#30b ‘That’ Adoption Poem


November 30th, 2010

I’m just going to say it: I hate this poem.

LEGACY OF AN ADOPTED CHILD

ONCE THERE WERE TWO WOMEN
WHO NEVER KNEW EACH OTHER
ONE YOU DO NOT REMEMBER
THE OTHER YOU CALL MOTHER.

TWO DIFFERENT LIVES SHAPED
TO MAKE YOURS ONE
ONE BECAME YOUR GUIDING STAR
THE OTHER BECAME YOUR SUN.

THE FIRST GAVE YOU LIFE
THE SECOND TAUGHT YOU TO LIVE IN IT
THE FIRST GAVE YOU A NEED FOR LOVE
THE SECOND WAS THERE TO GIVE IT.

ONE GAVE YOU A NATIONALITY
THE OTHER GAVE YOU A NAME
ONE GAVE YOU THE SEED OF TALENT
THE OTHER GAVE YOU AN AIM.

ONE GAVE YOU EMOTIONS
THE OTHER CALMED YOUR FEARS
ONE SAW YOUR FIRST SWEET SMILE
THE OTHER DRIED YOUR TEARS.

ONE GAVE YOU UP-
IT WAS ALL THAT SHE COULD DO,
THE OTHER PRAYED FOR A CHILD, GOD LED
HER STRAIGHT TO YOU…

AND NOW YOU ASK ME THROUGHT YOUR TEARS,
THE AGE OL QUESTIONS THROUGH THE YEARS;
HEREDITY OR ENVIRONMENT-WHICH ARE YOU THE PRODUCT OF?
NEITHER MY DARLING- NEITHER
JUST TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE.

ANONYMOUS

There are three things that just grate me the wrong way.

1) One you don’t remember, one you call mother. Do a survey of people who were adopted, especially people who were adopted after the age of 2. How many of them do you think don’t remember their mother? I know this poem was probably written with an infant adoption in mind, but even still, in many (if not most) adoptions today, a child’s birth mother plays a significant role in the child’s life. There is still a connection in some way – pictures, phone calls, maybe even visits. The child’s parents talk about birth family.

Children remember their mothers.

2) One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name. Both of my children have the names they were given at birth. Yes, we added names but we were not the first to name them. And we aren’t the exception to the rule.

3) In general, the dismissal of birth parents. Maybe I’m being oversensitive, but to me the tone of this poem is that adoptive parents are just this much better than birth parents.

#30a I win.


November 30th, 2010

nablo_lousy_10

Yep.
Finished it up.
Yay me.
Actually, kinda proud considering I almost threw in the towel around day 8 or 9.

#29 Rebooting Kindergarten


November 29th, 2010

Not sure what happened but we may need to restart kindergarten.

Academically we’re doing fine. We’ve got adding figured out. Subtracting is coming along. Everyone knows shapes and colors and patterns and counting.

We know letter sounds and can sound out words, we’re on track for reading.

But the whole being respectful thing? Apparently they can be nice or be smart but not both at the same time.

We’re going to have to work on that.

They got a taste of it today. Nothing major, just some small privileges here and there taken away…it wasn’t a pretty sight.

There were several temper tantrums, a little rebellion and I think I heard rumblings of an overthrow of power.

#28 Back Home


November 28th, 2010

Got home in 12 hours.

Pretty impressive actually. With 3 kids in the car, we stopped twice. Once for breakfast and once for lunch.

No “I need to go to the bathroom.” or “I’m gonna throw up.”

Actually, it’s impressive that we made it back without Lexi throwing up. It’s, unfortunately, become a holiday tradition that she throws up the whole way home.

So, Christmas has officially begun. We got round 1 of presents at Kevin’s parents’ house and round 2 will happen at our house. Round 3 is at my parents’ house.

I listened to Christmas music most of the way home and hopefully Tuesday evening I’ll talk Kevin into getting out the Christmas tree and we can start decorating the house.

#27 Knitting Update


November 27th, 2010

We’re packing to leave tomorrow.

12 hours in the car, again. Blech. Although the kids did great on the way here.

Today 2 are sick and crabby and 1 is just crabby. I’ll let you figure out who’s who.

The sweater I’m working on is not going as smoothly as I’d hoped.

Apparently the sleeves hate me and we’ve needed to have strong words.

I’ve done some swearing and the sweater has gotten revenge by unraveling 5 or 6 stitches in the middle of the garment leaving me no choice but to continue swearing and unravel several rows to repair it.

Well, I guess the strong language and threatening to turn it into a dishrag was not appreciated either so the sweater left some gaping holes needing repair work.

More swearing.

Retaliation came in the form of knitting where there should be purling and purling where their should be knitting.

More swearing, threats, and a “don’t make me get out my crochet hooks”.

