Sunday, August 28, 2011

Conversations With Liza: I'm a Gorilla!

Anyone else watch Signing Time? Liza loves ST - she's mildly obsessed with it and I think she believes that Rachel is her best friend. Actually, there are days I feel like Rachel is my best friend. She's helped me get so much blogging housework done.

One of Liza's favorite's to watch is The Zoo Train. They play a fun little game where one of the children makes the animal sign and the other guesses what they are. For the past week Liza has been playing this game with me, except she's always a gorilla. I think she just likes it because you get to beat on your chest.

Ok, so all this week she's come up to me at random times and signed gorilla. At first I was just saying "gorilla" but then I started saying "Liza's a gorilla!" kinda like they do on Zoo Train and she loved it. Tonight she wanted to watch ST but The Brothers were watching Chuck and were not ready to share the TV and DVD player yet. So, she sat on my lap and was bing "my baby", this is what I tell her when she's being cuddly and puts her head on my shoulder. Then we had this conversation:

Liza: signs "gorilla"

Me: "Liza's a gorilla!"

Liza: (grins and then puts her head on my shoulder)

Me: "Aww, are you mama's baby?"

Liza: looks at me and signs "gorilla" again with a grin then puts her head back on my shoulder

Me: "Oh, you're Mama's baby gorilla?"

Liza: grins and shakes her head "yes"

I kinda like her being a baby gorilla, cause the other option is her being a baby dog - AKA puhpuhpuh. And, when she's a puhpuhpuh she gives kisses......... just like a real puhpuhpuh does. Cute, but icky...... LOL

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fundraiser Friday: Honoring Derek L and Bringing Liam Home

This FF post is a little bit different than most. There are no prizes to possibly win for your donation, except the feeling of knowing that you honored a good man's memory and helped a wonderful mom get her little boy home. And isn't that really good enough? We're talking about bringing a little boy from the reality of an institution to the much more awesome reality of a loving family. Specifically a loving mom and four awesome brothers. All the prizes you could possibly win just have to pale in comparison to that.

Derek Loux was an Intercessory missionary at IHOP-KC who was passionate about orphans and adoption. He would have been 39 yesterday and his family has chosen to honor him by helping Amy Lucas and her family bring Liam home.

I'll let you read what his Sister-in-lawTracie, wrote and ask that you consider giving in honor of Derek. It will possibly be the greatest thing you have the opportunity to do today. (All content below copied directly from this blog post, A Birthday Gift for Derek Loux.)

