His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stability Vs. Chaos

I was just thinking about this today, and thought I would share some of my thoughts with Y'all.

When children have lived with extended trauma and instability in their lives, their brains become wired to think that it is NORMAL.  They live at a heightened sense of emotion, and they continue to live in "survival mode".  They become hypervigilant and begin to function on the outside in a way that is normal for their circumstances.  Meaning, orphanage life, or chaotic household life.  Feelings are stuffed down, and survival is the name of the game.
Many  kids were "favorites" at their orphanages, because they learned how to get what they needed or craved through external action.  They weren't given affection because they were loved, but because they may have performed or done something funny, or smiled extra cute.  They had to earn any affection they received.

Transfer this same child into a stable home where love is given freely without the need to earn... food is available, you will sleep in the same bed every night, you will wake up in the same home every morning, you will be hugged, touched, fed and clothed ;  THIS stability creates CHAOS in the mind of the child.

They don't know what to do with it.  It is foreign and it scares them.  The very thing they crave and want, they are getting, but NOT in the same way they got it before, so they recoil from  it, trying to re create what their familiar life experience used to be.  If that is a verbally abusive parent or caregiver, or physically abusive parent or orphanage worker, they will try to recreate it in the home.
They cannot comprehend being taken care of, since nobody took care of them before.  This is especially true with older children who have been on their own emotionally for a long time.

I remember Anna's first year home she demanded "WHY DON'T YOU JUST HIT ME?"
It was as if she needed that heightened level of experience to release her brain and rest.
Sounds crazy, but it was true. 
We would tell her, "We won't hit you, because we love you."  She FINALLY GOT IT and lost the need to create chaos.

What if, all you had ever known, was chaos, and then, you went into stability?  Stability would seem all wrong!  What if you found out the entire way you viewed the world was wrong?  Wouldn't that scare you?  Wouldn't that make you want to fight to prove it isn't true? 

It isn't just knowledge that needs to be changed, but the actual wiring of the brain.  You can convince the child that life is good now, and they may love you attach to you... but  under the surface  is the actual brain response to all the new changes.
The brain will NOT like it.  And it takes TIME, even if a child is attaching to help your child work through all those changes and REBOOT the brain to respond to stimuli differently.

The culture shock, whether changing countries or just families is immense.  Our sweetie asked the other day, "WHY AM I SO AWFUL SOMETIMES?" 
She was so sad that she was snotty.  She really DOES NOT understand.   She is not trying to be awful.  She really isn't.  Helping her learn to recognize patterns is very important, so she can catch herself and train herself! 
Today, during one of our mama daughter talks, I told her.. "Miss Alli, you have only lived 1/12 of your life in stability.  11/12's of your life has been CHAOS and EXTREME CHAOS.... 
You are still learning to tell your brain that you are safe and that you don't have to do the things you used to do.   It is hard on the ole' brain.  It wants to re create what you had before, because that is what was familiar.  You HAVE to tell it no! And then allow yourself to enjoy STABILITY."
She has learned fractions so she understands just how small 1/12 th is.
"And you are NOT AWFUL! Sometimes the things you do can be very wrong... but YOU are not awful!" 
We switched our conversation to her upcoming Birthday.
Valentines day will complete our first year cycle of holidays.  YEA!
So as we were talking, we mentioned all the holidays she remembers from last year. Her memories of last year have held on, and I said to her.... after this birthday, you will know what to expect from now on.  I told her about the scavenger hunt for presents (just like her sisters), picking her favorite meal and movie... and helping to bake her own cake.  She has seen these things 3 times for her sisters.
And now, it is HER TURN.... She will be hypervigilant until Thursday rolls around.  And then, next year, she'll remember, that she was here and she still is here.

We have a lot LESS Chaos than we did at first, and I love these talks with her.  She is really starting to comprehend and understand the hard work ahead. She is a hard worker, so that is good! :)
I am thrilled at how much she has accomplished this year. It is nothing short of miraculous.  She has learned to pray and call out to the Lord for help... and this has caused huge changes.

I am also realizing just how miraculous another little life around here is. :)  We went through these things before with another daughter. :)  She is so amazing now.  Today, she was passing a note in class.  It said, "Mama had to pay taxes today, and she is probably stressed. Let's all have good attitudes."   It was titled "A Contract" and there were lines for each girl to sign on... making a contract to have good attitudes all day. LOL
I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. :) 
Thank you Anna. :)

(I guess I was really complaining about all those taxes) LOL




Paper Work Headache

I just found out that I have to have 5 FIVE apostilled copies of Miss Alii's birth certificate sent off.
They have to be apostilled in NC....I'm on hold trying to figure out how to do this... Learning something new is always so hard.  I was on hold for 50 minutes. To be told that I need to call back tomorrow because they are closed, and I have to call the adoption interests section.  I gained an extension number! :)
The birth certificates we ordered SHOULD have been here by now, but she says they didn't get entered into the system for an entire week plus 1 day after we mailed the request.  So what are expedite fees for??
Good grief!

Now, I did ask about apostilling 5 more....  She said we have to re order, then we wait for them to send them to us, then we have to send them to the state department, then they have to send them to us....  Oh my!
Is this REALLY the 21st century???



In Shock

Today, I read an article, that bible translators, INCLUDING Wycliff, are taking the name "Father, Son and Spirit" out of the Holy Scriptures and replacing the name of God with Allah..... I am dismayed, sad and in SHOCK.
I know those who agree with this saying that this is the way to reach Muslims with the Gospel....
WHAT GOSPEL?  If you remove Jesus Christ, the Son of God and relegate him to a Prophet on Equal standing with Mohammad..... Ummmm, that is NOT the gospel.  If you say that our HOLY GOD is Allah.... THAT is NOT the gospel.  If there is no Holy Spirit....THAT is not the gospel.

We are living in SCARY times.


Even Christians in Muslim countries understand this.
I found my info at several sites, including Yahoo news...there are several other sites.
If you want to look, I googled these words:
(God, Father, Son, Spirit being removed from translations)
there are too many to list.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Okra Chips

I just found these at Sprouts. I never noticed them before, but let me tell you, they are DELICIOUS~!
They taste like Southern Fried Okra, without the breading or deep frying.  They are roasted and salted with canola oil. 
I am not an Okra fan, but I am a fan of these!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Erika.... almost 6 years later.

