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, January 21, 2012

I Just Booked Brent's Flight to . . . .

FINALIZE CODY'S ADOPTION. Yes, that is wonderful news. Cody's adoption will finalize on Friday morning. Brent doesn't have any chance of making the first trip to Bulgaria this week now. :( That is bad news, but we are thrilled that he gets to go and finalize Cody's adoption.

We've had the date for his finalization for a few weeks, but had hoped that we'd have to postpone it. Cody is here and safe. Our kids in Bulgaria are not, so we had hoped he would be able to travel to there ASAP, even if it meant delaying Cody's finalization for a few weeks.

Court there is at 8am on Friday morning. So soon after that Cody will be "officially and forever and legally" our forever son! He's been that in my heart for years, but on that day it will finally be legal!

I'm so thrilled that God has blessed me to get to be his Mommy. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Discrimination in Life Saving Operation

Recently, I read a story http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2012/01/13/hospital-denies-kidney-transplant-because-of-girls-intellectual-disability.htm  about a little girl who needs a kidney transplant in six months to a year.  Her mother says that they told them that she isn't eligible for the surgery because she is "mentally retarded".  The family wasn't asking for the child to be put on a transplant list.  They had multiple family members willing to donate a kidney to save her life.  The hospital hasn't given much comment and claim that they can't say much because they can't disclose the child's records. 

I've posted on their Facebook page and on a story on the news about it asking one question "Does a child having mental retardation come into the decision making process?" 

See I don't need to know all of her medical situations to know how ticked off I am!  The IQ of someone has no bearing on if they want to die of kidney failure.  Someone's IQ shouldn't have anything to do with if they get medical treatment!  I have multiple children who could fall under that label (the word was actually suppose to be on a sheet of paper that was a list of reasons that a transplant wouldn't be warranted or advised and it was highlighted because it was the one that applied to her).  Each one of them deserve the same medical care as everyone else! 

I've seen people write comments using the excuse that she would just "drain resources" and would "never contribute (I will do a post about a family member who said something similar in the past few months and how DONE I am with that person at a later date).  I'd just like to ask what "contribute" means to people????  I think it is purely monetary to way too many people in our society.  That is so very sad.  "Contributing" to society can mean so many other things.  I know that every person with special needs (even if they can't speak, walk, or work) contributes an amount of love, understanding, and uniqueness that  cannot be matched by anyone besides themselves.  "Draining Resources" ticks me off in a special kind of way as well.  That is what the prison population in this country is doing!  How many people with what the world considers "severe special needs" do you see killing, doing drugs, stealing, and menacing society????  Nope, that just isn't their "thing"!

I can guarantee that the sweet little girl in question has already contributed more to society than any of the idiots who make such comments.  See that little girl has a mother, father, and siblings.  I can guarantee that the way that they look at the world around them has been changed by her already.  In her few years on earth so far, I can guarantee that she has made her siblings into more compassionate, caring, and understanding people.  They will treat other people with more respect and work harder to help make others feel included because of getting the privelege to love her.  They will grow up to make a difference in our world, because of the blessing of knowing her.  My guess is that she is touched numerous lives in that type of capacity!

She, just as all of us, is made in the image of God.  I would hate to be someone who had to stand before our Creator and account for de-valuing the life that He created.  We, as a world, have got to do better than to accept such discrimination.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Our Country Isn't Really Doing Better Than Eastern Europe

Here is my next topic in my discrimination writings. 

I know that I often hear comments about how horribly behind times the countries of Eastern Europe are in their treatment of people with disabilities.  They "can't believe" that people leave their children with Down Syndrome at the hospital.  They "don't understand" how someone could do that to their child. 

You should see their faces when I tell them that our country doesn't do any better!  Of course, here in the US children with Down Syndrome are not put into mental institutions.  What could I possibly mean???? 

In the US, out of every 10 babies who are suspected to have Down Syndrome - 9 are ABORTED!

Do you have any idea how sick that makes me?????  It makes me want to scream, yell, and cry.  Doctors often say "Well, your child is going to be born with Down Syndrome.  Do you want me to set up the appointment for the abortion?".  WHAT????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? 

Here in the US, we call that "right to choose" or "its a woman's body".  What it really is  - MURDER!  We are killing an entire group of people before they are even board.  We hear people talk about "baby girls" not being valued in China or India.  We are doing the same with babies with Down Syndrome.  Our society has decided that if we kill them before they are born, then it is ok. 

