Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stupid comments re dwarfism

I jsut have to curse shout at the stupidity of some people.  I know online it is hard to see how big (or little) our darling little guy is, but I think these pictures may help others to understand.  Mind you the baby is 3 weeks old in the picture and little man is 5 years old and weighs 27 pounds.

Loving on my cousin!

I know he is tiny but he is super coordinated and is verbally equivilant to atleast a 6-7 year old and understands social relationships better than most 2nd graders.

As school starts so do new social situations.  This is the first year that we are seeing a significant difference in size - as in a head difference.  One thing I had forgotten is that new classes and expectations come with the magical number of 5.  Now please understand that we do not see his dwarfism any different than blue eyes or brown hair.  Our children and their friends have always know that little man has a rare form of dwarfism.  We of course tell those that ask or mention his size difference.

However, he is also my angel.  He is active and LOVES his sports.  Sooo we reenrolled him in gymnastics this year.  He is 'good' enough to be in the next level of gymnastics and oh yeah it's for 5-7 year olds.  Today was his first day and I was thrilled he was with his fabulous coach from last year and there were only 3 kids in his class.  He  LOVED it . . . as usual.

After class we were getting our shoes on and walking out.  The coach was speaking to another mom, but we expect our children to always say thanks to the coach (whether they are paid or not.)  Of course charming little man walks right up - says thanks coach and leaves.  

The other mom looks at the coach and says "I thought this class was for 5-7 year olds, are you sure he is old enough to be in this class."  I was furious and was so tempted to go back and confront her.  How can adults be so stupid.  They have his birthdate, he spoke clearly to the coach . . . grrr.

I know it seems so small, but the indignation of her voice like her precious big boy might be losing out being in a class with someone besides the stepford wives.

This little man is amazing, he is dynamic and we are all so blessed to have him share his life with us.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Being a Man

Another favorite quote from little man -

"Mom, I didn't give up . . . cuz that's being a man!!"

You gotta LOVE this kid!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Naming our babies - Laurel

I first must tell you I am a name person.  I have always been a name person and believe that meaning and the sound of names are extremely important.

I have gone around and around about a little FeFei's name  . . and frankly the clock is ticking, we HAVE to fill out the I-800 form and include the kids names.  Although we have had her 'real' first name for months we have gone over and over about her middle name.  When our dear social worker passed, my sweet husband and I discussed changing her middle name from Hope to Laurel.  NOW as I get closer I have been second guessing myself.  SOOOO, tonight I decided to figure this out, and see what the meanings were for my list of middle names.

Then, well frankly God probably got tired of my indecisive nature and intervened.  It gives me chills jsut to type this.

I have been going through the baby name sites for a bit and was disappointed to find Laurel means Laruel tree - really I can't name my sweet angel after a tree!

I finally decided to jsut google it and found a great site.

AS I read the following words explaining the meaning of LAUREL-

"I particularly love ancient Chinese views of the laurel meaning.  In Chinese myth, the laurel plant is associated with the moon, and so shares its themes of femininity, intuitive power and immortality.  
Within the moon lives the Jade Rabbit (interestingly, Chinese symbolism of jade is very auspicious and deals with fortune, luck, wealth and status). The Jade Rabbit is a very clever herbalist and is always busy with mortar and pestle, grinding up sacred mixtures to supply the elixir of immortality to those who are worthy of it.  Laurel is said to be one of the secret ingredients used by this ancient rabbit chemist. 
This may come from Chinese legend claiming one of the eight Immortals lived in the laurel bush.  Hé Qióng, the Sacred Virgin and one of the eight Immortals picked laurel leaves and supplied them to the Jade Rabbit – this act is profound in symbolism – it speaks of tenderness, cooperation, feminine power, tradition and abiding by the infinite quality of both Time and Nature."
the news came on and who was on the T.V.?  . . . Laurel's husband!  This is not the one month anniversary, infact this is the first time I have seen him interviewed at all since the tragic accident.
OK . . . I got the message!  Our sweet babies middle name is Laurel!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Encouragement and prayers

The one definate blessing of this adoption journey is that our walk with God has been front and center.  It actually is very surreal and a true blessing.  This morning - after a long painful night for little man - I decided I need some time to jsut be in the word.  I didn't have a plan, or a thought, I jsut picked up my husband's open bible and it was open to a page description about Barnabas which was placed between Acts 13:12 & Acts 13:13.

