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A BIG OLE checkmark was added to the list of things Colorado must do to finalize this Adoption. Time for celebration!!! She's been with us since she was 2 days old. She's been free to adopt for over a year now (With us named as the Adoptive family) we were awarded a form of Custody. Then we moved to another State and have been sitting in limbo for many long months now. It's a relief to see things moving in a forward direction once again.

The checkmark signifys completion of the "Child Presentation". Apparently it is something that everyone goes through regardless of how long they've had the child. We are presented with the file and the child's history in order to make the decision to adopt. (Um, I think we've already made that decision oh, about 18 months ago!?) Anyway, 95% of the information they shared with us about The Princess is old news. Afterall, we've had her practically since birth! There were a few things that stood out that we didn't know about. Mostly things dealing with her Birth Parents. Nothing life shattering, but definately good information to know. We will also be receiving a copy of her birth records in the mail. They were not read during this meeting, probably because they're filled with Nurses notes and are very in depth. I'm very anxious to read them over!! We're hoping the Birth Records will address some unanswered questions that twe have.

Hopefully the process continues to move forward and we can finally put this all behind us.
Whoohoo!!!!!!

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It has come to my attention that a friend of ours in the autism community was recently treated badly in California at an Applebee’s restaurant because her child has Autism. Here is the letter that she has let me post here in hopes that we can DO SOMETHING to help her. Call the media? Something.. Bring AWARENESS to the public…SOME JUSTICE for the inhumanity that this piece of crap manager imposed on OUR FRIEND…OUR FAMILY….Please repost this and if you live in the area please contact the proper people so that something can be done!!!!!!!


Dear Applebee’s,

I write you as a faithful patron of your chain who left the restaurant feeling discriminated and disgraced as single mother tonight. I look for Applebees because the food is reasonable and its nice atmosphere. I am a single parent and I have a child with autism. He is four years old and limited verbally. His name is Andy. Time to time I take him to your restaurant in Fountain Valley, California and we have had a wonderful time.
Tonight I got him out of the car to choose where to eat and he ran to Applebees with a smile on his face. This is his favorite place. He does not understand when food was passing right by him and he had nothing. When we first sat down I asked the waitress to give us something as soon as possible. 10 minutes later we got our drinks and crackers. . . .I was singing to Andy doing everything I could every time food went by he let out a short yelp. I was pulling out everything in my bag of tricks I could. Then he calm down.
The manager came to me and told me because of my child he lost business (boy I felt guilty). I felt as though my heart was being ripped into two. I try so hard with my son. I told him my son was waiting for food –chips anything. I apologized and told him my son does not speak much and has autism and I’m sorry. He came back a second time and told he was losing more business because of my son. I had to do something. All my son wanted was drinks something. He came back told me we had to leave. I’m sorry I told him. This time every one was looking at us because of the manager kept making a huge deal and coming to our table. We were yet to get our food. My heart was sinking and all my son wanted was food! I felt stepped upon like yesterday’s trash.
I had to pull my fifty pound four year old out of his favorite place in tears. This posed a tremendous safety hazard and was totally unnecessary. I feel like my heart was smashed in a million pieces. When we were out the door the manager said “I had to do I have to do and that I should not take my son out if he is not fit (How is he qualified to make this comment).” As he plopped a bag of food to go in my hand.
I take my son out to eat a lot and we have never been kicked out and disgraced like this. We ate at this restaurant a lot. . . . .He just a little kid—and if they would brought him food—or drinks—I could not get him out the door after he ran in because he was at his favorite place—I understand why he did what he did but he did not have to be cruel he could have done it differently —instead me having to pull him out in tears. I do not have much money and I try to get my son positive experiences and take him to places he enjoys I earned a gift certificate from my work and I took him there for a good time. I usually can not afford Apple Bees and I take him there as a reward he lights up so much in the restaurant.
I feel belittled and disgraced and this hurts this truly hurts. I feel like I have been ran over by a Mac truck. How can I ever take my sweet my little boy to his favorite place again let alone out to eat in public again?
A former AppleBees patron

I was outraged when I read this!!  And I told them so, right here: http://www.applebees.com/GuestContact.aspx?t=Complaint

 

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Nature versus Nurture…it’s always intrigued me.  I remember when I took a Psychology course in college.  This was a heavily covered topic.  (Did I mention I loved that class?)