 Erika is a wonderful daughter and sister.  She has  a real sense of logic and a sereneness which comes from her relationship with the Lord.  I have seen her reach out to each of her sisters and comfort them, offer them true and unbiased friendship offer them kindness and wisdom.  She is kind and considerate to all.
And I love how each of the girls has little collages by their bed.  It is fun to see the pictures they put up. 
I am so fortunate to be Erika's mom. 
This video cracks me up.  She was trying SOOO HARD to learn any English. It was amazing how well she did.  She would hear the word "Cheese" and instantly start to sing. This was taken during our 10 day wait. :)
And Here we are killing Loads of time! :)

Sending a message back to Anna and Sarah on the other side of the world. :)

And she never looked back!
And she never thought it would be her.  But it was! :)
Love you sweetie. :)

Thoughts About Suffering

I have a quote on my blog that says,
"If I were to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, I am SURE He would ask me the same ..."
author unknown

I have a few friends going through some very hard times.  I personally have been through some very difficult times in my life, and they were times that were so hard, I thought that the Lord didn't care.  You want to know why?  Because nobody else did. 
God was not immune to hard times himself.  In sending His Son, Jesus Christ, He LIVED hard times.
He was born to very poor parents, attested by the fact that they brought two doves to sacrifice after his birth. Only the poorest would sacrifice a dove.  Scripture says that Jesus was despised and rejected, and he certainly understood injustice.  In fact, if ANYBODY can understand injustice, it would be Him.  He who knew NO SIN, died a criminals death, based upon a factless trial, where he was set up and betrayed.

GOD understands the sting of hardship.  He went through it.  And even more incredible, was that He died for you and for me, and took upon our sin to himself.  And He did it willingly.

One of the concepts that you will find in scripture is that GOD DOES NOT LIKE injustice, and he does NOT like it when people persecute other people.  Many of the judgments in scripture related to Israel had to do with the squandering of the blessings God had given them, where they had everything materially, yet did not care for the poor, the orphan or the widow. 
We have been studying the book of Amos for the last few months at our church.  Our Pastor, Justin Wheeler is an amazing teacher. The theme that comes across in Amos., over and over and over again is:
YOU CARE for the poor, YOU be just, YOU be kind, YOU love.... and you remember Me! These are commands that were not heeded.  There was utter ruin to follow due to not heeding the WORD of warning that God spoke through the Prophet Amos.
There are so many correlations in that little book that seem to directly relate to us.  We live in a land of prosperity and indulgence.  There are those around us who have great need and we ignore them.
There are those who need our kindness and we do not show them kindness.  There are those who need us to care, and we do not.
God wants us to acknowledge Him in all things, and we don't.   As a nation, we are not much different from Israel during the time of Amos.

In fact, we may be worse..  I cannot bear to see a commercial for Pepsi or  for cosmetic companies, knowing they are using aborted baby parts to test tastes, and to use for cosmetics so old people can keep from having wrinkles.  Dead babies are sold as commodities because their collagen is so valuable.
We make a big deal about saving  dogs, whales and any number of other animals, yet we don't honor Human life.  We have cosmetics labels  that proudly tout, "No animal testing"!  Really, well what about human testing?  And what about using HUMAN cells and collagen??? 
On Christian Radio, CHRISTIAN RADIO, the New Year's resolution commercials were about getting new faces, or a smaller butt,and don't forget the lazer hair removal, because it will change your life.... as if ANY of those could qualify as a resolution!
I looked at a few videos last night of Orphanages in Ukraine.  DYING ROOMS.... Children systematically STARVED TO DEATH and workers standing over them smiling for a picture as if that was something normal!  None of them looked like they were lacking any food.... Most of them were down right LARGE.... couldn't they give some of their food up for a starving baby under their care?  There were 12, 15, 17 years olds the size of INFANTS.....
WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

The problem is overwhelming and so very big.  There is a world of suffering all around us and we hide from it.  We don't want to see it or know about it, because it may cause us to have to take action. 
There IS a reason we still have orphans. THERE IS a reason we still have poverty, and that we still have suffering. There IS a reason that our elderly are treated poorly.  The REASON IS NOT GOD.... It is US.
We need to blame ourselves and STOP pointing the finger at God.

Why does God allow suffering?  Time to ask a different question.... Why Do YOU ignore it?
And as Amos says, "God WILL hold us accountable"

Micah 6:8-  He has shown thee, Oh man! What is good and what the Lord requires of thee.
But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Zoo Trip Cancelled

Today, we were supposed to go to the zoo for Mike and Alli's birthdays. They are both born on the same day, and since it would be the middle of the week, we decided to celebrate today. 
But then...... yesterday, my body started to hurt. I have always had back trouble, but this is bad. I made it to church, but could not stand to teach Sunday School, or to sing in the service.  By the time we left church, even with advil, my hip and lower back were out of control with pain.  I don't know why or what happened.....:(

Then something wonderful happened.   Alli said, "Mama, we shouldn't go. We can go when you are better."  She was so sweet. I know it had to be disappointing, we have all been looking forward to this trip with daddy.  For her to so sweetly think about me, was really a big deal. 
Had I not hurt my back, I wouldn't have had the joy of seeing Alli think about somebody else before herself. 

So the sandwiches we packed, we ate at home and watched an episode of  "The Waltons".  The girls are all having fun outside and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.  And it is a happy day, other than being stuck on the recliner.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Girl Fun


















Alli's Eye Appt.

Alli had her eye appointment today.  She did so well.  I have to say, I was so very proud of her.  Because just like the other day, she expressed herself and communicated with her words.
Last year when we went, if he said something like, "Tell me when the lines line up."   She wouldn't say anything, she would just shrug, because she didn't understand what he meant, and I'd have to tell him to reword it.
THIS TIME.... 2 or 3 times when she didn't understand something, she'd simply say, "Can you explain what you want me to do?"  And he would. 
I am simply amazed at the difference in her ability to communicate AND her confidence.

When we go back in two weeks for followup, he wants to talk to me more about what we are doing at home, as he works with many children who are diagnosed RAD and PTSD, ADD and ADHD. 
He noticed a huge difference. :)

We got to talking about brain science and rebooting the brain and then about the neurons in the brain being retrained.  He understands this from an eye standpoint and says that the idea that an eye can't be turned on after the age of 5 or 6 has been disproved.  He said, those neurons are still forming well into the teen years. 
I came back with, well, the brain is still developing WELL beyond the teen years too, and therefore children with trauma CAN and DO heal.  We will NOT be forever stuck in trauma-land.

I love being able to talk to a doctor about this stuff and have them excited! :)



Friday, January 27, 2012

Erika and her Hip

Erika's hip starting hurting on Monday.  I wonder  if she is turning into a great weather predictor like her brother Tim and me??
We went to the doctor today, and they want to remove the plate and pins in her hip that remained from her past surgery.  They also will be cutting away some bone on the bottom of one of her amputations that continues to cause her pain.  

Not sure when this will happen, but it will most likely be after winter camp and before summer camp. :)
That is HER schedule. :)  She lives from camp to camp. LOL

We showed Alli around the hospital today so she could see where Erika would stay. We went to the surgery floor, the inpatient room, the child life room and the therapy room.  In the therapy room she became a "demonstrator" for some students on how kids with arthrogryposis feed themselves, and how she is learning to get up off of the floor. 
She is so funny.  She said, "I came to visit, not for therapy!" :)
She was a good sport!
SO, deep breaths and time for a new adventure! :)

How BCLC Worked Yesterday

As I have written about anniversaries before, we are coming up on a few and our little sweetie has been feeling that "something" that she isn't always able to recognize just yet.....

