About Me

I have adopted 4 children from a specific orphanage in Eastern Europe and I want to see more children redeemed from that orphanage and brought into families. I want to make sure that the children who are still left behind in that place are never forgotten.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another One of those "Only Here" Kind of Posts

There are so many things that happen only "here" that I think I could write a post on it every day. That might be a little extra 'wierd' though. lol Here are a few things that come to mind from today.

1. Zeeky (5 years old and has autism) licked the waterslide while they were getting it setup and then drunk water out of it as a pass time today.

2. Crystal (11 year old with RAD) also drunk water out of the water slide today even though she wasn't supposed to be near the waterslide at all. (By the way I had a huge cooler of ice water with cups as well as numerous other beverages that were cold and CLEAN outside the whole time)

3. Jacob gets his "RAD eyes" on every time he sees another adult, but did come to me for hugs today after being reminded. He came several times on his own even after others went home. (I guess the 'only here' thing could even be that this is such a great accomplishment. roflol)

4. I can buy way too much food for get togethers and know that we will eat whatever is left.

5. I am proud of myself because I let Denzell head out with some of our church family this evening to football previews and did ok with it myself.

6. There were 21 kids here for a good portion of the day and it felt GOOD. There wasn't any real fighting (some on great 'water noodle' fights though!) even with that many kids here.

7. I will be just as excited to see the sandpit in my backyard leave as I will to see the addition on the back of our house that makes it leave.

8. With all the kids that were here, my husband is the one that I had to scold outside (he's such a big kid).

There are numerous other things, but those are just a few off of the top of my head! lol

Great Day

We had an awesome day today. I had invited anyone from church who wanted to join us to come over today. I had food and we had the water slide up. It was VERY hot. I really didn't know if anyone would come at all, especially since we weren't at church Wednesday night to remind anyone.

My brother, sister-in-law, and their three beautiful kids joined us first. My mother came later as well. All the kids hit the backyard hard at that point. I knew that they'd have a blast one way or the other, but was hoping that some others would brave the heat to join us.

Several people from church ended up coming. It is so nice to have the sweet fellowship of other believers. Church time is always awesome for that reason. It is just nice to be able to socialize with them outside of church as well though. Here at my house is perfect for me. There are plenty of things to keep the kids busy. The yard is safe and there are ways to keep the little ones from wandering off. I usually do lots of individual chips, drinks, etc because they are so easy to hand out and still have time to enjoy our guests.

Others from our church understand adoption as well. It is nice to hear other families talking about what age their children joined their family. It is nice to have people here who understand that my kids have some issues that they "came with". People who love us enough and know I love my kids enough for me to say "No Jacob, you can only have love from me", without them thinking I'm a complete wierdo. (I mean, I am wierd in my own special way, but that isn't one of the reasons. roflol) It is nice to be with people who knew me even before I had kids and can say "Oh, I knew you were crazy even before the kids". hahaha

Overall it is just great to hear my kids laughing with their friends in the backyard and know that we are with people who really do love each other. I am very blessed with church family who love us and who we love very much. It seems rare in this world to find people who can look at our (very large and colorful) family and see the strings of love that bind us into the family that God intends instead of wondering what the heck we are. :)

Great day! God is good!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ear Mites? (nope)

I noticed this morning that Jacob had blood all in his ears. It was dried and gross. My first thought was that it looked like a dog with bad ear mites. I knew that wasn't it. lol My next thought was that surely he would have expressed some kind of discomfort if his ear drums had burst. Would he? Really I don't know if he would.

Then reality hit. I realized that this was the same little RADish that I had cleaned up bloody ears for it times past. They had never been this bad though. I got the diaper wipes and started cleaning his ears. I got it all cleaned up and then it started to reform.

Yes, you might have guessed it if you too have a RADish. My sweet little RADish really did pick his ears in the outer ear region until it they bled. See Jacob bleeds easily (probably on account of some seizure medication since it seems to have gotten better as we've weaned off of it). He also picks just to be a pain.

