Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please Pray for the Kreuers

Today I received terrible news regarding another adoptive family. The Kreuers daughter, MJ, passed away following a terrible accident at the family's home here in Florida. Like us, the Kreuers are a CCAI family, and Carrie (MJ's mom) and I have spoken regarding our girls and their sn's. I know just how blessed Carrie felt to be MJ's mom, and I just can not begin to imagine the pain Carrie, her husband and their other children are experiencing at this time. Below is the email I received regarding MJ's passing. Please hold this family in prayer as they grieve the loss of their sweet princess.

Hi this is Carrie's friend and I know this my not be a good way to give this sort of news but I know so many of you spoke with Carrie on line and in yahoo groups so we did not have phones numbers and such but wanted to let you all know the horrible tragedy that happen to their sweet girl MJ. On Friday evening MJ was picking up toys from around the pool area at their home Carrie was just outside the door letting their dog out and Carrie heard a loud noise when she turned around MJ was laying on her back with part of her legs into the water. The pool deck was wet from rain . In the past 6years I have been very close with Carrie and her family and I can tell you from just being around MJ she falls very easy sometimes probably due to her CP and her balancing issues. Although Carrie did not see her fall the Dr's have concluded that she must have slipped and fell and hit the back off her head. Carrie ran to MJ and picked her up and MJ eyes rolled back into her head she immediately called 911. MJ was air lifted to Shanes Hospital in Gainsville and they did a emergency Craniotomy and stopped the bleeding. They also had to do a right front lobeectomy due to the increasing swelling off the brain. The family just could not understand that a fall like this could injury MJ in this way. The Dr said due to her Malnutrition from China that she was had very fragile bones, skin and even veins and artiest and it is almost like when you are an old person how fragile they are and how easy it is for them to injury their bodies. After three days MJ just went on to be with our Lord in Heaven and Carrie has been in a extreme amount of depression and is really having a hard time coping. Please pray for them and if you would like to send a card their address is
4324 SE 26Th terrace Road
Ocala, Fl 34480
the funeral will be this Saturday at their home Church in Ocala.
Central Baptist Church.
If you try to call I am not to sure she will answer-the Doctors have been sedating Carrie and she really is not herself at this time. I really know most of you know this but Carrie's Children are her life, Children are her life she is a 4 year old Sunday School Teacher and works with Children on Wednesdays night as well at our Church. She as a Nurse has worked with children in the past and just has a way I can explain with them. Out of all the children Mya their 8 year old has taken this the hardest and we have a Christian counselor ready to come into the home and do some counseling with them. Please just continue to pray for them and don't hestited to email her I have been reading her emails to her and although she just crys I know they mean a lot to her.
Thank you for being supportive Friends to them
Niki-Carrie's Friend
PS if there is anyone else you know she speaks with please fwd this email to them, I am not sure if this list of friends on her email is all of them and I don't have the password on her blog to post anything at this time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Annual Halloween Party

Last night we hosted our Annual Halloween Party. The night was great, with lots of cute witches, monsters, superheros and princesses! Livie managed to stay in her Bride Costume for all of about 30 minutes before she was seriously over it all. It is way 'too scratchy' for my little Bride. Meanwhile, Sophie loved being The Little Mermaid, and eventually she actually fell asleep while sitting up and eating at our kitchen table! Sophie eats like a truck driver so the fact that she fell asleep with food still sitting on her plate told me she was whipped!

Lindsay and the other teens hung out in our Playroom, and I actually didn't get a photo of Chris (he was The Joker from Batman) since he and his friends spent the entire night out in our backyard playing football.

We had fun with games (the 'Feed Your Partner a Doughnut' game was a RIOT!) and a Pumpkin Carving Contest (these contests are the perfect way to clean our your 'Re-Gifting Shelf' in your closet! LOL).

Lots of food. Lots of friends. Lots of FUN!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown is a Must See!

Marie-Therese Giveaway...oh, my, gosh...TO DIE FOR GORGEOUS!


Happy Birthday, Lindsay!

Fifteen years ago, in Richmond, Virginia, at exactly 8:18 am, Neil and I welcomed our very first child into this world. Three weeks before my due date Lindsay Lillian was born after over 24 hours of labor and a giant scare of shoulder dystocia. She was 7 lbs. 15 oz., and bald! Due to the shoulder dystocia and subsequent high-risk delivery, Lindsay was very bruised and jaundiced. I can remember looking at at our sleeping princess and thinking, "Gee, I love her so much, but she has to be the ugliest baby I have ever seen! I have told this story over the years only to have friends who know Lindsay now say, "No way!" I promptly pull out her newborn photos as proof of 'a mother's love'! After seeing *the proof* the typical response I get is, "But she has grown into a beautiful swan." Yes, Lindsay has. But it really has very little to do with the gorgeous young lady she is, and more with the incredible heart of our daughter. She is truly beautiful both inside and out.

