Thank You My Friends

March 7th, 2009

When we first started waiting for our referral I signed up for our agencies adoption forum. The group adopting from Ethiopia was huge. And for a while the people there remained as just people in the computer that had some good advice about all things adoption.

But after participating there for several months I started making friends with a group of people going through the exact same thing I was going through. Some of them I’ve met in real life, some of them I’ve only had e-mail contact with and some I still only talk to on the forum.

Yesterday we found out the Milo was sick. He has had acute gastroenteritis since  last week. He was put on 2 different antibiotics and is now showing some improvement. My head told me that this was nothing more than a stomach bug/intestinal thing but my heart went into a total panic about not being able to be with my boy while he is sick.

I posted the message on the forum and within about 45 minutes I had 20+ people e-mailing and responding to either offer their sympathy and prayers or to tell me about how their child went through a similar experience while still at the care center. The reassurance from friends was great but the reassurance from friends who have been there with their kids was exactly what I needed.

The post in which I whine and complain…

March 6th, 2009

That’s a warning for you. If you don’t want to hear about my crappy week then just stop reading.

Let’s complain with bullet points, shall we?

  • My class sucks. Yeah, I know teachers aren’t supposed to say their class sucks but guess what? This week and last week sucked. I have yelled more in the last 2 weeks than I have ever yelled in my whole teaching career. I hate yelling at my kids. Hate it, hate it, hate it.¬† But every single other approach I have for dealing with kids who refuse to listen or follow the rules is not working. Apparently the entire class has chucked their brains at the door and have gone with the approach of just pummeling each other for the most ridiculous of reasons. The swearing and obnoxious words have multiplied exponentially, in both English and Somali (want to know how to say poop, butt or fart in Somali?) and are being shouted out at any given time during class. They declare that they want to go to the office, they like making bad choices and missing fun activities like learning labs or choice time is “fun”. And then when they get sent to the office or miss out on fun activities they are pissed at ME for not letting them do anything fun. Seven working days left and I am on a plane to Ethiopia.
  • Milo is sick. Yes, my little boy has some type of intestinal bug, lost a bunch of weight and is now on round two of antibiotics. And he’s on another continent and there’s nothing I can do. I did talk to several other parents whose kids had the same thing while in the care center and it sounds like he’ll be fine but still…my baby is sick and a million miles away.
  • Lexi is sick. We went out to eat tonight and she started complaining she was tired and wanted to go home. When she started trying to sleep at the restaurant we decided to get our food to go and head home. About 1 minute into the drive home she puked. Blech.
  • Family drama is thrown into the whole mix.
  • Good friends in a country they may need to be evacuated from.
  • Other good friends going through rough times.
  • Oh and work drama is being taken up several notches.

I think that’s it. Next week is going to be stress-free. No drama, no bad news, no sick kids. If you have anything you’d like to tell me or you’d like me to worry about you need to speak up before Sunday because on Monday I’m not listening.

Update on the baby quilt.

October 21st, 2008

I’ve gotten a few squares from people (and a few promised squares are coming). I’ve been taking pictures of the squares and posting them to a page on my blog dedicated to the baby quilt.

If you still want to send me a square, please do. Here’s the instructions.

If you need my address, just leave me a comment and I’ll e-mail it to you.

August 11th, 2008

I copied this directly from Leah’s blog. Leah is the mother of Angela, who has Down Syndrome. Leah titled her blog post: If you love my kid, you won’t go! And although I probably wouldn’t have gone to this movie anyway, I do love Angela so I put this up on my blog as well.

I bet you’ve seen the trailers for the new movie opening this week “Tropic Thunder”, the new Ben Stiller movie. I’ll bet you thought the trailers were hilarious. I’ll bet you DON’T know what’s really in this movie!

Ben Stiller and his team put a lot of thought into this movie, trying to be very careful to not cross the lines on racial humor. They wouldn’t want to offend anyone of color or other nationalities in fear of loosing a lot of money in the movie.

But people who are intellectually disabled are fair game in the world of Hollywood. The word “retard” is the whole sub-plot for the movie. The term “Going full retard” has been coined and it’s been announced there will soon be a line of t-shirts appearing in your local stores with the term plastered across the front. If you take every time the word “retard” is used in the movie and replace it with the “n” word, or any other racial slur, the movie would be banned in the U.S!

