Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Super Why!

Are any of your kids Super Why! fans? Ella loves this show and I have to say it is one of my favorites out of the shows they watch. It teaches letters and sounds and word forming in a fun superhero type of way. It also includes many of the classic children's stories...3 Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, etc.

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Ella is one of those kids that loves the interactive shows and she is always up on her feet doing just as they tell the kids to do. Every time we have Super Why! on, she comes running to me with a blanket to make a cape so she can be a Super Why! super girl!




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Last week-end we went to a Chinese Festival that was hosted by the Chinese students at a local University. This group of students are very active with our FCC group, also. They even prepare a class called Little Dumplings for our little ones from China. They hold this class 4 times a year and it includes a lesson and a craft and activity...all pertaining to Chinese culture. They do all of this on a volunteer basis and I think it is wonderful. They seem to really enjoy the interaction with the little children, too! I wasn't able to get too many pictures from the festival, but below are some of the girls playing with their flags and having fun with their friends while we were there.
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Of course my spicy one has to step it up a bit....flag fencing anyone??
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I hope you are all well. We have just been super busy lately, so my computer time is very limited. Ella is really loving her pre-school now! She is excited to go in the morning and is full of stories about her day when she comes home! She is sick this week, so did not go to school this morning.

My Chelsea has been trying to recover from a broken heart. It has broken my heart watching her go through this. Please say a prayer for her heart to recover soon...it has been at least 2 weeks and she is still very, very sad. She reads our blog.....is the only one in our house that reads our blog......so, if you all would not mind leaving her some words of encouragement, I would so appreciate it. We have all been there.....it is a horrible feeling.....but it will pass. He has a plan....we just have to have faith in that.


Blessings,

 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Would You Join Me?


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I read this post the other day and it really just touched my heart. There is a reason that we love the China adoption yahoo groups and there is a reason that we love to follow along with our friends blogs and make so many new friends along the way. Connection. Some people are fortunate to have neighbors or family who have adopted from the same country as you have, but many do not. Who else understands better than other parents that are in the same situation as you? Remember when you started the adoption process and tried sharing the excitement or the frustrations with people you are closest to? As well meaning as these people may be...they kind of give you a look like you are a bit crazy. So we connect and we make friends with other adoptive parents and we are blessed by these friendships...oh, how we are blessed!

The same holds true for our children who were born in a country so far away and are now with their forever families. Our children share a very special connection. When we left China after both of our adoption trips, I felt a sense of sadness and I have heard many people speak of this same feeling. There is such excitement with bringing your child home and the anticipation of the wonderful future they will now have, but there is a sense of sadness in taking them from their birth country....losing a bit of their connection.

Now they are blessed with new connections, but I know most of us want to assure they still have the important connections with their China brothers and sisters.

Ronda's Ella is such a sweet little girl and I am sure her heart would be so happy to hear from some of her China brothers and sisters living here in the U.S. or any other countries!!

I am going to send a little something to her from my Ella and Sophie and I would love for others to join me. You can send a card or a picture your child has made or a children's book....anything you would like to send. I think it would be so nice if we could include a photo of our children and where they were born and where they live now.

Let's shower her with some fun mail and love from her friends!!!

Please e-mail me at hispurpose@rcn.com for her address.



Blessings,

 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Diamond in the Rough

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The human brain is quite an amazing thing. Sophie remains to be in her hyper-vigilant, disocciating, fight or flight mode a good majority of time. Kind of coming in and out of that mode all day long every day...depending on what(or who) is going on around her.
Now, she will be 4 years old in just a few months. Every time we have an appointment somewhere...we get the questions about whether she knows how to do this, that, and the next thing...which are all typical of kids her age. My answers are most often, "no".....and "I am not worried about it either as she needs to heal emotionally before her ABC's or 123's make a difference". She had a check-up with the pediatrician a week ago and again we were asked if she could draw a circle and if she knew some colors and if she knows the difference between he/she. These were 3 year old goals and she is almost 4. All "no"'s.
Our pediatrician(also an adoptive Mom) had to inform me that the reasons they have these very basic milestones is to know whether there are some neurological issues going on that need to be addressed. Well, yes...there are...but not in the same way that a child who has not PI(post institutionalized). I told her that I see down under...that one day when she is healed from her traumas...one day...she will be just fine. I see the light under the issues. But the healing has to come first. She...in all of her wisdom and experience...agreed.

We spend lots of time with her on colors as that is usually one of the first and easiest things to teach a child. A year later and still...nada zilch. Would you know...one day last week...she was able to name 4 out of 5 colors I asked her! She could not name one last week and then boom.

We do not let her use scissors yet because of some of her destructive behaviors....well, you will notice(in the picture above) that the bangs that I have been growing out over the last year...are gone. They were the same length as the rest of her hair and she chopped off a good 5 inches the other day while I was at work. My family tried to cheer me up by saying that she cut them quite straight seeing as she does not use scissors....and she did. But that did not help cheer me up...I was most unhappy about that. Any of you that have grown out bangs know what a hassle that is and now we are back to square one!

She only wants to scribble when she has crayons...which is daily. She sits next to Ella every day and watches her draw pictures of all sorts of things. She just scribbles. Ella knows her alphabet and writes all of her letters and is trying to sound out words. Sophie has NO interest in any of that...and that is fine. She scribbles away and we let her. I think it is actually a soothing type of activity for her.

Well, this morning we had Chinese class and the kids learned words about family. They were then asked to draw a picture of their family. Ella starts out drawing her very detailed people and I see Sophie look over at Ella's picture once or twice. I then hear one of the Mom's say..."look at how Sophie is drawing people..can you do that?" I thought...what in the world? I walk over to see the picture you will see below. WHERE did that come from? LOL!!!

