Sunday, June 26, 2011

Catching Up.

Happy Father's Day Chuck ! 
You are The Best Dad in the world and have three beautiful children that all agree !!

Our yard got rolled. 
We made the boys clean it up (they instigated it).

More of Maggie's silly personality that we love seeing !

 She's getting pretty good at smiling for the camera

 And she loves to imitate how her mommy stands - hands on hips with a little extra Maggie attitude !

Friday, June 24, 2011

Are You My Mommy ?

Please take a look at these beautiful children that are on the shared list (or will be on the shared list soon).  They all have a special need of hearing loss and are so cute.  I can't stand it !

Hearing loss can be a scary special need at first, but there is so much technology now that enables children that have all levels of hearing loss to hear. For example, Maggie wears a BAHA hearing aid on a soft band and she has wonderful hearing as a result.  There are also cochlear inplants that will allow a deaf child access to the hearing world.  Amazing !

This cutie's SN is deafness. Her file is being prepared, if you see her pop up on the shared or an agency list, please comment and let us know! She is in Love Without Boundaries foster care in Qiandongnan.

This is "Sophie" DOB 11-9-08 and it appears she has the same Special Need as Maggie - unilateral microtia/atresia of the left ear.

Sweet Anna is 3 and 1/2 years old and has hearing loss and may be deaf.

This is Riley (DOB 1/1/06). His file is #274 on the June 13th Shared List. His SN is 1.abnormal of acoustic nerve conduction; 2. congenital deformity incorporation and ankylotia of both ears; 3. enorchia

Meet Ruthie. She is with Madison. She was a part of their last camp. You can view her whole file on their yahoo group .Ruthie is a very loving and affectionate child who has been deaf since birth. This sweetie lives in a foster home where she is very loved and is treated as their own. Ruthie is very smart, easy going and independent. She is totally potty trained even at night. She likes to sleep in darkness and also likes to take her daily bath. She is not mute and can clearly say “mama”. We also heard her laugh out loud on occasion during our camp. The only other special need to consider is that she is farsighted and will need eyeglasses.

Ruthie was clearly a favorite of both the orphanage and our staff. She will be a wonderful addition to some lucky family!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Her age ? Well that's a little complicated.

Maggie's age is a little complicated and here's why.  We know for sure her birthday is right, that's not what I am talking about. She has several ages that have to do with being adopted, her hearing age, her emotional age and her cognitive age.

She received her BAHA hearing aid in August 2010.  So, that makes her hearing age about ten months old.  Meaning she would be expected to talk like a ten month old because she has only been hearing that long. Maggie's communication is beyond ten months for sure.   

She has a  growing list of words she can say and she can communicate with sign language very well. 
The picture above was taken on the day she got her BAHA and she was so happy to hear !!!

We adopted Maggie when she was fourteen months old, but she was more like an infant.  So really, it was like she was one day old when we adopted her.  Her life experience up to that point consisted  of a crib, bottles and a walker. She was not in foster care and it was obvious she was never stimulated or held. So, emotionally and in some ways physically, Maggie started out with delays. But, she is catching up amazingly in both areas. 

Then ,there is the fact that Maggie can not talk like most children her age - two and a half.  She signs great, but we know no children or adults that sign.  Which makes communication with others a little frustrating for her and makes her seem much younger than she really is.

And then there's her cognitive age, which is where it should be - at two and a half years old.  Maggie understands everything we say.  She knows most of her letters, numbers, shapes and colors.  She can spell hat, draw some great circles and dance her heart out.  She is a very normal two year old most of the time.

Which makes things interesting because a lot of people don't expect Maggie to be so smart.  They think since she has hearing loss and has trouble talking she must be  dumb. 

Ever heard the expression " deaf and dumb" ?

I think the first time I heard that was when I read about Helen Keller.  And she was so far from being dumb ! 

People also want to compare Maggie to their children that are the same age. But, you can't compare her to a normal two year old that was brought up in the United States with doting parents, normal hearing and normal life experiences.  You just can't !!! 

Then, sometimes Maggie seems much older than two.  She has great common sense, loves to organize and clean up, and she follows directions very well. 

She has a trait many call "an old soul". She has a deep understanding of things and seems to be level headed ( except when she is hungry and tired).

Maggie is such a gift. She has an amazing spirit of determination. Sometimes, I just watch her play and am so sad that her China parents will never know how perfect she is and how she just lights up a room with her presence. 

Maggie's age may be confusing and her past is still a mystery to me. But, I believe and know that God has a big plan for Maggie's life.
 I can't wait to see what it is !

"Today I know that memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.  I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do."

Corrie ten Boom from The Hiding Place

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Her referral only mentioned one word to describe her 
personality - active. 
That's all we knew about our little girl. 

Then, we met her and she was not active and had no personality. She was not silly, she did not dance or hop, she didn't giggle or smile spontaneously. We could tell she was a sweet girl and smart, but that was about it.  We couldn't wait until the day that Maggie showed us her real personality.

And boy does she have some !
Silly sometimes.

 Quiet and contemplative.

 A wild dancer.

A melt your heart sweetie.

And bubbly and happy.

I think she has personality now. 
 It just took a little bit for us to see it and for her to show us.
It is amazing what the love of a family can do in the life of a child.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The IRS and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

How's that for a title ? 
This is what Maggie thought of the IRS audit !

 The government has a wonderful adoption tax credit for qualifying adoption expenses.  So, we kept every receipt, cancelled check and statement that had to do with Maggie's adoption just in case we were ever audited.  And this was the year the IRS decides to audit almost everyone that has adopted recently. Which is funny to me because after you have gone through all the paperwork, Hague, governmental,adoption, jump through hoops yah yah  - you just kind of go with it. I think it is safe to say that if you have adopted Internationally, you are pretty organized now with records and paperwork and the IRS is not so intimidating.  Let's pray they think my record keeping is as good as I think it is !

And then if the IRS wasn't enough, Will had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Last Monday he went to a farm with Chuck and a friend. Then two days later we noticed two ticks, but three bites.  We extracted the nasty things and then prayed, researched tick bites and kept an eye on him.  He has had tick bites before, but for some reason this time we were worried. On Friday he started getting a bad headache, and Saturday he started running a fever and had joint/muscle pain. By Sunday, Will was feeling very bad and had nausea/vomiting along with the fever/headache/joint/muscle pain. I am so thankful his doctor was aggressive and we admitted him to the hospital for IV antibiotics because he couldn't keep anything down.( Usually, you can treat RMSF with oral antibiotics  - Doxycycline - and it is very effective). 

He is doing great now and bouncing off the walls. Thankfully, we caught it early and were able identify it because we saw the ticks.  It is very treatable, but unfortunately the symptoms of RMSF are much like a virus or flu and can go untreated  which can be fatal. So, we are praising God for His protection once again over our children. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Happenings Here.

Summer is officially here and we are loving the pool !

 My children live in their swimsuits these days and are brown and hungry from all the swimming.  

They built a huge "tent" in Walker's room. 

 I think they used all the blankets in the house !

Maggie is riding  this summer at Storybook farms.

I finally got Maggie's hair in some pig tails.  So cute !!!

 Let's see them one more time.

Some quality game playing. Just keeping it real !
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
We have a daughter !!!!!!
Maggie Caroline was born Oct. 29, 2008.
She is in the SWI of Gaozhou City,China.
Guangdong Province)