Yesterday was a day of triumph, struggle and triumph once again.  I have debated sharing this, but feel it is important.  I do want to emphasize that Miss Alli is a sweet heart, most of the time. :)  She is funny and rough and tumble, and sweet and spunky and smart, all rolled into one.  And she has given me permission to blog about this. 

She is VERY excited about her birthday, and about March 2nd, her 1 year anniversary.  She is also insecure about both. 

We started off yesterday just fine... all was very normal.  And then, I watched something happen and it just made my heart burst with joy.  It may not seem joyful to some, but sure was to me, because it was a HUGE step forward for our little girl.  She was able to recognize and NAME the emotion she was feeling, and she used her tool to come over to me and tell me!  YEA!!!

Sarah received an MP3 player for Christmas, and she and Erika were loading music onto it at lunch time.  Alli was watching them together, and admiring the music they could put on such a small device.  She came over to me and said, "Mama, I think I'm feeling jealous!"   WOW! 
I was so proud of her.  I asked her what her jealousy was about, and it was about not being included in the upload process, and she just really likes that MP3 player. 
I reminded her how the Lord provided her a personal CD player a few months ago and she said, "but you can't load music into it like that."

"I know, it is low tech, but you should have seen what mommy had to deal with! A TRANSISTOR RADIO?"  "Have you ever heard of one of those?"  :)
And then I suggested she go over and participate with Erika and Sarah. They would include her... they didn't know she felt left out.
After a big hug, she did just that! And all was well, for about 2 hours......

I went outside to the shoppe to talk to Mike for about 15 minutes, discussing the various events of the day and telling him about that break through.  We had a few other ideas to encourage her, and then I came back inside.
When I came in, Anna told me that Alli had been being snotty to her sisters, and Anna tried to distract her and she said something snotty to Anna too.  (this is RARE, as Anna is just NOT the kind of kid who gets involved in snottiness with her sisters, and she rarely complains about sisterly things.)

So, I felt it was worth  a fact finding mission.
I called Alli, and asked her if she was ok?  She was not happy.   "I didn't do anything!" 
"Alli, I'm sorry, but Anna said things were not going well inside when I was talking to daddy."
"Come on over here and sit by me and we'll talk about it."

I was met with, "I'm not going to!"  "I don't have to!" 
"You need to listen to mama. You must obey, it is the right thing to do!"
"NO!"
"Alli, I don't want to have to get up and come over there... I want you to listen."
She came over to the chair.  I thought for sure we were going to have a talk.... INSTEAD....

I reached out to her. I was going to run my hand through her hair and give her a kiss, but she interpreted my action through a PTSD moment and began flailing her arms and saying STOP!
We both sat down on the floor and I faced her away from me.   I tried to just calmly rock her but she was really fighting me. At that point I hung on.  I didn't think she was rational enough to let go.
So....
She bit me. YEP, my ALLI Bit my arm! 

I was praying for wisdom the whole time, and when that happened something came over me that was a peace I cannot explain.  It was not my own peace, but a peace from the Lord that He was right there with me AND with her.  His LOVE took over my heart and it was overflowing with compassion . :)
She was latched on, and I gently whispered, "Alli, you are biting my arm... it hurts. I Know you don't want to hurt mama.  Can you let go?"   and she did.

I turned her to me, and I said, are you worried?  And then it all poured out.... she was terrified we were going to get rid of her.  She was moving and she had no idea where.
"Sweetie, you aren't going anywhere!" NOWHERE! 
Then, I rolled up my sleeve.  She had left a slight mark, but nothing to write home about....I knew she didn't bite me like she could have, and my toddler bites actually hurt a lot more. :)
I was trying to remember that this is where she was in her panic, and she wasn't thinking.

I showed her the mark and I said, "You are here forever, and I want you to remember this moment forever."  I  LOVE YOU PERIOD. 
With that, she burst into tears  and cried a cry that she has never really cried before.  It was a relieved, cry, a deep cry, a grieving cry and a HEALING cry.  She kissed my arm and hugged me and said how very sorry she was. 
"I know sweetie." "I know".....
My insightful Anna, brought over a bottle of warm milk and Alli drank it in my arms.  We rocked and I sang to her the Masterpiece song.... Her favorite.

She relaxed a deep relax.  And then she was ok.  But not just ok, not hypervigilant ok but peaceful.
We prayed together, and then life went on as it usually does. :)

And then, today, we had a great day, all day. 
About an hour ago, she came up to me out of the blue, and gave me a big hug.... and whispered in my ear.... "I love you mama, you are my mama forever."  
sniff. :)

BCLC works to get to the bottom of behaviors, not try to punish the behavior itself.  I think if I had reacted instead of responded, and punished Alli , she would not have been open to the truth like she was, once she allowed herself to be vulnerable.   She asked for forgiveness with a most contrite heart and she prayed for forgiveness also.  Isn't that the POINT we want our children to come to?  Don't we want them to repent?  There was no reason for a consequence....  We had a discussion later about kindness and unkindness.  She also apologized from her heart to each of her sisters.
We are continuing to see much progress with our sweetie.  I cannot wait for the day when her past no longer stomps on the present.  That day WILL come! Yes it will! :)

(on a side note)  Anna is watching many behaviors that SHE had when she first came home, relived in her sister, and it cracks me up that she knows just what to do.  She is going to be an awesome mother some day. :)  She is already an awesome sister.  I am also just amazed that my girls are such a great team.  They do not judge each other, and they are so compassionate towards each other.  I wish I had been 1/2 that compassionate with my own sisters when I was growing up.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Helping Our Children Grow

Mike and I were talking this morning about working on ways to help our girlies grow in some areas that they seem to be sort  of  "stuck" in. 

With Miss Alli especially, she has come so very far in so many areas of her little life, but has maintained some entrenched bad habits that we would like to help her separate herself from.  Sometimes old habits are just hard to break, and we need help to get out of the rut we are in.  So today, I had a talk with all of the girls before we started our morning and let them know that we are excited about them becoming teenagers or getting close to teenage-hood, and how very much we are excited that they are growing up.
Then I mentioned that we are excited about helping them grow.  

The premise of BCLC parenting is RELATIONSHIP - RELATIONSHIP - RELATIONSHIP!  When you have a good relationship established, then things fall into place in regards to obedience, guidance and instruction.  Meaning.... the art of discipline is easier.... (discipline meaning teaching, instructing, guiding)   
We have found this to be true in our family, except we need some tweaking. :)  Don't we all?  I know I need tweaking too.  That is why I have New Year's resolutions! That is also why I get really excited about challenging sermons.... I want to grow spiritually!  Life IS Change!

