Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Emily and Crew at the THEE--ET--TER

We spent a recent Sunday afternoon (between morning church and evening service--Yup--We're church goin' folk 'round here!)...well, we spent it at the theater. A few families buddied up to watch a production of a children's musical. My friends, Marlene and Donna, helped with the staging, props, etc., and the darling older girl in the photo was a star in the show. She's also an older sister to Rivers (tie dyed shirt) and Lily(green bow in hair). Anna Katherine (light pink shirt) and her mom joined us, too.

A fun time was had by all!
(Classic phrase we like to use around here.
Corny, huh?)

Emily and the Newest Member of Our Family

This is Chase - our new, precious rescue dog. Is he a doll baby, or what?! Although he has a somewhat perplexed look on his face in this pic, I promise he's a happy camper.

It might be becuz his legs are spread eagle and he'd like to be more modest than this. (Made cha look!)

Chase highly resembles Chubaka from Star Wars. He's the sweetest, most darling little buggar. I got him from friends via a rescue organization in another state.

He'd lived in one state with owners. They traveled to another state to visit -- taking him along. They LOST him. (Go figure.) So...when it was time to return to their home state, they drove away. THEN someone found him, called original owners, and they said the new folks could keep him. (WHAT?) New folks had him, kept him in a crate and/or on a lead outside. He got off lead (Can you blame him?) and had the lovely fortune of being RUN OVER by a car. Newest of owners relinquished him to a rescue group b/c they knew what the vet bills were getting ready to be.

Broken leg/hip/pelvis....castings, pins in leg, confinement -- you name it. Anyhoo...near the end of his recovery process, I was "matched" with him. Several weeks/months later...I drove 3 hours to officially adopt him and then drove him back to his new home. My home, a.k.a The Zoo.

He's treated like a little prince along with his two fur brothers - Peanut and Skipper Dog. The cat tolerates him. Emily adores him.

Peanut Butter, Pine Cone, Bird Seed Project

I was going over a lesson with Miss Em on 'sequencing of events/actions' -- to teach the concept of how things can be done in order, etc. You know the drill.
Well...I thought to myself, "WHY just read about this and ask her questions? Let's actually DO the project so she can comprehend by experience."
We did.
She did.

We came up with the cutsey idea of hanging the pine cones (smeared in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed) using pipe cleaners.

A Southern Miracle Last Month

This is a pic taken from my mother's backyard...a short while ago. We woke up to snowfall, and it was simply magical. I love trees -- so this is a fave photo of mine. Emily had the most delightful time on that day. Yep. We will be attending school on Memorial Day to make up for the time lost. WELL worth the swap!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Another Mom of An "Older" Adopted Child Says About Missing Her Daughter's FIRSTS in life...

"I've heard people say (and have probably said myself) that it is hard not to be there for a child's first time rolling over, first attempt at crawling, first step, first tooth, first word, first....first...first.

Adopting an older child means giving up the privilege of being there. It means accepting that those memories are forever lost to us and to our children.

But all is not lost.

We have these moments, these most perfect and remarkable moments when we see our children grasp not just what it means to celebrate a birthday or Christmas or a lost tooth, but what it means to belong to a family, to have a blanket of love to wrap snugly in, to hear a chorus of voices shouting....You are ours and we are yours and this is what forever means.

We bear witness to their transformation from children who are adrift to children firmly anchored, and the beauty of is breathtaking."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Short Story from Another Adoptive Mom

A Little Bit Irish…

Hanna, my seven year old from China, was in the tub. I was helping her rinse the shampoo out of her hair when she asked,
"Am I a little bit Irish?"
My mind swept over some of our recent conversations about our family heritage, and I answered, "Well, ethnically you are Chinese. But since I’m a little bit Irish, then culturally, you are a little bit Irish, too."
"When did it happen?" Hanna wanted to know.
"When did WHAT happen?" I asked, concentrating on her soapy head.
"When did I become a little bit Irish," she explained patiently. "Was it when you kissed me for the very first time?"
I paused, shower wand in hand, and watched my daughter squeeze water out of her hair. I thought about the tiny, bundled baby that had been handed to me at the Anhui Hotel seven years earlier, and I remembered how her head felt against my cheek. I hadn’t wanted to scare her; my baby-kiss was soft and swift as I cradled her upon my shoulder. Unremarkable, it was the first kiss of many thousands, yet now, through Hanna, I see it with fairytale eyes:
My first kiss to my adopted daughter infused her with my love, my world, and the generations of my unknown ancestors! Like Sleeping Beauty wakening with a kiss from her Prince, the mother-daughter kiss called forth a magical intermingling-- a covenant leaping past genetics, it bestowed Hanna and me upon each other…
My pragmatic daughter had chosen to make sense of the vast, familial complexities of international adoption with a powerfully simple symbol of promise and connection.
"Yes" I said finally. "I think that’s when it happened."
We were SWAK.

