Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bet you thought I disappeared, or completely collapsed from all the craziness like when my daughter who is deaf was riding home in the bus with the 'prize' her speech teacher had given her.  She decided to bite into it, for whatever reason, and it exploded in white powder everywhere.  She then took the pile of it in her lap and smeared it all over her face.  THEN she decided to put her umbrella up, in the mini bus and keep it over her head!  Oh, and the other morning I came down and found that she had taken frozen pasta out of the freezer and was trying to fry it in a frying pan.  She has forgotten her hearing aids three days in a row and left them once on the bus.  All the kids are to make their lunch the night before.  One morning I asked her if her lunch was ready, she said, "Yes".  I looked in her lunch box and I saw, a cookie and a Chinese pastry...  All the homeworks, EMT runs, shopping, money concerns, going to three different schools to meet a total of 15 teachers, keeping on the government to resolve my daughter's educational issue.

It has kept my brain so full, I have been forgetting...what was I just talking about??

I need some sleep. I think.  The last tale I will leave you with, is my daughter who is deaf came running into my room tonight in a panic with a chunk of her hair in her hand.  I couldn't imagine what had happened.  She started signing, and I thought she had a snarl in her hair and had pulled at it too hard and it had come out.   She was frantic.  She pulled me into her room and pointed to her hair brush.  As it happens I had been brushing my hair when she came in and I carried it with me when she dragged me to her room.  She pulled hair out of her brush, touched her hair then the brush again.  Ooohhhh, I now understood.  She thought her hair was falling out because of the hair in the brush!  I explained to her that it was all quite normal, and she was not to worry.  "See." I said, and I pulled some hair out of my brush.  She saw that and was reassured.  The things we take for granted...  Sure keeps me on my toes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I didn't mean to keep you hanging like that.  The days rolled into the nights which became know the usual.  The experience with the Chinese delegation for my family was wonderful.  It turns out that 4 out of my 5 daughter's Provincial heads were there. Once each daughter was introduced they were treated as celebrities taken to other members of the delegations and being introduced and having their picture taken by many people.  Once they found out that we had adopted five girls, we became even more in demand to meet more people.  My girls had the biggest smiles on their faces.  Two really wonderful coincidences occurred for my oldest and my second oldest, who was just adopted.  The Director of my older daughter's orphanage was there!  And she was able to find out that all her friends had been adopted.  She was so happy for them, which was a new area of empathy that surprised her when it came out and me.  She also found out that her "older sister" who had aged out some time ago, not only had found a great job, but had also stayed with the Director for a year.  And my other daughter spoke with the Head of her Province and discovered she knew some of the same people.

I was able to meet the Deputy Director and have a fairly interesting conversation.  My family members were celebrated by the Chinese delegation as we celebrated their trip to America to meet the adoptive families and the children.

My daughter has finally learned enough SIgn Language that I could read a couple of simple children's book to her tonight.  She was thrilled.  It was rather hard for my because I had to substitute signs that she knew so she could follow the stories which changed the story ever so slightly.  It was a whole new experience for her.  I can't wait to do more.

Oh, the twins b-day party was an incredible success.  Look at these Traveling Cloaks my friend made just for this occasion.  They opened it first thing on their birthday morning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I have run out of time-again to continue on about the meeting with the Chinese delegation. Today ran long into homework, making dinner, and in the middle of that, all three fire departments were called out for a chimney fire.  Off I went.  Finished just in time to drive to the next town for my twins teacher meeting.  I just arrived home and it is 9:45 and I need to finish what I left hanging when I ran out the door.

I will pick it up tomorrow, oh, wait a minute.  I have a curriculum night at my daughter's school for the deaf which is an hour and fifteen minute drive one way.  Hmm, I may not get home until after 10:00 or so.

So maybe the update will need to wait until the next day or I will try to write it during the day tomorrow.  I really will try.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am here

I will catch you up a bit, because I do need to go to bed early, (that would be a first).  I have been busy with my time and emotions.

I did hear, finally from the Government handling my daughter's case.  The next step in a week or so is that they will be coming all the way here to interview the District and question their reasoning on their choices for my daughter... Then they will speak with me and my daughter.  I so want her to start school, for her sake.

The other day I drove an hour and 15 minutes, one way, to go to my daughter's school for the deaf, and had a long meeting the Head Administrator, the Principal and the head Teacher.  It was very successful, they seem to be on my page of concerns and goals.  I will see in the following months the progress that I hope that will be accomplished.

