Sunday, June 27

I want to always appreciate this.

We are on vacation at the beach, and it is lovely.

Last night, as we played on the beach as the sun went down, I looked out over the waves and watched the two year old splash around with her sister and her grandparents. I reflected on her year and a half with us.

At the same time, I glanced the five year old splashing in the waves and going out just far enough for daddy to have to real him back in.

The seven year old was busy chasing crabs with her cousin, flashlights in hand. (They saw none. :)

Two years ago, at the same beach, it was honestly not such a great time. Will couldn't tolerate the heat, wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep, and was generally miserable. He had just started on something called carnitine - an important amino acid that he was bottomed out in, and we hadn't gotten the dosage quite right. He was crashing during our vacation. My sweet boy laid on the floor and stared at the ceiling a lot of the vacation, mostly unresponsive. We wondered if we'd ever have a decent vacation again.

Last night I watched as ALL 3 of my children enjoyed the beach. Played like kids should. It was a feeling that I want to remember forever.

I don't ever want to stop appreciating where we are or the blessings we've been given. It would be easy to fall into a trap of dwelling on all that Will can't do, but instead, I try to dwell on all that he CAN do. It makes a big difference.

Wednesday, June 23

that special mom guilt

picture from Wikipedia

Last night I walked in from a meeting at church to find my seven year old holding a very bloody paper towel.

"I've lost another tooth!" she says.

We celebrate, and before bed, we realize that the tooth is lost. Daddy and I reassure her that we will write a personal note to the tooth fairy and all will be fine.

We fall asleep after talking about Will's potty training and filling out an adoption grant for Eli. Morning comes, and I'm awakened by the sound of my seven year old sobbing.

The tooth fairy didn't come. Mom and dad forgot the note to the tooth fairy. She recovers shortly after, when she realizes that she can write a note herself. Mom doesn't recover so many times in her life is she going to feel like she isn't getting enough of our attention, especially when we have to give so much to the others? People make mistakes, she will learn, and although my head realizes that we're doing the best we can, my heart isn't getting the message.

I still feel guilty, in the special way that only moms can. Can anyone else relate to this?

Off to help write a letter so that the tooth fairy doesn't bypass us AGAIN.

Wednesday, June 16

How about some new pictures??

I'm working on several new posts about things that have gone on in our house lately, but for now, how about some new pictures of my cutie pie in China?

He's at a wonderful foster care center, as you can see. These pictures were taken on a recent outing. The foster care center is run primarily through donations, and we couldn't be more grateful to the people who find it in their hearts to do so. Orphanage life is dismal at best, but this foster care center for kids with special needs is amazing.

With all of this comes the realization that Eli may have a very hard time transitioning to his new family because clearly, he has developed strong attachments to his caregivers as well as the other children in the center. However, I'm grateful for this because it is important for his development. We can help him transition to our family, but we can not make up for a lack of attachment early on in life. We just know to expect some grieving and give him time to do so.

If you'd like to read more about the center, click here. Bringing Hope to Children is run by the agency we adopted Norah through: IAAP.

Friday, June 11

millions of orphans

There are three little boys at the foster care center who are in the process of being adopted. One of those boys is actually being adopted by a family who lives close to us and has many children with special needs. One of their oldest kids put together a brilliant video for his senior project at the local university.

Check it out. Might want to grab the kleenex before you do, however.

Hope is Fading from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 1

lessons along the way

I have a sweet online friend who I once heard compare having a child with special needs to seeing the Wizard of Oz in full color as opposed to black and white.

Trust me. Not all days are colorful in this house. Not even close.

But for the most part, when I can stop and think, I appreciate the little things brought about only by having Will in my life. One of these happens to be the loss of thinking I can do everything on my own. This is a tough one for me. In fact, if I had my way, I'd control it all. Wouldn't most moms? Don't we relish control?

Just recently, I met a woman named Dynette. Dynette runs a really awesome non-profit called Building Blocks for Kids. BB4K (as it is often referred to) raises money to pay for things for kids with special needs that might not otherwise be met by traditional funding.

Several months ago, it was suggested to me that I might fill out an application for BB4K to see if they could help us pay for Will's out-of-pocket speech therapy. A little over a month ago, we received word that they had already raised enough money to pay for 6 MONTHS of therapy. The picture above shows us with Dynette and a golfer who is a part of an association that raised nearly $3,000 for Will's therapy.

$3,000 because they saw a need and a cute little face in a photograph and decided to help.

Because of them, we can continue Will's therapy as well as make the possibility of bringing another child with special needs into our home a reality. Tonight, as I look at this picture, I am once again humbled and grateful.