Friday, July 31, 2009

the results are in...

I just got E.'s evaluation results in the mail today.  I am a bit confused about whether or not he will qualify for developmental preschool.  Here's what it says, in a nutshell:
Peabody Development Motor Skills score: gross motor 19th percentile, Z score -.87, fine motor 35 percentile, Z score -.40, total 23rd percentile, -.73.  Any interpretation of this would be helpful!  Also, they said the questionnaire I filled out demonstrated  sensory seeking, poor registration and sensory sensitivity. They recommend he return for ongoing OT therapy to address his tactile, proprioceptive and auditory vestipular needs.  

It's all greek to me.  I need to call my mom, she's a pro. with these types of things.  I'm reading several good books about this topic.  Hope to be well read on this soon.

THANK GOD for Grandparents.  E. and C. are at Gramma and Grampa's house for the night, or two depending on how well they do.  It's E.'s first night away. Please pray that he does well. Meanwhile, enjoying my break, with just 3 kids at home!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heat Wave

We are so thankful that friends gave us this above ground pool last year! While it took a few repairs and seemed like a pain, it's been getting a lot of use this summer. We've had record breaking hot weather the last few days. The worst part is because we live where it is typically mild, there are not many air conditioning units in buildings and homes.  We went to the doctor today and it was so nice to be inside a cool medical building!!!  


Me and my sister

Walking this adoption road can be so lonely, as said before in a previous post.  I just experienced this feeling yesterday. Not included, left out and lonely.  Friendship to me is so important, but I am realizing more how different friends can be.  There are some who are there for you through anything, helping, praying, loving and caring.  There are some who are there to have fun and hang out occasionally.  Surface friends who are there to chat with and are always smiling; don't really know a lot about you but are good to occasionally visit. There are friends who are friends because of our children.  There are friends who only give a call when they need something.  Friends who you can call when you need a favor.  There are friends who used to be friends and who've moved on.  And friends who have made new friends. Friends who have a lot in common, and friends who you wonder why?  Friends who are busy, and friends who take lots of time.  
I am sooo blessed to have found a few true friends in my life.  

"A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." - Proverbs 27:19 

"Best friends are like diamonds, precious and rare
False friends are like leaves, found everywhere."
- Anonymous

Ecclesiastes 4

9 Two are better than one,  because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Last night I had dinner with two friends who have adopted and have struggled with issues with their children.  We discussed them, but along with the issues we talked about how alone we feel when things get tough.  There are a few local adoption support groups who are very selective in who they allow to join.  We are working on starting up our own group open to anyone!  I am so fortunate to have a great friend I can go to with problems, questions and funny stories.  Some people are not so blessed with adoption experienced people in their life.  When things get tough, so called friends turn their heads and look away. They don't want to see the ugly side of things or get involved.  Many do not understand or know how they can help.  All I can say to people who know a family or person struggling with a problem in their life, whether it's adoption, health problems, family situations, or financial distress is REACH OUT.  Be a blessing and ask what they need, how you can help.  Don't turn away.  Be a light!

Colossians 3:24 (New International Version)

24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My heart breaks

I was given this link by a friend about PTSD in adopted children. Thank you so much for this!  I read it and do see some things that are related to E.'s behavior.  But this paragraph stood out to me the most:

Because a human infant is totally dependent on her mother for survival, one of the most traumatic events an infant can experience is abandonment in a public place under dangerous circumstances. She will literally fear for her life. To then live in an orphanage, where care is routine at best, and neglectful and abusive at its worst, can only add to the trauma. Daniel Hughes, PhD, author of several books on attachment, calls neglect "the trauma of absence." While many assume that abuse is far more traumatic than neglect, we now know that neglect is equally harmful. We also know that the combination of abuse and neglect can be shattering to a child's psyche.

E. got very good care at COTP to the best of my knowledge. I have been there 2 times to volunteer and observe how well it was run.  I do not suspect any abuse or neglect.  BUT, the fact that E. was not placed at COTP until 7 months of age means there is a part of his infancy that I don't know about.  No one does. He was found abandoned at a hospital, starving and bloated from kwashiorkor.  He had several feeding tubes, and has a scar on his ankle where the nurses cut it open to find a vein for an IV.  I can imagine this would be very traumatic, let alone the fact that his mother had left.  In my mind, she left him out of love and fear. She knew that she could not care for him, or pay for his medical bills.  She left him in the best place she could think of, the hospital.  She loved him enough to take him there and not allow him to die in her arms at home.  

