Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Small Miracles

I am so sad when photos don't turn out. The miracle of this beach house is it location on the inter coastal. Then to the front is the ocean. We are now blocked by the trees, but its out there, and we walk to it everyday. The back of the condo looks out of this small river like waterway and if you catch it right, you can watch the dolphins going in or out to sea...We have looked each morning and haven't seen them. Today, at 9:17 the first pod of the summer swam by. It appears to be two, but I kept thinking that there was another who would breathe just after the first two. Maybe a family... Small miracle for me. I have never gotten over the wonder of animals in their own habitat. Let's hope there are not too many large fish in the ocean to wonder over....And soon, it will be "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel.
Second on our long list of small miracles, AugustRose is now potty training. She wears a pull-up at night, but most of the time it is dry. Just like that. She will suddenly look at me, and say, "I GOT GO TEETEE!" and then she hauls it off to her potty.
Again, Anna is her silly old self. She has forgotten how hard she cried on the last day of kindergarten. She was a sad little mess. She told me over and over that she didn't want to leave kindergarten. She didn't want another teacher. How could she see Mrs. Hall is she was in 1st grade. Mission accomplished. She loved kindergarten. The end of the first year is now behind her, and she has shells, angel wings, sand castles, and diving for coins to think about!
Another small miracle, my girl loves her Dadushka. She adores him, and wants to be at his side no matter what. With all of the trouble we had on our trip to meet her, this bond has made it "all better."

My gal hates to look at the camera for a photo, so I fear this is all we will see this summer. The top of her head or the side of her face.
Some sister fun.
Even showing me her shell "lection" she won't give me that straight on beauty!

So many small miracles in one week. So many reasons to say Thank You to the Man Upstairs. We are truly blessed to have this as our second home. We miss my mom, but we talk on the phone almost everyday. Another small miracle, I am putting my worst teaching year behind me. I am actually almost excited that as I enjoy my summer, I can look foreword to a whole new next year..
So I'd love to hear from any of you, what do your small miracles look like? What reason do you have to drop to your knees and say, "THANK YOU GOD, I am not worthy
!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Greetings From Paradise...

We made it safely to sunny Naples, Florida. Now we are amongst the left over snowbirds, and oddly, many Floridians. I think the economy has sent many who would normally be in the Keys right now, to their own back yard for some fun in the sun. As usual, there are many German families who are here. The crazy part is there is a direct flight from here to Germany.

I am still in shock over the death of Michael Jackson. As someone who so fiercely protects children, I am at odds with the way I feel about it. I grew up with the Osmonds and the Jackson 5. Janet was the little girl on Good Times. The first album that I got was Annie, with Andrea McArdle as Annie! The second album I got was Off The Wall. Our family had this giant stereo that was about 4 foot long, and we all listened to it. Then of course Thriller was the next big album. My cheerleading squad did a number to one of those hits.
It's sort of an unexpected end. Never saw it coming.And for that, I am sad. The whole molestation thing never had me too convinced. But then again, it took me months to wrap my head around the fact that OJ killed his wife. Funny, how I have a hard time accepting certain horrors.
But time will be forgiving to Michael. I will too.

As of today, we have logged tons of beach and pool hours. We have been to the best little library in the world a couple of times, and the best part is, we haven't been away from our Vanderbuilt Beach home for more than an hour or more than a mile. Everything we want is on this little area of town.
Pics coming soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

An Available Child

I know there are many out there who are considering a child with special needs. I have just learned that there is a little girl in Siberia who was born on February of 2007 that is waiting for her forever family. She has tested positive for HepC. She was born premature. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
If you are waiting, or can prepare documents fast, then please consider this child.
If you would like more information about her, please call Linda at Cradle of Hope Adotion Center, in Silver Spring Maryland. Their number is 301-587-4400

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dear Blogger Friends,

We are thrilled to introduce you to our organization, Supporting Orphans Across Russia. Born from the dream of three moms who grew their families through international adoption SOAR was established to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of children living in Russian orphanages. Our hope is that through our endeavors we might meet the great need of those children.
Who are we you ask? We are three moms of 11 fabulous children. Julianne is a school teacher and mom of two daughters. Jennifer is a stay at home mom with 4 children, one from Russia and three through foster care. Missi is mom to 5 great kids, three of whom are from Russia. Adoption brought us together. Each of us have a child who was adopted from the Khabarovsk region. We realized quickly that we share a common vision, our passion for adoption, love of Russia and hearts that ache for the children still waiting to know the meaning of family. Each of us witnessed the hopelessness and the great need for better living conditions, consistant medical care and improved diet.
Why is the need so great? The answer is simple. Russia has tried over the past few years to boost their foster care system. With over 750,000 orphans in their care, this has made little impact in the lives of these children who remain wards of the state. The impact however on the indiviual orphanages is significant, and not at all positive. Orphanges are already underfunded, but with more funds going to the foster system, the orphanages are seeing fewer and fewer govorment dollars to aide them in providing for the children in their care. It is not uncommon to find an orphanage with broken windows, insufficient supply of vaccines, contaminated water and a number of other serious concerns.
Our organization is just beginning, but we have set our hopes high! It is our goal in this first year to raise $40,000 which will fund our first humanitarian aide mission. The 3MomsMission will set off to Khabarovsk, Russia in the summer of 2010. During our trip we will distribute donations that we have received and meet with officials to ensure a continued relationship so that we can provide for the needs of this region on an ongoing basis. We plan to dispurse the funds we raise among the orphanages in this area in a way that best suits their needs. Because we have maintained connections with those in the adoption field we are confident that our efforts will be met with open arms. This initial good will visit will also give us the opportunity to determine where we can set our sights for large scale projects, such as water purification efforts or building repair.
We hope that you too will see the need and join with us as we SOAR to great heights in reaching the forgotten children of Russia. Your contribution is what will make our efforts a success. Please consider how your donation will change a life. All contributions are tax deductalbe and can be made through PayPal, or by mailing a check to:

SOAR

12713 Gordon Boulevard Suite 88

Woodbridge, Virginia 22192


To learn more about S.O.A.R. and the 3MomsMission, visit our website at:

www.supportingorphansacrossrussia.org.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Milestone

Just like it was yesterday, I can remember picking up my dear Anni from the baby home from Komsomolsk. She was such a doll. So tiny, and wonderful, and lovely, and delicious, and darling. She is still all of those things, except now, she has graduated from Kindergarten. She was chosen to open the event with the Welcome, the Pledge of Allegiance and the school pledge. There were songs and poems, and it was just adorable.

