Friday, September 25, 2015

Here is the little girl I rescued, she's only 3 months.
She will be adopted soon.

Now, back to catching you up on the girls…My oldest, adopted at 13, 9 years ago has been the most difficult and she would agree.  She had a horrible life in China, and was emotionally scarred. So she was shut down, angry, mistrustful, disrespectful and even nasty.  It has been a very long struggle with her with serious episodes.  I tried numerous therapists, driving miles each week for years.  Still, no change and was making family life difficult.  Her school work would fluctuate from all 'A's to some 'D's and 'C's.  Her teachers raved about her, but a few did see past her facade.  Still no one had any answers for me.

She didn't want me, didn't know how to feel love and didn't trust anyone.  She didn't have friends  no matter how much I asked her to make weekend plans, or who did she want at her birthday party, or who did she want to Trick or Treat with.

Finally last June, I tried yet another therapist.  This one was spot on.  She diagnosed my daughter with a disorder.  Even my daughter agreed to the diagnosis and was relieved that she finally knew what "was wrong" with her.  We started the specialized therapy, and started seeing results right away.  Within a year there was huge improvement and growth, all though there were some serious backslides, which is to be expected.  

She was smart enough to know that she wasn't ready for college, she wanted to do a Gap year.  Well, I thought, OK, but in my day gap year was just hanging out and maybe working.  Oh was I SO wrong.  I saw a poster for a Gap year fair. Really?  So we went.  All four walls of a gym were filled with tables of companies doing gap year programs.  I wanted sign up with at least 5 of them they were amazing!  Safari and study for a year, work and live on a yacht  travel to all Europe's  great art museums with an art professor…and more.  I could not believe it.  But I was drawn to a certain table, gap year in China!  I talked to the two Directors  both American, and the program was to study the Chinese language, calligraphy and culture.  She had a learning disability which prevented her from really becoming proficient in Chinese speaking and writing when she lived there. She always felt really badly about that. Not only was this a great opportunity for that, but one of the Directors had a contact for her to intern at a fashion design institute, which is what she wants to do.  And best of all, she had a friend living in Chengdu where her orphanage was, and she will be going there, to the police station to pick up where the reporter left off.  So everything has fallen into place. and she is there now.  So far, so good.  And she's liking it and developing new friendships!  Oh joy. She won't be home until December, I hope to meet the 'real' daughter that I know is hiding in there some where at that time.  Or at least get a glimpse.…

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Did I mention that I've been in animal rescue for about 9 years?  I rescue and foster for different rescues and shelters in several states.  I mostly do bunnies, kittens and senior cats.  Although we have done baby squirrels, 14 of them, when the hurricane came through.  I've also fostered a Dumbo rat, Betta fish and a Chihuahua.  At one time I had 13 animals here.  I've probably fostered over 43 animals and facilitated 28 rescues in several states.

I'm not writing much tonight as I am rescuing a kitten tonight that a 'woman' wanted to throw outside last night because she didn't want it.  I persuaded her to wait one more day as it was very cold out.  And I had to find transport for the kitten who was 45 minutes away.  So now I will foster and find a home for this little one.  AND I am in the middle of rescuing a 2 year old and two baby bunnies that have no food and are being kept outside on wire bottom cages!
I'm on Facebook in conversations with 9 other people trying to facilitate a rescue.  So I'm a bit busy tonight.  I will return tomorrow night. Hopefully with good news!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I've been busy the past few days as Friday was my twins (identical girls - adopted at one years old) birthday.  They are, gulp, 15.  I cannot get to grips or even acknowledge that its possible that they have become that number.  I want my little girls back, their chipmunk like voices, their cuddles, and their cuteness.  But alas, it can never be.

So traditionally I take out each daughter on their birthday to a restaurant of their choice.  We did that Friday.  Then Saturday they went to a program where college students are assigned to students as mentors through their high school years.  Then Sunday they chose to go to an amusement park.  They could bring one friend each.  The weather was perfect, cool, not too hot.  We spent about four and half hours there!  They did the roller coaster 7 times, the swinging galley ship 4 times, the swings 3 rimes, the parachute ride 6 times, and so on.  e came home, I gave them home made pizza and an ice cram cake, and by 7:00, friends were picked up, and I sent them to finish their homework.