Do we inherit or develop our traits and preferences? Well, the jury is still out on the “scientific answer” to that question.  Although I can say from what I’ve seen, a whole heck of a lot can be chalked up to genetics! 

I gave birth to 3 children.  Boy after Boy after Boy… 3 of ‘em right in a row!  I watched it happen with each one.  From the time they could walk and talk, the TV remote turns into a gun. Bang-bang-bang! (This is especially alarming when we don’t condone playing with toy guns and didn’t even have any in the house!) Anything poop related, including farting noises is hilarious.  They search high and low for spiders, ants, and other creepy crawly things.  Dirt is their middle name…

Then, about 3 years ago when we started doing Foster Care, we were blessed with little girls.  Nearly every single child that we cared for was a girl.  (And we hadn’t requested girls, it just happened that way.)  Boys and Girls are as different as night and day.  It’s amazing!!  From a very early age you can see it.

The Princess got 2 new shirts for her birthday.  She was so excited, and immediately forgot all about the toys.  (The TOYS!)  She was only interested in her new shirts.  She’s constantly walking around with a purse over her shoulder and a baby in one arm.  I’ve never once seen her pretend play with a gun.  She hates being dirty and sometimes insists that I clean her off mid-meal.

Boy #3 just had a birthday and when he tossed his new clothes aside and reached for the next package in hopes of finding a TOY, who do you think ran over and checked out his new clothes?  ….Yep, the Princess did!  (and she was M-A-D when she found out they weren’t hers!)

Realizing these things, I can’t help but wonder what the Princess has inherited from her birthparents.  The good and the bad.  I think she’s going have her birthmoms beautiful hair.  Her eyes come from her birthdad -or so I’m told.  Whose personality does she have?  Etc. etc. etc.   Obviously we’ll do anything and everything we can as her parents to ensure that she has the best life possible.  But will it be enough?

Sometimes I wish I were a scientist so I could focus my research on Nature versus Nurture.  I want to know more, I want to know the “Scientific Answer”.

Why is it some people think that because their skin is lighter, they are better than others?  Yes, I’m taking about racism.  I know it’s such a touchy subject, but it’s been weighing heavy on my mind lately.  Now, I don’t know why but I guess because we are a little further “South” than we used to be, I see racism all around me.  Heck even my own extended family members make comments to the effect of “Black People moving into our neighborhoods brings down property values”. Are you kidding me???  This just blows my mind!!!!  Is Denver (where I grew up) such a diverse culture that I was completely shadowed from this evil?  The comments and the ways dark skinned people are viewed here is so foreign to me. 

We want to raise our children better… to be accepting of all people.  Skin color should not have any effect on the way we treat others.  I was shocked to watch this Documentary put together by a High School student… http://www.komoradio.com/home/video/5001856.html?video=YHI&t=a

In my attempt to raise my children better than this, I set out to purchase a doll of color for the Princess.  I was in shock to find just one single doll on the shelves of the store with dark skin.  Oh boy, I told myself.  I guess she won’t be getting to pick this time.  Thankfully, the minute I picked the doll up off the shelf, the Princess got so very excited (She just ADORES baby-dolls!)  She immediately reached out and took the baby from me.  She looked her over and I could tell was instantly in love.  Success!  We then proceeded to finish our shopping.  The Princess held and cuddled the baby doll with her in the cart. As people walked by they would smile at our little beautiful girl as usual, look down at the doll and then give me a look of confusion.  At first I thought it was just me being overly sensitive.  Yet I saw it over and over again…  I wanted to cry.  Why shouldn’t she play with this baby doll!? 

I don’t know what’s going on in the world, but I do know that our family will not raise Children that continue the evils of racism.  Every night when we tuck the Princess in bed, she insists on having 3 things beside her.  First, her most important “tag”. (Her security blanket, in which she holds the tag and sucks her thumb) Elmo and her new favorite baby doll, which just so happens to have dark skin. J  So far, I think we’re doing a fine job raising a loving child who will be accepting of all people, dark and light skin alike.

