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Friday, February 28, 2014

Approach with caution

Sometimes my posts will re-touch on previous posts I've written somewhere in the past. Something somewhere might spark me to write on topics that continue to surface, and that should be written periodically educating our society. I read this morning about an adoptive mother that made a photo series of her two daughters adopted from China. It spotlights racist comments directed at her daughters. Not just about being Chinese but about being adopted. This is a prime example why I started writing in the first place. Education and avocation for adoption. Some of the comments made towards this mother and her two girls are, "Your mom is a real saint for wanting you" "How much did she cost?" "You know that's not your real sister, right?" We constantly get comments all the time. In front of our children we've heard. "Are you crazy?" "Are they all yours?" "Which one is your real child?" "You must do it for money" "Which one is fostered?" - totally not grasping the concept of what "adoption" means. "Are you in competition with Angelina Jolie?" "Real and adopted are not the same" "Why would you do this to yourself?!" "You can't complain, you chose to adopt" It goes on and on.....and what's amazing is, it's always commented right in front of our children. Years ago it bothered me. It doesn't anymore because I've learned with the comments, it's my chance to educate with my responses. Although what about the children that over hear these comments? They've already had a past of loss, grieving, (their own questions of their future unknowns) and had to transition into an adoption placement after multiple foster placements. Life was rough. Adoption isn't easy. During the next future years after being adopted, it's always a question and worry from our children, "Do I belong?" "Is this my family?" "Do I mean any less then a birth child?" "Will you get rid of me?" It's a forever commitment for adoptive parents to reassure their child/children that this is forever. "You're not going anywhere" "We love you just as much as any other" So when we're out and receiving comments, or questions in front of our child/children that are already worried of their worth, it can be frustrating. It's a vicious cycle of emotions that we're already trying to repair. We are a large multicultural family with several different special needs, we stick out worse then a swollen nose. So it's not a surprise that we attract questions and comments. I enjoy educating. Although I do believe people should be aware that my children are standing with me before commenting. To understand that it's a sensitive topic. There was a time (not long ago) I thought that all our children knew they were adopted. I thought because we advocate, and attend adoption events, hold adoption parties and because we have a large diverse family, that it was just common sense - our children knew they were adopted. One day while waiting in our van, our aboriginal eight year old asked, "Did I come out of your tummy mommy?" I was shocked. I just automatically thought my son knew he was adopted. I mean after all.....isn't it obvious? A large, multicultural adoptive family that highly speaks of adoption frequently and all the questions and comments that I continually educate that happens right in front of my children, some of our children don't know. I was enlightened that day. Some of our children don't know and perhaps don't understand either. It makes it that much more sensitive because it shouldn't be explained to a stranger while my child finds out that he wasn't in my tummy. They should find out in a more comfortable atmosphere with just their mother. For my one son asking, "Did I come out of your tummy?" will forever stand out for me. My response was, "No you did not" "Something better happened, I picked you to be my son out of thousands of other children" "You're my baby, my son forever but just came to us another way" He brought tears to my eyes that day. My heart felt heavy. I just thought he knew.....and my son's question didn't come out of his own thoughts, and when he was ready - it came from when my son was standing there while I was questioned in front of him who he was. Just one prime example to think about before questioning an adoptive parent in front of their children. It's "ok" to be curious, to question but not with the child present. And if you're not someone that believes or advocates for adoption, and your comments aren't positive, then don't comment at all. Adoption is as real as birthing a child. Family is family. We are all connected legally with unconditional love, acceptance and the healing journey is bigger then most people are aware. I know all to well about the confusion adoptive children face within our society and I would hope with common sense, people approach with caution.




Monday, February 24, 2014

Snow Day!

 Snowman Baby!
 Surprise, I had a snowman baby!
 Peek-a-boo snowman!
 This man doesn't look happy with his new hair-do!
 Sweet princess girls!
 
 Snow day fun!

 Snow days need appropriate rides!
 "Hello" Reindeer Snowman!
 Yahoo!
 Hot chocolate pot style!
You go girl!
Schools were open but not for this family!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

"It's about you....but it's not about you!"