I asked then on a scale of 1 - 10, how was your birthday weekend?  They said a 9!  I asked "Really?"  They said, "Yes".  Not often a Mom can score that high with teenage daughters.  Its nice to know that I do something right every now and then…

So their update. The last two and a half years they've become more serious/solemn. Every picture I have of them before then they are always smiling, in every single one.  Now they have glum faces.  Its a concern.  They've also become less social, basically staying to themselves, as they have each other.  They are a complicated pair.  They are gifted, hyper-active, sensory issues and abandonment issues manifesting in low self esteem.  It's always a balancing act in trying to support them.  In school they get 'A's and 'B's, but they over achieve.  If the assignment says write one page, they do 
3 - 4 pages.  I have had to write an email to their teachers each year explaining this, and asking them to monitor the girls .  One teacher last year even gave them an assignment that if they did too much, they LOST points. They just don't accept when good, is good enough.

I am an old fashioned Mom and pull the plug on homework by 10:00. I told the teachers that they come home, work almost 7 hours on homework, and if it isn't finished by 10:00, I will still send them to bed.  Homework should not be filled with angst or loss of an appropriate amount of sleep.

I encourage them to contact and make friends as often as possible as they need to expand their social skills and quite frankly, they need to be out of each others spaces.  They seem to be improving in this area, a bit.

Last fall I realized that I needed to build a bridge to them as they had drifted away.  They had asked not to do any more acting, but I asked if they wanted to audition for a Christmas musical.  To my surprise they agreed.  So off we went.  They auditioned, but what they didn't know was..I was planning to audition as well.  Well, all three of us got parts!  Ha!  I was so pleased.  I even had two scenes singing with each one of them.  It was a very good experience.
Smiles were also a bonus doing the play.

Right now, it is the first time in almost 10 years that I will be alone at home with the twins.  Their oldest sister is doing a Gap Year in China, the next sister down is a freshman in college, and their sister who is deaf lives in a dorm at a deaf school.  So I will concentrate on building new pathways to them.  The past two years have been devastating and I have had very little emotional energy to give all of my children.  I will now try to make up for lost time.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Well, I did hear back from my connection to the village and the person is not comfortable pursuing this with their neighbors.  Its a tiny village and there could be huge repercussions if this was their child.  So, the best I can do, is locate the village and have someone not from the village ask questions. 

When I have the funds I want to bring all five over and I'll do a media blitz and see if I can locate my daughter's birth parents.  If you remember reading back in Jan 2010, that happened with one daughter, so I think we might have some success.

Now more update on my daughter who is deaf.  Sigh, its a continual frustration. Its like walking into a wall on a daily basis. She ha constantly made decisions for herself that she had no business doing because of lack of life experience.  No matter how many times I explained to her to ASK before doing something, she always thinks she is so independent that SHE can make the decision.  Because of this she is not allowed to turn on the stove, use the washing machine and dryer, walk outside without permission (she's 17). She barely has an understanding of respect, empathy, emotional control. She has had outbursts that are on a three year old level, has become very physical when she can't have her own way, manipulates everyone (except me), lies when it suits her, she's just 'getting' the concept of time and preparation. An example: Every time she breaks a rule or does something she has been told specifically NOT to do, she will do it.  When asked, "Do you remember I told you that you can't do that?", She'll reply, "Yes."  And I ask her, "Then why did you do that when I specifically told you no?"  And her reply never changes , "I decided myself that I wanted to do it."  She lives in the now, the immediate, she doesn't see the future.  I have had many talks with her explaining why we have rules, and why we tell her to do and not to do things, that is a way for her to learn skills for the future and to keep her safe.  Structure is a foreign concept to her.

After fighting with her school for 4 years and 4 summer schools I moved her to another deaf school about 300 miles away.  Why, because this school 'gets' it.  The previous school didn't get her past reading on a 2nd grade level after all that time.  She is going on her 2nd year now there, and is finally seeing by osmosis appropriate behaviors and how to make good decisions. She is also finally understanding and accepting deaf culture, where at her other school they had her in with special needs kids because she didn't know English or American Sign. The results from being in that class were disastrous.

