Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from us

Friday, December 24, 2010

Not such a fan

Do I even need to say it?

Mary was so unimpressed with Santa.

Clearly she can pretty much take him or leave him.

A non-essential part of Christmas, to be sure.

I for one am keenly aware of how grateful I am for my camera.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Anna vs. the horse

Kevin taught Anna how to play the card game "Egyptian War" last weekend.

She loved it.

So much so, in fact, that once Kevin took off to go beat me at the game Nerts do something else, Anna found a different opponent.

Something tells me that Anna emerged the victor.  :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What I wore Wednesday...or, what I THOUGHT I wore Sunday

Well friends, this is a special edition of What I wore Wednesday.

I didn't take many photos this week. 

But that doesn't really matter, because I have an entertaining story instead (to go with the one picture I DID take.)

Oh, and no meals this week.  I don't even remember what we had--I think meatloaf, nachos, leftovers, lots of salad.

So...some What I wore Wednesday background.

A dear friend of mine brought over a bunch of hand-me-downs one day that someone had given her.  And, this past Sunday, I thought I'd peek in the bag to find something new-to-me to wear.

I came across what I thought was a shirt in an interesting fabric and was a periwinkle-y color that I never, ever wear.  SO I decided to give it a go.  It happened to be a pretty low-cut halter-style top (and I'm all for modesty), but I wore a green shirt underneath, and a black cardigan sweater over it, so that part didn't show.

And as we were sitting in church, I happened to look down and notice the stitching on the bottom of the shirt...and got to thinking about how it was such a long shirt...and started feeling the fabric...and realized THAT I WAS WEARING A BATHING SUIT TOP.  I could scarcely keep from cracking up in the middle of the sermon.  I immediately leaned over to Kevin and said, "I'm wearing a swimsuit at church."  He of course couldn't believe it, and thought it was hilarious too.

Anyway, let it be known that when you acquire clothing second-hand, be it from the thrift store or from a friend of a friend, you are apparently taking a major risk.  And if you're like me, eventually it'll catch up with you and, well, you'll wear something weird.  Like a bathing suit, in Denver, in December.  BUT, if you have a blog (also like me), it makes for a great story! 

(As you're reading this, we are on the road to California.  Happy Wednesday!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An early Merry Christmas

Last night we celebrated a bit of an early Christmas, just our family.

This is because we're leaving tomorrow (!) for California!  We're doing our annual road-trip out to spend Christmas with family and friends.  Everyone around here is so excited.  (Note to potential burglars: our house is chock-full of cheap thrift store finds and any technology we own is totally outdated and half-broken.  There's nothing you want here.  Trust me.)

Anyway, last night we had dinner, the kids got their pjs on, I baked up some gingerbread cookies, we put some Christmas music on, and we gathered around the tree to open gifts.  Well, mostly the kids opened gifts, because Kevin and I never exchange gifts.  Is that strange?  I don't think so.

There were gifts for the kids we'd received in the mail from Kevin's parents, and gifts from Kevin and I.  This was the first year that we really did the whole gift thing for the kids.  Honestly, they receive so much from both sets of grandparents that it was not particularly necessary.  As the kids are getting older though, we are wanting to get in on the act.  It was a lot of f un choosing things for them--all of them bought second-hand in excellent condition.  The kids don't understand the distinction yet between "used" stuff and "brand new" stuff.  Which works out nicely.  :)

It was a flurry of excitement but it was so incredibly wonderful.  I love my kids, and I love that they get into whatever traditions we happen to be celebrating.

We open one gift at a time, and the funny thing is, they get SO EXCITED for their siblings' gifts--just about as excited as for their own.  Priceless.

The highlight of my evening was probably when Anna opened up her final gift from us.  She has finally reached the age where there are a few things she actively "wants".  For the past year or so, she has occasionally mentioned that she wants a robe.  And when I was out shopping several weeks ago, I found the CUTEST pink robe, just her size, and super cheap.  PERFECT.  There were even a couple of times since I'd bought it when we'd be out, she'd see a robe, and mention that she really liked it.

