Thursday, August 2, 2012

sur·vive (sr-vv)
v. sur·vived, sur·viv·ing, sur·vives
1. To remain alive or in existence.
2. To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere:
3. To remain functional or usable:
4. To live, persist, or remain usable through:
5. To cope with (a trauma or setback); persevere after: survived child abuse.

I found the definition of survivor in the online dictionary.  This is the photo that should be next to it. 

 We had to go to an orthopedic sports medicine specialist yesterday after our family Dr said he could not figure out her problem. 
After the exam he asked how much I knew about her life in the orphanage and about the orphanage itself.  I told him minimal. He then said we would talk further later about probable causes for past injury.  He then informed me he would not be able to help us, This is beyond his realm of expertise.  He is taking it to the table Friday.  The table is a group of orthopedic Dr's who meet at Notre Dame and attempt to brain storm on the best ways to handle "unique"cases, as he called it.  He then referred us to a Dr at the University of Michigan.  We are waiting for the call of an appt date. 

This is an amazing kid.  To go through EVERYTHING in life she has been through and still be who she is totally amazes me.  A smart, caring, sensitive, loving person despite living in HELL. 

I grew up in the epitome of dysfunctional homes.  I also have made it through so much in my adulthood, but nothing compares to what this baby has been through in her short 16 yrs of life. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

30 days until school starts

The summer has gone so fast this year.  I know in reality it's the same time frame, but as I age I realize more and more how time seems to speed up.  There were no big family vacations this year just mini fun times.  We still have a few more to go.  A trip to the water park, another Chicago trip, Childrens Museum near U of Michigan campus (uncoupled with a Dr. visit), and a few more hiking trips at nearby state parks. 

Caroline just got back from her poms competition and did wonderful.  She got 4 ribbons.  As a team they got state recognition (I know that doesn't sound good, but it's a high honor), and placed high in their complicated and detailed moves category.  The coach is an amazing person. She believes in lifting up instead of tearing down.  She believes each girl is an individual and allows them to be just that.  She also does not tolerate cattiness.  I love this in a person.  Now it's time for my baby to get back to earth and back to health class.  She took a summer class and is so glad she did.  It's allowed her to really study the information and understand it since there are no other classes to study.  She is very diligent about her studies.

I had the opportunity to assist in a seminar at Notre Dame last week.  It was for Students from the University of Fudan, Shanghai China.  They were all engineering students.  The seminar gave the students the opportunity to view US campus life, sit in a few different classes, and learn a bit about Americans first hand. 

Well, I learned a great deal as well.  The competition level in China to achieve good grades is Very High.  The students study all the time.  They were telling me how the students do not party at college, they do not get into trouble,  the library is the hot spot and everywhere you look students are in books or on tablets studying.  Wow.  A little of that here would be nice.  They said it's like that from the time they were in elementary school.  The children do not mouth off to teachers or fight with other students at school.  It's all about the books. 

During the seminar the topic of American slang words was covered.  Well, to say the least I learned allot as well.  Now I know why my Caroline comes home and asks me about different words she has heard and why they use it in that context.  I took allot of notes.  The one question the students had was why people would knowing call each other other vulgar names in a friendly type setting. Hmmmmm good question. 

Our garden is doing OK.  It's finally started to take off now that God has watered it instead of me.  We needed the rain desperately.  The fields were suffering around here something fierce.  It's nice to see a bit of green instead of all the brown yards.  I was hoping to be able to put 100-150 quarts of tomatoes but it may only be more like 50-75.  We'll see what the next month brings. 

So many changes going on at home, I'm glad children are resilient and adjust well.  Although they don't get it all they still roll with it and tough through.  I have some amazing young'uns. 

