Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I never thought that I was old enough to be considered an antique...  I was asked to bring my Sti*ff stuffed animals to the museum today for a showing of antique toys.  That means, my toys that I grew up with are antiques!  How did this happen?  I can't quite grasp the concept.  But yet...when I figure out how old my stuffed animals are, about 50 years old, I 'guess' they are rather old, but antiques?  Sigh.

Some of my girls think it's pretty funny, hurumph to that.  I tell them, you just wait until your toys get to be antiques and see how funny it is then!

If antiques are worth money, does that mean I become more valuable the older I get?  It is a dilemma.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My deaf daughter DID draw a picture of what she remembered of where she had lived with her adopted parents in China.  She didn't just draw a house, she drew the whole street, with all the houses and the next block which was the town square where they sold their vegetables.  And she had taped 5 pages of printer paper end to end to complete it.  She even had her out house in the picture.  Next door was her friend who was little boy.  She described all the festivals they shared and the neighbor that had the biggest house, which was also in the picture, that always had good celebrations with peanuts and roasted sunflower seeds. They lived on a farm and produced vegetables.  She described her good-bye party and the food they served.  The details were so exact, that I have to believe she was at least six years old when she went to the orphanage.  Oh and she remembered her Father showing her photographs and she pointed to someone in the picture and asked "Who is that?"  Her Father replied, "That is you!"  She said she wondered why there weren't any baby pictures of her only little girl pictures..  Amazing, she took me on a whole journey through her life before us.

Halloween is befuddling me because my new daughters can't think of anything they want to be for Halloween.  Even with many suggestions nothing has interested them — yet.  I hope to post pictures of whatever the outcome.  I shall make this a short post as I am trying to  catch up on some sleep.  Then I will be able to share more tales of my Five Blossoms.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ah yes, it became late again without me knowing it.  But I will put as much news that I can before I am too tired, again.

We now have a definite date when the US Depart. Of Ed. will come and question the school district.  It is in about two weeks, yeah!  So hopefully my daughter can go back to school soon.

The twins are finally settled in at their new school and actually loving it.  And they had an audition for a modeling job that could put money into their college account.  I will let you know if they get a call back.  Oh I do hope so.

My daughter who is deaf still 'entertains' me with her actions and perceptions of the world. I find if I keep listing them you all will become bored, so I will just high light the real biggies as they come up.

My eldest seems to be taking huge steps to healing her past.  Working together, and finally understanding certain issues that I had missed before has helped in the communication department.  One is, that I realized that she didn't understand, accept or know what to do with efforts we make on her behalf, no matter how large or small.  For instance, when she needs more face wash, I try to get it within two days, or she asks to take Karate, we find a class for her.  So, this is what I suddenly realized that I needed to do.
I asked her, "SO why do you think I would drive 45 minutes all the way over here, and all the way back and then be late for my EMT training?"  She was silent, then groaned, "This is hard."  I waited , and waited, and then she finally mumbled, "Because you care..."  "Yes," I said, "you are right.  And as you say it more and more it will become easier."  Well, I have asked numerous times since then and she has answered each time.  And her answers are coming quicker and with a smile.  It never occurred to me before that she didn't 'get' that all this was meant for her because her parents cared about her.  So with that, I am exploring other things that I might have missed.  I think I know of one...extra patience and more acknowledgement of what she does right.

I must finish for now, I will continue tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I have been absent

I have never had such a long gap between blog entries.  I am sorry if I have disappointed or frustrated anyone.  There have been no catastrophes, I have just been very weary and it has been hard to find the energy to sit and tap into my emotions to write.