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So, things are getting through...there is a light underneath the issues and one day...the diamond will shine!!!

Oh, and please do not take this as I am worried about her not reaching these milestones...I truly am not....at all. I know the healing is way more important and that is where our focus is.

It is a BEAUTIFUL day here today on the East Coast! Hope your week-end is a good one!!!


Blessings,

 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moon Festival


This past week-end was the Chinese Moon Festival over in China! Our local FCC always celebrates this Chinese Holiday.


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The girls made fans.......

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and paper lanterns ...along with lots of other fun crafts!
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The weather was calling for rain...but we were fortunate that the sun was out and we were able to play outdoor games!
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As always...lots of yummy food with friends. This is the L family...they are very dear friends of ours...we are truly blessed to have them as friends!!
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Of course...we could not celebrate a Chinese Holiday without a ribbon dance...
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I had to share these...we started out trying to get Ella and Sophie to pose with their sweet friend M. As always...the posed pictures were alright........
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but the silly ones that happened while trying to get their picture...were the best!
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We are thankful to have an active FCC to celebrate these occasions with...there is something very special about having so many of our children who were all born so very far away..gather together for a local celebration! There were 70 some kids and then their families...that is a lot of people!

It can be a bit overwhelming for some kids, though as the picture below will speak for itself. Sophie kept telling me it was too much and plugging her ears. She had a small meltdown while I was a few feet away from her getting her food...she could see me next to her, but the meltdown started when I came over to pull a wad of tape out of her mouth. That wasn't the reason...the reason is it was just too overstimulating for her. A man who did not know why she was carrying on that way...bent over and tried to talk/help her. Well...that was it....I heard her shrieking "NOOOO! GO AWAY!!! I TALK TO MOMMY!!!" The look on the man's face was kind of startled. I guess she will never be crowned a "social butterfly". lol! The end of the night when they were doing the ribbon dance...I found her attacking the sweet Chinese lady who was leading the dance...with her ribbon stick. Okay...good time to get going. : )
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Check out how this family celebrated the Chinese Moon Festival. I love it! As fun as the large celebrations are.....I think the actual meaning gets lost with the little ones with all of the action. I am thinking that maybe next year.....we will celebrate on a quieter note in our home as this family did as well as the large FCC celebration!



Blessings,

 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Our Fall Line-Up

So, there used to be a time...back in the day...that my fall lineup referred to the new season of TV shows that I was looking forward to watching. lol! Currently, I watch no TV...have no time for it, but something tells me that I am not missing much! I refer to our new classes and school now as our Fall Lineup!


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Ella started her first day of pre-school this week. She will be going two times a week. She has a November birthday...so will always miss the cut offs with school by just a bit...but I am actually happy about that. It gives her (and me!) more time.

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I had her in a one day a week 2 year old program last year. I basically put her in it because her best friend was going and I thought it would give her something to look forward to. She loved it at first and then when the fire evacuation-pup incident occurred, she did not want to go. I did not push it, because it was certainly not necessary and was meant to be fun. She stopped attending that back in March.

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I was not sure how she would react to school this year...but so far, so good! She is a little nervous at drop off....I think because it is something new. She is used to(doesn't like it) but used to separating from me with other classes/activities we did last year and because I work outside the home. She woke up happy this morning about going. yay!


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I have signed both of the girls up for dance. Sophie is a good year away from being ready for something like this....but I wanted to try and do something that might make her feel special. If I signed her up next year, that would mean the girls would be in separate classes and that would mean waaay too much work for Mom come recital time. She has huge issues with balance and coordination...so maybe this will help. The first class was really cute. Ella was soooo excited about. She ran to the car to go! She was very into the whole class...very attentive and carefully following along. Sophie was attentive to the class for about 50% of the time. The other 50%, she was in her own world. She still disocciates big time when we are away from home and this class will be no exception...but I will let the teacher deal with this. We'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

They also go to Chinese class on Saturday mornings....I stay for that class as I need to be able to learn what they are learning, so I can help with the homework! It is a really cute class. There are 12 kids...3 and 4 years old. Half are adoptive families and half are Chinese heritage families.

Sunday School started last week and I am one of the teachers in their class, so no worries about that class!

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Sophie was in the Early Intervention program last year. She had pre-school 2 days a week. This year, we felt would be best spent at home with me dealing with the emotional needs. I primarily wanted the EI for her sensory issues, because insurance does not cover OT for that. I found that the EI...even though they say they work with sensory issues...do not come close to working with her in the way she needs. So, we felt it best for her to stay home this year and I am happy with that decision.

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Ryan started High School this year and so far so good with that, too! This is his third week and I have not gotten any teacher calls yet. : 0
The last 2 years in MS, I received several call from his teachers that always started like this, "Ryan is a really good kid, I really like him, BUT......." I often hear from them that they expect more from Ryan in class(behavior wise) because all of the other kids look up to him. I never really thought that was quite right as he had enough problem keeping himself in check! HS is a new element....so I think we will be okay this year.

Chelsea is home with us this semester and taking classes at the Community College. So, we are enjoying our time with her until she returns to her college for the next semester.


Blessings,
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Monday, September 8, 2008

Need a Smile??

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There is no way......


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No matter how hard you try....
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That you can look at all of these smiles.....
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and not smile yourself!

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Smiling IS contagious!!!!
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Ella picked this dandelion for me as she often picks flowers she finds. On the way home from the park, she asked me why it was closing up. I had to explain that flowers can not live very long once they have been picked from the ground.
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As soon as we pulled up, she jumped out of the van and replanted it....I just didn't have the heart to tell her....it will not make a difference. Maybe when she is 5? : )
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