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real people...real stories

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My friend, Rachel just returned from a trip to Ukraine where she registered kids for a hosting program. While there she found herself drawn to the older kids, the ones who will soon be released from the orphanage at the age of 16 and left on their own. She would love to help them find their forever families. I encourage you to read her post...let the kids speak to you. Then consider what you can do to help these children realize their dreams.
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I think the thing that surprised me most about this trip was that the kids that tugged my heart the most were teenagers, and so many of them boys! Their kind and tender hearts, somehow miraculously preserved through their lives' hardships, shone through in our interviews and interaction time. Their hugs and their smiles and their eagerness for affection and interaction were so genuine. I never saw that coming in a million years - I thought it was the little ones I'd gravitate to. But, my heart ached for these teens to have the chance to stay kids for just a few years longer.

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feet warmers

Friday, February 11, 2011


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in print...finally

Tuesday, February 8, 2011



After three years of half-ditch efforts, commitment phobia and downright procrastination, today I finally did it.
I finally finished Maddie's adoption book. ;)
It's a book that has been 1460 days in the making, but it is finally complete. Whew.
It's not a book so much as a narrated picture album. I took the blog posts from Finding Maddie and combined it with the photos we took of our journey and came up with a 100 page masterpiece - or at least you would think it was a work of art with as much work as went into it.  ;)
I have to admit, I'm relieved. I wanted to get this done much sooner, but I hemmed and I hawed about which company was best to use and which one would give me the best deal. These things are EXPENSIVE! And I knew to have it the way I really wanted it, it needed to be all or nothing. 
So I waited. And my patience (gasp) paid off. A few days ago I stumbled on coupon code that allowed me to get a 100 page book from My Publisher for only $35. I saved more than 80% of the cost.
Awesome. I knew this couponing thing would come in handy some day. 
The book is being printed right now and should be delivered sometime next week. I'll be sure to take a pic of it when it comes in and give you Maddie's full review. ;)

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the phone call and puppy management 101

Monday, February 7, 2011

At 8:15 this morning I got a phone call.
"Tami...this is Mrs. B," the hurried voice on the other end whispers. "Ummm...Maddie is really loud and rowdy this morning. Did she get her medicine?"
Ugh. I forgot. Again.
I am ALWAYS forgetting to give her and Nick their medicine. It happens at least once every couple of weeks. I don't know what it is about the routine that I haven't quite mastered...but I don't have it down. And I've tried everything. The thing is, truthfully, I'm not great at remembering to take medicine myself. Even if I'm at death's door, I forget. It's as simple as that. I've told Shad I don't know how many times that when we're older and I start having to take medicine on a regular basis - I'll be dead in six months.
It's just the way I'm wired.
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tiny dancer

Saturday, February 5, 2011

From the first day we brought Maddie home, we've known she loves to dance.
I just don't think we knew how much. ;)
Our local high school dance team held a dance clinic today and invited all the elementary girls to attend. Maddie and Anya begged...relentlessly...to let them go even though we had a weekend PACKED with activities. The last thing I wanted to do was to add another one to our schedule, but how could I say no to those little faces?
We trudged over to the gym this afternoon and within the first 10 minutes, I knew it was going to be so worth the inconvenience. This is just a warm-up dance, but as you can tell, she really enjoyed getting warmed up! :)

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they're back in schoooooool....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Looks cold, huh?
This morning at precisely 7:46 a.m., I dropped my precious, drowsy, slightly-grumpy children off at their respective schools, watched from the nice, warm Blue Mama as they trudged in the door and then raced home (as quickly as snow and ice would allow), ran in, slammed the door, dove for the couch and just drank in the quiet.
Aaaaaaah!
Silence is, indeed, golden.
Let's be honest here ladies (and gents - if there really are any of you out there)...
They were going batty...
They were at each others' throats...
They were driving me nuts...
THERE. IS. A. REASON. WHY. I. DON'T. HOMESCHOOL. here people!
Well, there's 'a reason' and there's 'the reason,' but that's for a whole different post. Let's just suffice it to say the children are better off at school where they have a teacher who has the patience to actually teach them stuff. 
I. DON'T.
I know that. I'm fine with that. God created me that way. I have other strengths. I'm confident in my role as their mother...
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Snowmaggedon...Day 4

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Maddie's frog slippers
'What are you doing,' I asked Maddie this morning.
'I code and circle sight word,' she replied in all seriousness. 
Big words for a little girl. Especially one just three years removed from a Ukrainian orphanage.
She loves to read her books. On cold, snowy mornings (like today) you can often find her sitting next to me, planted on top of the heater vent, circling word after word with her little green pencil. You're supposed to circle the words that you recoganize just by looking at them. For Maddie...there are A LOT of sight words. ;)
And most mornings she dons a lovely outfit to 'work' in. This morning it was her pink bunny pajamas and her lime green frog slippers. Add to that ensemble the purple, white, blue, green, orange and yellow headband that she made at a recent birthday party and you can make a mental image of my sweet chick-pea as we begin our FOURTH day of no school thanks to Snowmaggedon 2011. 
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password protected 6

I know I promised I wouldn't do this to you anymore after the private blogs about my job situation...and I meant it. I had no more plans to keep anything from you.
But honestly, I have a new situation (nothing horrible) that has popped up and I need feedback. Unfortunately, for those of you who know me in real life, I can't let you in on it yet - don't worry it won't be much longer.
But for those of you who are virtual strangers, I can spill the beans.
So...If you're interested - head over here. If you need the password, just ask. And be sure to leave me a comment. You KNOW how I LOVE comments. ;)

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three years and counting...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Can it really have been three years?
Really?
It seems like just yesterday I stepped off that plane in Kansas City with the Madster and ran into my family's arms - exhausted from spending three weeks by myself in Ukraine, but amazed at the bond Maddie and I were slowly building.
Over the last three years we've worked hard on that bond. We have spent a lot of time teaching her what family is...learning how to navigate through some post-orphanage stuff and helping her to adapt to the listening world.
Today, I can honestly say...I am Maddie's mom. She believes it...and I KNOW it. Sure, she still would walk away with a stranger...but now she would look back, she'd ask about me and she would be unsure of herself. I KNOW it...I've SEEN it.   ((MORE))

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joy of adoption




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