Well, that seemed to work because now the stitches are marching in nice, straight little rows and looking exactly like what a sleeve should look like.

Hopefully I can post pictures when I get home. I’m thinking as long as we continue to see eye to eye, I should be able to finish during the trip tomorrow.

#26 Buy Nothing Day


November 26th, 2010

35 Gifts Your Children Will Never Forget

by joshua becker on November 26, 2010

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran

I have countless holiday memories. Most of them center around faith, family, and traditions.

Very few childhood memories actually include the gifts that I received. I distinctly remember the year that I got a blue dirt bike, the evening my brother and I received a Nintendo, and opening socks every year from my grandparents. But other than that, my gift-receiving memories are pretty sparse. Which got me thinking… what type of gifts can we give to our children that they will never forget? What gifts will truly impact their lives and change them forever?

To that end, here is an alphabetical list of 35 Gifts Your Children Will Never Forget.

1. Affirmation. Sometimes one simple word of affirmation can change an entire life. So make sure your children know how much you appreciate them. And then, remind them every chance you get.
2. Art. With the advent of the Internet, everyone who wants to create… can. The world just needs more people who want to…
3. Challenge. Encourage your child to dream big dreams. In turn, they will accomplish more than they thought possible… and probably even more than you thought possible.
4. Compassion/Justice. Life isn’t fair. It never will be – there are just too many variables. But when a wrong has been committed or a playing field can be leveled, I want my child to be active in helping to level it.
5. Contentment. The need for more is contagious. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is an appreciation for being content with what they have… but not with who they are.
6. Curiosity. Teach your children to ask questions about who, what, where, how, why, and why not. “Stop asking so many questions” are words that should never leave a parents’ mouth.
7. Determination. One of the greatest determining factors in one’s success is the size of their will. How can you help grow your child’s today?
8. Discipline. Children need to learn everything from the ground-up including appropriate behaviors, how to get along with others, how to get results, and how to achieve their dreams. Discipline should not be avoided or withheld. Instead, it should be consistent and positive.
9. Encouragement. Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. The simple words that you choose to speak today can offer encouragement and positive thoughts to another child. Or your words can send them further into despair. So choose them carefully.
10. Faithfulness to your Spouse. Faithfulness in marriage includes more than just our bodies. It also includes our eyes, mind, heart, and soul. Guard your sexuality daily and devote it entirely to your spouse. Your children will absolutely take notice.
11. Finding Beauty. Help your children find beauty in everything they see… and in everyone they meet.
12. Generosity. Teach your children to be generous with your stuff so that they will become generous with theirs.
13. Honesty/Integrity. Children who learn the value and importance of honesty at a young age have a far greater opportunity to become honest adults. And honest adults who deal truthfully with others tend to feel better about themselves, enjoy their lives more, and sleep better at night.
14. Hope. Hope is knowing and believing that things will get better and improve. It creates strength, endurance, and resolve. And in the desperately difficult times of life, it calls us to press onward.
15. Hugs and Kisses. I once heard the story of a man who told his 7-year old son that he had grown too old for kisses. I tear up every time I think of it. Know that your children are never too old to receive physical affirmation of your love for them.
16. Imagination. If we’ve learned anything over the past 20 years, it’s that life is changing faster and faster with every passing day. The world tomorrow looks nothing like the world today. And the people with imagination are the ones not just living it, they are creating it.
17. Intentionality. I believe strongly in intentional living and intentional parenting. Slow down, consider who you are, where you are going, and how to get there. And do the same for each of your children.
18. Your Lap. It’s the best place in the entire world for a book, story, or conversation. And it’s been right in front of you the whole time.
19. Lifelong Learning. A passion for learning is different from just studying to earn a grade or please teachers. It begins in the home. So read, ask questions, analyze, and expose. In other words, learn to love learning yourself.
20. Love. …but the greatest of these is love.
21. Meals Together. Meals provide unparalleled opportunity for relationship, the likes of which can not be found anywhere else. So much so, that a family that does not eat together does not grow together.
22. Nature. Children who learn to appreciate the world around them take care of the world around them. As a parent, I am frequently asking my kids to keep their rooms inside the house neat, clean, and orderly. Shouldn’t we also be teaching them to keep their world outside neat, clean, and orderly?
23. Opportunity. Kids need opportunities to experience new things so they can find out what they enjoy and what they are good at. And contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to require much money.
24. Optimism. Pessimists don’t change the world. Optimists do.
25. Peace. On a worldwide scale, you may think this is out of our hands. But in relation to the people around you, this is completely within your hands… and that’s a darn good place to start.
26. Pride. Celebrate the little things in life. After all, it is the little accomplishments in life that become the big accomplishments.
27. Room to Make mistakes. Kids are kids. That’s what makes them so much fun… and so desperately in need of your patience. Give them room to experiment, explore, and make mistakes.
28. Self-Esteem. People who learn to value themselves are more likely to have self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. As a result, they are more likely to become adults who respect their values and stick to them… even when no one else is.
29. Sense of Humor. Laugh with your children everyday… for your sake and theirs.
30. Spirituality. Faith elevates our view of the universe, our world, and our lives. We would be wise to instill into our kids that they are more than just flesh and blood taking up space. They are also made of mind, heart, soul, and will. And decisions in their life should be based on more than just what everyone else with flesh and blood is doing.
31. Stability. A stable home becomes the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. They need to know their place in the family, who they can trust, and who is going to be there for them. Don’t keep changing those things.
32. Time. The gift of time is the one gift you can never get back or take back. So think carefully about who (or what) is getting yours.
33. Undivided Attention. Maybe this imagery will be helpful: Disconnect to Connect.
34. Uniqueness. What makes us different is what makes us special. Uniqueness should not be hidden. It should be proudly displayed for all the world to see, appreciate, and enjoy.
35. A Welcoming Home. To know that you can always come home is among the sweetest and most life-giving assurances in all the world. Is your home breathing life into your child?