Here are a few pics from 4th of July - VERY Hot day and on a burn ban so this was the extent of our celebrations with fireworks

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Teaching them to be Frugal

What can $25 worth of spray paint, 6 screws, and 8 pieces of duct tape get you?  Oh I forget to mention a stop on the side of the road to pick at someone elses trash.  "One mans trash is anothers treasure"

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Update

It's now July 9th, and the girls have 44 days until the first day of school.  Wow it just hit me my Ma would have been 91 tomorrow. I lost her Dec. 16th, 1997.  I can recall the day just as clearly as I can recall the arrival of each of my children, via birth or adoption.   I miss being able to sit on the floor and have her stroke my hair.  We didn't talk, but that comfort alone was good enough.  I miss going over every morning for coffee and a bagel before I went to work.  I guess with all the personal issues I am dealing with right now I miss her a great deal these days.

It's been a steady summer.  No to busy, but busy enough to keep everyone from getting on each others nerves.   The girls went to Impact Camp.  It didn't go well.  I am so sad because their past experiences have been wonderful.  But, the adage "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch" applies here. One bad experience has set the tone.

Genevieve and Abigail have vowed to NEVER go back.  There was a girl in their cabin that brought Genevieve to tears on a few occasions.  This did not go over well with Abigail.  Storms then rolled in.  Genevieve is totally fascinated with the weather but does not do storms well. Because of this, the girls became homesick and lonely, so they crawled in bed together the counselor told them they couldn't.  They explained they sleep together at home all the time.  The counselor told them that it takes 5 days to get a background check back on them and by then camp would be over.  WHAT, really, you are going to tell  8 and 9 sisters year this.  The real question is where was the counselor when the mean girl was upsetting them?  Where was the counselor when the mean girl was explaining to them they were they only Chinese kids at camp?  Where was the counselor when they were being taunted to talk in Chinese, because if they were from China they could do that?  GRRRRRRRR

Caroline also went to camp.  A different one than the girls, but the same week.   She too has vowed to never go back.  She said it was to clicky.  Of course she used the Chinese word, :>).  It was not structured and had a great deal of free time.  This allowed for the kids to do what ever they wanted, and they utilized this time to hang out in the woods.  Wow.  While in the cabin they all stayed in their little groups and hung out and talked amongst each other.   When they did talk to her it was to question her as to why her "real" parents did not want her and she had to go live in an orphanage.  I asked how they knew she was adopted.  A few girls were there when I dropped her off and they asked her who I was after I left.  Of course she very proudly said I was her mama.  When they asked about the difference in race she told them she was adopted.  She did enjoy the worship time and concerts but the rest was a bust.  

Next year we may look into camp, but it WILL NOT be Impact.  I'm so sad because it really has it's benefits in building on the Christian faith.  But, I can not allow my girls to be traumatized.  With Impact camp each week has different volunteer counselors.  We may go back to Camp Eberhart.  My Owen grew up in this camp  1 week every summer from the time he was 8 yrs old until he graduated high school.   It's not a Church camp, but it does maintain strong Christian values.

W are coming up to the end of our volunteering with It's been 4 years of fostering baby kittys.  78 adoptions have come through our home.  About 1/3 of the babies have been bottle feeders.  We have had the opportunity to watch several live births, one in my car. We have lost a few as well, I guess God needed a few more baby kittys running around, after all they are so sweet.  I've had a few injuries along the way.  I think the worst was the feral momma who wanted nothing to do with her babies and didn't want me to either.  That one required 3 rounds of antibiotics and a shot in the backside.  Thank God for much cushion to help the pain.  It's been wonderful experience, it really taught the girls so much about life in simple ways.  I think it also helped our Caroline transition.  Shortly after she came to us, was the around the same time as the feral mama, so those babies needed allot of love and she provided it for them.

But sadly because of all that's going on in my personal life,  time is up for us to foster anymore.  Here are a few pics of some of the babies.  Caroline is holding Mei Fen and Lo Mein, 2 of the bottle babies from the feral mama.


