Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sunshine...because I say so!!!!

It's easy to get hung up on the 'rainy' parts of life...so I've decided to make a sunny post, just because I said so!

So here are some things to feel 'sunny' about around my house

1. I have a near 16 year old who still really likes to hang out with me or is the best actress ever...Don't get me wrong...she's a teen.  She can be a bit moody, a bit dramatic and sometimes I'm not sure WHY she appears randomly chronically miserable to be alive...and I've actually had to train myself to stop trying to investigate her every misery to help perserve my only happiness and sanity

LESSON TO SELF: teens sometimes are miserable, let them be...they will likey snap out as quickly as they regressed in!!!

That being said we still laugh together ALOT...we watch our TV shows and both really look forward to it and go out of our way to  make it happen...we intentionally see all the coolest movies TOGETHER...even if other friends come along (even her's)  I'm talking...Breaking Dawn and Harry Potter Premiers even!  And the greatest thing is not once is it ever Disney or animated and I actually LIKE ThEM!!!

We go to concert together....YES! Music concert!  Ichtus (christian Rock) Taylor Swift...and tickets for Pink later in the spring...(I know her lyrics are awful and she has a foul mouth, but i just love me some Pink...so I'm human - sue me!)

Feeling Sunny about that!!

2.  My 12 yo is growing into this fabulous young lady...we were a little worried about middle school for this little angle!  She's had some struggles with her academics, attention, organization...but her first report card showed her best grades EVER!  Only one tiny annoying B!  All A's otherwise!!  Boy did we happy dance!!  That girl worked HArD!  PROUD Mamma!  She's also maturing so nicely...a little more inconsistenly than I'd like but HEY! Rome was NOT  built ina day and we are being sunny here...I just wish the chore consistensy was a little better and the boy interest a little less...just sayin!  But she sure makes me smile...and brings alot of energy to the house

3.I have the most loyal pup ever!!! My fur baby is the best...I love her mad...yes I'm crazy dog person...you might not know how nuts I am about my 2yo old Cavalier Spaniel...and she's nuts about me...I apparently am NOT as annoyed by some of her less than charming habits since I'm blinded by her devotion....she barks at the front door to much...squirells, people, blowing leaves some days...It can be annoying...but she just beautiful..and a love sponge....for example..over the weekend I was VERY sick with a GI virus...literally! in the bathroom for SOME reason or another 3x anhour all night!  Not only did this sweet baby lay on the couch with me, but she got up and walked to the bathroom every single visit ALL NIGHT LONG!  at about 3am...she'd drop on the bathroom rug with a heavy sigh and just look at me with exhausted eyes like "REALLY>>AGAIN!"  but not until my husban got up at 6am did she stop the trots down the hall...sweetsweet little fur baby!....sunny to have a fur baby by your side while you retch in toilet...right??!!

On that sunny note, I'm calling it a night...
My hubby on a work trip in Vegas and I'm single parenting it...is it awful to admit I'm enjoying it just a tiny bit??SHHHHH  I did tell him on the way out the door...If he found a tiger in bathroom or a naked guy in the trunk he was on his own...but a baby in the hotel room...CALL ME...I was on my wah...THAT ONE...he might need me for   :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Growing, Learning....and great improvements!!!!

We've been hard at work here in our house for what feels like a veryveryveryveryvery long time.  We've been rewarded with some wonderful progress lately...REAL progress...stuff you feel in your heart is different....the good stuff....the STUFF you've been waiting for....praying for

Behavior changes are easy to report..less hitting, no rages, less tantrums, sleeping through the night ect....they have predictable...sort of..OK not really...they have been 2 steps forward, 1 step back...then 3 steps back and 4 steps forward...a good month here, then a crash and burn for weeks...sometimes explainable, sometimes not.  We have tried our best to parent through it...I've failed horribly at times and just turned the whole thing over to faith and the Lord...I've celebrated and crumbled...as you know it's been a big strain on our family at times.  But we have been so blessed with sure wonderful kids...such amazing boys, it's hard to give up.

But I feel so joyous inside about something that's just hard to explain....it's like the day you realize the terrible two's are gone...hard to explain, but your child has just changed...their different.  This isn't like a 'maturity' thing...it's like the tools, the therapy, it's clicked...my SWEETSWEET Sammy suddenly seems calmer, safer, more secure in our home...it really bring me to tears to type this...it's a small healing of his heart, what we pray for...

The few months we did some BIG things in therapy and at home...we started home school. I think this was a GREAT decision for Sammy...he's been much calmer and has learned tons!!!  He 's so very smart...spelling and sight reading in just 6 weeks...Mamma is so very proud!!

