Friday, January 25, 2008

Given the happenings of 2007 I feel a desire to pause and record how great our fortune has been. 2007 was certainly full of ups and downs but the ups outweigh the downs. We grew to a family of 6 (from 3) with the addition of Pollito in January, Tortuga in February, and Milagro in August. We celebrated arrivals of our boys and the birth of our daughter. Corazon's 3 year anniversary of joining our family and C's acceptance to doctoral programs are also highlights.
Our marriage in June (in the one state that has legalized same-sex marriage) was certainly something we couldn't have predicted a few years ago. I relished my one semester leave to write and care for the newest member of our brood. The year culminated in December with the formal adoptions of Pollito and Tortuga and the publication of my first chapter in a book. How can 2008 top that?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Making bird houses and ornaments


I just came across these pictures I took at the end of December/early January and wanted to reflect on their significance to the kids. C. and I have been working on having the children learn the value of making thoughtful choices about presents. They don't have much of a sense of money or the cost of things and even less sense of what is important to other people. So C. decided to help them make personalized gifts for their (great)aunts and grandma. They decided on themed birdhouses and birdhouse ornaments for each one of their aunts and grandma. It was a great idea and the kids really got into it(as did the adults) so it truly became a family affair that took a bit past Christmas (until New Year's Day) to complete. But the end result was well worth it, I think. They shared fun, frustration, quality time with moms and ultimately a sense of accomplishment! For our kids, especially Tortuga and Corazon, this is what it needs to be about. They both suffer from such low self concepts that every chance to celebrate success is critical to undoing the years of negative socialization they have been through.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One year already!


Pollito joined our family a year ago today. He was a 2 1/2 year old with a big smile, big head and big heart. We had been told he had severe to moderate speech delays, was receiving speech and OT services through his day care and was not yet free for adoption. He still preferred to take most of his meals from a bottle and had a few 2 word utterances. Half of the time he seemed like he didn't know what was being said to him. He loved balloons, bubble baths, and bananas and he captured our hearts. Today he is a talkative, engaged little boy who repeats everything he hears, speaks in full sentences and can easily (although not always clearly yet) retell the happenings of his day. He understands almost everything he hears. He still struggles with vocabulary, pronounciation and enunciation and is probably speaking more like a 2 1/2 - 3 year old, than a 31/2 year old but what amazing progress! He is a ham who loves to lip sync to every kind of music and who dances even when he is trying not to. Potty training actually seems like it might become a reality. He loves dinosaurs, trains, purses, and accessories and makes us smile and laugh every single day. What a joyous blessing! Tonight we will celebrate his 1st anniversary with a cake and a couple of presents but it has been a year-long celebration.

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