Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can You Believe This?

The BBC is being criticized by some for hiring a presenter with an upper arm difference to introduce their preschool programming. Although the comments weren't numerous I was surprised by what some people said Some comments were as follows:

"I question the logic of hiring a girl with part of her arm missing (and so obviously placed on display for kids to see it)to present cbeebies."

"I understand that in today's society we have to be politically correct. But how do you explain to a 3-year-old child why the one of the presenters has half an arm. She was extremely upset and confused by this and continues to ask questions.
I am not questioning the ability of the lady who seems very good, but I don’t feel that a channel which targets toddlers and young children is the right place."

It scares me the kind of discrimination that I know we will face in the future.
It also made me pause. I am not a huge fan of the politically correct movement-- it is too often used to bludgeon dissenters into submission, but sometimes things aren't politically correct as just correct.

You can see Cerrie Burnell here:

You can read the whole story here:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Down in the Dumps

Pookie got sick over the weekend--ran a high fever Saturday and Sunday. I thought she was getting better, but last night she woke up around 10:30 and could not get back to sleep. Usually I'm a "mean" mom and let her fuss until she settles back down. Last night I went straight to her and nursed her. Nope, that didn't really help. I let her lay down with me for a while. That didn't help either. Put her back to bed and hope she would sleep. Charlie came home from a meeting and rocked her for a while. Still crying. At 2:00am we brought her back to our bed where she finally slept-- for two hours. The doctor says she has an ear infection and that can cause so much pain that children can't sleep. Poor baby!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

One Step Closer

Yesterday Charlie and I to get fingerprinted at the Dept. of Homeland Security (Citizenship and Immigration Services) so that we can have our background check done by the FBI. One of the things that we have to have done for the adoption is to have approval from US Immigration to bring Sweet Pea into the US. To do that they check us out and make sure that... um, well, I have no idea what they are checking, but I 'm pretty sure I didn't do it. In another three months we should have approval. Hopefully by then we will have met our little girl and be waiting for our court date.
I spoke to my adoption agency yesterday. They are going to speak to the Russian coordinator on Monday and see if we can send our dossier over even though our homestudy agency is still on the Late Post Placement Report List (yuck, yuck, evil list!). She said that some regions will accept dossiers even the homestudy agency had not been formally cleared. Honestly, I'm not very hopeful because everything that I heard about our region says that they are very meticulous about paperwork and want to make sure that every i is dotted and every t is crossed. We shall see

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hate Crimes Legislation

Today the US House Judiciary Committee will be voting on "Hate Crimes Bill" HR 1913. On the surface this sounds like a great idea. Absolutely it should be illegal to commit a crime against someone because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability status. (Actually, it shouldn't matter one way or the other. A crime should be a crime, and be prosecuted no matter who it was perpetrated against.)

However, the bill has many up in arms. Although it specifically state that, "Nothing in this Act, or amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution," many fear that it could be used against religious groups that hold true to Biblical teaching about homosexuality. By using US Code title 18 Section 2 activists could impinge on the free speech and practice of religious freedom of religious organizations and the faithful. It states:

Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

“In other words, if a deranged person hears a priest, minister or rabbi quote Leviticus 18:22, ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination,’ and he then proceeds to assault a homosexual at a gay event—telling the arresting officer he was just following through on what he heard in his house of worship—the clergyman could arguably be charged with a hate crime. "-- Bill Donahue of the Catholic League

As I read this it sounds ridiculous, except that things like this are happening elsewhere. Under the guise of tolerance people with traditional values are being forced to compromise their values or suffer the consequences of being charged with hate crimes. In Canada, Father Alphonse de Valk was investigated by the Canadian Human Right Commission (CHRC) because he publishes a magazine called Catholic Insight that upholds orthodox Catholic teaching. In 2005 the Knight of Columbus, a Catholic men's organization, was fined more that $1000 for refusing to host a wedding for a gay couple. Scott Brockie, a Christian printer, had to pay $5000 for refusing to print stationary with a homosexual theme. Sure, you think, but that is Canada. In April of 2008 a Christian photographer in New Mexico was ordered to pay $6,600 for refusing to photograph a commitment ceremony.

Please consider and think deeply about what you really believe could happen. If you believe as I do, that this could be the beginning of a slippery slope, contact your legislators and let them know how you feel.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I am not an author. Nor am I a grammar expert, copy editor, philosopher, or theologian. And my spelling sucks (praise God for spell check).

I can't promise that what I have to say will be well written or even interesting, although I hope and pray it is. I can promise that there will be typos and that on occasion I will lose my train of thought.

I do hope to keep you up-to-date about the family and what is important to us. Please keep visiting and maybe even leave a comment or two. I look forward to hearing from you.

I Feel Pretty

The five o'clock hour is the busiest around our house. That is when I make dinner and the boys do their before dinner chores of cleaning up and taking bath so that they can watch TV. Pookie mostly plays by herself or will watch TV with the boys. That is what I thought she was doing the other night until I heard:
"Pookie!" Wonder Boy yelled.
"Don't yell at her."
"No, Mom, look."
Pookie had gotten into my makeup drawer in the bathroom and had covered herself in half a jar of cream foundation. It was everywhere. On her clothes, over most of her face, on the bathroom door and rug. It hearkened back to the Auquaphor incident of 2005, when Wonder Boy smeared 10 ounces of Aquaphor (a vaseline-like ointment) all over himself during a "nap." I may have killed her if it hadn't been so funny. She is such a girl already, loving shoes, hats and clothes. I am scared for the teen years. They sound expensive.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The News You Missed

A man from Russia recently went to the hospital to have a tumor removed from his lung. When the surgeons opened his lung, they found a 5 cm fir tree growing inside. You heard me right. A tree! It is presumed that he inhaled a seed and it was able to sprout. I am stunned, repulsed, and at the same time awed by the will to survive and grow, even in the harshest environments, that all living things have.