In explaining this to the girls, I want them to feel GOOD about changing some things that hold  them back.  I  layed before them this a.m. some thoughts that I had on my heart and they listened.  I also apologized to them for the last few weeks of just being personally disorganized.  I have been sick for almost 3 weeks and just let things go too much.  HOWEVER, this was a good thing, because it helped us see clearly, that there were areas that we have been carrying in family life that the girls need to be more responsible for.   In other words, I shouldn't have to remind somebody to do the dishes, or to take a bath, or to comb their hair or change their socks or clean their room.......   These are personal responsibilities that they are old enough to handle and SHOULD.

So, while some of our girls are farther along in maturity than others, we just threw all the topics together into one discussion and let them know we were going to help them work on improving personal skills. 

One of our girls sometimes will try  to get attention in a negative way instead of a positive way.  This morning it was eating like a cannibal. Sorry, but that is the best way to put it.  LOL
She doesn't do it all the time, but when it happens, it is usually to get attention.  I stopped her and asked her to hold her fork properly. She said she would rather not eat!   I said to her.... "that really makes me sad, because I want you to eat, but I would Love for you to eat nicely, like a lady."
I went on to tell her about her WISE words to me a few weeks ago when I complained about my weight.  She said, "Mom, don't self loathe!"  "You are fine!"  
You know what? She was RIGHT....  I was self loathing and I was wrong. 
So I told her, "Sweetie, don't self loathe,  love yourself enough to hold your fork like a young lady and not a toddler.  After all, we would not want to see you go on a date with a young man and eat like a cannibal! :)   Of course the next thing out of her mouth was, "Mom, I'm not allowed to date!"  Well you get the picture. :) 
A few minutes later, she said mom.... I'm sorry... and she ate her breakfast very nicely. :)

Soooo, fast forward to tonight!  Miss Alli wanted to light the fire for the wood burning stove and also get some of our wonderful incense burning with a coal. :)  I told her, well, that would be fine, but daddy will need to help guide you with that.   I was told "I KNOW HOW to do it myself!"   "Yes, I know you THINK you know how, but you must ask daddy for help.  "
And then, I said, "Alli, you have been home almost a year now.  I KNOW you do not like to talk back, and it makes you sad. This is one of the areas we need to work on.  You were on your own for so very long and had to do everything on your own, and you didn't trust others.... but NOW, it is time, to trust.  I KNOW you trust us! It is time to show it." :)
She got very quiet, and sat down by me.  I said, "I would love it if you could build that fire with daddy!"   "Call Him.... He will come in and help you."  
She INSISTED that if she called, he wouldn't. 
I INSISTED that if she called, he would .   (note.... fingers crossed) LOL

She called.... and a very sweet Alli said, "Daddy, can I help build the fire tonight? I want to build a fire and light some incense." 
Daddy replied, "SURE! I'll be right in."   And he was.
Alli was so excited.  She let him direct  her on how to build a real good fire and she was able to do all the labor by following instructions. :)   And then, he let her put the incense on the coal so everything would smell wonderful. :)
And here they are after finishing the job.   Yep, daddy IS a mechanic! LOL
I think she learned something really valuable tonight. She learned that we WANT to help her succeed.  And we WANT to do things that she wants to do, and she doesn't have to know everything and do it alone.  
She also came to me later and said "Mom, I want to change. I am going to work hard on it." 

I have been waiting for this moment with her for a long time; the moment when SHE wanted to change and could clearly see that she NEEDED to make some personal changes.  I don't think it could have happened without first establishing and rooting her in a relationship that she could trust and feel trusted. 
She went on to do all of the kitchen duties on her own, and did a really great job. :)
Wow, what an eventful day!  



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Healthy with Correctable Special Needs"

IF you are approaching  adoption looking for the "perfect" child, please know...the perfect child does NOT exist! They are a facade in the mind!

ANY CHILD, whether perfectly healthy physically in every way, or having "minor correctable issues", IS a SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD!  Just sayin!  If you want a healthy child, that does NOT mean your child will not have immense special needs!
No amount of head circumference measuring, no amount of chart testing or Dr. visits will change that your child has faced their ENTIRE LIFE in a trauma state that has rewired their little brain to think and react differently than normal.
Does this mean they STAY THAT WAY? No. Not if you understand what is going on and how to lead them out of the darkness and despair of orphanage life and past abuse.

But, if you go into adoption with more worries about how to decorate a bedroom than raise a child with a trauma background.... well.... look out!
Don't be the parent who resembles the bride set up for a failed marriage, having put all of her money into the cost of a $ 50,000 dollar wedding only to forget that there is a marriage to live when the Honey moon is over. 

What have you done to prepare for your sweet children when they come home?  Are you listening to friends tell you, "You'll do fine?"  or "You have parented already, how hard could it be?"  Do you balk at the idea of an adoption education class?  Are you listening to counselors who have loads of advice but no success, and especially do not understand children with trauma/abandonment backgrounds?
 
If you don't educate yourself on the realities and complexities of your future children, or you plan to depend upon a counselor to educate you, you are setting yourself up for failure, and worse yet, your children are being set up for failure too.  They have already had enough failure in their lives...they don't need MORE!
At the same time, there is a LOT of BAD, BAD information out there on adopted children and how one should parent them.
I have seen the destruction some methods bring and it breaks my heart, because it DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
If your child has been in FOSTER CARE, a WONDERFUL ORPHANAGE, a POOR ORPHANAGE, an INTERNAT, a Special Needs Baby House, TB Sanitarium, Laying Room (dying room), or anything inbetween, THEY ARE SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN...... 

Does this mean they cannot succeed? No, not at all.  Our girls are on a track to HUGE success.... I can feel it in my bones. :)  But the path to get there has got to be carefully plodded.  There is no room for years of bad parenting mistakes and misunderstanding. You have a limited time with them.
So if you are a waiting parent..... EDUCATE YOURSELF!  READ.... STUDY.... PRAY.... and start working on your OWN stuff.  Your own personal baggage is what will get in the way of relationships later. 
You point at your brother and say, "Look at that speck in his eye! While you have a LOG in your own.
Matthew 7:5 says


You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
New International Version (©1984)


Parenting is an honor and privilege, it is not a right.   

Getting Away vs. Rejuvenating

When I was a young mom, I never felt like I had to "get away" from my children.  I remember one time, a family member asked if she could take the boys for the weekend.  I said yes, out of obligation which I should NOT have done, to only hear her tell her friend, "She just HAD to get away from them!" 
I was so hurt. That could not have been further from the truth!

I have NEVER wanted to just "get away".... 

There have been many opportunities for retreats or get aways that I have been invited to through church or other functions, and if the unwritten motto is, "get away from your kids and husband"..... I respectfully decline. 
Personally, I think that is one of the most awful messages we can give our children and husbands; the idea that if we LEAVE, we will feel better and life will be better.  Giving them the message that mama is getting away because life at home is just too awful to want to be there is a very sad, message indeed.  Going away for 3 days or 2 days  only DELAYS the issues we are dealing with at home, which become BIGGER, since the kids KNOW we left because of THEM.... Getting away for "ME TIME" is an  overused  destrutctive LIE.  How many nail jobs does a person need?  
One can also attend a retreat or a seminar for the same length of time, and leave our children with the satisfaction that mama isn't leaving them, she is going to gain information that will benefit them. 
We can leave them feeling secure and loved, or we can leave making them feel like we are escaping.