I need one more night off, but tomorrow I will update the various adventures of my family.  So if you still are checking in, see you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Well, I am at a bit of a loss tonight. An unexpected tidal wave of information has washed over me that was completely unexpected.   I went in to ask my deaf daughter why she hadn't said good night which she does every night.  The light was off, she was in bed.  I came over to her she was crying.  I asked why?  She did not answer.  I asked again, no answer.  I turned on the light and asked again, she said no reason she just wanted to cry.  I explained if you are crying you have a sadness or hurt somewhere.  You need to try and find that sadness and tell me about it.  She could not.  I asked and explained in different ways to try and help her.  Sill nothing.

So I suggested that I would try to help her by asking a few questions.  "Do you miss your friends in China.?", "Do you miss China?"  "Are you feeling lonely?"   "No". "No" and "Yes".   So we started to talk, and as she went on my jaw dropped further and further to the floor.  I called my dh into the room and told him what I had heard, and he too was surprised.  And she continued with more and more information, it just poured out of her.

The documents I received from the orphanage said she was abandoned at the orphanage and was about 2 years old.  They described the clothes that she had on and that she had a little bag in her hand with a coat...  And this is what my daughter told me.  She was adopted by a Chinese man and woman, and they told her that she had been abandoned as a baby and they adopted her.   She had an older sister and brother.  She lived in the mountains.  Her house was very small, and they had to go outside to use the toilet at an outhouse that smelled bad.  Her Mom was a good cook.  Her Father worked in the fields and she tried to help sometimes, something about corn. They had a dog she played with.  There was a picture she kept describing that she wants.  It's her as  a little girl, not a baby she said, but a little girl and she was so cute.  She wants to have that picture....  She was five or six when she was taken to the orphanage.  She said it was a very long journey that took all day. She saw her parents sign papers and she thinks they cried. When asked why she was brought to the orphanage, she said her parents were very old, and signed crooked hands for her Mother which led me to think of rheumatism.  Also they didn't have any money to take her to the doctor for her deafness.  She talked about her fist fighting her roommate at the orphanage and stealing toys.  And there was an older deaf boy that would tell her not to do those things and explained why.  She said she eventually understood.   And there was more.

I asked her to draw pictures of everything that she remembers and to write all the details down and any names that she might remember.  This is huge.  It helps me understand her more.  I realize now that there is much I do not know of her that shapes the person who she is.  I am excited to find out more.  I did tell her that with whatever information that she gives me,  I would try and find out where her adopted family was and try and get the picture.

All I can say is "wow".  It is an amazing experience to learn about her life.  Before so much was unknown.  So the adventure unfolds...

I would like to thank those that left comments on my last two posts.  Your advise was gratefully received.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And then there was today, when she purposely bought lunch at school, when she has been told numerous times that she was not to do so.  I had even gotten up early to heat up a home made Shepherds pie I had made that she wanted  for her lunch.  She had requested it.  She came home with it completely untouched because she decided she wanted a sandwich so she bought it.  Which means charged it to us!  I asked if she remembered that she was not allowed to buy lunch?  She replied "Yes".  Then why did you think it was OK to buy lunch and not eat what I had given you?  I won't continue with the back and forthing but suffice it to say, she thinks it alright to decide when and where the rules she will follow and won't follow.

Any recommendation for books on respect, following rules and responsibility would be appreciated.

Four of my other daughters will be working on a farm on Saturday helping prepare for the Harvest Festival.  It should be a great experience for them.

Did I ever mention that we have four bunnies? Three are rescues. Those three have interesting stories behind them.  Oops, I just got yelled at for staying up so late and not going to bed.  Tomorrow I will tell you their stories and post pictures.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

11:30 Sat. night, hear a strange sound, go into the dining room, I see nothing, all of a sudden a load of water comes through the chandelier, then through an old patch in the ceiling which I never noticed before, then through the seam in the ceiling.  I ran upstairs, burst into the bathroom, and turned the shower off scaring the you know what out of my dh.  The dining room ceiling is now opened up, our shower is unusable until all this can be repaired.  Do you know what this means?  Chaos!   That's right.  Seven people using the same shower, six females and one male.  We all know how long it takes for six females to wash their hair.  Now I have to set up a schedule for shower taking and fit it in between homework, chores, piano lessons, etc.  This will all prove to be very interesting...  Oh, and five out of the six females have very long hair.

