Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Remember this?  

Probably not because surely I didn't talk about it enough.  Well, it was great.  And you all are great.  Because I know there were a lot of you there, AND I know a lot of you who weren't there were thinking about Sammy on May 19.  So, thank you.

Today, we had an evaluation meeting.  I'm so excited for next year.  We learned so much and are going to work on a few things to make it even better.  Can it be better?!  Sheesh.

Many of you have asked about final numbers.  I don't have the final numbers because we are still waiting on this and that and the other thing.  But roughly, we know we raised close to $18,000.  What?  Yes.  I'll say it again....close to $18,000.  You all did that.  YOU.  So, thank you all!  What does this mean?  This means that we will have money to cover two sessions of therapy.  And I just happen to think that is more than awesome.

Thank You to our Sponsors!
Amato Pizzeria (www.amatopizzeria.com 408-997-7727)
JM Williams Accountancy  (www.jmwac.com)
Kevin Calvert DDS/Christopher Walton DDS (http://www.calvertdds.com/)
Saputo Cheese (http://www.saputousafoodservice.com/)
Jim Pojda: Alain Pinel (www.jimpojda.com)
R. Martin Judd DDS  (408-377-3366)
The Learning Map (www.thelearningmap.blogspot.com)
Motif Spa (http://www.motifspa.com/)
Leonard Peterson DDS   (408-873-8484)
Diamond Fence Company  (http://www.diamondfenceco.com/  408-374-4282)
Araujo's Mexican Grill (3070 Senter Rd  408-300-0814)
Elo Photography (www.elophotography.com)

Thank You to the Businesses who made in-kind donations:
Elo Photography, Sunshine Graphics, Grocery Outlet South San Jose, Noah's Bagels, House of Bagels, Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Nob Hill, Safeway, Alhambra, Saputo, Road Runner, Sports Basement, Fast Signs

We'll see you next year!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Easter 2012 Makes Me Laugh

Oh heavens.  These crack. me. up.  I just came across these pictures from Easter.  I remember trying to take these before going to church and quickly calling it good.  And seeing them now, cracks me up.  Forget Sammy.  She's totally uninterested.  Callie?  She's just as bad.  Look at her face.  ahhhhh  So great.  Look at that obedient smile.  She's clearly only smiling because I asked her to.  Gotta love it.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Issue of Race

I'm still thinking these thoughts out...so the coherency may not be the best...but I wanted to get this down while it was still semi-fresh.

Thursday Callie and I went to Home Depot.  She's interested in all things "life" right now, and so I asked her if she would like to plant some seeds.  I've never used pots to plant, so this will be a learning experience for me as well.  We bought a small pot and I let her choose the seeds.  She was so excited.  The rest of the day went well and she was excited about taking care of her new plant.  We even created a calendar that she can mark each day.  She's pretty stoked.

The interesting part of the day, however, that sticks with me was a comment from a man when we were at Home Depot.  As we whisked through the check-out lane, Callie helped me scan, and this man, very friendly and sincere, said, "She is adorable."  I thanked him.  It's not uncommon for people to comment about my kids.  They stand out.  They just do.  Sammy has special needs with a small head.  Callie is black. I'm white.  And as much as I would say that they comment because my kids are cute (because come on, they are), I know Sammy's head and Callie's skin are the first things they notice.  More on this in a moment...

He proceeded to say, with a big proud smile, "My daughter is married to a black guy.  She is so happy.  I have 3 granddaughters who are so smart and kind.  Every time I talk to my daughter, she tells me how happy she is."  I am so happy for this man and his daughter...and her family...but I was totally caught off guard.  I smiled and said, "Oh, that's so great."  I'm used to people approaching me about Callie.

"Ohhhh, she's adorable.  You know, I have some black grandchildren myself."

"Where is she from? My niece is from Ghana."  (They're always taken aback when I say Callie's from Detroit.  I guess it's not exotic enough.)

But this man was a little different.  There was an eagerness to tell me that information that I had never seen before.  It was interesting.  He was extremely kind, so my thoughts have nothing to do with mean, hateful racism.  But what it did was make me think about race, in general.  As humans, mostly, we want to make connections with people.  And his eagerness, and pride, were so evident.  And I thought of all the people who have approached me about Callie because of their own experiences.  I realized, it's still that uncommon that people feel like when they see someone who is white, with a black child, and their story is similar...that they need to connect.  Join the group.  Make it known that we're in this together?  I don't know.  I'm not saying people shouldn't talk to me, or that it's inappropriate.  I'm not saying that at all.  It's just...I've wondered why people talk to me about those things, when I have never had an inclination to talk to another mixed family to say, "I have a black little girl."  No one way is better or worse than the other, it just makes me wonder how people think.

