Thursday, January 31, 2008

Out of The Mouths of Babes...

This morning Ben was helping Caroline put her watch on... it is a Beeeutifulll hot pink Barbie watch.

Caroline told Ben that she gets to wear it because she is the only girl in the house! Ben looks at her and says " No... Mom is a girl too" Caroline lets out a big sigh, puts her hand on her hip and says in a rather annoyed tone to Ben " No Ben... mom isn't a girl... shes an old lady!!!"

Wow.. I'm speechless... I don't think I've ever been called an old lady before!!

Just had to share...


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Last Entry Got Me Thinking...

about some of the other insenstive things that have been asked or said to me in regards to our family over the years. Something about having children with special needs, having children who we have adopted, or even just having a large family like ours makes some people feel that they have the right to ask very personal questions. Usually I either ignore the questions or say something lame and smile back, because as much as I'd like to fire off with a comeback like the ones below, I also realize that most people are genuine and just don't get how invasive their constant questioning really is.

The story I am going to share with you now though, still makes me smile when I think of the comeback I had for this very nosey person.

It was summertime and I was at the beach with the kids. Ben was maybe 4 and Caroline was 2. They were playing at the waters edge with buckets and just having a wonderful time. I was standing and playing right there with them when I felt like I was being watched. I looked up and there was a lady standing maybe 5 feet from us watching us play. So I smiled at her and went back to playing with the kids. That was all the invitation she needed to come over to us. She first commented on how cute the kids were and asked if they were mine, I said " yes they are and thank you" and continued to play. Then she asked how old they were and so I told her they were " 2 and 4" Then she asked if they were brother and sister and I politely said "yes" and went back to playing with them.. ( In hind sight I should have seen where this was going, but honestly they are my kids I don't look at them as looking different from eachother) So here is the kicker!!! There is a pause and I look up to see her really studying both of them ( now to really understand... Ben is blonde and blue eyed, and Caroline is dark haired, dark complexion she is half Korean and half Italian) Sooo she continues to study my kids who are TOTALLY unaware of her presense... Thank God! And she says.... Are you ready for this???? Hold on to your hats!!!! "DO THEY HAVE THE SAME FATHER?"
WHAT???? Are you kidding me??? I just about swallowed my tongue!!! I took a deep breath (and don't ask me where this came from, because I am usually not good at quick comebacks) and I said " No, they don't and they don't have the same mothers either!" Then I turned back to playing with the kids and left her standing there with her mouth hanging wide open! I could see her out of the corner of my eye for a god solid minute before she quietly turned and walked away. I can just imagine what was going through her head as she tried to figure out what I meant.
I guess I could have been more polite and explained the whole adoption thing to her, and explained about PWS, and that I have 7 kids.... blah, blah, blah.... but all I really wanted to do is enjoy playing with the kids and not be bothered by someone who felt it was ok to ask such forward questions to a complete stranger. Do they have the same father?? jeez lady come on!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

People Say the Dumbest Things

As part of my role as Parent Mentor with Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, I am often in contact with parents who have babies newly diagnosed with PWS. During a recent conversation with a new parent, she commented on the ridiculous things that people had been saying to her about her childs diagnosis. Although it has been 13 years since David was born and we received the devastating blow that he had PWS, some of the comments we got from people who just don’t get it are fresh in my mind.

I guess you could say it is one of my biggest pet peeves… and the list is never ending.. I will give you all an idea of some of the things I have heard over the years… please feel free to add your own in the comments section at the end of this entry… I will add them to my list.
These are in no particular order… In red are the things I would love to say to these stupid comments.

#1 Wow.. He LOOKS Normal! (Yea.. too bad YOU cant ACT Normal)

#2 Is he retarded? (Not as Retarded as you are for asking that Question!)

#3 Did you know before you had him that there is something wrong with him? (Yeah, but we kept him anyway)

#4 What is wrong with him? ( He has Prader-Willi Syndrome, what’s your excuse?)

#5 He will grow up to be normal though, right? ( Can you define NORMAL?)

#6 Does he know there is something wrong with him? ( Do You know that you are RUDE?)

#7 At least you have Normal children too! ( Yeah it’s a good thing, it makes up for the fact that he has PWS)

#8 God gave him to you because you are special. ( Can’t even comment on this one)

#9 I could never do what you do. ( You’d be surprised what you can do if you have to)

#10 what will you do with him when the new baby comes? ( swear to God, this was asked of me when I was pregnant with Jake) ( why we are going to sell him to the Gypsies of course!!!)

Ok… just had to get that off my chest, these things shouldn't bother me any more, but they still do. My Husband Dave's favorite saying lately is
"You can't FIX Stupid" That couldn't be more true!!!

Please add you own!!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Early Morning Conversations with Ben...