After the weekend of my Mother's memorial party, this weekend was the twins b-day.  I purchased a H*rry Pot*er party package where everything was laid out for you, all the things you needed were there to be printed out, and if you did need to buy supplies, there was a supply list.  The document was 140 pages long!  It took me forever to figure the whole thing out.  And I do mean days of looking, printing, and dissecting.  Then when I'm ready to sit down to collate everything and put it all together with what I hadn't printed out...we could not find the stack of papers.  We had moved it some place out of the way for my Mother's party, and not one of us could find it.  And believe me we looked in the weirdest places.  It was definitely too much paper for the rabbits to eat.  SO I started all over again…  Just as I was really starting to 'get it', and I was on a groove when I hear my EMT pager go off.  Of course I won't go I have too much to do.  A second tone goes out, no one is responding between two fire departments, a third tone goes out and I hear only one person sign on.  At this point I'm thinking, aw, come on, I was just in a great rhythm typing up a script and creating lists and sections for each event, (there were 7).  OK, I start to get up to slowly prepare to go.  I get into my EMT pants, grab my radio, phone, ID, a FOURTH tone.  I call in, I'm on my way!  You know, it's a good thing I did, because only two of us showed up.

I got back so late that I couldn't pick up where I left off, so I went to bed.  So I tried to start the next day, the week before the party was full of teacher meetings, shopping and researching for goodie bag items, dentist appointments, and much I don't remember. By Friday I was crispy fried, wound so tight I felt like snapping. By Friday I still did not have a complete grasp on it all and I had promised a friend to spend some time with her quite a while ago.  Ideally I felt I just shouldn't go, it was a 45 minute drive one way and the day before I had driven about 2 and a half hours roundtrip to my daughters school and I didn't want to put the effort out to drive following directions I had printed out that I could tell needed concentration.  See, I really was close to my limit.  I just wanted to finish trying to understand this party, get all the props set up with all the different rooms...  But the invitation was to benefit me.  My friend had wanted to give me a break.  Although I felt I couldn't spare the time just now.  I went knowing I HAD to do this, although doing for Me is never at the top of my list.  That's a typical 'Mom' thing.

I went, and did the Yoga class with her, she took me to a very yummy lunch, with two lovely friends of hers.  This she knew I needed, and made it happen.  I guess that's what good friends are all about.  By the time I left, I was taken down a t least 10 notches of stress.  It helped with the rest of the crazy day.  Because as soon as I got home, out I went with the twins, picked out a cake, picked out the balloons, went to a store to by a b-day present for a party one of the twins was going to that night, and then went shopping for food for the party.  Stayed up quite late preparing.  Went to bed, next day rise early and jam up to the 4:00p.m. start time.

There were 12 ten year olds, 3 boys, the rest girls.  Oh my was it loud.  It was very successful, they all seemed to really get into it, especially the potion class.  I had gizzards, and salmon skins, bat livers, bloodworms, and other gross stuff.  The kids loved it!  I also served dinner as a H*gworth feast, then more things to do.  Finally the cake, several games of telephone, opening presents, and 4 hours had passed and then they were gone.  Hugh sigh!  I started to clean up which took another hour or so, just as I was sitting down and guessed it, my pager went off.  Oh no, I thought.  One tone...second tone, oh heck I'm not waiting this time.  I gathered up what little energy I had and raced out the door.  I got home after 11:00 p.m. and slide into bed.

Only to wake up everyone early the next morning to go on a special boat ride with important people who are in charge of all adoptions in China.  A delegation of 30 people came over to meet adoptive families.

More tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Mother's Celebration of Life party went very well.  People appeared form my past that I hadn't seen for at least 40 years.  It was very special.

I was hoping to hear from the Office of Civil Rights today regarding the schools giving my daughter English grammar so she could access an equal education, but I didn't.  I will rattle their cage tomorrow.

My twins like their new school.  We are presently revving up or the b-day party this Saturday. I'll explain more tomorrow, but suffice it to say it will be a bit of work and creative energy...

My older daughter has indicated a few things that leads me to believe that it is now out of my range of experience to help her.  So for 3 hours today I researched many possibilities for an adoption therapist, which in my area is not many.  I found one, we went today, my daughter is happy with her and wants to go again.  Financially it will be a great hardship, she doesn't take our insurance.  The only other one I found that does take our insurance was a little over an hour away.  I am very sure that she needs to see this person right now in her life, and I realize it needs to be long term, I'm just not sure how to make it all work.

