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...