Category Archives: adoption

Show me a smile!

School picture day is just around the corner. In our house, we practice our smiles. Trying to avoid those forced grins.

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Dragon has this routine down pat. No camera shyness for this little one.

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I am a huge proponent in documenting their growth and development through photos. I would drag my infant and toddler on a monthly basis to our local photo place with my coupon. You know, the one that includes a free sitting and a thousand photos for $4.99. It was a bit extreme and a huge commitment, but it was so worth it.

When they hit school age, we switched to a yearly birthday photo in the spring and the required school photo in the fall. Gone were the days of $4.99 photos. I was floored with the expense of the school portraits. Packages that can cost up to fifty dollars and I don’t even get to choose the smile.

In order to not blow the budget, I made a deal with hubby to pick the economy packages that offered the class photo, but I was still shelling out more than I wanted to.

Now Dragon came to us at ten months, with only two existing photos. She was already behind by ten photo shoots. It was my first quandary as an adoptive mom. I wanted to be equal with all my kids, but this was something I couldn’t change.

Something so small, a picture frame showing the first twelve months, is missing. This fact is so bothersome to me. I am overwhelmed with sadness that I can’t even do this simple thing for her. My goal of treating all three the same in everything we do….already out the window.

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Time out fun

The ultimate threat done in my very loud voice. “Do you need to go to Time Out!” A threat that has worked very effectively for twelve years….until now.

My little Dragon is not phased by getting sent to the steps for her allotted 2 minutes.

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If given a choice, she will happily place herself in the designated area instead of doing the task told.

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I think I may need to try something else.

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Time….

The big kids are in school, Dragon is in her room napping, and Nala is doing the same. What do I chose to do with this precious quiet time. I am attempting to catch up on a paper project that has been in the works for months. Printing out my blog and putting it in paper format to have for Dragon. My own version of her baby book.

I started writing the blog for different reasons, but then ended up with focusing on our family and the adoption process. It became a documentation of our wait and journey to China. However, once we were home and settling in, the craziness of life overwhelmed me and writing was pushed back behind everything else that needed to get done.

I only realize this now, as I work out the challenges of printing my posts, how therapeutic the act of writing is.  Sharing the ups and downs and getting feedback, helped me through some very difficult day, but also some joyous ones.  As I wait for the printer to respond to commands,  I sit and reread certain ones and remember…

So here it goes… I need to get back. If not for therapeutic reasons, just for the fact that I can go back and remember.

 

 

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Dragon is now two and half.  Newly purchased ballet shoes are for her first dance class that starts this week.  Not sure if I am ready for two dancers in the house, but both girls are excited.  Ms.A is twelve and in seventh grade.  Enjoying life to the fullest.  Throwing herself into a very busy dance class schedule and competition.  Mr.D is seven and in first grade.  Loving the everyday school schedule, so much different than kindergarten.  He is approaching black belt in TKD, scary thought, and trying out fall soccer.

Time…. It really does fly by!

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It’s hat weather.

The weather is starting to change. The mornings are crisp and the sun needs some time to warm us up. This leads me to undertake the huge task of changing out the seasonal clothing. Tucking away the summer clothes that might still fit next year. Bagging up those items that can be passed on and packing away those that one day Dragon may wear. Then, the pulling out of coats and warmer attire that were bought at the end of the previous season. Hoping that the gamble worked and things fit.

Dragon has be blessed with some great hand me downs from her big sister and friends. However, I can’t resist the purchase of a cute hat or two.

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A year ago today…

A year ago today, we received a long awaited call and email from our adoption agency. I was not expecting the call and it was the best surprise ever!!! The call came during the day with Dragon’s basic information and the email included her photo. I can’t believe that I was able to suppress myself, but somehow I managed to wait for the kids to come home from school and Hubby from work. We all gathered around the computer monitor in the kitchen and open up the attachment…

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Our little six month old princess. All bundled up, despite being located in Southern China. 6 1/2 years of waiting and there she was. It was finally real!

Today, Dragon is 18 months (22 pounds and 31 inches) and is the center of our family. The wait, although not pleasant at all, was worth it for her!!!!

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A little venting needed!

So….we finally got Dragon into speech.

One of my blogging friends had suggested a fabulous idea (sending big thanks your way) to call the local university to see if there would be student wanting to get some hours. The semester is just starting so they would let the profs know and get back to me. Meanwhile, we got our number called up for the local county MRDD/achievement center. Dragon receives both her occupational therapy and physical therapy there and is very familiar and happy when we attend our sessions. I was all excited that we would get working on speech in hopes to decrease the “frustration” tantrums she is having.

We meet with her new therapist. A very energetic young women who seems to mesh with Dragon well. She was just silly enough, but not to much in your face. Dragon slowly warmed up to her and by the end of our 45 minutes was even engaging her in little games.

I was asked tons of questions that came out of a trifold testing sheet. She would mark down if she was successful, emerging, or unable to do certain skills. At the end of the session the therapist said that Dragon had many 9-12 months skills and some 12-18 months. She is currently 18 months. Ok…. So what next. I was told that she wasn’t really behind and that I could come back in a month to re-evaluate.

Really….she is mostly functioning at 9 months and that’s OK?

Not with me.

When signing out I see the department head. I questioned her on the long wait and then the fact that we are not getting services. The comment I received in front of the entire office stunned me. She proceeded to tell me that foreign adopted children should not qualify for services that are meant for disabled children.

Stunned….I just looked at her…and then I turned into Mama Bear.

I first told her that all “children who have disabilities” ( little pet peeve of mine… children should always come before a label) should receive services. My daughter sat 10 months in an institution. Severely neglected with almost no contact. Her early environment resulted in her severe delays and that is her disability.

I then walked out.

I have no idea what to do next. I am sure her therapist is following guidelines given to her, but I have no idea what the department head was thinking.

Just needed to vent. Now I need to really think out my next step.

Thanks.

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Give me a smile!

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Dragon is learning to ham it up for the camera or phone. Mr.D is finally showing a true smile, versus the forced grimaces. Ms.A is as usually, her beautiful self! Time to get a professional picture taken before the moment passes!

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