Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I had a boyfriend in college that I met in the college bookstore. He was working there..stocking the shelves and randomly turned to me and asked me if I thought two people could have a meaningful relationship if one of them felt guilty about something. Probably, I should have remembered that a little more clearly months later when we started dating! haha..that was many, many, many years ago. He was right to ask that question though because guilt manipulates you into doing all sort of crazy things. When I was younger, I would get myself into more trouble somehow trying to justify actions or behaviours that made me feel guilty. I think guilty people try to shift the blame for things onto others and just don't take responsibility. It is easier than admitting you have been a jerk! It can be big things or it can be very little things. Guilt is a giant wedge in a relationship and it just gets bigger. It can start out so small too and then become so big. I am kind of an introvert with probably a little too much insight and internal dialogue about my emotional motivations..yes. Guilt becomes even trickier when you disguise it, or rename it as a sense of duty. At what point are you obligated by duty and at what point are you being manipulated by guilt? I don't know that anyone has enough insight to clearly separate those two! Obviously, I am feeling a bit guilty about something. In 2008, we accepted a referral for a 4 year old boy from Kyrgyzstan...moratoriums happen we lost some money. Kyrgyzstan reopened we tried again and lost some more money. Kyrgyzstan reopened again and we adopted our boys from China. Now, this cute little 4 year old is an 11 year old on a hosting list for a summer hosting program. Our life is very full right now...we have 9 children - 2 home less than a year. For many of you who don't know this...we are also pregnant and expecting baby number 10 in September. We are desperately trying to pay off bills especially adoption costs from the latest additions. We have a lot going on this summer and I feel guilty or is it a sense of duty to host this little guy. We have followed along with him peripherally since our initial referral - people we know have visited him, they know him, they say such sweet and wonderful things about him. I can justify not hosting him - if I were talking to a friend in my situation with this particular problem I would have no problem whole heartedly saying "you have a lot going on and you have to take care of you. There is no reason to feel like you have any responsibility towards him - you have walked the path God meant you to walk. You have prayed about it and you need to listen and follow your heart." Seriously, I would never think less of any friend who would choose not to host a child when they had so much on their plate...it would be the responsible thing, in fact. At some point, even large family homeschooling crazy mama's have to minimize the chaos. Yet, I think about the picture of a 4 year old boy getting a Dumbo stuffed elephant with a picture of his new family in the little attached picture frame. I wonder if one month of being hosted in a family would make the difference between hopelessness and hope when he eventually ages out....or if there might be a family willing to take a chance on an 11 year old if the meet him while he is over here being hosted. I have known he was on the hosting list for several weeks, but it was easier to think that maybe it is better to not worry about it because maybe a family who is planning on adopting might choose him to host for the summer. We wouldn't want to hurt his chances. Today, I got the "only a few weeks left" email from the hosting program and he is still unmatched. I feel guilty. What is important? Am I a hypocrite - do I really walk the walk for the talk that most of my t shirts talk! I haven't written anything on this blog in forever and there are probably only like 2 peeps who peek in - this is really more of a rhetorical post. This issue is one I have to resolve within myself and it is nice to be able to type it out.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Posted by Michelle at 6:59 PM
Thursday, September 25, 2014
I can't believe it is already September...and almost October. My life is a whirlwind...kind of a blur actually. It is still a blur and we are actively trying to slow it down! I have had several weeks at home this month because of working nights and vacation..but it still feels like I haven't had time to chill out. What is new. School is going great...I think it is going great. I am on top of the scheduling and it is mostly all getting done in a timely fashion. We have really and truly finished 4 weeks of school and I am pleased as punch. Han is definitely doing great learning English...he runs his words together a little too quickly and backslides on enunciation but he is doing really good. Ulysses is not talking as much as Han, but he is able to get his idea across pretty well. I think his receptive language skills are behind Han's a little more than is expressive skills. We are still working on the alphabet with Ulysses and learning letters. Ben and Zeb are cruising through their second grade stuff. We need to sit and read with them a little more than we do now, we have to prioritize the read aloud to mom and dad part of school! Alex is rocking her homework...she is kind of all over the place in terms of her assignments...math at one grade, history and geography at another grade, but she is reading right along with Lily at the 7th grade readers....you go girl! Lily is awesome - she still gets a little crazy and dysregulated when she is tire..I don't think that is something she is going to outgrow...she will just learn to manage it better as she gets older. She is waaaaaaaay better than she was 3 years ago! It was so sad to close the pool last week...I love having family time at the pool...I think the reason I love it so much is that it is totally uninterrupted and I am completely involved with the kids there with no other distractions because it is kids near the water. I am looking for the secret to endless amounts of mommy energy and making an hour last longer than 60 minutes...if you have any suggestions please let me know!