It was a good weekend. One of our sons turned eleven and after his celebrations some of us went skating the next day. I on the other hand did errands, cleaned, laundry, bathed some of our kiddos, prepared lunches and cooked dinner. "A daily occurrence" During our weekend I had a inspiring writing thought. (Prepare for my babble post) All of us have, or are suffering from some forms of resentment. I've had many feelings throughout my life resenting. I've had close friends that wasn't friends at all, I have had colleagues working along side of me that wasn't working with me, and I have had family no longer loyal. I won't get into great detail but when someone does something wrong to you (or at least you think they have) it feels very heavy and can be held within your heart for a very long time. Regardless if it's a misunderstanding, or it's completely legitimate it holds weight. You feel hostile. You're angry. You can not believe that this has happened to you. These feelings are valid to you BUT what do you do with them? How do you get rid of them? You don't have to forget but you need to forgive. Here's what you need to understand and what I've learned. Everything you hold within your heart is killing only you. That other person doesn't feel this. It's not changing that other persons life. All that tension, stress and dislike is being built into your own being, into your own shoulders and changing you as a person. You're probably questioning on how do I get rid of this feeling?! Forgiveness is not easy. So let's back up.....think of it this way. Everything happens for a reason. You are meant to find out who your true friends are, and sometimes even the hard way. You are meant to find out who works along side of you. Your family with education, experience and time will learn to be loyal, will learn to love you unconditionally, otherwise it's "ok" for your family to be distant. We don't have to agree, or to like what a family member does, but if we want to remain in their life, we have to support silently without judgement. We have to realize that we are all human, we all make mistakes, we all want to love and be loved even when it's not the ideal scenario. (We all live our own lives) I don't necessarily like some of our young adults decisions but it's not my life to lead. In most case situations, it's not about you. I keep writing this but it's a great sentence to repeat to yourself, "It's not about me" There is a lot we don't like in life. Tons we don't agree with. I know there is many people out there that don't agree with me either. It doesn't nor shouldn't matter. We all have our own conclusions we own. Our own decisions we have to live with. The road runs many ways. Ultimately I think people need to be thankful..... thankful for what is. Whatever, and however it evolved regardless if it was unpleasant with feelings of endless resentment - you need to let it go. Moving forward realizing that what's meant to be happened for a reason. Either you're going to accept it, embrace it , forgive.....and be thankful for it.....or live within it. Living within it honestly is a horrible way to start your days. So thinking outside the box.....for example. You're mad, you're feeling very upset by someone for something they've done. You're storing this inside. You've isolated yourself. Perhaps you're becoming depressed. You're constantly thinking about it. You're angry. All these things - I ask you, why are you doing this to yourself? Because honestly, think about this for a moment. This is only you. You are burdening yourself and yourself only. Let it go. Interestingly enough, I wasn't this person as I write. Years ago I held resentment. I was too sensitive. Now, (and maybe it's because I have so many children) I'm more relaxed on life. You don't like me? I don't even want to know why because it doesn't matter. I am confident within myself to know I'm doing the best I can for my family. If I make wrong decisions and make mistakes along they way, I am the first to acknowledge and apologize but I won't live within it. Life is too short. Everything (EVERYTHING) happens for a reason. Sometimes we don't like it, but there is a reason and that reason shines later. At least I have noticed that bulb turning on within my future all the time explaining and giving me a new perspective. It makes me feel grateful for the friends that weren't true, the colleagues that didn't work and for all the negative experiences I've had because it makes me understand where I am today. I might have a lot of babble within this post....and that I can do fluently "is babble" but I thought this topic needed to be re-addressed as I know us humans struggle with what's right and what's wrong according to our own beliefs and opinions but reality comes out in the wash. And that's the trick - to wash what we don't want away. Don't carry everything on our shoulders, stop blaming ourselves whatever it may be, forgive and be thankful because without the negative, there won't be any enlightenment's. I know I am thankful for all my negative and resentments I felt. It's a learning process. It helped me become a more compassionate person towards scenarios and people that I thought I would never be able to see eye to eye later. What most of us don't know, and regardless what you believe........our paths are laid right there before us, it's a matter of which way we choose to lead. I choose to lead without resentments, to know that everything negative behind and before me is there for a reason to enhance me. To conclude, practice recognizing your own breathing, relax and only think of your destination because everyone else's, "It's not about you"




Friday, February 21, 2014

HELLO OPRAH!

