Sunday, December 30, 2007


Big Sister has loved playing games on the computer for as long as I can remember. She is five now and highly adept at nagivating her way around the mouse and keyboard, often teaching herself and me new games as she learns them. As an educator and mom, I want her to have fun on her computer, but also learn something as well. These are my top picks for Big Sister's playtime:


*Play along with Dora, Blues Clues, Little Bill and More. Children learn problem-solving strategies,


*Play along with Arthur, Calliou & Curious George. This site offers your little one puzzles, artwork and other interactive learning opportunities.


*Join Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street gang for A,B,C learning fun!


*A good place to help your child improve his/her reading readiness skills.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Night Before Christmas Photos

Here are photos of my lovely daughters dressed in their pj's and new princess slippers waiting for Santa's arrival. It warms my heart to know that I have them both home with me this year and that they love each other so much. The holidays are such a difficult time for waiting (adoptive) parents. In my blog, I don't always write about sunshine and roses, but truthfully about the highlights and pitfalls of adopting and raising children. Despite this, my goal remains true, to inspire those still waiting and fill them with hope that dreams can come true.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday's Reflection: A Christmas Poem

A friend sent me this poem. I think it's worth reading!


Twas the night before Christmas,
When all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring,
and she was cleaning the commode.

The children were finally sleeping,
all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo and Barbie,
flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring
in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle
propped on his knee.

So only the mom heard
the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh,
'Now what is the matter?'

With toilet bowl brush
still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs,
and saw the old man.

He was covered with soot,
which fell when he shrugged,
'Oh great,' muttered the mom,
'Now I have to clean the rug.'

'Ho Ho Ho!' cried Santa,
'I'm glad you're awake.'
'your gift was especially
difficult to make.'

'Thanks, Santa, but all I want
is some time alone.'
'Exactly!' he chuckled,
'So, I've made you a clone.'

'A clone?' she muttered,
'What good is that?'
'Run along, Santa,
I've no time to chat.'

Then out walked the clone -
Her identical twin,
The same hair, the same eyes,
the same double chin.

'She'll cook, she'll dust,
she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy,
and she'll do the rest.

'Fantastic!' the mom cheered.
'My dream has come true!'
'I'll shop, I'll read,
I'll sleep a night through!'

>From the room above,
the youngest did fret.
'Mommy! Come quickly,
I'm scared and I'm wet.'

The clone replied,
'I'm coming, sweetheart.'
'Hey,' the mom smiled,
'She sure knows her part.'

The clone changed the small one
and hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child
in a blanket cocoon.

'You're the best mommy ever.
I really love you.'
The clone smiled and sighed,
'And I love you, too.'

The mom frowned and said,
'Sorry, Santa, no deal.'
That's my child's LOVE
she is trying to steal.'

Smiling wisely Santa said,
'To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother
is needed here.'

The mom kissed her child
and tucked her in bed.
'Thank You, Santa,
for clearing my head.

I sometimes forget,
it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old
for my cradle and song.'

The clock on the mantle
began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone,
'It works every time.'

With the clone by his side
Santa said 'Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom,
You will be all right.'

~Author Unknown

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dear Santa,

I am the proud mother of two sweet, beautiful little girls. Each one has been a true blessing to me and a dream come true. I know that you are busy and have an infinite list of children to visit this year, but please be sure to stop by our house and drop off a few gifts for my daughters. They especially want a Dora kitchen and anything else you wish to surprise them with.

Warm Regards,


PS. Help yourself to a plate of homemade sugar cookies and icy cold milk. We put it out especially for you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday's Reflection

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.

-- Anonymous

I love this quote because God has blessed me with a few very good friends, those who are supportive and never judge me. They know who I am and what my core values stand for. Lately, I have been through some difficult times and have confided in some 'friends.' The true ones grace me with their beautiful strength and wisdom. They know that the choices I make are in the best interest of my family. A special thanks to C, K & S for being amazing, wonderful friends. You light up my life!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Christmas Miracle: Sisters & Daughters

Last year, we had Christmas in Massachusetts. My entire (immediate) family came home to our house for a celebration. My sister and her husband, had just received their referral for a beautiful baby girl from China. Joyously they shared news that quite unexpectedly, they also discovered that they were pregnant! We also waited for news about our own impending referral. Big Sister (BS) was anxiously waiting to see her baby sister's photo and meet her. Finally, in the spring (March 2007), her referral came and in May, we brought her home. Although it had been a rocky start, each month gets better. Once again, I highly credit sign language for helping Little Sister (LS) learn how to communicate better. She is also in a loving home with good food, warm clothes and lot's of kisses.

