International Adoption Book

Sunday, February 28, 2010

12 Of Us In A Room Together

My aunt sent me this forwarded message. I generally think forwards are a silly superstition, but I also know that sometimes odd things happen with these things. Having said that, though, I dearly wanted to share the quote. It's a beautiful quote that I wish for everyone. Besides, there are so many women who have touched my life and played an important role, that it would be difficult to pick just 12. So, for all you have given me, I thank you.
Wishing you all much love and peace...

Subject: 12 of us in a room together

I am supposed to pick 12 women (who have touched my life) and who I think might participate. I think that if this group of women were ever to be in a room together, there is nothing that would be impossible. I hope I chose the right twelve. May this remind you how special you are. Please send this back to me.

First, make a wish before you read the quotation. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. Just send this to twelve women and let me know what happens on the fourth day. Sorry you have to forward the message, but try not to break this, please. Did you make a wish yet? If you don't make a wish, it won't come true... This is your last chance to make a wish!


'May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.'

Now, send this to 12 women (or more) within the next 5 minutes. And remember to send this back. I count as 1... you'll see why ~

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Hear Ya, Baby!!!

Yesterday I had to pull M and C out of school around 11:30 so we could race down to Sacramento for C's audiology appointment. She had to get her implants "mapped" (this is where, using a computer, the Audiologist configures the interior implant and the exterior processor to work together in such a way as to allow C to hear best, which varies for each individual person, though it is generally similar).

MJ was a bit fussy on the drive down because he didn't have a decent nap that morning. This would have been annoying except that he suddenly stopped after just a few minutes of crying. I looked into my child review mirror, which hangs just below the van's rearview mirror, to see C signing to me... She had heard MJ's cries and gave him his pacifier. This was the first time she acknowledged hearing MJ crying and actually recognized that it was a particular sound.

C has been hearing sounds since the 29th of January, when her implants were initially activated. She has asked what she is hearing every day. It's been quite interesting to see this change come about. But, she is still in the learning stage where she is trying to figure out what each sound she hears actually means. So, this is huge progress to have her recognize MJ's cries. The only other thing she recognizes is the sound of the Microwave beeping as it stops, but that's only if she knows something was cooking. So, officially, this was the first unassisted recognition of a specific sound... And it was amazing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Introduction to Sign Language

One of my cousins asked me a question today that I thought was interesting. It dawned on me that many people might have the same question, so I though I would address it here...

Cousin A wanted to know when we would be introducing sign language to MJ. He's only 5 months old, but it's never too early to learn language. Language is taught to a infant starting while they are in the womb. A fetus can hear it's mother speaking and learns the sound of her voice. After the baby is born, he/she begins learning language almost instantly... They learn their name. They learn to respond when they hear Mom or Dad. So consequently, it is ver feasable to teach your child a second language immediately. In fact, children in households with parents who speak two different languages learn both langauges quite readily.

Needless to say, we are attempting to sign to MJ as we speak and we are hopeful that he will be one of our more fluent family members. He should be since sign langauge is the only form of communication that C is able to use. It's been great because I ask her to babysit (while I'm doing the dishes or taking a shower) and when I peak in on them I find her, more often than not, signing to MJ.

I think that teaching MJ to sign from the get go will accomplish more than just giving him 2 languages to be fluent in... It will also allow him to communicate earlier and, hopefully, will help elleviate some of the "Terrible Twos"!

GREAT question Cousin A!!! Thanks for asking that. I would not have thought about explaining this concept to others if you hadn't brought it up because it's simply an every day part of our world. ;)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy New Year, Tiger!!!!

Happy Lunar New Year (Year of the Tiger) and Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I am sorry to report that we did not celebrate the New Year. I had hoped to take M, C and MJ to a celebration, but C ended up having a guest stay the weekend and I was unable to accomplish that plan.

We did attend our church today. I took my 3 kiddos and C's guest. C and her friend (who I'll call Miss A) are both deaf. Miss A's parents are also deaf, so Miss A was raised with ASL being her natural language. She is the same age as M and C (they're all 7 years old) but she can spell almost anything. In fact (and I'm sorry for making this comparisson), she can spell better than my sister! For example, she spelled enthusiastic and then proceeded to show me the sign!!! I was stunned, to say the least. Anyway, as I was saying... the 5 of us attended Mass and I ended up having to interpret 2/3rds of the Mass because Miss A preferred to do that than read the book. I was unsure I would be able to do it because I thought my ability was cruddy. Come to find out, my ability to sign is good... It's my ability to read what others are signing to me where my troubles lay. In addition, the other problem is that C is still at the beginning of her signing abilities. She signs super fast, and she is using real words, but she is putting things together that make no sense. It's as if she's talking like a baby who is learning how to talk. She's learning the words but needs to learn how to use the language correctly in order to communicate. So, it has been a big relief learning that she isn't surpassing me!!! Whew!!! ;)

In addition to all that has happened in the past weeks, we're adding packing and cleaning to our list of chores because we're preparing to move back with Matt. He's due home from Iraq in a few weeks, though we won't know exactly when he'll be back in the states until he calls us and says, "I'm back!" That's okay, though... As long as he comes home safely.

In the mean time, we're having to deal with a few fallouts from M and C due to the move. M has been fighting with a fellow school mate. I actually had an opportunity to chat with the other boy's mom on Thursday. She surprised me by saying that she doesn't care and that she's not correcting her child at home. So, ultimately, she is condoning and encouraging the boy's behavior. Well, I can't continue to punish M if he isn't going to have a way out. Needless to say, I told M to kick the boy's rear end if he won't be allowed to walk away. I also broached the subject with M's teacher so taht she would be aware that though M would understandably get into trouble at school and he knows that I will support this action but at home he will no longer get into trouble if he is fighting with this particular little dude and paraphrased the previous conversation. She was surprised and totally understood where I was coming from in my stance. She appreciated my honesty and the support I would give regarding the school's need to punish the participants of a fight but was supportive about my need to encourage M to defend himself.

As for C... She's been interesting, to say the least. She actually started crying on Thursday morning jsut as we were heading out the dorr to go to school. When I asked her what was wrong, now (because she is truly my daughter... She is super dramatic), she glared at me and M and said, "I'm so mad at you two!" Wow, wonder what we did wrong? So, when I asked her, she explained that she was severely angry at him and me because we were making her move to a new home and a new school and she couldn't take Miss A. She didn't want to go! Well, I was stunned that she would actually explain this to me and I didn't know whether to be irritated that she, as usual, was blaming M for yet something else or to be thrilled and proud that she would actually express herself! So, I chose a middle ground and told her that I was super proud of her telling me these things but that she didn't have a right to be angry at M since he had nothing to do with the move. If she wants to be angry at someone she needed to be angry at Mommy and Daddy. Well, that immediately cleared up her tears because there was no way she was going to be mad at Daddy. Mommy? Sure. M? Definitely. But Daddy? No Way!!! She's also been having some issues at school, too.

So, both kids are having some bahavior problems associated with the move. But they are really doing far better than I had anticipated. Even MJ is showing some signs of nerves, though he has no clue what is going on. I think his problem is more due to the fact that he doesn't have my parents around every day (that or he is responding to my stress level, in which case I'm in trouble because that would be two kids who feed off my energy).

On the positive side, M and C are both asking when Daddy will be home. The only problem with that is that they are asking me every few hours. I finally pulled out my calendar and marked the date that we are moving (as Matt should be home by that date). They have been crossing off the days since the 1st of February. We're all definitely ready!!!