Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Packing for You Know Where

As I'm making lists and packing to go to You-Know-Where, I am wondering what should be on my list and in my suitcase? For anyone who has traveled to you-know-where lately, or any foreign country for that matter, what did you wish you had taken? Or what were you glad you took? My packing motto is usually that if you can't buy it at Walmart once you're at your destination then you didn't need it very badly. However, I don't think You-know-where HAS a Walmart.

Elementary School Talent Show

Today is the last day of school!! Yay! The kids' school put on a talent show, and Jude participated by playing his best piano piece, Race Car Rally.

Darn it, my video camera was dead, so I didn't get to video tape it but here are a couple of pictures.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I am the only mom whose son insisted on wearing a tie on his last day of school, even though I assured him he would be the ONLY boy wearing a tie. This did not matter to him, and in fact would have worn a suit coat too, if I had let him.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I took the girls to Best Buy today to replace the camera lens cap on my camera. Ava stopped at this electric razor advertisement, squealed with excitement, and then planted a big kiss on the model. he he. Either this guy's scruffy face reminded her of her daddy, or this girl has a really good eye for good looking men! (Maybe both).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today's highlight

How did we ever function before the internet???

This picture of Joseph was just taken this morning! Another family is there at his orphanage, adopting a darling little 6 year old girl, and they sent a couple of photos. Thankfully my sister just gave me a bunch of my nephew's hand me down clothes. ha.

Is it just me, or does this picture give you an irresistible urge to pick up and SQUEEZE somebody?
P.S. Yesterday was our 15 year anniversary. We celebrated by going to the second grade school play, and rehoming the rabbits. But I am looking forward to celebrating in Europe while adding this sweet boy to our family.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What is on the agenda?

This little peg rack used to be a mirror that broke. I loved the pegs though and didn't want to throw it away so I painted it and came up with a way to make it practical again.....a family activity calendar at a glance/purse and apron holder.

Do you care to see what's on this week's to-do list? My grocery list?

How about what is on the agenda for next month???

Monday, May 17, 2010

Working and waiting.....

It's been very busy and tiring around here lately. But it's kind of nice to have a distraction while we wait and wonder about our adoption status.....Hoping to have news real soon!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life is short...

I think I'd like to be friends with the person that came up with this marketing idea. Anyone feel like eating at Lola's?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I can brag, can't I?

My son was selected as the Student of the Month for the second time this school year. :) Today I got to eat lunch with the principal AND my student of the month!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mothers all over the World..

A friend sent this to me today. Oh my goodness!

On the riverbank.....
In the arctic......

In India.....

In Africa....

Within the ocean....

Somewhere near Wal-mart....

My thoughts this Mother's Day.....

This Mother's Day I am thinking about.....birth mothers. Or "first mothers" as I like to call them. Ava brought this little Mother's Day craft and card yesterday. I have to tell you how my brain thinks as an adoptive mother. When I saw this, my immediate reaction was, Aw, how sweet!

And then my second thought was a thought of sadness for her first mother who has missed out on so many sweet moments, including this one. 
I do not know much about Ava's first mother but I know that her abandonment had everything to do with her believing she could not raise a handicapped child.

I imagine it must have been devastating for Ava's mother to leave the hospital without the child she carried for 9 months.  She must have felt terribly sad and guilty. There must still be an incredible void in her heart at times, especially on holidays and on February 20th, Ava's birthday.

I often wonder how things might have been different for that mother if her doctor had congratulated her on her beautiful baby girl, and had given her hope and resources to make her believe that she could raise her own child.

What if her husband would have put his arms around her and promised that he would help her, and insisted that their daughter belonged with them, not in an orphanage?

What if her society had accepted children with disabilities and had offered acceptance and resources and support to empower her to raise her own child.

Adoption is a wonderful, beautiful gift to a child who needs a family. I will always be an adoption advocate. As much as I love adoption, however, every one that takes always only because of a great tragedy and loss for at least two people, a mother and a child.

 These are the mothers I am thinking of this Mother's Day......