 
 
HELLO OPRAH! Recently, (a few posts below) I wrote about our daughter saying, "Hello" to strangers. I received an overwhelming flooding of emails supporting our daughter and saying, "Hello" One of my emails from a wonderful follower suggested I write Oprah. I contemplated but then I thought, "What the heck, I will write Oprah in 1500 words or less" explaining why I'm writing in the first place. This follower explained she read about Oprah. Oprah's recent plan goes hand in hand with our daughter's plan: to say hi to everyone that you meet~ the more resistant or standoffish the receiver of the hello is, Oprah says the more they actually need the hello (to validate their presence and worth in the world). Oprah was saying that the one common thing that she has seen in the thousands of interviews that she has done, is that after the interviews, people lean close to her and say "Was I okay? Did I do okay?" She said that these are famous, well known people and they still need validation that they are okay, and that what they said had worth. So Oprah has just started promoting the "Just say hello" movement. Who would have thought that our daughter would be ahead of her time? We need to tell Oprah of our daughter's instinctive intuition that life needs more hello'ers! I want to thank this wonderful lady sending this inspiring email to me, and now I have a new mission - helping Oprah's "Hello movement" and hoping that one day, Oprah will hear our daughter's "Hello" too! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's coming - spring!


What a busy week. I can barely remember it. Between homeschooling, therapists and adding the public schooling five days a week, Fridays can't come any sooner! I wish for the weekends, I wish for summer holidays already! Usually I get the summer itch in May! I feel like that squirrel off of the movie Ice Age where he's constantly chasing, wanting, wishing for that acorn, the difference is I'm biting at the acorn for beautiful weather, and a more relaxed routine. Travel, camping, swimming, and hiking! And as much as I love our educational teachers, and our therapists – closing the door for new adventures sounds great to me! I know, I know...I'm getting ahead of myself and I know how fast time flies so I shouldn't wish it away so quickly. Dreams will be our reality eventually! Now that February is coming to a close, every month we have birthdays and up to four a month! It's always a celebration around here. There is always something to look forward too! Then spring is just around the corner! Question? What are your plans during the two week break that I'm totally excited for!? Here is some totally awesome ideas that we are doing.

  1. -The Sidney Museum is once again having a Lego exhibit. Over 250 displays ranging from star wars, pirates, race cars, to castles.
  2. -Pacific Rim Whale Festival in Tofino!
  3. -Drum festival in Nanaimo!
  4. -Definitely some skating, swimming and hiking.
  5. -Mt. Washington is again open!
  6. -Our routine dinner at Red Robbins.
  7. -We're having a birth family celebration.
  8. -Horne Lake Caves
  9. -We will be on a mission checking out places we've never been. (Pipers Lagoon, Rain forest trail, different town museums, walk the wild side trail, and ghostly walk tours)
  10. -Lastly a Campbell River visit (Steak & Lobster dinner cooked by my father & mother) lol
  11. -I will host a dinner too!
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.
Andre Gide

Plan or be spontaneous, however - just do it!
Me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Hello"


 
When I take my youngest daughter out anywhere she yells “Hello” to everyone. She screams with excitement that's sometimes uncontrollable. She's extremely happy. She accepts and loves everyone that crosses her path. A shining light within a room. The obstacles she faces daily doesn't define her. She's the seed that with a little water she will blossom into a beautiful bright flower. She's our family's joy. We walk proud in our Society not only with our youngest daughter, but with our whole uniquely designed family. I'm used to people staring at our family because we're large, we're multicultural and because yes we're loudly challenged in several ways. Most of the time none of us notice the glances, the interest from a distance but the other day while out with my youngest daughter I noticed something. She yelled, “Hello” happily to everyone. Over and over again she acknowledged anyone that crossed our path. I started counting the responses and out of approximately 50 people, 8 said, “Hello” back. I wondered if my daughter noticed.....I don't think so. She just continued yelling, “Hello” regardless if she received a response or not. In a way I understood. People don't know how to respond. They don't know if they should and some are moving quickly not even noticing they're being talked too. I decided to write about this because as a mother with special needs children, I can personally say, “It's great if you could respond with a simple, “Hello" it would be appreciated” I understand that some don't know how to correspond but just acknowledging someone would be polite. While I was looking at something to purchase, my daughter sitting in her wheelchair was having a complete conversation with this woman standing right beside us. The woman could not even look at us. I think the one sided conversation would have subsided if the woman just said, “Hello” or something! I couldn't ignore someone speaking to me, even if I couldn't comprehend what they were saying, I would still acknowledge that they are acknowledging me. I thought about saying something to this woman but instead I did something different. I talked loud enough to my daughter so the woman could hear. I told my daughter how special she was, how beautiful she was, how good she was being and I passed her a kinder surprise. (Her favourite treat lately) My daughter starting screaming with excitement. Yelling, "Thank you!" With one look from the woman, she left. I don't feel sorry for my daughter not being acknowledged. I feel sorry for the people that don't. They're missing out on a genuine beautiful flower that will continue to greet with a smile regardless if they look her way or not. Our littlest daughter is what I call a gift from god. She's enhanced our life, she has taught acceptance and unconditional love to everyone that knows her. Her fifteen siblings adore her. I've seen our daughter make people smile, and touch people's hearts. She has more life in her then that woman did that day......people can walk silently without saying, “Hello” but I guarantee you our daughter will acknowledge them anyway. Our little blossoming flower, brighter each and every day. I stand honoured to be her mother, I walk proud as she screams “Hello” in public. It's up to others if they choose to acknowledge, and if they don't, it's not our loss, it's theirs. I know my daughter will scream not only "Hello" but "Thank you" anyway!