 A Birthday Gift for Derek Loux

Today would have been my brother Derek’s 39th birthday. (Forgive me for dropping the “in-law” part. I’ve always hated that little tag.)
This is the letter that I will place on his grave tonight.
I can’t even believe we are here celebrating another birthday without you. The ache in our hearts seems to just grow. The reality of the space you are no longer here to fill just seems to get deeper. I miss you so much, my brother, my friend.
This year I am incredibly sad that you were not here to met our newest son, Matthias. I hold him sometimes and think of you, knowing that you would  just gobble him to pieces. You’d be so proud of Mattie. He’s a fighter. He’s so strong and courageous. Much like your little Josiah, he’s melting hearts left and right with his killer smile and endearing little expressions. Oh how I wish you could have met him. He’s your kind of guy.
I can’t tell you how many times this year, thoughts of you and remembrances of words spoken, have spurred me on in this journey we’re now on.
You’d be so proud of your brother. He’s laid down so much for his family this year and he’s done it with joy. He’s an amazing Dad. I know if you were here, you’d be cheering him on and taking him out to check on his heart. I wish so much that you were here to do that.
And your wife. Well, you knew it all along, she’s a one of a kind treasure. You don’t need me to tell you that she’s amazing, but I’m telling you anyway. She’s walked this journey so well. Hurting deeply but loving completely, giving passionately, and serving selflessly.
I tell you things you probably already know just because I miss being able to talk to you.
I miss you. Life is just not right without you.
Because I believe that gifts are important as we celebrate birthday’s,  I would like to ask that on behalf of the entire Loux Family, you consider being part of giving Derek an incredible birthday gift today.
I don’t need to tell you that Derek was a fierce champion for justice and was deeply passionate about the church rising up for the cause of the orphan. So today when I asked the Lord to show me how we could GIVE as we celebrate Derek’s life, one family came to mind.
Amy Lucas  is a single Mom to four sons. Amy’s oldest son Jimmy (24) was born with Down syndrome and Amy’s life was changed forever. After Jimmy’s birth, Amy was inspired to become a special education teacher. She is currently a middle school special education teacher, a job that is so rewarding for her. Amy’s next son Ben is 19 and he and Jimmy are very close. When Jimmy turned 18, Amy had the desire to adopt. She had always wanted to have more children and decided now was the time. In 2005, she adopted Caleb 8(then 2 years old) from Russia. Caleb also has Down syndrome and he is the firecracker of the family. He has added so much love and fun to the family, that Amy just had to bring another little one with Ds home. In 2009, Amy adopted Elijah 4 (then 2) from Russia. Raising children with Ds is the best part of Amy’s life. They bring more joy into her life than she could ever have imagined! Even though Amy thought her family was complete, her heart ached for the orphans left behind. And then God spoke to Amy by placing another little boy on her heart, and Amy is more than excited to begin the process again to bring another son home. Although the financial piece of adoption is great, Amy has faith that God will provide.
There is currently $6000 is Ivan’s Adoption Fund. Amy still needs to raise $7500 to be complete this adoption and her dossier has already been mailed and she is waiting on a travel date.
We are asking that you mark each donation “Happy Birthday Derek Loux”- I would love to report to Renee by the end of the day that this entire $7500 was raised in celebration of Derek’s life!
The donate button on her blog with the Reece’s Rainbow symbol allows you to give tax-deductibly, knowing that every penny given will go directly to Ivan’s Adoption Fund.
Please give and help get this sweet little boy home to his family. Give $10, $50, $100, $1000, I don’t really care how much, just give!

CLICK HERE TO GIVE!! (under Ivan’s picture on this link, click the DONATE button)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One Year Ago Today: Sunday Snapshot 8/22/10

Ok, it wasn't quite a year ago to the exact date, but it's only one day off. This was my Sunday Snapshot post from last year on 8/22 - I was still so excited that we would soon be going to meet her for the first time. I kept going thru all the pictures I'd received of her throughout all those long months of waiting and almost couldn't believe that soon I wouldn't have to look at a picture anymore. That I'd actually be looking at her beautiful face in person. I just can't put into words how amazing that moment really was.

(Last years post is in italics and, now that I know her, I have added little updates to some of my thoughts from that time in bold.)

Now that we have been submitted, and I no longer have to stress over adoption paperwork, I find I'm getting my blogging mojo back some. I am really happy about that.

Since we have been submitted and we are just waiting for a date to travel to get that sweet girl we've been dreaming of for so long I decided that this week's "Sunday Snapshot" should be dedicated to her. All the pictures, or a good bit of them, that I have been blessed with since we started this journey. I know that having folks to send these to us was a total blessing because so many families adopting from her country do not have that. Each and every one was a lifeline of sorts to help me to hold on through all the hurdles that we had to go over.

This is the first one I ever saw of her. How can you resist that face? It's REALLY hard. Wonder how much harder it will be when it's actually standing in front of me?! Oh boy.... All I can say is, Thank God I had practice being a Mama already or she would be running the household right now. Ahem, not that she doesn't already think she does.
This one was next and it made me sad in a way. Cause she was obviously growing up and I was missing it, but also there just seemed to be something sad about the way she was standing there all alone. Does anyone else see it? Or am I just seeing it through the eyes of a mom missing her little one? I think I figured out why she looks sad here. She was actually tired and maybe a little nervous. This is the therapy room at her baby house, which we saw rarely get used. There's a window in the background and you can see it's dark out. She was probably ready to go to bed and she couldn't walk at that time so she was most likely nervous about being stood for the pic.

I think this one is just my favorite! Her expression here tells me so much. Maybe it's because she reminds me of some of Noah's facial expressions but I have a feeling that she and he have very similar personalities. Full of silly and stinkerisms! One of these days I'll post a photo I have of him making this face along with this one of hers and you all can tell me if I'm wrong.  Plus, you can see her sweet little hands here. Aren't they just the cutest? I'm gonna kiss those soon :) Stinkerisms and silliness for sure! I was right on about that. And I still have to find that pic of Noah making this same face.