Is it just me or does it bother you that Adoption seems to be a “fad” for celebrity parents?  The latest word is Jessica Simpson wants to Adopt a child very soon.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a few celebrity’s out there that really truly believe in what they are doing and have prepared themselves for the good, the bad and the ugly.  But I can’t help but think the majority are doing it because everyone else is and it’s good publicity!  I really worry about the children.  Sure they’re being adopted into wealth…some think that makes it okay.  I say that’s crap!  When’s the last time you met a 2 yr old that would choose a million dollars over a mommy or daddy?  Kids don’t care about money.  Especially those that are sitting in orphanages in poor Countries across the World.  All they really want is someone to love them. 

Which brings me to my next point…  Reactive Attachment Disorder.  “Attachment disorders are the psychological result of negative experiences with caregivers, usually since infancy, that disrupt the exclusive and unique relationship between children and their primary caregiver(s).”  It’s a very serious topic to consider when Adopting a Child, whether it’s through the Foster Care system or abroad.  My husband and I have learned so much about RAD through training classes and seminars.  We have learned some of the things to look for and how to help adopted children bond and attach.  Here is a short list of symptoms related to RAD.  Once symptoms are present, they are typically extreme:

Superficially engaging or affectionate toward anyone and everyone ~ Lack of conscience ~ Lack of eye contact ~ Extreme control problems ~ Cruelty to animals ~ Impulsive Behavior ~ Lying ~ Stealing …etc.

In regards to attachment, it’s so crucial to have a primary caregiver.  Yet many Celebrity children are being raised by Nannies… Are Celebrities ill-prepared to handle their child's possible severe emotional and behavioral problems?  These children are unable to give and receive love and affection, are physically and emotionally abusive to caregivers, siblings and peers, constantly defy parental rules and authority, and create ongoing stress and turmoil in the family. It’s an emotional disability and any amount of money in the world will simply make it go away.  Simply sending the child off to a professional therapist will not make it go away.

So, when this Adoption fad comes to a close how many Celebrity parents do you think will be dealing with mental disorders and other various psychological problems?

To me, that’s a scary thought.  …I hope the fad ends soon.

She was silent for so long. Now, I have proof she's got a LOT to say!! (So what if you can only understand 2 words!)


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We’re down to 1!

I put my boys on a plane this morning.  Grandma is taking them to Disneyworld.  JOY

It’s odd… having just one child is completely different than having 4.  I honestly don’t know what to do with myself.  The princess hasn’t quite figured out that her Bubbas (Brothers) are gone.  Probably because she’s used to them being off at school all day.  I’m guessing around bedtime she starts asking about them. 

The Princess just adores her brothers.  She’s constantly jabbering to one of them.  She’s learned how to take them by the hand and lead them into her room to play.

I’ll miss my boys, but this little break will be fantastic.  They’re off having a blast at one of my favorite places in the world, and I’m enjoying the peace and quiet here at home.  …okay well it’s almost quiet. J

Have you ever experienced dealing with a child that cannot invite certain friends to their birthday party?  It’s very sad!! I know because we’re dealing with it now.  Unfortunately, boy #3’s Teacher refuses to allow him to hand out his birthday party invitations at school.  She insists that he must invite everyone in his class.  All 21 of them!  I understand where the logic is, but that is just not real life!!  Growing up, I think at some point we all had to deal with not being invited to someone’s party.  I got over it without scars and they will too right?  So why such lame rules??

He’s having a “Horse” party at a local Equine center.  There is a limit of 10 kids.  If I could invite his whole class at this point I would, but it’s impossible!! 

My husband and I both told him to hand the invitations out at recess or secretly slip the invitations to the kids and neither has worked.  We don’t have any of the kids address’s and so mailing them is out of the question. Isn’t it sad??  I have half a mind to take it up with his Teacher on Friday at conferences…but what would I say?  She’s obviously a sucker for the rules.  Perhaps she was one of those kids that never got invited to birthday parties and she’s never got over it?  I don’t know, I just know that it’s pissing me off.

**You’ll have to excuse the messy post below.  The link messed up and Blogger is being a b**** and refuses to let me edit it!  Grrrr!!!

