Monday, June 14, 2010

June 13, 2002

Yesterday was Yolanta's 8th birthday.

Remember what Amy did on her 8th birthday?

Yep! Ear piercing time!

She was a brave girl and didn't cry though I could tell she was nervous.

On Sunday, she had breakfast in bed, opened up gifts (she got a bike!), went to church, then we spent all afternoon at the roller rink with her friends and cousins for a special party.

This is only Yolanta's second birthday home with us here in America.
But she turned eight.
She was four when we started the adoption process.
Six when we brought her home.
She celebrated her 7th and now 8th birthday with us.

We're still getting to know each other and I grow more in love with her every day.
It's amazing to see the beautiful person God created her to be, and I'm honored and humbled at being chosen to be her mom. Thank you for the special gift of Yolanta. Amen.

(Props to husband who, having just had back surgery, was able join us for an hour at the rink (thanks for going to get him, ma) and was even able to come with us for ear piercing. He's such a good daddy.)

(This is on Sunday, her actual birthday, headed to church. Can you believe she's "the middle child"? Yeah...Amy's 8 months older. Look how tall Yolie is!)

This is today, Monday. She was quiet the whole way over because she was nervous.

Picking out her earring.

Choosing her birthstone.

Katie being 5. Cowboy 5 that is.

Pre holes.

Amy adjusting her hair in the mirror she found at 8 year old height.

Cleaning. Still Yolanta has said very little. :)

One down.

If she WERE saying something, I think by the look of her face it would be OUCH.

No tears. Brave girl.

Post holes. Pretty!

All three girls checking out the selection. Katie choosing what she'll get when she turns 8.
Happy Eigth Birthday, Yolanta. I love you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It takes a village...or a grocery store.

I went to WINCO tonight.
Those of you who do not know what WinCo is, well, those of you outside of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Oregon, WinCo is a grocery store. Ugly warehouse, no customer service, bag your own groceries. But you get what you pay for in that the prices are unbeatable.

While I was shopping, a child started screaming. I couldn't see the babe, but using my super-sonic mom powers, I assessed that the child was, based on the pitch of the scream, about 18 months old. Two years old at most.

At first I thought maybe the child had hurt himself and would settle into a normal cry after the first initial scream. But the screaming persisted. Then a flash went through my mind that maybe the child was being abducted! Everyone here is on high-alert since the recent local child went missing. (I'm not going to type his name as people don't need my blog if they google him. Lord, be with him and his family, please.)

Anyway, I realized that he probably wasn't being abducted because the screaming (which by now had, indeed, morphed into a crazy type tantrum cry) continued so the child was still in the store, not being whisked out the back door into a get-away car. Rather, I could hear the child close at times (an isle or two away) and far away at times...obviously the mom was continuing her grocery shopping needs despite the uncontrollable wails from little-man.

As I continued my shopping, the fit continued and it became increasingly obvious that the child had gained the attention of everyone in the store. Everyone.

At one point I did get catch a glimpse of "the scene" and sure enough, it was a little boy about 2 years old trying to climb out of the shopping cart (the front part where little kids sit). The woman pushing the cart, who I'll assume was his mother though they were different races, kept one hand firmly on his belly/front diaper area keeping him in while she studied the back of a jelly jar. The teenage boy stood 3 feet away with his arms crossed.
The baby was in hysterics.

People were looking at each other with varying impressions of what was going through their minds...without actually saying anything.
I saw looks being passed that said-
-Oh my word, I'm so glad that is not my child.
-Oh my word, I'm so glad I am not that woman.
-Oh my word, SHUT UP!
-Oh my, so sad.
-Oh my, I hope everything is okay!

Seriously, the whole warehouse seemed to want to talk about it with their facial expressions.
Then there were those who actually DID say things.
It was during check out, and funny enough, they were checking out at the same time I was checking out just a few lanes down.
While standing in line I heard a grandma say "Here, Frank, let's go down here away from that kid!" Another shopper responded, "No kidding."

They got done bagging their groceries before I did and the little family left the store, child crying (who will probably pass out of exhaustion in the car) teenage boy, arms still crossed stomping ahead of them, and mom looking unashamed yet very aware of the spotlight upon her.

The person in front of me said something that I couldn't hear, but the checker boy responded with, "We get crying kids a lot, but never anything like that!" Then the person mumbled something under his breath but the only thing I heard was "...shuttin'him'up..."
His wife said "Well I walked over and told her that if she just smacked him on the butt he'd be so startled he'd stop crying! But she didn't didn't do it, too bad."

That couple left and as I was bagging my own groceries the checker boy waited till they were gone and said to me, "Well I don't believe in hitting kids so I can see why she didn't do it!"

Meanwhile, at the lane next to me, I overheard a lady in a wheelchair telling horror stories of her grandchildren acting up and all the times she's had to leave grocery stores and that "that is exactly what she should have done" and basically orated her entire parenting philosophy on how this particular situations SHOULD have been handled (in an irritated voice).

As I was walking out, the checker boy, not getting a response from me, turned to the lady next in line and said, "So, how'd you like our cheerleader? We're hiring them young these days, eh?"

The lady laughed and I can only imagine that other isles were exchanging similar opinions and comments.

I have no idea what was causing that little boy to behave so wildly.
I have no idea what was going through that mom's mind as she made the decision to stay at the store and not leave.