......Mothers like 13 year old Renise, a child slave in Haiti, whose story I watched on 60 Minutes. John and I were moved so deeply that we felt compelled contact the producers to find out how we could send her a love package. I will never view adoption the same way.....Click here to read Renise's story. I am pretty sure you will need a tissue or maybe two.
Our family is very happy to be involved in supporting a couple of different orphan care and family preservation programs. There are many organizations working to keep families together through tough situations. If you are an adoptive parent please consider being a part of these as well. There are programs like World Vision, who just announced their new micro-finance program, Global Orphan Outreach, Women for Women International, Children's Hope Chest. Even Reece's Rainbow through  Connecting the Rainbow, which is a program to help first mothers overseas raise their own children with disabilities by providing education, support and resources. Man, I love that!

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, adoptive and "first" alike!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Strengthening the International Adoption Regime

This is a great (very balanced, in my opinion) article I read this morning that explains the role of the Hague convention in trying to ensure international adoptions are kept moral and ethical. As more and more people are opening their homes to children overseas, corruption is becoming more prevalent. There are many discussions going around the adoption community right now as to to what is the best way to make sure that these adoptions are happening ethically, ensuring that only children who are truly orphans are being adopted, rather than foreigners seeing adoption as an opportunity to allow their children to become American citizens. And how to ensure people profiting from adoptions are not influencing how and when and which children should be adopted out to the USA. The original article can be read here.

I am pleased that the author does not suggest banning international adoption as some have tried to do, but is rather suggesting stricter regulation processes and accountability, as I have seen a great need for. You can the list of adoption agencies that ARE Hague-accredited here. And to see which agencies have been denied Hague accreditation click here. I have learned this the hard way, but in my opinion it is extremely important that the first thing you do when you decide to adopt is to check out your agency. I can give you a lot of resources on how to do that, if you would like to email me privately.

Here is one quote from the article, and I cannot agree more: "The world’s governments must take strong preventive action when adults take part in supplying and fueling the global trade in children."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Easter bunnies

Hope and I got to deliver our bunnies to the children at Ava's school last month for their Easter party. It was so much fun to see their faces light up at the sight of real live bunnies. I can imagine any one of my kids wanting to work with special needs kids someday. Hope is no exception. :)
After we shared the bunnies we got to stay for a little bit and watch Ava interact with her classmates. I have been told that she is quite the little "teacher" at school. It is a role she has seen modeled for her here at home, so I guess it is only natural that she would imitate it at school. Her teachers tell me that she tends to be very stubborn when she is asked to do something, but when one of the other students are asked to do something, she goes over and tries to 'help' them. She points, signs, hollers, and even does hand-over-hand to make them do what they are supposed to do. So funny! In this photo she is yelling at  encouraging her little classmate to "GO, GO, GO!" I have been told that she gets very upset when the other kids do not do what they are supposed to.

My floors and other stuff

I have been asked whether the floors are finished and how they turned out. Well let me answer the first half of your question by saying the floors ARE finally finished, as of yesterday. There was another setback last week involving a chemical reaction which caused everything to be sticky. So they were delayed yet another few days. However, I am thrilled today to have my kitchen back, and my washer and dryer, etc. I am going to answer the second half of the question after I get the furniture moved back in and have a chance to paint the baseboards, etc. I may even post a picture here for you.

I want to thank everyone who left such kind and caring and compassionate comments on my previous post from last week. Yes it was a hard week, but I was blown away by your support, even from some people who I don't even know and did not know were reading my blog. Truly amazing. Thank you so much.

My spirits are definitely lifted and things are most certainly looking up. We even have received some good news in the adoption department, which too, I will wait to share until I feel it is totally 100% official. There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel and I do believe we will be traveling to one of our favorite places soon to meet a certain little boy. :) Stay tuned....

Easter bunny photos coming next...


Better late than never, that is what I always say.

Here are some photos from, um....a month ago (?), when my brother and his family from Minnesota and my parents from Mexico came to visit us over Spring Break.

Some are sweet, some are silly. Hope you enjoy......Easter bunny photos next.