Thursday, March 31, 2011

An amazing adoption story

Outside the baby home where Anya Rashi was cared for -- and where Varsha is right now.

I just wanted to share a link to another adoptive mom's story. Amanda is someone I've "known" for a few years through the blog world. She has two children from the same orphanage where Anya Rashi lived -- and she is an amazing advocate for them. They've been through surgeries, appointments, walkers, physical therapy, and more as she helps Ananya and Prasun be all they can be. She also homeschools their oldest son. Are you tired yet just hearing about her stamina? I deeply admire her tenacity and perseverance.

I have a special fondness for their son Prasun. When we traveled to meet Anya Rashi, I got to meet him and take pictures to give to Amanda. That child has a 1,000 watt smile, and he's almost always smiling!

They recently accepted another referral -- and the story of Varsha coming into their family has the fingerprints of God all over it. You can read about it here:

Because this is their third adoption in five years, they are financially tapped out. If you could contribute even $5, it would help them reach their goal of getting sweet Varsha home. Thanks!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Warm thoughts

We've spent the last week thinking warm thoughts, brought on by the return of a few days when the thermometer reached 50 degrees! One local weather broadcast said that it had been 114 days since the last time we experienced a 50 degree day, so it was a welcome feeling.

In another burst of spring fever, Peter decided it was time to put together the grill that arrived as a Christmas present. While the guys built it, Anya Rashi did what every self-respecting preschooler should do: she played in the box the entire time.

Our weekend plans fit nicely with the theme -- my sister Alicia visited, and instead of staying with us, she decided to book a room at a hotel with a small waterpark. We didn't tell the kids until Saturday morning, and Anya Rashi packed her own suitcase within 15 minutes of the good news! After removing the two skirts, dominoes, Christmas outfit, Ziploc bag full of costume jewelry, and fluffy princess slippers, there was room for essentials such as pajamas and swim suit. What she lacked in packing know-how she certainly made up for with enthusiasm!

We swam in the afternoon, the evening, and again in the morning before checking out. The kids had a ball!

Sunday afternoon was spent with my mom's entire side of the family -- minus the children. My mom's family has a winter get-together each year so the grown-ups can have a chance to catch up with each other's lives. We have a pot luck lunch, then talk and play card games, etc., then finish up with a snack/early light dinner.

The jewelry photos were the result of a great surprise -- Kim, who is married to one of my cousins, makes stunning jewelry from recycled metal. She gave me one set of earrings and pendant, and I purchased another set (only $8.00!!!) for a friend's birthday. Kim said that she likes to keep her prices low so that everyone can afford them, and her costs are kept low because much of her materials are recycled metal. I love it when you discover new facets to someone you've known for a few years!

So . . . the grill is currently living in our garage. Because we're supposed to have 2-3 inches of snow today, and maybe some freezing rain. The warm thoughts are over, for today at least!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A book recommendation

As a Caucasian mom who lives in the US, I know that I can never offer the same cultural experience that Anya Rashi would've had if she spent her childhood in India, with Indian parents. I have a great feeling of responsibility about making sure she grows up with knowledge about and appreciation for her dynamic birth country.

I enjoy incorporating bits of India in our daily lives. At this stage of parenting (and because I love to read), children's picture books provide a good window into India for all of our kids. I love it when a trip to the library yields a new find, as it did last week. We are enjoying The Sanyasin's First Day by Ned Shank, illustrated by Catherine Stock.

The book weaves together the lives of very different people on their first days in their new jobs: a sanyasin (a holy man), a police officer, a plumber, and a farmer. There is also a compassionate little boy who plays a part in the story.

The best part of the book for me, though, was the illustrator's attention to detail. The market scenes are colorful and lush, and there is a statue of Ghandi in the center of town. But the street scenes will be especially nostalgic for anyone who has spent time in India. The roads are crowded with ox carts, autorickshaws, bicycles, and people on foot. The illustrator even included details such as the Tata brand name, and the ever-present instruction to "sound horn" on truck tailgates. That really brought a smile to my face!

So we give this book two thumbs up, for lack of a better system, and will likely be purchasing a copy online for our own library. (I googled it already, and it's available through several sources.) I hope you enjoy it too!