We put him back on a bottle...yes a bottle...a baby bottle..it's been 3m now and I was soooo nervous about this...did tons of research to make sure my therapist wasn't nuts...made sure others out there had put older kids BACK on bedtime bottles for attachment....and it's been fabulous..giving him nurturing it missed out on..and bonding you only get once when your a tiny baby...and I learned tons how that 'dance' that feeding eye contact nurturing is SOOO important for human connection and how many of us just DO it....we remember the warm feelings with our birth kids...the smiles...the sweetness...but don't think about how propping up the bottle in a row of cribs while looking at that same ole ceiling, with no human to hold you, look at you and give you that 'baby talk' MIGHT affect you...and for Sammy it did...he LOVED it...I saw him just melt in my arms the first time...I could just see the that tiny baby just DYING to be held and loved on in his eyes...I cried so much those first few times..he.even said to me once "babies feel special love when they get their bottles"...and my therapist told me the time would be limited...he wouldn't 'graduate highschool taking the bottle' and he's already telling me he doesn't need it as much..not asking for it every night anymore....and he's different now when have 'bottle time'...more chatty...less 'baby sucking'...it's provided what he needed...and I'm SOOOO grateful for my brilliant therpist who really does know her stuff!!!

We have some work to do still...especially with our sibling relationship...but I want to celebrate this!!  Want to share THIS, because my heart feels this is something fabulous! and I've shared so much of the ups and downs...the hard work, the persistence...I REALLY see a change and it's soooo fabulous to feel like you've helped start some healing in a little heart that never deserved to be broke in first place....There have been time when I've felt so very defeated...so sad at what our decision to adopt has done to my relationships with many of those I love the most.  But this,  THIS is God's work...I feel the reward, inspired by my boys courage....inspired by my girls willingness to love uncondionly...

Feeling very blessed today...and hoping this makes sense as I type away at 4am after not being able to sleep all night from a migraine...sure this will need editing tomorrow...but also wanting to encourage those who visit for my 'keeping it real'....keep fighting...advocate for you child....take care of yourself, your family...the rewards COME...and celebrate when they do!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Boy did my sense of humor need this....

Life is welll, intersting around here!  But isn't it always!  We are living our journey, blazing our path and grateful for our blessings. 

The girls are shinning stars!!!
 Jessa is Happily! back at Catholic and being a teenager in the gentlest way possible..

.Kenna - still! taking middle school by the horns!  Love how she is growing and learning! and looking so darn grown up!!!    

Brynn...."the one who doesn't drive me insane"  ;)  that sums it up!!! and still a little girl at 9, and in no hurry to grown up!!!

 We are giving homeschool a shot for preschool....we decided preschool just shouldn't be stressful for the boys or the family...and so far, good!  Will is such an amazing little guy...he's so smart...so TOLERANT.....Sammy, personality plus, FUNNY!!!  We are stumbling, bumbling, falling, rising, celebrating, crying, along this path withan  attachment disorder....we never dreamed....but we'd do it again...NO regrets.  It's just awful to see how the early neglect, and experiences  you will never know  hurt your little one's heart hurt so much and how it affects them nose to toes...and affects your family, your relationships your sanity....we pray...

The most incredible love and rewards come from the most selfless acts and sacrifices.....

BUT....here's the real reason for this post....a GOOD LAUGH!!!  I wish I could tell you I have gone out in public with boys just ONCE in the last 3 years and not heard at least one of these comments!!!  As an individual, we KNOW you mean no harm, and are only curious...as a population...it gets a little tough on a mamma's nerves sometimes!!  ;)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another...Keeping it real!!!

First of all, I would like to welcome back another school year.  It came back dispite my protests.  It hasn't been as awful as I feared though.  (Did I just say that out loud?)  My kids are doing reallyreally great so far.  I am a 'preparer'  I've learned it's best to be ready and not need it, than to be scrambling last minute trying to clean up a preventable mess.  So I MAY have done some unnecessary prevention work for my kids...but ain't it great to be wrong about that stuff?  GO DELUCA KIDS!!!! 

Sammy however is pretty miserable.  Poor guy has had to wait an whole TWO weeks to start school after everyone else.  It's genuinely tough to be little and watch everyone else go off to school when he is soooo excited about going back to his beloved Co-Op.  Let's just say the 'Popcicle Social' on Monday to meet his teacher was the highlight of the month of August so far!!  As predicted, the new schedule has left him a bit disregulated, but I DO think I'm getting better at this!!  Again...pro-active pays!!