Caroline starts summer school today, she signed up for a health class.  Her poms clinic is coming up in a couple weeks.  She's nervous. I'm excited for her.  The coach for the squad is a great person.  She has strong Christian values and does not tolerate cattiness and backstabbing on her squad.  She teaches the girls an alternative but not at the expense of creating victims.   I really checked into this after our cheer leading experience.  This may really provide an opportunity for Caroline to meet people she could become friends with.  She tells me so often how the students act at school and she does not want those kind of friends.  Well the friends she wants are not in the spotlight, because they are doing the right thing, so she is missing them.   She is still teaching and working at the Doons.  She is now talking to customers and not ditching out when they come to the window.  I am so proud of her.  She's come a long way.

My oldest and his amazing wife had a baby girl a couple weeks ago.  Kaniyah arrived 5 wks early but still showed up weighing 5 lbs.   She looks just like her daddy did at birth, kinda eeary. He should call her
mini-me.  This gives them 8 beautiful children.
With the heatwave and the draught, our garden is sad.  Although I water, it can't withstand the 100 plus  temps we've had.  Now that the temps have broke, I hope it recovers.  We need all the produce we can get to put up for winter.  It nicewas using God' air conditioner last night.  Every window was opened up and the house aired out.   I love open windows as opposed to AC.

The girls have been spending their heatwave in the pool.  All the sunscreen in the world can not stop them from turning a golden brown.  It's s beautiful.  Abigail's ears are holding out, but just barely with all the swimming.  We go back to see the ENT next month. 

Well I think I've updated enough.  Have a Blessed Day.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The reports are in

"G" and "A" got their report card Friday. Wow I am so blessed with great kiddos. "G" struggles a bit and has to study to get the grades she receives where as "A" never opens a book and everything just comes to her so easily but both girls are on Honor Roll. I am so proud.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

This baby needs a home - Is this your daughter If you are considering adopting PLEASE consider this darling. Emily and her family are dear friends of ours and she talks about Melanie often. Children develop bonds in the orphanage we can never understand. Our "C" talks often about the friends she left behind and they way they would protect, comfort, and take care of each other.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Family DaY - Smart Girl

OK, officially its been 1 year since "C" became our forever daughter. Unofficially, I guess she always was, we just didn't know it.
My little darling got her report card yesterday. A freshman in highschool, who now receives NO resources made HIGH HONOR roll by making 5 A's and 1 B. She was only a couple points off from an A in that class. She spends allot of time in her books, but she knows she needs the grades for college. Her counselor has suggested a couple AP classes, I'm not sure. I may just let her bask in the glory of being top dog. :>)
"G" and "A" get theirs today. I'm sure I'll get to be proud mama again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012

get the tissue and help these children

Sunday, March 4, 2012

adoption tax credit extended

Joint Council Update: Adoption Advocates support President's Proposal to Extend the Adoption Tax Credit Joint Council is pleased to announce that we have joined forces with a vast group of adoption organizations to support the President’s proposal to extend the Adoption Tax Credit. A Press Release regarding the letter is below. To view the letter to the President, please click here. Joint Council will continue to update our partners and supporters regarding the Adoption Tax Credit as the year progresses. VAST GROUP OF ADOPTION ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT PRESIDENT’S PROPOSAL TO EXTEND THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT Washington, D.C. – A broad group of adoption organizations from all sectors of adoption—including foster care, international and private—join together in thanking President Obama for his recent proposal to make the U.S. federal adoption tax credit permanent. The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 federal budget puts forth a proposal to make the adoption tax credit permanent and extend the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that make the credit refundable for 2012 and 2013. The refundable aspect is vital to some families’ ability to access the credit and there is broad support for ensuring that all families that adopt are able to benefit equally. More than thirty different organizations, some of which are membership umbrella organizations that represent additional adoption agencies, have come together to support the President’s adoption tax credit proposal, which will help families offset the cost of adoption or assist parents as they address the ongoing demands of caring for children with special needs. We have several stories that stress the importance of the tax credit’s existence for families. The adoption tax credit is a critical support for families who chose to form their families through adoption. The diverse groups that support the extension of the tax credit are working together to encourage members of Congress to move this from a proposal to tangible legislation. If Congress does not act to extend the credit, it will only be available to a limited number of families after 2012. Adoption is a bipartisan issue; in fact ever since the adoption credit was first established in 1996, Congress has acted to extend this credit every time it was set to expire. However, because the credit has changed several times and is frequently up for discussion, it leaves room for great confusion and uncertainty about the availability of the credit among key stakeholders, including professionals, parents, and tax preparers. Having a permanent credit in place will help eliminate future confusion. “We are all pleased to be working together, with a unified voice, to advocate for the needs of families that choose to adopt. We look forward to building the support on Capitol Hill to ensure that all families that adopt children have access to this benefit long term,” says Nicole Dobbins, Executive Director of Voice for Adoption. The organizations that signed onto the letter thanking the President are: Academy of California Adoption Lawyers Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers American Academy of Adoption Attorneys California Alliance of Children and Family Services Center for Adoption Support and Education Center for Adoption Policy Child Welfare League of America Children’s Action Network Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Colorado Coalition of Adoptive Families Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Families for Private Adoption Family Design Resources Family and Youth Initiative Gladney Center for Adoption Holt International Children’s Services Joint Council on International Children’s Services Kinship Center, a member of Seneca Family of Agencies Lilliput Children’s Services Mission Focused Solutions National Adoption Center National Council for Adoption North American Council on Adoptable Children North West Adoption Exchange New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association Show Hope Three Rivers Adoption Council Voice for Adoption Sincerely, Rebecca Harris, Director of Programs & Services

