Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Should Be Against the Law for Children to Run on Concrete...

Oh. My bad. It IS against the law for them to do so. Rightfully so.

Yes. The Race for the Cure started off with a bang - right out of the gate. Emily and Jenna are holding hands, sweetly running along and WHAM. Down she/Emily goes. Both knees bloodied like all get out -- and we have 9.9 tenths of a mile left to go. She's not clutzy by any means, but she "shore" can't run and hold hands with her little buddies. This has happened before. From here on, we walk, we talk, we stay upright.

Miss Em sang in the choir in front of the church Sunday evening. On a Sunday night crowd, those are the die hards. The saints. The blue haired ladies who've been there since I was a little girl...and might I add who still look exactly the same. The precious ones who still make homemade casseroles when folks get sick.

Oh that reminds me of a story. When I was little/younger, my mom had some procedure done at the hospital. We guessed it was probably a lobotomy. She doesn't fess up to that. Anyhoo, ladies (yes, these same ones I'm referring to in previous paragraph that is supposed to be about Emily singing in the choir) brought meals every night. Well, one evening my 2 brothers and I were standing in the front yard when one of these dear hearts drove up and proceeded to bring car load after car load of casseroles, goodies - you name it -- all into OUR house. It was lip smackin' good. My little brother Michael, eyes glazed over with the thrill of all that good food, looked up, shook his head and said, "Just think of what all we'd gotten if she'd d-i-e-d!!"

We still crack up about that. We accuse our mom of feeding us one little piece of chicken and then pushing a loaf of bread in front of our plates saying, "Here. Have some bread." She said she had to make meals stretch as far as she could on her budget. My friends still laugh when I tell them I'd sneak the thin slices of olives out of the olive loaf sandwich meat because olives were such a rarity in our house -- you know: in the relish tray only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even then my mom made me whistle while I prepared the tray (so as not to eat them ALL). I have a jar of olives in my own grown up refrigerator. So there.

Yep. Emily sang in the choir Sunday night. Did all the hand movements to the songs and was just adorable. Before we got there I told her jokingly, "I might cry when I see you up there."
She pitifully replied, "Oh mommy. No thank you."

Can't blame her for saying that.

I need a sensor/alarm to remind me to take her to the bathroom before hour long events. Geesh. You'd think I'd catch on after nearly 8 months. She's sitting up there in the choir loft, kinda wigglin' around....translated: gotta go tinkle. Well, why in tarnation didn't I take her in the time span between the choir practice and performance. Because I was t-a-l-k-i-n-g?! Noooooo. Yes. Tonight after eating supper at church and before her choir rehearsal she asked me to take her to the bathroom. Bless her heart. Having to take matters into her own hands. Tisk. Tisk.

We were in the store last Friday night. Em likes to ride inside the cart, but up one aisle and down the other, she eventually put her head on the 6-pack of Charmin Ultra with Aloe and went to sleep. I said all that to say this, I will NOT discuss the medical procedure I had yesterday. My mother would literally faint. She'd be clutchin' the pearls. The tick story did her in for good.

But I did have a colonoscopy (thus the t. paper reference above). NO big deal at all. As for the liquids you drink before-hand, mercy. I've had sport drinks that tasted worse than that. When you've walked for 5 hours and someone hands you an energy drink and states, "It's an acquired taste...." you know you're not in for a real treat. I made an A- on the drinking of the liquid stuff. Ok. I had to go get in bed and stop for 45 minutes. I was totally looking forward to the drugs during the procedure. Phooey. I was out like a light and woke up in recovery. I was hoping for that grand feeling of, "Cut my heart out. I could care less." Nope. Darn the luck. I don't remember A thing!!

Maybe when I go back in 5 years for a repeat I can hope for a more fun/delusional state of mind when being IV'd. MAYBE I will have learned to take Emily to the bathroom before long, engaging events.

One out of two ain't bad.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So Here's How the Conversations Go...

Emily, "Mommy, why do flour-wuz (flowers) need water?"
Me, "Because all living things need water."
Emily, "But you said they die?"
Me, "Uh yeah, but they need water to live."
Emily, "Why do flour-wuz die?"
Me, "That's just how the life cycle goes. Things are born, they live, and eventually they die."
Emily, "Mommy, what is born?"