                                       MY BABIES (MINUS SAMMY) ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

I also wanted to share a REALLY great keeping it real post!  I'm by far NOT the best blogger...but I have gotten alot of wonderful responses and 'thank you's' for my honesty about our difficult second adoption,  our first adopted son 'spiral' after bringing home our second, our experiences with attachment disorders ect....  Unfortunately, I do think there is a painful shortage of those willing to be real and share the difficulties of adoption.  But MANY of us need to know it's normal, it's ok, it passes, and there IS someone out there to reach out to.  We are still growing and learning in our house.  It's a rollercoaster.  But I am more confident, my spouse and I are more on the same page; we have more and more family member that I THINK 'believe us' that this IS real, attachment disorders do exist and it's not just my bad parenting.  (yes, I have had that said to me)  All of it helps.  However, my point is...THIS post is very well written...we have experienced everything this woman expresses and I'd love to add a few paragraphs from our four walls.  I would have LOVED to have read this about a year and a half ago!!!  I'm providing a link to the entire post...and below is my favorite highlight!!  I hope someone reads this and finds comfort, inspiration and knowledge!!

 You  need to remember how your dear social worker told you on your 3-month visit, as she looked into your bloodshot eyes and you burst into tears, that attachment takes time…for everyone. Adoption is not the normal way, biology is, which helps us love that screaming, no-sleeping baby just madly, irrationally. But in adoption, it takes everyone time to fall in love.

And that’s okay.

So in those first few stages, you might feel like you are raising someone else’s hysterical kid. You might be chockfull of resentment, anger, disappointment, and regret. Love may feel elusive, even impossible for awhile. You might wonder if God called you to something then left you.

Normal, dear ones. So very normal. You are not a terrible person, nor is your new son or daughter a lemon. There is so much hope for everyone.

I read this paragraph by
Melissa Fay Greene on the first year of adoption, and I’ve never forgotten it:

"Put Feelings on a back-burner. This is not the time for Feelings. If you could express your feelings right now, you’d be saying things like, “Oh my God, I must have lost my mind to think that I can handle this, to think that I wanted a child like this. I’ll never manage to raise this child; I’m way way way way over my head. I’ll never spend time with my spouse or friends again; my older children are going to waste away in profound neglect; my career is finished. I am completely and utterly trapped.” You see? What’s the point of expressing all that right now? Put Feelings in the deep freeze. Live a material life instead: wake, dress, eat, walk. Let your hands and words mother the new child, don’t pause to look back, to reflect, or to experience emotions. “Shut up, Emotions,” you’ll say. “I’ll check back with you in six months to see if you’ve pulled yourselves together. But no whining meanwhile!”

Here is the good news: eventually, you can pull Feelings from the deep freeze, and you’ll discover surges of genuine love sneaking up on you for this kid. You’ll find out: Oh! He’s funny! She’s sassy! He’s good at science! She is compassionate! I had no idea! You’ve mothered with your hands and words, and God did the heavy lifting, just like He promised. You don’t have to be a miracle worker; that has always been God’s territory. You just have to be the ordinary disciple who says yes.

Is adoption easy? No it is not. Is this simple? Nope. Complicated and long-term. Will bonding be immediate and seamless? Maybe, but probably not. Will you struggle with guilt and fear that first year? Yes, but you shouldn’t. You’ve agreed to partner with God in some difficult, heart-wrenching work, and it’s no kum-by-yah party. Give grace to yourself; God already has.

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting through, and adoption is one of them. I can hardly think of something closer to God’s character, who is the “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Certainly, we are his difficult children who spaz out and pull away and manipulate and struggle. We distrust His good love and sabotage our blessings, imagining our shame disqualifies us or that God couldn’t possibly be faithful to such orphans.

But He is. We are loved with an everlasting love, and it is enough to overwhelm our own fear and shame and humanity. In adoption, God is enough for us all. He can overcome our children’s grief. He can overshadow our own inadequacies. He can sweep up our families in a beautiful story of redemption and hope and healing. If you are afraid of adoption, trying to stiff-arm the call, God is the courage you don’t have. If you are waiting, suffering with longing for your child, God is the determination you need. If you are in the early days of chaos, God is the peace you and your child hunger for. If your family feels lost, He is the stability everyone is looking for. If you are working hard on healing, digging deep with your child, God is every ounce of the hope and restoration and safety and grace.

In Him, you can do this.

He is enough for us all.

Where are you in adoption, and how has God shown Himself to be enough? Our stories give each other hope and courage. Thank you for being truth-tellers for one another.

AND, if this tiny glimpse leaves you hungry for more...here is the link for the whole post...which is equally as yummy!!



Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Sammy

In some ways the last three years have flown by and it feels like  you just came home, but most of the time I don't remember life before and it feels like you've been here forever....

You defiently taught what all the fuss about a "Mamma's boy" was.  It only took about 5 minutes actually.  They'd coached you to say "I love you Mamma and Babba" in English, and you were obviously quite proud, and my heart was obviously gone....