I don't know if E. has PTSD, but it is worth doing more research and looking into.  He is still holding his hands in a fist, or pinched together.  He is attached to his "guys" and takes them everywhere.  He has problems falling asleep. He has many hyperactive moments, clings to adults and seeks sensory input. These may all be signs.  I will have to talk with our doc about this and see if therapy is what he needs.  It never even occurred to me that this is what he could have. 

Monday, July 27, 2009


I am getting frustrated with E.'s sleeping habits lately.  We will do everything we can think of to get him ready for bed; snack, bath, book, brush teeth, jammies, prayer, singing, night night I love you kiss.  We will put him and S. to bed around 9.  He will be wiggling, moving and wandering around his room for several hours.  Last night he didn't go to sleep until midnight.  We go in and discipline him if he is out of bed, making loud noises or disturbing S.'s sleep.  But we usually ignore him otherwise.  In the past we have tried rubbing his back, sitting next to his bed, singing, etc.  

This morning he woke up at 7 am.  That is only 7 hours of sleep for a little guy!  He is cranky and whiny so I laid him back in bed after a potty stop and a few minutes of interaction.  After the whining started I laid him back down.  Now he has woken S., they are both in their beds.  S. is making sounds with his mouth, E. is yelling "NO!" at him.  They have been doing this a lot lately, especially in the car.  I don't know what to do.  S. is so happy and is just being silly, not too loud .  E. is just being RUDE!  He will shout "NO" over and over and over again.  For hours.  

E. won't always take a nap, but if he does it will take him 2 hours to fall asleep.  We only make him lay in bed for that long if his behavior is unbearable.  Most days by lunch time it is! What to do?  I thought about giving him a sleep aid at night, but after doing some research on melatonin and young children, decided against that. I talked briefly about his behaviors with the OT at his evaluation but she didn't offer any suggestions (still haven't heard back from her). Wishing E. could get more sleep, he is a growing boy, still small for his age (S. is 21 months younger that him and they are almost the same size).  Is it a phase?  Can I get through this?
Amount of 
Sleep Needed

of Sleep

Sleep Developmental 
(3 - 5 Years)
Total Average:
11 - 13 hours

Naps usually end by 5 years; nighttime fears may emerge
Consistent sleep/wake time and bedtime routine

Tips for Preschoolers

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
  2. Follow-through with a bedtime routine every night
  3. The child should have the same sleeping environment every night.  It should be cool, quiet and dark and without a TV
  4. Watch for difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings, chronic sleep problems, and behavioral problems during the day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


E. had his evaluation this morning.  No conclusions as of yet, waiting to hear back from the OT tomorrow.  She did say that she had no real concerns with E's fine or gross motor skills, and she was pretty impressed by the amount of English he knows.  He also has great "planning" in the way he moves his body.  She did not do too many activities which would appear to me to have anything to do with sensory processing disorder, but she did ask me a lot of questions about how E. is at home.  I also filled out a long survey about E's behaviors and SPD, which is what I will hear back about as soon as it's scored.  E. was pretty well behaved while we were there, but of course five minutes after leaving the building and getting near our car, he threw a fit and was sitting on the ground.  We stopped and got a treat and then went to play at Sarah's house for a bit. He loves his girlfriend, Bean, and today gave her a big kiss, right in the eye ball!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Project, part 1

It looks a bit crowded, but for now it's the only space I have. I moved the bookshelves around, and organized all the books. I do not need to buy any curriculum for a while! I put the little chairs and table over near the bookshelves and two tall stools for bigger people next to the bar. Notice the letters on the little phonics board? Nice, I just read what they say. Gotta love my preteens.

Have you ever heard of Time Tracker Tags? I bought these last year and they are such a great thing to help with time management. You can monitor 3 people by programing each "tag" with the amount of time needed, then the child can take it with them and be alerted when the time's up. It can count down and up. I really like it for the "do your math for 30 minutes" thing. Or, "you can play outside for an hour".
I was getting kinda excited for this school year as I was going through math flash cards, school supplies and books. I am also excited for L. to start Jr. High. I think he is really going to like it. I will be spending many hours in prayer for him in public school.