Posted by Michelle at 5:55 PM
Saturday, August 9, 2014
I am a very, very good procrastinator. I know that I am because I am racing against the clock right now to watch 18 Trust-based Relational Intervention videos and take quizzes all before midnight tonight. They are, of course, really good and I am regretting not making time for them earlier in the summer. I have been sort of a mess this summer! As I am frantically watching these great videos..I noticed in my email that I have a blog writing assignment from August 5th...oops. "Why do orphans need families?" I have been involved in the world of international adoption for a long time and I have seen a lot of heart wrenching loneliness, and sadness. I am not sure there are any words that can answer that question. I tried to sit down and make an outline...three points to answer the question type brainstorming...definitions...the whole 9 yards. However, the thing that answers that question for me isn't anything that I have read and I doubt I will be able to purvey it in anything I could possibly write! It was the first time I physically set foot in an orphanage. A real live, not on TV designed to jerk out some tears, first hand "here hold this tiny little guy with no parents" experience. On my first trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2007, I saw lots of kiddos that were referred for adoption to other families, I took pictures for their excited parents and I was asked to make a general evaluation of a little girl with various issues in her file that made her perspective adoptive parents nervous. Meeting this girl completely changed my life. I met lots of kids that day...including my son, Zeb, but this was the moment that personifies and explains why orphans need families. The nanny brought out this little girl that was small for her age and extremely delayed in her milestones. She had a marked dullness in her eyes....not really focusing on anything, not interacting with me at all, not interacting with her nanny. She was just kind of existing, alone. I took her and started talking to her, smiling at her, holding her up to my eye level and engaging her. For a lack of better phrase-ology..I was just pouring out some good old fashioned mommy-love. Then was I surprised when she looked right back at me, right into my soul like a laser and that look totally changed how I looked at the world. She connected, she still had hope and she had a palpable pleading in her eyes that was just so basic and innocent and longing... it shot a jolt of electricity through me, gave me goosebumbs and straight-up broke my heart. She was just a baby and she was languishing and losing hope....but even a small amount of attention and love could rekindle that desire to interact and seek love. Wow. So the answer to "Why do orphans need families?" is go and see for yourself. Go, visit orphans in the time of their distress...experience what the orphan crisis is. The faces of the orphans you meet will haunt you. Once you see; you can't ignore it. My totally broken heart will always be able to see room for one more in my family because I have really and truly seen why orphans need families. The insanity, inconvenience, and scaling down that accompanies a large family really seems like a small price to pay.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
He does have some needs that slow him down physically and he is somewhat small for his age, but he has a great sense of humor - as you can see from this lively picture.
Let me tell you why this little boy breaks my heart. Despite years in an orphanage, this little boy has retained hope and sweetness. It is so easy to lock yourself away, lash out and hurt others, to stop caring about those who are weak and vulnerable. So many people who have families and resources do that...look around...how many resourced, comfortable people do you see who have done that? Here, is a young boy who has not had a mom to comfort him when he was hurt. Yet, he continues to comfort and care about those who are more vulnerable than he is. Wow...what a heart.
He still has hope and he has only 4 months left. There are no crystal balls, but I imagine his life if he ages out. With his need, it will be difficult for him to find a job. Many of you probably know that there are quite a disparity between the number of men and women in China for his age group for one disturbing reason..so it seems unlikely that he will ever have a family. For some reason that breaks my heart for children who clearly have a great desire to love and be loved.
If you have read my blog, you know we have 9 children already. I would not hesitate to make him number 10, except my husband thinks I am certifiably insane and I have promised him we are done!
If you have any questions about adopting an aging out little boy please contact me, if you have an interest in this little boy...his time is so short! Please contact me and I will put you touch with his host family. Please pray that he finds his family soon! I will be praying hard for this little guy for sure!
Posted by Michelle at 5:38 AM
Saturday, July 19, 2014
This week Ulysses had the splints taken out of his vesicostomy. 2 - 3 times a day we have to insert an 18 French catheter to keep his stoma from scarring over. I am really liking the vesicostomy. When he first came home with it we had a super hard time preventing leakage. We had to change his diaper every hour and it was still sometimes leaking through 2 diapers. We started putting an "ultimate absorbancy" poise pad horizontally across his stoma site and the leaking improved a ton. He has started leaking again from the top of the diaper. I think maybe he has just gotten a little bigger and the diaper is not reaching as high on his waist. Sometimes his shirt gets tucked into the pad and just wicks all of the fluid right up his shirt. UGG. So what is the answer? I researched cloth diapers tonight. Maybe that is the answer, but I didn't see any that came up high enough or that looked elastic - y enough in the front waistband. I was thinking maybe i will try to make a belt of some sort or get a bellyband type thing that goes his waist. Maybe we can just pull out the coban and wrap that around the waistband. I think we can solve this problem pretty easily...the answer just has to present itself! haha. Anyone have any other ideas? Overall, it is totally awesome to not have the suprapubic catheter and foley bag to worry about all the time. He is very mobile and i am less worred about him clomping all over the world! He also had his initial PT with all of the measuring for his AFO's. Apparently, they had to workshop him to decide what he needs, so we will get his perscription sometime next week and then work on getting them locally. I am really excited about that. He moves around pretty good but I know he will do so much better with the AFO's. The next big thing for us to tackle is the bowel management. We have him on miralax and senna and in a box, unopened, is a cone enema. At some point, we will open it up and watch the youtube video about a hundred times and then do it. We are kind of avoiding it and talking about the week long bowel managment program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital...but we can probably just do this at home. I have 2 weeks of nights and 2 weeks off in September for us to work on it. I know once we have it figured out it will be easy peasy...we just have to start! In completely un-related news...Han was overheard saying this to the other boys last night "Y'all need to be quiet". oh my! nothing as cute as my 14yo barely english speaker saying y'all! Love it!