Another one of my faves. It's just cute. It's almost as if she's saying she doesn't really have time for all this picture takin'. But, there's also maybe a little bit of a longing, "Here I am Mom and Dad, Where are you?" look. This is also one of the last pics I got that she still had her "baby" look to her face. She really doesn't like to wait around for you to get a good pic of her, you better be ready to catch a good one when you can. I need to get a faster camera :)

These three, I call the Red Coat Pics, I got sometime late last fall. She is just doing her own thing. Swinging, making faces, trying to call me on the phone. I'm sure she was asking just where the heck I was at. Notice how she doesn't really give a smile but it's not as if she doesn't want her pic taken? I think she's just really a stinker who loves to make faces when you want her to actually smile at the camera. I'm looking forward to finding out for sure. No smiling for the camera for this girl. But, they still manage to come out pretty cute.
This one I got in the Early Spring. Noah calls this her Strawberry Shortcake outfit... lol Yeah, she seems real thrilled with it too, huh? :) No more strawberry shortcake outfits. 

This is a recent one that I just got from a family that went to her region for a missions trip. They got to spend time with her and tell her about me. I am pretty sure most of my guesses from looking at her photos are pretty accurate. There's one of her famous picture faces again! Pretty sure I've gotten some shots like this in the last few months.

Just the day before we were submitted I found these on another Missionary's blog and when I left her a comment she sent them to me. She has lost a lot of her baby look, but she is still so super cute. Even half naked with a funny hat on her head! Did you notice how you could almost see her ribs in these photos? Not anymore. She's filled out, got longer hair, and well, she still likes to run around naked. Who doesn't? LOL

We are so excited to go and get her. To wrap her in a Mom and Dad's love, to teach her about Jesus - although I am pretty sure she's already heard His name before. I have pretty bows to put in her hair and new shoes and clothes. All ready for her to begin her new life. From Orphan to UnOphan, as someone I know recently said. Keep praying favor over our dossier and that I would find things to keep myself busy in the meantime. We are ALMOST THERE!

This year I am thanking God that she is here with us. Every day I look at her and am overwhelmed at the blessing of Liza. She's a Promise kept and represents Victory now and to come. And, I get to be her Mama. That just blows my mind.

August 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Year Ago Today: Submitted

Anybody else noticed the new thing Facebook is doing now? Showing your status from "a year ago today"? I noticed it a couple days ago and it reminded me of the night one of my boys decided to see how many stick pretzels he could get in his mouth at once. I had forgotten about that and it was nice to have that reminder and laugh about it all over again. He got 20, by the way.

Today's reminder from a year ago was this:
"WE were SUBMITTED!!!! Oh, my gosh... I think I am gonna go berserk if I don't let a screech out. Hallelujah..... Thank you Jesus! WE finally made it to this point. Now just to hear a travel datte in about 2-3 weeks. YAY!! Liza we are coming!!"

I was pretty excited as you can see by the excessive use of capitalization and exclamation points, not to mention the way I spelled date, you may not know this but when I misspell  a word it irks me to pieces. But, wasn't nothing bringing my high down that day.... lol.

Lately, as we're getting closer and closer to the first anniversary of all the more exciting parts of our adoption process I find myself looking at Liza and just marveling that she's really here (yes, I am still doing that almost 10 months later) and that she's been with us for almost a year now. If you've been reading along here for a while you know our process had lots of bumps, twists, and turns. So, to look at her after all we went through to get her here, I see a miracle every time. I feel sorry for everyone who doesn't get to look at her and see what I see. 

All that emotion coupled with the news of the little ones literally wasting away in another Eastern European country has really been bringing me to tears the past few days. I cry for them, because right now they are not someone's precious, beautiful princess or sweet little prince. I also find myself crying because I know that Liza was so close to that being her fate. I thank God every time that she is here and not in the institution she would have went to if we had been unable to get her, which almost happened.

There's a lot of our adoption story that got left out because we were busy, overwhelmed, and a lot of times didn't have a reliable internet connection. I've decided to go back in time a little bit and share all the things that never got shared before. Like Liza's story that we were told the day we met her, broke my heart. And the story of Sasha and how she was almost our daughter instead of Liza. As happy as I am that Liza is here I still think of that little one and wonder if her day will ever come. 