Well, this was actually a question I'd not anticipated until recently. Emily and I have talked about China and as she said when I told her Anna was from China, her response was questioningly, "MY China?"
I've had another adoptive mom tell me that her daughter asked another adopted daughter from China...something to the effect of, "Did you know we're BOTH from China?" They hadn't had much one-on-one time to play together and when they got into the back seat of the van, badda boom, badda bing. The topic came up.

Yes. We've talked about how she took the train ride from where she lived to meet me. I'd actually forgotten about that -- that she took a train several hours. She was telling me how you could eat and sleep on the train, but she stayed in a hotel/lodging of some sort. I believe she rode the train from Meizhou ("May Joe") the 5ish hours to Guangzhou ("Guang Joe" -- get it....zhou=Joe?) on Sunday August 31 to meet me. I assume she stayed in a hotel that evening. The director of the orphanage (a man) was with her and 2 of the nannies. Well - not sure. One girl was pretty young - maybe 18 or so.

Emily doesn't elaborate on those people, and yet those are the very folks she screamed bloody murder for the day I took her from the civil affairs office back to the hotel. I don't ask direct questions. I just sorta throw out a leading comment or two and sit back to see what she says.

Back to being born, though. Uh...she talks about being in China, sleeping with several children in a room, taking baths (probably w/other kiddos) -- and she'll make comments when she sees pictures from the past. I showed her a picture of a little girl who is from her orphanage and in the process of being adopted. I asked her if she remembered the little girl. She doesn't right now, but she'll point at another child in a photo that I have and say, "She play me." That means, "She played with me. We were friends."

HOWEVER, I did not have it in me to say, "That's when you come out of your birth mommy's tummy." The day may be coming soon, though. I endearingly said something to the effect of that's when God put you on this earth ------- and left it at that. She's older. She has memories, but to what extent, I don't know.

She is quite happy, well adjusted, and pretty dawg gone normal. I looked out on the playground at school and she was dragging some boy around by the sleeve of his shirt. When he broke free, she immediately went after him again. For someone with the sweet, pip-squeakish little voice of hers (at times)...she can hang in there with the best of them!!

As for Easter weekend - oh my. What fun. Died eggs, hid them, played with friends, went to Cultural School, ate with other moms/kiddos from China at a Vietnamese restaurant (at least it was of Asian influence), built a Wacky Bear and named her Lilly, attended a teacher's housewarming party, watched the Lawrence Welk Easter Special from some year that Jimmy Carter was president, attended church on Sunday morning, had lunch with Donna and Marlene and Nanny Carol, played with Donna's wig at the dinner table (Donna took it off, made barking sounds, and pranced it around. It looked like a Yorkshire Terrier stalking the stuffed eggs.), watched Aladdin, and rode the bicycle. Phew. There was more but I'm sure the excitement is too much for most people. Uh hum.

I will give a few highlights about a TICK (oh. my. gosh.) I found in a hard to reach location at the backside of my flabby thighs. I'm in the bath tub, nekkid as a jay bird, feel something twinge...and reach down to scratch. Lo and behold -- UGH. I jump from tub, wrap up in a towel and head to kitchen to get some matches, back to the bathroom, strike match, blow it out, stick burning head of match to the tick...naturally get part of my "oh so not thin" thigh, and repeat this process -- all while bent over, leg up on vanity, and a compact mirror guiding my way. I was using a little pack of matches from my Uncle Milton and Aunt Bea's anniversary party from about 10 years ago. 2 of the 4 matches wouldn't even light. Out come some tweezers. Bingo. ICK!!!!!!!!!!!

TMI. Too much information. I'll just leave it at that.

What does that have to do w/adoption and your daughter -- the whole Waiting 4 Emily site? All I could do was thank God she was asleep in the bed and totally oblivious to this freakish fall-dee-rah.

NO. We don't harvest ticks down here, and NO I don't generally EVER have them -- maybe once in 15 years. And NO, I haven't the foggiest notion how it got where it got, and NO I didn't throw it away. Figured I'd need to keep the evidence just in case...

Did I say ICK? Ick!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

China Sisters -- Forever Friends

Whup - Dere It Is!!

