Making Many Memories

Everyday we are Making Many Memories that we will treasure forever.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gift for Birth Parents and Grandparents

Tomorrow I will take Nevaeh to see B and M and her Grandma N. I made a book for all of them for Christmas this year. I wanted them to have something that showed both of our families in the same book. All the other books that I have given them only show them with Nevaeh. I am hoping this book goes over okay with them and they will be able to see that she can love both families.

I got a call from Grandma W(lives back East) and she was thrilled with it. She has always been so grateful for any pictures and information that I send about Nevaeh. Nevaeh spoke to all of them on Christmas Day. It is cute to hear her on the phone as she tries to explain to them all the things she is looking at.

There are still times when I wonder if I am doing the right thing by taking her to visit them. There are times that part of me wants her to just be my daughter. To just pretend that the other life doesn't exist. When I read about other open adoptions and they speak of the birth parents it is with such love and excitement to go and visit. The people I am trying to keep in her life are not part of a Norman Rockwell painting. I am not afraid to be around them and they have never given me cause to be but I wouldn't have picked them out as friends in any other situation.

I am dreading tomorrow because we are just hanging out in the motel room with 4 cats, B and M, Grandma N and a lady that has been helping them stay in a motel instead of being homeless.So for 2 hours I will have to try and keep Nevaeh from picking up the cats and playing in the litter box.

I am excited to give them their Lego Land tickets that I got for free because I would much rather hang out with them at an amusement park. Although, Nevaeh is so stinky lately when we go places. She definitely has a temper and can throw some huge fits. So that always makes it hard because I feel as though I am being judged.

But for some reason I still feel it is so important that she sees them. I really do hope I am doing the right thing.

http://www5.snapfish.com/snapfish/projectshareewelcome/l=11427748008/p=682261293433041861/g=38956597/cobrandOid=1000/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/otsc=SYE/otsi=SPBKlink/

He Was Here and He will Come Again

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And that is the best Christmas Gift of All
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Was Jesus Adopted?


Was Jesus Adopted?

I had never really thought about this until I was asked to write down my feelings about my children and how I felt when they were born.

Sister Wilson asked this:

"Alright my friends, the Bishop has asked me to give the youth fireside this upcoming Sunday on the birth of the Savior and its effect on our lives today. As I have read through the accounts and prophesies what touches me most is Mary, His mother, and her love for her baby. Her willingness, her eye witness, and her feelings are summed up in this verse in Luke 2:19 "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." While I am sure there were spiritual manifestations she was priveleged too, I believe each of us has had a measure of the same feeling as we became mothers whether we gave birth to our child physically or they were born in our hearts.


If you would be willing to share with me a recollection of your thoughts or tender feeling of becoming a mother (whether it was your 1st or 6th I know each is as if it were the 1st time), or of greeting your child for the 1st time, or the hopes in your heart for your baby.

Each of you have touched my life and the Spirit filled my heart as I thought of your children and the privelege they have to have you for their mothers."

Here is my response:

"My take on it is going to be a little different and you don't have to use it if you don't want to. I know you asked about my feelings as a mother but I thought I would write a little about the feelings a father has towards a child - Even an adopted child.


I hadn't really thought much about it until you asked these questions but Jesus was adopted. His earthly father (Joseph) was not his biological father. Yet he raised him and treated him as such. He was chosen to be his earthly father just as much as Mary was chosen to be his earthly mother. Yet he had no biological ties to him and he knew this. As adoptive parents, Steve and I feel Heavenly Father chose us to be Nevaeh's parents just as Joseph and Mary were chosen to be Jesus'.

I imagine the enormous weight Jospeh must have felt knowing that he was raising the son of God and knowing that this was not his biological child. Yet I am sure that his love for Jesus was no different than it was towards his other children who were biologically.

I remember the day I placed Nevaeh in Steve’s arms for the first time. The look on his face was just as precious as the first time he held one of our boys. The more I watch them together the more I see the bond between them is very strong. No one would ever guess that she is not flesh of his flesh or blood of his blood. And Jesus example shows that it doesn’t matter. We all have the same Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father. The biological aspect is just how we get to this earth. There are many other factors that determine who we consider our earthly parents"
 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vote For Nevaeh and Help Bring Anya Home


Just follow the link below until December 26, 2010 - 8:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time . That is the last day to vote. And then you can feel really good knowing that you gave an orphan and her family the best Christmas gift ever.

http://photos.parents.com/category/vote/photo/645014/17

I have been following the blog of the Fillmore family since Thanksgiving time and my heart has been touched by the love that they have for a little down syndrome girl that they just recently met for the first time.


http://fillmoresjourneytoanna.blogspot.com/p/how-it-all-began.html

There are so many different roads to adoption and although I hope that people will always look to the United States and county adoption first, I know that God leads adoptive parents to their children and a lot of times he leads them overseas. I know for a fact that He does lead them and they end up with the child that they are suppose to have be part of their family.

