Monday, October 7, 2013

Ten Years of Blessing

Ten years ago today Jamie, the Original Three, and I arrived home with Amelia. (around 2am)  We had met her the night of October 6th, at the JFK Airport in New York City.

Our fourth child, but first adoption. 

Amelia was the cutest, yet most scared, 2 year old little girl.  She adored Jamie, because she never had a daddy.  She did not like me so much and wanted back the Mommy figure's she'd had in her orphanage.  After about seven months she decided I would do as  Mommy, and I was very thankful she finally made that decision!

I have TONS of photos from the first 8 years of Amelia as a Lindsay, but just not on this computer because I am so incredibly organized that they are all safely stored.  Somewhere else.  And maybe one day I will remember where that place is.

Last May I traveled with Amelia and Micah with their Special Olympics Gymnastics team to Atlanta for a National competition, and as always this trip was peppered with comments about Dad, because even now, ten years later, he is first in her heart.

In lieu of adorable little toddler photos spanning the last 8 years, here are some of my lovely Amelia having fun on her big girl trip-- on the plane, out to dinner with the team, with her ribbons, at the banquet, and at World of Coke:

Amelia is a truly amazing girl and we are blessed to have seen her go from toddler to pre-teen, and we look forward to continuing to watch our special girl grow.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Kimberly's Two Year Anniversary

I cannot believe it has been two years since we met our Kimberly.  I will never forget our few hours in Boston when we met her birthparents, but in a way I hope her birthmom is able to go through today without having those same memories.  We are doing our best to raise the little one she trusted us to love, and we most certainly are loving every minute with our youngest daughter.

Maybe it is because Kimberly is the youngest, or maybe it is just her personality, but our little girl worms her way into everything going on in this house, and is just soaking up knowledge and trying things out.  Now that she can climb onto the table it is her favorite place to be, and she never misses a chance to be with her siblings.

Life in our household is always an adventure, one that Kimberly certainly is enjoying.  We continue to be thankful to the Lord for blessing us with her, and are always excited to see what she will try next.

God is good!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dante and the Dentist

Dante might look sweet and cuddly when he falls asleep with his iPad, but get him to the dentist and you will see an entirely different little boy.  A writhing, fighting, yelling little boy-- one that Jamie and I see every time we brush his teeth.  And many other times too.

Today was Dante's six month dental cleaning.  The children's dentist is wonderful, very patient, and always positive.  He told Amelia she is beautiful.  Not that I disagree, but usually the only person to tell a child with Down Syndrome she is beautiful is someone else who has a child with Down Syndrome.  (or works with one)  This dentist is simply wonderful.  And almost as good looking as my husband.

So it was a bit disconcerting for me when he realized I do not use a fluoride toothpaste on Dante and was displeased.  And then I admitted I make Dante's toothpaste. Suddenly Wonder Dentist was looking at me with that "You are a bad mom" look.  He asked me what is in the toothpaste I make for Dante, with a bit of  "I had no idea you were one of those Moms" in his voice.He said I really should be using a fluoride toothpaste, and if Dante starts to show signs of soft teeth, rotting teeth, or lots of cavities I simply must start using a fluoride toothpaste. 

Ever since we pulled Dante out of school three weeks ago I have been second-guessing every single decision I make about him, so when Wonder Dentist said all that I just looked at the floor and mumbled "yes, yes of course", because to make eye contact would have resulted in my melting to the floor in a flood of tears (something I seem slightly prone to in the last three weeks).

So we began the cleaning.  One hygienist holding Dante's legs.  One hygienist holding Dante's left elbow and wrist.  Me holding Dante's right elbow and wrist.  Dr. Matt using his left elbow to put Dante in a headlock and cleaning his teeth. 

Except there was nothing to clean.  Just a wee bit of scaling on some back teeth.

Then Wonder Dentist said to me, "You are doing a phenomenal job.  Whatever it is you are doing, keep doing it."  Even his voice held a bit of wonder to it.

