Thursday, August 27, 2009

How Jami Came To Us.......

Even before I went to China to adopt Lindsi in 2003, I knew I would want to go again.

For Lindsi, my dossier went to China, just before the singles quota was implemented in Dec 2001. So, I knew I would need to get in a long line to adopt from China a second time. About a month after coming home with Lindsi, I put in my application to adopt from China again, this was nothing more than a place holder until my name came to the top of the list.

Then one thing led to another, Lindsi needed so much attention health wise in her first year home. She qualified for OT, PT, and speech. She was in the hospital for a severe case of RSV. She had ear tubes. She had booth tests about every 6 weeks to try & chart her hearing, or lack thereof. We were both learning ASL. She had an ABR & the next week, we moved across the country from CA to FL.

We lived with my parents for awhile (about a yr), while I got situated with new therapists, new preschools, new audiologists, pediatrician, ENT. She had her cochlear surgery & we were hit with 2 hurricanes. It was a busy few years.

In that time, my name came to the top of the singles list 3 times & each time, I would tell them to please put me back at the bottom, it wasn't a good time for me yet. I was so fully concentrated on catching Lindsi up, that I did not have the time or resources to give to another child. The desire was still there, but it had taken a backseat to her needs. I needed to feel that Lindsi was at a place where my attention on her could be divided, that she didn't need me quite as much.

After Lindsi had been home about 2.5 yrs...fall of 2005, I started to feel like she was on a good track. She'd had her cochlear for a yr. She was making good & steady progress with it. We had our own home by then. I could finally dust off those thoughts of returning to China. Something in me as a parent had changed though. We had been through a lot & I saw that we were actually doing OK. I no longer wanted a NSN child from China. I would have missed so much if I had not been chosen to be Lindsi's mother. I felt I actually COULD handle a second child with some needs. I knew my second daughter was a waiting child.

I started to look at various agency's waiting children list. I had my mind set on what I was looking for.....not unlike a lot of people, I wanted a girl, under 2, with a minor need. The very first child I looked at, hooked my heart. She was even from Lindsi's SWI. Her need was minor. But, she was nearly 3. I hesitated, not because 3 was "so old", BUT because I did not want my girls that close together in age. Misplaced loyalty or not, if Lindsi ever needed to repeat a grade in school, I did not want her to have to compete in school directly with a sibling, so I wanted / NEEDED them to be at least 2 years apart. By the time I talked myself out of that need, she had a family. She was with IAAP & I talked with Cheryl a great deal about our family & the child I was looking for.

A few weeks later, on a different agency list, I found another little girl. Younger, with limb difference, which was my #1 SN choice. She was BEAUTIFUL. Just wonderful. A family had her file & passed on her, so it came to me. After reviewing her file, it was evident that the limb difference, her stated need, was only the tip of the iceberg. She had a lot of needs & my counselors (my family) implored me to really consider her needs in addition to what I already had on my plate. I ended up passing the file on, but the next family who reviewed her, accepted her. That felt good.

Those were the only 2 children I really considered, until early Dec when Cheryl at IAAP emailed me. She said she had a new list & had a file she wanted to send me. The child was everything we discussed I needed. She was giving me 4 days to review the file & if I accepted her, then she would not be placed on the web site. If I passed, they would post her on Mon. Fair enough, I thought. So Cheryl sent me the file. I opened it...there was a cute, little girl. 8 months old..YOUNG! with a need so minor, an extra toe, it could hardly be considered a need at all. I could not believe the blessing. Here I was, a single mom, barely meeting the income req to go again, & I was being offered THIS child?? I knew that if she was posted, she would be claimed in microseconds. It was a huge Yes! I smile at God's ironic sense of humor. When I didn't want anything, but a NSN child, I was blessed with Lindsi & all her needs. When I opened myself up to a SN child, I was blessed with Jami & all of her non-needs.

This all comes to mind now, because Jami is the exact age that Lindsi was when I went to China to get her sister. My family often remarks that since I came home from China with Jami that I seem more settled & complete. I feel like my chicks are gathered. There is no more restlessness of someone missing.

Sure, every once in awhile the girls talk about having more sisters here at home. If I'd been married, with more finances, I'm pretty sure the family would be bigger. However, to God's glory, He laid the desires on my heart & He opened the doors when it was time to go. And then He contented me with what I had. Such a blessing, & I'm so very thankful for both girls.

These pictures were taken the night I got back from China & introduced Lindsi to her new sister.

Best friends & sisters today....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back To School

The girls started school yesterday.

The preparations have been in the works for weeks & nearly everyday Lindsi checks to see if I have posted about our back to school preparations. Of course, I'm a procrastinator, so the answer is usually No...not yet......

Jami is going to VPK (half day Fl funded (so, free to me...yippee) pre Kindergarten). Even though her old 2 AM a week school offered the program, I decided to put her at a center much closer to my house. I'm LOVING that the drive is so close now. She did well yesterday & was happy to go off to school again today. She is ready for this on multiple levels.

Lindsi is in 2nd grade, has a great teacher, & found all the work (review) they did yesterday to be really EASY!!!

I am LOVING the quiet mornings so far. I have a list of projects that I want to tackle, so far the list is still

So, to please are our school preps....

First day of school for the girls.....Out the door.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Day At The Zoo

We visited the zoo one day during summer break. The girls LOVE the zoo, but it can be HOT!!!

Lindsi on her horse.....

Lindsi on the Flying Banana

The only ride Jami truly LOVES....the stroller

The cooling off station

Look Mom! A fake turtle!!!

The giraffe that nearly ate the cochlear.......Hello Med-El.....Our Cochlear seems to have been quite tasty to the Giraffe......Can we get a replacement??

The camel, who wasn't nearly as hungry as the giraffe.....

Jami's second favorite ride!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Fun Thing To Do

My friend, Sandra had this on her Blog. It looks like a fun thing to do. After reading the list, I realized that the things I haven't done, are mostly by choice. I'll STAR the items still on my "Bucket List"......

It made me realize how fortunate my life has been thus far.

Here are the rules:
Bold the things you’ve done and post this list on your blog then leave me a comment and tell me you did this I can go see!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld
8. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Written something that was published
11. Bungee jumped or parachuted
12. Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge
13. Been in a fist fight
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Seen the Rings of Saturn with a telescope
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when not ill
24. Built a tree house or snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Fired a gun...if you count a BB gun
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise**
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person**
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied**
38. Visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal
44. Visited Africa**
45. Cried yourself to sleep
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Visited the Eiffel Tower
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Pretended you cooked something from scratch when you didn't.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie or commercial
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business**
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold something door to door
62. Gone whale or dolphin watching
64. Donated blood, marrow, etc
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter**
69. Held onto a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten frog legs or caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Time Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job....Laid off...Yes.....Fired...No
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Done something illegal
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Sang a solo
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Climbed a mountain**
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had surgery
89. Directly saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury**
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club**
93. Seen a loved one die
94. Given birth to a baby
95. Visited the Alamo
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Sent a text message while driving
99. Been stung by a bee