Now if I could only make her really understand that just going to class and doing some homework does NOT mean she automatically goes to college.  Really!  She believed that. I had to give her a huge dose of reality.  I also have been strongly emphasizing she has to work twice as hard to catch up to grade level English.  Which means working on her own, every day.  I have sent several sites where she can work and improve her sentence structure and grammar. She still isn't wiling to do the work.  ALthough her roommate, also adopted Chinese, works all the time to improve her English.  Perhaps she might 
follow her example…..

She's 17 in 10th grade.  The high school is for 5 years if needed.  She needs it.

Final wrap up, I got her in job training this summer, and an actual job with pay, for 30 hours.  She surprised everyone by doing so well they want her back on school vacations!  But, and this says it all, as a deaf person, with limited education, jobs are hard to come by especially where we live.  Do you know what she said, when I excitedly told her about working on vacation, and earning money?  "Oh, the job is boring, I don't want to do it."  She just SO doesn't get it….

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A lot to catch up on.  The girls are older and have gone through various stages, some quite serious, og growing up.

Not sure where to start as there is so much.  I think I will just discuss one child each day so its not too overwhelming.

Now that they are all teens I understand the privacy issue in several areas.  But I also know that perhaps other parents might benefit from my experiences in what to do or not to do.

Lets start out-of-order with my deaf daughter.  She is the third oldest in 5 and adopted 5.5 years ago.  Its as if she was raised in a bubble of ignorence, no self-regulation, problem solving skills, right & wrong awareness, no common sense, dis-regulated - you get the picture.  

I last left everyone hanging (sorry) a couple of years ago when my daughter with her limited sign indicated that she had a family that she lived with and the only reason she was at the orphanage (on the weekends and deaf school during the week) was because her family lived in the mountains 2-3 hours away and they were required to send her to school.

A FAMILY!! I asked?  Does this mean she was adopted without their permission?  I started shaking trees to find out some answer and got nowhere, especially with my agency WACAP, which was in total denial, even that her age was wrong by over 2 years. Finally a year later, I was invited to a function where many adoption officials and Directors of orphanages were invited.  I started laying seeds with the assistant to the Director of CCAA.  Over the next several months I went back and forth with her and my agency, because CCAA said they had to be involved, (again they were useless).  When WACAP sent me some translations of some documents they sent, the translations were wrong.  How do I know?  Two of my daughters are still fluent in Chinese because they came here at 13 years old.

Anyway, the jist of what the orphanage and CCAA came up with is that she did live with a family for many years, but it was a foster family.  She never knew this she thought it was her real family.  It broke her heart.  And they refused to give me contact information to the family because it was against policy.

On a slim to non chance, I weirdly came across an article about a wedding in a small village of a Swedish woman and a Chinese man.  Looking at the pictures of the children in the street I saw, what I think to be avery close resemblance of my daughter.  So I wrote the author of the article and sent picture of my daughter showing the similarities and she passed it along to the bride, (her friend), but the couple won't be back in the village for several months.  And since this could be a very touchy subject, it has to be done in person.  Wouldn't it be great!

Here are the pictures.  They both also have dark skin.  What do you think?

Look at the girl in the white 'T' shirt with the red collar.


Now look at my daughter's pictures below.  In this picture she also has a white 'T' on with a red collar.


There is more update for her but I must go now.  I will write more in a day or two.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I am back, finally.  It seems Google has changes the format since I was last on, so I'm not sure if this will publish.  But is I receive a response or two I have a whole lot of updates and photos.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My apologies for not being around for a few days.  That virus took a total of 3 weeks to leave my body. That was a fist.

Then the husband and a daughter came down with it. then Spring break.  It's now 12:45 am, so I will be picking up where I left off tomorrow, since I need to get up in four and a half hours.

I will share the challenges that have come to us, as a family, in the past years.

I will add, anyone with adopted children may want to read my next post.  As I was blind sided when this happened to us.  And I had researched and studied all, at least I thought all, the issues that come with adopted children.  I want to give you all a heads up, in case this situation ever presents itself to you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I thought as an adoptive parent I was as prepared as I could be.  Reading books, article, belonging to 15 Yahoo groups where you learn from others , etc.  I mean I really tried to be aware of how to support my children and their issues.    But no where was there ever any mention, in the 12 years I have been reading about adoption, was it mentioned the severity of the reaction of hormones on their adoption issues.

Yes, now there is a great Group that deals with those issues, but before, no.