Now let me tell you that I don't know much about Barnabas but I jsut knew that this was the page I needed to read today.  Barnabas was an encourager and brought many people to Christ through his encouragement and being a Godly man.  It said that "Barnabas was rarely in a situation where there isn't someone we can encourage.  Our tendency, however, is to criticize instead. "

Lessons learned from his life:
    Encouragement is one of the most effective ways to help
    Sooner or later, true obedience to God will involve risk
    There is always someone who needs encouragement


Then I opened up to a different page (ok I kind of cheated as I LOVE psalms and my fingers know where they are in the bible.)  BUT I opened up to Psalm 100 - called a psalm for giving thanks.  I think of Thanksgiving as turkeys of family.

 A Psalm for [a]Thanksgiving.
 1 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing. 
3 Know that the LORD [b]Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and 
[c]not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
 4 Enter His gates with [d]thanksgiving And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name. 
5 For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Reading this Psalm I realized that the end when I can wrap my arms around our sweet children is not the only time to be thankful.  I need to be thankful for the delays, for the heartache and for this journey.  For the amazing people I have met on this journey.  Yes, I still can't wait until the end, but even then it will only be the beginning.

Sorry this is so long!

I wondered why Barnabas was brought to me today.  Then it dawned on me that all the unrest in my heart could be easily solved by asking you to help pray for my big boy.  

This sweet boy is in the midst of tryouts for football.  He has a group of friends that all have the nicest most Godly spirits.  They are all also phenomenal athletes.  As 7th graders they must tryout and either get on the travel team or intramurals.  He so wants to play with his buddies, and I am sure a lot of my turmoil comes from my own days of not making teams and friends.  Our big boy is not as natural of an athlete as his friends, but he is finding his way.   This mothers heart also hurts knowing that because of little man's health issues, our big boy missed the first few years his friends played football together.

Did I mention that he has the best heart!  So please can you pray that either he makes the team with his friends or that I have the words of encouragement to help him through this journey.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Did I just see the stork!!

Heehee as I was driving from Staples (which closes at 7pm on a Sat night,) I looked up and what did I see

Now mind you we live in COLORADO!  I have only seen a stork one other time and that was right before I found out I was pregnant with our oldest!  

I sure hope he is bringing our LOA all the way from China!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Because they all matter - Liliana

One thing I did not expect or know about prior to entering the adoption arena is the horrific conditions and way some of these children are treated.  I feel exceptionally blessed that FeiFei is in such a phenomenal orphanage and foster care situation.  We are lucky that even though Cavanaugh's orphanage was run down and he never went outside, he was in a place that loved him and fed him.  Some orphans don't even get the very basics in life.

If you can in anyway help my friend Adeye has so eloquently expressed the need to raise all adoption funds for a little girl who is 11 years old and weighs 10 lbs!  Yes she has down syndrome, and her country does not value those with disabilities at all.  This little girl has a family I jsut have to believe it, we are raising the funds so that all that family has to worry about is the paperwork.  Won't you please go to Adeye's blog and help us raise the remaining amount.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why he allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid He may ask me the same question."  Anonymous.

Together we can save sweet Liliana - click here

Monday, August 15, 2011

My baby is a Kindergartener!

A new outfit picked out by little man

Overjoyed little boy who is now going to school with the BIG kids!

Obligatory pictures with the princess (cuz big brother still had the day off!)

Which hand for the pledge?

Off I go (poor mom missed a pick of the kiss!)

 Going into my class and unpacking my bag!

Telling me all about his friends, the classroom, and their first project The Kissing Hand!

Only 3 hours of Kindergarten but a gigantic step from baby to boyhood!

First let me say it was kind of a strange day!  My sweet little man started Kindergarten today.  I stood in the cafetorium with about a thousand other people and watched as my little angel, the one who I have spent countless hours worrying about, traveling across the country for a diagnosis, and fretting over every bit of his well being.  BUT today he entered Kindergarten and walked off with is friends turning to blow me a sweet little kiss.  Normally I think I would have stood there with the other mothers and balled, but I also realized that although he is my baby, I have two others coming.  Soon, my baby will actually be our middle child.  So I sent him with all my love, my admiration for his incredible spirit and prayers that he wouldn't say anything so inappropriate that he got to meet the new principal before he had the chance to charm her!  Is that so weird!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pure Joy!