I think one year later is a good time to finally go back and tell the whole story. It's a good one, although bittersweet in some places and maybe a bit confusing in others. I'm kinda looking forward to it :)

Fundraiser Friday: Good Grief and One for MANY

This week I have two different fundraisers that I just couldn't choose between so I decided to feature both.

Gentry and Luis Zuzunaga are adopting Maria. They have already made one trip to visit her and are waiting for their next trip for court and then to bring her home.

Check out that Smile! How can you resist?
The Zuzunaga's have been given the opportunity to giveaway an E-book to raise the money for Maria's ransom. Good Grief was written by a friend of Gentry's, Erica McNeal, who has experienced real periods of grief in her life. These are her words to describe her book, 

"fills in the gap between people who are hurting that don’t know 

what they need and their loved ones who don’t know how to help!"

Here's how the giveaway works:
  • Every $15 or more donation to the chip-in in their sidebar is a purchase of the book. All proceeds go to their Reece's Rainbow grant fund.
  • At every $100 milestone they will draw a name and that person will receive a $20 Starbucks card. It'd be like getting the book for free and winning a coffee to sip as you read it :)

Go and check them out and get yourself a possibly free book. 

Then there's Amanda and David Burlingham, they are adopting Liza's orphanage "brother", Andriy.

When I met him I never saw a smile like this.
He has been moved to a very nice place,
 but soon will be in an even better place, a FAMILY :)

Amanda has a giveaway going on her blog that she's calling One for MANY. The idea is to benefit not only her family's adoption but five other families as well. They have some amazing prizes to give away over there. Isn't it amazing the creativity we Mamas come up with to get our babies home?

These are the other families that will be blessed when you enter:

Just a little sample of what you will find when you go over to Amanda's blog to take a look:

  • Nook Color
  • Nintendo Black Wii Console w/Mario Kart
  • Apple iPod touch 8GB With

    Ematic 11-in-1 Accessory Kit for iPod Touch (4th Generation)

    She also has tons of great Etsy items to giveaway. 

    This is just a small sample. There are so many more beautiful items.
    You have to go see for yourself.
    This is how it works:
  • $5 = 1 chance
  • $10 = 3 chances
  • $25 = 10 chances
  • $50 = 30 chances
Please go and check out both of these awesome fundraisers, donate for a chance to win something, and help bring these kids home to their families.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Orphan Victory Foundation: Father's House

Hmmm? So, what is Orphan Victory Foundation? It's a ministry that has been growing in mine and Rick's hearts since before we even fell in love with Liza. During our adoption process the dream became bigger and eventually we met with someone to talk about how to get it started and make it "real". That was a little over a year ago and OVF has really just been a name that gets junk mail at our address and a dream in our hearts that we just haven't known where to begin with or felt we didn't have the time to devote to "right now". I'm going to dedicate a page on my blog to share more about OVF in the next few days, but for now I want to talk about a ministry in Ukraine that I hope OVF will be able to walk along side of.

Just recently we were given the opportunity to partner with some friends of ours in helping a Christian run orphanage, Father's House, in Kharkov, Ukraine, get back on it's feet. I'm excited about partnering with Shane and Diana Lewis and Room for One More Child to help keep Father's House running for all the kids who call it home.

Shane wrote a blog post back in February telling just a little of the needs that Father's House was facing at that time, and since then things have gotten worse. You can read Shane's words, and see photos of some of the kids, here. I wanted to share one of the comments left on his post just a few days ago by a lady who has personal knowledge of the ministry and the people who run it.
"Hi Shane,
my name is Luba Stefoglo, and I'm daughter of Mikhail Scherbinin, president of the Charitable Fund Children Assistance Center "Otchiy Dom". Juliana Khorolskaya, orphanage's director, asked me contact you. She said that you visited "Father's Home" and even wanted to adopt few children, and know about their difficult situation. As you may know, in previous years the orphanage was mostly sponsored by few private people (me, my siblings, and few other relatives), and now we’re experiencing big financial difficulties and had to stop our support. So Father’s Home is being forced to shut down and send the kids to government owned orphanages. That’s an absolute catastrophe for the children as they love and are used to loving, accepting and encouraging Christian atmosphere, as well as enormous heartbreak for everybody who works there because they have been building this for years, love the kids and want them to grow into happy, God honoring people. Well, I don't think I have to tell you what a wonderful place Father's Home is, and that every one on their staff truly has a heart for serving the Lord and orphans. In order to stay open, they need somebody to provide for their operating expenses."

