Thursday, November 14, 2013

Facebook Status Update

I've been meaning to update forever.  I'm just tired by the time Sara goes to bed and I've been really busy knitting for Angel Tree.  I just haven't gotten to it.

So, instead of a real update, here are some facebook statuses and pictures from the last week.

Thanks, Mr. Jerry for loaning us Beauty and the Beast. She's watched it twice. She refused to eat dinner. I may never get her to bed. Definitely a hit!

What are all the local Christmas things that I need to do with Sara this year? We are going to experience as much Christmas as we can squeeze in.

Why do people perpetuate the idea that kids with Down syndrome are always happy and loving? I see it all the time and it's just not true. Sara is usually happy and can be incredibly friendly and kind. She is certainly not always that way. She can also be very stubborn, mean, and rude.

Who wants to come pull my child's tooth out? I am so grossed out by this process.

Today Sara:
1. Said "The End" completely unprompted at the end of a book.
2. Repeated and signed an entire sentence (one word at a time). She didn't used to repeat at all. 
3. Took my hand as we were leaving the post office. Usually, I have a death grip on her hand while explaining parking lots and moving cars to her. 
4. Signed two words together completely unprompted. 
This child is seriously changing ever single day.

It looks like "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" is going to be Sara's theme song soon.

I don't think she's ready for a sibling. She's been yelling at E-ah (Eli) all night.

I could be a professional pacifer-loser. Seriously. Where do they go? (No. Sara doesn't use one but I watch Kate's kids on Tuesday nights.)

Every day I ask Sara how school went. Did she have fun? Did she learn something? All I get is "Yup." Today I asked. She thought about it, made a throwing motion and said "pelota." I looked on her sheet and she had gym class today. She was soooo proud and so was I!

Well now I want to put my tree up tonight.

It hurts a little bit that Sara runs to the end of the driveway alone and climbs on the bus without my help. I'll take this over the days when I had to carry her on to the bus while she tried to scratch my face off. I may never know what really happened at the old school but it has made me so thankful for this one.

I asked Kate to take a picture of her first snow fall. This is what I got.

Sara just licked a snow flake off the car. It might be time for a viewing of A Christmas Story.

So sad to be missing my baby's first snow fall.

There has to be a better way to do mornings. Two non-morning people trying to get out the door by 7:15. It may kill our relationship.

Veggie Tales Live. 

Sara is watching Peter Pan in French. She doesn't seem to notice. It's driving me crazy.

I had this song on repeat when we were in Colombia--especially during our "bonus" week. I clung to the belief that it was true. 

The first Sunday back we sang it in church and I cried knowing it was true. 

This morning Sara started singing it when it came on my ipod and we sang it again in church. Once again, I was brought to tears realizing on a whole different level how true it really is.

You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

[Verse 2]
You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me


And every step every breath you are there
Every tear every cry every prayer
In my hurt at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it's hard
You will never leave me
After all

Not for a moment will You forsake me

Just the tip of the iceberg. There is also a brown corduroy skirt that is way too small. A pink shirt and boots.

If you see us at church, don't judge my child's outfit. She has clothes on. No blood was shed and we are on time. That's enough for today.

Sara stole my ball of yarn and a wrestling match ensued with lots of tickling. All fun and games until she wet her pajamas on my couch. Then, as we were walking up the stairs to change, she puked on them. Maybe the tickling was a little intense but I love her laugh! 

Choosing to believe in second chances. Praying for redemption.

Sara just turned down McDonalds fries. Trying to decide if I should call the pediatrician or take her straight to the ER. Something is clearly wrong.

We haven't even gotten out of the house yet and we set battling. If we had anything in the house to eat, I would put off grocery shopping again. But I'm hungry.

Apparently you need a fancy dress to watch dancing with the stars.

I've been looking for chocolate in Sara's candy bag for several days. I can't find any but she keeps appearing with chocolate kisses. Where is she stashing them?

I've been beyond enamored with my child lately. Tonight, I feel like she is determined to test my patience and sanity. (Let me save you some time, kid. I have neither right now.)

Pretty much sums up her life.

I had the privilege of walking through the adoption process with this couple. We spent a lot of boring hours walking the malls and streets of Bogota. The child they are raising today is not the same child she was 9 months ago. If you think Sara has changed, you should meet Claudia.
9 months. A lot can happen in 9 months. Lives conceived and started. A final year of school. A first year of college or work. The last months of a friend or loved one’s life. New jobs, new houses, new goals, new dreams.
In the last 9 months we’ve seen a Nation that was changed forever in a single day. Seen couples become families. Seen lives changed forever after an encounter with God. Seen the conclusion of lives given in service. So it feels right to me that these past 9 months that have changed our little corner of the World so much, have changed me as well.
I have always been focused on accomplishments and appearances. I want to be the best, so that I can be seen as being the best. I want people, complete strangers, to be impressed by me, and think that I am important. I want to be better than the people around me, and I want them to know it. My ego and arrogance are things that I will always struggle with.
Claudia will, very likely, never achieve any significant thing when compared to what a typical child might. She is four years old and can’t yet speak, read, write, run, jump or even walk very well. Her early life put her at a massive disadvantage, and she is going to fight that, and Down Syndrome, to “catch up” for a very long time, if not her entire life.
There was a time when this would have bothered me greatly. Instead, what I see now is a person who works hard, everyday. A person who will achieve whatever she is able to achieve, and be happier with that than most of us ever will be, regardless of our accomplishments. That the scale of her success is not impacted by the people around her. I see someone who is perfectly content with how God made her, and who already has a greater positive impact on the people around her than I could ever hope to. And she does it naturally.
We should all be so lucky.
I don't see her struggles as tragic anymore, I see them as inspiring. Someone who works hard to achieve their goals is an easy person for me to like, and a privilege to have as a daughter.
Everything else aside, in the last 9 months Claudia has made almost miraculous progress, which seems fitting, considering some of the miracles we experienced in adopting her. In such a short period of time we have seen amazing changes, and have bonded incredibly tightly as a family. I've watched as Angeline taught Claudia to do things that I didn't believe she was ever going to be able to do, and been taught time and time again: the only limitations on Claudia are the ones I put there. Claudia is a different child than the little girl we met 9 months ago, and I can’t wait to see what the next 9 months brings.

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