One step at a time, Monday's thoughts!

Valentines Day was a nice day full of chocolate kisses, cake hearts, lobster and a romantic movie! The rain and wind storm kept us all close to home....sort of.....






Saturday was groceries, finishing science projects and Sunday was swimming!
 

Every time the skies open up, it was Notch Hill!
 Grandma and Grand babe (My baby birdy) Inside joke, my nickname for her!

I've been hiking Notch Hill at least three times a week, usually in snow, rain and definitely in shine!The greatest role model in life is ourselves, "us parents" and I can't let a day go by not feeling productive and alive experiencing our great outdoors!
 
It's Monday! A hike to Notch hill, four batches of bread (punched and kneaded the ole way) three batches of cookies, most chores accomplished, home school and a gym membership for this Grandma proves productive including this blog post! Feeling good even with my ongoing tennis elbow, my ongoing broken nights sleeps and semi-challenging teenagers! No excuses to move forward loving life! I have a proven theory....happiness comes from within. I have handfuls of children. I am completely busy 99% of the time. I choose to spend my time wisely. I choose how life looks for me. It's that simple. On the right hand side of my blog writes the truth and if you continue to believe daily this way, not only will you become a responsible more sincere person within yourself, you will know that from the moment when you awake, your choices to start the day (how you see fit) is yours. 




To conclude, while at Notch Hill this morning I thought about the past. We all have one. Every one of us has been hurt in one form or another. We all made and make mistakes. We all had to learn to move forward with either forgiveness, and/or from learning from experience. We are this vicious being called human. I've written this before, I have learned from my mistakes. From my experiences. I've learned to forgive. I continue to practice every day on how I want to live, how I want to move forward. I'm moving forward choosing not to look back into past relationships or passing blame, everything I do is completely based on my own choices I make. I awake every day with a forgiving heart, with a productive and positive attitude. I can only be the best person I can make myself and not only for myself but for my family, my friends, for our future and that's my life I want to live. I recognized how I needed to change, what I needed to do and it's my mission to live hopefully my best way possible and in hopes others will too. That's my Monday lecture, thoughts and inspiration. "Move forward one step at a time"  


What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
Henry David Thoreau
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”-Martin Luther King, Jr. - and you'll get there no matter where you're going, what you're doing, and what challenge you're facing!
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This post is for you!