 

I read about “Adoption Language” on a fellow Blogger’s site and wanted to share it. Adoption is becoming more and more abundant. Everyone knows someone that has been touched by the gift of Adoption! So many times people say well meaning things, yet they come out all wrong. I hope this list will help you understand.

*There are a few that don’t bother me, but I guess bother other people. See…even I have to watch my language with other Adoptive parents!


Positive language (Negative language is noted in parentheses)

Just say...
Birthparent (Real parent)
Biological parent (Natural parent)
Birth child (Own child) (highlighted for emphasis)
your child (your adopted child, your own child)
Terminating parental rights (Giving up)
Made an adoption plan (Gave away)
chose to parent (chose to keep)
Waiting child (Adoptable child)
Making contact with (Reunion)
Parent (Adoptive parent)
International adoption (Foreign adoption)
Search (Track down parents)
Child placed for adoption (An unwanted child)
Court termination (Child taken away)
Child with special needs (Handicapped child)
Child from abroad (Foreign child)
Was adopted (Is adopted)

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I was flipping through the pages of Parents Magazine a few days ago.  I turned the page and saw a Children’s Place Advertisement.  I use to really like Children’s Place clothing but for some reason I have not been real happy with their styles or their quality the last few years. 

The dress that the child was wearing was absolutely adorable.  It didn’t read ‘Childrens Place’ to me.  It seemed so much better!!  I was pleasantly surprised and made a mental note to order Princess the dress online.  As usual, I got busy doing other things and forgot all about it. 

I remembered yesterday and got online to order it.  I looked all over the site.  The dress was simply not there.  I checked the Magazine- yep March 2007 issue.  Hmmm?  It was really bothering me so I looked closer.  I finally found the dress on the website, in completely different colors.  The dresses offered on their website looked like typical ‘Children’s Place’.  (Remember, I’m not fond of their styles) The dress in the Magazine is a Cocoa Brown color.  These are BRIGHT pink and blue- not what I wanted at all.  I then remembered in the Magazine the Model had on a matching headband and scarf.  I proceeded to check the Accessories.  No such luck.  There is no headband or scarf, in ANY color!  By this point I am livid.  Yes, livid over a dress.  Well, maybe not the dress per se, but the idea that this company is advertising a product that they are not even selling!!

I decided to write customer service and complain.  After a lot of red tape, I finally got a complaint though to them.  This is the response that I got:

…we are waiting for inventory from overseas. We do not have an exact date as to when we will be receiving the inventory.  If you like you can check our website from time to time…please accept our apologies for the inconvenience, but the polka dot scarf is not currently being offered…

I am extremely irritated with all of this.  Why advertise a product that you do not offer???  I think I’ll skip shopping at The Children’s Place from now on.  I refuse to support this kind of thing.  I’ll just have to find a cute new dress somewhere else!

Success! 

The Princess slept in her big girl bed last night for the very first time.  She was so excited when we put the mattress in.  It was cute watching her struggle to get up onto the huge bed.  She’s just so tiny.  Well, we don’t call her monkey for nothing, she quickly learned to scale up onto it.  We told her she was going to sleep in her new big girl bed tonight.  I wasn’t sure how much she understood, but she put up no fuss when I tucked her in.  I kissed her on the head and shut the door.  She didn’t make a peep!  I checked in on her after about 10 minutes and she was out like a light. (We’ve still got a few things to do in the room, so pictures will be a few more days.)

Nap time will be the biggest test.  Somehow, I think her days of taking a nap are now over.  I really hope that’s not the case, but she’s been fighting the naps for some time now.  Fortunately, she was in the safe keeping of a crib before and I wasn’t constantly battling her to stay in bed.  Sometimes she would go to sleep and other times she wouldn’t.  The child apparently doesn’t require much sleep!  Drives me nuts.  The boys didn’t stop taking naps until they went off to kindergarten.  She could at least give me a few more years!? 

 

 

We are surrounded by sickness.  Nearly everyone I know has battled it the last few weeks.  Colds, Strep, Stomach Virus and now the Flu!  It’s been one heck of a year.  I don’t remember it ever being this bad!?

