” better. We both agree that limiting the number of children a person can have is a major “human rights” offense. Having said that and after reading this paper and other recent articles on China’s population control policy, Chris made some interesting points. One of which is that China’s policy to limit family growth is in part born out of necessity, we do not agree with it, but there is no social structure to support those who cannot support their families. In the paper from Harvard the writer indicates that in China it “pays” not to have more than one or two children, having more than that will cost the family money in the form of a fine and payment for registration and education of the additional child. As we were discussing China’s policy, Chris pointed out that here in the U.S. the government will actually PAY people to have more children than they can afford to support. No you say?? Sure we do…..we provide subsidies for housing, medical care, mental health, dental, childcare, education, food stamps, etc. The more children you have in America that you can’t take care of the more the government will pay you to help take care of them…you don’t even need to leave the house!

People question how China “treats” their children. Really, how well do we treat our children here in the United States?? Even with “supporting” parents, children in one of the wealthiest countries in the world are neglected, unloved and die every day. Our foster care system…please... it fails children daily.

Every year I encounter children at school who require a flow map to explain who lives with them and how they are related to one another. Every year I wake up a parent of one of my students at 11:00 AM in the morning to come get their sick child, and they are not asleep because they worked second shift either. I have parents who do not have jobs, but can’t seem to make it to a meeting at school once a year. There are parents that have 5 or 6 kids and they are not even 30 years old yet. They can’t seem to figure out birth control but they certainly know how to fill out the free and reduced lunch forms.

I don’t disagree that as a society we should support those who are in REAL need. Poverty in America is a vicious cycle. But we have to be honest in saying that the system fails. It fails to instill hope for something better than a hand out, it takes away desire to succeed and care. Here in America it does pay to have more children than you can care for, it just doesn’t in many other countries.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Advice Wanted

I am at a loss on the best way to handle questions about Sophie's journey to us. Most questions are harmless.

But then there are the others.....the ones trashing birth parents in China for not keeping their children. Accusations of " how could they!" "I wouldn't even do that to my dog!" "What is wrong with those people!?" (For the record when someone, and lets be honest it is usually a stranger or an acquaintance, I usually become a little offensive in my rebuttal. Usually I just say...."well in the U.S. people abort unwanted children every day, I like to think that Sophie's birth parents chose life for her.....") Sometimes that works....but it is not something I would want Sophie to hear. I need something better. Something kinder, but to the point. I am not about to educate everyone about China's one child policy. I guess I could try the "Why do you ask?" But they really aren't asking me at this point they sharing their "opinion" about China.

I feel like I have to defend Sophie's birthparents. I honestly believe they chose to hope for a better life for her. Her SN would have likely gone unrepaired. I believe that her birth parents hoped that by leaving her to be brought to the SWI that she may have surgery in China or be adopted.

Share your wisdom with me....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3 Words...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time Flies....

"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." Kristi Larson

September 10, 2007

March 10, 2008

I have tried to write something, but I am having a hard time finding the words.These are truly the only words that matter anyway..... She is our daughter and we love her to pieces.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

3 Words Sunday...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Springing Forward

I hate that I (we) are losing an hour of sleep this weekend, but lucky for me I will be with my handsome husband here. Chris and I love Asheville. The food (this is where we will be having dinner Saturday night), the galleries, just being able to walk around and duck into a pub for a locally brewed beer is just our speed. I am a little nervous about being away from Sophie, but it is only for one night, we will be only a few hours away and Grandma and Pada (thats TBG for grandpa)will be hanging out with Ben, Hannah and Sophie.

We have finally found our groove as a family a five. Chris and I have tried to take time for ourselves, but as many of you know it is hard. It is hard to find the time for a romantic dinner between soccer, lacrosse and school. But we also know that it is essential for us as a couple to stay connected. This is a special treat for us from Chris's family. Matter of fact this was Chris's 40th birthday present, which works out pretty good for me! I am looking forward to spending time with my husband, sharing some great food,beer,conversation and for about 24 hours...uninterrupted time together.

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Night...

As I write this there are seven 13 year old boys sprawled out in my family room making way to much noise (really what was I thinking). So far they have eaten me out of house and home, they have had a bon fire out in the fire pit, ate burgers and brats, ordered pizza, drank two 12 packs of caffine free Dr.Pepp*r, the police have stopped by ( the boys went for a "walk" and we just a little to loud for our was only 7:00), I have made my threat of lights out if I have to come out of my room more than once....or they can get in my car and I can bring them home. I thought that 4 hours at the paint ball park in the fresh air would make them tired....wrong again. Happy Birthday Ben, we love you.....tonight proves it!

On the other hand I have purchased a special doll for Sophie's first family day. We are not planning on making a big deal every year of her "TBG day". I remember reading on ApC a post about a child that was adopted and just hated celebrating her gotcha day because it reminded her every year that she was adopted and different than her other sibs. It just made sense to us, but I do want to mark her first year here home. These dolls are so lovely it was hard to chose, but Lucy just seemed to be the doll for Sophie. Please go and visit the newest additions to Stephanie's store, but be prepared, they are hard to resist!