Monday, July 27, 2009

Together for Adoption video! (Cross post from To Be a Mother)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Matea's name!

First Time a Mother 18 Years Ago!

Jared and Tyler (Sam's boyfriend)
It was July 26th 1991. I spent my whole pregnancy shocked and thrilled to find out I was pregnant.  I believed I would never get pregnant because I had an abortion 10 years prior and it had taken a long time to climb out of my depression and sadness from the experience.  I was also still believing in a God that would punish me and just 'even out the score'...from my tragic decision.  So, while I spent the time thrilled and in awe..I also was suspiciously watching and waiting for my punishment.  I didn't really understand or believe in the concept of restoration, unconditional forgiveness and the type of healing that gives you a new life, new heart and hope.  So, with each Doctor's appointment i would find myself in joyous tears and afraid of God's deserving wrath.   I also was madly in love with "SAM". We didn't know if our baby was a boy or a girl.  So,  I would talk to her. I connected to her...I was madly madly in love with her/or him (oh I already said that)...
On July 21st I had false labor. Went in to the hospital. They made me go home. It was my due date.  July 24th I was in Labor..On July 25th I went in around 11pm...I had been in labor for about 16 hours. It stopped when I went into the hospital but they let me stay.  Labor wasn't progressing and the doctor who wanted to go home and pack for his trip to Israel the next day...didn't like that labor wasn't progressing.  I didn't want an epidural. That made him mad. I got the epidural eventually after he broke my water.  He wanted to give me a csection.  I didn't want it.  We waited and waited..I pushed for three hours..and then a new doctor came in and I had a fever. They said if it didn't go down I wouldn't see my baby for a day or two...THIS WAS IT...I said to myself..."God is going to take my baby once I deliver her/him! Or I will die...I should die for what I did." I prayed "forgive me Lord..Please show your mercy""" About an hour later...the fever broke..the new doctor was sweet...looked at me , touched me, made me cry and said looking lovingly in my eyes..."It's time to meet your baby."  And then we all agreed to a csection after 36 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing....They rolled me into the operating room..the energy was upbeat and positive eventhough the meds had worn off and I screamed GIVE ME THE DRUGS....because of the pain..."Unforgettable" was playing...the funny Jewish anesthesiologist said.."I will make you feel great just hold still"..He made jokes...and they made Mark sit down because he wanted to watch the csection...I felt a 'losing my breath" sensation/pressure...I heard this suctioning sound that made me cringe because of a bad memory 10 years prior and then I heard the baby cry....THey said "you have a daughter."   I really lost my breath and started to cry....I knew in my heart my baby was a girl (AUBREY) that I had aborted years prior. I had been sure God wouldn't bless me with a girl even if i had the good fortune of being pregnant....They laid her on my chest and I knew that in a second I was born again, renewed, forever changed and eternally grateful.   And I knew that GOD WAS GOOD!  
18 years later and I watch as my son by birth and 3 additional daughters through adoption and gorgeous ethiopian son, eat ice cream cake with the daughter I never thought I would have.  I stand in awe watching how God exceeded my dreams and expectations in this awesome family......AMEN!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back from NYC with Sam!

Just got back from NY with Sam. It was great to have that time with her before she heads off to college in a month.

We flew in EARLY on a Friday night to LGA. We had Penne pasta for dinner and then had our toes done at the nail place. AND then had cupcakes at the famous MAGNOLIA CAFE.  

Saturday, we went shopping at HM and then I took a train to my gig at the NY Athletic Club in Pelham NY.  Where I got to wear my girlfriend Lori's amazing jewelry *see pic)...She gave me some great necklaces...Sam stayed with her friend Lauren and shopped and hung out in Central Park.

Sunday I had a meeting in the morning and then we went to the village and canal street. At night we went to Cafe lalo for dessert and dinner with my friend Andrea...Monday morning we came home...SOOO TIRED TODAY...

I will say that time flies. I cannot believe that my sweet daughter Sam with be 18 in a few days. The day she was born was also the day I was transformed, renewed and healed. In many ways it was my birth day because I was truly born again by her birth. I remember seeing her for the first time as if it was yesterday.  I totally felt as if I could breathe for the first time in 10 years once she was in my arms.  Now she heads off to college and I head into a new career addition as an author....Her birth and life are very much a part of the story...but now we head into a new chapter as I start my very SLOW entry into becoming an empty nester ...(technically that will be about 15 years...LOL)...Still one is out of the nest although we are not allowed to touch anything in her room not sure how EMPTY the house will be...AND as she heads into the unknown as a college student, I head into the unknown with a new book and CD to come out soon...pray for us.....we are excited, optimistic and simultaneously terrified..but God is good and we are believing that the miracles will continue to pour out...Praises to Him!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Orphans Deserve Better! Cross post... Christian Alliance for Orphans is having this campaign called Orphans Deserve Better to counter the awful representation of an orphan in the Warner Bros upcoming movie "ORPHAN". I posted the movie trailer on my TO BE A MOTHER site (link below video)...I wanted to have the scary additional video stuff on the other blog..but you are welcome to view the video from CAFO and the movie trailer at the video below..

Ugandan Adoption! Royal Orphanage! Abba Fund!

This video is on Jason Kovacs site. His wife Shawnda is in Uganda picking up their newly adopted baby son. Please go to his site (Abba fund) read his words about the video. My friend Jodi just returned after meeting her new 3 kids. She said that the orphanage has 500 kids in it and 300 are available for adoption. I think I mentioned that the orphanage actually was upgraded and improved (given plumbing, running water, electricity, guest house) because one church of 125 raised money and just had faith and a burden for this orphanage. For those of you new to adoption here are some bits and pieces of what I know about Ugandan adoption. The program just recently opened up. It had a 36 month residency requirement in the past which has been lifted. NOw international adoption from Uganda consists of getting legal guardianship and then completing the adoption once in the states. Currently there are 143 million orphans globally. To find out more about orphans in general go to Christian Alliance for Orphans website. The ABBA FUND provides grants for families wishing to adopt internationally.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sleep Patterns of Orphans!