Of course, none of these gifts are on sale at your local department store. But, I think that’s the point.

#25 Turkey, Knittting and Cats


November 25th, 2010

Finished Thanksgiving dinner a few hours ago. Ate my weight in stuffing and mashed potatoes and apple pie. I’m now working on “dinner” which is a glass of pop and pretzel m&m’s.

Plans for the rest of the weekend include opening Christmas presents tomorrow (yep, two holidays, one weekend. That’s just the way we roll around here.) taking the girls to see Tangled. Leaving all three kids with the grandparents and running away on Saturday with Kevin and going out to dinner with the great-grandparents. Great-papa prefers places that serve steak and potatoes….mmmmm…..steak……

++++++++++++++
I’ve been working on a sweater for my niece. I started it on our drive and knit for about 7 hours in the car. I thought it was going to take me a few weeks to finish but I should have it done by the end of the weekend. I’ve got the sleeves and the edging left to do. I used the homespun yarn from Lion Brand and I’m pretty impressed with how the self-stripping has worked out. I’m using the pattern from the book Knit for Good. (Buy the book only if you are looking for ways to do knitting projects for charity. The book is mostly inspiration on knitting for others – only a few patterns. But the patterns in it are quick, easy and look impressive when finished.)

++++++++++++++
Stupid cats. Stupid cat allergies. Cat’s not even in the house and I can’t stop sneezing. This is reason #873 that I am a dog person.

#23 Dear Children, Please Don’t Terrify the Sub


November 23rd, 2010

Dear Kindergarten Class,

You have a lot of, shall we say, spunk?
It can be intimidating. Actually, you can be down right terrifying.
Especially to teacher who are trained to teach 9th grade.
Please go easy on the sub while I’m gone. Just this once.
I’m running out of people who will cover for me.
And I really need a break once in a while.

Thanks.

+++++++++++++++
On an unrelated note, we drove 12 hours today. Milo stayed calm and quiet for most of the trip. Probably because he invented a new game: Pelt your sisters with animal crackers.

#22 Packing


November 22nd, 2010

This is basically a stalling tactic so I don’t have to pack.

I hate packing.

No matter how many lists I make or how organized I try to be, I always feel like I am forgetting something.

And packing for 5 people means I always feel like I’m forgetting at least 5 things.

#21 The Hurt Toe


November 21st, 2010

Today at church Lexi tried to pull a door open at the same time someone else tried to push the door open. And since she doesn’t wear her shoes at church, her toe got run over by the door. The end result was a toe bent about 1/3 back, scraped up and pretty gross looking.

Kevin suggested (to Lexi) that we let the doctor at church take a look at it and decide if the toe nail should be cut off. Lexi misunderstood and thought we were debating about cutting her entire toe off. Which resulted in her not letting anyone near her foot.

She spent the afternoon milking the injury – lots of requests for sitting on the couch, watching movies, eating lunch/dinner anywhere except the table.

I had to build her a splint to the sheets on her bed wouldn’t bump her toe.

And of course, if Lexi’s toe is hurt then Milo’s toe is hurt. He watched Lexi limp around and whimper. So he demanded a band-aid and limped around and pretended to whimper.

Here’s the face Lexi made most of the day*:
Toe Drama

Her toe splint (or toe tent as she calls it):
Toe Drama

Milo’s injury:
Toe Drama

Lexi and Milo needing assistance to walk**:
Toe Drama

*Even though she’s screaming in this picture, she’s currently in bed giggling with Milo.

**Milo saw Lexi getting help and sat in the hallway saying “hand! hand!” until I helped him as well.