Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Tell Me Again About Russia"

I am a hot mess in so many areas of parenting. By no stretch of the imagination do I feel like I am doing as good a job as many of you out there..But there are a couple of areas where I feel proud of the work I am doing with my little babies..The first, and really the easiest is growing my girlz in their Christian Faith. We are still taking baby steps to live our lives for Christ  6 days of the week, but on the 7th day, We got this!
We go to Church every week. I teach Sunday School as well as serve on the Hospitality Team. I serve as one of the greeters. I mainly hang at the children's check in area and help new families with elementary aged children check in, show them around, and give them all the information they will need for their kids..
The 7th day we focus on God all day. We talk about using nice words and how we should never say, "DumbAss" or tell people they are not our friends..Yeah, "DumbAss." Long story short, I have not cursed around my children. For me, it has been like cutting off half of my tongue. But I have managed to switch my vocabulary in and out of parent mode for 7 years. Until recently. While talking about a friend's husband on the phone, I dropped DumbAss about 300 times over the course of a week or two..And yes, my children heard it. So, one morning while getting reading for school, AugustRose, the four year old, called her sister a DumbAss..My mom was here, and she called me. I was stunned because when my mom asked her where she heard that, AugustRose immediately said the little neighbor girl had said it..I was driving to school and I asked my mom to put AugustRose on the phone. I asked her where she heard the word. She whispered, "You said it Mommy." And when I asked her why she blamed the neighbor girl, she whispered again,
"Cause I love you mommy." THERE. Now that is my girl! I don't care what you say about how wrong it is for a child to lie, I know that's wrong and I corrected her. But in my heart I knew that this child of mine is getting it. She is learning that we are a family, and as her mommy she didn't want to "get me in trouble" for saying a bad word..YES, I know the millions of reasons that this is dysfunction at its highest, but for an adopted child, it is a step on the giant ladder of bonding.She is stepping into "protection" mode for her family and that is huge..OK, back to my original thoughts. The 7th day. We are together at Church, and speak of God's love for us, and how NewHope is our Church home and we should honor it each week by giving a portion of our money to help provide all of the services and programs that are offered. Last week I gave Anna and AugustRose their own dollar to give. I explained the basics of tything, and Anna said, "Next week I am going to give a dollar of my own money." The 7th day is becoming magical..
We need to increase our time spent focusing of the Lord . Baby Steps.
But my girlz know more at 7 and 4 then I knew at 18. God has been blessing me by putting wonderful people in my life that make it so easy to grow my girlz with the love of Christ on their side...

The other thing that I am proud of is the way I have handled my girlz adoptions. It may not be the best for

your family, but I know my girlz and what their little hearts need..It started with Anna. I took literally hundreds and hundreds of pictures on both of our trips to Russia. And once home I made scrap books of each trip. In the beginning, I was so tired at night, that I didn't want to read Anni a story, so I would take out the scrap books and "retell" her adoption story. Sometimes I focused on one day of our trip. Sometimes I focused on my feelings of absolute love. Sometimes I focused on my mom, dad, and sister and how much they loved her. Many times, I called her my fat little bald headed baby..She always loves that, because usually I squeeze her little tummy and pinch her cheeks to remind of what it felt like back then..When my girlz are upset about something, or not feeling well, or stressed out at a doctor appointment etc, I ask the girlz if they want me to tell them a story. Sometimes they choose a vacation story, but many, many, times both girlz ask me to Tell Me Again About Russia. It soothes them. and I am glad.
Maybe it's because I teach and have learned how to tell a story in the way a young child wants to hear it, or maybe my girlz are just really good at hearing a story when I tell it..Cause when I stroke their hair and tell them about their baby homes, the tension drops away and they melt into me like a puppy being scratched on it's tummy. 

And for all those adoptive parents out there..I could never give you day to day parenting advice. I wouldn't be so bold. I can only encourage you to remember your adoption experience fondly. Even if you are faking it. Remember Russia fondly, even if your experience was horrible..And when you are out of ideas on how to tame your little lions, consider telling a story. Your child's story.

and one last thing...HAPPY BIRTHDAY the best Dad and Grandfather any gal could have. Thank you for your constant support, love, and overall awesomeness. You are the best role model for my little ones, and I love you to bits!

 The Lil GreenGirlz with my dad.

AugustRose and Fifi..(my god-daughter) at the bowling alley today!

Lately I have been sharing the story of how AugustRose and Anna met .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Out Of The Loop...

I gave up FaceBook for a while. I am doing it to "fast" and be in prayer for E R S. She is a child at my Church. Fasting and prayer together draw us closer to God. For me, fasting away from FaceBook has giving me back time to spend thinking of ERS. Everytime I feel like logging on, I pray for ERS's health. See, this child is very sick. Very. And as of now, there is no real diagnosis. There are many thoughts as to what is wrong, but the doctors are still doing extensive testing to find out what. Regardless, it is very bad. Even the "best case" scenarios are not real good. So I pray. I think of FaceBook, and I switch my thoughts and pray.
The mom and dad of this little child are the foundations of our Church. The dad is our operations director, the mom runs our Childrens Church..So I work for both of them, but I am friends with the mom. She is one of those moms who CAN do it all. And never seems to lose her shit. The dad, well he is just a rock star. He has given our Church the life it has.
The aunt of the child is my friend and my first Small Group Leader. She was the one who truly brought me closer to God, and showed me how to study and be in prayer for all things. We aren't as close as we used to be, life and all. And I miss her. She is married to a man who also serves weekly.
The grandparents of this child are very active members of our Church. Both volunteer every Sunday, at both services. Both are like grandparents to most of the small kids at Church.

