Wednesday, April 28, 2010

23 years

I cleaned out Big Momma today and gave her a bath. When I wrestled the shop vac out of the tool shed, finally found an extension cord and turned it on a bunch of stuff flew out the back of it. I turned it right back off and a mouse came running out of it. Zoiks! I don't like mice. They give me the creeps. When T got home and took a look at it he discovered a mouse nest inside the vacuum, with babies in it. Ewww. I used the house vac to clean the car.

We had our 23rd wedding anniversary on Monday. I started writing a couple highlights from each year so far. Let's see.

Year One; we rented a duplex in a not so nice area of town and dealt with weird neighbors including one that a bounty hunter was after. The house number was 1012 and T, being dyslexic, sent the water company to 1210 and the electric company to 1120. It's quite funny now but we were getting upset with the utility companies at the time. They kept saying the power is turned on at that address. I also remember playing a lot of games until we got our first used tv that we had to turn the channels with a pliers.

Year Two; we moved out of the duplex and into a small two bedroom house that we rented for $160 a month. Ah, those were the days. Our nephew was born and we bought a blue Toyota pick up truck.

Year Three; for some reason we bought a Pontiac Sunbird turbo. What were we thinking? It had one problem after another and we didn't own it long. We also found out during this year that we were expecting R.

Year Four; we bought our first house and spent a lot of time at the lake with dad's boat. I changed jobs because the day care that I was working at closed up and I went to another day care. I worked up until two days before R was born. I remember putting up the Christmas tree that year while she was taking a nap and the look on her 4 month old face when she saw it. Precious.

Year Five; R was sick a lot, probably because I was still working at the day care and she went with me. She was a good baby anyway.

Year Six; R had tubes put in her ears and I quit working at day care. I got pregnant with A and had blood clots and spent time in the hospital. I learned to give myself shots and A was born a couple months before our 7th anniversary.

Year Seven; A was a beautiful brown-eyed baby whose thick dark baby hair fell out and came back in blond. She was a sweet baby most of the time. R was a precocious three year old. She loved to jump on her bed and I let her because I thought it was funny. I started working three days a week at the day care again and A was sick all the time now.

Year Eight; we sold our house in town and moved into a brand new double wide in the country. We both feel like the years in the double wide were some of our best. We had more discretionary money at that time and we liked the age that our kids were at. I stopped working at the day care and started keeping the baby of a friend of mine. R started taking dance classes and her love for all things Lion King began.

Year Nine; R started kindergarten and A got potty trained so that she could take dance classes too. I told her that I couldn't afford diapers and dance class and she went home and put panties on and that was that. Because I was still keeping my friend's baby A developed a few middle child tendencies. We also took our first trip with the girls to Haiti that year. A was only 2.75 and R was 5. They did fine but we knew we had to stop A's habits of eating off the floor before we went.

Year Ten; the thing I remember most about our 10th anniversary is that I had written a song and sang it at the Bluebird on an open mic night. T wasn't even in town as he was traveling quite a bit on business.

Year Eleven; J was born but we knew nothing about him until several years later. The girls and I took a trip to Haiti with our friend J. M. My cat of 10 1/2 years died while T was on a trip. About a month after a phone conversation with A where she asked T when he was going to come visit us at our house, he got a job where he didn't have to travel.

Year Twelve; A started kindergarten and I stopped keeping my friend's child. During this year I started playing guitar and singing on the praise team at church.

Year Thirteen; we were just enjoying life this year. I was working for friend J. M. making puppets. T and I went to the Bahamas with friends M and D. Loved it!

Year Fourteen; I remember all the hype about Y2K and that it was nothing. That's about all I really remember from this year. Oh wait. We made another trip to Haiti with all four of us, friend J. M., and friend R. C. There's an Immodium AD story that goes with that trip.

Year Fifteen; this year we finally succumbed and bought a mini van. I never wanted one but I loved it so much. This is the one that A ended up calling it "Herbie" because of all it's quirks. But the first trip we took in it was awesome. We went camping with my parents near Gatlinburg and stayed with them in their camper.

Year Sixteen; T changed jobs, we bought some land, sold the double wide and started building. T lost his job just before Christmas that year and we just kept working on the house. We did a lot of the work by ourselves and were thinking that we were working so hard on a house that we wouldn't even be able to keep. Those were hard times but God provided.

Year Seventeen; T got a job, changed jobs and lost the job again, just before Christmas. Two years in a row. This time we knew we could make it and we made a lot of gifts that year. The girls look back at that Christmas as one of their favorites. In Jan. T got a job teaching diversified technology at a high school. The dyslexic, teaching school. His teachers would have flipped out if they'd known he was teaching school. I love it.