It doesn't bother me that when people look at Sammy and Callie that they see their physical appearance first.  It's natural.  I just wonder how often people get hung-up there.  I really don't know.  It's just a question.  There are times when I notice people looking at us, and I really don't know what they are thinking.  It doesn't bother me, but I wonder...I'm curious.  Deep down, I know not all of them are thinking about what a great mom I am, or how adorable Callie is.  I know their thoughts are far different from warm fuzzies.  And it reminds me of the conversations I'm already having in my head, that I'll one day have to have with Callie.  I don't want her to face racism.  I don't want her to feel the sting of cruelty.  But I'm preparing myself the best I can for that day.

And until then, we're making ourselves a pretty tight-knit family...one based on a whole lot of love.  Man, do I feel blessed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Different Kind of Perfect

I read this book a few months ago.  Of all the special needs books of read that follow this pattern, this is my favorite.  A collection of stories and experiences gathered by mothers and fathers, I felt that the book was overall uplifting.  The stories are organized thematically, like many books similar to this.  What was unique was a small introduction to each chapter written by a professional (I believe psychologist).  He introduces the topic and how it applies to parents of special needs children.

I should have written my thoughts on the book sooner after reading it so I could remember exactly what some of my thoughts were.  It's unfortunate that I didn't do that.  If I remember correctly, it's worth reading.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thirty Two

I look back over the past 32 years.  A lot has happened.  But, most of the a lot has happened only during the past...oh...ten years.

My mission completely prepared me for the life I'm living right now.  It prepared me for becoming the mom that both Samantha and Callie required.  I felt very prompted to go on a mission, and it became very clear to me why I felt those promptings from the Spirit after Samantha was born.

There is nothing greater than falling in love with the person you will marry and will be your best friend, partner, teammate, compadre...forever.


Blessings galore.

My little ray of sunshine.  

Callings.  Moving.  Jobs.  Failed Adoptions.  Successful Adoption.  Pregnancy.  Special Needs.  Fundraisers.  
Family stuff.   Friend stuff.  Therapies.  Schools.  Travels.  
Doctors.  Prayers.  Fasting.  More prayers.  Travels.  
S   T   R   E   T   C   H   I   N   G more than I thought possible.  Running.  Writing.  FSA.  Love.  Joy.

So much more I could add, but the point is, the past 10 years has been really full.  And I realize, it was the first 20-22 years of my life that set the stage for how happy I am right now.  I am grateful for a wonderful husband and dear children.  Every day I thank my Father in Heaven for them.  But today, I feel gratitude for my parents...for what they taught me and how they prepared me for my life.  They laid the ground work for what I am and who I have become at the ripe 'ole age of 32.  Their guidance, faith, and love led me here.

And I like where I am.      

 Happy 32 to me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Adoption, Microcephaly, and Motherhood

A couple years ago I was asked to guest post on the blog This Mare Eats Oats.   I've been inspired by Maren and how she truthfully and gracefully speaks about her life, her family, and her daughter's special struggles.  Today, I reread what I wrote.  It was a long time ago now and some of the details have changed.  But the last paragraph still rings true today.  

How do I do it?  Many days I can’t work on my projects.  Some days bedtime still seems too far away.  And my faith during those early days waivered.  But the number one thing that keeps me going is the little girl with big blue eyes and rosy red lips.  Samantha’s giggle warms my soul.  Her smile makes my heart do little leaps.  Her eyes tell me stories that I won’t hear in this lifetime.  Her stumbling walk and awkward movements sometimes actually bring us great comic relief!  She is clever and funny and really a joy to be around.  Everyone loves this little girl!  I want to be with her.  I want to be by her side as much as I can.  I want to be her Mom.  I want to be her advocate.  I want to tap into the potential within her and make her shine brighter than she does now.  I want to teach her.  I want to hug her.  I want to kiss her little cheeks.  I want to struggle as I put curlers in her hair.  Tonight, I didn’t want to have to rock her to sleep, but as I did, I didn’t want to be anywhere else.  I want her to know, even if she doesn’t understand the words “I love you,” I need to be certain that she gets it…that she feels it.  I want to experience it all with her because she is my earthly angel and I’d rather laugh with her or struggle and fight than not have her by my side.  Microcephaly and motherhood.  Sometimes it really doesn’t seem so bad after all.  Truly.