So, what can we do to help? Room for One More Child is collecting donations to be held for Father's House and sent to cover the monthly budget each month. You can donate by going here and clicking the big button that says "click to donate now", then when you are directed to paypal and log-in you can choose the amount of your donation and in the notes section make sure to mark that your donation is for "Father's House" in Ukraine.

Right now the biggest need is to take the financial strain off of them so that they can concentrate on the children in their care. Eventually, though, the goal is to open a transition house for the kids who age out. After that the dream is to have housing that can accommodate short term missions teams and even adopting families. But, for now we have to start at the beginning and that's keeping the doors of "Father's House" open.

To stay open the home needs $36,000 to operate for the year. In order to do this we are looking for 36 people who will be willing to sponsor the home at $100 a month. If you can't do a sponsorship on your own consider partnering with a friend or even with a group of friends. Or sponsor at $25, $50, or $75 a month. Ideally we would love to have 36 people sponsoring at $100 a month in order to ensure that FH stays open and there's even some cushion for those unexpected expenses that come along, but we know that there are folks who want to help but can only do so in smaller amounts and we gladly accept any and every donation to help Father's House keep operating.

Ok, so just to recap, here are some bullet points. Cause I tend to get confused and if anyone else reading this can relate... well, you prob need the bullet points too.

  • Father's House is a Ukrainian Christian run orphanage in Kharkov, Ukraine
  • They are in danger of shutting and sending all the kids to state-run orphanages
  • They need $36,000 a year to operate
  • With 36 sponsors at $100 a month we can keep them open
  • Donations should be sent to Room For One More Child here (remember to note it's for Father's House)
  • This is a great way to see James 1:27 come alive in your own life. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fundraiser Friday: Changing Realities

I listened to Randy Bohlender's podcast speaking on funding adoptions this morning and felt like he was sharing my own heart but so much better than I could do. I shared, in a blog post I titled Reality and Fundraising, how I feel about fundraising for adoptions. And I'll just say it again, it's not about a family gaining a new child, it's about a child/children getting a family versus the reality they currently live in.

Since I don't have a fundraising family to focus on today I wanted to share Randy's thoughts and re-post what I wrote back in June. Finances should never be a hindrance to a family who wants to adopt or a hindrance to a child being placed in a loving family. Please listen to Randy's podcast. He says it so much better than I can, and really goes in depth to the heart of what adoption is really about and why the Church needs to be involved.

Reality and Fundraising

Ever wondered why folks fundraise for adoption? You think, "why should I help them "have a baby"? Because it's not about that family gaining a new child, it's about THAT CHILD getting a family versus the reality they currently live in. That's truly the bottom line. Unfortunately changing these kids' realities costs a lot of money :( Thank you to ALL who gave to help change Liza's reality!
*posted as my FB status
I wonder just how many adoptive families have faced these types of questions and attitudes? Unfortunately too many that I know have and it really breaks my heart. Not just for them but for the kids who wait while those who want to come and bring change are stifled by those who can't see past the dollar signs. Because really, isn't that what the problem really is?

Why are people offended that we are asking for help to pay the ransom needed to change the reality for these children? Would they be just as offended if a mother whose child was abducted asked for help to raise the money to pay the kidnappers in order to get her child back? What if my child was severely ill and we needed to raise the funds to pay his medical bills. Would that offend you? 