Year Eighteen; T got his current job but the thing I remember most from this year was making a trip to WI for Christmas. It was fine while we were there but coming home southern IL and all of KY had a HUGE snow. We struggled through it on horrible roads and then just north of the TN border we came to a standstill. TN was covered in ice. Apparently two semis were trying to get up a hill side by side and they both got stuck. It was about 9 or 10 at night and people started falling asleep while waiting. The girls got down in their sleeping bags and went to sleep, one on each bench seat of the van and T and I had our coats on and their coats on our legs. Neither one of us slept at all. We spent 5 hours like that and vowed never to go to WI in the winter again. We had left from his cousin's house and a trip that should have taken about 6 hours took 15+. When we finally got moving again the road was like a washboard.

Year Nineteen; this was the year that we decided to adopt. Just before Christmas we got matched with J. We got the dossier ready and started THE WAIT.

Year Twenty; R and I along with our friend J. M. made a trip to Haiti and met J in person for the first time. Lots of waiting during this year.

Year Twenty-one; A started high school. Zoiks! The adoption was finalized, T and I made a trip to Haiti and spent Father's Day with J at T's parents. How cool was that? All we had to do was clear MOI, get a passport and a visa. Yeah, right. Our file was eventually declared lost and we began the year long "reconstitution" of the file. Sigh...

Year Twenty-two; R graduated from high school and started college. I spent a month in Haiti with J. Things were difficult here when I got home for several different reasons. J finally came home, R got engaged, JT went to boot camp, R and JT got married just after Christmas (lots of things seem to happen at Christmas, hmm) and that brings us to the present. We're still struggling with some things but the Bible says we are not to be surprised at the trials that we are suffering. We're working on some things and looking forward to see what this year brings.

Thanks for coming along for the look back at time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lost in translation

J is really working on his grasp of the English language. He spoke some "Crenglish" this morning when he said something was stuck in his "goj". This evening he said, "Dat man is just make sureing." Make sureing=making sure. He's trying.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Because I'm the mom

J will probably be mad some day when he can read and figures out that I posted this, but he can't read yet so here's the story.

I heard through a round about way on Thursday afternoon that J had gotten into some trouble at school on Wed. He was told that he needed to improve his behavior and there was a good report on Thursday.

On Friday morning on the way to school I asked J if he'd been good this week at school. He said, "Hmm, I was good yesterday." I asked him what about the rest of the week, what if I called the teachers, what would they say? He asked who I was going to call. I named his teachers and he said he was mad at another kid in the class. I told him I wasn't talking about that child I was talking about him. He hee-hawed around for a while because he didn't want to incriminate himself but he didn't want to lie either. I finally said I wanted him to be good and I wanted to hear good reports.

We talked about some other things and then as he was getting out of the car I reminded him that I wanted to hear a good report today. He said, "How did you know?" and since he had never admitted that he'd behaved badly I asked, "Know what?" He stumbled for an answer to still keep himself from admitting that he'd done anything wrong and came up with, "Umm, uhh, dat I need to get a good report." I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Because I'm the mom." His eyes got huge and he just stared at me for a few seconds before he waved good-bye and turned and walked into the school. Bwahaahaaa.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday already?

One of J's favorite things to do is eat. Eat and watch tv. And chew gum. Those are the great loves of his life. He loves to go get chicken with dad. It's a thing they do. Well, I had a meeting right after work so T picked J up and they went and got chicken (greasy fried chicken that I can hardly stand-they love it) and brought it home to share with A. J ate two pieces of chicken, his own rice and part of T's. We will have to take out a loan to feed him when he's 15. Zoiks!

The lady who picks him up when I'm working called me to tell me that J was offering her boys a snack of "banana crackers". She laughed and asked him what he was talking about. He showed her his baggie and she said, "Do you mean vanilla wafers?" He said, "Whatever." Banana crackers=vanilla wafers. Who knew?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Say what?

J is still cracking us up with the things he says. The other day on the way to school I nearly hit a bird. I told J about Aunt D hitting a bird with the antenna on her car and it died. He thought for a minute and then said, "Aunt D didn't weally kill dat bird." I asked him what he meant and he said, "If de bird is going to fly in de woad, he need to fly higher." Duh.

