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Showing posts from September, 2007

Books that make us weep...

[J]

It's an endless source of amusement to our kids that both E. and I are capable of bawling as we read them certain books. E. just finished reading aloud The Last Battle, the final Narnia book, tonight (to A. and P., this time), and that final chapter did her in. Somehow, she struggled to the end, gulping back the tears, but it wasn't easy. I would've been no better, having done the same thing. I've also been reduced to tears reading aloud from the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings. And both E. and I are nearly incapable of reading aloud from The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (a wonderful picture book). The only way we can get through it is to read tag team.

I think that as I get older, I find myself more emotionally vulnerable (?) to stories. In certain literature classes that I teach, there have been times when I've nearly broken down in tears reading aloud to the class. This has happened with passages from King Lear, poems by Dylan Thomas (an…

But it not

One of the fascinating things about adopting a child who already has language is observing the switch from birth language to second language. TM was pretty functionally fluent in English by the time he was home four months. (I'm still not sure he is completely fluent, even at this point, anything that is a lot of just language...books without a lot of pictures for example...still seems to go over his head. But he is only 4 1/2.) Anyway, the process, while astounding, is not without some quirks. For TM at least, he will latch on to a certain phrase and use it over and over and over and over. And over and over until I am convinced that if I hear that phrase one more time my head will explode. It's not that he just goes around saying these phrases like a verbal tic, but more as a device to sort and categorize all the information coming at him. Then, once he has it out of his system, that certain phrase will disappear, never to be heard again.

His first repetitive phrase w…

I just wanted the drain unclogged

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You have probably noticed that we call our home the "Big Ugly House". It was built in 1896 and was always big, but not always ugly. Over the years, there have been owners with questionable taste and an inflated sense of remodelling abilities who have left it with areas that, really, the only way to describe them is ugly. Well, ugly and often of questionable structural integrity. The masking tape holding the (live) electrical wires together gives a good sense of what we are up against.
In one of the bathrooms (not the ugliest, but in the running) the sink had recently been used to change the turtle's water which caused a few too many wood chips to go down the drain. So the drain became clogged. Blithely thinking that this would be a simple task, surely no more than a half an hour at the outside, I asked J. if he could clean out the trap and unclog the drain. Silly me! One thing led to another and it wasn't very long before the drain was empty. Well, empty and no longer…

He's not a baby anymore!

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We just received our quarterly update on K. The lip repair looks pretty good and the report says he is eating and drinking better as a result. I knew he would look different after surgery, but the combination of surgery and a haircut makes him seem almost like a different child at first glance. He has learned to walk and evidently loves to play where there are a lot of children. That is a good thing, considering where he's coming home to.

I have to admit that each quarterly report becomes a little more difficult. There are huge milestones we are missing... parts of his past we can't ever back up and regain. It has been 9 months since we first saw K's picture. With TM, 9 months after we first saw his picture, we were in Vietnam meeting the real boy. Sometimes I can't even bear to think that we have at least 3 1/2 to 4 months before we can hold K. But, we are now at the point that we could realistically being to think that we will have the provincial approval we are wait…

14 months

Both Mrs. Broccoli Guy and Law Mommy have posted recently about how they and their new children are faring. (I feel particularly connected to these women since we all used the same agency, all adopted the same age of child, and were all waiting together to bring our children home.) It makes me realize that I haven't written about TM in a while. TM has been home for about 14 months now. His...and my...adjustment continues. I find this to be a difficult thing to write about. TM has made so much progress in the last year. When I look back on last summer it hardly seems it is the same child that I am thinking of. In so many ways, he behaves completely age-appropriately in all areas of life. But...(you knew it was coming)...there are still some things that don't seem quite right. My compulsive reading on all things adoption and attachment related never stops, so here's what I've found. TM's oddities seem to match the behaviors of people suffering from traum…

The children who fight over kale

I sometimes feel as though I live in an alternate universe. At dinner tonight, there was great discussion from the nine children about how much kale they got to serve themselves and wondered if there would be enough for seconds. Really. I wish I could take credit for raising incredibly adventurous eaters, but two facts stop me. First, three of them are guests and I have had very little input into their eating habits. Second, this wasn't your average kale. These were kale chips which are really just a salt and oil delivery system. They are incredibly yummy. Here's how I make them so you can begin your own adventure with kale:

Wash as much kale as you are going to eat. (I use two bunches and never have leftovers.) Rip it into largish size pieces...potato chip size. Place them in a mixing bowl and mix well with olive oil...I don't have an amount, just until they are all coated. Place the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 1…

And then there were nine...

children that is, living in our home for the next fifteen days. Good friends of ours leave tomorrow for China to bring home their new 4 year old son. Two of their children are going with them and we are watching the other three. We spent the weekend making bed and dresser space for everyone and did a general tidying-up. Nine children in one home brings its own chaos and I didn't want to start already behind. I've gone to the store and have stocked-up on lots of food so no one will go hungry...at least for a few days. We'll spend tomorrow settling everyone in and organizing school stuff to be ready for our first official day of school on Thursday. So that gives us (temporarily) two 14 year olds, a 12 year old, an 11 year old, a 9 year old, a 7 year old, a 6 year old, a nearly 5 year old, and a 4 year old. They are all great friends, so it should actually be a pretty fun 2 weeks.

Bad Dreams

I know the wait is starting to get to me when I begin having bad dreams. The other night I had a really disturbing dream about K. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but suffice it to say it was one morning where I was glad to get out of bed. Our next quarterly update will be coming out this month and it will be a relief to see the pictures of K's repaired lip and that he is doing well. I'm choosing to believe my bad dream was not prophetic but merely the over anxious workings of my brain.