Thursday, July 24, 2008

Turtles, Toes, and Time Together!

So if you wondered what it looks like to be at the beach with a two year old and a five year old. Here it is...We have been enjoying our time in the sun, and celebrating the girls birthdays, AGAIN. Dad had cakes made and we did the whole celebration over again. Man, these girls got it good!
We were sitting on the porch yesterday and looked down at the Intercoastal, (river) and we saw a pod of dolphins swimming by. They were close enough to touch, but since we were inside we couldn't get outside to get a good photo. We also saw a rainbow yesterday.
Earlier we saw a turtle just walking on the bank of the river. We see tons of lizards everyday and the girls think they might just get one before we go home.
Times are good here in Naples. I miss my mom, but other than that, I could stay through October. Sadly, I must work and will be leaving my dad's house in another week and a half.
Then we hit Disney. We will meet Missi's family there. Another cool week in the life of the Green Girlz! Again, these girls got it good!
Please pray for Cradle of Hope Adoption Center. They are in a real mess, and need every good thought you can send their way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Greetings From Paradise!

So my children are inside playing with balloons. Actually they are screaming at each other, since neither one is willing to have the "least amount" of balloons. They grab as many as they can, and try to hold them, one falls from their hands and the other goes running for it....It makes for great competition, and I hear a lot of "Mommy she is not being nice! She hit me!"
But you know what, we are on vacation, I don't have to work, and so what if they scream at each other....There are no neighbors here. In a building of about 50 homes, there are only about 4 families here. Only one owner is here besides my dad, so we are not worried about bothering anyone...

The only downside to this, we will have to come home one day. I don't even want to think about it. This is what our day looks like. We hit the beach in the morning. You would think we would be fried from the sun, but thank goodness for spray suncreen. My girls are not burned, and we are getting just a touch of color each day. Anna is doing a lot of boogie boarding, and diving in the beach. Her Auntie L got her a snorkel, and she taught her how to use it. Auntie was here for our first week. When she is around, we call it "Camp Auntie." Beleive it or not, she was able to find a museum to take my girls to. No matter where we are, she will teach my girls something valuable. She is clearly the best Auntie ever. Anna loves her so much and misses her terribly. They even got a chance to take underwater pictures with a camera Auntie found for her.

AugustRose took to the beach like a champ. She likes the sand, and playing around in it. She runs to the water's edge and plops herself right down. She digs and messes and has a great time. She is not as confident in the water, so she holds me a lot. This is great for our bonding. She has learned to say, "Hold please." Each time she feels unsure of herself, she will yell it out until I get her.

We went over to Captiva for a different beach day. The water was roughish and Anna got a chance to boogie board a whole bunch. The best part of the day was when the IceCream Man came along via a pontoon boat. It was the best. He had all sorts of food and drink and even had a grill for burgers and dogs.

Here is my girl with her treat-treat!

If you wonder where AugustRose is, she was alseep on the beach. Yes, when she is tired she will say "Night Night" and fall asleep on the beach. This day, I was holding her in the ocean and singing her a little song, and she feel asleep. We will be here for another two weeks before we head to Disney World in Orlando. Auntie will meet us there. We can't wait to see the Hughes family too. We will take our million children and hit the Magic Kingdom for a few days before going home.

The only thing about being here that is kind of a bummer, is we missed the Grand Opening of NEW HOPE CHURCH. You may know that we have a Rockin' Church, and after many years on the road, we finally bought property and built a Church. It opened while we were here, and I hear from Berna that it was awesome. I miss everyone from my small group and other dear friends. I hope you are enjoying your summers. Sometimes I am in awe at how good God is to me. All of the rough times in the beginning of AugustRose's adoption are being rewarded now.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Again, Already?

A few months ago I posted a blog about killing our children..Well, it's happened again. As with all of the cases, it is truly tragic. But in this one, I think the tragedy spills over into a new area. A man on his way to work, forgets his 21 month son in the back seat and goes to work. The heat of the car reached well over 100 degrees, and the child died.
The man realizing what has happened breaks down and needs to be hospitalized. Upon his release from the hospital, he is arrested and questioned by the police where he again is hospitalized.
Can you imagine? On this one, I have no judgement. I make some of the dumbest mistakes, and there but the Grace of God go I...I put myself in his place and shudder at the misery that his life will be. Jail or no jail, that poor man is going to suffer for the rest of his life. I have to imagine that his wife is equally devasted and that's a marriage I can see not making it....It's a mistake that is near unforgiveable. But he will be forgiven, as I am almost sure he has begged God to "take back his mistake." I am sure he has pleaded his sorrow for what happened. Any decent parent would. And I am sure this is a decent man... If you are a praying person, this family could use prayer. Poor things.

Since I have posted last, COH had its accreditation suspended. I am still unclear if it is for not completing post-placemements, or if it is not notifying the MOE of it's change in personnel. The law is vague at best, but for whatever the reason, the are screwed.
My hunch is that although they were told they had 3 months to correct the problem, this will be an issue well into the fall. There are parents out there that have been overcharged by Allways International and COH was not in a position to help. See the problem is Allways is the group that runs the COH program while overseas. In theory, THEY are the agency when in Russia. So if they say, "Oh this child has a living relative in a prison and we need to get a helicopter to fly out there and get a signature. This will cost your family 2K." Families are presented with this nonsense by COH. So a family is forced to pay this amount or there won't be a court date...
COH may or may not realize there is no truth to this, but they can't tell the families that this is a lie. Then families will lose faith in COH, they have to in theory, stand behind a lie. So now, without its cash cow, Allways has decided to either withhold information such as postplacements, or tell the MOE in Moscow that COH is not following the letter of the law.
It's a real hot mess.
My estimation is that within a year, there will be no COH. Next summer, I will be looking for someone to do my postplacements for AugustRose.

My heart is broken by this. COH has been a part of my life for 5 years. Although I have gotten irritated with them, they are like family. I would get on a plane tomorrow and go talk to the MOE about COH, but in Russia, there is no room for advocacy. They just don't care about the regular people think.
I will post again later and share happier news about our vacation and how well the girls are doing.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sleeping Beauties...

Now look at those sweet darling babies. Can you imagine that they could every do a think wrong?
Well, even if they do, I will love 'em anyway.
Saturday is Heather's wedding, and Anna is the Flower Girl, so I am looking forward to seeing her walk down the aisle. Hopefully the next time she does it, she will be 30 and marrying the man of her dreams.
On Sunday, we head to Florida for 5 weeks. YES, 5 weeks. We will stay at my dad's beach house for a month and then go to Walt Disney for the last week.
It is a present to myself. I turn 40 in August so I am treating our family to a week of "Disney Goodness."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My Baby is Five...

So when I look back on the past four years, the one thing about my dear sweet angel that stands out the most, is that this child has a greatful heart and spirit. She is different than a lot of children. We celebrated her 5th birthday today with lots of friends and she was just a dollbaby. She couldn't stop telling me how happy she was with her day. This is a little girl with a heart of golden delicious sugar.
Anna has given my heart enourmous joy, and I cannot imagine what life would have been like without her.
I love you An, Suus, Tootsie, Shug, Poodle, Anni....
"You are my heart and soul and I love you with every ounce of my being..."