All adoptions have their challenges. Our challenge was taking in a baby and watching her grow into a beautiful active toddler all while not knowing where she was going to end up. This family's challenge is in dealing with a foreign country and trying to raise the incredible amount of money it takes to bring one of these children home. On top of that, they are getting a child that they will have to provide for the rest of her life. They will get no government assistance and yet they are still willing to more forward with the adoption.

We had no financial challenges with our adoption. You, the tax payer, paid for it all. You, the tax payer, continue to provide financial assistance for her. And you will continue to do so until she turns 18 years old. I thank you immensely for that.

For some reason, my heart cannot stop thinking about this family and the overwhelming financial responsibility they have to come.

So I came up with a small solution. I entered my very adorable Nevaeh in one of those cheesy photo contest where they pay $250.00 if she wins. I have been wanting to do so since the day we got her (which happens to be 3 years ago - December 13th). My plan is to donate the money to the Fillmores and if I do so through Reece's Rainbow my husbands company will match it. That's $500.00 towards their $13,000.00 goal.

Here is where all of you come in. I know that money is tight and that there are so many good causes out there to give money to. But you don't have to give money. All you have to do is admit that my daughter is the cutest kid this week. Next week your kids can go back to being the cutest. You just have to go everyday and vote for her. You do not have to sign up for anything or enter a cell phone number either. You do have to put in the password they supply which is usually some sort of ad slogan. It would also be helpful if you were to post this on your blogs, your facebook pages and anywhere else you can think of please. Otherwise we won't get enough votes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sometimes in Life you Need a Do Over

Sometimes I wonder if being blonde really does have something to do with my lack of intelligence. I always seem to have the best of intentions but just don't think things through very well or don't research them well enough before I start.

So, my great plan of having everyone vote for Nevaeh on the photo contest to help raise money for Anya turned out to not work so well. Apparently, the numbers that are assigned to them in the address window only apply when they are in that place. So when Nevaeh was in 13th place I posted that address. But when she moved to 8th place people were voting for the 13th place child. That child is now in 6th place and Nevaeh is in 11th.

Heather and I talked about it and decided we would just ask people again next week to help with our cause. I have now figured out the problem, I hope and we should be able to do better next week. Because it will end on Christmas, I have decided to change the picture I had originally sent in.

I would like you to help me decide which one to submit for Sunday. "Some moms will do anything to get their children to eat their vegetables" or "If you squeeze him too tight he will melt" Also, if you have better captions I will take those too. I have kept the original post about the contest down below and will be changing it on Sunday and reposting. Thanks everyone.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Angels Foster Care Christmas Party

Wow, I can't believe that we attended our 4th Angels Foster Care Christmas Party today. Nevaeh was only 2 1/2 months old the first time we went and we had just picked her up from the orphanage 2 days before. Look how little she is.

I am so grateful to Angels for putting this party on every year. It is nice to see other families who have either adopted or our fostering and it is so nice of the church in San Diego who donates the toys every year.

I am sure the founder of Angels gets goose bumps as she watches all of these beautiful children go up and sit on Santa's lap. Some of the families bring children who they have fostered before and have been reunited with their birth families. The have such good relationships with the birth families that they allow the former foster family to take them to this party and spend time with them.

Then there are families there who have fostered and adopted many children. I think Angel Families have fostered over 400 babies over the last 10 years and many of them were adopted by their foster families. I remember a little baby that was there last year that had a cast on each of his little legs. I think he was maybe 5 or 6 months old. He is walking this year and will be adopted sometime next year.

This year it was harder for us to get there because Jacob had a robotic competition on the same day at the same time. Joshua also had a guitar recital. So Steve and I had to split up. Nevaeh and I watched Jacob at Lego Land while Steve and Jared watched Joshua. At lunch time Nevaeh and I took off and headed a few miles down the road to the Angels party. Nevaeh only got a 10 minute nap so she was quite the handful at the party. Plus, she loves Santa and tried many times to run up and sit on his lap before it was her turn. Because there were so many families there she didn't get her turn until over an hour later.


She was more excited to see Santa than she was to get a gift. And she really wanted that candy cane. Then we took off to get back and watch the awards part of Jacob's competition. By this time Nevaeh was good and cranky and even though she was dressed in her Sunday best I allowed her to run up and down the grass hill and even crawl at times. I was done fighting with her.



Once again this reminded me that I can dress up my princess all I want but she still lives with 3 brothers and takes after them.

Every Child Has A Story

Angels emailed towards the end of November to ask me if they could use Nevaeh's story and picture on their holiday cards this year. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. I love showing off all her cute pictures and I love even more sharing her story.

http://www.angelsfoster.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/angels-web-final-Copy.pdf


I share her story everywhere and almost every chance I get. I just shared it again with everyone standing in line waiting to see Santa at Disneyland on Wednesday. A lady in the line was saying how she was going to ask Santa for world peace. I told her this Santa would be a good one to ask because I had asked him 3 years ago for a little girl and later on that day I got a call from our foster agency saying they had one for us. Not a dry eye in line.