SO I was completely and utterly blindsided when it all happened, not with one of the girls, but all five in different intensities and seriousness.

I will go into detail tomorrow, its bed time and I've been sick for over a week now, and I need my sleep becaue there are two others now sick in the family...figures doesn't it?

Friday, April 4, 2014

I did not have the time yesterday to sit and start writing.  The fact that I have two 11th graders throws me into somewhat of a panic, because I am clueless on this whole college scholarship thing.  Last night I brought them to a seminar on how to write your best essay.  And we went to a huge college fair the other night, and I have reams of research that I'm also doing.

Now, trying to remember what has passed in the couple of years I didn't do any writing....

I previously said that it has come to light that the family that we believed belonged to my deaf daughter may be in fact a foster family that she was with for over 6 years. Of course, to get even this small amount of information it took months of emailing back and forth from  a contact at Chinese adoption center, my adoption agency and my self.  My adoption agency was so keen on making sure  everything was 'satis quo', that they kept making excuses.  I had to continually push them to keep asking, and asking specific questions, AND simultaneously trying to find a contact address and info on my other daughter's Grandmother.  Which is desperately important, because my daughter feels huge amounts of guilt of leaving her Grandmother behind.

So, I am trying to get the truth for two of my children from my adoption agency who finds every excuse to avoid giving straight answers.  Aren't these agencies supposed to be there to find families for children and then support those families so that they can be the best possible parents?  My mistake for assuming that.

This particular agency also has some shady dealings with an orphanage that rounds up older kids from families, then adopts them out, and those kids, stay in contact with their families knowing that they'll be returning with a free education from America.  I know of at least 13 confirmed cases of teenagers here in the US, and the adoptive parents are heartbroken.  Because these kids never settled into the family as they knew they already had a family in China and would be going home.  So the connection to the parents and siblings never happened.

But I digress.  Among all the emails that passed between me and the agency, there were a lot of discrepancies.  Even the translations they gave me from the Chinese by their person on staff was wrong.  How do I know?  Two of my girls are till fluent in Chinese. I am still working through the convoluted information they have sent me to figure out what is truth and what is fiction.  AT one point they said my daughter's age is 3 years older then I have had medically proven. Yet another reason we need to find the family she lived with for over 6 years.  More on that a bit later.

 Isn't it pathetic that adoptive parents have to jump through such hoops and the adopted children continue to suffer with unknown facts & lies.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I am some what better today, so by tomorrow, I should have most of my health back.

Tomorrow I will start the long process of what has been happening these past two years with all five girls.  The journey has been extremely difficult to the point where there were times I did not know what to do or where to turn, so I had no choice but to go by instinct and hope.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I have not dropped out again, I have had a severe flu since Thursday.  I've been sleeping a lot and trying to feel 'normal' again.  I think I have a few days left to get there.....

It's interesting when you get really sick, you become more sensitive to things.  Or should I say more aware and open?  Because my sensitivity level is at its peak, which I usually have under control and in charge, I have been forced to feel and come to some very serious understandings about myself and my children.

For some time I have been trying to figure out  the balance between nurturing, discipline, setting boundaries, etc.  I feel I am missing a part, I need to give more love & warmth, I'm constantly reprimanding myself for not doing better.

An email came in today advertising the singer who will be appearing at the coffee house.  So I clicked on his #uotube link and started listening.  He sang a song a cappella called, I kn*w what l*ve is.  The depth of my pain listening to this song is indescribable.  I could not stop the tears, it was a silent flood. The enormity of the pain and realization washed over me.  I have NEVER experienced that sort of love, ever.  That is why I have struggled to give more to my children, I just didn't know how, because I didn't know what it felt like.  The depth of this pain and sadness is for realizing what I never had, and still don't.  Not to say that it might change though.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The day got away with me again, so catching everyone up will have yo wait until tomorrow.  But I will tell you this I did find the answers about my deaf daughter's background.  At first, if you remember, we all thought, as did she, that she had a family and she had been adopted out with out their permission.  After a huge amount of going back and forth in emails to the adoption agency and the  Chinese officials, they finally gave me most of the truth. We are still not clear on her age, but apparently, she was with the same foster family for many years.  So as far as my daughter was concerned, that was her real family.

Now trying to find that family, which has her real history and photos of her a s a little girls, will be very difficult.  But I will try.

