Tuesday, August 29, 2006
So the story goes that the talk of the storeroom today was that there was a woman in the store with her son and he really needed to use the bathroom. They do have a public restroom for customers, but yesterday it happened to be filthy, and they had no toilet paper (this is slightly odd), so they weren't letting people use it. One of the woman that works there told the Mom she was sorry, but that there was no public restroom available and that maybe she could go to one of the other many places near the store for her son to use the restroom. The Mom explained that it was an emergency, that her son had to go, and she started getting really irate! She then said that if this woman didn't let her son use the restroom that she was going to let him go right there on the floor! (ok I have been there done that, and you know what, sometimes saying completely irrational things, that of course most normal people would never let their child do, does get someone to take you to the restroom). I thought that was the end of the story.
So a bit later Leishan, who works unloading new merchandise, had a full rack of clothing that she took out on the floor to hang with another girl that works there. And lo and behold, there it is, a pile of poop in the aisle, that they didn't see, until they had rolled the rack over it. Which, Leishan was thankful that she wasn't the one who had stepped in it! Ewww... unreal... So I asked Leishan if maybe someone had their little dog in the store and perhaps it was dog poop... no, no no. Lea was sure that it was child poop. So they got the manager to clean it up. I just can't believe that someone would actually let their child do that. I wonder if they will open up the employee restroom for future customers children? I told Leishan to be sure to bring her Charmin to go just in case they are out of toilet paper in the future. :)
Oh... and her friend had to dump a cup of pee out that someone had used in the dressing room. I won't be shopping there anytime soon.
Have a happy day.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Until All Have Homes, a wonderful organization that I do volunteer work for sponsers programs in Burkina Faso, Africa. For $25 you can feed a FAMILY for a month, or for $100 you can sponser a child to be able to go to school for a YEAR! Please consider donating to this wonderful organization. Even if you can just make a small donation, each and every dollar goes right directly into this program. There are NO overhead costs involved, that's what makes it all so wonderful!
Another option is to donate to the Light the Night walk:
My dear friend Amy has been having her own team for the past couple years. All because she was touched by one child's story, Allie... for more information about Allie please visit:
Every five minutes, someone in this country is diagnosed with blood cancer: Every ten minutes, someone loses the fight.
Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children.
Lymphomas are the most common blood cancers.
The myeloma survival rate is only 32 percent.
I know that with the gas prices and the back to school shopping many families are stretched to the max right now. So think about skipping the morning latte, or the outing to the movies, maybe a monthly family dinner out... and make a difference in the life of a child.
Off my soapbox! (I promise this is the last request for donations at least for a month! :) :)
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Oh the love that I have felt! Oh the things that I have dreamed!
Two by two
Two oceans, Two countries, and 2 Mom's too
A vision of love in my heart is so big
of a life pain free and somewhere to live
A time when I will be able to tell
the story of my life and my accomplishments as well
To tell of what home and family really do mean
And an answer to why they all call me Bean
To understand why my story makes people cry
and why 2 Mom's were so eager to try
Despite being told that they were not mentally there
one let me go, the other stood by every scare
And in between Moms a place oh so kind
that loved me so much, a love that was blind
So in the future my wish is easy you see
that more people are families to children like me
Because what you will realize soon after you say yes
is that you are the one who is truly blessed
Love, Angel Baby Bean
My dear friend Anita who has been such a gracious source of support for me over the past few months begin's her journey home from Ghana today. She sent me a short email and I am worried about her and anxious to hear about her last week in Ghana. Please keep her in your prayers that she has safe travels and a clear mind so that she can sleep peacefully. :)
No Other Way by Jack Johnson
When your mind is a mess so is mine I can't sleep
Because it hurts when I think that my thoughts aren't at peace
With the plans that we make and the chances we take
They're not yours, they're not mine
There are waves that can break
All the words that we said and the words that we mean
And the words can fall short, can't see the unseen
Because the world is awake so for somebody's sake
Now please close your eyes, Woman, please get some sleep