 
Valentines. A day celebrating with people we love. My husband and I don't go out very often, so Valentines isn't an exception. Valentines for us is just another day loving our family. So we're spending it with our children, and we're babysitting my granddaughter so the "young love" can celebrate. I do have some surprises up my sleeve and a fun bon fire planned roasting wieners. Romantic? You betcha! I will light a candle to add to the ambiance! lol Twisting this post off of our family, I wanted to write about you. Some of you I know. Most of you I don't. When I think of a day such as Valentines, I think about our world. If you're a blogger, you will know that you can check on your audience. For example in Canada there is 276, US there is 172, Germany 10, United Kingdom 9, Poland 4, Indonesia 3, Russia 3, Ukraine 3, France 2 and the United Arab Emirates 1 followers on my blog. I know that the hits come from browsers such as explorer, IPhone, Android, Ipod touch, Macintosh, FireFox and Chrome and the traffic sources are google and face book for example. I know how many views happened last month, approximately 1,381 while yesterday there was 27. Regardless if you found me by mistake, or you're a friend and/or family and you continue to follow, I appreciate you. I have a little story. I wasn't sure if I was going to share and on how but I wanted to share because it's another little affirmation on how our world cares for each other. Several posts ago I wrote about our daughter's broccoli lodged into her ear. The doctors figured it would eventually come out on its own. Unfortunately after three ear infections (not caused by the broccoli) the doctors finally decided it was time to physically take it out. The ordeal at the pediatric unit at the hospital was short lived and our daughter's ears are completely fine. If you haven't been reading and just found me, the previous posts explain on how our daughter with special needs loves to shove objects into her ears. Normally there is no issues, and usually we catch the behavior before it becomes a problem. For the broccoli, it was contently lodged in her ear canal causing no harm until it was removed. A month or so later we had a visit from another mother that lives in our area. She explained that some readers, (lovely woman) were concerned about our daughter and she brought over an ear wax remover tool that we could use within our future. With further thought, I wasn't shocked by her visit (with her gift) I thought "Wow" There is people "reading" that care, and that go out of their way for another. This post is for you. I've met wonderful loving strangers that I've written about. Those strangers are now a part of our lives. I without shock just felt amazed. Readers that I do not know that are reading religiously are compassionate, loving and worrying about my family. They are caring and inquiring from just not inside but outside the Internet world on how we are, is enlightening to me. I didn't realize that my writing has been that impactful. I continue to write to hopefully spread some insight with my experiences good or indifferent, I hope to inspire but now you've done something for me. You've inspired me. Not only are you reading, you're caring what you're reading about and that's very honoring to me beyond words. I want to express that I care about my readers. I love this world. I deeply feel compassion for every one regardless of their circumstances. (There was a time I didn't believe in people) I believe in you today. Regardless where you're reading from, who you are......you are important. If you feel you're not important enough, or you might lack family and friends - you're still important to you. You're important to me. The only thing we can do in this world besides everything we already do, is live. The word "live" to me means to our fullest potential. Too make a difference not only in our own lives, but touching every one elses somehow. "Making a difference" Caring about my daughter's ear, and how the concern came back to me was very touching. For every one reading, "Happy Valentines Day" Thank you so much for reading, and we're on our way to 50,000 hits! For the lady that was concerned about my daughter, I would love for you to email me at hohnstein@shaw.ca so we can meet. Purely up to you. For every one else.....I wish you love, life and happiness. Life doesn't have to be extravagant, life just has to have a little love, a little experience, a little understanding, a little faith and we'll all get by.

"But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful."- Elizabeth Edwards


Monday, February 10, 2014

Feb 10th Quotes & Photo Reflection - a great family day!

 Englishman River Falls Feb 10th! Wow! Our world continues to amaze me, even in our own backyard! I'm sharing today's pictures while adding inspiring favorite quotes! Live your best life, and if you're a parent - live even more, so your children grow up continuing the cycle of experiencing, loving, living and appreciating our world!
 We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. -Jawaharial Nehru
 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
 “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” - Dalai Lama
 “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we took so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” - Helen Keller
 
From Englishman River Falls to Notch Hill!
 “When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” – Peace Pilgrim
 “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
 Whoever is happy will make others happy, too. – Mark Twain
“Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.” -Dr. Seuss
 “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
 

 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A family day post











Unedited thoughts from some of us, a post celebrating "Family Day"


i am ten years old and this is my story. right now i am waching a movie with my younger siblings. 
i like to have a big family because it is fun to play with them like soccer or basketball. i know i am adopted this is how i feel being adopted. i feel very lucky and happy to have a awesome family. i was 4 years old when i got adopted, i know i am adotded. my family supports adoption and piked me.  It is awesome to have a big family. i lived in dawson creek it was pretty small but it was sometimes hot there were there are bees. the i went to prease school there but there was a school for older kids. it was very close to us. then i got adopted by my family. i love my family.then we moved to nanoose were i am going to school.i love my mom and dad because my mom is a awesome cooker and my dad lets us drive gocarts a quads.having a big family is awesome and fun to play with.

