Showing posts from November, 2011


In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought this would be an appropriate time to list just a few of the things I'm thankful for, specifically over the past year.  Let me be clear.  I'm not just generally thankful, like, "Thanks, Universe, for randomly happening so that the events of my life might be what they are at this moment."  I'm thankful specifically to the God of the Universe for the people, circumstances, gifts, location on the planet, material items; the list could go on and on.  In fact, here it is: My husband, who has been my partner in life, worthy leader, loved daddy of my kids, and best friend for the past 15 years and will be from now through eternity. Hannah, our firstborn who is sensitive, helpful, and soft-hearted. Mackenzie, our little pixie girl, who is delightful, happy, and obedient. TJ, now our oldest son, who is ALL boy, but still loves his momma and isn't afraid to show it. Travis, who we first saw in picture one year ago thi

First Dentist Visit

The boys did fabulously today at the dentist. I'll let the photos tell the story. The boys have come here twice before for siblings' appointments. The train is always a hit! Already opening wide! See your clean, shiny teeth? Tian brushes the doggie's (or is it a kangaroo?) teeth! (This would have terrified Travis!) Cool in his shades. She said, "I wish they were all this good!"

Growing By Leaps and Bounds

Language, I mean.  Their language astounds us every day. I'm posting these videos to show parents (and plead with those parents) who have deaf kids that it's never too early nor too late to start signing with your kids!!  The sooner, the better, but if you're a parent who, for whatever reason, chose not to sign with your kids, it's not too late to start.  You may be scared when you hear that there is an optimal "language window" from birth to 4 or 5.  You may feel nervous that you've let that window pass while chasing an "oral dream."  Don't be nervous!  Just start learning.  Start signing!  Start giving your child access to language.  They can certainly work on speech and hearing as they grow, but don't deny them language NOW!  :) Here is Travis.  At three years old, he had NO language.  After four months with us, he's "re-reading" the book I just read to him.  Sorry about the poor video quality.  I was filming this at

Life With a Deaf Child

After parenting three biological children for the past almost 12 years and now parenting two adopted toddlers for 4 months (seems like so much longer than that), I've begun to make some observations in comparing the two. More than the "adopted" difference, I see a difference in how we parent Travis since he's completely deaf.  Here are a few things that I've noted as different from how I parented my first three and even how I parent Tian. Crying for seemingly no reason. In the beginning, Tian did this now and then, mostly in the middle of his nap or at bed time.  Those episodes quickly stopped, though.  Now he cries when most kids cry: when he's hurt or when he's not getting his way. Travis will still cry sometimes when we have no clue what he wants.  He will be pointing and crying, but we can't figure out what it is he wants.  He's perfectly able to tell us he wants water or milk. He can tell us "No, I don't want that" when we

Walking In the Light

Over the past several months, even before we left for China, I've been feeling like I'm wandering without direction.  For almost an entire year leading up to the adoption, our lives were consumed with paperwork, homestudy, grant applications, budgeting, selling a house, moving, unpacking, more paperwork, and waiting.  A lot of our schoolwork and anything resembling a "normal" schedule went out the window during those months. Once we had settled into our new place, we also reached the end of our paper chase and began the couple of months of just waiting.  During that time, I purposed to get a lot accomplished, but didn't.  I think that waiting time began my season of wandering.  (Yes, I mean wandering and not wondering, although a lot of that was going on, too.) Almost immediately after we started the adoption process, I started dumping outside responsibilities.  At the time I was serving on the board of our amazing homeschool co-op, facilitating our monthly home

Bigotry and Bullying

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the negative comments my kids were hearing regarding our choice to homeschool.  In addition to the homeschool comments, my kids have been told by other kids in our neighborhood that they "don't matter," they are "idiots" "fa**ots""gay."  They have a stupid family.   They've been introduced to the "n" word for the first time ever and have gotten an earful of other colorful expletives.  We can deal with so-called "bad" words, but the name-calling and cruel terms are the ones that get to me. The kids had an interesting way they learned about the "n" word.  They were playing with two of their friends who are Black.  An older Black boy casually called another Black boy this name.  My girls wouldn't have even noticed, but their girl friends gasped and covered their mouths.  My girls asked them what that meant and the girls said, "You need to ask your mom, but it&#

"Like They've Always Been With Us"

Nearing our four-month anniversary with the boys, Ken and I often find ourselves saying things like this to each other: "I can't imagine not having them." "What if we hadn't listened to God's call to us to adopt these two?" "I'm SO GLAD we adopted both boys at once." "I have no regrets." "I LOVE these boys!" "I feel like they've always been with us." These are good feelings to have.  We're very blessed to be in this place. But....  (don't you know that, with me, there is always a but?" But they haven't always been with us.  They had a life before they came to us; a life we will never truly know.  For Travis he had three full years of life: One year with a mom and dad at least.  Grandparents. Siblings, possibly.  Then he had two very unique years in, what appears to be a decent, clean, happy-looking institution.  We know he was exposed to a rich variety of people.  He had friend