I counted...three times- 3 times - he called me phenomenal.  Well, actually, the teeth brushing Jamie and I are doing is phenomenal, but since that word has never ever been used to describe me before I have no problem transferring it to being a description of me.

No cavities.  No softness.  No gum problems.  Just a very angry Dante with very clean teeth, an impressed dentist, and me.

God is good, all the time.  Me, not so much-- but I think I nailed it for a few minutes today.

Monday, September 30, 2013

First Month of Home School

    September has been an eventful month for us.  After just two weeks we pulled Dante out of school, for reasons I really do not want to mention here, since if you cannot say something nice, you should not say anything at all. 

    I never thought I could home school Dante AND the triplets, but it is getting done.  In bits and pieces, and I am still trying to work out a routine and a schedule.  It has meant a lot of running for independent therapies for Dante, and I have to decide how much to keep and how much to do myself so I am home more.  One of Dante's therapists, who has seen him for almost two years, commented that he seems to be thriving now that he is home, and is responding much better to therapy.  That was really, really good to hear during a time that I am doing nothing but second guessing every move I make.

   We have also had some nastiness going around-- Nikita had bronchitis, Sunny had "walking pneumonia", and even though I did not take any others to the doctor I know that Micah had an ear infection, Dante and Amelia have nasty colds, and two others probably are recovering from walking pneumonia as well.  Only Kimberly and I have not had anything more than a slight sniffle.  Interestingly, Kimberly and I are the only two that consume either raw goat's milk or yogurt every day.

   Right now the kids are outside for recess, and there were too many photo opportunities not to share!

Micah and Kimberly exploring the leaves in the warm sun

Sherlock, our year old stallion trying to figure out what the kids are doing in the sandbox.  Since he has not been gelded yet, he cannot be in with our mini-mare and is enjoying the yard instead of the paddock.

 He is also trying to figure out Kimberly!  It is our hope that he will benefit the kids here, and he certainly is friendly and curious.
 Leif absolutely adores "his" Sherlock, and I think the feeling might be mutual.

   One month of the school year done, many many more to go!

"I can do all things through him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:13

God is good!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

She Crawled, She Climbed, She Conquered

I did not have the camera for the crawling part, because Kimberly has gotten fast.  No more dragging her belly along army crawl, she full out crawls.  And climbs.  And is clearly unrepentant.

A repeat offender, this girl is.

Now that Kimberly is more mobile and into everything she is starting to hear the word "no".
And clearly ignoring it.

We love our Kimberly!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Buddy Walk

Today was the First Annual Buddy Walk hosted by the MDSC in Uxbridge MA!  We have gone a few times to the Buddy Walk in Wakefield, but it is over an hour away and close to 3,000 people attend, which is a bit too crowded for me.  I was very happy to see a local walk, on a much smaller scale yet just as much fun.

I signed up Jamie and I, along with the 6 youngest kids.  It rained all last night and into today, so it was not looking good.  Sunny and Dante ended up staying home.  Sunny had pneumonia last week and is still a little off, and Dante has an awful cough that meant I did not want to risk him being out in the rain.
 Amelia, Micah, Jessi and I went to the Buddy Walk early to set up an Exhibitor's Table for Reece's Rainbow.  We got to talk about orphans and adoption for hours!

 Micah defected and went over to the MDSC informational table.  He is such a riot!

 Amelia insisted on carrying Kimberly over to the face painting table.  It was adorable seeing her hold her little sister, who turned 2 yesterday!!!

 Micah is a bit of a lazy bum and did not do the one mile walk, but we did check out the field games.

 Kimberly thoroughly enjoyed the music.
 Amelia handed out brochures and bracelets to anyone who  made eye contact.  She displayed some excellent social skills talking to people.
 Returning from the walk!
 Leif had a ton of fun, and loved poking the huge pumpkin.

The day was off to a rainy/drizzly start but by the time everyone arrived the sun was shining.  We were able to talk to so many people about the need for orphan/adoption support, and have fun at the same time.

God is good!