Yes, my house has more bodily functions and grossness some days! I still get taken back occassionally. You'd think "behavior" would be the first thought in my head, but it still isn't sometimes. I guess the fact that I am also parenting a lot of kids who aren't having such "behaviors" still keeps me in the "real world" instead of going totally to the "RAD world". I am going to take that as a good thing. I am not totally gone over to the "RAD world" and just go there for the ones that I need to go there to help.

Anyway, if you see my child and he looks like he has ear mites, I promise he doesn't. lol

God Touched My A/C

The people who came to work on the unit yesterday couldn't find anything wrong with it. The duct work all looked good and they couldn't find anything wrong with the unit. By the time they arrived there was air blowing out of the vents, but the temperature was still 80 in here. They called the owner and he mentioned some "technical" parts that I don't quite understand. Even though the unit was just put in a little over a year ago, they are ordering some part for it. They said it would be here Monday or Tuesday.

My thought on that was "Oh great.". I mean I have 12 kids who were hot and so was I, which could have lead to not good things. On top of that, we invited our church family over for Saturday afternoon. I was thinking that the heat was going to really be bad and we would have no air conditioning. I prayed several times before and after the repair guys left. I thought that maybe begging God for it to work enough to stay comfortable might be a good idea.

The thing is that yesterday evening the house was 74 degrees, which was the exact number it was set on! I had expected it to be above 85 with the temperature outside in the upper 90s and "real feel" at about 105. It stayed 74 degrees! It has still stayed that all day!

God has put His hand on my A/C unit. I haven't asked the company to hold the order on the part. I don't know if God has made it work temporarily so that I can get ready for the time of fellowship stress free and not hot or if He has healed it for good.

Now before anyone thinks I'm crazy, I do realize that the men may have accidently hit something and fixed it. I also know that they sure didn't do it on purpose. I will definitely count that as Divine Intervention and Praise God for it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Return of the RAD

Yes, Andrew has done it again. I am hoping that this will be a short bad spell. He had been doing so great. Homeschool was going wonderful! Behaviors were so minor that he was actually enjoyable.

He had went back into underwear (at age 9) this morning after a good long spell of being clean and dry, but it was all for nothing really. Yes, after less than 12 hours of being clean and dry, he decided to pee and poop on himself. I would have once asked "WHY OH WHY?", but I am past that. I just accept the present and move on toward the future. I calmly explained that I realize he must not be able to handle the world as big as it was getting for him. I realize that not having on a pullup (though he asked for the underwear) must have made him uncomfortable. I let him know that I was not made. I let him know that we would once again make his world smaller until he was able to handle it being bigger again.

I would like to say that I didn't expect it. There was just something "not real" about the way that he said "this has been a great day" more than five times while eating Blizzard pie. He was one of the few that had earned a special treat by finishing his school work and not being unbearable at dinner. Several had already been sent to bed, but he was one of the "well behaved" ones of the day. You know that he had to have felt so sneaky while he ate it knowing that he had peed his pants and pooped his pants and was sitting in it. Oh yes, what an accomplishment. Oh well, I'm sure that the baby food for breakfast won't be quite as enjoyable. I've come to realize that my 9 & 11 year old RAD kids seem to dislike but find baby food therapeutic. To them it seems "logical" to eat baby food when you use your pants as a diaper. I mean it makes sense. I also make sure that the breakfast that the other children are having is exceptional, so I have a little planning to do.

Whatever it takes for my RAD kids. I am determined to let God use me to help them get better. There will be setbacks like this along the way, but it is still more steps forward than backward now. Hopefully one day of being treated like a baby and he will have gotten the reassurance that things are still the same, I won't hurt him, I'm not angry, and I am willing to make his world as small has he needs it. Hopefully we will go back to dry pullups and won't try underwear again for quite awhile. We'll try to make small steps in other arenas and keep the pullup for awhile longer.

Who knows what the RADishes have up their sleeves for tomorrow. I just know that I have lots of God's grace up my sleeve. I also have love, hugs, and the endurance to see them through.

Crazy to say at this moment for most, but I am still glad to be the little poopers mom! hahaha

Jamaica? (HuH?)

