Monday, April 30, 2007

AAI has a new list...

Just wanted to pass along that AAI (Adoption Associates, Inc. in Jenison, MI) has a new list of waiting children. Of course, there isn't a kiddo on that list that I wouldn't love to bring home. However, for now...we have put our plans to add on hold. A girlfriend of mine jokingly mentioned getting pregnant. I laughed and said, "I'll pass on that. I've got 3 kids and they all arrived in different ways. Cam was a c-section, Anna was a natural birth and Julia was adopted...Adoption was the easiest by far!!" :-)

So, if you're a family that is considering adoption, please go check out AAI. They are a great agency to work with and I would use them again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cooler heads and more thoughts

Today the weather matched my mood. It was rather gloomy here and a day full of rain. I've read, re-read and thought quite a bit about my post from last night. First, I realized that I really should be writing in Word. My spelling and grammar errors are horrible. Hahaha! But seriously...

I thought of changing my blog to private. Meaning that only the people that I choose can read it. Well, that defeats my purpose for continuing to write. Plus, I refuse to let the comments of one person change how I do things. There are a few people I let influence how I live my life or how I parent my children and frankly, it's not going to a person who doesn't know me personally. Part of me wants to let this whole thing go, and another wants me to figure out what drives a person to make deductions and judgements about someone they have never met in person (at least not that I'm aware of), has never met my kids, doesn't know anything about me and Wayne other than what I've posted here.

With that said, I'm opening the door. My friend Mik has often encouraged me do things that are uncomfortable for the sake of being a better person. (Much along the lines of WWJD.) To the person that left the comment, if you are still checking our blog (which I'm pretty sure you are as I can tell who has been here by my counter), I invite you to personally email me and maybe you can share your prospective and we can have a conversation that would clear up some of those issues you apparently have with me.

My email address is: :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Interesting Comment

I'm going to use this comment as a chance to clarify what this person seems to think of me. If you are a regular reader here and don't look at the comments left by others, this is what I got earlier today:

"You have these wonderful want them to be treated as equals. So why in heavens name do you insist on pointing out their imperfections as often as possible? I am sure they want to feel "normal" just as much as everyone else. How would you feel if someone always spoke about your disadvantages? It almost seems like you are trying to make yourself seem better because you are able to take care of "disabled" children but it seems like you are using them to bring attention to yourself."

Let me start by thanking you for reading my blog. Apparently, you have found the link to our family story and found it interesting. But, seeing how you really don't know my family or our WHOLE story, I don't think you are too qualified to comment. :-) Sorry if that upsets you. However, please feel free NOT to read about our family.

Why do I point out my kids imperfections? I don't. I've lived with hearing loss 24/7 since Anna was born 7 years ago. Makes me bit of an expert. You may not like how I use Anna's hearing loss or Julia's atresia and microtia to promote EDUCATION about special needs adoption and the over all treatment of kids with special needs. My kids are every bit NORMAL. But what the hell is normal to you? Is it a perfectly formed body?? Is it having hearing like most people? Is it being thin? Define normal for me.

Oh and my disadvantages? I'm about 60lbs overweight, I have to wear glasses/contacts and I think I have adult ADD. I have tons of issues and I'm sure I could write a other blog about those, I doubt that would hold your attention.

About making myself seem better for parenting "DISABLED" kids...Um, ask God about that one. He gave us Anna. She was the catalyst for being interested in special needs. Am I better because I choose a child in China that was orphaned because she has a congenital birth defect? Nah, there are lots of us out there. Do I take the high road sometimes, yes. Yes I do. Because I think there are some very large gaps in the traditional program vs. waiting child program. Wait, this is MY BLOG. I can post what I want about my feelings and my views. Imagine that! I've been involved in China adoption issues for 2 years. I've learned a lot. I think there are some families that feel like they got the shaft when it comes to infertility. I have been witness to some very vile conversations about how it's not fair that some couples can have 10 kids and other can't have any. I've had people question my desire to adopt when I could have had more biological kids.

