Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting Closer

Our dossier is in Russia! I want to shout it from the rooftops. My case worker, Jeny, said that we may hear from someone after the inspector is back from vacation in mid- August. Jeny said that she was hoping to travel in late August or early September. I'm trying not to get too excited yet, but I am dying to meet Sweet Pea have her become a reality.

Right now she is a shadow. I love her in the same way I loved each of the children before they were born. Because although she has a personality, I don't what she is like. I don't know what she likes or dislikes. What makes her laugh? Is she easy going or is her behavior challenging? Is she scared of anything? Going to meet her is the first step to learning about this new person that will bless our family.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pookie Is Growing Up

On a lighter note, Pookie went poo poo and pee pee on the potty for the first time last week. For the last little while she has felt that she needs to potty but couldn't figure out how to get her body to do what she wanted it to. She is very proud of herself.

Our Dossier Is Ready

My amazing case worker, Jeny, just told me that she is sending my dossier to Frank right now. (Our agency is affiliated with Frank Adoptions.) Finally we are getting everything over to Russia. My heart is overflowing with joy. I hope we will meet our sweet girl in September. When we started this adoption journey I secretly had hopes that that Sweet Pea would be home with us by August or September. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we would still be waiting for our first trip right now.

Maybe God is using this time to help us gather our resources and prepare and strengthen us for the path we have chosen. I am amazed by the wonderful internet support groups that I have found. They are a wealth of information and support. Most of all I know that we are not alone. There are children all over the country that face the same challenges that Sweet Pea will face, and they do it with grace and fortitude.

By being a part of these groups I get to see first hand the struggles that families of children with limb differences and amputations face: the emotional struggles, their refusal to be held back, and their ability to solve problems their own way.

I can't wait for our family to really get in on the action.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reason 874 We Homeschool

Wonder boy has religious education for three weeks this summer. He has to be at church at 7:45.

How do you people do this nine months out of the year?!?

This is awful. We have to drag him out of bed, rush to make sure he is dressed and ready. This morning I realized he hadn't brushed his teeth before he left. I'm going to have a nervous breakdown if this doesn't end soon. It puts everyone in a bad mood for several hours.

People tell me all the time that they respect me taking the time and effort it takes to homeschool, but they could never do it. Well, to all of you whose children go to a traditional school, I respect you. There is no way I could get my kiddo up, ready and out the door every day.

Some Pictures from MN

We went to Minnesota the last week of June to visit Charlie's family. The kds have a great time because there are so many cousins about the same age.

Happy (Late) Birthday

Wonder Boy turned 7 at the end of June. His oh so exciting present was a magical fun-filled drive to Minnesota. Did I say present? I meant booby prize.

Seriously, We celebrated at home the night before and we are still planning a party with his best friend later in the summer.

I love you, baby!

Plumbing Woes

Last month we finally had our powder room remodeled. It had been torn apart for about 2 years. The final thing for the contractor to do was put in the toilet . that was when he came to me and said that the toilet wouldn't flush. the returned the toilet and got a new one. Still not flushing. I called a plumber and the final diagnosis was that the sewer line in the laundry room was back-pitched. What does this mean you ask? Well, it means that the pipes are tilted the wrong way and the water and such can't flow downhill to the main sewer line. On Friday they busted up my floor (It's never a good day when they bring a jack hammer into your laundry room.) replaced the pipe and closed up the floor.

Guess what? The toilet still won't flush. At first they thought they would have to put in a vent, which would mean cutting (the newly finished) wall open, but upon further inspection there is another pipe under the main part of the house that is also back-pitched. Tomorrow some unlucky soul (by virtue of being the thinnest employee and therefore able to fit into the crawl space under the house) will have to replace it.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Awwww. . . .