Brent took Denzell to urgent care this evening. Our medical provider (who I love so much and this trip proved why we don't see other people) is not in on Wednesdays. Denzell occassionally gets skin irritations that seem to be related to grass or weeds, but not something contagious like poison ivy. They seem to quickly spread and make his eyes swell up some. We didn't want to wait until tomorrow and it is difficult to just take any walk in appointment when I don't even have Denzell to sit with kids who are waiting for me.

I let Brent know ahead of time that he needed to make sure that he came away with steroids. I know from past experiences with him that our medical provider would give us those for this rash. I also know that not all doctors have a lot of experience with the way that rashes look on darkly pigmented skin.

The physician's assistant that was to see him came in. He began to examine the rash. Denzell is hysterical when he tells about the way the man looked at it. (He cracks me up!) He then asks Denzell if he has had any rashes like this before. Denzell lets him know that "yes" he has.

The next part is what cracks me up and makes me sad all in one whack. The PA says "Did you have it here in the United States or . . . . (long pause here hoping that this teen or his dad would fill in the blank I guess) or in Jamaica?

Brent says "He was from Columbus" and Denzell gives the place he was born. The man then clamors with things like "So sorry for speculating" and "I guess it was the accent". Seriously, Denzell has no accent. It must have been hard for him to feel the need to explain. I mean what could he say 'Oh I didn't know there were dark skinned children in the US that are adopted by white people' or 'your dark skin confused me'.

We all had a good laugh about it. Some people really just don't think. I mean seriously though, why don't people see someone whose skin is different from theirs and realize that the person is probably American? Why do people always assume that multi-racial families can only be formed through international adoption? I am proud of how my family was formed and the other moms that I know who have families formed via adoption are too, but is it so much to ask that our society just see them as our kids and don't assume anything.

Oh well, we shall laugh and hope that the next time he sees a "black" kid with "white" parents he might just assume that families are formed through international or domestic adoption, but that he shouldn't make a teen feel like he has some foreign rash that is unknown of just because his skin pigmentation is dark. Rainbows are beautiful and so are rainbow families.

Chin Love at 2am

"Chin Love" is a term that was coined especially for Julianne. See Julianne didn't "eat" originally, but was instead fed by gtube. She therefore didn't "explore" with her mouth either. From the time that we met her, we realized that her "chin" was how she explored. She played with musical toys with her chin. She rocked in the floor while bounching her ching off the floor. She touched things with texture to her chin as well.

Soon after coming home, she also began to show affection with her ching. She would take her chin and put it on your chin. She would move your head to make sure that she had the proper angle to "chin love" you. It was her highest form of affection really. The "awww"s that came when anyone was blessed with "chin love" were hysterical. The whole family in complete adoring of her also completely embraced this new type of affection!

Last night Julianne had been playing in her bed ever so sweetly. There was giggling and rocking that could be heard. It is impossible not to smile when she is giggling. :) Then she got very quiet and I just knew that my sweet girl was dreaming sweet dreams.

Every night we go in to check on her, so Brent and I headed in as normal. I reminded him to be very quiet since she had taken awhile to go to sleep. It is our favorite part of our bedtime routine to go in and check on her. To see her angelic face in perfect sleep is the perfect blessing.

As we opened the door ever so quietly, Julianne burst into loud giggles. She had been in there waiting. We couldn't help but join her in laughter. She wasn't asleep at all, but in there waiting to surprise us with giggles. Needless to say, we once again broke all of our parenting rules. We picked her giggling and snuggly self up. We sung, spun, and gave/received kisses. We totally indulged her every whim at 2am in the morning! roflol

As we stood getting chin love, we both looked at each other. We acknowledged that we are the most blessed people that we know. I bet no one else got "chin love" at 2 am, but us! What a blessing to get to be her mommy and the mommy of 11 others as well!


I have been telling different air conditioning people this entire summer that something is wrong with my vent system. The first time I told them that I had air blowing in from around a pipe behind my commode and so something was loose. They said they tightened something, but they caulked around the pipe, so there was no way for me to 'feel' it. I told them that I discovered it when I was doing a "round of caulking", so why they heck would they do that except for to make sure I couldn't 'feel' the problem.

After they left I realized that I then had no air at all coming out of my bedroom vent. I called them back and they came back and fixed it. They acted clueless as to what could have caused the problem though I'm sure that they knocked it loose since it occurred simultaneously to their visit. It also proved my theory that there are problems under there!