~ Jean MacLeod
Copyright 2006, MacLeod, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Divine Miss Em: We Love You, Sweetie!

With kids, "The days are long...but the years are short."

I think I'm already finding this to be true.

The Kiddos Fixed Little Individual Pizzas

Yep. We "fix" supper around these here parts. I suppose I should say we "prepare"...but it's just not the same. We were in a big kitchen at the church's Family Life Center. There was lots of room for the girls and boys to run themselves silly.
A table was set up for coloring Hello Kitty pages. The young 'uns decorated little foam bookmarks, and besides the little pizzas...there was fruit, veggies, chicken strips, salad, and cold drinks and/or juice boxes.
Nanny Carol, Ayi KK, Jeffu, Skipper, Marlene, Amy (photgrapher extraordinaire & share-er of chocolate)...thanks for all your help.
Everyone was so sweet and precious...and I know Emily was thrilled to have many of her buddies come and help her celebrate another year of her memorable life. How very, very special.

Here's to a life well lived to someone who is well loved:
Miss Emily.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Emily's China Sister is Back in Ohio for Surgeries. Plural. Several of The...

We covet your prayers for Myah. This is Rina and sweet "M" on the plane headed from Florida to Ohio - to a renowned Children's Hospital that specializes in some of Myah's physical needs.
Ya gotta go where the best are.
This little girl has gone through more in her short lifetime than most people do in ten put together. Pray that the Lord gives her doctors great wisdom and direction as they fix her up and make her good as new.
They recently sent us a beautiful dvd full of photographs from Emily's and Myah's memorable reunion & Make-a-Wish time at Disney. It has wonderful & meaninful songs playing in the background.
A Moment Like This
"Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.
Some people search forever for that one special kiss.
Everything changes but beauty remains.
Something so tender, I can't explain.
I'll cherish all the love we share."
We love her.
We love her family.
We're there in spirit.
Thanks to all who've joined with us in our kindred faith for Myah, her mommy and daddy, and her precious trio of brothers.
"We cherish the love we share..."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ah. We Love it When Our Friends Invite Us to Birthday Parties

Two darling Asian Angels had a combined birthday party this past weekend. It was for Mr. Ethan (China) and his baby sister, Ava (Vietnam). Ava is also known as Leigh's "leg extension". At least in the past, little Ava-loo would cling to her mommy's legs like white on rice. It was funny to watch but probably not so entertaining to endure all the time. Leigh has 4 kiddos.

ANYWAY - this is the Divine Miss Em holding a precious bunny rabbit. Leigh and Company provided all the birthday guests with -- drum roll -- a petting zoo time. Adorable.

I had the distinct pleasure of sitting across from Leigh at a recent scrapbooking event. I was honored to be amongst the talented, and it gave me great pleasure to mooch off of her and her mom the entire weekend as I borrowed their STUFF. They are diva scrappers - if you know what I mean. They've "got the goods" scrapbook-ingly speaking. OMG.

It was a great weekend to get together with some of the other China moms and their relatives/friends and whole couple-a-hundred strangers. This group of scrappers that I'm now a part of actually has a NAME. They even wear coordinated tee-shirts on the various days of the scrapbooking event/gathering. They ain't playin'. I can now say, "I bought the tee-shirt!" Got Emily a matching one, too.

Sweet Rene (with a slash mark above that 'e') had her husband build 2 table decorations for our scrapbookin' group (for use at the big ole event) -- to exhibit our Chinese lanterns and other regalia. There were wooden trees with our daughters' and sons' pictures...I mean the WHOLE SHMEAR!! I think Janie and 'Lisa, Lisa Mother Teresa' helped decorate the tables, too. Our group actually won 2nd place for the get up. Ain't that impressive?

I'm the newest invitee & outcast of the cult...I mean group. They do gorgeous, two page layouts with expert photography -- all planned, coordinated, well thought out. These chick-a-dees are some kind of good. Renee and Julie (members of our group) won page layout contests while we were at this event.

