Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Involved.

We received the e-mail yesterday. Shy has a T-Ball coach and the name of her team is "Grasshoppers". The shirts are really cool too. I am sure she will like them.

So next Saturday morning, bright and early at 7:00am we will be getting up to go to the T-Ball fields for a "field day". I think it may just be a clean-up day, but we will go anyway. In my previous life as a parent with my three biological children I was very involved in Little League. I was even league president for 4 years, so I want to be sure to be involved in everything I can with Shyanne, as long as I am able to.

So now she will continue with her Daisy Scouts on Mondays. Swimming on Wednesdays, and apparently T-Ball will be on Saturdays, or maybe during the week too. I think we will be getting our schedule when we go to the Field Day next Saturday.

Oh, did I mention DW is running the book fair at Shy's school next week. She gets involved too. Also, the principal of Shy's school resigned so they have set up a search committee for a new principal. It turns out, I am on that search committee as a parent volunteer. This is what we did when our biological children were growing up.

So, what is it my biological children are doing?....Well, Amy is an assistant to a dean at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. She will also be receiving her MBA on May 5th!! We will certainly be there for that. Amy is married and has 2 stepchildren. A boy and a girl. Kari is a teacher in East Millinocket, Maine. She teaches 2nd grade this year. She is married and has a little boy. Barry is a newscast director at a television station in Portland, Oregon. We are going out there in July to visit with him for a few days and really looking forward to it. He is not married.

I am not sure if our involvement in school and other activities helped out our three children, but I am so very proud of all three of them and where they are in their life now. As a result, I want to do make sure I do as much of the same for Shyanne. She certainly deserves just as much to have a rewarding and productive life.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

another lost tooth


Shyanne lost her second tooth yesterday. And when I say she lost it, I mean she lost it. We don't know where it is, or even when it fell out. Our assumption is that she lost it while eating something and she swallowed it, but she didn't even know she lost it.

She came home from school and when she opened her mouth DW noticed right away. When DW said something it looked like a real melt down was about to occur. I am not sure why she was about to have the meltdown, but DW with her experience with past similar situations and her quick thinking immediately told Shy she would have to write a letter to the tooth fairy to explain what had happened.

She told her she might even want to draw a picture for the tooth fairy. That calmed her down. I think she may have been worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't come if there wasn't a real tooth.

Then, we left her at the babysitter and we went out to eat. when we got home, Shy was asleep. I carried her into bed and covered her up and that was the end of it. about 4:00am this morning, Shy woke up DW and told her the tooth fairy hadn't come yet....Oh My!!! We had forgotten about it. Shame on us. Thankfully it was still night time. DW put her back into bed and then made sure there would be something under the pillow when she awakes this morning.

Another disaster averted on two counts thanks to DW.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Visit With One Biological Brother

Well, unfortunately we were only able to visit with one of Shy's biological brothers. Two, I don't think she will ever get to see until they are old enough to do it on their own. For some reason, their adoptive parents don't seem too interested in maintaining that relationship. The last brother (the one closest to Shy in age) was unable to make the trip up, and we were unable to stop by on our way back. We are planning on making that stop in May when we go down.

Before I get too into the visit though, I do have one funny (I thought so) little exchange that took place on the way up. There was a manufactured home stopped on the side of the road with the requisite "WIDE LOAD" pick-up truck behind it. The driver was out checking something out and I turned to Shy and said:

"Look Shy, there is a house on the side of the road!"

Shy looked at me and said "Where?

I said "Right there" pointing to it as we drove by.

Shy responded with: "Daddy, that's not a house, that's a trailer with windows!"


We went to Kari's house and spent the weekend at her place. We did spend most of Saturday with Amy, as she was the birthday girl this weekend. DW took Amy out for lunch and that is when Shy and I went to visit her brother. The brother we visited is the third of the 5 biological full brothers and sister. He is 9 years old, and there is little doubt when you look at the children together that they are brother and sister.

I called ahead to his adoptive mother to see if I could take him to lunch at McDonald's with Shyanne, and she thought that was great. When we first arrived, he was outside shooting baskets. Shy went over and gave him a big hug and started to shoot baskets as well. Since she is so small, the first thing her brother did was lower the net so that she could make baskets. How nice of him.