Then about a week later when things were really hot in my dining area I noticed that the vent was all the way down in the crawl space. I pulled it up myself and nailed it into place as well as caulked around it. That temporarily fixed (or bandaged) the problem. Unfortunately, still even with a system just put in last year, we still couldn't quite keep it cool in here.

We tried to get the same people to come back. They could never tell us when they might actually come out. I left the kids with my mother one day and they showed up and started knocking. When no one answered they called, knocked some more, and headed around back. My mom finally went out and told them that I wasn't home and they couldn't work on it without me there.

I got another company to come out and look. Once again they sent a "regular guy" instead of the "small guy" who can go fully under the house. We ran into this with the first company too. He wanted to look at the unit. He went partially under the house, but couldn't go all the way back to where I told them that I knew the problem was. He turned up the fan to a higher power in hopes of helping a little and said maybe that would help.

Now we are at 80 degrees with my thermostat sat on 74 degrees. All the ceiling fans have been wiped off and turned on. We have begged and pleaded for someone to finally go ALL THE WAY under the house and look. The first place says that someone will come this afternoon. The second place is supposed to have someone maybe come tomorrow. I am desperate and I have TWO places scheduled. I really think the owner of the first place understands what we need done. I don't know if his guys will really do a good job though. I don't know if either place will listen to me once the "repair dudes" come.

I can assure you of a few things. Number 1: They are not checking inside my vents from on top. They need to go underneath and fix it. Number 2: They are going to go feel the vent to my crawl space on the front of the house, because it has more air coming out than the vents inside my house. Number 3: I will be nice because Jesus would want me to be, but I am not in a good mood if this goes wrong. Number 4: If all these kids get cranky as the temperature continues to go up in this house, then I my live in the crawl space! Number 5: I will write a positive post about the wonderfulness (is that a word? I don't think so) of my life after I get done fuming about how hot I am because I have a great story to tell later.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are they all Yours?

This question really does crack me up. I mean seriously! If someone says to YOU "How many children do you have?" then do you count YOUR KIDS or do you inlude the neighbor kids?

That may sound silly, but if someone asks us how many kids we have and we say "12", then way too often they say "Are they ALL YOURS?".

It happened yesterday to Brent as he was trying to avoid the "dental hygenist" who made me vent last time. She asked the question, he answered the question, and she replied with THAT question. He said "yes". She said something like this "oh great! We have a lady who comes in here who has like 10 kids or something BUT THEY ARE ADOPTED". Now if you can imagine how that went over then I guess you can imagine that I was forced to call the dentist and have them put on our charts that we have to have the other dental hygienist. He didn't say anything to her because at this point we've educated to the extent that it is just not helping. She refuses to see MY KIDS as MINE! Now you could laugh at the fact that she is so deceived into not seeing the "realness" of adoption that she actually never put him into the place of my husband and said that to him, but I just can't quite find any way to laugh over her at all. Thankfully the dentist is a really good man and totally understood as he was apologizing on her behalf and letting me know that we should not have to be offended by her in such ways.

I had just explained the situation to someone today and then headed to Kroger shortly thereafter. Sure enough, someone commented on the amount of milk that I was buying and I said that my kids really like milk. They asked questions and I said that I "have 12 kids". People suddenly have supersonic hearing and another lady says something about "patience". That was followed by the dreaded question again. I really did say it this time. I said it "funny" and in a way to make amusement of the question rather than to be rude. I said "Well, I never do count the neighbor kids in the count, but if you mean did I give birth to them all then no I didn't GIVE BIRTH to 12, but some came to us via the route of adoption, but YES THEY ARE ALL MINE."

She looked satisfied by my answer. I do hope that the way I answered the question made her realize that the question was inappropriate. I just don't get it. I don't walk up to people and wonder if all the kids are theirs. If I did then I sure wouldn't ask such a question. I also am smart enough to realize that if someone says they have "x number of kids" then they have "x number of kids". The route in which the children came doesn't determine if they are theirs! I also don't know of anyone who does count additional children who are not theirs in the count they give of THEIR KIDS!