So far, our kids have managed to dodge the Stomach Virus.  (Thankfully, as that’s the worst one for Mommy’s to deal with!!)  Boy #1 wasn’t so lucky though.  He has come down with the Flu.  The last time the Flu made rounds through the family it was like watching a set of dominoes.  One falls, then another and another…  I’m a nervous wreck, watching my other kids for any sign or symptom.  Boy #3 was extremely grumpy last night, which is  typical for him when he’s tired.  I immediately reached up and felt his head. Nope, you’re not warm.  ((Fingers crossed))  So far so good, but we’re only on day #4.  I’m not sure what the incubation time period is for the Flu?  We’re not out of the woods just yet.

In the meantime, I have developed quite a relationship with the can of Lysol.  If you could be a fly on the wall in my house right now, you’d be laughing your head off.  Whatever Boy #1 touches is immediately sprayed down.  He changed the channel on the TV last night before I could get to him and I just cringed.  I ran over and sprayed the heck out of that remote!!  Then I sprayed his chair after dinner….you name it, it’s sprayed. 

I can’t say enough about hand disinfectant either.  We have a bottle of the stuff on the kitchen counter.  Now that we’ve got Flu in the house I get a squirt nearly every time I walk by.  (Which is very often since the Kitchen is in the middle of the house!)  I also grab the princess as she walks by and rub the disinfectant all over her hands too.  She’s a thumb sucker and so any germ that get’s on her hands is immediately into her mouth.

Keep your fingers crossed for us.  Mr. Flu, you are not welcome here!!

Is it wrong of me to be curiously fascinated with Celebrity parents? At some point I stumbled upon a blog called Celebrity Babies. (see links section) I’ve been hooked ever since. At times, I felt waves of guilt come over me as I look through the new pictures added each day. After all, I am just another person feeding the Paparazzi drive. I wouldn’t want to be followed around everywhere I go, people in my face taking constant pictures. Then the guilt goes away and I remember they have chosen to live that life! Brittany Spears, Angelina Jolie and Ben Affleck… Some handle it better than others. In fact from what I can tell some might even enjoy it.

I have developed a favorite over the last few weeks. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck seem to be great parents, doting on their little girl Violet. They are at the park almost daily, trying to give the little cutie a normal life I suppose.

I try to stay away from the site. Imagining it doesn’t exist, yet I am constantly drawn back in. Anxious for more.

Do you think it’s wrong?

Our Princess has been in Speech Therapy since 9 months old.  I know, I know, most of you are thinking, 9 months old!?  Trust me, “I” didn’t even know they could start that early.

At one of her well baby checkups, the Doctor became concerned that she wasn’t making appropriate baby noises.  She was evaluated and found to be delayed so they started Speech Therapy.   Despite ST on a weekly basis, she barely had any sounds and certainly did not speak.  Her first word finally came at 18 months.  At 22 months, she had a mere 26 words.  While we were very excited about that number, the Therapist told us she should have 150-300 words by age 2.  That number seemed unreachable in such a short time frame, but we pressed on.

I am happy to announce her word count is now around 100!!  Still not where it needs to be, but she’s made HUGE progress in just two months.  Every day she says something new.  This weekend she said her first sentence….”Daddy go bye”  (she didn’t quite have bye-bye down, but has since mastered that word too!) 

We are thrilled.  Words cannot express the feeling we have about her progress.  For a while there, I thought she might never talk.  Now, I think we’ll never get her to be quiet.…and that’s okay with us. J

Boy #3 turns 7 today.  Happy birthday little guy!

I hate how his birthday sneaks up on us.  We just get done with the Princess’s birthday, blink and SMACK there it is. 

Anyway, I feel guilty that his official party is going to be a few weeks late.  I don’t know why?  I mean, it’s not like he’s going without celebration. First of all, Grandma took him out for a special dinner and presents last night.  Today he’s getting cupcakes at school.  (I stayed up very late last night baking just for him!)  Then, we’re celebrating as a family out to dinner to his favorite place!  Finally, we’ll have cake and ice cream for dessert at home. 

His “Horseback Riding” birthday party won’t be for a few weeks though.  In fact, I am still waiting for the place to call me back to set up a date.  He doesn’t seem to mind the the official party is going to be late, so I guess I should let it go?

ARGH… easier said than done.  Bad mommy-bad mommy!


 

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