Today's is Mother's Day, and while I "nap," all I can think about is how grateful I am to be a mother because of adoption.  What a privilege it has been to have our hearts intertwined with another mother's heart.  Callie brings me so much joy...so much love.  She is so forgiving and kind. Smart and funny.  I am in awe at her birth mom.  I wish we still had contact with her.  Her sacrifice and love is what has given Callie the life she has today.  It is always what has blessed our lives immensely.  I've posted this before, but Callie has a poem in her scrapbook that we keep, and in honor of Birth Mother's Day yesterday, I share it again:

Legacy of Two Mothers

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One, my darling, is your birthmom and the other is your mother.

Two different lives, shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star; the other became your sun.

The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.

One chose adoption.  It was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears.
The age-old questions through the years.

Heredity or environment, which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling, neither.  Just two different kinds of love.

I'll forever be grateful to Callie's birthmother for making the choice she did.  I love Callie so dearly.  I love being around her.  And I love that she loves being around me.  She's still at the age where I'm her best friend, and I love that.  I hope she understands just how much I adore every single little piece and ounce of her.  My sweet Callie.

These two beautiful little girls are molding me into the mother, and person, that I was meant to be.  They are my best teachers.  They train me daily and file down my rough edges.  They teach me patience, love, charity, diligence, the principle of repetition!, compassion, faith, hope...and I am probably far more in debted to them than I even realize.

Samantha and Callie, thank you for making me Mommy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bite Me?

ahhhh That made me laugh.  On a side note, I want to see the new Johnny Depp vampire movie.  Looks amusing.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grammy's Camera

I helped Peggy download some pictures the other day and I found some goodies.  I think it's so fun to find pictures that you didn't even know you had.  I should do that more often.  So, here's about a 2 year recap of our lives from Peggy's camera.

Oh my goodness, look at Callie!  And Sammy, well, she wasn't too happy.  But Callie sure is adorable.   Here's our annual apple turkey on Thanksgiving.

mmmm Thanksgiving.  Sammy is pretty stuffed.

And Colin is stunned.

Papa Bud and Granny

Playing with the cousins

Little Natey Nate is born.

The Brothers Green.

Big smile

You think Callie may be excited?  And Nathaniel scared?  hmm

Getting our Christmas tree...and I didn't spill something all over my shirt...I'm almost positive that's a shadow.  Seriously people.  Trust me on that one.

Nate's the perfect toy for Callie.

Christmas jammie jams.

Oh, I loved Sammy's jammies this year.  One piece.  Polka dots.  So cute.

Sammy loves listening to Bryan play the guitar and being held by Colin.  (Even when they have transformed into red-eyed zombies.  Bryan is hungrily looking at her...be afraid.)

Happy Birthday Callie McCallister.  I love those cheeks full of air!

Happy Birthday Papa Bud.  His pre-blowing candles doesn't look at enthusiastic, but believe me, he's one spunky guy.

Wow.  Look at that good looking group.  

Playing in the rain.

4th of July?  Probably.

We have better Halloween pictures, but this makes me laugh!

And so does this one.  Come on He-Man.  Look fierce!

And we're back to Thanksgiving...and me as a brunette.  Lookin' good Bryan.

Aw.  Still smiling after all these years ;)  Isn't my mother-in-law beautiful?

Christmas!  We love Christmas!

Callie loves the Carruths.  Glad they live close by and we get to see them often.

Grandpa workin' the Elf hat.

Thanks Santa.  This year I got a part of the Dickens collection.  I'm excited about that.  As a side note...there's Bryan again, making an awesome face.  And Callie, instead of going with it, kept asking, "Why is Colin dressed up as Santa?"  She's a clever one.

Sammy, let's cut those bangs, and tr a smile.  Bryan!  haha  Every picture I have of you is like this!  It's starting to crack me up!

Uncle Chris.  Callie talks about him ALL the TIME!  Sorry all, but he's definitely the cool uncle in her book.

The Green Crew

LOL  (I'm really laughing here guys)  Colin looks happily possessed, and Sammy looks like she's about to really bite into someone!  Those eyes and rosy lips.  She's lookin' for blood.  

Who knew a ball would bring such joy?

Happy Valentine's Day 2012

And Happy Easter 2012

And Happy 2nd Birthday to Nate.
We were so happy to celebrate this birthday this year!
We love you Naters.

And, that's it from Grammy's camera.


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