More tomorrow.
Look at them now....all young ladies.

I'm Back...

You know its been so long, that it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to sign on again!    So much to catch you all up on, I know it has been quite a while, it got to a point that the Blog was using so much of my personal energy that I just couldn't continue.

There were many of you that were so supportive in my tough moments and celebrated the good times as well.  I'm sorry if I left you all hanging.  I have no idea if anyone is receiving this any more.  Please let me know if anyone is still out there, because I would love share my updates on the girls.  There have been some very dark times and a few victories as well.

I look forward to hearing from you all, and I will start writing tomorrow about what has been going on.

Just know, that it is now FIVE teenage girls living under one roof...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Several bombshells...

If you remember my deaf daughter revealed to me that she hadn't been left at the orphanage at 2 years old as her papers had said.  She had told me that she had been abandoned as an infant but a woman in a village had found her and adopted her.  She lived on a farm in a town with her parents, a brother and two sisters and a dog.  They had brought her to the orphanage at around 5 or 6 years old.  My understanding was so she could get her hearing 'fixed''.   She even drew a picture of the street she lived on and her neighbors.  At that point, since her Sign was limited, we stopped talking about it.

Last night the rest of the story came out - it was a bombshell.  My understanding of what she shared is the following.  Her parents did bring her to the orphanage at 5 or 6.  But not to be adopted, it was for an education.  Because she lived over two hours away, she stayed there to go to the deaf school.  At around 8 or 9 they came and picked her up and brought her home for a while (summer vacation/Chi*ese New year?).  She told me that there was something at her house, that made her sick and throw up, something green.  I was never clear what it was.  And I think she said others were sick also. At sometime she said her Father worked very hard all the time and made enough money to buy a newer and bigger house.  She also had a dog.

My understanding is because she lived at the deaf school during the week, she was only at the orphanage for the weekends because she couldn't go home.  It seems that her parents would come see her and bring her home every 1 or 2 years.  The last time she saw them was on the Chi*ese New Year, a year before we adopted her.

From my direct questioning, she said that her parents do not know where she is and as far as she knows she was not supposed to be adopted. She thought she was just going with us for a little while and would be returned to her parents....  This information, if verified, overwhelms  me with grief and sadness for the pain she has suffered this past year and her parents who have lost their daughter.

I wrote to a lawyer in China last night that does pro bono work for an organization called Baby Come Home. for kidnaped children.  I hope that he will be able to get some information for us.  The last thing she said to me before she went to sleep was, "When we go to China to see my Mom and Dad, can I stay?"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

There is so much to share about the two new daughters.  Most is promising, with only a few frustrations along the way.  Life does  have a way of keeping you on your toes, just when you start relaxing wham a huge challenge presents itself.  And yes I know, life doesn't give you anything you can't handle...  But there can be a time or two when you're not so sure.

Since I am on duty tonight, I won't go into all the details because I do need to get to bed.  But I will share one success with you.

When my deaf daughter had only 8 months of american sign, she wrote a sign poem for a school contest.  Her category was ages 9-12.  Well, darn if she didn't win first prize!  I mean, she's only known the language 8 months!  I then get a letter telling me that the school is submitting it to the National contest.  Oh, I thought, that's interesting and then I forgot about it.  About three weeks later she comes home from school and informs me that she won 1st prize.  Now it took about 15 minutes for her to explain it.  I wasn't sure that she was actually saying that because she still is mixing up her signs and perceptions.  So I contacted her teacher, and you know what?  My daughter won 1st prize for ASL poetry in the national contest!  How can this be?  Here she has only been using the language for a short while and she competes against kids who have been using it all their lives!  

I made sure that she understood how HUGE this was, and how proud she should be of herself!  Tomorrow she will perform it one more time at her school and I will be the proud Momma sitting there beaming ear to ear.  I'll try and get some good pictures.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A short post because it is quite late but I feel guilty for not posting, so...I am.  I believe that most of my readers are female, but correct me if I am wrong.  Having said that I want to share with you on "What your Mother never told you about menopause."  I personally had never heard of any of these things until they snuck up on me and said, "Welcome."  For those of you that have not arrived at this glorious time of life yet, let me tell you what happens.  First for no apparent reason you start to gain weight even though nothing in your diet or exercise has changed.  And when you go to lose it, it is almost impossible to take off.  Then there are those waves of sheer exhaustion that come crashing down on you and you just have to lie down or you'll fall down.  Memory, forget it! Literally.  I used to be a Type A personality now I'm Type Z.  Things roll into one's brain and right out again.  It's ridiculous.  The most important and simplest things are forgotten.  And finally there are those 'down' periods that pull you in and sit on you.