Bringing attention to myself? ever go grocery shopping with 3 kids? Ha! Talk about loud and attention drawing. Again, this is my blog. If I want to draw attention to myself, I CAN! LOL! Besides, what do you care? I mean, really...But I can talk about myself if you really want to know more. Let's see. I'm the president of our Parent Advisory Committee, I've spoke at the National EHDI conference. Wayne and I helped the state set the guidelines for Michigan's Universal Newborn Hearing Screens. I volunteer 2-3 days a week in Anna's classroom. I've did presentations for the CEC. I like reading, writing, and watching sports. Anything else that might be attention drawing?

I think you could say the point of my blog is exploitation. I started it so friends and family could follow our journey to China to bring Julia home. Well, if I were having a baby, would people want to read about my doctor appointments? Hardly. It's more interesting because we are adopting from China. Am I pointing out Julia ethnicity? Yep. And that makes her DIFFERENT. No matter what we write about, separates us from others. No 2 adoption stories or journey's are the same. Do you take issue with me talking about Julia's nationality?

So in conclusion, I hope I have enlightened you once again. My kids are individuals. I treat them all differently. Just last week, Anna and I were looking at the pictures of the day she was born. There's one where she can't be more than 5 minutes old, she's laying on the scale still covered in blood and she asked where her hearing aids were. She knows she's different. Life for her is NOT NORMAL by the typical standards. She has to wear hearing aids. She can't hear me when I talk to her without them. I want my kids to beware of the world around them. All 3 kids are very sensitive to others that are different. My kids don't stare at people who are missing limbs or who have special needs. I've taught them that we are all different, all special in own way. I remember a bumber sticker I saw in high school...WHY BE NORMAL?? Besides, normal is boring. :-)

BTW...I'd love to see your blog so I can critique your family.

~Melissa~ (The attention grabbing mom from hell.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ears and more ears!!

Anna's ear with her purple hearing aid! She's the total mod girl with the black and white stripes.

Here's Julia's right ear. This is the microtic ear. This is one she calls cute.

This is Julia's left ear. It's normal besides the little "node" part is a little bigger.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Julia and her little ear

I’ve been reading old posts about our trip to China and about Julia’s transition into our family. I still can’t believe how all this has turned out. I’m sure I’ve said that enough times to make my regular readers sick, but it’s the truth. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t look at Julia with a sense of wonderment. She’s an amazing little girl.

I caught her checking out her microtic ear in the van the other day. Remember that Julia has atresia and microtia. She has a deformed ear and is missing an ear canal. I’ve had plenty of people comment that she’s so normal. Well, believe it or not, most special needs kids ARE normal. :-) Ok, Ok, I’m a little defensive when it comes to the whole traditional program vs. waiting child program. I can’t help it. ANYWAYS!! We (Julia and I) had a talk about her ear and why she was born with it. I told her that God made her special that way. Cameron needs to wear glasses, Anna needs to wear hearing aids and she has her “little ear”. I also told her that God doesn’t make mistakes. After all this, Julia says, “I like my little ear. It cute!” Yes, it is cute. This is the type of dialog that leads me to not reconstructing her ear. Maybe once she’s older and want to have something done; then yes, I will concede and we will look into it. Part of her identity is her ear. She will hide it from the kids at school some times and on other occasions she will walk around showing off “her little ear” like it’s a trophy.

I’ll post some new pictures of her ear later this week. :-) Have a great night. Cheers!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Easter pictures

Here are my favorite Easter pictures of the kids. I love the one of Anna and Julia together. Just a quick plug for the bows. They are from my girlfriend, Tonni. She custom made these for us. I had sent her the headbands that had the printed bows and she turned them into the gorgeous barrettes you see here.

Interesting cartoon

The Muskegon Chronicle ran this cartoon and I really liked it. But, not from the standpoint that you're probably thinking. I looked it at from my adoptive parent view...That here we are, the "Fast Food Society" wanting things to go fast, be totally easy and well, wanting it our way. Here's stands China, the giant in charge of the adoption process, not so willing to submit to our demands (and I agree that they shouldn''s a PRIVILEGE, not a right to adopt their beautiful children.)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Mom's new hair

Ok, ok...Julia took this picture in the van after church yesterday so it's not the greatest quality. gives you an idea as to what my new hair looks like. I decided on Friday that I needed a change and this is what I came up with. I was tired of my boring old mom hair. So...this is new me!