And that, my friends and family, is what Angela has to look forward to when school starts. (Last year it was Napolean Dynamite pens that talked, with one of the phrases being “you retard!” which, after complaints, were quickly pulled off the shelves and banned by schools across the country.)

Yes, the movie is rated R, so young kids shouldn’t be seeing it. But they will. And their teen siblings and parents who DO see it will be coming home repeating what they think is a funny phrase, and kids will be coming to school with it. They’ll love the t-shirts as well.

I don’t understand how in the world it’s ok to to belittle this population of people, but if they were using the “N” word, or any other racial slur, it would be all over the news! Our countries schools have a zero tolerance policy against racial harassment, and you won’t hear certain words thrown around the hallways of your child’s school. But you WILL hear “retard” on a regular basis.

I know there are plenty of you who feel I’m overreacting. Well, apparently I’m with the 3 million other families in the country who are FURIOUS this film has been allowed to be produced the way it has. You can expect to see national and local protests about this film, as those of us who are overreacting demand that our children, brothers, sisters, cousins, and loved ones get the same respect that everyone else in the country gets, including illegal immigrants. That they aren’t set up for yet MORE harassment by teens who think it’s funny to mock our children because Hollywood has encouraged them to do so.

I hear the word by friends and family members all the time. I hear the “short bus” jokes. Most of the time I’ll call someone on the carpet about it, but sometimes I won’t. Sometimes I just get tired of constantly having to defend my child against the people who are supposed to care. Their lame responses of “I wasn’t meaning HER, it was just a joke!” Well, HELLO!!! Who do you MEAN then? Who are you comparing yourself or others to when you toss those words around? And my personal favorite “It just slipped out”. Funny…words that aren’t part of my every day vocabulary don’t “just slip out”!

My child, and millions like her, are intellectually disabled (that’s the proper term, by the way…”retarded” is going out the window because it’s become such a hateful slang term. School districts aren’t even putting it on their paperwork anymore!) Just as people of color don’t have a choice of what color skin they were born with, children with intellectual disabilities don’t have a choice but to ride “the short bus”, and so they become the brunt of your jokes. I’ve watched people who’s own children ride “the short bus” make the same jokes, without even realizing (or caring) that it’s at the expense of his/her own children. “Oh, but they think it’s funny too!” Do they really? Or are they laughing along while inside they squirm with discomfort?

These people don’t have a choice to have the medical term “Mental retardation” plastered all over their medical records. Those with syndromes such as Down Syndrome can’t even hide behind a “normal” appearance. It’s plastered on their face, leaving them open to hateful ridicule by their peers, and yes, even their family members.

So, if you’ve seen the trailers, and thought, “That looks like a fun movie to see!” Please don’t. My child…your grandchild, your niece, your cousin, your friend…. and those like her, deserve the respect more then Ben Stiller and his team deserve a few bucks!

Lexi’s Pal Josh

April 19th, 2008

Lexi is a big fan of our friend, Josh. Which is interesting because (including today) I think Lexi has seen Josh in person about 3 times. She’s seen lots of pictures of him and his family. And he’s made it to the top of her “people to pray for” list. At dinner we usually have to pray for our food and for Josh. It always goes something like this, “Dear God, Pray for Josh. Amen.”

Anyway, today we spent the day at their new house (Yay for friends moving back to Minnesota!) helping move boxes and put together IKEA bookshelves. Needless to say, Lexi was thrilled. She jabbered the whole way there about seeing Josh and Stephanie and Caleb. And while we were there, she would wander around, look for Josh and give us the play by play on what Josh was doing or where he was.

When we were eating dinner, Lexi decided that she should pray for Josh. Very thoughtful of her.

The ride home was also fun. Lexi sang the whole way. Mostly her version of ABC (it goes something like “ABC HIJ Sing with me QUST, WXYZ Now I know next triangle with me.”) But there was also the Wheels on the Bus/This Little Light of Mine/Bob, Larry & Mr. Nezzar/ABC medley.

Update on the Babies

March 16th, 2008

Last September I counted up all of the friends having kids in the near future and (surprise, surprise, the list just keeps growing) I thought I should do a quick update.

