Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Have to Take the Good With the Bad......

The Good

The Bad

*The Good.... Sophie is just doing amazing! She is now saying two and three word phrases.

*The Bad.... Sophie is throwing a little 2 year old 'tude around lately.

*The Good.... All of the teachers at our school got a bonus today for making our "ABC" testing goal.

*The Bad.... The state of NC did not have enough money to pay all of the teachers in the state the promised amount for reaching the ABC goal. So all of the teachers at the schools that made their ABC goal received about $300 less than promised.

*The Good.... I only have one more car payment and my car is paid off!

*The Bad... I found out yesterday that I need a new transmission. (good thing I have a little extra cash from my shorted bonus)

*The Good.... Ben and Hannah are doing advanced math and Chris knows how to help them.

*The Bad.... I have know freakin idea how to help them with their math homework!

*The Good.... Well it is all good when you are looking at the big picture!

Hope you are all have more Good going on in your world than Bad!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some Bullets with a Side of Cuteness

* It seems that once you land on planet middle school you need to sleep waaaay more than your two year old sister and snarky is the best way to describe you demeanor. Nuff said.

* I found out the other day that Ben can take the 8 hours of drivers ed classroom time this summer. Really? Is the state of NC CRAZY??

* Ben threw a quarter at Hannah the other day, when I reprimanded him this was his response...."mom it was only a quarter." To which I responded " Ummm Ben do you think a dime would have hurt her less??" He laughed....Do I really want him driving a car?????

* School is going well....considering that NC now boast a 10 page IEP and that is with only one goal page. Seriously when was the last time someone at the DPI had to write and IEP and still teach children with a wide range of disabilities!?!?

* Sophie is one happy girl. Chris brings her to daycare every morning. She insists on opening the door to her classroom. When I pick her up in the afternoon she runs to me saying "mommy!". Gaaaw I just love her to pieces!

* I am not exactly sure why the GOP thinks that Hillary supporters will vote for Palin.....is it because Palin also has breasts??? I voted for Hillary cuz she has balls!

* Beautiful fall weather has rolled in to NC. I love the fall in NC. I hope it is a nice long fall followed by a really short winter!

* Chris has started planning our anniversary weekend get away. We will head to Asheville to stay at a bed and breakfast. We love Asheville. November will mark 15 years of marital bliss:)

Monday, September 22, 2008

And the Winner of Kay Bratt's Book is.....

Kateri from Blessed Beyond Measure. Kateri email me your address etc at Maryellen@otsports.com and I will get the book out to you this week.

I encourage everyone to order this book and read it even if you have been home with your child for some time. I believe that "we" the adoption community like to keep on our rosy glasses, when our children's reality is quite different.....even in the "good" orphanages. It is an important read, you will cry. You will ache for your child,those still waiting, and those now resting in Gods arms.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today I received pictures of Sophie’s finding spot from a generous young American living in Datong. I found her some time ago through a YAH** board. I will be forever grateful for the time she took out of her busy life for Sophie.

As I looked at each picture I was overcome with sadness. I suppose sadness that I have pushed away as I navigated Sophie’s medical needs, and our ever-changing family. My little girl apparently born the day she was found lay in a box across the street from the hospital. I have chosen to believe that Sophie’s birth parents chose life for her, they left her across the street from a hospital where she could be taken for medical care. It is a fairly busy spot; close to the street, but yet a beautiful spot in the midst of the city. I am not sure of the significance of the statuary that she was placed in front of or if it really only mattered to her birth parents that she was across the street from the hospital. I wonder how these photos will impact Sophie. Will she see what I see? Will she believe me when I tell her that her birth parents must have wanted her to be taken care of because of the spot they chose.....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Important Book

I just finished reading Kay Bratts book Silent Tears. As difficult as this book is to read EVERY parent who has adopted or is adopting from China needs to take the time to read this book! ( matter of fact anyone who has adopted internationally needs to read this book.) I am giving away a copy. Please leave a comment and I will enter your name. I will pick the winner using this. I will post the name of the winners blog on Monday night. The author as a blog, you can visit it here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pure Joy

Like many people I tend to get caught up in the day to day stuff and forget to notice the small things that are in fact the "big things" that make life great. Every once in awhile there are moments where I kind of step out of what is going on around me and really take notice. Last night was one of those times. We were at our local college watching a football game. We were there with our 3 kids, we met up with our good friends and their kids. We just sat on the hill watching the game and chatting while the kids ran around. As I sat there I looked over at my amazing husband talking and laughing, my son walking with his friend from first grade, still the same little boys I remember, but quickly turning into young men it seems before my eyes, I turned and looked the other way to see my two daughters laughing and rolling down the hill....blissful is the best way to describe their laughter. I sat there amazed that this is my life. Even as I write this it brings tears to my eyes. My life! I am truly blessed, lucky whatever you want to call it....I am just so thankful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One Year