SO, last night, when she opened up her gift...there was twirling, shrieking, dancing around with the robe.  So cute.  She was SO excited, slept in it last night, and kept hugging me and thanking me.  A super simple gift, but so very treasured.  Again, priceless.

Don't mind all the laundry baskets in the background.  They are all part of my fantastic packing-for-five-kids system.  I'll have to share it sometime.

Today I am packing, sneaking away for a couple of hours to see some friends, and hitting the mall for hopefully a (very) brief visit to pick up a gift for my mom and some ProActive for me.  Kevin's at work and the kids are in vacation mode.  You know, bouncing off the walls and all that.  :)

I do plan to blog while I'm away so keep coming back!  (Did you know that you can "follow" me, and any other blogger, on Google Reader?  You can sign up on the side-bar.  I love my Reader--it makes reading blogs so much simpler!)

Well friends, I'm off to go see my friends and run my errands.  Happy Tuesday!  (And come back tomorrow for a highly entertaining version of "What I Wore Wednesday."  Seriously.  It's a do-not-miss for sure.) 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas, large-family style

Okay, multiple people have emailed this to me (gee, I wonder why?) and now I HAVE to share it with you.  SO, so hilarious.  (I know, first "Double Dream Hands" and now this.  There's some funny stuff out there!)  And, as usual, I could have written it myself (if I were more creative--it's awesome!  This family rocks.) 

Needless to say I have been asked single question in this song.

Except for the "are you Catholic?" one.  Bummer, because I actually have an answer for that.

I HAVE however been asked if we are Mormons, by someone I was meeting for the first time.  (Which led me to wonder how often Latter Day Saints feel discriminated against or stereotyped.  I have had many friends throughout my life who were LDS and I never stopped to think how people might treat them on account of their faith.  This was a tangent, by the way.  Get used to it, because I love a good rabbit trail.)

My answers are pretty much the same as this family's--though if someone DID ask if we were Catholic, I'd have to say "no, but we follow Church teaching on family and life issues, and will probably end up eventually reconciling someday."  That wouldn't fit so well in the song though.  And it might open a huge can of papal infallibility/prayers to the Saints/Mary-as-the-mother-of-God worms in Costco with a stranger.

I give a hearty three cheers for large families, whether they be Mormons, Catholics, Quiverfull-ers, regular old people who like chaos children, or aliens from outer space.  Hear, hear!  :)  (That's me agreeing with myself.  Apparently, in addition to liking rabbit trails, I like talking to myself.  So I guess you'll have to get used to that too.  :)  )

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday linkage

I came across some great stuff this week in the blogosphere.  And so I thought I would share some of it with you today:

--My friend Jennifer blogs at the least complicated, and wrote an AMAZING post about adoption and attachment.  So, so good.  While my sons attached quite well, I can definitely see areas where they struggle (mostly with learning and stress) that are surely a result of early childhood trauma.  It can be frustrating.  So easy to forget where they have been.

--And Adeye, of No Greater Joy Mom fame, shared her refreshing and wonderful perspective in a post titled learning as I go.  I relate to a lot of what she has to say in this post.  It can be challenging to truly savor the moments and leave all up-tight-ness behind, but it is oh so worth it. 

Today we are enjoying a quiet Saturday at home.  A yummy omelet for breakfast, listening to Bebo Norman (one of my all-time favorites), playing lots of games (Kevin taught Anna "Egyptian War" and she is INSANEly good at it.  On a side-note, I refuse to play Kevin at this game because he ALWAYS wins, and all I can hope for is that I'll somehow injure his hand as we're both trying to slap the pile), and getting ready for our annual trip back to California.  Then we have It's a Wonderful Life and The Nativity Story on deck to watch later.  Of course, once the kids are in bed, it's time for Kevin and I to resume watching the TV show on DVD that we are utterly addicted to.  The final season FINALLY came in for us from the library--thank goodness, because we've been waiting so long and the suspense has just been awful!  I can't wait to see how it all ends!

