Friday, February 27, 2009

Long Day!

Today started off with Dante's speech evaluation at Worcester State College. He was uncooperative most of the time, choosing to sit impassively. I think part of it was him not appreciating that I woke him up early to go, and part of it was he does not interact as much with non-family members. In a few weeks I will receive the written evaluation and recommendation, then he will probably start once or twice weekly speech in their clinic.

We rushed home to get ready for our bowling fundraiser. Nikita had frosted cupcakes while I was gone. We had so much fun bowling with all of our friends, and it was a nice little fundraiser too. There were 32 bowlers, plus parents who were not bowling. I am so thankful for everyone's support!

I discovered today that Micah and Amelia, my 6 and 7 year olds, can bowl better than I. And I used the bumpers too! Maybe it was their level of enthusiasm that coaxed the balls oh so slowly down the lane. My good friend Meridith was better at bowling than I as well, but I must say she takes the user of the bumpers to a professional level. (I love you Meridith!)

After bowling we took the little ones home for a nap before our hockey night out. We went to an AHL game in Worcester, and watched the Portland Pirates beat the Sharks. Amelia and Micah love shouting "Goooaaal!" We had amazing seats---same row as last year--- directly behind the teams. It is so interesting to watch the team interact as they are on the bench. One of the Portland players (#10) dropped a game puck over the plexiglass to Amelia after the game, which was incredibly nice of him. It was cold and wet, but I am sure she will appreciate it in time! Last year, one of the trainers of the Monarchs dropped a puck to Amelia after that game.

AND- yesterday I found out that our hearing date in Taiwan is April 7th! A little later than we hoped for, but still only five weeks from Tuesday! We hope to travel about a month after the hearing, and I am getting excited.

Now I should go help get the kids to bed. . . it has been a very long day.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

6 Months

A nasty cold settled into our house, but I think it is finally moving on. Dante and Amelia took the brunt of it, with high fevers and horribly congested coughing. Amelia lost 4 pounds in one week, which little 7 year old girls are not supposed to do. I knew she had lost the weight and was bothered, but yesterday when her jeans- that fit perfectly two weeks ago -kept slipping off her hips it really hit home how skinny she now is.

Last night I stopped by our family sponsor page, and was reminded that it was on August 25th that we found out that Cathwel thought we were a good match for Sunny. It was 6 months ago yesterday that we received that wonderful news. Waiting adoptive moms count their days, weeks, and months much the same as a pregnant waiting mom does. Unfortunately we adoptive moms rarely have a due date until less than a month beforehand. It always gets harder for me as we near the end, which I suppose is a bit odd. However, a pregnant mom is always most uncomfortable and impatient near the end too. At least I was!

We decided to have a candybar fundraiser to try to boost the adoption funds in these last few months. Which takes me back to Ame's hips. . . the three cases of candy arrived yesterday. Zach claimed a box for selling, and Amelia tried to claim some M&M's for eating. Zach explained to her that she needed money to buy them from him. It took a few times, but then suddenly she stopped pestering him and went into my bedroom. A few clinks later I realized she had gotten down my change jar and was getting Zach the money he demanded. It was pretty funny, my brilliant little girl. I showed her that she needed 4 quarters, "big coins". . . not just any old 4 coins would do. A few hours later as she was finishing her second bag of candy I knew that change jar needed to disappear!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bold Believers

Yesterday we had our Children's Outreach party at church. Our theme this year was "Bold Believers in China", taken from a Voice of the Martyrs activity book for children. I recommend visiting their website for kids at .

We had stories of Christian children in China interspersed with crafts and teachings about the culture and celebrations of the people of China. I made a simple version of Mooncakes, and the children all tried eating pineapple chunks and rice with chopsticks. We also learned how to sing "Jesus Loves Me" in Mandarin, as well as "Head, Shouldes, Knees, and Toes".

Micah enjoyed the Lion Dance, or at least trying on the costume. He growled, just as a lion should.

He also tried on a few other items one of the leaders had brought.

Amelia was still quite sick and unable to attend. Micah made up for her absence in his excitement and participation. I think he ate three plates of rice!

Everyone had fun and took home a bag of homemade crafts, a red envelope with a coin, a fortune cookie filled with a Bible verse, and a fresh pair of chopsticks to keep. I am only posting three pictures since I did not get permission from parents to post photos of their children.

Afterwards, the volunteers all stayed for a lunch of Chinese food. It keeps the teens coming back if I feed them when they help at events!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Valentine

I was at work Friday night, and all the girls were talking about Valentine's Day. It was the usual talk: who was going out to eat with the boyfriend, who was expecting flowers (or else!), who had no one to make it a special day. I asked one coworker if she realized that Valentine's Day actually is the day St. Valentine was martyred. She had no clue, and actually knew nothing about the saint himself. I am certain a poll of my other coworkers would have revealed the same.

Jamie and I have never really celebrated February 14th. Not just because to us it has become a "Hallmark Holiday", but also because our anniversary is February 22nd and those two dates are too close together for that much sweetness and spending. (My history major husband had to get married on George Washington's birthday; it happened to be a Saturday that year, although he insists it was destiny!)