I have a really big house. Two bedrooms have 2 kids each. Two have single kids in them. There are play rooms etc. A basement....plenty of room for everyone to stretch out. I remember seeing a TV episode of a couple who never had any kids but then adopted 3 kids from Russia. They ended up disrupting the adoption because  at bedtime they would have these almost brutal scenes fighting so hard to get the kids into bed. One scene was when the kids were hiding under the beds because they wanted to sleep there. THe parents were incensed and physically fighting with a screaming child to lay in a twin bed. From the time my kids have been home they oftentimes have some strange ideas on sleeping. On Friday nights or track out we let them have more freedom to pair up, sleep in playrooms etc. One time my girls came downstairs while I was cleaning the kitchen on a Friday night really excited. They were in their pajamas, pillows, blankets, toys in hand. They said "Mommy we have a great idea! We want to sleep in the kitchen;" I said "I give you a lot of freedom on the weekends but the kitchen is off limits." Some orphans have slept on the streets prior to being adopted. Mine had sometimes slept in haystacks near the animals when they felt like it. Some slept in small houses with one room where 25 people would sleep. Then at the orphanages they would be in these bunks 3 high with 40-60 kids in one room. As a westernized society we can pile our judgment onto them thinking "poor kids..I bet they would really like their own rooms with all of their own stuff. They have nothing!!" We forget that many of the kids LOVE to sleep in odd makes them feel safe under the bed or snuggled up tnext o each other. Two of my kids don't like the fitted sheet so pull it off to sleep on the bare mattress. All of them can be found from time to time with blankets over their heads sleeping cocooned inside their little safe havens. I think we need to teach kids about boundaries, rules etc. But when we adopt we have to be real careful to pick the battles. That family that disrupted the adoption because of a rigid belief further damaged the orphans they adopted by making their fears come true in rejecting them....

So, what prompted this post was how I found 4 of my kids tonight. MADE ME are the pictures.

All in one room..Matea and Ella both on the floor on a makeshift mattresss

Jared with all the bedding pulled off of the twin bed and his super hero sleeping bag only . I have found him sleeping with his feet on the floor and head in the seat of a cushy chair....

 Room shot...looks awful but just how they like it...
Grace is in there somewhere...she kept the sheet on...I have found her in chairs before. 
My attitude is that as long as they get enough sleep and aren't cranky during the day for school..they can sleep in the same room sometimes....Tonight was one of them.


So, when we went to Ethiopia our kids knew very very little English. We were told that our oldest Grace would know some. First we met Ella.  When we met her we were surprised to find out that she was speaking English a little. The other two didn't speak much. But we soon found out that Grace understood even though Ella seemed to have a better command of English.

So when we got home Ella would get in trouble from chattting incessantly in Amharic and insulting her siblings in Amharic. One time Grace was almost crying because Ella had said something. Grace insisted we call my Amharic speaking friend. My Ethiopian friend Yemi got on the phone with me and told me that Ella was calling her sister 'devil' in Amharic.

Later eventhough she could talk and talk she also was the champion when we would play the quiet game...Anyhow, today we received an ENGLISH SECOND LANGUAGE report card. We all had to laugh because although it has only been  a year. Her reading, listening etc...we all average but in the area of speaking she is off the graph...Grace's was all even..ELLA's is attached below...see for yourself.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July 2009!

So it was a really great 4th. Shmoopy went to the lake with her friend. But that is happening alot as she is gearing up to go to college. She tried water skiing and thinks she needs more upper body strength.

We started out at the YMCA after I slept in. Breakfast was Dunkin Donuts as Mark took them out for the special treat. I took them swimming then at the YMCA.
Mark had to practice for the Jersey Boyz. He is playing the keyboard part for the road tour when it is in our area. Awesome extra gig to catch. I had the band over for a potluck taco dinner here the other day. They have been on the road for 2.5 years and my girlfriend Caren is in the band as is my friend Chris on sax.

So the kids went to the YMCA and had free gourmet ice cream sundaes from KILWIN's...

We came home and then went to a picnic with our church. Had a blast.

We then decided to forgo the crowd with the fireworks and head home. We again were blessed. As the sun set we heard some fireworks, went outside and no kidding it was as if we were given our own FIREWORKS SHOW...Our neighbors about 4 houses down no lie put on a show that looked like the Grucci Brothers in NY (they put on the Macy's show)...we had the kids put out their blankets, made popcorn and were on our front lawn with a birdseye view and no trees in the crowds...bathroom inside...full fridge and all in our jammies...IT ROCKED...

Of course earlier in the day I again noticed that Jared came out of the house again with mis matching flip least they weren't pink sparkles and hello kitty ones..
We are leaning on God. Starting school on Tuesday (with the exception of the little one-Princessa) and getting ready for college with Shmoopie in August....and my book release in August as well...we'll also be in Illinois for 10 days during next track out in September...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ugandan Adoption!

My friend is going to Uganda to meet her three new children. For those of you who don't know, Uganda has had a 3 year residency requirement for adoption. Recently, they have allowed people to receive guardianship and then adopt. There is a huge need and the children are is a video of the orphanage my friend is going to...

If any of you are interested in adoption and need more info I will be happy to get more specific info and send to you...