As a matter of fact, he was quite nice to her the whole time. Treating her as any big brother would treat his little sister.I was quite impressed. We had a great conversation. He said that school was going well for him except he did get in trouble a couple of times. Apparently he is a fighter at school. I know he has had a lot of problems with that. I think some of it relates to the fact that he had three different families during foster care. The first family he was placed with had both him and the youngest boy. It seems he was having problems getting along with one of the existing children and they had to place him somewhere else.

The second family he was placed with was a single father. He had adopted one child through foster care previously. We are not sure what exactly happened here, but he was removed from that situation for reasons that were not totally clear to us. It was that gentleman's intent to adopt him as well. Anyway, when he was removed from that house, he was placed in foster care with the family that has adopted him. I think that changing of families helped to create some of the issues he had.

Anyway, there were two significant conversations that took place while we were at McDonald's.
The first one, her brother asked me if Shy was adopted. I was kind of surprised as he was at her adoption party and she was the first one adopted, but I simply answered that she was indeed adopted. He said that was good and that all of his brothers were also adopted as well as him. He also thought it was good that they all got to visit with each other. He is the one child that has contact with all of the siblings. The two oldest only have contact with him when they have a shared therapy session together. The two youngest also only have contact with him. IN any event, he seemed happy about that, and I was happy we were able to arrange the meeting for them this weekend.

The other conversation of note was after Shy looked at me and called me "daddy". Her brother looked at me and said "She calls you daddy?"

I said that she did and that she called her mother mommy. I then asked what he called his parents. He told me that he called them by their first names. He then said that they had been asking him to call them mom and dad, but that he just wasn't used to it yet. I think that is understandable given his past and the situation he finds himself in. I think that age also plays a part in the whole thing as well.

I know that there will be changes in the way things are with Shy as well, as she goes through different phases of her life. We will deal with them as they come and do the best we can for her. I do hope that her brother feels comfortable enough to call his new adoptive parents mom and dad before too long. They are really good people, and I know it would make their day.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adoption - an "E" Ticket Ride!!

Tomorrow we are heading up to Maine. It is Amy's birthday on Monday so we are going up for the weekend partially to celebrate her birthday, but also to visit with Kari, and our sons-in-law and most importantly for us, our grandson.

It is also an opportunity for Shy to visit with her sisters. Those are adopted sisters. Our biological children. Shy asked if she could have play dates with her brothers (biological). We sent a message to the adoptive parents we have contact with, but unfortunately, it looks like that won't happen. Shy has not seen her two oldest biological brothers in over a year. She has seen the other two (one a year older and one three years older) a couple of times since we moved to Cape Cod.

One of them lives in Portland, Maine and is unable to get to the area we will be visiting. We do drive through Portland, but we don't want to limit our visit and leave our grandson earlier than we have to, so that is not looking great. The other adoptive parent we have not heard back from. They live very close to where we are visiting, so a little play time and visit with him is certainly doable.

So, this all begs the question. Does Shy really want to have a play date with her "brothers" because she feels the biological connection to them? or is it more likely that she just likes to have play dates and these are a couple of boys that she can have a play date with and are the only ones she knows close to her age up there in Maine? Those are not the only questions.

What about the questions for DW and I. Is this becoming less and less of a priority for us now that all 5 of the children have been adopted. The parents of the two older boys seem to want to have absolutely nothing to do with the three younger ones. Are we heading that way? If so, I am not sure why. Of course we want Shy to be able to visit with her brothers if that is what she wants, but.....Is there something in the back of my mind that is afraid of losing Shy to her biological family when she gets older? The less she sees them now, is that less likely or more likely to happen?

How important is it for a 6 year old to maintain a bond with her biological family? Does it become less important or more important as time moves on? Will not seeing them often make her want to see them more. (You know the old "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing). Will seeing them less make her more likely to forget them? Will that cause a more serious desire to "find" them when she reaches 18? or 21"?

Well, I guess with everything, all kids are different. All DW and I can do is hang on for the ride and see where it takes us. For those of you older folks that remember, this foster care/adoption is definitely an "E-Ticket" ride. (for you younger folks, this does not refer to an airlines "electronic" ticket" )


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Growing.....Two Ways!!