Today....my handsome guy can still get on his Gotcha Day shirt....and is the source of MANY of my funniest tales. His personality is such a HOOT! AND is Mamma is as crazy about him as ever, and is wrapped around that charming little finger most days!!!   We LOVE you sweet boy....more than you know, and for all the ups and downs, smiles and tears, growth and groans...I'd do it again in a second!  We just can't wait to see what God has in store for you!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

PLEASE don't go....DON'T go....

OH, sweet summer!  How I love thee!!! 

Every summer I get the 'back to school blues'.  Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to be excited about.  New things for the kids to learn and discover.  But I LIKE having layed back days  with the kiddo's.  We ban all extracurricular activities during the summer.  Just maybe 1 camp per kid and that's it.  We hang out...ride bikes, play with neighborhood friends, go to the pool, the park, play sidewalk chalk.  It's kind of heavenly.  Even with 'the ban'...we still end up running and going more than I intend...appointments!...getting 5 kids caught up with dentist, check ups, and SB clinics, regular pt/ot stuff...still BUSY...but at least there's no sports/drama/running to school 3 x a day...which gives us LOTS of fun times!!!

SO, I get the back to school blues.....  sniff, sniff......

PLUS, Sammy tends to get all out of sorts with schedule changes so I have to 'toughen up' and anticipate ALOT of melt downs, and tough times with his attachement issues.  Poor guy!  We will need to do lots of attachment work to help him cope with him new routine and everyone elses's new comings and goings.

BUT, we do want to be upbeat...so here's lot of photo's of all the fun we've been having!!  I'm including the May wedding of my nephew in Florida that we just got the pics of...JUST LOVELY!!!  My family was beautiful if I may say so myself ;)  AND a fabulous meeting of some adoption friends!  Our children are from the same orphanage in Jiangsu China...and when we traveled for Will, we took gifts for this families daughter Kimi.  I had a wonder meeting with her and have stayed in contact via phone, email, and yahoo groups!  They traveled through our town via the interstate while vacationing and we met for an afternoon and picnic lunch!  What a blessing and a joyous afternoon!

I hope everyone has a great last few weeks of summer...soak it in friends, it's slipping through our fingers!!  and may all your children LOVE their new teachers and new school years!!!  PRAYERS for nothing but the good stuff!!!

Oh yeah,  I bet you noticed I gotta a tattoo...yes you read correctly...a tattoo.  It's a long story, but the short of it is I've wanted one since I was 25, but my VERY conservative hubby has alway squished that idea QUICKLY!!  For some reason, her pulled in the tattoo parlor on vacation and said "go for it"...so I did.   and yes, it hurt, and yes I like it...so what if I'm a 40 year old inked Mamma!!! hahaha!

Jessa was in "Seuscial the Muscial"  that's her in the orange!  It of course, was fabulous and I was a very proud Mamma!!

                                                  Crazy face painting at an adoption fund raiser! 

                                              These three all had their start at the same modest orphanage in Huaian China...but BOY look at them now!

                                                   Myra and Kimi, Kentucky July 2012
                                       Myra and Kimi, Huaian China January 2011
As many of you know, we adopted mamma's, like our families big!  This play date only had 4 mamma's claiming this big group of kids!  But boy did we have fun!!!!

                                       Like many of you, we too had a CRAZY heat wave this summer and did just about anything to stay cool!
                                                     Yes...I HAD to buy this sign and it's now hanging in my basement!


Monday, July 9, 2012

The good stuff....

The Lord send's us messages when we need it, sometimes we just have to be patient...and we ALL know that's not always my best personality trait...here's what I got at Mass yesterday.  One of the cool things about being Catholic is we may hear the some readings, but each time you experience them...you get something different, the one you NEED for where you are in your life journey grabs your heart.....

2Cortinthians 12: 9-10

9 but then he said "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Thursday, June 21, 2012



yeah, his outfit is completly made of duct tape!!!

 The Christian Music Festival the size of "mini Woodstock" landed 30 minutes from home!!! As usual, our weekend of sweat, getting our faces rocked off and adventure has just begun.  We sat tonight out.. we're missing Tody Mac, and my hearts aching a little now.  But my stamina just MIGHT be showing it's age alot alittle from yesterday.  So when my $$ hungry teen had a babysitting offer, I told her to TAKE IT!  We still have two full sweaty days to go!!!   In case you are wondering the girls are hugging ICE in the above pic on the left...did I mention it was 92*???   When I noticed the guy opening the semi to the ice truck....we made friends QUICK! and volunteered to help him fill all his coolers!  This Mamma ain't no fool!!!  ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Who else could Father this crazy herd?!!!

They are exhausting, they are breathtakingly beautiful, and they are ours....and I'm so grateful that he's the one I'm trying to figure it all out with!!! Happy Father's Day!!!   (and I just realized I haven't taken a picture of my husband since Christmas  ;)