The deaf school is willing to meet with me after I wrote a letter that said in part:
 "I sincerely hope I will not have to continually remind everyone  again that she has only been in this country 7 months and does NOT know English and her ASL is very limited.  Would you please treat her as an ESL student.  Give her basic vocabulary with the signs that go with them.  Teaching her nouns before she has any vocabulary is counter-productive.  As her parent my request is that her education at this point is focused mainly on vocabulary, sign, math and nothing else. You will need to develop a special program for her.  You are not meeting her needs at this point."  

So three out of five children are settled in school at this point.  That's more than half, right?

I just came back from my EMS meeting so I'm off to early bed.  I hope to wake tomorrow, cheery, full of energy with a little blue bird on my shoulder.  (You have to be over 55 to understand that reference).

Friday, September 10, 2010


What a nice way to start the day.  I came down at 6:30 this morning to check on my daughter who is deaf,  That usually means I have to remind her to eat breakfast first, pack her lunch, pack her water, zip up her pants, where are her shoes, is everything in your backpack, are you looking at the time, is the bus driver here, etc?  Well, by golly, this morning, I had nothing to say...nothing!  She had done everything including zipping here zipper.  Wow, this is huge.  If it continues for 5 more school days, I think she will have arrived at a new level.  I do hope so because on the selfish side, I would like to see a little success from the efforts that I have put towards her.  I will let you know the results in 5 days, after the weekend of course.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ah, the challenges of parenting

Do any of you out there have a child that just presses your buttons and makes you over react to situations?  Oh, it is so annoying, just as you think you are doing and saying the right things to your children, one of them comes along and pushes those buttons and makes all your hard work seem like it's going down the drain and you feel like a bad Mommy.  I know orphanage issues and hormones is a nasty mixture but jeesh, does it have to be so complicated as well?  This is going to be such a long road to healing for my older daughter.  So much for avoiding gray hair...

My dear daughter who is deaf, showed me again how far she needs to go.  She still forgets to zip her zipper.  And I caught her the other day pulling out that little pocket that is in the big pocket on jeans and patting it down so it hung out.  Why?  This morning she took out some left over rice from Chinese take away.  While she was heating it I asked her, now what should you put it in to carry to school?  She pointed to the little cardboard carton it came in.  I know why she thought that but her cognitive skills are a bit lacking, so I had to teach her you think your rice will stay warm in the carton?  Do you think it might spill out?  Where should it go to stay warm and not fall out...She finally got it - the thermos.  Another day in my life that tells me the rest of my life will be full of challenges.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I return with a quick post.

Thank you for your kind support.  I have been absent because I have not had the energy to write.

There is not a lot to update except some of the 'usual' stories about my daughter who is deaf.  Hmmm, I probably should just list them.  Well she still can't manage to remember to zip up her zipper, I have to check it every time I see her.  It's just not in her radar to think of as important.  Then she came to me signing something about something not tasting good.  I walked into her room, she pointed, I looked at carved wood birds, and I signed, "What?"  Again she pointed at the birds.  I looked closely, and there was a glo stick around one of birds.  She had bit into the glo stick!  I asked "Why?"  She replied that she didn't know..sigh.

She also has no sense of time, she got up late today, I mean really late. Slowly she came down stairs, the bus was coming in 5 minutes, and she proceeds to take a pot out to warm up some rice for breakfast. I said to her, there is no time to heat the rice and there is no time to eat the rice, eat cereal instead. She could not understand why she couldn't have the rice.  I broke it down for her, it takes about 4 minutes to heat the rice and about 4-5 minutes to eat it.  You now have 3 minutes until the bus comes!  And all this is before I had my coffee...

She always forgets to put her papers, homework and books in her backpack.  Now mind you, I ask, "Did you put everything in your back pack?"  She always answers "Yes."  Then I will ask specifics, and she says, "Oh, I forgot," and proceeds to finally pack it. In her tunnel focus of, "I see it, I want it, or I do it," she fails to ask first.  She took out all the sheets from he closet and re-stacked them.  I know she was just trying to help, but now all the bottom sheets are mixed with the top sheets and the twins, and doubles and queen sheets are all together. She did the same with ALL her clothes putting jeans in her draws, hanging up sweat pants, putting short and long sleeves together and, well you get the picture.  Because of that it takes her forever to get dressed. So I re-did everything,again, and told her not to change it.