And I don't mean height and width......

Today is a visit with Shy's play therapist. She has been making real good progress and we are very happy with the way she has been handling things. She is a bit of a drama queen at times, and she does still have problems controlling her temper at times, but for the most part, she is a much improved version every day. In the last two weeks since her last visit to the therapist, I think I can't even take up a full hand counting the number of outbursts she has had.

She also has been eating quite well lately. There has been less complaints about the food we have and much more eating of what we put in front of her. At least at dinner. Yesterday she had a pretty good amount of spaghetti and then an hour or so later she wanted a bowl of cereal. She actually made it for herself.........We were in the living room and she asked if she could have some cocoa puffs since she was still hungry. We said OK, thinking that she was going to do her usual of pouring a few into a small Tupperware container and eating them by hand.

After a little while, DW looked at me and said: "What do you think she is doing?"

I decided to go check it out. She had a bowl of cereal in front of her. It was a pretty good size bowl and there was an empty carton of milk next to her. I asked her if she finished the milk and she said she had. Then she said:

"Actually, I used a little more milk than I needed, so I used this (holding up a straw from a drink box) and sucked up the extra out of the bowl"..........How resourceful of her....anyway

She didn't finish the bowl of cereal, but she ate quite a bit. So we certainly think she is going through one of those growth spurts that kids go through on occasion. It seems like she gets taller by the minute. Now her biological mother was not REAL tall, but I think she was certainly taller than average. Her biological father on the other hand was not a tall man at all. I would put him at about 5'7" or so. In any event.....

Shyanne is certainly growing both physically and emotionally, and that is something worth writing about!!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Emergency Room Visit

It was Shyanne's first. She had never been to the hospital for herself before, and she was not happy about this trip.

She was at the neighbors house playing outside. The kids decided to ride on the scooters that the neighbors have. Unfortunately, Shyanne did not bother to come home to get her helmet. She knows she is supposed to wear her helmet when she gets on a bike or a scooter, but I guess the temptation was just too great, and she felt like she had never fallen before, so........

She fell and had quite a bump on her forehead. When she came home crying, I was downstairs working on the tables for her trains. DW called me from upstairs and said "Come on Todd, time for an emergency room visit."

So off we went. First, we had to decide which hospital was closer. Where we live, it could be either one of the two hospitals on Cape Cod. So, we chose one and headed that way. About 2/3 of the way there, I thought maybe we had chosen the wrong one, but at this point, I am still not sure which one is closer. I will be finding that out today.

Good advice: When you move somewhere new, and it isn't obvious which hospital is closer to you. FIND OUT. You never know when you are going to need one.

Anyway, Shyanne was more concerned about going to the hospital then she was about her head. She kept saying how scared she was and that she had never been to a hospital before. Most of our calming of her had to do with the hospital and not with the injury. Although it did look pretty nasty and was about the size of a golf ball, although it didn't quite stick out that far....thankfully...

As it turned out, this was a great visit for her first. They were very nice to her, they took her quite quickly and they did very little to her. They looked in her eyes, and checked her balance and just generally watched her for a while. After about an hour, they determined that there was really no need to do anything else. The worst she might have would be a minor concussion, and the doctor really didn't believe that to be the case anyway.

He didn't think that he would gain anything from a Cat Scan that was worth the radiation it would use, and after about an hour and a half, we were on our way. There were no shots, They didn't do anything to hurt her, and mommy and daddy were with her the whole time.

So Shyanne learned two very good lessons yesterday:

1. When mommy and Daddy tell her to wear her helmet, they know
what they are talking about...and
2. A hospital visit is not the worst thing in the world, and the people
there are quite nice and take good care of you.

Two good life lessons for a not too bad injury. I would rather Shyanne never have an injury like that , but if she has to, at least she got some good lessons from it.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finally.....A report on the Cruise

So here is a short report on the cruise.......

We got to the terminal at Port Everglades at 10:30 on sail date. They had a small area set up to check in those of us who arrived early, and we got to sit in a special area to board first since we are high enough up in Royal Caribbeans "Crown and Anchor Society" to garner such treatment. You know a child travelling with you attains the level you are at whether or not they have travelled as much as required to attain such status. That means that Shyanne will get special treatment on her next cruise as though she had been on ten cruises with Royal Caribbean, even though she has only been on one.