He does give me a wonderful valentine every year though. Every year I take Nikita and her girlfriends up to New Hampshire for a weekend in February, with Jamie's blessing. We are very thankful for his parents' cottage up in the mountains, and I am very thankful for the weekend away. My friend Meridith joined us this year and we sat and talked, read, knitted, and listened to 4 giggly girls being silly for a weekend. She has no daughter and I was amused at her reactions to these 4 twelve and thirteen year old girls having a blast together. I think it is safe to say the weekend was a blessing to us all.

Now I am home again and poor Amelia has a fever, Micah woke up at 4AM with the start of a fever, and Dante just woke up with a very congested cough. Plus, tomorrow is the children's outreach party at church, and I have lots of last minute preparations to complete.

Thank you Jamie for the wonderful Valentine's Day gift, and for the beautiful roses!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2 Months and Still Waiting...

Today is two months since our paperwork arrived back in Taiwan. So today we are 2 months into our 3 1/2 to 5 month wait for travel. The optimist in me says we are probably more than half-way into our wait, the pessimist in me says we are not at the half-way point for two more weeks. I am ignoring the pessimist and know we are more than half-way to our daughter! It has actually been just about 8 months since we first saw Sunny and began the adoption process, so we are definitely in our third trimester of this "paper pregnancy".

We pray for Sunny every day, that God would prepare her heart for us. It is something I contemplate often. Sunny has been in the orphanage since she was a wee baby, and she has Down Syndrome. Does she even know what a family is? How can she comprehend that? Jamie and I know with absolute certainty Sunny is intended by the Father to become our daughter. But she does not know that. We will be strangers to her, showing up one day and turning her world completely upside down.

This was a struggle for me when Amelia came home, and I really did not expect it. She would sit on the couch looking so lost and confused, and I knew I was the cause of her complete and utter sadness. I cried, even though I knew she was our daughter and she would get through it- and she did, in time.

I do not look forward to that time with Sunny, and I know it will come. Sunny is much older than Amelia was, and will have a lot more memories to sort through, a new language to learn, and new routines to learn. She will have to learn what a family is, while the family learns where she fits in. And she will fit in, because Sunny is our daughter.

So until we travel, I pray every day that her heart is being prepared for us, that she will at least learn us from the pictures, that she will be given a comprehension of English (which she is being taught now), that she will not be scared when we take her from the orphanage and spend several days trying to get to know her before making a 24 hour trip to the other side of the world.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Do We DO?

Amelia and Micah have started their Spring semester of Speech Therapy. They go to Worcester State College, where they each receive two one-hour sessions a week from one of the students.

The first sessions were Tuesday, and I had to go in and speak with each of their therapists. The inevitable question looms: "I want to be able to add to what you do at home with Amelia (Micah), so can you tell me what a typical day is like for her (him)?" Do I answer what we do in theory each day, or what we actually accomplish each day? Since it is being taped and I want to look good, I tell them mostly what my schedule says I do, with a little bit of reality thrown in.

I have a great schedule for them! Dante's is even broken up into 15 minute increments. He really needs someone with him or after a while he will start to just sit and zone. So the big kids and I trade off 15 minutes with him (I take two shifts to their one). Dante loves the attention. He bounces on his big ball, gets walked around the house, sung to, played with, uses crayons, climbs all over Alexander. It works well for him to have the set schedule.

In the half hour times between my "Dante time" I work with Micah and Amelia. And check my email, switch the laundry, put dinner in the crockpot...

Ame and Micah have not been wanting to do handwriting worksheets lately, so we have switched to using the easel. Sometimes I write phrases for them to read-- "I see Zachary."-- and they try to write it themselves. Today they used watercolor paints and q-tips to practice their "x"s.

When Amelia got wet from the paint water, she went up to change. Nikita decided to play dress up with Amelia. It was fun for both of them, now I just have to come up with a description that makes it sound educational for the lesson plan books! (Amelia put the accessories on Nikita, but Nik took them off before I arrived with the camera.)

Monday, February 2, 2009


Poor George (Zach's rooster) is not enjoying winter any more than I am these days. He seems to have gotten some frostbite on his comb. Who knew? Apparently lots of people, because when I googled "rooster comb frostbite" there were far too many responses. Entire forums of people discussing their flocks of fowl.

So I read up on his condition, which might be frostbite, or might be fungus from being cooped up on really cold days. When Zach found out a too dirty coop might be causing fungus, he went right out to clean and put down fresh hay. I was really quite impressed. Then he brought George into the barn (the boy's room, was once a barn but now is the back bedroom), and I held him while Zach applied some triple antibiotic ointment to the rooster's comb and wattle. George seemed to know that Zach was helping, he did not even flinch the whole time.

One forum recommended feeding your flock hot mash for breakfast on these cold winter mornings; Zach already has plans to do so tomorrow first thing. I'd say he needs to get a hobby, but apparently he has one....or five...