Maybe you'd say those scenarios aren't really the same and I'd have to ask you why you don't think so. 
  • Is it because the child I want to adopt isn't "mine"  yet? Well, that may be true but that same child is God's child. You would have to be able to tell me that you don't believe that HE wants you to help me pay the ransom to change HIS child's reality or if you can't do that to be supportive in some tangible way. 
  • Is it because you don't really believe that the reality orphan children live in is anything like a child living with a severe illness or a child being held against their will by those who care nothing for them?
    • Have you read Carrington's story? What about Theo's? And now there's also Victoria. If you have, do you still think their stories are nothing like that of a child who's seriously ill? Or a child who's being held against their will by people who don't care? Is their former reality the kind that a child should have to live in just because we might be offended that someone is fundraising in order to make a difference for them?
  • Or maybe you're ok with giving to a family raising money to adopt a waiting listed child, but a family adopting a newborn is different? But how is it? Why is it different?
    • If you call yourself Pro-Life then adoption is something you ought to be supporting in SOME way, and the best way if you can't or aren't willing to adopt yourself, is to support those who are whether the child they hope to adopt is born or unborn. 
    • Mothers who want to place their children for adoption need the assurance that there are families waiting to adopt their babies when they're born. Those families need our help to stand in the gap. The alternative reality for those babies is foster care or life in an orphanage. Do you want to tell that mother that's the reality for her child because you just can't support adoption?
These families are hoping to adopt children who need families. Children who may be born and waiting in foster care or orphanages or children who are unborn, whose mothers are hoping for just the right family to step forward. They need our help to stand in the gap and help them reach these children. But honestly, it's not about them - it's about the children whose realities they are desperately trying to change. When you consider giving think of the children first.

Brooke and Michael Annessa - Adopting a (hopefully) soon to be born infant they will name Adelyn.

Renee and Steve Tam - Adopting a little girl with DS they are naming Paisley. They hope to travel soon!

Amanda and David Burlingham - Adopting a little boy who was once Liza's buddy and happens to be blind. I got to hold this little guy and can't wait for him to meet his family!

Amy Lucas - Adopting Liam, a little guy with DS who will be her 5th son :) Gotta love little boys! Moving fast so she would really appreciate the support.

Ann and Jason Plummer - Adopting Barbara and Matthew, 2 little ones with Down Syndrome.

Jenn and Chris Abell - Adopting Olga, who I had dubbed "Liza's twin" when she was waiting :) They look some alike and have that same mischievous gleam in the eye, oh and the same extra chromosome!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Things I Ponder: Confrontation

*Disclaimer: This post is not a finger pointing at ANYONE. It is just my thoughts on an issue that's been on my mind recently for a number of reasons. This is just my way of getting it out, possibly hearing others thoughts on it, and maybe even educating myself.*

I don't really like confrontation, but I do feel there are right ways and wrong ways to handle it. Most of my life I have avoided confrontation in anyway that I could if I really didn't want to be involved or didn't have a big interest in what the whole issue was about. Not to say that I don't get mad, because I do. Just ask my husband. Or anyone whose ever done something mean to my little brothers, my kids, or my friends. Those scenarios are about the only time I can confront somebody and not feel timid about it. Not that I don't shake in my proverbial boots the whole time, but that's usually a mix of anger and nerves.

My mom still loves to tell the story of when I was in around 5th grade and stood up to the two biggest guys on my bus. They had it coming and at that particular moment I still think I could've done damage if they had wanted to try to "put me in my place". Here's what happened:

 We had just moved from town out to the country and hadn't been riding this bus very long and in our small Georgia county all the kids on a particular bus route rode the same bus - there was no "Elementary bus", "Jr. High bus", etc. My youngest brother, who we always called Junior, was in Kindergarten I believe and I was VERY protective of both of my little bros. One morning, maybe the first day of school, we got on the bus and as we were walking further back, my baby bro in front of me, Junior steps on the foot of the big guy in the middle of the bus. I mean BIG, I am pretty sure this dude was a football player and I know he was in High school. So, little bro steps on this dude's foot and next thing I know Big Dude pushes my little brother across the aisle into Big Dude #2! Oh, heck no!! Well, Big Sister (who's not so big. Maybe 50 lbs at 11 years old, for real.) was not standing for that kind of treatment of her little brother for one second! Before I really even knew what I was doing I had snatched my little brother out from between these two huge morons and immediately began to berate them both. It went a little something like this: "what do you think you're doing?! How dare you push him?! He's a little boy!" Big Dude #1 said something to the effect of: "he stepped on my new shoes". And I gave him this incredulous look and blasted him again with: "look at how small he is and look at your foot. you really think he was going to do any damage?!" By this time the bus driver was yelling at all of us and made ME come and sit in the front of the bus. I was mad at her for that, but I understand now that she felt she was protecting me. Looking back I am pretty sure that Big Dude #1 and #2 were laughing at me under their breath, but I didn't care. One thing I do know is that neither I or my two little brothers ever had any more issues on that bus.