WELL IT IS NOT OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Babies with Down Syndrome choose life too!  They want to be born.  They want to be spoiled!  They want to love chocolate!  They want to sport their "Designer Genes"! 

If our society wasn't killing them, then it wouldn't be unusual to see someone with Down Syndrome at Walmart or any where else for that matter. 

I think if we look at Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech and think about it from the view of a child with Down Syndrome, then we might get a whole new view.  They have the right to walk hand in hand with children who are considered "typical" (whatever the crap that means!).  They have a dream to be a part of a world that sees the wonderfulness of their extra chromosome!  They dream to be part of a world where their uniqueness is celebrated!  They have a dream to have the beauty of their special features acknowledged.  They have a dream to live in a world that realizes that they too were made in the IMAGE of our CREATOR! 

They have a dream to live in a world where a doctor instead says "CONGRATULATIONS!  God has chosen you to be the mother of a "Chromosomally Enhanced" child" and hands them news articles about families who go to the other side of the world just to have such a blessings.  They dream of doctors handing the new mother's the "real story" and info to the different Down Syndrome Associations.  Papers included in their "Congratulations Pack" have blogs of families who love their children with Down Syndrome. Phone numbers could be included of mother's like me who would love to tell them that the most wonderful gift on earth is about to grace their world.  They are to join the rank of mothers who KNOW that these are God's most precious gifts! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Day Late But . . . .

Martin Luther King Day was something we enjoyed as a family.  It was good to remind our children of how much things have changed.  A family like ours wouldn't have been an "ok" thing in that day.  Our family has so many different skin colors that we really do live out his "dream" where a white child and black child walk hand in hand!  We have that happen all the time here.  :) 

We talked about the racism that we have seen as a family.  The three teenagers and Dayton remember moving from our first house and into a trailer on my family's farm to get away from the extreme racism that we faced.  They remember "Daddy not having a job" because they fired him when we adopted "black" children.  Thankfully, we can also remind them of how fighting for what is right is hard, but very worth it.  They remember "Mommy and Daddy going to court", when we fought them in federal court.  They also remember that it went well and the people who didn't want our family to "be" found out that there are consequences.  We remind the kids that while we can't change what people "feel" and "think", we can change what they think they can "do". 

Yes, our family got a good taste of racism.  We also got to buy a bigger home on the other side of the county in a multicultural area.  We got to adopt more children as a result.  Sometimes I'd like to send a certain someone (or group of someones) a family picture at Christmas.  We had 4 kids when they attacked our family and 6 kids when court was over.  (God blesses when you are following Him!)  Since then, we have adopted 7 more children and have 5 more children on the way.  God surely does continue to bless! 

Yes, Martin Luther King changed the world.  There is still a long way to go for "equality" for all.  There are a lot of people with deep prejudices that need to change their hearts (their minds would do no good).  We meet them in every day life and unless your family is "multi-colored" then you probably never notice.  Prejudice doesn't always mean that you take away a person's rights, but sometimes just that you never give them a chance to show who they are because you have such preconceived notions about "their kind".  Prejudice isn't something that most "white" people "see", but it is there.  If your skin happens to be "white" and you've never "seen" it then just adopt a child that is a different skin tone than your own.  Wow will your eyes be opened!  Thankfully, we quickly eliminate those type of people from our lives and make sure that if they are in a position to have any power, that they quickly realize that they better keep those prejudices inside their heads and out of our lives.

I'm going to write some more this week about prejudices that need addressed.  I also want to address some of the prejudices often overlooked.  I want to talk about the fact that our country is trying to get rid of an entire group of people.  I want to talk about how we Americans "judge" how other countries treat their people with disabilites, while we don't do any better in many ways. 

I'd actually love a dialogue.  So think about these topics a bit.  Have you ever experienced "racism"?  How?  What about discrimination in other ways? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Read Something that Reminded Me to RANT

I was reading one of my favorite blogs to read tonight.  She mentioned that she had been asked about using Respite care for her children with special needs.  I've been asked that many times.  It has been "suggested" that I should.  It was suggested that I set respite up on a regular schedule when our first daughter moved in with us in 2001.  I said "no" then and have continued to do so. 

That is where the RANT comes in!

THESE ARE MY KIDS!  It doesn't matter the route they came they are mine!  Does the rest of the world send their kids to "respite"?????  I surely hope not! 

Most families (the nonadoptive or nonspecial needs families) get asked about "date nights" or how often they get a babysitter.  No, not adoptive and special needs families, we get asked about RESPITE!

Here is how the dictionary (dictionary.reference.com) defines the word "respite":
1. a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite.

2. temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death; reprieve.
That really is telling of what people in the world feel about "special needs"!  GRRRR!!!!  It makes me mad every time I hear it.  Just reading the word today made me furious! 
I do not consider my special needs kids especially distressing or trying.  Having them not with me isn't "relief", but is especially distressing and trying!  I can't stand to be away from my kids.  Do these people have any idea how hard I worked to get my children HOME!!??!!  Why on earth would I want to send them away????  I think that many people actually consider it a death sentence and think we need reprive!  (Any other special needs parents out there get that feeling?) 
My kids have been moved and been without me.  I would never do that to them.  I would never make them feel that I needed them "gone"!  I never would want them to believe for even a second that life without them is bearable - BECAUSE IT ISN'T!  I would give anything to have my other five children HOME!  You'd need a knife to pry my kids lose from my arms - the ones here or across the ocean! 
If someone wants to be caring (instead of offensive), then they could say to a parent of special needs kids something like "You know your kids are so much fun and I bet you've not had a night away in years, so why don't you let me (or me and 5 others roflol) come and watch the kids for an evening and you all take a night to go to a movie or out to eat".  See that is "caring".  Now, that being said most of the time I wouldn't even want to leave my kids for an evening with people who really love and enjoy them.  I would probabl much rather that someone just says "Hey, I would love to come over for an evening and spend time with you all", because frankly it isn't like we are going to many people's houses.  lol  Company here is good and the kids are in their environment.  I have nothing to worry about and can just "hang out".  You'd be surprised how quiet and calm it is.  It is relaxed and fun.  People who tried that might even realize that we don't need "respite".
Mentioning "respite" to me is offensive and on the wrong day could get you a tongue lashing that I just can't control, because I have paper pregnancy hormones and have been paper pregnant for long enough to give birth to an elephant! 
To be safe, just don't ever try to do anything that takes a child away from me without testing my mood.  Sometimes the wounds of how long it took to get them here, the raw ache of my arms to hold my five blessings not yet home, and the love for my kids makes it hard to even send my kids to Sunday School.  I can't imagine how it must feel for a child who has been through so much more than I have to be sent away.  Attachment issues would take a major hit too.  Just realize that if I didn't want 18 kids, then I wouldn't be having 18 kids.  I didn't "accidentally" adopt.  roflol 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cookies and Qwirkle

Tonight we had cookies and a new game to play.  Dayton, Jose, and Denzell made the cookies.  (Yes, all your daughters will be fighting for my young men some day because they will know how to cook, spoil children - Julianne's fault, set boundaries, and do stuff around the house!)  They took ready made sugar cookie dough and put little caramel baking bits into the center.  Dayton and Jose pressed their dough into shaped cookie pans and then put the caramel bits in and then a little more dough on top.  Denzell rolled his dough into balls and put the caramel bits into the center.  They all were yummy!

Qwirkle is a game that I had seen in catalogs before, but I'd never gone ahead and bought it.  It was on clearance at Walmart after Christmas.  (I love to go after Christmas and get stuff on sale that we can all play or for upcoming birthdays!)  We played it for the first time tonight.  Brent, Jose, Dayton, and I all sat in the floor and figured it out.  It is NOT EASY!  It was a lot of fun though! We didn't keep score the way it says to, because we were too busy just figuring it out.  Brent asked at the very beginning if we could just make up our own rules, because it was too hard.  lol  (He was not homeschooled! Our boys are homeschooled and they were up for the challenge.  haha)

Today we just played the game and the first one to use all the tiles up was the winner.  Jose won, Dayton came in second, I was in third, and Brent was last fourth place.  :)  Next time our goal is to figure out the scoring that it is talking about.  I think it is actually going to be a game that will be good for school time.  I love things that make them use their brains differently and I think it is very important that they learn to think outside the box!  This game is definitely OUTSIDE THE BOX!  I think my head is still hurting!  I am hoping that Destiny, Andrew, Crystal, and Forrest will enjoy learning to play it this coming week. 

I love these kinds of days with my kiddos!  We even had time to watch "Tangled" (I can't even watch that movie without thinking of a beautiful little girl named Mia Kareen that came home from Ukraine this year through Reece's Rainbow!).  I love that even my boys love that movie!  (Denzell was watching football in the other room though!)  We managed to watch that while the ham was baking in the oven.  A few flurries even flew around outside.  The fireplace was on. 

God is so good!  I can't wait until He bring my next 5 blessings home!!