-Was she training him to sit in that little spot and no matter how much he cried, she needed to prove that he would not be able to get out? That THAT was where he belonged for the entire shopping trip?
-Was the boy having a diabetic fit and needed insulin?
-Was the woman not his mom and didn't have control over her charge but couldn't go home without milk, eggs and sugar free jelly?
-Was the woman deaf and unaware of how loud the child was screaming?
-Was the woman too prideful to admit that she needed to leave and found herself stuck there with this awkward decision to shop?
-Was the child being abducted?

I don't think it was wrong, necessarily, for people to be glancing at each other or making comments. I chose not to make any comments or share in any sideways glances largely because I had one of my daughters with me. I didn't want to inadvertently get into a discussion with anyone where oppinions or word choice could have gotten inappropriate. At one point my daughter did say something like, "Wow, he's been crying a long time!" To which I remarked, "Yeah, I'm not sure why he's having such a hard time."

I do feel bad for the child...I hope he's okay and is asleep and secure in his bed right now.

I feel bad for the mom and hope she is soaking in a hot tub, having a Calgon moment.

I feel bad for the teenage brother and I hope he helped put the groceries away and is jamming out to his favorite tunes while he does his homework.

I feel a little bad for the shoppers who's temperaments do not stand for such noise and chaos. Their ears were probably close to bleeding and their nerves were probably twitching.

I don't feel bad for me that I had to listen to that sad boy. Don't get me wrong, it was ear piercing and unsetteling, but I'm a mom...I dunno, I felt sorry and saddened more than I felt fed-up or aggravated. Maybe God allowed me (and others) to be there to go to bed tonight praying for the safety and peace of everyone in that family.

What would you have done if you were that mom?
Would you have left?
Stood your ground?

***Okay, I know I didn't post a follow-up about my husbands back surgery, and should have done that first. But I forget that I have readers on here who are not facebook friends. Sorry! He's doing great. The surgery was a success and he's home healing. He already feels relief and we're all having fun taking care of him while he's flat on his back. Post-Op care is in full-swing. Thanks for the prayers and well-wishes!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

At least he'll get to watch the World Cup

My young, sporty, strong husband has to have back surgery.
What? He’s too young to need back surgery, he’s too athletic to need back surgery, he’s too handsome to need back surgery!
I know. These were my thoughts, too.

But, he’s been having major back pain for some time now, and the pain has reached his hip, all the way down his leg, causing numbness.
He walks a little funny – step, thump –step, thump – step, thump…

He’s sought prayer, MD care, chiropractic care, acupuncture, prolotherapy, massage therapy, is diligent with his home exercises… but the poor guy is still in PAIN.
All those appointments during the middle of the work day, all those co-pays and deductables and insurance hassles are really fun for him, too.

After an MRI, he sought multiple opinions on the best course for healing. Two neurosurgeons advised surgery.

Specifically, Lumbar Microsurgery.
Even more specifically, Microdiskectomy. This is removal of disk (not the whole thing in Husbands, case, just part of it).
Possibly he’ll have Microdecompression surgery which is removal of bone from the spine to better access the disk.

Amazingly, he will be in and out on the same day.
Then he will be mostly on his back for a week, driving restrictions for 2 weeks, no lifting anything over 10 pounds for a month, and other inconveniences basically all summer long.

Most sadly is the inability to play soccer this summer. If he were a girl, he’d be crying about this.

Please pray for my Knight in Shining Armor as his nerves are a little shaken.
Please pray for the doctors to successfully perform the surgery.
Please pray that he won’t be in anymore pain!

Oh, and please pray for me as I will be doing Yolanta’s 8th birthday party at the Roller Rink kinda by myself.
There’s no way he’d miss it, says Husband. But it’s only 4 days after surgery so we’ll see.

Surgery is set for this coming Wednesday the 9th.
Will keep you updated on the patient as progress unfolds.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

She could never have known

When we went to Redmond to visit my sister, we stayed at a hotel. A hotel with a pool, of course!
While the kids were swimming and Grammy was on lifeguard duty, I went up to our room to get out the clothes the girls would be dressing into after swimming.

I poked my head back into the pool area and asked Yolanta, “What are you wearing today?”
She replied, “My blue shirt, the sparkly one!”

As I walked down the hallway, I reflected on all the changes this girl has been through. For the first four years of her life she lived with biological family; father, sisters, brothers, aunts, grandparents. These were all in her small villiage. Then for two years she lived in the orphanage. Then, for two years now, she has lived with us, her adopted family in the United States.

The things this girl could never have known.

-She could never have known that she would be swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool in a hotel.

-She could never have known that she would have choices of things to wear, clothes that fit her perfectly, clothes with sparkles.

-She could never have known that she’d be speaking English instead of Creole. And saying words like “…the sparkly one.”

-She could never have known that she would be surrounded by a white family instead of a black community of caregivers and other orphans.

-She could never have known she’d be living on the West Coast of America instead of central Haiti.

-She could never have known she’d be eating a different kind of food every day instead of beans and rice every day.

-She could never have known, none of us could ever have known, that an earthquake would turn Haiti upside down, and leave us with questions about the survival of her biological family.

So many changes…and these are only a tip of the mountain of changes in her life.

(the sparkly blue shirt)

The changes in her life are good and she will be forever unconditionally loved.
She is on a path of health.
A path of success.
A path marked for loving God.

Some of the changes in her life are sad and leave her feeling confused about her thoughts toward her home country. A longing to be there yet a relief she’s not.

There are changes every day. And not just for her, but for all of us in our family.
Good changes.
I love the changes she has brought to my family because I love her.
-She could never have known 2 years ago, how much she is loved by me.