So many things to teach her, and to watch out for. I need to devote a lot of time to her because she has such a long way to go.

My other girls are doing well. I do have a concern about one of the twins.  I sense something happening there that isn't very positive.  I've tried a 'casual' chat with her a couple of times to try and figure out what was happening underneath, but to no avail.  I think I might need to press a little bit harder.

One last thing, I want to share a bit about what I wrote about my Mother for the obituary.

"While attending College she became interested in marine biology and spent years researching shark behaviors.  She was a trained scuba diver and has hand fed sharks.

She served on the Board of Directors for the Amer*can R*d Cros*, the Town Association, she was one of the founders of the Church, a G*rl Sc*ut Leader, served on numerous PTAs and was on the Board of Directors for the Pony Club. 
She was a world traveler. On her trip to Africa, she had the honor bestowed upon her by being accepted as a member of the Masai tribe.       

She chose to start a new career in her 40’s.  She became a Real Estate agent.  After many successful years in real estate, she was as one of the first Corporate Relocation Consultants. She finally retired when she was 68.
She is remembered as a caring person that was a great friend and Mother.  She had tireless energy devoted to her family and work.  She was also an avent garde type Mother, that in the 60’s liked rock n’ roll, blue jeans and marched for peace."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It is difficult to start because I don't know where to begin.  I have found out a few things since Monday.  I found out that one of my twins has great empathy.  As I was sitting on my bed reeling from the news and crying, there came a knock at my door, and one of my twins came in slowly.  She climbed up on the bed and sat next me and said, "I wanted to comfort you."  Oh my heart could not have hurt much more.  She stayed by me, saying nothing just being there.  I found out that my dry eye condition gets a lot worse with a lot of crying. I found out that people I didn't know really cared about supporting me (all of you). I found out that acquaintances and friends I hadn't been in touch with for quite some time made the effort to let me know they were thinking about me.  I found out I am getting to know myself better.  And I found out that the family I had always yearned for, that I didn't have growing up and kept trying to 'make it happen,' was really all around me in plain sight.

I have felt sluggish for the past several days, but I couldn't give into it because the girls started back to school.  Two on Wed., two today and I stared Homeschooling again.  Regarding that, the complaint that I flied  is still progressing forward.  Within a few weeks the Lawyer and Advocate from the Government will come here from out of state to meet with the school system.  I do hope it is resolved soon.

After another confrontation of attitude, issues, etc., I sat my eldest down and made a game plan and agreement with her.  One of the things I suggested was to allow me to stop her as she is starting to rev up her emotions and anger.   She did just that last night, I stopped her, showed her another way of looking at what was bothering her and she calmed down and let it go.  Wow, that was a first.  I hope to continue helping her gain skills to use to re-direct her anger, disgust and lack of respect for adults.

One last thing as I am pretty tired. My deaf daughter starting getting all moody tonight when I asked her to pick out what she wanted for lunch tomorrow to bring to school.  She got all sulky and into, I don't want any lunch, I won't be hungry, or there's nothing to eat or a sister is in her way, and so on.  I asked one of the twins to help her pick something out as I was giving holding time to one of the bunnies.  She said she didn't want anything she was shown.  I asked her to come to me and I said, you have to bring lunch to school, you don't have to eat it but you do have to bring it.  Well, the tears started coming. I questioned her, "Why are you sad? Is it because I asked you to make your lunch? Is it because you don't want to do it , etc."  To all my questions the answer was "No."

"Then why are you sad?" "I don't know."  "Tell me why you are sad."  "You asked me to make lunch for school and I got sad, I don't know why."  "Let's talk about it and find out."  This went on for a while, then all of a sudden she started recalling being told what to do in China, being slapped all the time, being told she was wrong, and one particular man always had a cigarette in his mouth and smoke always got in her face when he was yelling at her.  OK ,I said to myself, we have some things to work on here.  So I talked about how that will never happen again, they were wrong to treat her like that. If it ever did occur at school she was to tell me and I would drive the school, and yell at that teacher and report them to the Director of the school.  Her reaction was, "You would drive all the way there???"  I said, Oh yes, no one hurts one of my children.  Your Mama and Papa are here to love and protect you always.  That is never going to happen again, we will protect you, we are your forever family and no matter what you do or don't do, we are never going away.  A whole new concept for her, I think she understood.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I want to thank everyone for their caring and kind words.  They actually do make a difference as I wander through a collection of emotions.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I will start writing again with updates on all.