Jazzie went back to the ophthalmologist on Saturday. The good news is that her eye has gotten a lot better already, just from wearing her glasses. The doctor said that he couldn’t have asked for better progress. That is the good news. The bad news is that Jazzie got an eye patch. We were expecting this and we know that it is needed, but Jazzie hates it.
As you can see, the patch is a piece of felt that simply slips over her glasses. In theory it’s a good idea, but it is bad for Jazzie, because she is constantly looking over or under her glasses, instead of through them. Every time I tell her to look through the glass, she is almost in tears saying: “I can’t see”! I know that it is harder for her to see with the one eye, but that is the whole point; that weaker eye is forced to work harder, so that she eventually will be able to see with it. Several times this weekend I caught Jazzie taking the patch off, fumbling around with her glasses so she could see over them, which caused her implant to fall off. At one point she is playing nicely in the playroom with her patch on and I thought: “Great, she is doing okay with it now”. But then I looked closer and realized she had taken her patch off and put it on the other side, so she was seeing fine! Pretty clever…I guess she thought if she just sat there quietly, I wouldn’t notice! Obviously the felt patch isn’t going to work for Jazzie. We will need to get one of those patches that actually tapes to her skin. That way she won’t be able to “cheat”. She will only need to wear it for 6 hours a day. It can be 6 consecutive hours, or the 6 hours can be broken up throughout the day.
Of course we are all making a big deal about how pretty her patch is and how cool she looks – just like a pirate. The fact is that I hate that she has to wear it. First her ears and now her eyes. She just got one restriction taken away (processor on her back) and in return she got another. I just feel so bad for her. Why does she have to deal with all this kind of stuff?? I was complaining to Matt about this earlier today and he reminded me of a sign that is in front of a local church: “We are too blessed to be depressed”. I know Jazzie is blessed and I know that I am blessed. But I am also a mother who doesn’t want my babies to suffer in any way. Sigh….Hopefully the other patch will work better for Jazzie.
A group shot of the desperate houswives:
While blog hopping on Friday evening, I came across a very emotional and moving video. I have been surfing the web for anything "adoption" related for about 5 years; since being DTC for Jazzie. But Friday night was the first time I ever saw this.
Warning: you will need tissues!
After I picked Jazzie up from school yesterday, I took the girls to get their hair cut. This was Tahlia's first haircut! Yes, she has been home for over a year and just now did she get her first hair cut. When Jazzie was Tahlia's age, she had already had several haircuts, but Tahlia's hair is so different. It's very fine and doesn't grow very fast, but now she is sporting a cute little bob and it looks adorable!
"Okay, I'm ready - make me beautiful!"
And the old pro:
Tahlia modeling her new do:
Don't we look simply gorgeous??
This picture was taken on January 4, 2004 - almost 3 years ago. It was the first day that Jazzie wore her cochlear implant; about four weeks after her surgery. You can still see where they shaved her hair...What strikes me most when I look at this picture is how big her processor is! Over time her hair grew and the magnet on her head became almost invisible. She started wearing the harness under her clothes, so that became a lot less noticeable, unless she was wearing certain clothes.
This is how Jazzie walked around for almost 3 years and for those years, she never was able to hear in the tub, pool or shower....until last night.
Last night Jazzie asked to take a shower with her implant on. This was one of the things the audiologist told Jazzie she was able to do now with her new processor. Jazzie was so excited.
So Jazzie and I went into our shower and there she stood; first with a look of amazement on her face, but then with a huge smile. A few of her comments:
I stood there with tears in my eyes, because she was so amazed and so happy to hear these simple sounds that were absolutely new to her. Besides that, I was able to actually talk to her. No sign language was needed....I will never forget this night; the night that I took a shower with my girl where she heard me and the water sounds for the first time....
Sorry, but no pictures of this event are available ;-)
So I dropped Jazzie of at school today and everybody is wearing pajama's - except Jazzie. It turned out that today was pajama day at school and I had no idea. What happened was that a note went home at the last minute yesterday, and since I got Jazzie out of school early so we could go to her audiology appointment, we never got the note. I felt so bad for Jazzie, I almost cried. So I called Matt who works from home and asked if he could bring her some p.j.'s...Less than 30 minutes later daddy showed up and saved the day. Thanks, babe...you are the best!
