Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Split Pants Dilema

This week on the AWC blog we posted about a little guy we call Andrew.  This guy was special we met him last year on our Superkids trip.  Erin and I had a good laugh about him.  He is a joyous little bug and made us all smile.  He recited a poem and sung a song and we just loved him.

This is one of our funny stories.  Part of the Split pants dilemma.  Many times when I am screening a child, I will be very focused as I look at the child's spine or move a joint and say,  "Girl or Boy?".  I have gotten some strange reactions to this.  Quizzical looks and asides from the orphanages, that I now take to mean what is up with this one. You see, it is common outside of orphanages in China to dress the children in Split pants.  SO when I am asking boy or girl, the evidence is right in front of me if I just look.  But I don't look.  Generally I don't look.  Since its so different from what we do, it never occurs to me.  

Enter Mr.  Andrew who is a happy playful boy.  he was clearly performing for us.  He turned a somersault, He was all over jumping, running and happily playing.  He loved Chelsea and seeing her blow bubbles.  He would chase them and giggle.  Well we have pictures, lots of pictures of this boy.  Until we got home and really worked on the pictures we did not know.  Yes, Andrew was wearing Split pants.  Imagine how that looks as you turn a somersault?  This has caused Erin a bunch of editing trouble. 

So this year, we will all be on guard and very attentive to Split pants.    
  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Such Amazing Joy - read along

I read blogs and posts every day from families who have already brought their amazing children home. We are just in love with these cute little bugs.  I wanted to show some sweeties and connect you all to some blogs. We know how amazingly these children do once home.  It fills our hearts more than we thought possible.

Here are a few to follow.  If you have adopted or are adopting, please share your bog in the comments so we can all follow along.

http://martinsinchina1.blogspot.com/

http://barryandkarenrapp.blogspot.com/

www.prayingforpink.blogspot.com

 www.runningtorunrun.blogspot.com 

www.ourlittlelimbbud.blogspot.com

www.dennis-ellen.blogspot.com

www.surpassinggreatness.com

www.sacredscribbles.blogspot.com

http://theroadtoyu.wordpress.com/

http://madeinchinacompletedingeorgia.com

Armstoainsley.WordPress.com

www.thelifeweimagine.blogspot.com

loveiswhatyoudo.com

I apologize that some of the links would not cooperate and all be red.  You all get the idea. These blogs will warm your hearts, inspire all of us and show us challenges.   We see how resilient children and parents are. Some of these wonderful blogs are from families in the middle of adoption.  We love you all and are awaiting your gottcha day too!


So read along and see what has happened and what is happening!

BTW, 24 more days till China!!!!




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

They are More than Special

We review profiles, list waiting children and when you finally meet them it all goes out the window.  There are beautiful pics and stories and finding out about who they are.  It is amazing and thinking about all the children we met last year and all those we will meet this year.

In general we don't think about the kids as a special need, like the limb difference child.  We think about them like the boy with the beautiful eyes, or the child that loved suckers.  In truth its their special need that makes them special.  It is what, along with their picture, that will draw a waiting family to them.  Parents will think, I can parent a child with cleft lip palate and look in Rainbow kids under that category.  Then they see a picture and fall in love.

Under that category you might see a cutie like this boy pictured.  He is such a cutie that you might want to kiss his cheeks. These beautiful children will become your sons and daughters.  They have our hearts until they have yours.  



As we continue to prepare for our trip, we prepare our hearts to meet and hold dear these very special children.  We are holding in our hearts until you hold them in your hearts.

If you would like more information, please contact patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com

  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trip prep continues.

Erin Martin reminded me today that its about one month and we are leaving for China.  Oh Gosh, we cant wait to see the children but we have so much to do.  Its exciting and anxiety provoking all at once.  So here we go.


Photo project, where we attempt to help waiting children encode some positive memories, develop self image and strengthen their sense of who they are.  We think they are amazing but we want to reflect this back to them too.  So they know they are special.  We want them to see their beauty and how special they are.  We are getting special donations from all over.  Hair bands, caps photo supplies.  We also ask these wonderful children to draw their own self image.  We get beautiful results back.  We just love this part. Children with limb differences draw their own unique hand or those with a crooked smile or missing tooth draw this too.  