This evening the friend who picks J up on Mondays and Thursdays called and said that J was watching something on the Disney channel (which we don't have much to J's disappoinment) and two teens (guy and girl) were sitting in a car and singing and J mentioned to her that they were in love. She told him they were just good friends but he insisted again that they were in love. She asked him how he knew and he said, "I can see it in deir eyes." Of course.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I read on another blog that JSCIS wanted people to blog about their adoptions today. I don't know why. This whole blog has been a lot about our adoption story. You can click on the labels of "adoption", "adoption (or lack thereof)" or "or lack of adoption" to read all about it. Here it is in a nutshell; we made the decision to adopt in August of '05 and began the homestudy and dossier prep in Sept. of '05. We also contacted a few orphanages and printed out pics of a few boys. In Oct. '05 we were matched with J but birthmom was saying no at first. Just before Christmas '05 she said yes. We slowly muddled through the Haitian process and by April of '07 J had our last name in an adoption decree. All we had to do was go through the Ministry of Interior and get a passport and visa. Yeah, right. In April of '08 it was determined that our file was lost (along with 3 others) and we began the process of "reconstituting" the file. By the time our file entered MOI again in early Jan. '09 I had decided to spend the month in Haiti with J at T's parents. His mom had pneumonia and back to back teams so we helped out some with that. Hardest thing I've ever done and I'm so glad I did it. I still sometimes work off that base I established with him during that time. They added to the MOI process while I was there and we didn't get the passport until July of '09. We got a visa appointment in August and came into the states on Aug. 29th and home on the 30th. And here we are, 7 1/2 months later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wed. eve

Nephew is doing well. Thanks for praying.

J is still enjoying TCAP week.

The weather has been great so far this week. We could actually use a little rain, but I'm not complaining.

I finished my paper for my class. I got a 100, giving me a 99.6 as a final grade. Zoiks!

I can wear my contacts tomorrow. I dropped bleach in my eye the other morning. Thankfully it was diluted somewhat. As soon as it hit my eye I thought, that's going to burn. 1 second later I said, yup, that burns. I flushed my eye a couple times and called the eye doc. They said to flush it a few more times throughout the day and don't wear contacts for a few days. Sigh...I'm tired of pushing glasses back up on my nose.

Took a look tonight at the calendar and map for the WI (or "Mishsc-scon-scin as J says) trip in July. It's more than just a "relly run" as my brother calls the trips where you run up north to see the relatives. We're camping and going up into Door county sightseeing. Should be fun.

That's all for now.

Mid-week stuff

It's already Wed. Wow. We got about 2/3rds of the garden planted last night. J was really into planting a garden. Eating veggies? Not so much, but he really wanted to plant things. I picked up some flowers yesterday too so I may work on them with him after school.

Please remember my nephew in your prayers today. He's having surgery to remove a build up of scar tissue from the last kidney re-plumbing surgery.

It's TCAP (standardized testing) week at school. We weren't sure how J would do but he came home yesterday saying that he loves TCAP week and that TCAP week is awesome. I wonder what he'll think of it next year. For this year his ESL teacher is reading the tests to him and he does what he can. The rest of the time he gets to play games and watch movies. At school. What's not to like? I am not a fan of standardized testing but I am very interested to know how he scores on them.

I've had a few people ask me what I think of the lady who pinned a note on her kid and sent him back to Russia. It's a sad situation all the way around. Was she prepared to parent a possibly RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) child? Did she even know that it could be a possibility? Honestly, we didn't know about RAD when we started the adoption process. Someone asked me how a child could "be that bad" and I said it's very possible for a RAD child to be "that bad". They are so broken and scared that they just don't know what to do with these feelings. They lie, scream, kick, bite, spit, rape, pee in inappropriate places, break things, threaten murder, etc. All those things at any age including at 7 years old (or younger). The counselors for these types of things are few and far between and have looooonnnnngggg waiting lists and it costs lots of money to get this kind of help. I honestly don't know that much about this particular situation so I don't know if she sought help or if she sought disruption here. To put a child on an airplane with a note pinned to him was wrong. What about the airline? Is it common practice to let 7 year olds on international flights by themselves? I don't know the answer to that.

All this to say, it's a sad situation no matter how you look at it. Parenting an older adopted child is not easy, and it's not at all like parenting a bio child. We feel very blessed that J seems to be able to attach, he has a conscience, he can maintain eye contact, he shows empathy. He's only been home for 7 months and Lord only knows what we'll go through in the future but we feel blessed right now that our biggest issues with him seem to be fear (which encompasses every part of his life including bedtime, showers, being alone, etc.), bed wetting and acting immature. Plus he's obsessive about time. Really obsessive about time. If those are the biggest problems we ever have with him, thank you, Jesus.

Please pray for our friends who are in S. Korea picking up their son. Their blog is linked on the right under "Blogs I read". They are the Brown's that we know from our adoption support group.