On a different note...I am looking for a place for Tahlia to go to school for one or two mornings a week. I actually checked one out today. It was just okay for me. They have a two morning minimum. I am really looking for something that starts out as one morning a week and has the potential to turn into two mornings. The other thing is that it is from 9 to 1. I was really hoping for 9 to noon. The place seemed really nice and the lady that gave me the tour of course made it everything sound wonderful. However, going into the class rooms, I did not a very warm and fuzzy feeling. It wasn't bad, but just not what I was expecting. It didn't help that when the lady was getting some paperwork for me, I peeked in one of the classes again and saw most of the kids just standing around. They were not being guided towards anything. One of the teachers was scooping seeds out of a pumpkin and several kids were completely oblivious.....Also, I saw one of the teachers grab a boy by the arm in a way that wasn't very loving...In theory it all sounds great: art, music and movement, snack, outside play, yoga, dramatic play, story time, etc. All the things I would love for Tahlia. This was a Goddard School. Anyone familiar with them?
After this experience this morning I feel like I never want to send Tahlia away. Why would I? She is perfectly safe with me and there is no reason for me to send her away, right? We have tons of toys here and we can do crafts together and dance together here. Why send her away and pay someone else to do all those things?? There is my mommy guilt again. I know that Tahlia is ready for some sort of preschool program and I would love to have one or two mornings a week when I can run errands without a two year old in tow. So it is back to checking out more places....
Jazzie got her new cochlear implant processor today! For the past three years, she has been wearing her processor on her back. My mother-in-law made several tops for her, made out of t-shirt material with a pocket sewn on the back that held her processor. You can see Jazzie modeling it for the last time last night... She wore this under her clothes every day. Every night at bedtime, we had to take it off, put her pajama’s on and put a different harness on that fit over her p.j.’s. It was quite a hassle.
Since her old processor could not get wet, we would have to dig inside her clothes every time we were anywhere near water. No walking in the rain, playing in the sprinkler, throwing water balloons, etc., unless her implant came off first. We have to do the same thing every time Jazzie wants to go down a slide, since her processor is extremely sensitive to static. However, now that she has her new processor, it’s a new world for her. It is so much easier to put on and take off. The best part is that it is water resistant. Jazzie can now walk in the rain, play in the sprinkler and throw balloons at the annual family reunion water balloon toss, without having to take her implant off. For the first time in her life, she will be able to do all these things, while being able to hear. Amazing…Here is a picture of her new and improved processor:
Jazzie was so excited when we were at the audiologist today. She had a HUGE smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye while she was waiting for the audiologist to set everything up for her. She is so happy with it. She likes the fact that she does not need to wear her "bra" anymore and she likes that it comes with interchangeable pieces that are different colors to coordinate with her outfits. She has got such style! Here she is sporting a pink piece. The blue cord is attached to her processor and clips to her clothes, so that it won't get lost if it were to fall off. Here are some more pictures: And finally a side by side of the old and the new:
Jazzie was so excited when we were at the audiologist today. She had a HUGE smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye while she was waiting for the audiologist to set everything up for her. She is so happy with it. She likes the fact that she does not need to wear her "bra" anymore and she likes that it comes with interchangeable pieces that are different colors to coordinate with her outfits. She has got such style! Here she is sporting a pink piece. The blue cord is attached to her processor and clips to her clothes, so that it won't get lost if it were to fall off.
Here are some more pictures:
And finally a side by side of the old and the new:
Some good things:
My girls are developing good manners. It is so impartant to me that the girls grow up to be polite. Jazzie consistently says "thank you" to anyone without being prompted and Tahlia will say "Bless you", whether you sneeze, cough or hick-up :-)
Tahlia is getting more open to other people and doesn't cling to me 24/7. This is very good.
I have a great husband. Last night while I was getting ready for bed, he waited on my side of the bed so that my spot would be warm...(I know Cera, you are probably rolling your eyes!!!!)
Matt and I are going on our third date in as many weeks! Our neighbors are having a halloween party this Saturday and we are looking forward to it.
The smiles on the girls' faces while reading "Llama llama red pajama".
The girls get along so well (for the most part). I honestly could not imagine one without the other, and I don't think they can either.
The not so good:
I have not been feeling well lately and after some blood tests I found out today that my insuline level is very high. What does that mean? Borderline diabetic. So obviously a big lifestyle change is in store for me....