So, what's my point? I don't know exactly. This is just an issue I've been thinking on lately. One thing that I've learned through the years is that the best way to deal with an issue when confrontation really needs to take place is to just suck it up and deal with it head to head, so to speak. Maybe not EXACTLY the way I dealt with it when it came to the issue with Big Dudes #1 & #2, although sometimes that's the only way to get through to some folks, but it is best to just deal with it. The opposite of what I mean here is what happened to me at the local library the other day. I'll tell the story and then what I think would've been a better way for it to be handled. 

I'm at the library with my children last week and have put Liza in the van and then started it because the boys were coming right behind me. Then I remembered that I needed to call the main branch about a book that had been lost so, as the boys were walking out, I called and forgot I had already started the van. An older lady who was sitting in her vehicle beside us gets out and begins to putter around her vehicle. Then she begins to fake cough and says, "oh carbon monoxide! turn it off...." and I'm thinking to myself, 'is she talking about me?'. Then I realize that my vehicle is still running. She putters some more and makes a few more comments, all the while I am still on the phone about the "lost" book and trying to figure out why this grown woman in the library parking lot is acting like a child. Eventually she goes inside, right about the time the mystery of the lost book is cleared up and I hang up the phone, put my van in drive and leave. 

My children heard everything that this lady said and when we were leaving they asked me why she did it and what was her point, basically. I used it as a teaching moment on confrontation and how to do it correctly. Well, to be totally honest, first I told them she was a jackass - then I told them how I felt she should've handled the situation. What she really should've done was come over to my side of my vehicle and respectfully asked me to turn my car off. She could've given reasons why she believed it was the right thing to do if she felt like she needed to or not. But, I would've had so much more respect for her if she had just confronted me in a respectful manner rather than the way that she did it. Honestly, I didn't even realize that I had the car running the whole time until she said something. I was just taking care of something I didn't want to forget about and it never crossed my mind that I was "polluting the environment". Plus, the way she handled it made me feel kind of disrespected and that's something I'm still pondering. Ummm, and just so you all know, my car does not put off foul smelling fumes. I know all cars put out some pollution but it's not pouring stinky exhaust out when it's running. Just sayin'....

Two different stories, but both sort of about the same thing. Only two different ways to handle it. Wondering what others think about this whole issue of confrontation and the ways that we handle it. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Conversations With Liza- More on "The Brothers"

The other day we were at my friend, Tari's, house so that I could have my weekly piano lesson from her. If you've never stopped by her blog, you should, she has a knack for laying out the Truth with grace and compassion, AND she's a beautiful worshipper.

Ok, so we were at Tari's and she and I are talking and working on helping me learn to play piano (someday I'm gonna be awesome) and Liza comes to the door, which is blocked cause Tari has a new puppy. She looks over the barrier at us and our conversation begins. Translations to Liza's signs/gestures in italics and parentheses.

Me: "What's up Liza?"

Liza: points in the room (Hey mom, let me come in there with you.)

Me: "No, go find your brothers. Where's Austin?"

Liza: shrugs, then points in A's direction (I know where they are and I am NOT falling for that trick.)

Me: "Go get them. Go see 'The Brothers'."

Liza: signs "brothers" and makes a shushing sound. (They told me to be quiet! Can you believe that?!)

Me: "Did they tell you to 'shhh'?"

Liza: nods, then walks over to the stairs and signs "cry". (That's what I just said. Now, I'm gonna cry. Sooo, you'll let me climb these stairs, right?)

Me: (laughing) "you're gonna cry cause they told you to shh? (I giggle as she nods) no, you're not."

Liza: she starts to climb the stairs, which I've told her not to do already (I've distracted you and now I'm gonna climb the stairs, finally)

Me: (sternly) "Liza, don't climb the stairs." (she looks at me) "I mean it! Go see 'The Brothers'."

Liza: climbs down and kinda shrugs over her shoulders, throwing her hands down as she walks away. (Darn it! Fine mom, whatev!!!)

Of course, by this time Tari and I are cracking up. This girl is a character.