There is reason and purpose to rejuvenate our hearts, souls and minds.  Frankly, regaining strength when we are weak; I mean the kind of strength that is life changing and life strengthening, is only to be found in the Lord.  HE is our source of strength and our life line of water that causes us to thirst no more.  

One of my readers De, asked this question in comments on my previous post.  And it made me think about what I do to gain strength when I feel so weak or worn.  For the last couple of weeks I have been physically worn out due to bronchitis.  I think I am finally on the other side of the worst, but certainly not out of the woods, and I have felt physically and spiritually weak.
I find honestly, when I begin to get weak or worn out, it is not because of the children are doing anything different than before, but it is because I am not going to my source for strength as I should. :)
If my prayer life is suffering, we all suffer.  If my personal time with the Lord suffers, then I find myself depending upon ME instead of the Lord, and that is never a good idea. :)

Don't get me wrong. I think there is a time where spending time with a spouse or even spending time alone can be a good thing.  But if it is up front and yearned for, if it is used as a way of ESCAPE and not necessarily rejuvenation, it sends a bad message to our children.  

Our children KNOW the difference.   If we ESCAPE out the door, the message sent  is:"I am so bad that you have to run away. You don't want to be around me. There is something wrong with me.  I must be causing you so much shame that you don't want to be near me." "I am unloveable".

However, if our attitude is one of rejuvenation, we can hold off until the children are asleep, or carefully get up before they wake and take our time then to gain strength and energy from the Lord.  When we are full of grace and mercy as He is,  our children benefit from our relaxed nature and the need to disappear, disappears. :)
If we do choose to go to a retreat seminar, we can prepare them properly ahead of time, and leave them with a sense of being missed and a sweet coming home.

There is also the time when conflict arises, that it may be VERY appropriate to withdraw to pray. I have told my sweeties at times.... "Mama needs to go pray".  And it is always ok to do this.  They have learned that when Mama prays, she is serious about solutions. This also gives them time to think and even pray on their own, which we highly encourage.  Ten minutes later, when we come together, most of the time, things are totally resolved and we move on with our day.

I have heard it said that God does not give you more than you can handle.  I think I disagree. I think God wants us to be dependent upon Him.  In our weakness, HE is strong.  He LOVES to work through us and we become His hands, His feet..... HIS LOVE, and we exist in HIS STRENGTH.
In Christ Alone our Hope is found.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It Must Be In The Air

This is a detailed event that was very real today.  I don't like to air dirty laundry, but if it can help somebody else going through a moment in time of Trauma, then that is why I post.  My Alli is a very special girl.  She is loving and kind, sweet as can be and would never want to hurt anybody..... but sometimes she does. She just does.  Today was one of those days. :(

I  wonder what is in the air???  I have checked a few favorite blogs and it seems that today has been a Trigger Day.... Is it a full moon????

I was hoping, since I am still SICK, we would have a rather low key day.  But no.... That could not be.
Of course not! God chooses to work through our weaknesses.  And today, I was very weak.

We have had some fantastic weeks and I have known that trigger time is very close by.  Today, our sweetie insisted that she be given the same word list that her sisters get for school.  She declared, "If you don't give me harder work, how will I catch up?"
Fair enough.

So, I gave her the word list.  The requirement for all is to look the word up in the dictionary, write down the meaning, then write a complete sentence using that word.

She needs to do 4 a day to keep up.  After word one, she was stressed; after word two, angry... and after word three, dysregulated.  Translated:  She was ashamed because she couldn't do what her sisters could.
I reassured her that there was no comparison, and how her sisters have spoken English much longer and she has had so many disruptions in her life, so moving forward, is ALWAYS the right place to be, even if it isn't at grade level.

This did seem to satisfy her for awhile, and then, the bomb was dropped.  She was doing her reading and phonics and was seriously annoyed that I had asked her to complete her assignment before moving on to History. 
All of the sudden, I went from being the best mommy in the world, to mommy dearest.  I was the mean mommy, I was lying, I was uncaring, and then the bomb.... "YOU ARE JUST LIKE YOUR MOM!"

WOW! Where in the WORLD did that come from?  It was a true low blow.  I paused, and said, "THAT WAS NOT COOL!"  (way to go mom :/)
Thus, what ensued, shaped the rest of our day.  I was dealing with  a sullen pre teen acting like a toddler in full blown fit...She would not look at me, talk to me, let me touch her or cooperate in any way.
If I were a stranger looking in from the outside, I could have offered myself plenty of my own advice, LOL.... but I was in the trenches.

So, here I am trying to reason with unreasonableness.   I SHOULD HAVE walked out of the room, got some tea, prayed and relaxed.  When the temp simmered down, then I could have dealt with things. OR I could have just sat there  quietly and waited.  Instead, I engaged.  Escalated is a better word. I strongly dislike that word right now. :)

When I realized I had been sucked in.... I simply bowed out. I changed tactics.  She refused to sit up on her bed so I could help her with reading. (Like reading was going to get done in this type of environment)  But, being teacher, I had a schedule to keep.  So I tried.  Can you read this please?
NO. I can't read.    Ummm, of course you can read, you have been reading beautifully.
"I forgot the sounds"..  
Miss Alli, don't lie to mama, I know you know those sounds.... Now of course, I should have NEVER said that, because how do you prove somebody knows something they say they don't know at any given time, even if you know they do???  She was so angry that I said she had lied.... She was so so so sooooo Angry.....
The thought of Lydia Schatz's mother came into my head and I wondered, is this what was going on over there.?  Did she just snap?.. .and then I quickly pushed it from my brain... NO. NO. NO......
However, the thought caused me to shudder.  I quickly became focused and back in theraupeutic mode.... I HAD to concentrate and let the hurtful words she spoke to me GO.  I am the adult! I am the Adult!
Honestly, when kids say things that are unkind, I really don't think they see the ramifications of those words or understand how deeply they can wound. That is, if you let them.  If you can look at those moments as moments of a poor defenseless bird trying for one last battle before they succomb...it really is pathetic.

She was laying back down instead of sitting up, so I layed down too. She put her feet up under the bunk, so I did it too.  After a few minutes she said, "Why are you doing what I am doing?  She was truly annoyed and it wasn't my intention to annoy her.