One year ago our family grew by one. A scared but sassy little girl would in a flash become part of our family. Her first year with us would teach us that love has no limits, that strength can be demonstrated by a baby in a strange place and that smiles and kisses are worth the wait. We love you Sophia June XuCan, from the moment your were born God placed you in our hearts and from there our love for you grew. The moment that we all saw you we experienced so much love and joy that we would never again be the same. We love you Sophie!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


For the record I am going to have to say that Sophie is our best sleeper. Granted her little toddler bed is right next to our bed. Ben and Hannah both wandered in and out of our bedroom until they were four or five (well, Hannah used to come in the morning to snuggle until she was in third grade). Anyway I have always kind of sucked at the bedtime thing. We have a night time routine that I stick to during the week (I am not great about it on the weekends), just the usual bath, books and bedtime. Except that I lay down in my bed until Sophie falls asleep in her own little bed. Now we all know that if a grown up lies down anytime after 8:00 they are going to fall asleep. I was asleep every night last week by 9:00. Yes, it does sound like I need my sleep, but I also need to do laundry and talk to my husband without a children interrupting. So I decided that I was going to get "tough" on Sophie's bedtime. Friday night I sat in our bedroom chair until she fell asleep....that took 45 minutes! Every time that she closed her eyes I would wait a few minutes and then walk out of our room as quietly as possible. No sooner did I get out of the room Sophie would wake up and start crying, seriously she is like Yoda and can sense my presence!! This didn't go on for to long because I had given Sophie some medicine since she has about 25 mosquito bites on her legs. Now Saturday night was an entirely different story. I did the same as I had the night before including medicine for the zillion mosquito bites, but her Yoda skills were on high alert. The girl can fight some sleep! I brought her back to her bed and would get her settled and I would sit in the chair. Every time she fell asleep and I would leave, Yoda, I mean Sophie would wake up screaming and crying. I finally just brought her out in to the family room and held her until she fell asleep and popped her in to her bed.

I can't let her cry it out. I can't close the door on her. I couldn't with Ben and Hannah either. I could try putting up a gate that would keep her in the room, but I suspect she will just stand by the gate and cry. I am open to suggestions.....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Early Interventions

Sophie had an evaluation through early intervention services today. This program serves children from birth to age three in all developmental areas. We scheduled the eval due to some concerns that I had regarding how Sophie chews her food, well she chews then sucks on the food before she swallows. If she is really hungry there isn't a lot of chewing going on! Although the sucking on her food has decreased since she has been home, she still does it on occasion. Three different therapist came to the house, an OT, SLP and a developmental specialist. The OT watched her eat french fries ( the one thing I know she will ALWAYS eat) and then they had her stack blocks, say some words, point to pictures etc. She was pretty good, but she is two years old so she said "no" quite a bit, or just kind of snuggled in to my chest. All in all the test went well. Sophie did not qualify for services but there are somethings I need to watch and work on. Sophie is 28 months old, she came to us at sixteen months old, not quite walking and on a restricted diet due to her SN. Here is the quick results that they gave me today, I should get a full report in a few weeks.

Language age equivalent - 24 months old
Cognitive- 30 month old
Self Help- 22 months old * more on this*
Social Skills- 36 month old
Fine Motor- 30 month old

Not bad considering that Sophie was 16 months old when we first met her, she was not yet walking and was on a restricted diet due to her SN. In the year she has been with us she has had two major surgeries, learned to walk, adjusted well to a new home, bonded with mommy, daddy, brother and sister, went from babbling in Chinese (pretty funny to hear all those non-English sounds),to babbling with more English language sounds, and now saying new words every day and working on two word phrases. I am pretty proud of our girl. She is a trooper!

Now the self help age equivalent, really not worried about it at all. When we first met Sophie she did LOTS of things herself. But, knowing WHY she was doing these things, I TOOK these skills away from her so to speak. I put her shoes on for her ( she can do that still, but I initially did it for her), I dressed her, I put her things away, I fed her and held her bottle. We all know WHY I did these things....I needed to TEACH her that I was mommy (daddy did this too) and that I would love and take care of her. One of the questions was could she pull her pants up, which I promptly "tested" when the therapist all left....and which Sophia June XuCan passed with flying colors:)

Monday, September 1, 2008

For My Dad....

My dad was checking out my new digs and he promptly informed me that he liked my old blog better.....more pictures. So here are some pics from July and August.

Sophie and I go to the little gym on Saturday mornings. She is getting better with participating in the group warm ups and letting the teacher help her, but to be honest she loves the free play best. She is strong and adventurous on the equipment. Each time we go she gets a little more comfortable with the group.

Check out Hannah and our new dog Piper. Piper is a little Schnauzer and is fitting in quite well with the family. Hannah and I still miss Jazzie, but I thought it was time to add a little dog to our family. Jazzie was Hannah's dog, Piper is our family dog (along with our yellow lab Murphy).

Here is Sophie at the front door of her little house that Papa and Oma bought her for her second birthday. She loves playing in her house and it looks nice in our backyard:)