This year, my sister and I, who both struggled with infertility and waited years for a child, have our Christmas blessings, two beautiful daughters each! It's a special gift for both of us and a tribute to our own mother who taught us that with faith all things are possible. Thanks Mom!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Kite Runner (Trailer)

A movie not to be missed based on one of my all-time favorite novels. I am so excited to see this book appear in film. I only hope it is well done.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sign Language = Success in Non-Verbal Toddler

Little Sister (LS) just turned 20 months old yesterday! It's hard to believe that in four months, she will be two years-old already! I know that some parents dread that stage, but I am looking forward to it because I hope it leads to her talking more. Today, after being home for seven months, she can still only say a handful of words and not consistently. I feel that many of her frustrations and meltdowns stem from the fact that she can't say what's on her mind. She spent the first few months just moaning and groaning all day. I called Early Intervention back in September and had her assessed. They agreed that she definitely has a speech delay in conjunction with the tantrums, however, they have yet to come here and start therapy. Week after week, I call them and they always have some excuse why they can't start. I guess they are backlogged!

In the meantime, I have started learning and teaching LS baby sign language. For the past three weeks, we have been renting every video the library has and watching them. LS absolutely loves watching the videos and is starting to sign on her own now! It's glorious to know that she can communicate her basic needs (eat, drink, milk, more, play, etc.) and to see the pride on her face when she knows that I understand her. For Christmas, I am buying her a baby sign book on colors, and one on things in our neighborhood, along with a video of her own.

Since learning some of the basic signs, Little Sister's behavior has changed greatly. She is much happier and calmer, having less tantrums each week. I am convinced that her lack of communication played a huge role in our struggles. You can't imagine how much I long for the day when I hear her beautiful little voice say, "Mamma, I love you!" I know it's coming, but for now, I'm happy seeing her give a sign.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Reflection

"One kind word can warm three winters."

Japanese Proverb

Here in the Midwest, we have been hit with a continuum of what they call the "Artic Blast," a mixture of snow, sleet and ice. Aside from Christmas, I really dislike winter with it's short, dark, dreary days. Maybe that's why spring has always been my favorite time of year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update on Little Sister

A few weeks ago, I started holding therapy with Little Sister (LS). At first, I was completely against holding until I read the book, Holding Time by Martha Welch, M.D. and understood the concept better. Some children who are traumatized early in life have difficulty forming secure attachments. Luckily, LS desperately wants my love and is bonded to me. The problem is that she does not trust the fact that I will always be there for her. Instead of accepting my unconditional love, she tries to control my every move and becomes jealous when I give attention or affection elsewhere, a common trait in children with attachment disorders and post traumatic stress disorder! She needs security. Holding therapy teaches children that their caregiver (mom or dad) will be there no matter what they do or how they feel. At first, LS would rage (scream violently) when I held her, but now she is starting to accept it more and relax. Throughout the day, she makes more eye contact with me and will give me lots of hugs and kisses without prompting. Suddenly, I am seeing a much happier, more secure baby. Holding therapy is working!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday's Reflection

"A Brother shares childhood memories and grown up dreams."

-Author Unknown

Today's reflection reminds me of the childhood I spent with my older brother. I clearly remember playing Wiffle ball or kickball with him on those beautiful, long, lazy summer days in our backyard. Other neighborhood kids would stop by and join us and soon, we had a full team. On Christmas mornings, my brother would joyfully come into my room very early and let me know that Santa had come to our house. Now, we are older and each have kids of our own, but we are still close.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Vintage TV for the holidays

It's that time of year again! Time to break open the popcorn, hot cocoa and fresh bag of mini marshmallows. Time to sit down with your children and watch some of the classic tot TV Christmas shows from yesteryear. I love to watch my children enjoy the same holiday stories that I grew up with. I also love having them watch vintage TV, knowing that despite the changing times, some things do remain the same.

Big Sister (BS) has been watching some of these shows every year for the past two years, but each year she seems to enjoy them even more. Little Sister (LS) is still in the phase of only half watching television, but I know in time, she will come to love these memorable characters as much as her sister and I do.

Three of our favorite holiday cartoons are:

Charlie Brown's Christmas

Frost the Snowman and Frosty Returns

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

*Never forget Rudolph!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Merry Christmas by Third Day

Here is a great video I came across last year while awaiting the referral of Little Sister. Watching it makes me glad to have gotten her out of the orphanage. She will soon enjoy her first of many Christmas mornings. That in itself is a miracle! This year, I dedicate the video to all the families still waiting for their precious babes.