I said, because you won't come into my world, so I guess I need to go into yours.  As I was in Her world, I focused on spiritual things, and quoted her  a few passages of scripture.  "Children Obey your parents, for this is right".... and "Honor your father and mother".....  I told her.."these are not things we can MAKE or force you to do. They are matters of heart and they are between you and God.  If I were to force you, it would make you angry. I cannot FORCE respect or honor.  She was quiet.  
She paused.  And then, she sat up.  We had a few minutes to pray together.
After that, she was reading.  She apologized for her behavior and told me how sorry she was for being so mean.  Of course she doesn't know why.  It doesn't matter.
She also apologized for lying, which was HUGE, because she had dug in so hard about not remembering.
Our son couldn't remember his school work many times because of brain injury. She too has had head injuries and I wasn't sure if this was part of the problem.  I honestly don't think it was. But I DO KNOW that a dysregulated child,  would have trouble reading.

Sooo, after we got that part of school done, she still had two more subjects to do. She asked, "Can I go outside and play first?"  My answer was, "No sweetie.  I know how concerned you are about catching up. And unfortunately, you chose to use your school time having a fit...so now you'll have to use your free time finishing school. "   I held my breath and she said, "Yes maam." 

I gave her a big hug!  She got right to work. 

Then, she regressed in a healing way.  She was happy and secure once again and acting abit like a baby. She opened herself up enough to be vulnerable to us.  She had found a baby bottle and for the very first time asked if she could use it.  We never do baby things unless it is child initiated.  I filled it with milk and she let daddy feed her. I was really surprised by this, because she has never asked about it really.
After she and daddy finished rocking, she seemed so satisfied.  She relaxed in his arms and he babied her a bit.  He is so good at going with the flow!
 So that was our day with Trauma over to visit. She is  now knitting gambling, with Erika in the other room.
WHEW!  What a day!  These times can be baffling.  But God knows what is going on in her heart and mind.  He know way better than I do, and I MUST remember to pray FIRST and speak Last.

Better days are ahead!  I think we made it over a few humps today, even though I feel drained and exhausted. :)

Erika and I picked out this sign yesterday and we hung it up.  Alli LOVES it! Tonight she pointed it out again and said how much she likes it. :)

This is What is Known As.....

A Pile of Girls :)

Alli's Russia

 The orphanage for young children and the one for older children were right next to each other.
 Beautiful region of Chuvashia

The Volga.

I am so thankful for those who have cared so much to help us piece Alli's life together so she has a complete picture. (or as complete as we can get)

There are so many sad things in her life story. But we look forward and know that even though there is nothing we can do about the past, and there is great sadness over the loss of her biological brother and sister, due to disruption, and unwillingness to allow her to even send a letter,  we can forge through and make the future what we want it to be, with the help of the Lord.

Google Look Ups, Amputee

Sometimes I check my blog feed to see what folks are googling and how they wind up on my blog.
There was one this a.m. that was disturbing..... "stumpy, girl, h*t, amputee".

So, to whoever in Denmark, who looked up those words twice, and came to my blog: My girls are NOT for your "oggling"... they are respectful, kind girls.  This is not a p*rn sight.

This is the kind of stuff that makes one go private, and it makes me ANGRY.  I have seen this a few times in the past, but never said anything.  Most of the time these things come from Asia.
I am not going to go private....because I don't want evil people to win.

The purpose for this blog is to talk about adoption, faith, love, family, and to educate about special needs.
Maybe, whoever you are, can look at some of what I write, and find that there is a better life for you than oggling little girls with no feet.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Book






I think it is a children's bible story book.  The pictures are gorgeous and may be hand tinted.  It was purchased in Russia as the traditional price was inside the cover.... 237-   (would that be Ruples?)

I hope someday I can go to Russia as we did Ukraine.

Another Trip To The Russian Store

That is what we call it.  It is actually the Euro Deli.  It is a little store that caters to Eastern European foods.  Oh the girls were in Heaven!   I shouldn't have gone out, but Miss Alli really needed to go.
So, I hacked, coughed, oh so lady like, there and back...... I'll be glad when this bronchial whatever it is, is OVER.
Miss Alli loves smells from Russia and reminders of her heritage.  I LOVE being able to do this for her.  She likes the foods we have, and never complains, but I know, if I were to have to move to Russia or Ukraine, there would be foods from America that I would miss, and it would be so fun to be able to have them once more.
I am very thankful that the Euro Deli is not too far away. (40 minutes)  The man is always so nice and tests the girls on their Russian. :)  Dobre Utra, .... spaciba... pashalsta...Das Vadanya ...paca..

Here is a picture of our stash:


 Alli is holding this sunflower something.  I couldn't understand the name, so if anybody know, please help me...  Habla?  Or Havla?   It is ground sunflower seeds, sugar and probably egg?  It is a very interesting texture and  is REALLY tasty!  She saw it and said, "Is that what I think it is??"  Then she smelled it and said, "IT IS! IT IS!" Complete with jumping up and down with excitement. :)

 Anna like the pickles.
 Sarah remembers these. She picked them last time too. :)
 Erika always goes for the fish. :)
 And me? I go for Library Books that are in the "donation" area.  I picked up this little bible picture book for a fraction of the value. :)
 Here is a better picture of the sunflower thing. ( I don't know what to call it)
 I think Alli was very pleased.  Mama was too. It is a pleasure to make my girls happy.

Holding up some more favorites.  Last time we found Sausage from Chuvashia region. They were out of it this time, so we settled for Moscow Sausage. :)

Do People Still Do This?

 fry the eggs in the bacon grease?   Erika decided to take pictures of my culinary skills, or lack thereof. :)


Well, I know somebody who still does.... :)    I don't do it ALL the time, but it sure brings back memories of my gramma.  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Section

I couldn't figure out the page thing, so I moved it to the side bar and called it "Posts of Note"..... I am trying to pick out a few posts that are somewhere in this blog that might be important to read. :)
So, if you look to the side bar--------------> and see "posts of note" just above the pictures of the kids, that is what I'm talking about. :) 
I put the comic relief ones up, just for pure entertainment. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Any Unpacked Bags Updated

I wrote this post in 2008 , but wanted to repost it, as this topic was on my mind after a conversation I had yesterday.  
There are those in the adoption community that believe only a "professional" knows what to do with a child who has  a trauma background.  I disagree.  While I DO agree that there is a time and a place for counseling..... healing begins at HOME.  And before we can help our kids heal, We MUST deal with our own stuff.  Many times, we don't even know it is there, or we have learned to keep certain things neatly packed away in the recesses of our mind, and then, we get zinged and we have a PTSD moment of our own. 
It is an honor and privilege to parent our children in a way that brings them into a place of safety and healing.
I wrote this post about 3 years ago and a LOT has happened since then. SO, instead of rewriting what I already wrote.  Here is my old post. And then I'll add some more thoughts.  I apologize this is so long.

                                     Any Unpacked Bags?


As parents, our children come most of the time when we are young and foolish and in no way ready to be parents. That is how God chose to do it! :)
It seems that God has made a great effort to want us to be dependent upon HIM for every breath of life that we breathe and every step we take. Our inadequacy glaring at us each day caused us to run for our prayer closet and hang onto our Heavenly Father for the inspiration of the day, for the strength to get to the coffee pot, for the words we spoke and the energy our days required of us.