To Rina - The Mistress of Controlled Chaos

I think I've been on the verge of losing friends -- quickly. It's true...but I don't want folks to know what a rotten person I really am.

Why? Because I've not posted at length about something of great importance.

I must tell about one of the most wonderful gifts Emily received for her birthday. Yes. That would be nearly 3 weeks ago. Or as "Donna-on-the Train would write: I would be remiss if I did not." (She's sooooo smart w/her big words and all that.)

I have this thing about not wanting to say, "I'm tired or I'm busy." I made up my mind a long time ago that I was likely going to feel like this a good bit so just keep my mouth shut. Teaching all week, working many weekends, going thru the adoption process, Nat'l Bds., night classes...well. Tired and busy just seem like they go with the territory ('s called 'life').

But that's not my point. Some folks tend to wear these comments as badges of honor as in, "I'm MORE tired than you. I'm BUSIER than you." I don't feel that way. I know I'm not doing 1/2 of what lotsa folks are doing, accomplishing SOOOOOO why go around spouting my mouth off about it. Just move on. Honestly, by not saying "I'm tired" all the time...I've actually NOT been. For cryin' out loud, it's not like I'm facing obstacles. All my endeavors actually cause GAIN in my life. They're not depleting me. They're adding to me.

Things need to be kept in perspective.

I read a quote recently that said something to the effect of: the average Southerner has the speech patterns of someone slipping in and out of consciousness. Most people can change their shoes and socks faster than people in Mississippi, Alabama, or Arkansas can speak one sentence or GET TO THE POINT.


I've just not taken the time to get photos from MY camera onto the computer so they could accompany this post.

All that said and done, I have not written about Rina's b'day present for Emily.

Today's the day.

Emily and I got home from school one afternoon back before Spring Break. There was a box sitting by the door. I sorta figured it might be something sent to Em for her upcoming b'day, but I had no idea how special it would be.

We opened the box together, and I just gasped. Emily shouts out, "Chew Vee". That's the pronunciation of Myah's Chinese Name. Myah is Rina's daughter and Emily's China Sister. They were adopted within 2 weeks of each other after very FEW girls had been adopted from their orphanage (as in maybe 1 adopted out in 2007). Bree, another China sister, was adopted right in between.

Focus, Vicki. Back to the point...

So here inside the box is a book containing photos and captions - pics of Emily and Myah together in China at the orphanage. Pics that show a little of their lives before Rina and I even knew they existed. Pictures of them with clothes that slightly don't fit, mismatched shoes, the stylish "orphanage haircuts" so the girls will be easier to care for. (Emily's head was apparently shaved when she arrived at the orphanage. I have an earlier pic showing this. Why? Possibly to ensure IF lice are present -- or we've also heard that that some Chinese believe doing so will cause the child's hair to grow back thick and healthy.) There were pictures that show Emily and Myah and Bree with other children in their care 'group', with a nanny, hospital-like surroundings, metal bars on the windows...but no mommies.

Rina also took some photos from my blog and had them published inside the beautiful keepsake.

There I am looking at the book/pictures -- crying. Emily looks up at me wanting to know w-h-y I'm crying. I could only tell her it was because the book is so very special and my heart is full.

Back to the busy topic: Rina has a husband, 3 boys, 1 daughter, loads of medical appointments for her, and HERSELF. She has the attention of everyone within a two mile radius of where she stands.

Compared to HER...I should be an oarsman on a slave ship. Certainly it'd be easier than juggling her life events.

Here she is getting Emily's book printed, mailed, and ON TIME. I have not even gotten Myah's b'day card in the mail yet. I am having a little something "created" for Myah and just planned on sending everything at one time, but still....

Thank you. Thank you forever. The book is a treasure and will have a spot in our family library for the years to come. It captures a time and place in the history of our girls' lives that will never be again. How could they have ever known we were busy making plans in our hearts to hold them in our arms when these little pictures we being taken.

You are wonderful, and I'm so happy to have the connection with you and Tracy -- so our Emily, Myah, and Bree will always have the red thread that binds them.

By the way, WHEN I finally do send Myah's late b'day present...I'll notify you. Maybe the U.S. Postal System will send me roses for getting around to it.