Sleep and know that if I knew all the answers I would not hold them from you Know all the things that I know because we told each other there is no other way
Too much silence can be misleading
Your drifting I can hear it in the way that your breathing
We don't really need to find reason
Because out the same door that it came well it's leaving
Leaving like a day that's done and part of a season
Resolve is just a concept that's as dead as the leaves
But at least we could sleep, it's all that we need
When we wake we would find, our minds would be free
To go to Sleep
Sleep and know that if I knew all the answers I would not hold them from you Know all the things that I know because we told each other there is no other way
Friday, August 25, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
More pictures coming!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
My cousin Mike, who is a year older than me, was in a motorcycle accident late last week and is not in good shape at all. Please keep Mike and my Aunt Cathy, his mom, in your prayers. Mike's face took the brunt of the fall and he will be in surgery tomorrow once again. :(
Angeline will also have surgery tomorrow to remove the broviac. What I thought was a bed-side procedure/minor surgery, they are thinking that they will need to put her under general anethesia for. Seeing her with all those tubes is just overwhelming to me so please pray that all goes well! The breathing tube is about the worst thing on her so I am almost more worried about that, then the surgery itself. I will update once we are back from Seattle. I am not sure if that will be tomorrow night, or Thursday.
Keeping it short and sweet today.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
After months went by and we knew that we were in love we decided that we would all live together and foster parent together. We continued foster parenting throughout the years and we really enjoyed working with the families. Fortunately for most of our 50ish foster children, they were able to go home. Robert and I at that point had his four children, Jeremy, Leishan, Tyler and Lauren. And Grace was my child (of course we say they are ALL ours, but for the purpose of explaining how we came to be... you get the point!)
Dominick was a foster baby placed with a family that we provided respite care for. We met him when he was only a couple months old and was sleeping in his crib. We knew that the family that had him in foster care was not able to adopt them, because they were an older couple and not looking to adopt a baby... and we just knew at that moment that he was our son. This was 1999. We spent as much time as possible with Dom when he was a baby and his foster family was very open to letting him spend lots of time with our family. So in 2000 Dominick was placed with us for adoption!
In the spring of 2001 Danny, David and Cole's foster family (of 2+ years) decided one da yhat they would not be able to foster parent any longer and the boys were brought to us as a foster placement. Again, we knew that day that they would be ours forever! Because of our family size (smaller than now but still large by most standards), we were told that they would not approve us to adopt them. We still forged ahead and with lots of family and community support behind us... and a really good attorney, not only were the boys part of our forever family, but we were also able to petition the court for placement of their younger sister Sophie! Sophie was placed with another foster family from the time that the children were take into state care, so it was such a blessing to have the four of them together!
Alyssa, who we call Lulu was placed with us straight after birth, Dominick and Alyssa have the same Biological Mom, so in the fall of 2001, Lulu joined our family. And finally that brings us to Angeline, you all know the story there.
That was the short version. :)
Being a big family is not something that I had always dreamed of. It was just the way that God had it planned for us, and certainly is just the way that it's supposed to be. Many times people will say... ARE THEY ALL YOURS? YES! They are ALL OURS! Another thing that we are asked a lot is, what does your husband do? Is he a doctor? *funny that. No... we are just practical people. Some things are more important to us than others. We don't have a ton of toys for our kids and they don't have brand new clothes. We thrift store and resale shop and we feel that taking family vacations are a priority over having a lot of stuff. So we balance it out... Other people ask, how do you do it? We don't often think about how we do it, if we start to think about things like college and braces, then it all seems really overwhelming, so its just one day at a time. We are also very blessed with wonderful children. I am not just saying that because they are mine, they are really great kids and everyone works and plays together. :)
I will try over the next week to have each of the kids do thier own little posts so that you can get to know them all better.
Off to get the day rolling!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
(Picture directly above has been photoshop'e appropriately, explanation below about the picture. Angeline's first day at Children of the Promise.)