As our children got older and we were more comfortable with what direction they were taking, we relaxed a bit, as we knew that GOD had ordained their steps and our job was almost done. It was a time of thrilling enjoyment, seeing those flowers unfold into beautiful bloom. (yes,even with boys the analogy works)

Now, there are those crazy types that have decided to do it all over again! LOL You know who you are....

But the difference is: They come potty trained and talking back! They haven't learned your language, either unspoken OR spoken. They come with loads of baggage that needs to be sorted through and a tangled mess of ideas and hurts that give the feeling of continual untangling of Christmas lights. AHHHHH!!!!! You can throw the Christmas lights away and buy a new set! (don't tell, but I have actually done this before)

But our Children are not throw away. There is something new we must learn, like.....
timing, patience, kindness, careful untangling of a little life and unpacking of a bag so tattered that if you don't unzip it carefully it will fall apart.


So, we say to ourselves... this a different sort of kid. This kid didn't come with instructions.(even though we know very well our others didn't either)
If we are not careful, we can find ourselves looking through instruction manuals of a different nature that will offer loads of "man's wisdom", devoid of Godly wisdom.

Some books are great and we can identify things in our dear children in them, and they can offer help to us BUT without prayer and discernment, they can also be VERY, VERY dangerous. The same goes with counselors, and those who have made businesses dealing with emotional pain and baggage.
While some of the information and techniques used can be utilized in a positive way, some of it is just down right dangerous, and we MUST discern what is best for our children.
This very issue SHOULD bring us to our knees in prayer and to the Word of God for instruction, but slowly, instead, the phone call is made to the counselor, the books are re read and we forget Who our TRUE source of guidance is.
Don't get me wrong. I am not against reading of books, and I read them A LOT too. But it is a battle to remember to hold them up to the whole counsel of the word of God.
I am not against counseling either, as I think sometimes there are things they can offer for a parent to try, or offer advice to the parent themselves that they may need to work through some of their own issues.

What I AM against is the forcing of a child to face things he or she may not be ready to face. I am 50 years old, and there are STILL things in my life from long ago that I am JUST NOW, starting to comprehend. I don't think any amount of counseling would have helped me to see it any sooner.

I remember several years ago, after a very traumatic event in my life, a counselor at a church kept calling me. She kept trying to get me to come and and talk to her and she persisted to the point that I totally shut down. I didn't want to talk to her. I wasn't ready. I didn't want her prodding me for how I felt or act like she cared about me. I felt like one of her "projects" she had chosen to fix.
What welled up in me was anger, frustration and self thoughts of inadequacy and pain.

Why does SHE think I need fixing? Why MUST she bother me so?

I finally wrote a letter to her and the church pastor and asked him to please tell her to lay off. I didn't need her help. I needed to work things out between ME and my LORD. She is not my intermediary! I have no need of one.
She didn't back off, and I found sanctuary at a new church.

You know what happened? The pastor there was amazing. He was a little younger and the church was HUGE. ( I thought I could hide out for a while) He saw me and 4 little boys watching the worship team practice. I was so used to going to church early for music; but I was no longer fit.

That guy came over and sat down and showed me respect and kindness. He introduced himself and talked to each of the boys who were between 4 and 8. He never asked me where my husband was. He never asked if I was in need of anything. He just respected me as person, and then he went on his merry way. Oh I was never so thankful for a simple kind person to just treat me as normal.

In time, the Lord brought things to my heart and I poured my heart our to HIM. Later he provided me with a friend to share with, but it had to be with HIM first!

Why do I say all that?

Because I think so many times we are on a mission to "fix" our children. We are on the fast track to make them whole, and in the process, we may be missing God's timing, and our children's timing.
They may not be ready for things to be discussed. They may just need to chill and be loved just for who they are, with all their quirks and unpacked bags. They may need us to soak that scab in love so it gets soft and doesn't hurt when it comes off.

(sorry for the gross analogy)

I remember when our Anna came to us and decided she wanted to be a baby. She went through the birth process all on her own, curling up under a blanket and being "born" and then snuggling up and I gave her a bottle of warm milk and swaddled and rocked her. THIS WAS NOT INITIATED BY ME OR ANOTHER PERSON, though I have heard of it being done; this was initiated by HER!
She was 6, and after she finished, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "YOU ARE MY MAMA!" It was like she birthed herself into a new role in the family. She was REALLY part of a family and chose to identify herself in that way.

Well, along came Sarah and guess what? After about 6 months.... she did the exact same thing. I thought... how interesting. They have both done this and they are the ones who have initiated this. I felt honored.

When Erika came, she was a little older (almost 8) She of course loved being rocked and sang to, and because of her physical problems, she could not curl into a ball under a blanket on my lap, but she wanted to. We tried some different things and so we just announced that we had a new baby. I held her in my arms and talked to her just like I talked to the boys when they were newborns. "Oh, look at her Mike, she is just BEAUTIFUL"! Look at her hair. Look at her eyes! She is ours! We prayed for her and we gooed and gahhed at her and she snuggled up, just as the other girls did.
She actually went a little further and she would catch me in the hall and grab me and then pretend to nurse! YIKES...... She was fascinated for a few weeks about if her brothers were nursed etc. I explained to her that not all babies are nursed, so though her brothers were nursed with mother's milk, Tim wasn't able to latch on because of being preemie. She was preemie too.

These things happened over time. We had incidents with each girl of disturbing behaviors, but saw those as bags being unpacked. And the longer we loved them, the longer we respected them, the longer we were able to reach them, the more those behaviors disappeared.
As we have been able to instruct them and lead them to Christ.... they have continued to grow and are now learning to ask HIM for help and comfort along with mom and dad.
The words placed in their hearts, the love that has been planted is growing and each of them, are shining in their own ways.
All bags are NOT unpacked. But in God's timing, it will happen. God's timing evokes change from the heart. It is welcomed and does not bring resentfulness and anger.
His timing brings about repentance and healing.


If it were up to me.... I'd want everything fixed today. No YESTERDAY! But God is multi-layered. He knows that I need to continue to learn patience and kindness and a big helping of MORE forgiveness.
AND.... as He helps them unpack their bags, He shows me that I still have some bags to unpack too, and so we do it together. :)





So,  here we are 3 years later, with another little girl under our roof. We have 2 teenagers and in 2 weeks, we will have 2 12 year olds also. :)    I remember so well, when we first started this adventure in life, Anna was 5.  I counted the years until she was 13. "Just 8! " I thought to myself.  We lost her first 5 years, and almost 6 of Sarah's life and almost 8 of Erika's life, and a full 11 years and one month of Alli's life!
According to some books, MANY books, the losses our girls had, the lack of instruction, the lack of nurturing, the abuse, the anger, the rejection again and again, should have led us to believe that they were lost causes.... chaff, forever to be labeled RAD, or some other sort of label.  But according to THE BOOK, it says, "I will make all things NEW!" "I came to heal the broken hearted."
 