I hope that you, too, are enjoying your Saturday.  Three cheers for the weekend!  (Now I'm off to see if I can find the kids' Christmas presents that I hid...apparently I chose quite the hiding place!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday {#17}


Um, this is seriously the funniest thing I've seen in a VERY long time.  Seriously.SO.hilarious.  (I found it over at Rage Against the Minivan.  So Kristen, I will forever be indebted to you for sharing this with the rest of us.)  And I don't know WHO this guy is, but he's proud of his moves.  And my kids like to imitate him.  And maybe, just maybe, I will do my own version and post it here sometime.  If this doesn't make your day, I don't know what will.  Because how can you not love the Double Dream Hands?!  (And you can thank me in the form of Starbucks gift cards mailed to my house if you want.  Really.  Not too much to ask for making you laugh that hard on a Friday, right?)

2.)  It has been like pulling teeth lately to get my kids to pick up after themselves.  I am, as a result, losing my mind.  And, I just REFUSE to do it myself.  Re.fuse.  They are totally old enough to put some toys and clothes away.  Ugh. 

3.)  I was so proud of myself yesterday because I had my meal all prepped and ready to go for last night's dinner by 1:30 in the afternoon.  See, Thursdays are tricky because I pick up my big kids from school at 3:30, and with traffic I don't usually get home until 4:15 or so...and I'm usually at such a loss as to what to make for dinner.  But yesterday I assembled my meatloaf ahead of time so it was all ready to bake by the time I got home.  Then I made some mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts to go with it--yum!  Yay for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with planning and executing a meal!  (Even something as simple as meatloaf.  Which, even though I could totally be a vegetarian, I find quite enjoyable.  Total comfort food.)

4.)  Yosef is a totally a budding foodie.  This boy LOVES food.  He gets genuinely EXCITED over what I make for dinner.  It is so cute and I love that I can always count on him to want seconds!  Makes a mama feel good!

5.)  I got my hair chopped off.  First haircut in a year and a half!  I've been going back and forth about it and finally, last Sunday, I made my decision.  So off to Great Clips I went.  And, it turned out better than the last time I went there for a cut.  (A year and a half ago.)  I'm still getting used to it and I think I'll like it even more as it gets a bit longer, but it works for now.

6.)  I've also finally come to the conclusion, after many years of going back and forth, that I definitely want a nose ring.  For real.  However, a certain someone who may or may not be married to me is not so keen on the idea.  But I think I've made some headway and am winning him over.  I used to want a tattoo as well, but I'm mostly over that.  I'd always thought it'd be cool to get an Ethiopian cross on my ankle or something.  But alas, I will leave the tattooing to others.  And just focus on the nose ring.

7.)  My fudge I attempted to make the other day was an utter and complete FAIL.  Not surprising, considering the fact that I had a one-year-old hanging on my pantleg the whole time AND I was multitasking.  AKA making dinner.  And so it got scorched.  So, so sad because I LOVE fudge and I'm not sure I have the gumption to try it again.  Maybe next year.  (And good thing I also made Russian Teacakes.  Because they are not a bad consolation prize!)


If you want to do your own 7 Quick Takes, go over to Conversion Diary and link up!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Adoption and Down syndrome: what to say

I've been thinking so much lately about the two little girls we are bringing home from Ethiopia.  Still no court date, but I'm thinking about them just the same. 

As I'm sure you can imagine, there is a lot to think about.  :)

The background, for any new readers (welcome!), is that we are in the process of bringing home two little girls from Ethiopia.  One of them is 18 months old or so, and the other is fourish years old.  Both of these girls are considered "waiting children", because both were born with Down syndrome.