Of course, when we got up to Santa I had to retell the story to him and the fact that Nevaeh ran straight up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek is probably why he proclaimed she was the cutest little girl he'd ever seen. Then when she climbed down from his lap he would say "come back here and give Santa a hug". He did that about 5 times as people looked on and took pictures.


Now, I realize that there isn't anything strikingly adorable about Nevaeh's looks. I have seen children with absolutely amazing eyes, children with beautiful hair and children who are very unique looking. So maybe for me it is the fact that I know her story. I know how her life started out and how empty her eyes looked when we first got her. I also know that she has this incredibly outgoing personality that lights up a room when she walks in but can turn on her in an instance when she is having one of her meltdowns. She loves everyone, hugs everyone and thinks that everyone is around to play with and entertain her.
So imagine my surprise when I shared her story at Chick-fil-a on Friday only to find out that it caused the person I was sharing it with great pain. Nevaeh was being her charming charismatic self and a young woman about 20 years old was asking her questions. Nevaeh was telling her all about our recent trip to Disneyland and how she got a candy from Santa. (actually, she got way too much candy from Santa)


This brought me to the topic of telling the young woman about our visit with Santa and our Disneyland story of getting the call for Nevaeh. This young women then look at me and said "you do foster care?" I told her that we use to and that Nevaeh was our 3rd foster baby and how we were able to adopt her. Then she looked down and said "I was a foster child".  " I went in the system at age 3 until I turned 18. No one every adopted me."  All I could say was Oh. Here I had been sharing our story like usual with all my warm and fuzzy thoughts not thinking about how it might affect someone else.

Here's all I know about this young women. Every time we go to Chick-fil-a in the morning she is there. I drop Josh off for school 3 days a week for an hour and sometimes Nevaeh and I go and eat breakfast there when it is too cold to go to the park or I didn't have time to dress her before we leave the house. This young women has been there every time. This is only the second time we have spoke to her and I'm not sure she remembers us from the last time. But I am a people watcher and I have watched her carry on conversations with all sorts of different people there. None of them are ever sitting with her and none of them are ever the same.

She is a beautiful young women. She has a wonderful smile and she is usually reading something when she is not talking to someone. So on this day I asked her if she was reading stuff for college. She said no. She could not afford to go to college but that she was working at the theater and that they had good benefits for helping her get into college. I asked her what kind of career she wanted and she said something to do with working with children because she is really good with them. I don't know if she will ever get to realize her dream because her life consist of no one to help her. How lonely I felt for her that day.

This left we once again thinking about all the children out there who don't get a happily every after story like Nevaeh. The ones who get bounced from house to house and never find anyone to call mom and dad. The ones who get kicked out of the program at age 18 with no one or no where to turn. No parent to live with while getting started with college. No parent to borrow a car from until they can afford their own and not many other options for getting to work. No one to spend holidays with. The theater employees her only family.

So what can I do to help her? What can I do to help change her story? I've thought about leaving a donation for her at Chick-fi-la, but I don't know that money is the answer. I wish I knew what the answer was. I wish that sharing Nevaeh's story with her didn't have to leave her feeling abandoned once again.

I'm not sure if hurting others will stop me from sharing Nevaeh's story. Not that I would intentionally do that. I am hoping that it will inspire someone else to open their hearts to these beautiful children but I need to realize that I may be telling it to someone who is an orphan or someone who may have had there child taken from them. I need to realized that not everyone will like her story. That not everyone will feel the joy I feel when I tell it. And that someday Nevaeh may not want it told. Someday she will not want to be Angel's Foster Care Poster Child.

Competition

I am so proud of my son, Jacob. For three weeks he worked very hard helping his team compete at Lego Land with their robot. Pretty cool looking, huh? They designed it to work like a forklift and they were able to do well enough that they took the Overall Robot Award at Lego Land.

But the thing that impresses me most about Jacob is his character. Jacob is kind of a back seat type of child. He is easy going and likes to have fun but he is very aware of other's feelings and wants to make sure that everyone feels important.

He was not able to participate as much as he would have liked on the programming part of this competition but he was very grateful to the other two team members who spent numerous hours working on it.

One of the questions the team was asked was what does Gracious Professionalism mean to you? Gracious Professionalism is a term that is used in FLL (First Lego League) all the time. I love the way the competition works and wish that every child had an opportunity to be involved in it.

When Jacob got in the car he told me all about the questions they were asked and here is his answer to what Gracious Professionalism means to him.

"Well, you know how when someone says you are a good sport that means you need to act nice whether you win or lose. But when you are a good sport you really want your team to win. With Gracious Professionalism you want others to win and are even willing to help them achieve that goal. And as long as you did your best and learned along the way it doesn't matter if you win."

I love that kid. I wish everyone could have a Jacob. He is the most kind hearted person I know.

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