Friday, January 27, 2012

Little Bear's hip is doing well.  I guess when you have this much going  on in your legs things just look a little catty-wompus.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I am scared that Little Bear's hip is once again dislocated.  If you have  a minute, please say a prayer for us.  I don't know what treatment there is if these surgeries have failed.  It make me sooooooo angry that he was never treated in Russia.  Most children who have hip dysplasia, get treatment as an infant and never have problems again.  Instead they put off a not so invasive, if annoying therapy, forcing his into what will almost certain;y be serious arthritis and a hip replacement. later in life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New!!! Orphan Sunday

Orphan Sunday is a project that brings notice to the orphans in the world.

 "On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless…to care for the child that has no family…to visit orphans in their distress." 

I am dedicating my Sunday posts to bringing orphans and adoption into the forefront. Be ready for adoption stories, ways to help and profiles of beautiful children available for adoption.


Why We Didn't Choose Domestic Adoption

One of the criticisms that international adoption gets is that we should take care of the children in the United States first.  Some go so far as to say things like this:

"As someone who has been adopted, I am offended that you would not first look at adopting a child from here at home in the US,  . . . .
What about the 15 year old here at home who needs to be adopted but isn't because he/she has medical issues? For you to bypass your fellow citizens makes ME sick.  . . .
I feel that you are part of the despicable "baby market". It disgusts me that instead of adopting a sick child from here at home, that you essentially BOUGHT a child from abroad."
(You can see the whole post here.  It is in one of the comments.)

Pretty harsh, huh?
     We wanted to adopt from the US.  We looked into it.  We were told that the children in our state that needed to be adopted were over the age of eight with traumatic pasts.  Since our oldest was six at the time and our youngest was only 18 months we decided that would not be a good idea.  Too many chances that an older child could abuse the kids like he had been abused before.  Plus the older boys had pretty strong ideas about remaining the oldest.  More recently we checked into it again.  No one from the agency bother to respond to my request for information.
     When we did explore adopting a waiting child from the United States, we were told we could become foster parents and then IF our foster child became available for adoption we could apply to adopt.  We wanted to be parents and could not really commit ourselves to reuniting the birth family.  (We would have never undermine a reunification plan, we just had a different goal.) 
     Frankly, the foster care system did not need the kind of adoptive parents that we were.  Our kids were too young, especially when you consider that many social workers advise adopting in birth order.  There are plenty of people to adopt the youngest children.  We would have waited ages before getting a placement.  There is not need to demonize people who examined their options and decided that they would not be good parents for a certain type of child.  Not everyone can parent every child.  I know tons of people who would not have wanted to adopt a child with sever limb differences, but that was fine with us. 
     So keeping in mind that a) we wanted to adopt an AMERICAN child in need but b) were not good candidates we proceeded to international adoption.  Children in other countries deserve a family just as much as American children.
     By the way, I did not buy a child.  No one ever promised me a child.  In fact there were heaps of warnings that a child was not guaranteed.  People can and do go home empty handed.  I paid social workers for a home study.  I paid  doctors.  I paid notaries.  I paid the US government for fingerprints, visas, apostilles, and FBI background checks.  I paid lawyers fees.  I paid an orphanage fee for food, clothes, speech therapists, medicine, and  caregiver salaries.   I paid the driver and the translator.  I did not buy my son. 

P.S.  The "Baby Market"--  Yes there has been and still is corruption in the adoption world.  We are a fallen people and we sin.  Everyone in adoption should be working to protect the innocent children and families, but  it is becoming nigh on impossible to adopt a young healthy child from any country.  The last I heard in the US there are 10 prospective parents for every newborn to be adopted.  The wait for a "healthy" Chinese baby in 4-6 years, and many agencies do only special needs adoption.  The Philippines and Bulgaria are the same way. 
     Special needs children can spend years unwanted.  My son did.  They are seen as defective or cursed or their birthparents are unable to afford medical care for them.  People in their country usually do not want a child with expensive-to-treat medical condition who will not be able to go to school or get a job later in life.  They will be institutionalized for life.  They are "the poorest of the poor," as Mother Teresa put it.  The unloved.  The unwanted.  There is no "market" for these children and they deserve a family as much as any child from this country.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy birthday, my beloved husband! 

You are the best, most supportive, loving man ever.

The Face of God

Every now and then we are blessed to see God's love at work in the world in a very tangible way.  I was so blessed when I hear about a family from Pennsylvania and their adopted daughter from Bulgaria.  Little Katie is nine and a half years old.  She has Down's Syndrome.  At her adoption she weighted 10.5 pounds.  Really.  Her family's story is one of great love and compassion, and I want to share it with you. 

Please visit

You will never be the same.  I know I won't.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little Bear got tubes in his ears this morning.  He had fluid in his ears and had for many months.  It wasn't infected, but it never went away.  We are hoping that it will improve is speech and vocabulary.  I know he can already hear better.  I'm also hoping that he will realize how loud he is and bring the volume down a little.  In the back of my mind I am hoping it will also effect his behavior if he is hearing better and not so tired.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Are they all yours?

When we are out during the day I frequently hear, "Are they all yours?" (Sheesh folks, there are only 4!)  I was really surprised one day to hear a cashier say, "Thanks for having the courage to have more than one.  Babies are great." 

I thought about this for a long time.  Having the children is not a sacrifice.  Well, not completely.  I mean, loving anyone involves sacrifice.  I get so many things from them.  I would  never be the person that I am today without the children.  They have challenged me to grow in maturity, patience and self donative love.  Without them my faith would not be as strong and I would never considered thinking critically about the culture that we live in and if I really want to live in it.  I would be less organized and much more lazy.  (Not that I excel in any of these skills.)

They are my desolation, my mortification, my sanctification and my consolation.  They remind me that God has faith in ME.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Making a House a Home

When we bought the house there were several exclusions we knew that we would have to replace pretty quickly.  First and foremost were the dining room light and the fireplace surround.  Both were wedding gifts to the previous family.  They also took some of the draperies and all the bathroom mirrors (not previously discussed and tacky, I thought.  On the other hand, I was not enamoured with some of the mirrors anyway.) 

In our area we have a great architectural salvage and antique store called Materials Unlimited.  One Sunday we visited and found a great light fixture.  It is an electrified gas lamp c. 1895.  It was beautiful and no more expensive than a nice reproduction.  Luck would have it that  there was also a mantle right in the doorway.  After several measurement and much thought we bought that as well.  Charlie trekked out to the store on Christmas Eve so that we could get it in as soon as possible.  Just two days ago it was up and I love it.  My history geek is also crazy about the fact that my mantle is 120 years old.

I am having a great time trying to keep the historic character in our "Victorian" home.  I want very much to make the house as accurate as possible when it is practical.  It has been a great education to learn about the Victorian era from another direction i.e. not the Civil War. 

We still have something that have to be bought.  Our sofa is too big for the smaller living room that we now have.  We also need the privacy that drapes will give.  I am researching textile designs by William Morris for the curtains in the living room.  We also just bought a dining table in the Queen Anne style that will seat all of us and then some.  Quite by chance the table is stained the same color as the mantle.  Things are really coming together.