To be honest, as much thinking as I have done about them, I'm still never quite sure how to explain it to people.  By "it", I mean the adoption, what we are doing, the girls.  I always start by saying we're adopting two little girls from Ethiopia...but then I just plain don't know WHAT to say.  Do I tell people they have Down syndrome?  Is that weird?  Is it weird to leave it out?  Usually I end up explaining that these sweet girls have been waiting for a family, because they were born with Down syndrome.

It's just one of those things that I'm a little unsure about.  Now once the girls are home, and officially part of our family, I have a feeling that when I'm telling someone how many children I have, I WON'T randomly say that my two Ethiopian daughters have Down syndrome (unless it makes sense in the context).  Somehow though when we're talking about an adoption process, it seems like maybe I should. 

I suppose that part of why I feel compelled to do so is because I want people to know about the need for families to adopt waiting children, and children with Down syndrome in particular.  How many of us adoptive families have gone on to do something because we saw someone else doing it and thought, hey, maybe that IS totally do-able!  Sure, some people are trailblazers, but many of us have been inspired to do something by seeing someone else do it.  So, yes, I want to advocate for these sweet children.

And I think I also want people to know that Down syndrome is, well, it's okay.  No need to feel sympathy for us, or for our girls.  They're just kids.  Who soon enough will be tearing around our house, playing with the matchbox cars and dollhouse and Littlest Petshop.  Yes there will be therapies and medical issues that come up, but we'll take those as they come.  Just like with our other children.

It's also more or less impossible for me to completely separate who our girls are from the fact that they have Down syndrome.  And if I'm honest, I don't think I WANT to.  Their HUGE smiles, beautiful eyes...they are precious.  As-is.  How awful to even have to say that, but the reality is that not everyone thinks this way.  We do, however.  Yet at the same time, our girls are not DEFINED by Down syndrome.

So, I think I will continue with my standard explanation about the adoption: we are bringing home two children from Ethiopia.  If the conversation continues, I will explain that they were waiting for a family because they were born with an extra chromosome.  And in an ideal world, said person would ask for more information about adopting waiting children, and would go on to pursue their own medical/special needs adoption.

Just sayin'.  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I wore and cooked Wednesday

Welcome to my inaugural edition of combining what I wore with what I made for dinner this past week. 

First, my meals in all their glory:

Wednesday: Italian crock pot chicken, salad w/ feta and balsamic dressing
Thursday: leftovers
Friday:  spinach lasagna, sourdough bread, salad (friends came for dinner)
Saturday:  noodles (with green onions and cilantro) in Thai peanut sauce (you can buy it at Costco, so yummy!), served over lettuce.  pictured above.
Sunday: pizza out at Costco
Monday: leftovers (I, however, went out to dinner with some girlfriends, so yay!)
Tuesday: Antipasto sandwiches (more friends for dinner)

There seems to be an Italian theme this week.  My maiden name is Perruzzi, so go figure.  :)

Now for what I wore:

Wednesday: Mass, giftwrapping with girlfriends
sweater dress: thrift store
jeans and shoes you can't see: Target clearance

Thursday.  Kids' school Christmas swim party.  (I seriously thought about taking a photo of me in my swimsuit.  HA!  But I thought I'd spare us all.)
ruffly shirt: thrift store
everything else: Target clearance

Friday: lunch with Kevin, friends for dinner

sweater dress and shoes: thrift store
jeans: Target clearance

Monday: dinner out with girlfriends

all clothing: thrift store
boots: Kohl's

Tuesday: dinner with friends from our small group

shirt: yard sale
sweater and jeans: Target clearance
shoes: thrift store

Well I need to go get my kids lunch, and clean up my kitchen.  Anna has now fallen victim to the stomach flu making its rounds, so we missed Mass this morning and I'll be saying home with her (and Mary) this afternoon while Kevin takes the other three to his company Christmas party for kids. 

I hope you all have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas cheer

Both of those things occupying my fridge make me oh so happy:  my Chocolate Kahlua Trifle (recipe forthcoming), and of course, Eggnog.  (Sadly, the trifle is long gone, but I do still have some Eggnog!)