Wow - just days after the conversation about what to tell our children about their birth parents, Jazzie bombarded me with questions tonight. She always seems to have questions after reading "How I was adopted", but tonight you could see the wheels turning in her head. It turned out that in the end, I ended up answering most of her questions with "I don't know". Some of her questions and statements after reading the book tonight:
"Does my Chinese mommy live far away?
"Was she happy when I was born?"
"Did she have another baby?"
"Does she have earrings?"
After talking about going to China one day as a family:
"I want to go to China and find my Chinese mommy and daddy. "
"When we go to China, will I have to stay?"
"Do you have to give me back to my Chinese mommy? "
"Will you have to come back for me to adopt me again?"
Wow, those were some heavy questions that were sometimes hard to answer. Especially the "Was my Chinese mommy happy when I was born"? I really didn't know how to answer that. I just told her that I didn't know, but that I was happy that she was born, because I am her forever mommy now. The question about her birth mother having another baby, opened up the subject about the 1 child policy. All I said is that in China, people are only allowed to have one baby. She seemed confused, but okay with the answer for now. Her question about having to stay in China or being given back, made me so sad for her. This obviously is really confusing and she is trying hard to sort all this out in her little head.
And her final comments: "I will go back to China when I am 27 and I will have big boobies". She giggled uncontrollably and just like that, she was back to being a silly 4 year old again...
We took my mom and dad to the airport last night. They have gone home and life is back to normal again. We had a great visit, but I must admit that I also think it's nice to have my house and my life back to normal again. Like I said before, we had a good time; my mom left my house spotless, my dad put up the framing for the walls in the basement, and the girls are richer because they got to experience having two energetic and fun grandparents. Saying good bye was okay. It is never easy, but I think we all wanted it to be over as soon as possible, so after they checked in, we said goodbye and left immediately.
It was really nice to have my mom around for a few weeks. Growing up, we were never that close, but since I've had kids, we have gotten closer and I have a completely different understanding of our relationship from when I was younger. Mom and dad were here for three weeks and I think that is plenty. I could not imagine it being any longer, to be honest. Our neighbors across the street are from India. When their son was born last year, the husbands parents came and stayed for 6 months. Right before they left, the wife's parents came and are here now for 6 months. I guess it is a cultural thing and very common in India. I love my parents, but I would not want to have them living with us for a year!!!
On a completely different note, I came across this picture of Jazzie and Tahlia, taken shortly after coming home from China. Doesn't the picture just scream: "I'm not sure about having a sister"? Jazzie doesn't look too thrilled to involve her sister in her play, and Tahlia looks less than thrilled as well.
Oh, how far these two have come....
Now one is contantly looking for her little sister to come and join her play and the other one looks up to her older sister so much, that she wants to do everything exactly like her.
Below is a letter written by Amy Eldridge from Love Without Boundaries. I always like what she has to say. Unfortunately, after reading this, I am still no closer to figuring out what I am going to tell my girls. What makes things more complicated for me is that I how I feel about the circumstances surrounding Jazzie's abandonment and life in the orphanage is very, very different from how I feel about Tahlia's. Do I tell each girl a different story or do I tell them the same thing? Things are getting more complicated...Thanks to Shannon for sending me the following, written by Amy Eldridge:
Oh what a complex and complicated topic. I know Angela posted on this, and I have to admit that I was feeling the same mix of sadness and frustration that more people don't realize that not all babies being left are placed with a plan to be adopted. Only 2% of children will ever be adopted. I used to want to be able to tell my daughter that her birthparents had a plan for her, too......and I wish more than anything that I still held that thought in my heart. But that all changes when you stand in an abandonment room and see the children brought in. Some ARE left to die. And you know who gets the angriest? The orphanage staff, and the hospital staff who care for the children. Oh they get mad. I remember being in an orphanage when they brought in a baby in a plastic bag that they resuscitated. The doctor in the orphanage was BEYOND angry at those birthparents. Was the bag mentioned in the adoption papers? No....it simply said she was found on a road. The orphanage staff told me they would never have "burdened the child" with the truth of how she was found. The baby IN the river was listed in her adoption papers as BY the river. Oh the aunties filled my ears with what they wished happened to that set of parents. The same goes for a little girl who was injured by her birthparents and when they took her to the hospital and got the bill, they fled the scene. Again....when I went back to this hospital to tell them she had been adopted, the nurses and hospital staff were overjoyed that the little girl had a home, but they were furious with the birthparents for simply leaving that three year old alone and terrified