One nice part of having 3 children each 4 years apart is that our little guy reminds my 'old' mind how special and innocent the days of a preschooler . . . kindergartener are -

$2 from allowance and a ride from mommy that took 2 days to acquire = JOY!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Great Kindergarten Bus Adventure

I often get asked what accomodations we make for little man's dwarfism.  Entering Kindergarten has really brought his need for accomodations to the fore front.  We have had to coordinate with his teacher, physical therapists and his Doctors.  We are still working on the 504 etc.  Regardless, most of his accomodations at school have more to due with his joints and chronic pain than with the short stature of his dwarfism.  That being said today was a hallmark day!

Our kids go to a K-12 school!  It's very cool and new!  The best part of this is that our big boy (7th grade) starts school at the same time as the elementary kids, so K-8 ride the same bus.  I am sure there have to be other kids on this earth that LOVE the bus as much as mine.  SO little man has been waiting years to be able to join the big kids on the bus.  There is jsut no way he would tolerate being on a different (ie short bus.)  Besides the regular bus stops at the end of our driveway . . . oh and school is only a mile down the road.  But still it's the BUS!!  We realized mid last year that this could potentially be a huge problem as he wouldn't be anywhere the 35 lb weight limit.  Luckily, our school district is amazing, and they were willing to work with us on his size.

So today we went over to the bus barn (heehee school starts Monday and they wanted to give him the most amount of time to grow LOL!).  I have been having nightmares that he would never be able to manage the huge first step.  Some school districts have required children with dwarfism to be able to step up on the bus themselves or they couldn't ride.  So even having our big boy there wouldn't help.

I was beyond thrilled that they have us scheduled for a regular bus that has steps closer to the ground (not the gigantic ones).  Little man did NOT have a single problem getting onto that bus!  One hurdle down now onto his weight.

Since we jsut had our huge Dr's appointment I knew he was still only 27 lbs.  Our fabulous district has outfitted the bus with integrated child seats.  THey are 5 point seat belt harnesses which are built right into the seat (caravan's once featured them.)  Little man was able to get up into the seat and close his seatbelt like a big boy!

Best of all the pull down gives him jsut a little bit extra boost.  His hands are still not strong enough to undo the seat belt so either the bus driver or my sweet 7th grader will (or his adoring public - our big boy's friends!!)

I know this doesn't seem like a huge deal to most.  But for us, it is one less disappointment we have to deal with.  For little man it's a step to independence and for mommy, I am a little worried how I am going to do sending my sweet angel off to school!

Monday, August 8, 2011

FeiFei's care Package

So little man had his birthday on Aug 2nd, and FeiFei's is Sept 4th.  It is SOOO hard to know she will be celebrating without us.  Even harder to know that our agency doesn't allow care packages to the child until after LOA.  BUT in a family who's love language is gifts we contacted a wonderful lady who is arranging a cake and a few presents for our little girl.  I can't wait for pictures.  Here are what we order for her.  We figured the short sleeve dress would be best since we have no idea what size FeiFei is - and her type of dwarfism (achondroplasia) her torso is "normal" for her age but her arms and legs are short.  I sure hope she loves them all and knows how very special we think she is!

We totally missed Cav's birthday but sent our LOI (letter of intent) on his birthday so we thought that was a forever birthday present.  Once we get our LOA then we will send him a care package also.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little Man turns 5!!

I can't believe that our little man is 5!!  I can remember vividly going into my Dr's office, getting an ultrasound and being told that his head was 2 weeks over sized and his limbs were 6 weeks short.  As a nurse I immediately knew that they were signs of dwarfism.  I was distraught and had only 5 hours until he would be born.  Oh how I grieved over the news, and my sweet husband being my rock.  Little did I know how amazing our little guy would be.  We are so blessed to have him in our lives and although I can say I wouldn't change him, I would give anything to take away his chronic pain (he has one of the only types of dwarfism with pain.)

Now mind you he is our third and I would have been horrified if anyone ever told me I would be using snowman paper to wrap his birthday presents IN AUGUST - but hey what's a mom to do late at night when she thought it was actually holiday spiderman paper and he wouldn't really notice ugh!!

And his funny for the day - I told him all the well wishes he had from emails, texts and facebook.  He said "I am on facebook - I must be FAMOUS!!"

Happy Birthday little man, you have changed all of those around you with your joy and infectious personality.  Most importantly you taught your daddy and I that we can handle much more than we ever thought.  You are the reason we pursued adoption & I hope someday you will truly understand what an amazing gift you to this world!