I tell you it's not fair, especially when that 'M' word can stay for up to 10 years. I've had several serious talks with my body about it, but have gotten no where.  SO I say to you all Beware, it is just around the corner and it's not  pretty picture.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I sometimes move so slow.  I can't get up to speed and thinking of all that I need to get down just overwhelms me to a standstill.  I do not like that feeling.  There is a lot going on at the moment, and a lot of balls to juggle, but still I do want to keep order.

OK some updates:
My new daughter did start high school in Feb, after we won our case.  She LIKES it and is doing well.  I actually called a meeting of all her teachers, and you know what?  They all showed up and listened and responded.  I explained to them the differences of an immigrant child and an Internationally adopted child.  How they learn differently and the issues that are associated with them that effect their learning.  One point that I made that was very important was for them to realize just because her social and reading English is good, it still takes 5-7 years for cognitive , deductive reasoning and abstract thinking to be acquired.  I said that we were a team and any time that I could help at home with the work to let me know and visa versa.  Boy did that feel good after fighting the Middle School for so long.

My twins have excelled to the point that their teachers wrote a letter to the principal of the Middle School (yes the same) that they will be going to next year saying it would be a disservice to them not to take 7th grade English (ILA) (They will be in 6th grade) because at this time they are probably on an eighth grade level. If they were to be in 6th grade they would be bored. They will also be in 7th grade Spanish since their 5th grade didn't have languages offered, and they will be in honors math.  Right now they are in a school an International School that only goes to 5th grade.  With all that I had a meeting with the Principal, and she gave me an indication that she agreed it would be best to have the girls go up those levels.

My deaf daughter is wearing us down.  Her life skills and knowledge are on a 4 year old level and she constantly has to be watched and reprimanded.  She does so many things wrong I have felt like a bad Mom because it has been so hard to find any break in her behavior or choices that I can have a calm period with her. So I knew constantly disapproving what she does really does not help her or me.  I just couldn't figure out what to do because she can be so frustrating.  Finally I decided to read a book to her at bedtime.  We sit side by side on the bed with the pillow behind my back and she's curled up with her bears and I read the story.  That is my calm/connect moment with her.

My eldest is excited about entering high school especially because she got to choose her school.  She will be majoring in Japanese, the language, culture and literature.  In addition she will be doing all the other required high school courses.  She is beyond thrilled.

Me, I'm well, that's another story for another time, it's getting late.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Connection

I am so excited by everyone welcoming back.  I was so sure you all would have given up on me by now.  I sure would have.

I took all five of my girls to my friend's farm and we sat on towels with binoculars and looked at the supermoon and the constellations.  It was so much fun.  Then the girls started playing moon tag because it was so bright out that we didn't need flashlights.

I had a very sweet moment with my deaf daughter tonight.  They don't come often, this may have been only the 3rd time since we brought her home.  And for the last several months she has been acting like a complete four year old who we needed to watch every moment.  Anyway, if you remember I mentioned that a while back she had told me that she had been adopted before by a Chinese man and woman when they had found her abandoned as a baby.  I am going to skip sideways for a moment to something that occurred two weeks ago.  It had been a disappointing day and I felt like I needed a hug.  So I went over to my deaf daughter and hugged her.  She asked me why I did that.  I said that I felt like I needed a hug.  She gave me the strangest look.  I asked, have you ever been hugged before?  She gave me a shake of her head with a disgusted look on her face.  I told her that I was going to teach her about hugs and what they were for.  She did not look happy.  Now back to tonight.  I went in to say goodnight to her, and knowing hugs are still taboo I just stroked her forehead.  She looked at me.  She said my Mother in China used to stroke my forehead to put me to sleep, and she showed me how she did it.  Then she described two siblings that were disabled in a way that made me guess CP, epilepsy, or some other muscular malfunction.  She said her Mom had to feed them, dress them and put them to bed,  I asked, how many were in her house.  She counted, Mother, Father, her, the two disabled children, two much older kids and a baby that had been abandoned that they adopted.  A total of eight. I wish I could find this family but she does not know the name of the village.