in a strange hospital. One nurse even followed me all the way outside to continue telling me how despicable she thought the birthparents were. Those aren't my words, those were hers because she was the one who was left to deal with the child's pain. On the one hand, the child's new adoptive parents could tell her that she was taken to the hospital to be healed and so her birthparents had a plan for her, but the sad reality is that they cared more about not having to pay the bill than for their daughter, so they snuck off in the middle of the night and left a little girl screaming and terrified when she woke up in the morning and discovered she was completely alone. I am not saying it is right or wrong to tell a child there was a plan. I am being completely honest when I say I am completely confused now. The one truth is that every single one of our children's adoption stories begins with the very real issue of abandonment. I have sat and talked at length to girls who were left on buses, taken to train stations and told to "be good" or who simply turned around in the market to discover their mother was gone. I honestly wish I didn't know these stories. (but oh how it makes me want to help those older girls). It does make it harder for me personally when my daughter asks "did she love me?" It is harder now for me to look her in the eyes and say "I'm sure she did". I don't know anymore if her birthparents did. I still like to think that her birthparents loved her.....but after seeing the condition of some of these kids when they are brought in, I just don't know for sure. I do feel very fortunate that I was able to talk to someone who was there when she was found, and so I know exactly how she was left. I say "I don't know" a lot, which seems like a cop out to me in some way, but is honestly the truth for me after what I have experienced there. I read everything I can on the subject, and there seems to be such conflicting views from adult adoptees.....some say it is essential to a child's self esteem to know they were loved and so we should tell them their birthparents of course loved them, while others say you should NEVER lie to your child and so of course you can't tell them that they were absolutely loved. How I wish I had a magic ball. And I do want to say that of course we know there are some wonderful orphanages in China. I have been in several where you can FEEL the love of the staff for the children.....where the kids call out "Baba!" to the orphanage director and sleep in the aunties' beds when no one is looking. Those are orphanages that you never want to leave. But it is also a very harsh reality that there are horrible orphanages there, too. With directors who insist on only new clothing so they can sell it in the markets for a higher price and who refuse to take leftover food from fancy gvt lunches back to the kids because they "aren't worth the scraps" (yes, that was a real quote). Sometimes when I am ready to beat my head against a wall trying to deal with a director who disdains children, I am so thankful that there are wonderful people who constantly remind me that it isn't the children's fault that they were left and taken to one of the bad places. I am so thankful that I have met some incredibly giving and kindhearted people in China who want to help these kids. We must always keep our eyes on the children. And so we keep trying to help them in any way possible. I guess it is just very complex just like every country has complex issues. Yes there is infanticide and abandonment and baby selling; anyone who thinks those are things of the past needs to simply go to China and talk to local people. .....but there are also some people in the orphanages who are trying everything to give the kids in their care a chance. I try to remember those people each day. They truly work so hard for so very little. I try to remember the aunties who work 24 hour shifts for $6 per day, and yet who still find joy in telling stories and singing songs with the kids. THOSE are my heroes. Those are the people I tell my daughter about when she asks if she was loved. But how could my heart not be heavy since I have seen children and babies, sometimes up to ten a week, brought in grieving and in shock? It has become a very complicated issue for me. Amy E
I have spent most of my weekend thinking about my last couple of posts and the comments and e-mails that it brought. I tried to think about what to say to my girls about their birth parents. I still have not come up with one single thing that is 100% the right answer. I still strongly agree with Lorrie about confusing a child by telling them that their birth parents loved them. However, I also agree with Tracy, who commented that she would never want her child to feel unloved or unwanted; I don't want that either....
I want to talk about Jazzie for now. There are several things concerning her abandonment and life in the orphanage that makes me believe she was loved. First of all, Jazzie was almost 6 weeks when she was brought to the orphanage. I believe that her birth mother loved her, held her, kept her, fed/nursed her, until she no longer could. From the way Jazzie was found and the items found with her, I also believe that whoever left her behind, had feelings for her. From the way I saw the nannies interact with Jazzie, I could tell that they loved those babies. If they didn't, they were some good actors.
This nanny in particular had a difficult time letting go of Jazzie. She kept coming back for one more kiss, one more hug. Jazzie seemed attached to her, so I can only assume that she was loved by this lady. Therefor, Johnny's comment about what to say when the question "Did my nanny love me?" comes up, made me think as well. He's right - I can't win.
