Thursday, April 22, 2010


Some pictures of Madeline's Missoula Theater Play (great program, check them out ) and her baskeball games. We keep pretty busy in the winter months here :)
Maddie as a Rat in Pied Piper. Lovely flowers (and Peacock feather) from our neighbor and dear friend, Peggy

Being fresh on stage

After make-up was applied - it was smudges 2 seconds later.

Maddie, mid-fall. My graceful gal.

Playing some defense with Auri

I didn't get to go to many of her games because they were all on Saturday. She waited until the last game I could attend to score TWO baskets!! Made her Momma proud.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Riding in Cars with Max

This is what we listened to all the way to Brunswick on Easter. It's cute . . . for a while.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We Are the Truth

"We Are The Truth - A Campaign and Call to ActionThe Joint Council on International Children's ServicesApril 12, 2010The outrageous treatment of Artyem by his adoptive family has rightfully resulted in outrage by the Governments of Russia and the United States and all who care about children. The tragedy has cast a light on intercountry adoption that says it is not safe, the system failed and adopted children cause insurmountable problems. The heartbreak of Artyem Saviliev’s abandonment has once again elevated a singular incident to a level which may result in the suspension of intercountry adoption. Suspending adoption, even temporarily, will only cause thousands of children to suffer the debilitating effects of life in an orphanage. You, the community of adoptees, adoptive parents, adoptive grandparents, child welfare professionals and child advocates know that the outrageous and indefensible actions of one parent are not indicative of how children are treated by adoptive families. You know that families who encounter difficulties do not simply abandon their child. You know that help is available, that solutions are found and that families can thrive. And you know that suspending adoption does not protect children but only subjects them to the depravity of an institution…and an entire life without a family.You, the adoption community know the truth. You live the truth. You are the truth. Join our campaign to bring the truth to light and help children in need find a permanent and safe family."
The minute I saw this story in the news, my thoughts were, "great, another excuse." I cannot count the number of times people have said to me, "We'd love to adopt but . . . " and this story would be another something for them to point to. What this woman did to Artyem is horrific and unimaginable. Unfortunately these are the stories that make the news and damage the entire adoption community.
Our story didn't make the news. We think that it is equally amazing:
Dan and I discussed adoption even before we were married. We knew that it would be part of our lives. After Myles turned 1, we decided it was time to make our move. Many families have profound experiences or backgrounds that lead them to adopt from a certain area or at a certain time. Neither of us had that. We spoke to a local agency that I did my field placement with in college. They helped us to decide that international adoption would be a good fit for us, and recommended Dillon, International. We jumped on board with relatively little research, but spoke to several families that used Dillon and were convinced that this is where we belonged. We were open to boys or girls, and because of that, we recieved Max Rup's referral the day after we got our I-171H (necessary before you can accept a referral). The call actually came to my parents' house, but I was there to take it! I couldn't believe how absolutely gorgeous he was, and how absolutely in love with him I fell immediately. 8 months later, we finally met Max Rup, and my blog post was entitled "Meant to Be."
Things changed pretty quickly with our second process. On Wednesday we were told that the little girl we had been pursuing was no longer available. We were disappointed, but knew that God had other plans for us. Well, we didn't think those plans would reveal themselves so quickly. . .Friday our social worker from when we adopted Max Rup posted an email to our forum about a little boy that she really wanted to find a home for. We poured over his information all weekend. He's almost 8 months younger than Max Rup, and this guy's grin can light up a room! We met with our Doc on Monday, and despite some unknowns we called Tami (our social worker again - yay!) and told her we were in. Tami spoke to the amazing woman who runs ISRC (the childrens home in Kolkata). Anju was so happy that Probal is being adopted by Max Rup's family. Anju told Tami that it was "God's Blessing." We completely agree.
Our truth about adoption is simply this: Adoption completed our family. Our children are amazing. We wouldn't change one minute of the experience.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Wednesday we had out transitional meeting for Mason. Before we get to the nitty gritty, a cute story: There were some dollhouse dolls laying on the table, one with white hair and a mustache. Mason kept on picking it up and saying, "Papa Jim, Papa Jim." If someone else would pick it up, he'd say, "I want Papa Jim." Very cute. He loves his people.

When Mason turns three (July), he will age out of Early Intervention and switch to the Special Education track. The focus will switch from his functioning within our family, to his functioning in an educational setting. Bottom line - they want him to go to preschool. He would receive Occupational and Speech Therapy in that setting if he qualifies. He will have evaluations done to see if he does qualify. Apparently Physical Therapy is considered a medical need, and not an educational need, so he will no longer receive PT through their program. We are seeing our private guy now, so that didn't matter except that I LOVE the woman who comes to our home. Not because the services are fabulous, but because she has been very supportive and she clearly loves my son and wants what is best for him. I am sad that we will lose her in June.

It doesn't make much sense to me that PT is not seen as an educational need since most of Mason's barriers to his education will be in terms of mobility (we think).

I have said all along that we would not put Mason in a preschool at this point. He will not have been home a year, and it would be one more setting, several more caretakers, etc. I'm not balking because of the quality of the placement they are suggesting, I'm balking at sending him anywhere other than home. Now I'm second guessing myself. Maybe he should go to a preschool in order to get ready for school. It wouldn't be that long that he'd be away, and they could really focus on how he works in that type of educational environment, and then we'd be more prepared for the next year and Mason possibly going to the K-4 program in the public school. We were hoping to hold him back and start him in this program at age 5, but apparently in our school system, this is not an option. They would instead adapt his Kindergarten program. It's not the same for me, and I was quite disappointed.

If we choose to keep him at home, we do have options of private services, we would just have to pay whatever our insurance doesn't cover. We are applying for an insurance for him that would cover that gap, but we've heard horror stories about qualifying, especially since he isn't a U.S. citizen yet. Our agency told us that the problem with private providers is that they may not communicate with the public school when the time comes to develop an IEP. However, I'm pretty sure we can invite whoever we want to those meetings. If we end up choosing to go with private providers, we will ask if they are willing to do this with us.

For now, we have agreed to let this agency do the evaluations to determine what they feel he needs. We have agreed to tour the facility they are recommending. We've also heard good things about this place from several friends. I've told Dan that it is his job to think rationally and make sure that whatever decision we make, we are making it for Mason, and not for Mommy who would like all of her babies to stay home forever :)

The meeting actually went ok. The folks were very nice, and explained everything to us, answered all of our questions since this is really our first go around. I think we have until June 9th to develop the IEP if we choose to, so we have a little time to think. I'm going to try to talk to the local school's Special Education director. Any thoughts, feedback, suggestions are more than welcome.

I promise some nice spring pictures soon!