But from tonight, I have learned a way into her heart, which I had never been able to find before.  I now know  that I can stroke her forehead to connect with her on a Mother/daughter level.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm baaaack!

I start again.  Today is St. Patrick's Day.  And many years ago when my twins were little someone told them that if they put their shoe out a leprechaun will put a treat in it.  I thought that was cute, so I did it.  Little did I realize that by doing that I had started a tradition that I have to do for the next 20 years or so.  When my oldest daughter came, then I had to do one for her.  Now my two new daughters need to be included.  That's five shoes and five treats.  Now you think that shouldn't be that hard.  The fact is I never remember to do it until the morning of when THEY remember to put their shoes out.  SO I have to run around trying to find green treats.  Today I had to go to five stores until I found five freshly baked mud pies with green mint cream in the middle! And I had to hurry to figure out how to put them in the shoes before the first daughter came home. So I got some green tissue paper those gold doily thingies and put the pies on a gold doily and then green paper and into the shoe.  Well, the screams of delight as each one came home was wonderful.  And I heaved a sigh of relief and swore to my self that I WILL remember next year before the day..

Tonight, the twins, age 10, helped my deaf daughter with all her homework.  It was so cute to watch.  They were so patient, and my deaf daughter didn't become frustrated at all even when she couldn't get the answers.

I will catch everyone up on the news, but I will do small posts each time so it isn't so daunting.

I will also post more pictures.  Bye for now to anyone who has stuck around...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It is a New Year and I will be posting pixs and updates tomorrow the 2nd, because my house guest will be departing and all our social engagements will have ended.  So do come back tomorrow for the updates.

See you then...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Countdown to the Holiday...

My twins love to torture me with telling me exactly how few days are left till THE Day.  Oh the agony of being behind...  I woke up at 4:30 this morning with my mind racing on all the things I need to do, haven't done or forgotten, and in between all that trying to give quality time to the girls, and bunnies.  Am I stretched a bit thin?  Yes, I think so.

On the lighter side, I sang the Messi*h with a symphony and a 100 voices.  My dh came and all five daughters.  I knew my deaf daughter would be bored so I told her that she could bring a book and things to draw with.  I also was clear that I expected her to behave like a 12 year old, not a 4 year old, which meant not slumping down in her seat, putting her hood over her face and going to sleep.  She didn't do any of that put she DID hold her book up high enough to block the view of the person behind her, and she did put her bright yellow coat on backwards.  My other daughter who was sitting next to her told her to stop.  I am seeing all this because I'm up in the balcony with the other sopranos.

But the sound of us was amazing, it truly just blew everyone's socks off.  As we ended a roar went up from the audience and they were on their feet even before the clapping started. Wow!  Four of my five really were impressed with the performance, what a great experience.

And today for the first time I got to sing with my twins. The chorale that I sing with arranged with the mall to do a random act of singing.  While we are all there we didn't interact but all of a sudden one person started singing, then another, and finally you had about 35 people singing in four part harmony Chr*stmas carols.  The people at the mall (and there were quite a few) went nuts and really enjoyed it.  My twins and I sang together, it felt wonderful!

I will continue tomorrow, I must get some sleep now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hawk

Look what was sitting on top of one of our three birdfeeders looking for breakfast this morning!

We won!

Some of you might remember that I filed a complaint that my daughter's rights had been violated in the Middle School.  Well, after many months of phone calls meetings and such...we have won!  What does that mean exactly?  Well, when the government looks at this sort of complaint they look using three categories, and under each category are many sub categories that need to be looked at.  Our school district apparently violated something in all three including discrimination.  I totally missed that one, but they also flagged several other issues I was not aware about.  I am so excited.  So, the District will be responsible for paying for a qualified teacher on a one to one basis from the time she enrolled in March to June of last year.  That translates into them paying for summer school this coming summer.  They will have to pay the high school since she will be going there and the high school is a different Board of Ed and has a different District attorney. She will get support in all of her classes and have a separate time for tutoring. Not only is this and more happening, but I am thrilled to know that they are not going away when this is wrapped up.  They are watch dogging the District and they will have to send in reports on what they are doing to identify ELL students what testing they have done and the support that is being given.  SInce the school system has never done that before it became clear to the Government  Attorney that there is serous problem there and they will be watching them for a long time.  That means other students who come into the school system will finally get the support that they deserve and have the right to receive. So my daughter will start High School right after the holiday vacation.  Wow, we really did it!  And if I remember correctly, I think I filed the complaint in May, but the problems started two weeks after she had started school in Feb/March.