Tomorrow... E's evaluation.  I am so anxious to hear the outcome of this.  It would be nice to know if he will qualify for developmental preschool, or if he is right on track?  Is he having some sensory processing issues or is he just a funny 3 year old boy?  Hopefully soon we will have some answers from professionals. Please pray that the OT will get an accurate picture of his history, personality, and development.  I have read a lot about kids adopted from institutions having developmental problems.  Personally, I don't define COTP as an institution.  E. got a LOT of attention, love and playtime while he was there.  I do think that he could have developmental complications due to his malnourishment at such a young age.  I do know he is smart, funny and charming.  He can climb up anything, including a 10 foot metal slide/ladder (scary).  He is clever and sneaky but super sweet.  He asked S. this morning "Do you want a banana S?"  His speech is not always clear, but I understood him clearly.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Project

I was inspired by this blog to create a homeschool area for the kids this fall. While I have tried to do this in the past, the location I chose did not work well, for one reason or another. This time I am going to put a bit more thought in how I go about this. For now, here are my before pics. We don't have an extra room so we will be using our family room. Currently, the bar is utilized as a pantry. With a bit of de-cluttering and reorganizing I should be able to have a nice place for the kids to work. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Please forgive the mess...

Host Family Needed

MAT is in need of a temporary host family in the Portland, Oregon area for a 5 year old little girl coming to the US for cardiac surgery. She will probably be arriving with her mother. If you are interested in this situation please email and MAT will send you a host family application.

Wildlife Refuge

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pioneer Farm

K. in her bonnet:
E. looking cute:
K. cutting biscuits:
Grinding flour:
E.'s first horseback ride:

L. showing off his smitty skillz... they actually let the kids heat a horseshoe and shape it with tools all by themselves as long as an adult was with them.  I was scared!  Do you know how hot coal can burn?
L. in the barn:
C. by the pond:
E. getting ready to jump into a pile of hay:
Milking a real cow:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A NEW ALL YOU Magazine Giveaway!

Go to this site: $5 dinners
and leave a few comments to enter the random drawing to win!
All You is giving away a 1-year subscriptions to ALL YOU magazine to 2 lucky winners.  ALL YOU magazine is geared to the value-driven woman and sold on newsstands at Walmart stores nationwide and by subscription. ALL YOU offers practical, realistic, affordable ideas for every area of her life.  Editorial covers a range of topics from budget-friendly recipes to affordable fashion for every body type to decorating ideas for under $100.  In every issue, on every page, ALL YOU makes real women feel great about their lives and themselves, just the way they are.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Haircuts and Glasses and more

K. got glasses! We had no idea her eyesight was as bad as it is. She told me last month she thinks she can see better out of one eye then the other. Sure enough, she is far sided and needs glasses. The doctor was surprised she hadn't come in sooner (she's six) but she passed her screening tests. She will take a while to get used to the glasses and the doctor even mentioned the possibility of patching for a bit. Poor girl. The excitement of something new hasn't worn off yet though, so we hope she will always stay this positive! E. got a haircut yesterday, due to crying fits when someone tries to comb his curls.  It is so much easier to care for now!  He looks so handsome. 

E. is doing good.  He is scheduled for his evaluation by the Children's Neurodevelopmental Center next Thursday.  I can't wait to see how he does.  We are still learning so much about him, and he surprises us every day.  His English is improving and his personality is emerging.  

He is attached to two silly little toys lately.  We call them his "guys".  He carries them around everywhere and I find that it is better than his fist clenching he was doing.  It seems to calm him and make him happy to have his "guys" with him.
We are going on a "camping" trip this weekend.  My sister lives about 3 hours south of us and has horses.  She is letting us set up camp on her farm for 3 nights.  We should have good weather and the kids will have lots of fun.  We are also planning on going to some fun places near her.  A bridesmaid dress shopping trip is also in the works.  Should I get a dress that fits me now and then have it altered, or buy one that is a few sizes too small?  Her wedding is in November.

Also, please read below for the newest on my fundraiser for Real Hope for Haiti.  I still just have one pledge and I really want to earn a lot for the people in Haiti.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A bit discouraged, but still working hard

I am a bit frustrated. I have only one pledge so far (thanks Traci!) for my fundraising attempts. I need your help! If you can't make a financial contribution, please spread the word, or link my blog to yours.  Every bit counts... I have a goal of raising at least $2000.

If you are not familiar with Real Hope for Haiti, it is a wonderful organization!  I have met Lori in Port au Prince and have worked with her and Licia for a couple years now.  Their faithfulness and passion for the Haitian people is amazing.  Here is a bit of info about RHFH from their website:

Real Hope For Haiti (RHFH) is an evangelical non-profit organization that is committed to faithfully proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the Haitian people. The Bible speaks of a hope that does not fail.

In Romans 5:5 Paul writes, "And this hopedoes not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us." 