So this morning I am sitting in the Suburban at the end of the driveway waiting for the bus to come for Ben and Caroline when Ben looks at me out of the blue and wants to know whose tummy he grew in! Ok.. it's 8:15 in the morning...where the heck did this come from???
We have always been very open with Ben and Caroline about their birthfamilies... we have close relationships with both families, but they both have a very grounded sense that I am Mom and Dave is Dad and that we are their family and because of their young ages and their limited ability to understand the comlexities of adoption, we have never gone into more depth.

So what I told Ben is that he grew in Renee's tummy and her and Mike took care of him until we could come get him. That sometimes that is how families are made, babies sometimes have 2 families, a family who took care of them before they were born who love them very much and a family who is their mom, dad and brothers & sisters. So he looked at me and said.. "oh, ok mom, I grew in Renee's tummy in Seattle and you came to get me in an airplane" ... very deep for an 8 year old!! ( He also wanted to know how babies get out of tummys, but I told him we would talk about that later)

Just when I think I am out of the woods with this conversation "Little Miss" in the back seat pipes up and says " well, whose tummy did I grow in???"... Ok understand... the bus is about to pull up to take them to school.. this isn't exactly the time or place for this conversation, but we have always been open and honest so I took a deep breath and I explained to her how she grew in Analiese's tummy and that they took care of her until Mommy and Daddy could be with her. She seemed quite satisfied with that explaination.
A minute or 2 later the Bus pulled up and the 2 of them piled out of the Suburban, kissed and hugged me and said " Bye Mom!" I watched them get on the bus just amazed by both of them and feeling like the luckiest mom in the whole world to be a part of their lives.

When I got back to the house and made a phone call to their Special Ed. teacher to give her the heads up just in case they came into school talking about our conversation.
All I can say is WOW! I am so amazed by this conversation this morning and that I was able to be honest and find the right words to explain things to them.

I will end with a poem that I just love and it really explains it all:

Once there were two expectant mothers.
One carried and cared for you beneath her beating heart
She became your Birthmother.
The other carried the hope of you within her.
She became your Mom.
As the days passed, and you grew bigger and stronger,
Your Birthmother knew that she could not give you all you needed after
your birth.
Meanwhile, your Mom was ready and waiting for you.

One day your Birthmom and your Mom found each other.

They looked into each other’s eyes and saw a friend.
Your Birthmom saw the life your Mom could give you.
Your Mom saw how much your Birthmom loved and cared for you.

They decided that what you needed was both kinds of love in your life.

So now you have two families,
One by birth, the other by adoption.

And you have a home where you can get:
your questions answered,
your boo boos bandaged,
your heartaches soothed,
And much needed hugs.

And a place where you can find:
answers to your questions,
your image in the mirror,
a part of yourself,
And much needed hugs.

Two different kinds of families
Two different kinds of love
Both a part of you.

1999 Brenda Romanchik - R-Squared Press

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The MOM Song...

This could have been written by me!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Say a Prayer for this Family
I usually don't pass things along, but this family has touched my heart with their story: They really have a long battle ahead. The baby is a tiny, tiny preemie and the mom has Cystic Fibrosis and is in need of a lung transplant. The Dad needs all the support and prayers we can send his way.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snow Day...

We woke up this morning to 8 inches of heavy wet snow and NO POWER! Ok... I can deal with the snow day and having the kids home.... but NO POWER???? If that is someone's idea of a joke, its a sick one!

Thank God for the Gameboys... I silently prayed all morning for the batteries to last. It sounded like a video arcade in here but at least everyone was busy. Nothing like being stuck inside with 3 kids with PWS... 3 kids who obsess and worry about every little thing.

David asked me no less than 150,000 times if his basketball coach had e-mailed about today's game... ummmm there is NO POWER!!! How would I know that??

Ben sat near the window and asked me 150,000 times when the plow truck was going to come plow the driveway, and what color the truck was going to be, and who would be driving the truck, and why? ummmm... my ESP is not working this morning.... Did I mention there is NO POWER??

Caroline went to her room at least 150,000 times and turned her light switch on and off and then came and reported to me that her switch wasn't working!!! ummmmm..... THERE IS NO POWER!!! ( anyone seeing a pattern to all this yet??)

Jake woke up at 9:15 and wanted to know why the bathroom lights don't turn on..... sigh... There is NO POWER!!!!

I survived all of this with no coffee because THERE WAS NO POWER!!!! I actually contimplated going out in a snow storm to go to the coffee shop... I didn't go, but I did give it some serious thought!!

Finally at 1:30 the power finaly came back on!! 7 hours with no power and 3 kids with PWS are not a good combination, but we survived and I finally got a cup of coffee!

Now to survive the piles of wet boots, snowpants, gloves etc.