Friday, October 31, 2008

My new Haitian daughter....

Pipo's Halloween costume... this was all his idea!

And I just had to get a close up of his hair... I was very proud of it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Helping Misha

Many nights, I find myself browsing the various adoption blogs around the internet. I have connected with some great people this way, and have found some great resources as well. Every once in a while I will stumble upon a story that really touches my heart. Misha's story is one of them. Maybe because he such a beautiful kid, maybe because the rare condition he is afflicted with is the same as our neighbor and very good friend, or maybe because this family's story is so similar to our own. In whatever way it touched me... it touched me deeply, and I want to help. I desperately want to help in any way I can. Fitz and I will be spreading the word in our area, and finding sources of fundraising. I know more people read this blog than actually comment, so if you are reading now, I ask you a simple favor... visit Misha's blog... take a look, see if you can help, and spread the word.

I know when we were bringing Pipo home, we had no idea what we were getting into. 6 kids already, living on a teacher's salary, we were not in a position financially to bring home an older child with serious medical issues. But with every wall we hit, we were blessed. Over and over, family, friends, and even complete strangers reached out their hands and hearts to help a little boy in a desperate situation. I look at Pipo now... he is absolutely thriving. I can't even think about where he would be if it weren't for the kindness of all of those people. The reality is, he wouldn't be here. His doctor in Haiti told us he wouldn't make it much longer. I am so incredibly thankful that we were told about him when we were, and that so many people were there to support us. I can't imagine life without this boy. He is heart and soul part of our family, and it's hard to remember what life was like without him.

Please consider helping make Misha a part of his new family. Help save him from a fate he doesn't deserve. Take a look at their story, and pass the word.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another phone line?

I am pretty sure we will need another one in a few years...

My 8 year old Fabio

Another phone line?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Politics and money

I rarely talk about politics. Never here on this blog, but it's rare for me to get into a political discussion anywhere. My brain shuts off and I look for a quick escape if I see that is where a discussion is heading. But I am going to break from my usual habits to just discuss one thing.

Recently, we received an invitation to a fundraiser for someone running for State Representative. Now, I have nothing against this candidate, and a dinner at a local restaurant sounds fun, and a good way to raise some funds. But it had me thinking about the bigger picture. During this presidential election I have been listening more to the news about the money involved in financing campaigns. It's always made me sick to hear the size of the figures mentioned, but this time around it is hitting me harder. Maybe it's our own personal financial strain, maybe it's reading about Pipo's home village being hit so hard with the recent hurricanes, or maybe it's just the huge downward spiral our economy is in. Whatever the reason, hearing the amount of money being shoveled into all these campaign funds is making me want to vomit lately.

I think maybe it started back in February when the Clinton/Obama race was heating up, and Hillary loaned her own campaign 5 million dollars. I listened to that on the radio, and my head started spinning. With rising oil costs, how many families here in America were struggling to heat there homes? How many families didn't even have homes? How many were struggling to feed their families? That 5 million sure could have gone far.

Clinton wasn't the only one though... all the presidential candidates were racking up huge numbers. It's estimated that this years election will cost about 5.3 billion dollars. Think about that... 5.3 billion dollars. How many 3rd world countries could be helped with that? How many hungry people fed? How many economies helped towards stabilization?

For just once, I would like to see a candidate that wasn't rolling in money. An average Joe kinda guy... someone who works and struggles and lives life the way most of us do, just trying to get by. And I would like to see that candidate run a money-free campaign. Just picture it... someone just plainly telling us how they would like to help our country. How they would like to make a difference without racking up those big numbers. Someone who would just walk into small town public schools, town halls, and stand right outside on our sidewalks saying "Vote for me... you don't have to pay for it." With the technology of today, especially the internet, it wouldn't be hard to run a free campaign. Post some Youtube videos of why you should be president, start an email campaign, blog about your beliefs... I'll vote for you.

Anyone who would take public spending that seriously would easily get my vote... anyone with me on this?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Catching up

Okay, so I did go out with my camera, we did play, but life caught up to us again, and I have hardly had time to upload pictures. Here we go...

Emma going off the bike ramp

Tommy, doing some homework. This boy loves kindergarten!

Charlie reading... something he can't get enough of lately! So cool to see him sitting still for once in his life!

I have more, but for some reason Blogger keeps flipping them sideways when I post them. I keep trying to fix them, but I am out of energy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First of a few

Tonight is the annual dinner for the Saint Boniface Foundation. This is the organization responsible for our becoming parents for the 7th time. Not only did we find out about Pipo through a good friend who is now their programming director, but the Saint Boniface hospital, and there wonderful doctors, are what kept Pipo going until we could get him here. Pipo's specialist here in Boston is continually commenting on how well he is doing, and how amazing it is that they were able to keep him going all that time in Haiti considering their limited resources. We are forever thankful for the good care that he recieved from Saint Boniface.

Pipo was very excited to get dressed up for this dinner tonight. He looks forward to it every year. So many people that work in Haiti attend each year, and it is so nice to hear stories about our son when he was small. It's so great for the people there to see a success story too. All of these people knew Pipo when he was very sick, so it is incredible for them to se him happy, healthy and thriving.

And I must say... he is an incredibly good looking kid! (Not that I am a biased mom or anything!

Life in chaosville

In one of those funny coincidences that life likes to throw at us all, the same weekend that my little niece had a burst appendix, I got a call from the school system. A kindergarten teacher had been rushed to the hospital with a burst appendix as well.

Both patients are home now, and recovering well. I, on the other hand, was thrown straight into the fire of full time teaching again. And I can tell you... I wouldn't recommend teaching kindergarten full time while raising 7 kids and trying to run a house. I'm not sure my family would recommend it either. Not unless substitutes were paid enough to hire a housekeeper... and a cook... and maybe a nanny. But alas, even regular teachers don't get paid enough for that, so it's just me, trying to keep all those balls in the air. With some help from a phenomenal best friend who has picked up the slack (and he cooks too!).

Honestly, I love being back in the classroom, and it's nice to be in one place, where I have gotten to know the kids well, and am able to really come up with my own lesson plans. But the laundry is still there to greet me each night, along with 7 hungry kids, and a house that needs cleaning. Soccer practice, band, chorus, CCD and 4-h are still going, and people need rides to and from. And grocery shopping... it's a never ending cycle. I swear, while we are all out of the house each day, gremlins must come in and eat, because we can't seem to keep food in the house.

So sadly, something's got to give. And it seems to be blogging. I am looking at my camera sitting here by the computer gathering dust, and realizing at the very least that I should try to take pictures. It's a beautiful fall day, and the laundry pile can wait, dinner can be a bit later tonight... the kids need someone to play with, and someone has to be there to remember these moments. So I am holding myself accountable here in print. I am off to play, off to take pictures, and I will make myself post them at some time in the near future.