RHFH is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Haitians and meet their physical needs, but RHFH also understand that these efforts do not offer a hope that extends beyond the difficulties of this life. We pray with and for the patients in the clinic and the children in the Rescue Center that God's love might be shed abroad in their hearts. That they may be filled with a hope that comes from above.  Please join with us in this prayer. 

Centre Sante de la Grace du Bon Samaritain, Cazale ("Grace of the Good Samaritan Health Center") is a medical facility established under the direction and funding of Real Hope For Haiti, Inc. As a faith based medical center serving the population of Cazale, Haiti and the surrounding rural mountain villages, we will strive to meet the medical, economic, and spiritual needs of all persons that we serve with compassion, excellence, and hope in the Name and to the Glory of Jesus Christ. 

The Rescue Center

Zach, Gretchen, Lori and Licia began taking children into there home in Jan of 1999. They started with a child that was severely burned on her stomach and leg. The dream of the Rescue Center was started and it has only grown from there. They cared for up to 10 children in their home before permanently moving to Cazale in May 2002. The Center has grown to care for an average of 50 to 60 children and 4 to 6 adults at any given time. 

RHFH is very involved in community projects, helping replant vegetation, rebuilding homes damaged by flooding, etc.  

Your donation is tax deductible and if you use the funds are sent DIRECTLY to RHFH.   

If you want to follow my weight loss efforts more closely, I started a blog to journal my journey.  You'll find it here: a journal of transformation

Thanks so much for your help!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A great saying...

I had someone tell me this today:
The best way to get something done is to ask someone who is busy.
So true.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My favorite new book

I just got this book from Amazon today.  I had goosebumps as I read it aloud to the kids.  It is called I Wished for You, an adoption story, by Marianne Richmond.  It is about a little bear named Barley, and his mama.  They talk about how they became a family.  Barley asks Mama the kinds of questions many adoptive children have, and Mama lovingly answers them.  It's a story that affirms how love is truly what makes a family.  So sweet.  

The Zoo

We went to the zoo yesterday with Aunt, Uncle, and cousins.  It was nice and the kids had a lot of fun.  I think they liked visiting with their cousins the very best.  Too bad they live SOOO far away.  Looking forward to seeing them again in a few years, but praying it's sooner.

Bob the Builder in French

For sale or donation to a good cause (if you know anyone who could use them)... two VHS Bob the Builder tapes.  Titles are Un Bon Coup de Main! and Oui, on Peut!  Both are in like new condition and one is unopened.  Asking $5 each.  

Monday, July 6, 2009

I am mean

According to E., age 3.  He now says "You mean."  I can't believe how much his English is improving.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

missing camera and Independence Day

We've had a busy week, with appointments, trips to the Children's hospital (fungal follow up) and spending time with friends and family.  I met some girlfriends the other night for dinner and had a great time.  Since then my camera has been missing, meaning I couldn't take pictures of E's first 4th of July.  Bummer.  I know it is somewhere around here, since my hubby, J., was looking at the pictures I recently took, but it hasn't turned up yet.  

Yesterday J. worked and we spent the afternoon/evening at a friend's house.  They had a lot of people over and it was good to catch up with old friends.  The kids had fun.  L. went to a soccer game with his buddies, and didn't get home until late.  I was glad that J. could pick him up on his way home from work, which was around midnight.   The little boys and the girls got their jammies on around 9:30.  I was ready to call it a night.  Then the whining about missing fireworks started.  Someone said, "This is E.'s first fourth of July and he has to miss seeing fireworks!"  Oh the guilt.  

So I loaded them in the minivan, and we drove to the bay.  We couldn't find a place to park, since we got there so late, but we drove on the main street through the heart of the action.  People were lighting off their own fireworks, at the same time as a professional show.  It was amazing and I felt like we were driving through a battlefield!  The little boys were mesmerized and started making their own sound effects after a while.  E. kept yelling "Bang, bang, boom, boom!" This morning on the way to church S. was telling Papa all about it and said "boom boom boom!"  It left quite the impression.  After we got home those kids were asleep in record time.  They are napping now, after a busy morning at church.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


This is a word Samuel can say very clearly.  He says it whenever he sees someone wearing one, and he pats his head, as if saying "Where's mine?"  But if I put one on him it is quickly on the floor!

Photos were taken at a Children's Museum.  We went there last week with Uncle Ben, Aunt Heidi, Grace and Jacob.  They live in another country and we haven't seen them in a long time! We spent a lot of time in this "construction" room.