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.