Anyway....We waited for the main terminal to open up and to get let on the ship. While we waited, we noticed our new friends from Cape Cod come in the door. We went over and said hello to them and told then we would see them on board. As it turned out, we saw a lot of them on board the ship and enjoyed our time together. They are really great people and fun to be with.

So....very shortly after 11:00am they led us into the main terminal and through the door to the gangway. Of course we had to stop to get our "All Aboard" picture taken and then we made our way onto the ship. Shy got a special green bracelet that showed where her muster station was in the event of an emergency. That way, if she wasn't with us, a crew member would know exactly where to take her to be with us.

We looked around the ship for a little while, but then Shy wanted to go into the pool. We headed up that way and we spent some time in the pool, in the hot tubs, and just enjoying the Florida sun. Shy participated in the festivities at sail-away and enjoyed dancing with everyone on the deck. It was then time to go to the cabin to get ready for our first dinner and see if our luggage had arrived.

We thought that since we had gotten there early and they had taken our luggage early, we would get it early. Well, we were just about the last ones on our deck to get our luggage. Shy was getting very anxious and concerned about it as the outfit we had carried on for dinner was not the one she really wanted to wear. This falls in the category of "a women's prerogative". Anyway, the luggage finally came and we went off to dinner.

Lucky us!!!! There was another little girl just a year younger than Shyanne at the table with us. She was a little girl from New York, and she was absolutely adorable. The two of them sat together at evening meals and had a wonderful time together..

Day two started the "Adventure Ocean" camp that Royal Caribbean runs on their ships. It was absolutely wonderful Shyanne loved it and wanted to spend as much time as possible with that group. There were times we had to literally pull her away so that we could spend some family time together. What a great program and a great reason for families to go on cruises. At least with Royal Caribbean.

We did do a couple of excursions while on the cruise. We did one on Saint Martin to the butterfly farm and then to Orient Beach. Shy loved both. We also did an excursion on St. Kitts that included a plantation, a fort, and a beach. It was absolutely wonderful. Shyanne had a great time and we all enjoyed just being together.

We can't wait to take another cruise. It was certainly something we all needed after such a long period without a good vacation trip like that. I will write more about the cruise and different little things that happened along the way, but I just wanted to let everyone know how wonderful our 8 days at sea were, and to recommend it to anyone who wants to have a great time!!

A few little tips for travelling with children that we were aware of, but can lead to problems if you don't heed them:...

Make sure you have current passports for everyone!!!
If your child does not have the same last name as both parents, make sure you have a birth certificate that shows that.
If you are a divorced parent make sure you have a letter from the other parent authorizing you to take the child on board the ship and out of the country.
In any of the above cases, and as far as I am concerned, anytime you are travelling with children, a birth certificate to go along with that other information is always a good thing to have.

Make sure you have copies of all of the above documentation to take with you when you go ashore on any islands. IF there is a problem on the island, it can help make things move quicker if you have all the numbers with you.

All of the above can be a problem especially for adoptive families, so please make sure you check everything in advance so you don't have a problem at the pier that could ruin your vacation.

Foster Families typically have to have special permission to take children out of the country. When Shyanne was in foster care with us, we were unable to take her out of the country and it just about took an act of congress to take her out of the State of Maine, so be sure to check with your case worker before you plan any travel with a foster child.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Good News from the Eye Doctor

Shyanne had an eye doctor appointment yesterday morning and the news was pretty good. As long as she keeps wearing her glasses 24/7 (except of course when swimming or showering) then she probably won't have to go back to wearing a patch. This is super news for us.

Shyanne despised the patch. It affected her so bad that DW and I hated to put it on. It required one of us to hold her down while the other put it on. Then whoever held her down, had to continue to hold her for up to an hour before she would totally calm down and be relaxed enough to go about her business with the patch in place.

We are not sure why it was so traumatic for her. She is super sensitive about a lot of things, but that has been mostly related to sight and sound, and usually not touch. We don't think this is part of a sensory type thing in that regard, but of course we have no idea what it could be from.