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday

Its so hard to believe G is turning 9 years old. She was 9 months when she was placed in our arms. What an amazing person she is growing up to be. Its this time of the year I have to say a prayer of Thanks and a prayer for blessings to her biological mother, for without her and her decision to want something more for her daughter, she would not be a part of our lives today.
I leave you with her take on life somedays.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Emmanuel Kelly The X Factor 2011 Auditions Emmanuel Kelly FULL

If you can watch this without crying, you're good. What a great voice. God is so good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

we have hearing :>)

Almost $300,000.00, 9 surgeries, and 2 years later we have hearing. God sure touched the surgeons hands. "A" has 50% hearing in her right her now. This is amazing considering she was born without an ear at all. We will know in 6 months the full degree of hearing she'll have. She goes in for hearing tests once a month and by Aug the full restoration amount will be known. Dr Art the ENT from Mott Hospital in Ann Arbor MI.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

China to ban names that signal ’orphan’ status

Interisting article showing the many children still looking for their forever families. The numbers are sad at he end of it. * * * * China to ban names that signal ’orphan’ status

Sunday, February 12, 2012

C at nd

"C" is in a Mandarin class in school. They also did a prformance at the Notre Dame Lunar New Year celebration. They were wonderful.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lunar New Year 2012

After many performances our lives are beginning to calm down a bit. C had her high school group to perform with as well as her usual Dance group. Talk about lickity split changing of clothes. At one point she had 4 1/2 minutes to get down the back steps change clothes and back up the steps to the stage. Wheeeewww
G and her amazing smile Me and my girls, gosh I love them.

G and her science fair

G took 2nd place at the science fair this year. Boy was that a life lesson for all of us. For her it was she needs to listen to mama and realize just because she knows the answer not everyone else does. She was given 2nd place because her project lacked a hypothesis. Her hypothesis was if you turn the speed up on the fan would the anemometer move faster or slower. When we discussed this she told me as a matter of factly everyone knows the answer, faster of course. I told her she needed to list this. she told me that was common sense and it would be like calling people dummys. I told her it still needed to go on there. She told me no. I thought, and thought, and thought, about it and decided this would be a good lesson for her to listen sometimes. Well she got 2nd place. The director told her why and it was all good. Wow. I was amazed at hard some of the parents worked on these projects. Maybe next year I need to work harder for the girls.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

st mary performance lunar new year

abigail getting ready for the ribbon dance. she is so worried about the flowers
Genevieve and all her BIG smiles as usual
My girls
Mom and the girls. They sure are beautiful.