Check out the link for the fuul story:

Tme for Something Sweet

According to Weight Watchers Magazine (May/ June 2009) smaller treats may be more satisfying that big ones. Sure, I thought. It goes on to say that when we eat some thing our brains release dopamine which in associated with feeling satisfied. "But regularly eating eating large quantities of treats may build up you tolerance to dopamine, say new research. For a more satisfying experience, keep portions small. I'll recalibrate your sensitivity to dopamine, so smaller portions will satisfy you."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Half Marathon

A few weeks ago Charlie competed in a half marathon. I am so so impressed with his results that I have to brag on him a little. A half marathon is 13.1 miles and he finished in 1:31:07. He placed 17th of 178 in his age group, and 89th overall in a field of over 1700. Go Charlie!

Good News, Bad News

Today I sent in the last of our dossier documents (including the fourth employment verification letter for Charlie, but the first one that they got right.) I repressed the urge to personally drive them across the country and hand deliver them to the agency. It felt great to see all of them slide in the the priority mail envelope.

Now for the bad news. Early in February Russia contacted over 150 homestudy agencies who had late or missing post placement reports. the government advised the agencies that while they were on this list, they would not accept dossiers that had homestudies from these agencies. These reports could have been late for any number of reasons. Sometimes the homestudy agency drops the ball. Sometimes people move and don't contact their agency. Sometimes the placement agency sends them in late. Sometimes they are lost in Russia. Of course our agency was on that list. After a few weeks our homestudy agency contacted me and told us that the problem was "resolved."

Today I found out that the agency had to re-submit the late report. The problem is not resolved at all. They are still on the list. Will Russia accept our paperwork? I don't know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Who is Sweet Pea?

Back in October we finally decided to pursue our decision to adopt. Why, you might ask? And people do ask. Usually, I divert attention by saying, " It's something that we talked about for a long time." That seems to satisfy most people. What a cop out! That completely does not answer the question.

It took 18 months for us to conceive our first child. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't so bad. We faced a little testing and treatment of Clomid. During this time I really believed that I would never conceive a child. I remember looking at adoption agencies and magazines. Since then we have had three wonderful children, but that was when the seeds of adoption were planted. The fact of the matter is that there are thousands of children who need parents and we want more children.

At first I thought we would adopt from the US foster care system. These kids are frequently call "waiting children." We felt that at this time it was not a good match for our family. We were told that most of the children in our area were over the age of nine. That would make any new child quite a bit older that Wonder Boy. Then I began to wonder if there were "waiting children" in international adoption. Yes! Most had special needs or a medical condition, some of these very serious, some correctable problems, some with problems that would be insurmountable in their birth country, but manageable in the US. But could we be good parents to a child with special needs? I read. I researched. I prayed. I learned more about disabilities than I ever wanted to know: FAS, RAD, PTSD, spina bifida, nystagmus, cleft palate, limb differences, cerebral palsy, ptosis. You name it, I learned about it's cause, treatment, and outcomes. Finally we saw a little girl on a waiting child list and requested more information about her.

Sweet Pea is the beautiful little girl we are adopting (assuming all goes well). She is in Russia and we are impatiently waiting to meet her. Sweet Pea is the same age as Pookie and we hope to bring her home late this year. She is missing part of her legs, but once home she will be fit with prosthetic limbs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cast of Characters

Wonder Boy is six years old. He is the only one of my children officially in school. This year has been very exciting for him because he has made the transition from struggling to read easy readers to reading chapter books. He loves history and comic books.
Jophus just turned five. In his mind so much changed with that birthday. "We can't watch Riki Tiki Tavi," Wonder Boy said just today. "Jophus is scared!" "Not since I turned five," he replied. He is my little gymnast. We started him in gymnastics class to save the furniture and this is his second year.
Little Pookie is one and a half. She is the princess of the bunch. As an infant she was so different from her brothers. She was so much easier than the boys. If you kept her clean, dry, and full she was happy. I don't know if it was because of temperament, being a girl (everyone swore to me it made a difference) or that we were finally getting the hang of this parenting thing. Now though, she is developing a very strong sense of self. You know if she like something ("Shoe! Shoe!") or not ("No, Mama). That will probably serve her well with two big brothers.


I hesitated to start a blog. In fact, I remember wondering why anyone would ever want the general public to know the minutia of a stranger's life. Then I read a post stating that the author had started her blog to keep friends and family informed about their life. What a great idea, I thought. (Although the author went on to say that strangers visited her blog more often than family.)
Our family has extended family and friends in at least half a dozen state and various countries around the world. We love one another. We would be there to help one another in a heartbeat. The daily "knowing" of each other though suffers when you live so far away. You can't drop in for dinner or run soup over when someone is sick. Every contact is a special event. I hope this help all of you get to really know who we are.