I read a blog that likely I should have never read. I should have just clicked the X when I started reading because now the past 24 hours have been emotionally draining thinking about it! Here is a link if you are interested: http://dancingasleep.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_dancingasleep_archive.html
I found the link to the blog because it was posted by the woman who writes it on a support group for parents with children who have SB. Of course I started at the beginning of her blogging and I read through the entire thing. I wanted to post some kind of direct and hateful comment but then after thinking about it more, I just wanted to hug her, hug her daughter, hug her children, and thank her for her honesty. All the while feeling like I was going to throw up. (I guess its time for my brutal honesty here!)
It is evident that this woman has many issues that are completely within herself and those need to be dealt with. Fortunately for her, and most unfortunately for her children, her children have served as her most perfect scape goat. I wonder if there are other parents that feel the way that she does about her child and they don't ever admit it. I can't even comprehend it, but I wonder if the feeling exists among other Moms. I will keep this family in my prayers and hope that they get the help that they need. Or that someone will step forward and help find a placement for her daughter with SB so that she can get the stable, loving, TLC that she needs.
I think that I take it so personally because I CHOSE TO PARENT A CHILD WITH SB! This wasn't some kind of terrible mistake that burdens my life because I don't have the standard "perfect child". But she is just perfect for me. It makes me angry for her daughter because as the parent of other children who are not my biological children, I know, that especially those that came to me when they are older, feel consistent LOSS because they aren't with their "Moms" and "Dads". No matter how many crap choices and horrible things that there bio parents put them through, they will forever love them, just because children LOVE without condition. And I guess that I thought Mother's did too.
So that brings me to Angeline's picture that is above. This is the admitting picture the day that she was found abandoned in Haiti. Her bottom is covered with decubitus ulcers (bed sores). It was really hard for me to look at for a long time. But I had shared this picture, along with the others that I have, with a close friend. She replied to me that this was her most favorite picture of Angeline. Her back is so beautiful and strong and you can see all her pretty hair. I got it. When there is a child that you love, whether it be your own, or someone that you know, or just someone that you pray for, you see past the scars and imperfections and you see the beauty. It was at that moment that I was going to move heaven and earth to get to Haiti to bring our baby home. And I knew that it was bigger than her not having to wait, she could not wait.
Angeline got her casts on Friday, which we affectionately refer to as her go go boots. :) (Pictures coming soon!) She did well on Friday and Saturday, then today she seems frustrated with the lack of comfort that she has. Her shunt also seems to be draining too much! We are leaving for Seattle tomorrow and we will be seen on Tuesday (sooner if need be) for her sore bottom (much better than the pictures trust me!But sore non the less.) So today she has had to spend most of the day laying down and that is annoying for her. It seems that the more she is sitting up, the larger the "dent" is where her fontanel is so large! It is really scary looking so please keep her in your prayers that there is a simple fix and that doesn't mean that her shunt is not working right! (Gulp... you all know what that would mean.)
These cast will be on for 12 days then we will remove them at home (by soaking and unrolling them). Then we go back to the foot doc. and he puts new ones on. He is feeling as if this is a soft tissue problem and he is hopeful that he will be able to get a good deal of turning just with the casting! I spend most of the day just playing with her little toes that are sticking out of the ends. I have been told that she can't feel anything in her feet, but I swear when I touch them she responds. Angeline is the strongest person that I have ever known (all in a tiny little body). All throughout the casting of both legs she just sat as happy as can be and talked to the doc and of course wrapped him around her little finger. :)
Angeline sets her own limitations. The above mentioned Mom longs for a daughter that she can watch dance in a field of flowers etc. It reminds me of this great quote from the little princess: (Where Miss Minchin the mean school master is questioning Sara)
Miss Minchin: Don't tell me you still fancy yourself a princess? Child, look around you! Or better yet, look in the mirror.
Sara Crewe: I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your father ever tell you that? Didn't he?