Tonight South Florida is raining cats and dogs. Neil has taken Lindsay, along with 3 of her BFF's, out to dinner. This man deserves a giant THUMBS UP for being the chauffer to four 15 year old girls!

Sierra, Lindsay, Ingrid & Jackie

Livie making Lindsay's Birthday Cake!

Sophie helps with 'the cleaning up'!

Happy Birthday, my sweet Princess!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Teresa tagged me, and so here it goes...

Random Facts About Me:

1) I am a Christian.

2) My absolute favorite food is plain vanilla ice cream.

3) I graduated from Florida State University in 1990.

4) I love to do laundry but I hate to wash the dishes.

5) I wear flip-flops 99.999% of the time.

6) The 'preset' stations on my XM Radio are set to only three stations: Fox News, The Message (Christian Music) and Radio Disney.

7) I drink coffee. A lot.

Now to learn a bit more about some other women I know (some I know personally, while others are my cyber-friends :-) ), I will tag:






Tonggu Momma


Should be fun!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Questions From The Back Seat

Today I was out with Thing 1 and Thing 2 doing errands around town. Being that we live in South Florida, 'cold' is a relative term. Today it was 87 degrees, sunny and breezy, with typical afternoon thundershowers. Here is the conversation between Livie and I:

Mom: "Oh, wow, Livie. It is going to be cold in Chongqing next month. We need to get you a coat before our trip."
Livie (from the backseat of the Van): "What is a 'coat'?"
Mom: "OH MY GOSH!!! Ok, ok...hmmm...well, a coat is like a big, thick, warm thing you wear over your clothes when it is cold outside."

Yeah, I know...Merriam-Webster is beating down my door for me to come and help them update their next dictionary!

Livie: "You mean like a thick sweater."
Mom (feeling particularly stupid at this point): "YES! Just like that!"
Livie: "Do they sell coats in Florida?"
Mom: "I will buy you one online."
Livie: "OK! Can you show me a picture of a coat when we get home?"
Mom: "Yes, of course."

So, we come home and I Google a picture (above) of a coat so that Livie will get the general idea of what this thing is that she will be wearing when we go to visit The Choi's in Shanghai and her orphange next month.

Sad. Very sad. I actually had to google a photo of a COAT for my kid! Cest la vie! This is what happens when you live in a place that doesn't so much as bat an eye at white worn after Labor Day, and where I wear flip-flops at least 300 days out of the year!


Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today Chris and his dad, Coach Neil, had their 3rd flag football game of the season. I am THRILLED to report that Chris' team, The Chargers, are now 3-0! We are so proud of our Quarterback and Coach!


Memories...A Cautionary Tale

WAY back when...when we first began our 1st adoption, one of our fellow DTCers (Oct/Nov2004DTC) began his own site to host families adoption journeys. We were Red Thread Kids' very first client. Larry did a FANTASTIC job with hosting and uploading to our site for both of our adoptions, but the time had come for Larry to shut down the site. While he had planned to keep Red Thread Kids going until the Summer of 2009, he decided that he must instead 'bump up' the shut down. Larry had contacted the many families, but evidently he must have had our old email address and not our new email address, so I had no idea the two adoption journies to our precious girls were about to be DELETED!

You can imagine my shock and panic when one day I went to our site (looking to verify some dates regarding LOI, PA, TA, etc.) and found our site GONE. I nearly had a heart attack. I quickly emailed our webmaster, Larry, and thankfully he was online at that moment and was able to calm my fears with the fact that he had all of our info on his computer.


Larry promised to snail mail me a disc, and as promised our disc arrived today. I haven't yet loaded it, but just to have it in my hands makes me breathe a huge sigh of relief!

My point to everyone in this is to please make sure to back-up your blogs/journal entries, particularly those you post while IN CHINA and adopting your precious children. Had all of my thoughts, fears and emotions been forever lost I would have literally been sick to my stomach. Thankfully that is not the case and we now have those incredible memories on CD.

Thank you, Larry, for hosting our site for 4 years, and for keeping our information and then making sure that it all got to me! :-)


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Little Therapy Is Good For The Soul...

...and for improving sensory awareness, and for improved coordination and for self-esteem!

Livie has, in a very short period of time, benefited SO MUCH from her twice-a-week Occupation Therapy sessions with 'Miss Roni'! I must admit that way-back-when I was a complete *Doubting Thomas* as to the benefits of OT, and dismissed talk regarding Sensory Integration issues (AKA Sensory Processing Disorder) as a bunch of who-ey. To my shame I will tell you that I was spoken to by other people on a number of occasions about what they saw in my child. From Livie's outstanding Pediatrician, Dr. Liang, to members of our FCC-South Florida group (namely Jean, Lori and Kim...and Kim must have spoken to me about 4 or so times, bless her heart!), others saw that what Livie needed went beyond the diagnosis of 'Mild CP', and may in fact have more to do with Sensory Integration issues.