What a very busy time.  The three performances of four of my daughters with the Symphony were great.  The city has been producing The N*tcrack*er for over 25 years, and many said that these singers were the best they have heard in a long time.  There were only 18 children singing.  Now I'm rehearsing for my concert with the symphony.  There are 90 singers, the sound is truly magnificent. But hitting all those high notes for two hours is exhausting.

We trimmed the tree tonight.  My two new daughters started out a bit slowly not sure exactly what to do and why.  But they quickly got the hang of it.  They both want their picture taken in front of the tree, and I will post that.  My deaf daughter is beside herself with excitement about Santa Claus coming to bring her presents.  She can barely wait.

I'm decking my halls, and trying to figure out presents for the five girls, stay within a tight budget (HA-good luck with that) and having apoplexy about wrapping everything for five stockings, and all the presents that go underneath the tree.

I'm off to sleep (what's that?) now so I don't have to remember everything I am forgetting (Like totally missing my sister's holiday party...) and trying to remember everything I haven't done yet that needs doing.  Sigh, I hope I can sleep through the night, or at least what's left of it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

She is 14 years old!

This her very first Birthday party and her first birthday presents.

It was hard though to get her to agree to even acknowledge her birthday.  She said she just wanted it rolled into Christmas.  I said, "Oh no, in America we have a tradition to make that day special."  And it took a whole lot of talking and a lot of listening behind her words to understand what was bothering her about her birthday.  Two things, she didn't want the attention on her, and she didn't want us to spend money on her.  She is such a sweetheart.  I finally persuaded her to see a movie with two of her sisters. The twins were at a Girl Scout tea.  I looked through all the available movies, searched the trailers to show her the choices.  Finally I found one I thought that she would enjoy and would be visual enough for my deaf daughter,  But I had to find every trailer on this movie to show her before she would say "Yes".  They all enjoyed the film immensely.  She did have a wonderful day.  Before the movie they all had singing rehearsal for the "Nutcr*cker".  Then we went to a holiday craft show, and my friend had a table there and my birthday girl got to pick whatever she wanted!  And somehow all five of them ended up getting something. My friend is their 'Auntie'.

My daughter and I went to order her cake which was to be ice cream and the great thing about this store is that I always order their cakes for the girl's birthdays and since the owners are Chinese they can write in Chinese the birthday message and name!

I tried to explain to my deaf daughter today the concept of 'future'.  Whew that is a tuffy!  I used examples like graduating form HS then college you can have more doors open for you to follow your dreams, but you do badly in school you don't get into college and your choices are limited.  Now I used much simpler words describing this. Like what you do here will effect this here (Pointing forward).  Then she had a "Ah ha" moment when I explained how In HS I worked hard to get good grades and even did extra when I could, and I got into college.  That opened the door for me to go to Engl*nd one summer to take summer school (her eyes widened at this).  Because I liked it so much there, I thought how can I get back there?  So I worked even harder at college and was able to go to graduate school there and then stayed another year to work.

Well, by this time she was thrilled!  She 'got' the cause and effect.  What a joyous moment for me. Now I do not expect anything from this, BUT I know a seed was planted and I will continue to reenforce it with choices she is making presently in her life.

Susie, Leslie and Skyblue, you both have an excellent idea and I must and will do a chart.  Tomorrow, I will start.

Leslie, thank you for your encouraging words of support.  When comments are written such as yours, I often think, "Doesn't everyone have a busy life like mine full of responsibilities."  I mean I just think I'm normal, a typically stressed out parent.

Ruby, thank you for the offer to connect me with the parent.  It would be nice to compare notes with her.

Cara, I'm sorry for not replying sooner. Thank you for your offer to share experiences with our 12 year olds.  I will be contacting you.  The only consequence that means anything to her is taking away computer time.

Again it is extremely late, and tomorrow is an early start.