To us, each difference makes these children special.  They are unique and beautiful.  They are special in so many ways.  I love helping them explore their differences.   Because difference is what unites them with waiting parents.  So many waiting parents are looking for a specific special need.  In some way their special need has united so many families with so many children.


As individuals living in this time, we must truly embrace diversity and  reflect back each and every child's individuality, difference and unique self.  We want them to love and embrace who they are.  Differences and all!


Again Can't wait.  How many days was that again?




Friday, May 9, 2014

Family Friday

Today sweet waiting parents share about how the journey goes waiting for their daughter.  I met this wonderful family at CAFO last year.  The Superkids team met their daughter last summer in China. We cant wait to see them united as a forever family.  Thanks Ben and Julie for sharing about the Journey

The Journey... Looking Ahead and Behind



When you come from the flatlands of Indiana, you read about the mountains. You see pictures and videos, you hear stories, and you create this image in your mind of what you think they would be like. But when you actually go to the mountains, you see them in the distance and they start small. Then they grow, and grow, and grow, and they become bigger and more glorious than you ever imagined. This adoption journey is like that, and we're starting to get closer to that glorious sight of seeing our daughter in-person for the first time…the ultimate mountain view.


As someone who is still looking forward to Gotcha Day, it is easy to focus on what is growing larger in the future.  That is the day that looms large in every adoptive parent-to-be's mind.  We've heard the stories from others, looked at photos, and read blogs.  The anticipation is building towards that day.  We have created this image in our mind about how wonderful that moment will be.  We also have been given an awareness that it will be hard.  As we prepare for this incredible moment when much will come into view, we realize that everything is moving much more from what our eyes see and it is working its way towards our hearts.



The journey towards that day is what we find ourselves amazed by right now.  We have formally been in the process for a year now, and as we look back, we see the land we have traveled through and the beauty that is found there.  When we contemplate how our lives have already been transformed even before meeting our daughter, we are overwhelmed.  Our eyes have been opened to new ways of looking at the world, and they now discover a beauty that our eyes passed over before.  Things that held so much meaning to us in the past seem trivial in light of new passions, and the things we never noticed in the past now get us fired up.

On this incredible journey, we have crossed paths with people whose hearts beat in rhythm with our own.  Our adoption journey so far has taught us that this is much more than us adding a child to our family. We are joining a collective family of birth parents, caretakers, advocates, social workers, and other adoptive families praying for millions of children all over the world to be brought home.  We were given the privilege of joining that family, and we are being given the honor of bringing an already beloved child into our home and giving that love directly to her.  We also get to be a part of the family of so many other adoptive children through advocacy of the orphans who wait, walking alongside other adoptive families, and praying and supporting millions of orphans in the world who still need to be adopted.  We have sat with other families whose hearts are responding to the needs of these children, and we have joined the voices of advocacy to share with the world how precious these children are.  When we hosted the Orphan Love Run, our hearts were to advocate for those waiting for a home as much as it was to raise funds to help us bring our little one home. 



So as we approach the mountains, we are not alone.  We journey with people who have been to the mountains before, and we are alongside others on their journey.  We look forward to walking with families as they are just now hearing of the mountains, and they will begin their journey to see them for the first time too.  We look anxiously towards Gotcha Day, when we get to hold the precious girl our hearts have been dying to meet.  But we are also grateful for the journey we have been on so far, as our lives have been transformed in ways we never would have imagined through being a part of this incredible adoption family. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Trip preparations.


This time is filled with so many tasks and so much excitement.  We are preparing to go to China and it feels like we will need a moving van to get there.  There are cleft bottles, photo supplies and printer, Toys, developmental screening tools, bubbles, hair bows and baseball caps, a walker, all things electronic,computers, video cams just to name a few.  The list is endless.  We all have nightmares of what we will forget.  How full will our suitcases be?  Will we be over the domestic weight limit?  I think by the time I pack all the supplies there will be no room for clothes.

At the same time on the other side of the world there are beautiful children we can help.  We can screen them and make suggestions to their nannies.  We can carry back their information and say to the rest of the world, "we are here and we matter".  At the same time on this side of the world we are advocating for a new bunch of children whose files are in.  Some we have met and some we have not.  Each and every one special, beautiful and perfect in who they are.  We know their names which makes them hard to ignore.  We have met many and held many of them.  They are so much more than a name or a special need.  They are our kiddos until we pass each and every one of them on to you.  Till they become your sons and daughters. These children are so special and we just all want to love them till you can.

We will be delivering loads of hugs from waiting parents to waiting children.  At times we may get to deliver a hug back to those parents. Sometimes something special happens.  We find a child that really opens their heart a bit wider than usual like a beautiful amazing girl who when I asked her what she wanted to tell her waiting parents, she said "Mother, Father, I love you already".  There was not a dry eye in the room. It just shows how
 that all these children are there just waiting for your love.  Special need great or small they are amazing individuals waiting to be part of a family and blossom.  

Here are some of the beautiful waiting children who are ready for Moms and Dads.










For more information about  any of the beautiful waiting children   please contact patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com

Monday, May 5, 2014

Advocacy Monday- Adam






I want to introduce you to a really exceptional boy today.  Adam is a wonderful, out-going, 13 year old young man.  He loves to perform for people.  He can sing and dance and likes to play the host when someone visits the group foster home he is in.  He makes friends very easily.  He has a charming, ready smile.  Adam has had some surgeries for his heart.  

Adam was met by the Superkids team in June of last year.  He loved the attention and being with us.  He especially loved having his photo taken and then watching it print.  He understood why we were there and told one team member that he really wants a family.  But here is the thing, his time is getting short to make that desire a reality.  In about 9 months Adam will no longer be eligible for adoption due to his age.  We can't let this very special young man age out!   

Adam's favorite color is red.  He likes spicy foods but doesn't like vegetables.  He goes to a school off campus. His favorite classes are music and cooking.  His learning is somewhat delayed, but he memorizes things easily even when he doesn't fully understand concepts.  Oh yes, and he loves to sing!!!

He can do some basic sports activities.  And, listen to this, he does simple housework such as folding quilts and washing his own clothes! 

But what is the thing that makes him the most happyMaking new friends!

Could Adam be your son? 

I am asking a favor of all our readers, this boy is so special, could everyone who reads like and share this post.   It will help a wider audience know about this special boy!!

For more information about Adam please contact patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com


Friday, May 2, 2014

A Heartfelt Thanks!

Today Erin Martin shares with us a very special story!!!  One of her special friends,Kelly, also has a special place in my heart.  You see she sent a special birthday cake to a beautiful baby we saw last year waiting in China. This is baby is not even hers.  She has a full house but she wanted this sweetie to know she was loved and cared about.  So not only is she a special friend to Erin, but to me as well.  Thank you!! for all you do!  all of us and the children who wait are so thankful. You Both ROCK!!!! 



I have a very special friend whom I've never met in person.  We message back and forth all of the time.  We have spoken on the phone a few times.  Almost always our conversations center around children who are waiting for families. (Except for when we share photos of our own adorable babes, of course!)  When one of our Superkids kiddos family finds them, I message her as soon as I can.   And we rejoice together with many exclamation points and capital letters.  She is that kind of friend.



As we have been talking about preparing for the Superkids 2014 trip to China, my friend said they want to donate some bottles for babies born with cleft palates.  I was thrilled!  Last year we saw so many babies with cleft palates and we would always ask if the orphanage had special bottles for them.  Always the answer was no.  These babies have a hard time getting sufficient nutrition without these special bottles.  I was hoping to have enough bottles to give a few to each orphanage.


Imagine my surprise when 108 bottles arrived on my doorstep yesterday!  One hundred eight!!  My eyes fill with tears just thinking of all of the tiny little bellies that will be full and satisfied thanks to this very generous gift.  Each orphanage will be able to receive numerous bottles, benefitting so many little ones!




I do not know the full story, but I do know that part of the reason they were able to send so many bottles is because of a very generous gift that was given to them.  So, friends of my friends, I do not know you, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Eli and Kelly, thank you for recognizing the need and doing something about it!  We, the Superkids team, thank you.  We are honored to be the couriers of this amazing gift of love! 

This is just another beautiful example of many people working together to make a difference.  We can all do something! 


Blessings,
Erin