Thinking back to the day of when we got Jazzie made me want to share something that happened to one of the families in our travel group. I will call them "Family B."
When we were waiting in the playroom of the Huatian Hotel in Changsha, Hunan to receive our babies, an unidentified woman was ushered into the room by one of the orphanage staff members. She was placed behind the nanny holding Family B.'s baby. The entire time, another staff member was holding her arm, as if trying to hold her back. This woman later came back to Family B.'s hotel room with the orphanage staff. Again, she was held by the arm the entire time. She never came to our room or to any of the other family's rooms. Family B. told us later that this woman was not introduced as one of the orphanage staff members; she was never introduced at all. She never spoke, but did ask to have her picture taken with Family B.'s new daughter. Family B. is convinced that it was the birth mother. Of course we can never be sure, but it was weird. So when Tracy commented about birth mothers trying to sneak around orphanages to get a peek of their babies, I believe that.
Your e-mails and comments have really made me think and see things from all kinds of different angles, so thank you all for that.
Lora commented on my last post and wondered what I would tell my girls if I would not tell them that their birth mother loved them. The truth is that I am not really sure. Before I read Lorrie's comment, I never thought about the fact that telling my girls that their birth mother loved them, might be confusing. In my own mind I like to think that my girls were loved when they were born and that their birth parents were forced into a situation because of circumstances beyond their control. Of course I will never know the circumstances surrounding my daughters' birth's, but thinking that they were loved, makes it easier for me.
Right now I just tell Jazzie that her birth mother was not able to keep her and she knows that she lived in the orphanage and that nannies took care of her. How she got there and why her birth parents were not able to keep her, is not something that Jazzie has asked me about. I know that more questions are coming, though and I hope that I can answer them in a way that will give my girls peace.
Here is a picture of Matt's mom reading "How I was adopted", by Joanna Cole. It is one of Jazzie's favorites (and mine, too). It's funny, because for a long time, Jazzie had no interest in any of the adoption related story books that we have at our house. Only recently has she been asking to read them over and over. The interesting part is that she mostly prefers Mimi to read them. Jazzie has been asking about her "Chinese mommy". She regularly asks me what her name is, where she is, what she is doing and if she has another baby in her belly. The only answer I can give her is that I don't know.
"My opinion (and I do have one) is that telling a small child that their birth parents "loved" them is about the worst thing you can do. Then you hug them and tell them YOU love them. What sort of analogy is the child going to draw? Love doesn't stop you from being given away."
I honestly never thought about it this way and this comment made me stop in my tracks. I have been guilty of telling Jazzie that her birth mother loved her, but after reading Lorrie's comment, I will never, ever make a comment like that again.
For the longest time Jazzie didn't want to hear anything about her birth parents, her being adopted, etc. It is only recently that she has started asking some questions. I certainly want her to know that the topic is always open and that we can talk about it whenever she wants to; I just hope to find the right words to explain the circumstances of her becoming our daughter...
Thanks everyone for the nice comments and e-mails about my added verse to the "You are My Sunshine" song. Of course I don't mind if you steal, borrow or use it! I almost didn't post it, because I thought people would think it was kind of corny. But since this blog is (mostly) about my girls and because it has special meaning to them, I decided to go ahead and post it.
Funny Jazzie comment after we were talking about people's ages: "Mom, you are not a little girl anymore. You are 64 now". This comment comes after Matt's grandma told me this weekend that she thought I looked like 55!!! The good thing is that Jazzie is 4 and Grandma is 92, so I will let their comments slide.
For the record: I turned 36, today.
My girl is growing up and changing!!!
Old favorite books: Any kind of Maisy book
New favorite books: Anything by Sandra Boynton
Used to love: Plain rice and plain noodles.
Now prefers: Rice and noodles with some sort of sauce.
Used to say: "Help!"
Now says: "Tahya do!!!"
Favorite song at bed time for months and months: The ABC song.
Now all she wants me to sing is: "You are my sunshine". I have added a verse to it that I made up myself and that is really all she wants me to sing anymore. Every time I sing it, she lays her head on my shoulder, rubs her little hands in my hair and looks up at me and smiles when I am finished. The words are:
Mommy and daddy, got on an airplane, we went to China to bring you home.
When we first saw you, we knew we loved you.
Now you'll never be alone.
Used to be fine with: Me picking out her clothes.
