Wednesday, December 29, 2010

then I guess we will just embrace it

Snow, snow, and more snow.

Happy New Year!  We're looking forward to all kinds of fabulous-ness in 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

happy holidays 2010

We are so grateful to you all for your support, advice and friendship. We truly value the Polish adoption community and know that you will be here when we need you. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you all! We know that 2011 will be a year to remember.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

is this thing on?

What have we been doing these last few months?  I'm so glad you asked.

So very much soccer.

A whole lot of homework. 

Plenty of bike riding.

Some ninja-ing.

A mother-son thirteenth birthday getaway to Seattle and Vancouver.

Some art projects.

Piano lessons every week.

But still plenty of down time for for the kids to build a fort in the first big snow of the season with their uncle.

And about 525,600 other things -- busy is the name of the game.  We are in a constant state of motion around here.  It's just the way we like it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

pbs video series

Have you watched this video yet? Wo Ai Ni (I love you) Mommy is a documentary about one family's experience adopting an 8 year old girl from China.  There are so many honest moments.  So many moments I could relate to.  Memories came flooding back at every stage.  You should check it out.  It will be on their site through November 30th.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

school reads

We prepare and prepare for these school assignments that we know will be a bit tricky for our Chris.  We wonder how we will handle some of them and hope we make the right decisions.

And then the school goes and takes it easy on us.  For his reading assignment this week, his fourth grade class was reading this story, I'm New Here.  Go ahead; go check it out. I'm hoping this story is available at your library.  Or maybe your kids use the Houghton Mifflin Readers too.

It was a story with so many parallels for my Chris that he smiled and nodded knowingly the whole way through.  And since we have been home for a while now, he was just a perfect spot to talk about it.  We had to pause after almost every paragraph as there was just so much Chris wanted to say. 

There are so few books out there that really are able to relate, I thought I'd share the love. Finding books that spark these conversations are priceless.

** Edited to ask:  What books have you found helpful to get conversations going with your youngsters that were adopted?  Adoption related or not.  It seems that the good ones are few and far between...  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Friday, July 23, 2010

these are the days

Not long ago, I wrote about how lucky I feel to have moved past all the "firsts" that came with our first year home as a complete family.  And it is completely true.  Life is good as we move into the routine of family life.  But I forgot a few important details...

You see, our first summer home was pretty great.  We had an amazing summer together camping, fishing, swimming, biking, and doing all those things that families do.  But not quite all the things that families do.  Karl and I had  made a very deliberate decision to make that first summer very laid back.  This wasn't too hard, as we are indeed pretty laid back in general.  But it did change a few things.

One of the biggest things it changed was our summer weekends up north.   Last summer, we specifically only did camping trips with the four of us.  Don't get me wrong; we had some great times.  And it was completely intentional: we wanted Chris to see how we camp.  We wanted Chris to rely on us for direction.  We wanted the kids to play together and bond.  We wanted to make sure that Chris was not confused about who to ask permission for various things.  We wanted him to see how we camp/vacation/etc.

He obviously got a chance to meet and spend plenty of time with our friends and family.  We weren't hiding him from the world by any means.  But there were certain areas we knew would be too hard for him to manage himself in if let too loose.

All this to say, this summer we got a chance to show him a new side of summer.  The side where we go up north to stay at friends' cabins and go camping with big groups of people - more kids, more parents, more friends, more everything.

And woah, boy! Were we right.  Last year would have been too hard.  But even better? This year was just right.  He knew to ask us before accepting a Sprite offered by a friends' mom.  He knew to check in with us before riding bikes around the cabin property.  He knew that he should put his life jacket on before walking out onto the dock to get in the boat.  He knew that no matter how many times someone else offered him a s'more, he needed to check in with us to see if he had reached his limit for the night.

Last year he would have only been able to watch from the boat as kids (and grown ups) went flailing around behind the boat on tubes.  His English would not have been strong enough - nor would we have trusted him to know what to do when he went flying off the tube.  He would not have been able to understand that riding a four wheeler doesn't happen every day - just up north.  He would not have been able to understand that each family has different rules for just about everything without feeling like it wasn't fair in some way.

Yes - this year has allowed us so much more freedom.  And these are the summer days that we will remember.

All three of my boys behind the boat tubing...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Polish Fest

Better late than never, I always say!

We had a chance to get to Polish Fest in Milwaukee to meet up with some of our very favorite adoption bloggers. It was a riot seeing these online friends come to life!

It was an adventure just getting to Milwaukee as we ended up with a little bit of car trouble so we got to spend some quality time at the car dealer...

Fortunately, there was still a little time to take in a random road-trip monument along our way.

And while in town, we had plenty of time to relax.

We're looking forward to being able to head back next year.  Mark your calendars, Milwaukee. The Polish adoption bloggers contingency will be back!


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