Not much time to blog today.  Friends from church are coming for dinner tonight and I have a bunch of baking to do.  Oh, and laundry.  And I still need to take a shower.  Eek!  I also have my Tuesday Skype date with my dad in about an hour--I always look forward to that!  And if there's time, I hope to sneak in some homeschool History this afternoon...but if not, we did a bunch of Math and Handwriting/Spelling, plus our usual Bible and Saints reading, so either way it's been a productive morning!

Oh and in case anyone is curious, I'm planning on making Antipasto sandwiches for dinner, and fudge and Russian teacakes for dessert.  (Kinda random desserts, but Christmasy just the same, and I simply don't have the time to do anything fancy.)  Friends are bringing salad and drinks. 

A very sweet someone made me a CD of assorted Christmas music that is FABULOUS, and I've been listening to it all morning.  Think Tracy Chapman (!), Dave Matthews Band, Sara Groves.  (Last night a group of girlfriends and I had dinner and exchanged gifts.  Such a sweet time.  And NOT just because I came away with some great loot.  Like a Starbucks gift card, HOMEMADE salsa and spiced cranberry relish, a tshirt, fun.)

I have to say that this is shaping up to be such an enjoyable, festive, contemplative Advent/Christmas season.  Filled with lovely friends and dear family (many of whom we'll get to see next week!  I am beyond thrilled!)  and the love of Jesus. 

So, I raise my glass of Eggnog to you and toast this sweet season of joy and anticipation.  Merry Christmas friends! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

How do you do it: stomach flu protocol

Last Thursday my sweet Kaitlyn woke up with the stomach flu.  (Thankfully only a 24-hour bug.)  This is never something that I am too pleased about...between the laundry and the upset child and the mess, it's none too fun.  But the reality is that with five children, the stomach flu visits our home at LEAST once a year.  So I thought I would share some of our "procedures" for when one of our kiddos gets sick.

1.)  Lots of cuddling post-bath.  Especially with sweet big sisters who make you smile.  (No, I don't completely quarantine the kids when they're sick--well, except that I don't let them hold Mary.  For one thing, a full-blown quarantine would be impossible, and for another, it would be sad!)

2.)  A special sleeping spot set up in Mommy and Daddy's room.  Complete with a bedtime story...and a bucket. 

3.)  A sweet three-and-a-half-year old all ready for her story.

4.)  Reading.  (Yes, I know the aforementioned bucket is knocked over in the background.  But not to worry, not only was it empty, but it never ended up getting used.  Hooray!)

5.)  All ready for sleep!

I have to say that Kaitlyn is positively hilarious when she's sick.  She won't let us be in the bathroom with her while she's throwing up: "I want you to go out of here," she announced to me on Thursday.  So independent.  AND, incredibly brave--not once did she even cry!

I count it a great priviledge to serve my little ones when they're sick.  I want to make them feel nurtured and safe.  It's no fun having the flu, but hopefully things like jello and a special bedtime story make it all a little more bearable!

Friday, December 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday {#16}

1.)  Yesterday was the Christmas party for the big kids' school.  They were SO excited to go.  It was at a rec center so there would be swimming, and all of us, even Kevin, were planning to attend.  But then Kaitlyn threw up that morning.  And so Kevin stayed home with the two littles, and I took the oldest three.  I rarely spend time with the oldest three all together.  It was pretty sweet!  We hit up the Taco Bell drive-thru on our way (due to aforementioned sickness and the consequent clean-up, I had no time to bring anything for the potluck, and we were running terribly late.  I didn't even wear make-up.  That is how late we were.  Because I usually wear it when I go to something like that, otherwise people think I look tired.  Which I probably am, so maybe I should just roll with it!)  Anyway, the kids thought it was SO FUN to get burritos on our way, and kept thanking me and saying "this is the best burrito EVER, Mom!"  Ha!  Once AT the party, they took off with their friends, and then we hit the pool, where they took off with their friends again.  So, so fun.  Until a small child pooped in the pool, they had to kick everyone out, and so we went home.  :)

2.)  We were also supposed to have dinner last night with some sweet friends that we haven't seen in a long time, to talk about adoption.  I assembled my spinach lasagna in the morning and everything.  But alas, Kaitlyn got sick, and it turns out that they had a sick little one too(!) so we rescheduled for tonight, tentatively.  (As of last night, Kaitlyn seemed more or less back to her usual rambunctious self.)  I'm really looking forward to it!

3.)  I rarely have people for dinner.  We host a community group that meets here weekly but that's different.  I wish we had people over more often, but honestly, I get SO NERVOUS hosting people for dinner!  PLEASE tell me I'm NOT the only one.  Actually I know I'm not, because I was just talking to a good friend about this the other night.  Anyway, I feel all nervous about what I should make, if it will be any good, if my house will look presentable, how things will go...I know, SO neurotic, right?  Right.  The thing is, I LOVE spending time with people.  It has NOTHING to do with that.  It's just the entertaining aspect.  Clearly the woman in the above photo is confident as can be.  I need to be more like her I think!

4.)  I HAVE to figure out a better laundry schedule for myself.  It is getting entirely too tricky to be flying by the seat of my the girls have clean tights?  The boys, clean pants?  Who has clean underwear?  Ugh.  So yes, I think I'm reaching the point where I need to designate certain days to be laundry days for each child.  Can I stick to a plan like that?  NO clue.  But I hope to!  (Note my laundry helpers in the photo.  They rock!)

5.)  I am LOVING the Mrs. Meyers line of cleaning supplies these days!  Have you used them?  They smell so CLEAN and fresh.  Right now I have the "Lemon Verbena" in my kitchen: hand soap, dish soap, and countertop spray, and the all-purpose cleaner (pictured above) for my floors.  Not only does it work amazingly well, it's so pretty!

6.)  Do you ever wish you had a robot who did certain things for you?  One of those things I wish I could delegate to a mechanical person is brushing my teeth before bed.  At the end of the day I just want to go to sleep, and brushing my teeth feels like such a chore.  (I do it, don't get me wrong, but if I could snap my fingers and have it done FOR me, I would!)

7.)  I need to buy more ProActive facial cleanser.  This is my go-to product.  My one expensive splurge on my appearance (remember, I haven't had my hair cut in over a year.)  Anyway, I ran out, and I buy it at a kiosk in a nearby mall, but I never really go there, so it's kinda out of the way.  But I'm tired of breaking out so I need to just go over there and get it.  Before we moved here I'd order it online from QVC, but this way I save on shipping.  I really ought to do an entire post on my love affair with ProActive.  It is fabulous.  And, because I only use it once per day (otherwise my skin gets too dry), it lasts a super long time.  

If you'd like to do your own "7 Quick Takes", link up to Conversion Diary

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Adoption and the Immaculate Conception

The kids and I went to Mass yesterday morning.  (We go once a week and I consider it part of our homeschooling.  What better way to start the schoolday than worshipping God through hymns, liturgy, and Scripture?)  And it happened to be the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. (Which, for those who may not know, refers to Mary's conception, not Jesus'.  You can read more about it here.)  The priest talked about how Mary said yes to God when she said yes to the angel, essentially inviting Jesus in (literally, in her case!) I have to tell you that I love this. I love that we, like Mary so many years ago, have the opportunity to say yes to God, and yes to Jesus. On one level, we say yes to Jesus at the point of conversion, and yet on another level, we continually say yes to Jesus when we do His work, when we allow Him to use us, when we trust Him.

Adoption, interestingly, is one of those things where, at some point, you simply just have to say "yes." As a friend of mine recently blogged, "it doesn't just happen." And no you won't know the outcome right off the bat. No you can't foresee every little challenge or triumph. But you can say yes. And saying yes to one of these waiting little ones is surely saying yes to Jesus.

As everyone knows by now, we are in the process of adopting two sweet little ones from Ethiopia, both with Down syndrome.
And I'm discovering that people seem to conceptualize chromosomal abnormalities (and various medical/special needs) in different ways.  Most people giving birth to a child with an extra copy of the 21st chromsome, for example, desperately wish that this was not the case.  I'm sure I would have felt the same way.

But I feel like we're in a strange position, being adoptive parents.

Because really, I see these little girls as perfectly wonderful.  NOT lacking in anything.  I'm not sure if it's okay to say this, but...well...I'm not sorry that they were born with Down syndrome.  This is simply who they ARE.  I know it's a road most birth families would not choose for their child.  And I know that our girls will face adversity and that they'll have to work harder for some things.  But I also know that some things may come a little easier.  And that they will be blessed through overcoming whatever obstacles lay ahead. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just don't see their extra chromsome as a necessarily bad thing.  In the least.  In fact, I wouldn't change it if I could.  I DO feel terribly that they have been living in an orphanage for so long.  I feel horrible that they couldn't remain in their respective birth families.  I don't want them to struggle with medical issues.  And I'll be downright ANGRY the first (and second, and third for that matter) time they are teased for one thing or another.  Like all of my kids, they will be at some point.

But really?  People who think those with Down syndrome are somehow "less", or even less fortunate?  They just don't know.  They don't know the vastness of God's love and they don't know the beauty that I see in these little girls' smiles.  They don't see the joy in simplicity or the value in diversity.  Would people have Trisomy 21 in a perfect world?  I don't know.  Maybe they would, without the medical issues that sometimes come along with it.  Maybe they wouldn't.  But my goodness, imagine the sweetness we'd miss out on without these little ones in our world!

So that's how I see it these days.  I would never want to make light of how anyone feels about their child or their child's struggles--that is not my intent.  I have not walked your road.  BUT, in a day and age where these children are usually either killed in the womb or shut away in government-run asylums, I don't mind standing up and saying that I love my sweet girls, extra chromsome and all.  I'm determined that our home will be filled with joy and love and acceptance, not sympathy or wishing things were different.  This is how God made these girls, and I seriously feel blessed beyond belief to not only be a part of their lives, but to be their adoptive mom.

How amazing is that???!!!

What holds so many adoptive families back from the adoption of children with special needs or children who are older?  In other words, waiting children?  What keeps them from saying yes?  I think sometimes it's fear.  Many are saying yes to adoption, but no to the children currently needing homes.  I keep hearing about this Evangelical adoption culture that seems to be materializing, and about how adoption is becoming so much more popular...but we can't pat ourselves on the back just yet.  Not when we look at the statistics.  Too many little ones are still waiting for us to be celebrating this "accomplishment". 

I wonder, if we are at a place where we feel excited about opening up our home and our life to a child needing a family, is it THAT much more of a stretch to consider an HIV+ child, or a child from such-and-such country that maybe wouldn't be our first choice but there's such a huge need, or a child with Down syndrome?  Maybe a child listed on Reece's Rainbow?    

Oh how I wish I could show you the video someone sent me yesterday of my little T. (18 months old or so).  Because she is a treasure of inestimable worth.  Her smile lights up the room.  I seriously feel like we've struck gold...I cannot BELIEVE she has been waiting so long...I feel so blessed that she will be my daughter.  Even though I have no CLUE how I am going to successfully parent seven children.  :)

Of course, I know WHY she's waited so long.  It's because she has Down syndrome.  And it's the same with our little four-year-old M.  Who is also a total doll, by the way.  (See I can go on and on about how cute they are without it technically being considered bragging, because they're not technically my daughters yet.  :)  )

I want my life to be a continual pattern of saying yes to Jesus.  Of allowing Him to transform me and change me.  I have such a long way to go, and yet what an amazing process it is.  I was really grateful for the priest's words yesterday, and for the many faithful throughout the millenia who have said yes to Jesus.  May we all, like Mary, find the strength to do so!


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