Now she wants: To pick out clothes herself. Never mind that they do not match AT ALL!
Old favorite toys: Blocks and dolls
New favorite toys: Leap Pad and puzzles
Used to talk: With one word only.
Now she talks: In two or three word phrases.
Yes, my girl is growing up. She is not a baby anymore...
With my parents here, it has been hard to find the time to blog. Our schedule is completely different now. Things are going fine, though. My parents are really good about finding things to do themselves, so I don't feel pressured to entertain them at all times. They just left a while ago to do some shopping, so I have some nice time for myself. Having time for myself, by myself, has always been very important to me, so having my parents here has prevented me from having that time. Tahlia is taking a nap, so I am taking this time to put down some thoughts.
First, my Tahlia. When is she going to be a good sleeper??? We are still having some issues with her sleeping. Napping in the afternoon is not a problem; it's the night time. Putting her down has become a little bit more of a hassle again. Don't get me wrong, it is not at all like it used to be, but I so would LOVE to be able to put her in bed at the end of the day and be done for the night. Instead, we are finding ourselves having to go up to Tahlia's room 4 or 5 times, to reassure her. The other thing she has started doing is taking her pajama's off and then calling down to us: "Uh oh"!!!! Really cute, huh? She has also started waking up in the night again. Last night we were up from 2:45 until 5:15. Just as I had put her back down and I was almost asleep again, she started calling for us again. So frustrating, especially since I have the added concern of her waking up my parents. After going into her room several times, I asked Matt to please try and quiet her down. He did, but then I felt too guilty that he was out there with her and I was warm and comfortable in our bed. See, there is that mommy guilt that I struggle with so much!
Now about Jazzie. Even though she sleeps through the night and sleeps until a reasonable hour, the same thing goes for her as for Tahlia. I would just like to be able to put Jazzie down at night and be done. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen with her. She also calls us up for several reasons, mostly because she needs just "one more kiss" or "one more hug". Also, things have to be exactly so in her room. If there is something out of place, she will not go to sleep until the situation is taken care of. Her bedroom is right across from Tahlia's, so she sees me go in and out and in and out of Tahlia's room several times. Of course she wants me to come in her room as well. The worst thing is that when she calls for us and we don't come right away, she uses this awful scream/whine. I am not sure if she does that because she can't hear herself since her implant comes off at night. We also cannot call up to her that we are coming, so that definitely complicates things. <Sigh>....I'm sure things will get better and that Matt and I will be able to sleep again, right???
Fighting for mom's attention. This really only happens at bed time. Matt and I used to have a system that worked really well. One night, I would read to Tahlia and put her to bed and Matt would do the same with Jazzie. The following night we switched girls. Well, that is not working so well anymore. Both girls want mom at bed time. I thought I could work out the situation by reading to both girls at the same time. Tahlia is fine with that, but Jazzie most definitely is not. She wants my attention all for herself. I can't say I blame her. Tahlia is with me all day and Jazzie is at school all day. It is only every other night that Jazzie gets some alone time with me, so I understand where she is coming from. So what happens now is that I read to Jazzie while Tahlia is crying for me in the other room. It is not a good solution, but all that we have right now. If anyone has any suggestions, please, I would love to hear them.
Back to the girls calling for us several times after we put them to bed. Matt and I had a date on Saturday. My parents stayed with the girls. I tried to prepare my parents for what was to come at bed time, but would you believe that nothing happened?? My mom and dad put the girls to bed, and didn't hear a peep out of either one of them!!!! Aaargh....Why is that?? At least Matt and I had a really nice evening and since things went so well, we are going out again this weekend. Wow, two weekend dates in a row; exciting stuff around here!
Below are some more pictures. All these pictures were taken in the woods this past Saturday.
P.S. If you are wondering where Jazzie's glasses are, we are having the hardest time getting them adjusted right, so that they stay on her face. Jazzie hardly has a bridge on her nose, so her glasses tend to slide down, which causes her to look over her glasses instead of through them. We have had them adjusted since and she is back to wearing them.
Funny Jazzie comment after Tahlia asked for a mint: "No, Talley, those are only for when your mouth is stinky".
Tahlia is just learning how to use chopsticks ;-),
Jazzie on the other hand is getting pretty good...
After the noodles, it was time to eat the oranges:
OK, so we also had some fun with the orange slices. Who said this had to be a completely serious occasion???
