Friday, February 25, 2011

"Special Needs" child no more

The label "special needs" when it comes to children can have a wide variety of meanings. There are some needs that are temporary and quite simple and then there are some that are permanent and quite complicated. And to be quite honest, don't ALL kids have some kind of "special need or needs"? Some have allergies, some have ear problems, some are "needy" and demanding, some have discipline issues, get the point.In the adoption world the label Special Needs Kids, now better known as Waiting Children, are the kids that are harder to place because of some physical or mental disability and also because they are just plain older, healthy but older. Xin was on the Special Needs/Waiting Child list. He was born with VSD (a hole in a portion of his heart) and a cleft lip/palate. I worried about both these "needs" before we got him. I knew we would have cardio visits and maybe even restricted physical limitations and even the possibility of another heart surgery. I fully expected to spend hours over the next several decades in speech therapy seeing that his lip and palate were not repaired until he was 3 and then the palate was not repaired correctly to top it off. Well, as you know, the cardiologist cleared him...PERFECT heart he said, no need to come back. Xin's surgery on his palate this past September was extremely successful, thanks to the great Dr. Yu. He is currently taking private speech therapy once a week. I had a meeting to discuss Xin's plan with the school system yesterday and they sat in amazement. They looked at his 2 evaluations done in May and then just a few weeks ago......he scored too high! There was nothing they could do for him. He needs nothing they can offer him. The sounds he is struggling with are all age appropriate and his cognitive grasp of the English language is above that of most kids his age. They MARVELED at his progress. So we will NOT receive FREE speech from the county school system because he is NOT classified as a "special needs" child or a child with a disability. WOW! 9 months. Just 9 months is all it took. His "special need" was truly the fact he had no family and he lived in an institution. I realize NOT EVERY child's story is like this and we are tremendously blessed, humbled and thankful that Xin's was this simple and short-lived. But my point to anyone considering adoption of a child labeled "special needs", is that a lot of these so-called "needs" are very manageable. Please don't let a label scare you. God placed this child on this earth and with our family. He gave Xin quite a spirit for life and I am sure He has quite a purpose for him. I am so glad I was given the privilege of being his mother and watching him grow into the person God meant for him to be. This little guy has taught me a WHOLE lot!!!!! I love you Xin and you are "special" to me regardless of your "needs" or lack thereof.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Girls' Weekend

Julia with her winner's medal and MVP trophy!

The final score!!!!

The girls getting their medals and team trophy.

On to soccer

Julia and I had a girls weekend that started Thursday morning as we departed for Greenville to play in the SC state home school Basketball Tournament Thursday and Friday. The Augusta Eagles middle school girls were very successful as they WON the tournament! Go Eagles!!!! And I have to brag for a quick moment, Julia won Most Valuable Player of the tournament. We are so very proud of her. She always gives everything 110% and she certainly did that here. All the girls gave it their all and it was a great 2 days! We enjoyed the fellowship as well with this wonderful group of parents and kids. Julia has made some really sweet friends through this team and we are very grateful and blessed.

Then we switched gears and sports and headed to Atlanta for a soccer tournament with her soccer club Saturday and Sunday. The weather was great, however the Bulls did not fair too well this tournament. We had 2 losses and 1 tie. We had some sick kids and some key players missing so we were at a little disadvantage. We had a fantastic weekend and I had a MUCH needed break! I so enjoy this first child of mine who is fast becoming grown up. She is a delight and I am so glad we had this special time together. Thank you Will and Mom and Dad for making all this possible. We could not have done it without all your help. It is now back to reality.....dishes, laundry, school, wiping fannies, cutting up food, preparing food, etc but I must say those 3 little sets of arms that wrapped around my neck when I got home and hugged me tight were missed tremendously!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fast Food

Ok, I know fast food is not good for you but when life goes in "fast mode" we sometimes HAVE to resort to eating those yummy fries and nuggets. Unfortunately we have eaten our share here lately. Last night was one of those "moments". Will and Sam had gone to a soccer festival 2-1/2 hours away and weren't home yet. Jaida, Xin and I were on our way to pick Julia up and I said that I was hungry, to which they both agreed they were hungry too. They began to name ALL the fast food restaurants we could possibly visit. I then said that I didn't really want to eat fast food so maybe we could go to a sit- down restaurant. As we picked Julia up, we asked her what she wanted to eat. Jaida quickly replied, "Sissy, Mommy already said NO fast food tonight so we going to have slow food!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy 9th Birthday Sam!

Nine years ago today my last "tummy" baby made his way into the world. What a blessing he is! This little guy has the sweetest and most genuine heart. He is kind and thoughtful. He is smart and handsome. He is athletic and creative. He is a great little brother. He is a great big brother. He loves to laugh and his laugh makes me laugh. Oh how I love this boy! We had pancakes and presents this morning followed by a party at home and then dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. What a fun day it was!!! Happy Birthday my little man. I love you with all my heart! You make my world a brighter place and I am blessed by you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 1st

The family zoo shot.
He LOVED feeding the giraffes.

The party table.


His very first birthday cake!

He fell asleep in his birthday crown....I think he liked his birthday!

We celebrated Xin yesterday. It was his birthday. He turned 5. He had NEVER had a birthday. No one had EVER celebrated him. We did! This little boy with a brave heart, curious mind, clever wit and kind soul that came to us 9 months ago, has been through so much in his little life. And yet he had never had a birthday celebration. We started the celebration Sunday by heading to the zoo. He loved it! Monday he brought a cookie cake to school to share with his friends. Yesterday we had presents and a lunch celebration with pizza and cake.He loved every minute of it. Most kids rip through the cards paying no attention to them unless there is a gift in it, he wanted to keep it in his room. Yes, cards are special when you have NEVER had a birthday! We have made a lot of progress in 9 months with this little guy. He is still learning and growing and so are we but we are blessed by his presence in our family. We love you Xin and we will celebrate the day God brought you into this world for the next 100 years! Happy Birthday little buddy!!!!