Here’s the current list:
Rachel and Jonathan had Hannah back in April.
Harriet and Ben had Lucy in July.
Andy and Anna had Peter in August.
Steph and Josh had Caleb in September.
Kelly and Milo have a boy coming any day now. Peyton arrived in September.
Christy and Imad are expecting a boy in October. They named him Justin.
Amy and her husband are adopting a boy who is due in October. Joseph came home at the beginning of October.
Lance and Tara’s baby is due in November. They named him Malachi.
Brick and Rhiannon are due in January. Milo now has a little sister named Emma.
Laura and Brad are due in January. Another Emma in the world.
Aimee and her husband are due in January. Jack arrived just after the New Year.
Becky is due in January. Wyatt – totally in love with the name.
Mandy is due in February. Jackson showed up on his due date (I think).
Jenny and Matt are due in Febuary (I think). I can’t remember if Isaac was born in February or January.
And we are adopting but we haven’t been matched with a baby yet so it’ll probably be another year – we still don’t have a referral but we do have a time line – it’s about a 3-6 month wait for a referral.

Adoption – Can we quit talking about our dossier now?

December 5th, 2007

We have 2 pieces of paper left to complete for our dossier. One is a reference letter from a friend and the other is a letter to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Ethiopia that Kevin and I have to write, explaining our intentions to adopt an Ethiopian child. After we have those 2 documents we get everything notarized, write a huge check and send it in. Honestly, we should be done in the next week. My goal is to have it sent off before Christmas vacation starts (in 9 days).

Oh and here’s a cool twist in our adoption journey. I recently found a friend from college on facebook who is wanting to adopt a boy, from Ethiopia. She and her husband have just started the process but it’s nice to know that I am already friends with someone who will have a family that looks like ours.

Babies For Everyone!

September 9th, 2007

This list is mostly for me because I keep forgetting who’s expecting and when.

Rachel and Jonathan had Hannah back in April.
Harriet and Ben had Lucy in July.
Andy and Anna had Peter in August.
Steph and Josh had Caleb in September.
Kelly and Milo have a boy coming any day now.
Christy and Imad are expecting a boy in October.
Amy and her husband are adopting a boy who is due in October.
Lance and Tara’s baby is due in November.
Brick and Rhiannon are due in January.
Laura and Brad are due in January.
Aimee and her husband are due in January.
Becky is due in January.
Mandy is due in February.
Jenny and Matt are due in Febuary (I think).
And we are adopting but we haven’t been matched with a baby yet so it’ll probably be another year.


A few lists

July 7th, 2007

It seems everyone is doing lists on their blogs lately. (It’s a good think nobody tried to peer pressure me in high school or I would have been screwed.)

So here is a little of me, in list form.
1. I was born in MIlwaukee
2. I moved to Green Bay with 3 weeks left of 8th grade.
3. It was tramatic.
4. I met a kid named Josh.
5. He loaned me a pen.
6. He was the only other person from my high school who went to Bethel.
7. He and Kevin were roommates freshman year.
8. I married Kevin.
9. I lived in Green Bay.
10. This does not make me a Packer fan.
11. It doesn’t even make me a football fan.
12. Although I enjoyed the day off of school when they won the Superbowl.
13. I like hockey.
14. Specifically the Detroit Redwings.
15. Kevin is from Detroit.
16. He likes hockey as much as I do.
17. I liked the Wings before I met Kevin.
18.I’m a teacher.
19. I like to teach in places most people don’t.
20. Right now I’m teaching kindergarten.
21. My kindergarteners have taught me how to speak Somali.
22. I can count to 20 and say about 10 words in Somali.
23. I have a daughter.
24. Her name is Madeleine.
25. We spelled her name the same way Madeleine L’Engle spells her name.
26.We call her Lexi.
27. I own almost all of L’Engle’s books.
28. I own a lot of books.
29. Really, it’s a lot.
30. I own a book signed by Ceasar Millan.
31. I waited in line for 2 hours to have it autographed.
32. He made it out to Speak and Maize.
33. It’s supposed to say Speak and Mazie.
34. I train dogs part time so it was cool to meet Ceasar.
35. He’s really short.
36. If I hadn’t married Kevin I’d probably be a crazy dog lady.
37. If I had my way, I’d have at least 5 dogs.
38. I’m lucky I have 2.
39.I’m re-reading all 6 Harry Potter books before #7 gets delivered to my house.
40.I’m only on book 1.
41. Book 7 will arrive July 21.

More lists to come.
Thanks for playing.

How Well Do You Know Me?

December 3rd, 2006

Quizzes are fun. Really, they are.

Create your own friendquiz here