So what can I conclude from all these ramblings? That each and every day I will be a better Mother. That I will remember the gift that God blessed me and my family with, a guardian angel, named Angeline. Who came into our lives when we thought that everything was perfect, that we just really longed to have another baby. All the while not realizing how much in life we needed her, spiritually most importantly. I will remind her at least once a day that she is a princess. That with bed sores, and scars, and runny poop, she is a princess and only she (and God!) can set her limitations. And a goal to spend at least four times as much time daily celebrating the accomplishments of those around me, including myself, instead of putting focus on the short comings.
Each and every morning Angeline wakes up between 5am-6am and it's like a bolt of sweet lightning hits the bed as Robert and I run into her room. "Bean".... "Your Awake".... Robert changes her diaper, while I get her medicine bottle ready... she smiles and coo's and we spend the next 10 minutes as she eats and lays between us, running her hand on our faces, those 10 minutes are the same conversation... "Oh my gosh, she is so cute"... "She is really beautiful"... "Look at her little nose".... "Oh Bean your so pretty and so sweet"... by about that time she thrusts the bottle out of her mouth and wants to reply "Goooaoooaa... (raspberries") And her eyes squint when she tells us and I think it has something to do with... "just let me eat already Mom and Dad!" But we make up that she is saying "I love you Mom"... or my husband insists each time that she is saying DAD... when it sounds nothing like it... lol... she is definitely saying MOM! Hello!
Ok I could go on all night. Just take it in. Eat it up. Rejoice in their glory. Slow down. Notice the details. Memorize them. Imprint them in your brain. Let your soul feel those details. Relish in them often.
The most blessed Mom in the world
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Well it only took me three days to get these pictures to upload. I think that maybe the file sizes were too large and the website wasn't cooperating. Sorry about my delay in writing! (Btw... Tara the next blog post will be the story of of how our family came to be. That is definitely an interesting story!)
Bean is doing so well.! As of yesterday she is six months old already but still so tiny. We aren't sure of her weight at the moment and we will know more on Thursday when she gets her well check. Angeline starts her serial casting this Friday. She will have casts on both legs up above her knees. Once a week she will have new casts put on, each time turning her feet a little bit more. The night before she goes in we will soak her and remove the existing casts to make the appointment times about a half hour a week. The doc who is donating her care is just amazing. He has worked with Healing the Children and has done work in central America as well as Vietnam. I can't say enough about how he is just gentle and kind... it really made me feel comfortable and confident in the care that Angeline will get getting! We are so grateful.
Angeline's pictures should explain her happiness. She is just an awesome baby! I was actually beginning to think that maybe she was a bit numb to the world of pain given that she she was in so much pain for so long. And then it happened. I was cutting her nails with baby nail clippers and she was awake. Not sure why I thought that this was a good idea. She moved her finger, I cut... and it just barely nipped the skin, no blood! But boy oh boy... she was beside herself. The sobbing and crying and carrying on lasted about an hour. I completely learned my lesson. No more cutting nails when babies are awake. I felt terribly of course. She just looked at me like she couldn't believe that I hurt her! :(
The past couple days Angeline has started to "knead"... when you hold her she grabs you arm and kneads her little fingers. It is really sweet and loving. What an Angel! We are working again on getting rid of the rash. It seems to be never ending. I have on order every single recom. of medical products that other SB parents have found to work and for now we made a home made concoction and we are keeping her diaper off about 75 % of the day. I really pray that this dern parasite goes away soon so that her bottom has time to heal!
About family... my husband started a new job on Monday. It was sad that he had to leave his company but really had no choice although he loved the people that he worked for and with. We have to think about the kids and what is best for them and of course getting the bills paid needs to happen ALL the time! The new company has a great retirement plan and also the health insurance information said something about covering "children who are placed for the purpose of adoption". We still haven't gotten confirmation on this yet, but there is a chance that Angeline maybe covered! What a blessing that would be to not have to wait for her adotion to be final. Keep this in your prayers as well. Ok well I better get back to the kids and Angeline.. and the laundry.
Love and Blessings,