Good Grief is all their is to say though. Unfortunately their is no pill for "stupid" and no cure for ignorance besides education. I'm determined to try and educate where their is ignorance and walk away from stupid as quickly as possible.

Homeschool Day #3

Today was our 3rd homeschool day of doing 1/2 days. It went very well. I was thrilled that when Julianne saw us getting started, she came in and wanted in the high chair to join us. The kids did "Writing", "Math", "Vocab/Spelling", and "Art" today. They all cooperated very well which was nice.

Jose is still trying to get use to things. He actually tried to get by without looking up words that he didn't know how to spell. It wouldn't have been funny if he'd tried it once, but three times earned him the privelege of writing them on top of looking them up. lol He did it though and I think he'll remember what I've been trying to instill. YOU CAN'T GET A BAD GRADE IN HOMESCHOOL! YOU JUST HAVE TO REDO IT UNTIL YOU GET AN A!

Forrest and Jose didn't homeschool with us at all last year. They both are very excited and say they are enjoying it. (Well, except for the having to do it right or write part. haha) They can't believe how fast we can get through stuff and how much fun we can have while we learn.

Destiny is just with us until school starts back for her. She is doing very well though. She is categorizing, finding which things are the same, finding which things are different, and able to name the categories as well. These are things that can be a little harder for her because of her autism. Funny, she can read and spell so far above grade level, but has trouble with some of the simpler concepts. Our current plan is for her to attend school for 1st and 2nd grades before we pull her out. The intervention teacher, speech therapist, teachers, and principal at our early elementary school are beyond awesome so we hope to utilize them while we can to help her excel. We always leave all things up for reconsideration though if at any time we decide that homeschool would work better for her. :)

All in all, I am very excited about the possibilities of this school year. God is good and teaching my kids is such a privelege!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

That Surgery Helped Our Attachments

I was so worried when Julianne had her surgery a few weeks ago. I hated to have her taken from me for so many reasons. I worried that her heart problem would make something go wrong. I worried that she would feel like I was letting them hurt her and it would make the risk of attachment problems that comes with any child adopted older, become a reality. I also just couldn't bear them taking her from me after I had her with me what seemed way too short of a time.

At the same time, I knew she needed it done. I was thankful to find a doctor who was willing to do it. I was very thankful that they were running tests at the same time so that she wouldn't need put to sleep for the test later. I was so happy that she would not be leaking stomach juices and would not have to deal with so many issues as a result. I also KNEW that God loved her more than I do (though it is hard to imagine the love of God and how anyone could be loved any more than I love her ) and that He blessed me to be her mommy and would bring us through the whole thing.

I did not know the reality of how big the rewards of surgery would be. I had no idea how much better she would feel. I had no idea how much more active (she was already very active) she would be when she felt better. I had no idea that what happened tonight would result from it most definitely.

Tonight at church, she was sitting beside me and I was praising her for being so good. She was leaning on me and I was swaying her a little. I started to pet her face instictively (I've always done that with little ones), but remembered that she doesn't like that. Instead, she moved my hand back on her face when I stopped and wanted me to do it more. I was SO HAPPY that she wanted me to do that because I knew she was sleepy. She has never wanted bothered when she is sleepy. She wants to be left alone to go to sleep on her own every since I first met her.

So needless to say, I was very happy to continue to pet and love on her. She then got even sleepier and laid her head over on my hand. She put both my hands on her face and went to sleep on my lap. I COULD'T HELP BUT GET ALL TEARY EYED! I was able to pick her up and cuddle her for the rest of the service. I kept hoping the evangelist would go long and thankfully he did go quite a bit longer than is normal for our church. She started to startle and wake a few times, but was easily cuddled and with a whisper from me went back to sleep! On the way out of the church she was waking up. I said "Its ok baby girl mommy has you" and she said "My momma" and gave me a big hug.

Now to say that Julianne has me wrapped around her pinky and in a big pile of mush would be an understatement!

To think about it though is so cool. God actually used my being able to cuddle her and comfort her during that procedure to help her even more. She has always been "mommy's girl" and so affectionate, but she has went the last step and trusts me to hold her when she is going to sleep.

I am so blessed and my feet are barely touching the ground!