Of course Daduska was there cheering his girl on...



And my sister LauraLee (AugustRose Lee's namesake and Anna's twin) was there, suprised that with all of the children on stage, you could STILL hear Anna's voice....Hmmm, not sure what to think of that!

My baby and I in her class at the celebration afterwards. Man am I blessed! This year has been awesome. Anna has a fantastic teacher, who has given me a gift like no other. She has chosen not just to teach my child, but to love her and inspire her. She has made it so that I haven't worried one bit about Anni's safety or security. I haven't worried about anything. I have thanked God for her. She has been a blessing to our family and we will love her forever! Thank you Mrs. Hall for all that you have done to encourage and push my gal..

Monday, June 08, 2009

Just What I Needed...

From Her Beacon Hand
Glows a World Wide Welcome



There's something about visiting a national monument, that makes me feel more American, luckier, more blessed, more motherly. We all have our dreams, and mine was to be a mother. Being able to take my beloved daughters to such an awe inspiring location is dreaming at its best. I cherish these moments.

The trip was just what the doctor ordered. The girls had a great time, singing and dancing on the Ferry from Staten Island to ManniHanni. The girls travel so well together. They make everything fun. A simple boat ride turned into dinner theatre with these four. It was raining one night which made the skyline difficult to see. The girls spent the first few minutes looking for the Statue of Liberty. We found it once we switched sides...
Here we are just before we went to Battery Park. The ferry lands in lower Manhattan, and we took a hotdog and icecream break before heading uptown to American Girl. Of course we took time to see the street performers. That is one of my favorite parts of the city. Groups of young and old get together and put on small shows with tons of acrobatics, singing, dancing, and of course the millions of stands selling the fanciful name cards..I won't irritate Missi by retelling her story of buying her girls two pretty posters.. Anna loved these guys the most, so we gave them a donation, and one of the guys was nice enough to pose with her..



During our hotdog break, we had to sport the Liberty hats. Anna was so cute walking around with her hand in the air. August was happy to find a spot just perfect for picking tiny little flowers.

Then, it was off to American Girl
We started out by getting facials and hair doos for BrooksieDoodle and Sid's dolls, and Anna had Kit's ears peirced. Then we went to the Cafe and had dinner. It was just how we hoped it would be. All of the girls had table seats for their dolls, and the dolls even had their own stemware!

The first course was gone before we could take photos. It was yummy warm cinnamon rolls. Then the fruit and cheese tray arrived. August pretty much ate all of it...The artichoke dip hit the spot for Miss and I.
Even August got into the spirit and fed "Bitty GlowStick" a bite of cheese...Since we were making the dinner Anna's birthday celebration, we sang Happy Birthday and her cake came with a candle. She was thrilled. Missi's gals bought Anna two outfits for Kit. Anna was so suprised and she loved them. Thanks again, my sweet baby girls!After the dinner, we did our shopping. Thankfully we hid the bags so there would be no photographic evidence of the damage done to our bank accounts. I tried to be good, but Kit really needed to snowboarding outfit, and of course the snowboard. We walked around Rockefeller center for a bit after shopping. It was a gorgeous evening, so the girls did some posing and then we went on our way!

So after the busy busy day, I realized that my AugustRose had been simply amazing. BUT, I hadn't gotten her the balloon I had promised her since we arrived in NYC. Missi, being the wonderful friend went downstairs for her complimentary house wine, and then proceeded to walk down the street, sneak into the out door of the grocery store, and got my gal a bag of balloons...My girl was in heaven! So much so that she stacked them up around her and feel asleep in a heap of hot air!! Miss, you are the best!!
So, now with 8 days of school left, I feel like I got just what I needed. Time away, busy streets, lots of action, lots of fun. I know I can make it through and start next year with a fresh attitude. I also know that I can always find ways to provide my girls with a sense of adventure right here in the good ole USA...As I am planning for what's next, I am thinking my girls need to see another US monument or landmark...What's a good one? Ideas???

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Door is Closed...

Sometimes you can feel a shift. Actually feel the earth slowly, ever so slowly moving under your feet, and you know that no matter how hard you try to stand firm, you just can't. I am feeling that shift. The shift comes after many many doors have closed on my plans. Doors I had only considered opening, have slammed in front of me. There have been no open windows. Not only are there no open windows, the light from what windows I do have is dimming to a level that is nearly unmanageable. As hard as I have fought to see any light source, I see the shade of everything.
I am so overcome with the reality of what is now, that I cannot imagine what foot to put foreward and what foot should collapse under me, taking my whole self down with it..I cannot hope for what I thought I could hope for. I cannot dream of what I thought I should dream of. So for now, I do what everyone who is lost does. I turn back to the One who has brought me so much joy. The One who made me a mother. And as hard as life seems lately, I have to face that once again, I don't have to know what the future holds, I just have to trust that He will give me the light I need. He will give me the door and windows that need to be opened.. I am going to break away from this whole blog thing for a while.