My name is Demar and I am 11 and I am adopted I was'nt born hear. I was born in west africa and that is in liberia so this is my story. I was little in liberia then when I terned 4, I got adopted by a diffrent family and I then I staid with them for 5 years and then in the begining of the 3 summers ago I got adopted to this famly and my familys name that I am is Hohnstein. I love to play, I have almost all sport's . I played soccer, bascketball, food balland hocky. That's how much sports I played and that about rap's it up good by adyose amygos that meens see you later my frends good by my frends. My famly is awsome and mine.
I was adopted at age 7 and I remember being picked up by my dad at my old foster parents house, I remember my dad telling a bunch of funny stories in the van. When I got to new but old house in Fort.St.John and my new brother started showing me around the house. My first night there I remember my Mom making me a delcious smoothie and I was happy. Every day happier and happier I love my parents and all the things they do for me.
My name is Austin and I am 15 years old soon 16, and I am in grade 10. Right now I have health issues and Im slowly trying to help it by eating heathy, and exercise. I`ve been trying to go for runs every day but its hard because im not use to it. What im trying to say is if it wasn`t for my mom and dad telling me to go for runs and eating heathy I would be getting worse, sitting on my xbox and eating junk food. I love my mom and dad for helping me and caring about me so much, also I love them just because I just love them.They are there for me.
what family means to me, hi I'm nine years old. My family means haven brothers and sisters and a mom and dad.dogs my dad took us skating my mom cooket diner my family works really hard.they are oweas ther for me!Happy family day! 
My name is Dalton and I am 19 years old. I am the boyfriend of kylie. I cant begin to explain how grateful I  am for having Carrie  and Gerald in my life. they have been nothing but nice and supportive to me. I am currently living with them with kylie and my daughter Keira and the whole family is helping out alot with her. What family  means to me is for everyone to work together. A family in my eyes should be there for one another. Carrie and Gerald are amazing parents. I  dont no how they do it . thanx for eveything you have done and will do for us!
Hi my name is Kylie I am 18 years old. I have a 10 month old daughter named keira. As many of you have known I was a runaway for 2 years. I am back now and have been for almost a year. I live with my parents and they help my boyfriend and I raise our baby until we are able to do it on our own.  Currently we are saving up for our own place and returning to school in september. I  honestly dont know what I would do without the help and support of my family not only my parents but my own little family as well. I am enternally grateful for everything they have done and continue to do for us. My mom helps and gives advice to us we either take it or leave it. I prefer the first one. I know they try to do whats best for us and whats best for our daughter. What family means to me is having people there for you no matter what, helping and giving advice (whether you like it or not) who you can always turn to when no one is there. I never realized the importance of it until I had returned home. Ive missed out on so much I caused alot of heartache. I may have had people think badly of me and honestly I cant say I blame them . I wasnt the nicest person I shouldnt of done what I done. I just wanted to write and have people know that I appreciate what I have and that I have changed and I am grateful I do love my parents even if I dont say it enough they are everything that I need in a family. Loving, compassionate, caring, supportive, and very very helpful. I love you mom and dad and I dont know what I would do without you <3 font="">
i am 7 tomaro is famly day. i am going to habe fun tomaro we are going to the falls and see ice. i am going to smash the ice. my famly is lots of fun. my famly is big and we do lots of stuf. todday i went skating. i love my famly.
i am 5 my dad makes my bed. he hugs me. my mom makes my bedd too. my brothers play with me. i can scate this fast with out a blow thing without putting my arms out. mom helps me a lot even typing. family means playing all of us together. dad went on the ice today with me. my family is the best. we do lots all the time.
Family. My family is my strength and my weakness. - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Family is work. It's unconditional love, learning to have patience for each other, supporting even when supporting becomes difficult. Forgiveness. I am that "intense" mother. Family is a creation of people that love each other. The definition of family can have several different meanings to people. For me, family means uniquely designed with everyone that you love. Above some of our children wanted to write. Unedited with their own thoughts. My children are my life and I'm always grateful when they openly want to share their own perceptions on what's important. For this family day we're celebrating our togetherness. Appreciating each other. I wish for everyone out there; to love a little deeper, hug a little tighter as family is a circle of love and strength with every union. "Every joy shared adds more love, every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger" - unknown. Happy Family Day from our family to yours! XOXO