There is so much that we know went on in her first 2 1/2 years, but the scary part is that we know we don't know everything that went on. This leads us to start thinking about what possibly could have happened that would cause this reaction.

When we start thinking it is never a good thing. So while we try not to think too much about it, there are times when we can't help ourselves. Putting on the patch was obviously some of those times. So, news that she won't have to wear it at least until September, and that if she follows the Doctor's instructions, she probably won't have to wear it at all, is great news for all of us.


Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm Tired Already

the weekend isn't even here and I am already tired from it. No, I am not tired from the particularly long week at work, although that doesn't help. On this Friday, I am wondering if I will make it through the weekend.

Tonight after work is the family service at temple. It starts with dinner and then the service. We will be home by 8:30 or so. The tomorrow morning it is up early as Shyanne has another Girl Scout event. This one at the Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, MA. It is supposed to be a wonderful place for children. I haven't been there yet, but we are planning on taking a trip there this summer anyway, so I will see it then.

While Shy is doing that, DW and I are going to have a day to ourselves. Maybe do a little shopping up in Plymouth, go out to lunch and just enjoy ourselves.

Then on Sunday we are up bright and early again and off to Sunday School. There is some kind of family thing going on there, so we will be staying for that. We do have to leave immediately after that and be on the road by 11:30 to head up to Beverly, MA. There the high school is putting on "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and we are going to see it. Our niece (Shy's cousin) is in it, so we thought it would be nice to go see.

We won't be able to get home in time for dinner, so it will be dinner on the road somewhere and then home again late on Sunday evening just in time to get into bed and do another week at work.

The good thing is that shy does so much better when she is busy. She absolutely does not like having nothing to do. I like that about her. She always has to be doing something. While sitting in front of the television can keep her entertained for a little bit of time, as she grows, she seems to enjoy that less and less......good for her...

If I make it through the weekend, I am sure I will have something to write about on Monday....see you then


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Look at How Far I have Come!!

Last evening was the Purim "service" at Temple. Now I put service in quotes because the annual Purim celebration is just about anything but a service. To give you a rough idea of why I say that, let me just say that the Rabbi was dressed as Elvis, and the ceremony consisted of many Elvis tunes that had little different wording to them

To those of you who are not Jewish, I will explain. This is a celebration of that comes from the Biblical book of "Esther" To make a long story short...(not at all the tradition) Esther became Queen of Persia, but had never revealed to King Ahashverus that she was Jewish. An edict was issued to kill all the Jews by a man named Hamen. Esther revealed she was Jewish and the Jews were allowed to defend themselves which they did and Hamen was hung and his ten sons were killed during battle.

One might like to say that the Jews and the Persians lived happily ever after, but that is certainly not the case. Let's just say they lived happily together for many years after that.

In any event, the celebration includes wearing of masks and costumes and the service is always a lot of fun. Noise makers are sounded by everyone in the congregation anytime the name "Hamen" is read during the service.

So, to get back to the point of the this blog entry......Three years ago we started Shy at dance classes. She watched Olivia on television and wanted to take ballet classes. We started her in a dance program that included both ballet and tap. Naturally, they had a recital at the end of the year where all the kids get up on the stage and perform for the audience.....well, not quite all of the kids. In Shyanne's class there were two kids that just stood there the whole time and looked out into the auditorium. Yes, one of them was Shyanne.

HOWEVER, Shyanne did take a bow at the end of the dance she did not perform.

The following year, she was a little more active, but not quite totally performing the dance and still kind of just looking out at the audience.

Last night, as the ceremony was taking place, every time there was an Elvis song played, there were a lot of older kids dancing across the bima (stage). It didn't take long for Shy to find her way up there and start dancing as well. Every time she went across the stage performing her little dance, she had a HUGE smile on her face.

The smile seemed to say "Look at how far I have come!!!"

She was so happy and so delighted to be up there and dancing. It was a real joy to see.

She has come such a long way in a few short years. I can't wait to see this year's dance class recital. She has added Jazz Dance to her classes as well this year. It should be a great time.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One of Those Wonderful Mornings!


I got up today and did the usual get washed, get dressed and get ready for work. When I was in the kitchen putting my morning banana in my briefcase and pouring my coffee to bring for the ride, I heard Shyanne calling from her bedroom. I poured my juice so I could take my pills and vitamins.