Instead of disaster,  I am the delighted mother of 4 young ladies who are caring, loving, compassionate, nurturing, sweet TEENAGE and TWEENAGE girls.  I am so GLAD that we did not listen to the books.... or in some cases FOLLOW the books....
Praise the Lord. He is the Lord of new beginnings, of starting over, and of healing our deepest and most personal burdens.  I have come to understand over the years, God's mercy in my own life, and His wisdom in allowing me to go through so much personal pain.  It was meant for what I do today. It  was meant to prepare me for the life I have now.  I fully believe this to be true.  There are MANY times that I can relate to my girls, because of my own personal past.
Thank you Lord for answering my "Why" prayers. :)

So, as we continue down this journey called Life, I am so honored.  I am so in love with my husband and with what the Lord has called Mike and I to do....I  love all of my dear children.
And the more we unpack, the richer our lives become.  I am one LUCKY mama. :)


Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day

We had school today, and we talked about Martin Luther King Jr.  I shared with the girls all that I remember of that period of time and what my own experiences were during the Civil Rights Movement.  And then I had the girls spend time writing a short Essay on "I Have A Dream"....

Here were the results.  I found it very interesting how they each personalized today.  It is human nature that we ALL want to be treated equally.  :)

Erika:
"I have a dream that All people wouldn't get mocked or teased just because they are a little different. There are kids out there that get teased because they mumble when they talk, or other kids that have missing parts of their bodies. I myself am one of them. When I walk, I swing sideways. I have arms that look deformed and I have two prosthetic feet. So when I go on short walks or go to the store, people look at me as if I am an alien from another planet. My dream is that someday adults and children will look at all people, black or white, disabled or not, retarded or silent, the way God looks at us.
The Bible says that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. God knitted us together in our mother's womb the way He wanted us to be. Psalm 139:13-14.
"For you formed my inward part; you knitted me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well. Amen!"



Anna:
(I am just going to post part of hers... as hers was very similar to the other girls but had a different twist at the end. )
"I want to be a Nation that has a reputation for being kind and not critical. I want people to visit America and go home wishing that their nation could be like ours."

Sarah:

I have a dream that all lpeole would be treated the same; that they would be KIND! I have a dream that people wouldn't be bullied just because they had a fake leg or missing body parts, autism or a different skin color.
I know one thing: I would not want to be treated meanly. People that treat other people that way are called bullies.
If you are just trying to have fun at a park or something and someone is teasing you, on the outside you may act and say it didn't hurt your feelings, but inside your whole body is shaking because you are mad and your feelings ARE hurt. You almost feel sorry for that person.
I have had the experience, and I hope that you don't. But even if you don't look like you have problems, people will try to find a way to hurt you. Everybody has a problem of some kind.
So no matter what, don't let anyone ruin your life and always be kind to everyone. Love your family, friends neighbors, enemies and even bullies. SO my dream is that people wouldn't be bullied or treated wrongly just because of the way God made them.
DON'T BE A BULLY
 


And then Alli's (part of which really made me laugh)
I have a dream taht all people who have problems will not be made fun of, because they might get their feelings hurt. Like y sisters; they have people stare at how they walk of how thier legs are shaped. It hurts my feelings that people do that.
I also dream taht I could be a doctor or a teacher so I can help people that have problems. I sometimes think about how lucky people are if they have a fake legs or legs, becasue they won't get cuts or bruises.
I am happy that some people are even alive. I am glad that God gave everybody life to dream and see His miracles
.


Love my girl's thoughts. :)

My Sweet Alli

I have to say, I had to smile inside today at Miss Alli.  She has had a bit of a cold and I am one to doctor the kids up abit when they are sick. I have always been this way.  One thing I use is Vicks Vapo-Rub. I put it on their chests and back when they have a cough. 
Today, I had forgotten to do it in the a.m.  I remembered around 10:30 a.m.  I told Alli, "I need to put this on you!"  She said, ""Oh, I was hoping your would forget!" "But really, I was hoping you would remember."
Do you like Mama taking care of you?
"YES"...  and she had a big grin! :)

I felt so special when she said that. She LOVES being taken care of, even if it is rather sticky and stinky. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Late Night Crazies

video
One last dance.... :)

Our 10 month Alli Update

I am so proud of my little girl.  We ALL are!  She is doing amazing.  We hit our 10 month mark on January 2nd. :)  I am thrilled to say that Miss Alli is sooooo Hooome! 

Other than the incident a few weeks ago due to some insensitive comments made, we have had no meltdowns.  She has been a delight to everybody.    She and I are home sick today from Church, so she is snuggled up on the couch drinking hot tea and watching Super Book cartoons.   :)  

We had a chance a little while ago to talk and reminisce.  I showed her the Russian Orphan Light House Project blog and explained to her that the hosting program is how she was able to come in the first place.   We tried to go back and find pictures and boy did we find a few! Yea! She saw a picture of her sister and her first family holding up a sign waiting for her sister to get off of the plane.  (November 08)
Then,  she saw a picture of herself in that famous bow!   She smiled and said, "Don't they ask to put pictures up?"    She would LOVE to not have that huge bow in her hair. LOL
She could not remember the name of her orphanage, so we emailed the director of the Light House project.  She emailed us back a few minutes ago.... :)  We now KNOW where her orphanage was!

"The name of the orphanage is Yolotchka, and the town was Shumerly, in the Chuvashia region of Russia."

I don't know why I didn't think to ask before! LOL
As we sat together, she was so calm and relaxed and pointed out a few people she knew, and then she said, "You know what mama?" "I hardly ever even think about them anymore."  "It doesn't bother me anymore."  "I love my family."
She is so pleased that she is a Minich.  She is so pleased that she has been here for 10 months and that her birthday is next month! 

So we started discussing what kind of cake she wants. She gets to help bake it, which is tradition and she is totally thrilled by that.  I think we have decided on a chocolate torte with a mixture of creme cheese and nutella for filling, with a chocolate ganache for the icing.... and sparkler candles. 
Daddy will be getting a cheese cake.  His favorite.  (their birthdays are on the same day)

Alli has grown so much I cannot keep track..... she has gained OVER 10 LBS and a few inches.
She woke up yesterday and both Mike and I thought she had grown in her sleep again. LOL

She has improved so much in her personal skills.  It is no longer a battle to get hair brushed. Erika has had a huge impact on her in this area.  She takes good care of herself now.  I get a sense that she really cares about herself, much more than she did before.

 She is probably one of the most creative kids I have met, who can take paper, tape, crayons, scissors and make nearly ANYTHING.  She even made her own envelope to send a letter, and it was a really great job! 

Today, she wanted to make a TV for her Barbie Dolls, so she took some old styrofoam and made a TV with "The Little Mermaid" on the screen. LOL
I cannot wait to post her  1 year update.  It will be one month after her birthday. :)  She is so excited about it. :)

You Are Still Holy

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