Saturday, February 8, 2014

Our adoption pregnancies


The other night my oldest son, (my first adopted son) and I had a great conversation. We adopted him just before his twelfth birthday. I explained how I felt prior to meeting him because he mentioned that it must not be the same feeling and connection as birthing a child. I explained "yes" it's different although it's the same. I explained that adoption is a long process. It was approximately two years before our first match. Besides accomplishing the adoption course, finishing the home study, and all the paperwork including health and criminal record checks, it's a roller coaster of emotions, a uncertain waiting game knowing that at anytime the adoption could stop. When we accepted our children's proposal package and received our new children's pictures, it was a long years wait until we first met them. Every month went by while we waited for their bands exception to be granted. "I studied your picture every day" I told him. I noticed how big his feet were, how cute he was with his big hazel eyes, his smile was infectious. I explained that my feelings felt the same as if I were looking at my newborn baby, the only difference was he was twelve! I felt a growing connection while waiting to meet them like I was pregnant ready to give birth. The only difference was the wait was longer then nine months and the adoption was always uncertain. There is this stigma connected to adoption that adoptive parents aren't the "real parents" and the adopted children aren't the "real children" I hear this all the time. Not only from family, friends, strangers out in society, I've heard it from our own children. I know that our children have felt this because they've heard it from other people. I've been asked numerous of times and in front of our children, "Which ones are your real children?" I always respond, "They all are" It's frustrating that a percentage of our society addresses our children as not our own. I will never name names but even family and friends still don't understand what adoption really means. Adoption for us is just the same (but different) as birthing a child. I can't explain enough how we felt when we found out about our "adoption pregnancies" Waiting month after month, preparing their rooms, preparing our lives for their arrival....receiving updated pictures just like you would receive an ultrasound picture of your unborn child. Meeting them for the first time was not only exciting, it was very emotional knowing that today is the day I met my brand new child or children. We already loved them. Finalizing our adoptions, moving forward with our life wasn't easy, neither is it with a newborn baby. We adjusted. We loved unconditionally with all the imperfections. They were our children. "Our real children" They all are. I've learned to educate instead of feeling frustrated, and saddened by people's comments and beliefs. Not only do I have to educate society, family and friends, I've learned to have conversations like these to my children to explain how adoption for us is the same as birthing a child so they don't feel there's a separation between who's real and who is not - birth or adopted. We are a family, I am their mother regardless on how. Our children's adoptions are as real as my pregnancies, and as real as birthing a newborn just the process was different. I will continue to advocate, educate and provide real feelings, real family, real connection to my real children. For my older children that read my blog, that have struggled with this exact topic, that searched for what was real - we are family and as real as I know what real is! Loving, supporting, accepting, unconditionally from the day we met, even with twelve year old feet - it was a new real birthday connecting forever with my child and/or children.

Friday, February 7, 2014

"Our dark ages"

 My spoon since I was seventeen! Wooden spoons are the best!
 
 Above is my electric can opener! A beauty it is!
 
My husband's dresser! Not much in there but it's all he needs with added air conditioning features!



Wow, we have been living and still live within the dark ages. I just spent an hour on the phone to our internet, cable and phone provider. Over a decade now we've been paying for our services that isn't providing the best use. My husband records television programs on a VCR with VHS tapes. He thought being able to rewind and fast forward was a better option. Having the VHS tape in his hand was a guarantee for use.We replaced our router twice thinking we're buying duds but meanwhile our internet provider wasn't up to date. It wasn't the internet providers fault. Completely ours. Every time we received a phone call asking us to consider upgrading, we automatically say, "No" feeling we're being solicited. Today I called them because I was having troubles receiving my email which lead to asking questions onto why our life seems so disconnected. lol We had a great conversation, we laughed and when I say we laughed, we laughed at "me" The kind gentlemen I was speaking too asked if we do online banking? I said, "Of course not" "We go to the bank" I explained that we're only in our forties but my husband feels more comfortable receiving paper mail bills, and he likes to go to the bank, he likes his VCR and VHS tapes. We struggle and become frustrated with the computer world. I can blog, connect on face book and respond with emails but with anything else, it seems like it's coming from a different land. It's not like we don't want to learn, it's just easier remaining comfortable with what we know and are used too. My young adults are constantly laughing at us because apparently we are hilarious using our old gadgets. I have a can opener that I bought when I was seventeen! It is our only can opener today. It's awesome. My husband does not like to get rid of anything because twenty years ago we bought that VCR for $500.00. lol We also have to keep it around because all our VHS movies we couldn't play! (This is including Beta) There's logic staying in the dark ages. Materials cost money and back then it wasn't easy obtaining these things. Funny, we still don't have a stereo system. We lost that over six years ago up north during an electrical storm. Even then, it wasn't a stereo system, I think it was a ghetto blaster rigged up to our television. The ghettos were expensive! My husband is a funny guy. Today he's wearing jeans that he bought fifteen years ago. There is a hole in the knee that he calls free air conditioning. His Chevy jacket is ripped from one pocket to another but it has sentimental value. We aren't cheap. Nor hoarders. He believes that if we follow society with every new gadget, every new HD, 3D whatever TV , computers extra someone else is getting rich. If we wait every five, or ten years then purchase, we're up to speed without soaking our pocket books every year. I asked our sixteen year old son for fun, "What's old in our house?" He said, "The kitchen table, "that thing" our green ford van, movies, those box computers, our dog..... Dad" That thing is a highchair, yes it's fourteen years old and we're still using it! Proving my point, taking care of your "things" will cost you less because you don't have to replace it! AND what you don't have, you're not missing it. We don't get richer replacing everything. Our green ford van might be only good for parts to sell but we can go places and not worry about spilled milk and dirty shoes! I call that our mountain van! I believe taking care of our materials, and replacing only if we have too. We don't need anything otherwise. Now to contradict myself, we did upgrade today and a PVR is coming tomorrow but we're keeping our VCR's for our VHS collection! We're keeping my totally awesome worn out wooden spoon, and until my can opener no longer works - it will open cans here. We're definitely not replacing anything that works, not our couch, our kitchen table, "nothing" because honestly with a large family, there would be no point. Our children will continue to learn and value what we have, even if it's standing on three legs and it slightly resembles the dark ages. And when our children ask, "What's that?" It's Social Studies! Continuous history learning right in our own home!