And then there is ERS.
She is 8. And an absolute darling. A friend to my Anni, and every other child near her age.
A quick story. When this all first started in the summer, a pastor came into the hospital to speak with her family. He asked her is she wanted to pray with him. That's when she said, Sure, Do you want to start or should I?" That's her. Completely comfortable in her own devotion to the Lord. I beg you to pray for this child, this family.
They were at the airport when Anna came home. The older sister was the ONLY one at Church that Anna would go to when she was a tiny baby, just home from Russia. The older brother was also adopted from Russia. The other brother is a genuinely wonderful boy. And the baby brother who is 7 is terrified for his sister. Bless all of their hearts.

It makes me know that there is an evil  'other side' trying to pull this family down. And as God is my witness, I will stay away from FaceBook this month and pray and pray and pray...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Letter

Yesterday I got a letter that my grandmother mailed before she passed away. It was mailed to my mom and she was just getting a chance to go through all the mail that arrived while she was in Florida with my grandmother. It was a thank you letter. Actually she wrote 3 letters, one to me, one to each of my girlz, and one to  my sister. Thanking us for our birthday gifts. She wrote about how lovely the flowers and chocolate covered fruit was, and wrote that she was happy that we were thinking about her. She told us all that she loved us very much and glad that my dad was spending so much time my girlz. She said I was a blessed girl...
She mailed it the day before she had her heart attack. So really, the day before she died...What a blessing. To know my granny was lovin' us just before she passed away.

Life is funny sometimes, because I had actually said, "You know how people die and then someone gets a letter from them after the fact.." This is where I am going to write something and make you think I could be a weee bit crazy, well. Oh Well.
I am psychic. It happens a lot. I think about things and then they happen. I was driving home from a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and had this overwhelming feeling of sadness about my idiot ex husbands parents. I couldn't describe it. I just kept thinking, they are sad and something bad has happened. I checked facebook that night, and the grandmother had died..
I wouldn't mention it, but it happens so much lately that I am always saying, I KNEW something was up with (Insert Name Here)..I think I should read up on this and try to harness this..I could desperately use some lottery numbers!!

Oh, and I checked the AAS website. (You know, the school in Russia that refuses to hire me because I have too many kids,) and I although I am still so irritated with them, I am still so hurt that I can't be there..If they only knew..I was going to go for the summer, but decided that I would rather spend the summer at my dad's beach house. The sun, the sand, the pool, the time spent with family..Can't replace those memories.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

 The girlz and my mom at the funeral..They waited til inside to get serious!
 As you can see, AugustRose enjoyed our time at the lake..(And she loves her new haircut)
 Anna being awesome as ever on the train ride home..16 hours, and not a problem from either of my travelin' babies!
 I am putting this one in cause just before we left, we got a chance to babysit MissMissi's newest dog. It is the tiniest thing I have ever seen. And cuttteee! But no, there will be no dogs in the Greenz house.
 Lovin' on Aunt Lee after the funeral..
 AugustRose 's haircut makes her look older I think..And she was awesome on the train too..We slept in our two seats together on the way home..I squeezed her up throughout the night..It was good lovin!
 Anni looks so pale in the Florida Sunshine at Lake Geneva..(My grandmothers lake)
 Augggie "workin" on the train...
Even in moments of sorrow, there is joy. Both girlz gave us courage and strength on the day of the funeral..

Thursday, March 03, 2011

It's been a while..
I have so many posts that I wanted to come back with, but sadly, my grandmother passed away last week and we have been in Florida. She was 94, lived on her own, and passed away after a heart attack and then a few days in the hospital trying to recover.
The girlz were very sad and for the first time, they experienced loss that I couldn't help them with. Well, other than comforting them. They understood that their Great Granny died. Her birthday was Valentines Day, so we had just spent time buying treats for her. Last summer, I posted some pictures  from our July 4th visit to see her. She was in a rehap center after hurting her back..She went back home just after our visit last summer.

I wasn't so close with my grandmother. It is sort of a long story, but lets just suffice it to say, that she wasn't so happy that my mom was pregnant with me..My grandparents were sort of wealthy back in the day, and my mom and dad were young and struggling to make it with my sister. So they wanted them to wait to have a second child. My grandparents owned a standard oil plant and wanted my dad to come into the business, but my dad didn't want to. My mom was teaching at the time.. My grandparents were concerned with image and appearances..You probably know the type.  Sooo, when I was born, there was no fan-fair..Except for my mom and dad. My sister was their bright and shining star throughout her childhood and she remained their doll until my grandfather passed away..That's when my only cousin on that side began to fall apart. Drugs, trouble with the law, and then prison..He and my grandmother actually rekindled their relationship recently and at the end, the only one who didnt share a truly special bond with her was me..She loved me of course. But nothing like with my cousin and sister.
It's ok though. I have that kind of love from my parents. And that filled me up..

Last week my mom was in Florida to be with her at the hospital and my dad was here with me, keeping the girlz while I was teaching..After she passed my sister and I  and the girlz went to Florida..Our train returned today..
I read a poem at the funeral..I will post it later. My two dear girlfriends Lisa G, that I have known since kindergarten and Missi, both sent flowers..And my BFF Lee came to help me with the girlz during the funeral..I am so glad she was there. AugustRose tried to come up with me when I read the poem, and Aunt Lee had to grab her and cuddle her while I spoke..
So, it's been a long sad two weeks..I am most sad for my mom.

Time will heal her heart.