"Daddy!"... "Daddy!" I did not want to answer across the whole house as DW was still sleeping and if she managed to sleep through Shy yelling, then I wanted her to stay that way.

"Daddy?" I heard again, but this time it was more of a question. That was followed by the pitter-patter of little feet and then I saw Shy coming running into the kitchen. She grabbed me around the waist and looked up at me while I finished drinking my juice. Then she just said:

"kiss?" So naturally I gave her a kiss. Then she said:

"hug" so of course I was more than happy to give her a hug.

Then she asked me to bring her back to my room so she could get into bed with DW until it was time to get up for school. She grasped the index finger on my left hand and I led her into the bedroom. put her into bed. She asked for another hug, which she got.

She then told me to give DW another kiss goodbye, and I was off to work.

Between the coming to me and grabbing me around the waist, asking for hugs and kisses, and then grasping onto my finger as I lead her into the bedroom just make the day start off great. You can't ask for more love and caring from a little girl then what Shyanne gives at moments like that. No matter what happens during the course of the days, weeks and months, it is events like that, that make for absolutely wonderful mornings!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Are They Really Problems?

Yesterday was Shyanne's busy day. School, followed by Chess club. Dinner as soon as she walks in the door after dance was followed by homework, get washed up and into pajamas and then off to bed.

She still woke up around 10:00pm as we were watching the end of Alcatraz. (I had to DVR it as DW was at a PTA meeting). She didn't like it and covered her face while she sat with us. She then went into bed, but at some time during the night she came into our bedroom and when I awoke this morning, I found her lying in the bed between DW and I.

It has been a long time since that happened, and I am not sure why it did last night. Whether or not Alcatraz caused her some problems or not, I don't know. It just seems to be too easy an excuse to make for kids. "Scary movies or TV shows give them nightmares etc etc."

Today Shy will go to her play therapist after school so maybe she will be able to shed some light on it. Like I said, it hasn't happened since well before we went away on our trip, so I don't think it is a real problem, but I want to be sure we keep it from becoming that.

I think a lot of times the things we see as "problems" for Shyanne are really our own problems. Whether it be coming into our room at night, getting angry over something that is really meaningless, coming crying to us when there is absolutely no reason, or yelling at us when nothing happened. We want to assign every issue a reason, when in reality, we just have to realize she is 6 years old and these things would happen regardless of her past....right???


Monday, March 5, 2012

Shy is Sooooooooo Polite

Now that we have been back for a week, we are getting settled back in to the routine of life at home. Mondays is Chess Club, Daisy Scouts, and Dance. Wednesday is swimming and Sunday is Sunday School.

It won't be long before T-Ball starts. We are all signed up for that, but don't know what days that will be. I am guessing a lot of Saturday mornings, but I don't know for sure.

On thing I am sure of is that lovely Shyanne is certainly back into the swing of things, is quite intelligent, and still maintains a great degree of politeness. How do I know this? Well, here is my example for today.

Last Wednesday evening we were coming home from swimming lessons and I needed to stop to get gas in the car. I stopped at a local convenient store run by Hess. It is the closest one to our house, so it really meets the spirit of the name in convenience.

When I pulled in Shyanne asked me : "Daddy can I go in the store with you?"

I told her I wasn't going in the store. I was just there to put gas in the car and then we were going home. She then said to me: "Daddy, I want to go in the store and get something."

I told her, as I got out of the car that since she didn't have any money, there was really no need for her to go in the store, and I was not going in. I then shut the door to the car and proceeded to pump the gas.

Now, in the car I was driving the fuel tank is on the driver's side. Shyanne's car seat is on the passenger side of the vehicle in the back seat. She unbuckled her strap, went over to the driver's side of the car, opened the door and said to me:

"Daddy, would you be so kind as to give me your wallet?"

Now how polite is that for a six year old? Some of you are probably thinking that because Shy has me wrapped around her finger, and I almost always give into her, and she was so polite, that I gave her some money, or the wallet, or actually took her in the store.

Well, I didn't. I maintained my position, filled up with gas, and went home. I can assure you it was tough, but I made it through, and Shy was none the worse for wear. You have to admit though, she is pretty darn polite!!