Lost in translation; J still continues using he, she, him and her interchangeably although not as often as he used to. "Did" still works for "do" ie; What did I did? or What she did? Broke instead of break, I didn't broke it. "Th" still always comes out as "d" or "t" or occasionally "f". Like "dey" instead of they, "tree" instead of three, "toof" instead of tooth and "tird" instead of "third" (which still cracks us up). Yesterday evening he informed us that he made champagne. Wow, that's impressive considering we've never had champagne in the house and there is no alcohol in the house. T told him that he was pretty sure that J was using the wrong word and that he didn't need to tell people we were giving him champagne (or making it for that matter) or someone might get the wrong idea. J insisted that he had made champagne so we told him to continue his story on how he made it so we could try to figure out the real word he was going for. He used ice and yogurt to make his champagne. I asked him if he meant milkshake and he said, "Yeah, milkshake. Dat what I mean." Champagne=milkshake. Who knew?

Monday, April 12, 2010


J lost another tooth tonight. It was one of his molars. That makes 5 teeth lost since he's been home. Since we don't do the tooth fairy T "bought" it from him and now he's trying to knock another tooth out. He keeps referring to it as "I broke my toof" instead of "I lost my tooth". Funny.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Fear" update

We know that J is afraid of the dark and we keep a set of LED Christmas lights around his window because a regular night light just isn't enough light. He needs the industrial sized night light. We also have a bedside lamp on a timer so he can fall asleep with it on and then it turns off by itself. The other night those two things were just not cutting it for some reason.

Last night when it was time for bed J came to me with his "I need some help but I'm not sure you're going to let me do this but I can't do it myself smile" and request. He wanted me to help him hang a heavy flannel sheet over his windows. Uh, no. I pointed out the fact that he had blinds on his windows (not to mention the fact that he's been sleeping in this particular room with these particular windows since his sister moved to CO over 2 months ago and it had never been an issue). He said that they "have a hole" and proceeded to show me what he perceived to be a hole. I then pointed out that the "hole" was actually the bronze colored framing in between the double windows. Two windows, two blinds, a peek of bronze framing between those blinds. No scary, dark outside showing at all. I tapped on it. He looked surprised and touched it with his finger. I asked if that was what all his fear was based on the night before. He ran his finger all the way up and all the way down the framing with a look of awe and a little embarrassment on his face. I asked again about the fear and got a sheepish grin for an answer. I pointed out that most of his fear is manufactured in his mind. Problem solved.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Irrational fear

J had a rough night, which means that the rest of us had a rough night. Sigh...he gets into these times of irrational fear. You can talk to him, pray with him, recite Scripture with him and most of the times all that works but there are those times when nothing works. He has these crazy fears that you cannot speak to. He hangs on to them. I guess they were part of his life for so long that he just can't let them go. When he got up and got dressed this morning the only thing he could tell me was that he was afraid of the window in his room because it had a "dark spot". Hello?? When it's dark outside there are dark spots on the window. In fact, if you look out the window it's all dark. Sigh...we're working on it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A few pics

Ok, here is J with his picture that he drew and colored of a castle.
We did color eggs this year. They had faces, were drawn upside down and dipped in red to show all the blood rushing to it's head, dipped in green with it's hand drawn over it's mouth (those were A's and mine) and dipped in every color to see what would happen (J's-it turned out brownish), tie-dyed with rubber bands, multi-colored, etc. No, we're not the average egg dye-ers, lol.

But, when the table was set (by J-didn't he do a nice job?) and the eggs arranged on a dish and with some grass, wasn't it pretty?

I have to get to work so that's all for now.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!

On the schedule calendar at work someone wrote, Happy Easter. And then someone wrote, He is risen. Then I added, He is risen indeed! Then someone added, AMEN!! I'm so glad I get to work at a place like that.

We went to a church service last night and one this morning. J was not so good last night but he was good this morning. We went to my brother's house for dessert last night and had my parents and a friend over after church today. I've never done a ham before but it turned out pretty well. All we did was, T skinned it and we put it in a large roasting pan and poured Dr. Pepper over it and baked it while we were at church. So good. Who knew?

We played a few games of Skip-bo, took and walk and called R. J likes to ride his bike while we walk. He's been getting more and more wild on it and he wiped out right away but not bad at all. Coming back he wiped out and caught a handle bar in the gut. Poor kid. He cried for a while and then got up and walked the bike back. I wonder how long before he'll ride it again.

We colored eggs the other day. I'll post pics when I can.

Hope you had a great Easter/Resurrection Sunday.