This morning Jophus was saying grace before breakfast. After he finished, he immediatly started to say the prayer again. Sometimes the kids just pray by rote and go super fast, then they forget what they just did. "You just did that," I informed him. He looked up at me in all seriousness and said, "Mom, I'm extra thankful this morning."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Runners' Stories

This petite powerhouse has fought adversity—and won.By Nancy Averett
Image by Amanda Friedman
From the August 2009 issue of Runner's World

Scout Bassett has always thought of herself as an athlete. But other people have not. When she was 12, the single-leg amputee gave her junior high school's basketball, soccer, and softball teams a shot, only to find that the coaches wouldn't give her one. "It was an incredibly awkward time in my life," says Bassett, now 20. "I sat on the bench a lot. My softball coach didn't let me play at all, ever. I didn't realize the stigma that's attached to being disabled until then. I still remember that to this day. It had a huge effect on me."

A good one, it turns out. Bassett became more motivated than ever to become an athlete; she wanted to prove to those who couldn't see past her prosthetic leg what she was capable of achieving. With a tenacious drive, Bassett transformed herself from benchwarmer to a world-class triathlete. In 2007, she won silver in the above-knee physically challenged division of the ITU World Triathlon Championships, a feat she repeated in 2008. This September, she's going for gold at the championships in Australia.

It might be easy to underestimate the power of such a tiny young woman (Bassett is 4'8", 78 pounds). Yet she's been battling adversity since she was 12 months old, when she was left on the doorstep of a Nanjing, China, orphanage. There was no explanation for her missing lower right leg or the burns and scars on other areas of her body. Her caretakers built her a makeshift prosthesis. "It was made of belt straps and masking tape," Bassett says. "It clanked and fell off." During the next six years, she was passed over for adoptions and was often put to work feeding babies and scrubbing floors.

Then one day in 1994, Susi and Joe Bassett, of Harbor Springs, Michigan, arrived. The Bassetts had flown to China to adopt a baby. While touring the facility, Susi saw a 6-year-old girl with soft brown eyes and a pixie cut, and thought, "She needs me." The Bassetts returned to Michigan with their baby and began making plans to go back for the 6-year-old girl, whom they would name Scout, and a boy they'd also met at the orphanage. Ten months later, the Bassetts were a family of five.

In Michigan, Bassett was fitted with a new prosthesis that enabled her to walk easily, but the leg wasn't designed for quick turns or sprints. So in 2001, the Bassetts met with Stan Patterson, a prosthetist in Florida who helps amputees realize their athletic potential. Patterson made Bassett a leg that allowed her to run and move with agility. With Patterson's encouragement, Bassett ran in a 100-and 200-meter dash for disabled athletes just a few hours after receiving her new leg. Even though she finished last, the experience was defining. "I was in the company of amputees who were also athletes," she says. "It showed me what was possible."

Bassett's high school didn't offer track or cross-country, so she played golf and tennis. Then in 2006, when she enrolled in UCLA on a full academic scholarship (she's now a junior communications major), Bassett decided to get serious about running—and biking and swimming.

Patterson made her two new legs, one for biking and one for long-distance running. Bassett's new running prosthesis was advanced—but heavy. At first, she could barely run 100 yards. Still, she stuck with it, and within three months, she finished her first triathlon (sprint distance). "I didn't feel disabled," she says. "I felt strong and alive. It was empowering."

That's a message Bassett, a spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, conveys to the athletes she mentors and the students and executives she addresses. "Everybody has challenges," she says. "No matter what your obstacle is, you can overcome it. Take small steps. As time goes by, the steps will get bigger and you will reach your dream."

This summer, Bassett is squeezing extra running into her training. In addition to the seven triathlons she has scheduled for the rest of the year, she's also planning to do the Silver Strand Half-Marathon, her first distance run, in San Diego in November. Her ultimate goal is to compete in an Ironman and in the 2012 Paralympic Games. Her upward trajectory should surprise no one, says Creighton Wong, a challenged athlete and friend. "She competes and she competes hard," he says. "Don't let that cute smile fool you."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just One Little Break?!

Seriously. I was all set to get a few documents notarized by my doctor when I got a call that we had to cancel the appointment. The poor man was in a car accident and broke his arm. It has been a week and he's still not really back to work, although he is trying.

Come on! Can't this be easy just once?