Sunday, February 2, 2014

#connect #learn #enhance #love #family #forever #live - hash tag that!



Another great weekend. Saturday I was introduced to Quantum Meditation. Quantum means energy. We all have energy in our bodies. It's just learning to be aware of it. Meditation helps lower blood pressure, helps us physically and mentally. I'm just educating myself with the idea of having a peaceful mind. Which will not only increase my intelligence (lol) it should help with insomnia, obtaining a calmness within myself that helps me deal with any challenges I might face. Learning to control myself (not that I'm not controlled already) but to enhance my ability to remain peaceful without reaction sounds great to me. I like the idea of being aware, being aware of everything including silence in a over stimulating room full of noise. I know some people believe that meditation stems from certain religions. Yes and no. Meditation is basically just training your own mind to promote relaxation, building internal energy and developing compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. All traits that I believe and work on daily. Self regulation. I love any form of education and enlightenment's. Anything to better "me" is welcomed. Speaking of "me" My young adults have been suggesting I try snap chatting. Snap chatting is basically texting adding a picture the receiver can only see for ten seconds, then it disappears. I'm not into "selfies" meaning sending duck face kisses to each other. They also suggested I learn how to hash tag. Meaning in a post, text or picture you hash tag it with the number sign then the word describing something. For example, #green #awesome #outdoors extra.....then of course there is the online photo album called Instagram. I was never interested in any of this but then I thought, I need too. I need to keep up with technology in order to communicate with our teenagers. Besides speaking face to face, the reality is communication is changing to texting, posts, hash tags and blogging for example. So during the weekend (with help from my teenagers) I started Instagram, learned how to hash tag and send snap chats. I'm not going to consume my life with this but I do believe establishing any forms of communication is key. I was told I was "hilarious" - this hash tagging, snap chatting mama keeping my communication options alive. Hilarious I might be - but I know I am a cool mama for trying. #hashtag that! Besides touching base with reality, some of us ventured off to my home town and visited my father and mother. We had a nice surprise with two family friends that I use to know, I used to play at their house with their boys when I was little. (seen above) We used to camp together. I was told today that I colored on their television set with crayons. Very good people. With lunch provided, we all sat around and discussed what's new and reminisced. It was a perfect Sunday! One fact about me is I hate wasting time. I like feeling productive, I like feeling that time is being well spent. Most of our time IS and definitely this weekend it was. To conclude, with an open mind, an open heart we can forever enhance our lives. For me, I'm all about connection - (for myself and for the people in and around my life) However that may look, from a snap chat to a cup of hot chocolate in the woods with no electricity, I will accomplish it.



"Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It's like the ultimate rest. It's better than the best sleep you've ever had. It's a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh" - I believe this.
Hugh Jackman
"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important" - I believe this too!
Bill Gates
"Cherish your human connections - your relationships with friends and family" - however that may look!
Barbara Bush



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

We celebrated the Chinese New Year January 31. Something new and fun to do while learning a different tradition. It was interesting. We learned that the Chinese culture cleans their homes spotless for the new year, they decorate in red for prosperity and their foods during their celebration is dumplings and mandarin oranges. They give red envelopes with money for gifts but without the number 4; for example it can't be $40.00. We however didn't give our children money. I tweaked the evening and they received red licorice and kinder surprises. Our children ate with chop sticks and they played freeze dance during our evening. Our children also learned the meaning of their year when they were born (after an animal) according to the Chinese culture. We were determining if we were like the meaning of our year. For example, I was born in 1973, the year of the Ox. A born leader, I inspire confidence from all around me. I am conservative, methodical and good with my hands. I guard against being chauvinistic. The Ox would be a successful as a skilled surgeon, general or a hairdresser. People born in the year of the Ox are dependable and calm. They are good listeners and have strong ideas. To conclude, the Ox is patient, yet stubborn, they are usually quiet but with a big temper. Sounds almost like me! It was a great night to end January. And wow! It is February! The starting of several birthdays a month, we are moving towards spring and I am already planning our summer! Happy New Year everyone! ``Xin Nian Kuai Le!"





``Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right``- Oprah!