Well, in June of '07 we brought home our caboose, Sophie, from China. Livie is (almost to the day) 2 years older than Sophie, and yet I was SHOCKED to see tht physically, and in many ways emotionally, Livie and Sophie were on the same level. Actually, Sophie was really ahead of Livie. I began to see what others had been saying! Finally, after much prodding, I took Livie to be evaluated. I was able to watch the evaluation from the other side of a one-way-mirror, and was amazed and quite frankly, saddened by the reality of my baby and her abilities. Without boring you with what Livie could and couldn't do (suffice as to say she couldn't do more than she could do), there was no denying that Livie needed help, and I knew without a doubt that Miss Roni was the perfect person to help Livie!

In just over two months Livie has improved so much that it amazes me! I can not sing the praises of OT, particularly with a therapist who specializes in Sensory Integration. While I believe that some of Livie's SI problems are a direct result of neurological issues, I also believe that many of them stem from time spent in China. While some children may experience SI issues as a result of a lack of stimulation, I believe - having met Livie's Foster Mother (who ADORED Livie to the fullest measure!) - that many of Livie's issues are more likely due to the fact that Livie's Foster Mother doted on Livie 24/7, carrying her everywhere! I doubt that Livie's little feet touched the ground very often, as this petite woman would carry Livie to and fro. Unfortunately, this might have - when combined Livie's neurological issues - created 'the perfect storm' regarding Livie's development.

Here are some photos of some recent 'playtime' spent with Miss Roni:


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Skin I Am In

This, I suspect and hope, will be thought provoking.

Livie has suddenly become very aware of her appearance. That she is Chinese (ummm...correction...that she is Chinese-AMERICAN, as she will tell you!), and that she and Sophie are Asian and we (Neil, Lindsay, Chris and myself) are not. This has brought about some very direct and specific questions.

Her most frequent is, "What color am I?" Initially I say, "You are Asian."
Livie: "No, Mom. I mean what color am I?"
Mom: "What color do you think you are?"
Livie: "White."
Mom: "My shirt is white. Are you the same color as my shirt?"
Livie: "No." Livie's brow is now furrowed with thoughts and confusion.
Livie: "But what color am I?!"

We go on to have a disscussion about colors, with me assigning Livie the *color* of a 'soft golden peach.' I assign myself the *color* of 'peachy-pink'. I think we sound like crayons from the Crayola Crayon Box. I think I am trying WAY too hard to balance this self-imposed PC *rule* so many of us parents who have adopted interracially try to maintain. Maybe I am trying just a bit too hard to stay safely within the confines of The World of Being Politially Correct. I have to wonder, is this PC balancing act what my child is asking for? Looking for? Needing?

Maybe she is looking for a tangible sense of belonging? Of fitting in?

Livie isn't interested in what race she is. She knows that. I believe she is trying to make sense of the fact that she and I have almost exactly the same skin color. Well, what do you know...we have a similar physical feature!

If anyone else has experienced this with their children, please share. I really don't have the answers, just the same questions that Livie has.

While trying to find some answers to my own questions, I found this chart (above). Interesting.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Lunch And Other Ramblings

Sorry for my absence from the bloggy world, but you know how life does that sometimes! So, just a few photos of my posse while out to lunch at a yummy Mexican restaurant called Lime:

Tuesday the kids had a day off of school due to Rosh Hashanah, so I dropped Lindsay and her BFF, Sierra, off at a Church Youth Group function held at a huge amusement place. Thank goodness our Youth Ministry had this function planned, as it was a horrid, dark and VERY rainy day, and this was the perfect thing for the kids to do on such a wet day. Sierra ran out of the frame of my picture (you can see her tush exiting stage right! LOL), but Lindsay knows me and knew it was pointless to protest. So, being a good sport she posed for a couple of shots while standing in a steady drizzle. :-)

OK...about this shot. There is a Park right next to Lindsay and Chris' school. The county just recently installed an incredible baseball field that was made specifically for children with disabilities (notice there is no grass, but instead there is a surface that is walker and wheelchair friendly). Well, the other day as I was picking up the kiddos after school I happened to notice that some new banners featuring companies who are sponsoring the park had recently been hung on the fence in the outfield (which obviously isn't too far 'out'). I was struck with the contrast between the two banners: Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital (an excellent children's hospital, and where Livie had her most recent MRI and EEG...I can't say enough wonderful things about the care Livie received there!) and HOOTERS?!?! Now, I am not saying anything negative about Hooters. In fact, I have been known to partake in a bucket of crab legs and a pitcher of beer there myself. What made me crack up is the oddity of having Hooters banner hanging on the outfield fence of a Children's Special Needs baseball field. Maybe I am the only one?