My daughter who is deaf has been giving us a lot of things to deal with.  Completely not acknowledging rules when it is inconvenient for her, being confrontative and argumentative with her teacher and us, and not understanding the need to focus and be serious at certain times instead she has an attitude of everything is a game and its play time.  Tonight...suffice it to say, she flat out refused to do as I asked her, which she has done in the past believing that it is completely up to her to choose to obey or not.  Yes, I DO understand why she is behaving like this, and the lack of input at the orphanage is a huge contributer.  But I also know when she makes a conscious choice to break rules as it suits her.  We have such a long way to go.

And it is so frustrating because I can't explain and discuss with her why we have rules, why she needs to have respect for her parents and teacher, why she needs to honor her responsibilities, and how she needs to behave because her language is SO limited!!!  Even while we were going thru it tonight, I showed her in the dictionary the Chinese word for a sign she didn't know and she didn't understand the Chinese so  I had my daughter write an explanation of it in Chinese, still didn't understand.  This happened at least four times in the hour long discussion.  It is extremely hard to get information across to her, especially when her logistical and comprehension skills are so limited.

I will have more update on the others tomorrow. Although I hear the more you sleep the more weight you lose.  So perhaps I might plan to sleep for about 5 days, so if you don't hear from me...

Friday, October 1, 2010

I will try to start my posts earlier so I can write more on a consistent basis.  I wrote last night and finished at 12:01 am.  I got up at 5:45 am.  Deb, I know you do it all the time.  I need to plan my sleep patterns better in order to handle all my responsibilities in a civil loving manner.

Speaking of which, I have applied for a job.  The money situation has become quite serious.  I have applied in the past, but this time I had a telephone interview and I think they will be calling me for an in-person interview next week.  It is for part time around 32-36 hours.  The hard part will be that the shifts available are over night until 8:00 in the morning.  I will need to figure the balance with everything else.  I will wait and see...  Here's hoping.

The past two weeks we've been eating out of the cupboards and freezer.  The past several days there have been complaints that there has been nothing to pack for lunches.  They were right, but I told them to be creative.  Today I finally get to shop.  I'll be hitting two stores and stocking up.

My 16 year old has been trying to identify when she is negative and turn it around before it gets out of hand.  I finally realized (duh!), that she didn't recognize 'caring'.  Just the simplest to the overt acts of kindness.  Like giving her music lessons that are so important to her even though money is tight to getting her the shampoo she wants.  So, I started saying, "Why do I choose to drive 45 minutes so you can speak with someone to help heal you and 45 minutes back and I'm always late for my EMT training?"  She said, "It's too hard to say."  "Try," I encouraged.  She hesitated and mumbled something.  I said, "I didn't understand what you said."  Again a mumble that was a bit clearer, "Because you care." "Hm?" I enquired. "Because you care,"  she replied very clearly now. "Yes," I told her, "you're right.  And each time you say it, it will become easier and easier to say until it will be quite natural for you to think and believe that."

Fast forward several weeks, I had asked her the question several more times, and each time it became easier and easier for her to say.  Yesterday I asked how it felt and she said, "Good."  I also asked how it was going with stopping the negative thoughts and switching them to positive thoughts.  She said it was hard,  but she would still work on it.

My thoughts behind doing this was that she never really 'got' or recognized caring acts, let alone that they were meant for her.  So by her acknowledging that what we do are acts of caring, it places a subliminal message in her brain to open that part of her that is so tightly protected and abolishes the part that says she is worthless, always wrong, never is right, and unlovable.  In the past few weeks, I have see a lighter girl, as if she had shed some heavy weights form her shoulders.  We still have several years of healing to go, but this is a great start.  Especially since she enters high school next year, which in itself is a whole different bag of worms.