On the other hand, I scrap 8.5"x11" pages, get me some good ole digital pics on the page, coordinate a few colors, and badda boom, badda bing. I'm good to go. As Betsy (yup...another cultie) says in her ever angelic tone of voice, "Done is good."

There were ladies walking around the scrapbooking event with tee-shirts that said, "Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be jpegs" in a file on your computer that never has photos see the light of day/print. I don't know who thought of that one liner, but I'd personally give them an Oscar. For real gold plated - it was too funny to read.

Nanny Carol kept Emily while I went away and had "mommy time". I totally enjoyed it and cannot wait to gather at the scrappin' river with this posse once again in the future. I actually "teared up" when it was all over. I sorta figured our 2 reasons why that was so:

1. I think it's more emotional than I thought it would be to re-visit the memories -- via photographs -- and think deeply about re-live/remember (the fun yet not always easy events) & choose the type of layout I wanted on a page, yadda, yadda. Looking back at pics of Emily in China or when she first arrived home - grieving, laughing, adjusting, reacting. These photos are images I lived, experienced, and still remember when I see them in photos. No question about it. Seeing the pics of China makes me wanna go back in a heartbeat.

The other reason for a trickle of tears when the scrappin' event ended...................

2. Girl time was over. Back to a schedule. Sniff.

But life is good. I am so blessed to have this darling daughter of a child call me Mommy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Couldn't Have Said It Better

"...but there seems to be one common theme when you are going to China for 14 days to adopt a child! When the door on the plane closes, it is a relief! There is nothing more you can physically do to get ready for your trip. Time's up. No more lists, no more U.S. government/Chinese gov't/adoption agency paperwork to handle for now, no more Target runs, no more weighing bags. It is a great feeling of exhausted accomplishment and excitement for what is next in the journey!"
(Adoptive Mom to 2 Darlings from China)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Emily's "Killy Cat" - Puddin'. Well, She Calls Him Pooley.

Isn't he beautiful? He's my 12 y/o el puddy gato -- who was a stray cat living in the woods back behind my house. I've had him for a LONG, long time. I love him dearly! No. This is not a farewell post. He's alive and shedding fur as well as he ever did.
Back in his wanderin' days, I tried to snatch him up, & it took me about 9 months. It was a no go. He was slick & did not fall for ANY of my genius in, "Here Kitty Kitty."

He had about a half inch of fur matted all over his body, and it was draping off of him like a saddle. Not good for this southern sun drenched area.



I began putting food out, and he'd come with the feed bag on.

One day, finally, I got 2 good hands on him, snatched him up, hauled him off to the vet to be neutered, and proclaimed the most ridiculous name over him: Puddin'.

Mom says he looks like a Simba. Why Puddin? I have no idea.

Anyhoo, when Emily arrived from China, she referred to him as the Killy Cat. Later, he evolved to Pooley. That's where his is now. That's what he answers to with her. So cute.

My friend Amy - photographer extraordinaire & and lover of her iPhone - plays shenanigans. She takes pics & then super imposes them in the funniest ways. She, some other buddies, & I were having a Weight Watcher meal/pot luck time at my house last Friday night. I called it a Chat-n-Chomp session.
On the menu:
Weight Watchers Mexican Casserole (** Amy says the word casserole is French for 'disgusting'. I had chicken tenders for her.)
Yummy broccoli and squash cooked in ff chicken broth
Divine green beans with little cubes of white taters
Weight Watcher chocolate cakes for dessert (w/ff Cool Whip - of course!)
Iced tea w/artificial Shuga (Granulated...not Lipulated)
Only people who need to lose at least 40ish pounds were invited.
If you're lucky, you were not...and we're all jealous!

My Sweet Baby in Disguise. I'd Dance with Him at Masquerade Ball. Wouldn't You?

This Cat Will Stretch Out on His Back. What an ANGEL Baby!!

Well, angel baby except for the time a few years back when he ripped a gash about 3inches long in Nanny Carol's hand. He'd "escaped" out the door and LITERALLY down the creek. Mom got in gear and went to find him for me. Job well done, Nanny Carol (a.k.a. "Sherelle" - LOL!). Sorry about the large amount blood streaming down your arm.

What we do for love, huh?

Look How Amy Put My Cat on Times Square