We also tried some mooncakes. I thought they were just okay. Tahlia on the other hand thought they were quite tasty:
Our nightly bed time stories tonight consisted of:
Many of you know that Jazzie is going to Ohio Valley Voices, an oral deaf school. Once a quarter, the school comes out with a newsletter. Each newsletter features a story written by one of the parents of the students at Ohio Valley Voices. I was asked to write my story for the fall newsletter. Because I am so proud of my girl, I am sharing it here first:
On Mother’s Day 2003, my husband and I traveled to Hunan in The People’s Republic of China to adopt our then 9 ½ month old daughter, Jasmine. The day after we arrived, a beautiful and very quiet little girl was placed in our arms. Even though Jasmine’s medical information stated that she was a healthy child with normal hearing, we soon realized that her hearing was not normal. She was not responding to our voices or to other sounds around her. As soon as we returned home to the United States, we had Jasmines hearing tested. After several tests at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the following words were spoken to us: “Your daughter has no functional hearing”. We were shocked and very sad. It took a while for the words and what they meant to fully sink in. I worried about my daughter living a life in silence. How would we communicate? What kind of life was she going to have? All our hopes and dreams for her came crashing down at that moment. However, this was all before we learned about the cochlear implant. Up until then we had never even heard of it. We started reading everything we could find about cochlear implants, talked to parents of children with an implant and visited Ohio Valley Voices. My husband and I walked away from that visit in tears. That visit sparked so much hope, so much excitement and such amazement. We saw children at the school who were like our daughter, but these children were speaking and we were able to understand them!!! We knew right then and there that we wanted Jasmine to receive a cochlear implant and we wanted her to attend Ohio Valley Voices and we wanted it as soon as possible. When Jasmine was 16 months old she received her cochlear implant and she started in the toddler program at OVV when she was 18 months old. Jazzie is now 4 years old and has come such a long way. She is talking in complex sentences, she knows her ABC’s and her numbers, she likes to sing songs and she is able to have conversations not only with us, but with all our friends and family as well. We continue to be amazed at Jasmine’s progress and growth. We feel so blessed to have this school right here in Cincinnati. The dedication of the staff and teachers is overwhelming and all the hard work that they put in, is showing in how Jasmine is doing today. We no longer worry about what kind of life Jazzie is going to have. We know that Jazzie will be just fine. I know that with the help of Ohio Valley Voices and Jasmine’s own hard work and determination, she is going to be a fully functioning participant in society and the hearing world. With Gratitude, Sandra
We spent the weekend celebrating Alex' birthday and hanging out with my parents who are in from Holland. With them here, I haven't had much time to blog and I am missing it!
My mom and dad got here last Wednesday. Jazzie was so excited and she couldn't wait to see them. We were waiting for them at the airport and when she finally spotted them, she ran to my mom and jumped into her arms. I wasn't sure how she would react, since it had been over a year since we had last seen them. My parents stayed with Jazzie when we traveled to China for Tahlia, so Jazzie had a great opportunity to bond with my parents. From her reaction after seeing them again, it was obvious that she hadn't forgotten! Tahlia really surprised me, because she is usually very shy around other people, but she went to my mom and dad immediately. She has taken to both of them really well. Both girls like to help "oma" with whatever she is doing. Yesterday Jazzie and oma spent about an hour doing arts and crafts. The thing is that my mom does not speak any English, but somehow she is able to communicate with the girls. My mom will be talking to Jazzie in Dutch, and Jazzie will respond correctly in English. I don't know how they do it, but they do. It is amazing to see. There are also a lot of gestures, but they mainly just talk...Again, amazing...
Seeing my girls have such a good time with their grandparents makes me kind of sad to think that they are missing out on them. We don't see each other often at all; maybe once every 18 months or so. I was very close to my grandparents, so I know how wonderful and important it is to have that relationship. Luckily though, Matt's parents aren't very far and the girls are having a wonderful time with my parents right now and we will make the most of the time we have together. The girls are being
My mom has been busy cleaning my house. So far she has cleaned all the windows, all the blinds and the entire mudroom. My dad is keeping busy as well. We are in the process of finishing the basement, so Matt is having him do all the prep work and putting the frames together for the walls. Besides that, my dad is crazy about our dog and has taken over all dog feeding and dog walking responsibilities. So besides playing with the girls, they are doing tons of stuff for us as well.
Here are some pictures from the weekend: