Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretty amazing child

Our little Emma is Down Syndrome. And boy do we love her. We have always expected her to reach her potential and be the best that she can be. That is a hard place to be with a child that naturally has lazy tendencies as most Downs children do. Mom was the bad guy for a long time. We have had many struggles in the family regarding what Emma needed and how far to push but thankfully we are all on the same page now, except for Malia who is old enough to do things for Emma but not old enough to understand the consequences. For a long time Emma was stubborn and strong headed with us at home but loving and sweet with everyone else. The manipulation was unbelievable. We knew she was very smart through this. A couple of years ago a change started in her. She began to settle in and respect her parents and older siblings. We saw the sweet side come out in her at home. The transformation has been amazing. She has turned into a little girl that desires to obey and please. It is so fun to watch her real self come out without any of the previous manipulation and fake emotion. She often has us giggling because she is doing something cute. Last week there was a discussion about the song "We Will Rock You". That is a song that we don't usually play so the youngest children wouldn't know it. Doug pulled it up to research the question they had and began to play it. Emma joined right in singing "we will we will rock you". She sang at the top of her lungs and mostly with the beat while she pumped her hand in the air. We were all surprised that she could sing this. All I can figure is they play the song at school. I didn't know what to think of it at first but watching Emma I decided that if they can get a child that has slow reactions and a hard time memorizing things to sing a song on beat then go for it. During the whole song Emma danced and sang. We tried not to laugh at how cute she was but it didn't work too well. We pulled the video camera out and played the song again. She danced around and had a great time while mostly staying on beat. A few days later we got an alphabet video that I had ordered. Malia is trying to read without knowing all of her letters well. I ordered this video so that she could have one more form of support. We got out the flash cards to see what the program was like. I was showing them to Malia when Emma started saying the sounds. At first I thought that she was just copying me. A couple of cards later she said the sounds before I did. At that point I showed her the flash cards and she went through each one of them and only missed the sound for the "V". I could not believe it. She tried to tell me that she learned it at school but her speech is not real clear so I wasn't sure what she was saying. Sure enough they have the video's at school and she has learned the sound of most of her letters. It's still a bit inconsistent but she has enough that she can start to sound some things out. I think the next step in reading for her will be difficult because most kids have a hard time putting sounds together to make a word. I know it will come eventually. I have wondered if she would ever read well because it has come so slow. I now have confidence that she will read and do well at it. I am so proud of her. She is really doing well. She tries to answer questions. She sings out when we sing or at church. She loves to pray and can do so on her own. She prays about those things she is thinking so we know she is understanding. She is a very helpful girl and loves to be in the middle of things. She often will walk up to me and hug me on the leg and say "I love you Mommy". Emma is really a precious little girl. It has been a hard road and I know that she was partly sent to me to root out the weakness in my soul. She really showed me a lot of my weakness. What a blessing it has been to have someone like Emma be the means to help purify me. I will be ever grateful for her and her sacrifice to come down to earth in her not so perfect body. Now we just have to find her new glasses that mysteriously disappeared.:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A testament to endless possibilities

We were looking for a story about the miraculous 4 month old baby girl that survived the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. She was found alive buried under rubble days after the tsunami. What an amazing story.

While reading the story there was this video on the side bar. We had to watch it. This gives me such hope. Our newest daughter from China has missing fingers. We have had a discussion about how to encourage her talents thinking that she would not be able to play piano like so many of our other children. Ressa and I decided that she could focus on singing if music was the direction she wanted to go. After seeing this video I realized I need to open up my mind to all her possibilities. There is no reason she could not play piano. If this girl can play with no fingers our daughter can play with missing fingers. I sure have a lot to learn about helping children see their possibilities. What a great video.

Quick Clarification

Deanne and I found the video we included in the preivous post and many points in it really touched us. It was definitely a strong message delivered in a way that many of us in the LDS religion are not used to - very forceful and bold. But the idea of serving the Lord through caring for orphans is obviously an ancient biblical message delivered by Christ Himself. There was no hidden agenda in the timing of the announcement of our blog and that last post. In fact, we thought about not sending the announcement for another week or so after other posts just to avoid that assumption, but we did it anyway. We certainly didn't want everyone to think we think everyone needs to adopt. We know the circumstances have to be right for anyone to make that decision. We just wanted to give you some insight as to why we are so crazy and have decided to add 2 more to our family. And if our blog and this post in particular makes it in front of someone who needs just a little more encouragement to act on something they have been prompted to do, we hope this would help them take the next step. Kind of like missionary work - the circumstances and timing have to be right for someone to accept the gospel.

This blog will be a progression of our thoughts and our life. Many people have encouraged us to do a blog - maybe because they are curious about what life is like inside a family like ours. We know we are an oddity and it is diffult at times to let our personal thoughts and feelings out into cyberspace, but we feel that some may benefit from our experiences just like we have benefitted from knowing all of you and a little about your life's experiences. I guess that is what Heavenly Father intended - we all grow together through sharing with each other.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Good Video

So many times I have wanted to write a new post. But many different thoughts have stopped me. The two biggest negatives are, one, there isn't even anyone that reads this, except Sereen and Jared, but they have to because I am their mother. Two, the things I think about aren't exactly light thoughts. I have always had trouble with lightening up. Doug says I never have a frivolous thought. That's almost true. I envy those that can just have fun. I have fun but that serious part of me is right there waiting for the smallest opportunity to take over. Because of these serious thoughts the things I want to write seem too important to put in the back of a blog where no one will ever go.

Well, I think it's time to just start writing those thoughts. The subject that most often comes to mind, ok always, is adoption. Yesterday I was reading "The Family, A Proclamation To The World". There is a line in it that I have felt very strongly about. It is "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." I have always thought of that in terms of unwed mothers. I don't judge them if they choose to keep the baby but I feel strongly that these children deserve a stable mother and father and that a birthmom that places a baby for adoption makes a very mature decision out of great love for her child. However, as I read that yesterday the words "entitled... to be reared by a father and a mother" hit me hard.

There are so many children in this world without parents. Each one of them are children of God and deserve the love and nurture of a family every bit as much as you or I. I believe that these children that come to earth knowing that they will, for a time or even all their lives, be without loving parents have greater faith in our Father in Heaven than most of us.

We saw this video not too long after we started the adoption process this time with China. It is pretty powerfull.