By the way, we are all signed up for "Forever Families Weekend" This is a camp experience for Jewish families that have been touched by adoption. It is a great time, a great experience, and we loved it so much last year, we have to go back this year. If you are interested, check it out at:


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Unveiling

So....we landed safely at FLL and went to the rental car agency to pick up our ride for the first 4 days of the trip. We managed to fit everything into the car as it had a pretty good sized trunk and then we started driving to my mother's house. It only took about an hour to get to West Palm Beach from the airport and it was great to see my mom. I hadn't seen her since last August. She was excited to see us too, and Shyanne was also very happy to see her.

I call my mom almost every day. She is 85 years old, but gets around very well on her own. She has little losses of memory here and there, but who over the age of ......Hmmmmmmmm.....don't remember what age that started...... I still like to check in as often as possible and make sure everything is OK with her.

Anyway, we spent four days with her. Friday was the day of my father's unveiling. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is a ceremony that Jewish people have to "unveil" the gravestone of the deceased. It is typically done at least 30 days after the burial of the loved one. It has to be done within one year, and most people wait closer to the one year to have the ceremony. That was part of the purpose of going to Florida at the start of the vacation.

My sister came in from Houston, and one of my nieces flew in from New York. There weer about a dozen of my mother's friends there as well. It is a short ceremony that gives us another chance to honor our loved one, and another chance to spend time with family and friends remembering the good times and the good person that we have lost.

Shyanne was very good during the ceremony. She is named for my mother-in-law and my father. It is customary in most sects of Judaism to name children for someone who has already passed away. Because of this most children never know the person who they are named for.

Shyanne is very special in that way. Since we had to wait for after adoption to convert her to Judaism and give her an official Hebrew name. she actually knew my father before she was named for him.

It is my hope she takes from him his wit and his wisdom. He was truly a good man.

Well, not nearly as jovial an entry as yesterday, but that's the way life is. Right now, I am happy to be sharing it with the people I have around me. I value all of them every day. My mother and sister. My nieces and nephews and my cousins. Most especially DW, Amy, Barry, Kari, and Shyanne.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

We are Back!!!!


Actually, we got back Sunday, but I have been too busy to get here to write anything. I certainly have lots of stories to tell about our wonderful trip, but I have to start with day one on our way.

We had to get up early to drive to the Providence, Rhode Island airport. We were up a little after 5:00am and off we went. We got our bags checked in and made our way to the gate without any problem. TSA at Providence was very easy and there were no problems for anyone.

Our first flight took us to Baltimore, and that went off without a hitch. We actually arrived in Baltimore a little bit early. We had brought some Subway sandwiches with us from home, so we sat and ate them in Baltimore while waiting for the next flight to take us to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The plane arrived, we got on the plane and again, we departed without much of a problem. So far this story is pretty boring, but just wait another couple of paragraphs and you will see where the excitement starts.

So anyway.....we are airborne maybe 10 minutes out of Baltimore on our roughly 2.5 hour flight to Florida when Shy turns to me and says " Daddy, when will we be there?"

So I told her that when the plane started descending she would know that we were almost there. that seemed to satisfy her. I, being quite tired already, put my head back, leaned my seat back to its fully reclined and unlocked position (probably to the chagrin of the person behind me) and proceeded to nod off.

I guess I nodded on and off for just about the whole trip....or at least until the plane started descending. I will still asleep, but Shyanne was not. The descent of the plane excited her as it meant we were almost at our destination and the warm air. She did not however choose to tap me on the shoulder and say "Daddy, we are almost there".

She did not choose to nudge me and say "Daddy the plane has started to descend!!"

Here is where the excitement least for me.... what Shyanne chose to do instead was start to poke me hard on my right arm and started yelling: "Daddy the plane is going down! The plane is going down!! Daddy, Daddy, the plane is going down!!!"

Thankfully, I had not forgotten to take any of my medications, and I survived the start I got waking up. The people around me seemed to have knowing smirks on their faces. I was just glad that it was a slow and controlled descent that led to a smooth landing.

I also suggested to Shyanne that she use different wording in the future for such aviation events as a descending airplane. :)