Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's Confirmed, She Can Run

So...we adopted an Ethiopian. And Ethiopian's are known to be amazing runners. Well, let me tell you, Elsa is no exception. The elementary school just held its annual jog-a-thon and Elsa Lelise (who is in kindergarten, mind you) ran more laps than any other child!

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The only time she slowed down was when she found her best friend crying because she couldn't find anyone else in their class. Elsa wrapped her arm around her and walked an entire lap alongside her, just like that. It pretty much melted my heart. Elsa is the most compassionate person I have ever met. And for that reason I am blessed to have her in my life; compassion is something I have always struggled with and Elsa sets a great example for me.

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And I best give a shout out to Lex and Lorelai, jog-a-thon veterans:

 photo 297b2c55-2100-46b3-b6d7-d9d02d130333_zps68068476.jpg  photo 892d46a8-8b76-4a94-a77c-e0a31552e4ac_zps479b3096.jpg  photo a6d68355-4e95-4f30-a1ae-ae1233c58d42_zps553c8b1f.jpg  photo f7aa9501-b57e-4397-84a2-e94cc40136b1_zps7ef0103e.jpg  photo 9fa48a92-465d-4659-9198-d6aff31a6f00_zps0eb7c06f.jpg

Good job, girls!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Review: Part II

I'll tell you what, one of the best parts of adopting a child from a far off land has been watching her reactions to holidays. First there was Thanksgiving...and then Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day. Leading up to Easter we started teaching Elsa about its significance as well as fun traditions like baskets, bunnies, and dyed eggs. Needless to say, she thought Easter was absolutely fabulous!

Elsa, dyeing Easter Eggs with her sisters for the very first time:

 photo d2ca46ad-973e-45ba-8e02-bd10e7f3e4a3_zps4ebe185e.jpg  photo 73162434-4c9a-4558-a8ad-0698a578bfcd_zps35504104.jpg  photo 4a2b50f5-318a-42e0-86e7-4be3b24e01eb_zpseffed668.jpg  photo 5ca4cd35-8d6c-4b19-9ddb-153917e0c53b_zps425e4a4a.jpg  photo ed22857b-b3e4-4ba6-a48f-f67b4bad8a9c_zpse09bb3ac.jpg  photo efe3b3e5-281a-4ea8-9c4b-fff9bd765bc0_zps35fdb846.jpg

As is tradition, the children woke up to find small
chocolate eggs hidden all over the house, like so:

  photo b7774a98-95cc-4264-a235-eb36a26d22a6_zps4a50270e.jpg  photo fb6ccfb1-e3a1-4d64-8331-f76c00ed1f09_zpsdd6a21bb.jpg  photo ba176e34-77ad-400d-9e21-cd50c93ead13_zps47ab8da1.jpg  photo 9385a67b-a961-4996-8785-526bef1d0275_zps0e8c59ac.jpg  photo f3e7990d-bc8a-4197-bfc5-76d4a8d46876_zps246ab59b.jpg  photo 619a0605-f355-42cd-9d0b-aa438a607e20_zpscb60aaed.jpg 

 And then...they were off on a hunt!:
 photo 2c109317-dad0-4d7c-87db-672fa78b28f5_zps9a424da4.jpg  photo 0f7b1605-bd44-48e2-b4b7-c91e87e7048c_zpsaa13618f.jpg  photo fca897c9-2ed0-45cb-9e10-2fcd67de318a_zpsca0132e6.jpg  photo 14ffe351-214f-4d22-920f-ef9555ececbd_zps306bd67e.jpg  photo 62047a57-d00c-4480-b1eb-7d7452e51f60_zps17a9f79f.jpg 

"The Easter Bunny must be very big."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

 photo 671750d8-c697-4b40-afbf-0f3bc6dd7d5c_zpsadd2afd7.jpg


 ~Elisabeth Elva~
  photo e039e719-7d7c-42f9-a69d-1e685f7946e0_zps05ce2bfe.jpg  photo 37c748b1-5542-4b82-97ab-895182782891_zpsdd6a3334.jpg

 ~Elsa Lelise~
   photo ce72d658-14ff-4faa-a2cf-bc01bd766daf_zps4ad6578c.jpg  photo d586ebe8-472f-44aa-9c79-1af8d97d91ca_zps2dce9ab0.jpg

 ~Lorelai Leigh~
  photo 86f75da7-7b51-4c13-8d6d-3148f7d45377_zpsafa1f9a6.jpg  photo 66cea0e6-19ae-4cb8-a41e-2166f223d787_zps707fdfed.jpg

 ~Alexandra Louise~
  photo 5a384298-51f8-46f0-90f5-2e07d863e34f_zps9d331a17.jpg  photo 8d705fed-84fa-430c-bc44-22443a670ca2_zps926af0e0.jpg

  photo 8fb28fbf-b0f0-4e7a-a502-83d7800b0c45_zpsf2c439e8.jpg  photo dc8cb606-dd6e-4868-bcf4-9ea0623fc70d_zps64d5f2ac.jpg  photo 2fd7a9f4-a6da-4161-8125-4bedc464c26e_zps411cdff7.jpg  photo 39c734b3-c2c3-488d-8b51-aa3819c4fad4_zps8c9bc69f.jpg  photo a715e964-c457-4b53-8c60-f14fb251c843_zpsacc5df44.jpg  photo 9769430d-7058-417a-a742-cd1321d91c2b_zps518cf016.jpg  photo d12986ef-ab68-4e96-b4ee-10a5add5a393_zpsaede7221.jpg  photo c0d4556a-6aaa-4413-b07d-fbad3df34bf6_zpscaed9b22.jpg  photo 9ec32b9d-d42f-45ce-85fd-fd9d4551e35a_zps665aea3d.jpg  

A blessed Easter day.

(Still to come...dyeing Easter eggs + an egg hunt!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Save the Shells!

We are big egg eaters. In fact, I buy five dozen a week. Five dozen. Lately, we've taken to saving the shells to add calcium and nutrients to the soil of our garden beds. Here's what we do:

1. Wash shells and set them out to dry.  photo 3950b013-509f-4c91-b1c0-634352f03b38_zps2e77a979.jpg

2. Crumble and put in jar until filled to the top.  photo 1aa1ed55-1e3c-460d-8437-9616d185dbef_zps4f7592e2.jpg

3. Grind and add to soil  photo 2015b2da-156f-4367-9074-33a9588b8012_zpsca98e13d.jpg 

Now go make an omelet!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Then & Now: Adoption Edition

This is what adoption looks like...

Elsa then:
  photo 3e55b25e-27a7-4b1f-b262-a85b088cc2b6_zps56e6ea51.jpg

Elsa now:
 photo 6e153cca-0565-44e0-a4f2-ac1e26721c8e_zps89984b82.jpg 

How many times have we seen pictures like that first one up there? Pictures of children who look neglected, sad, hungry, dirty. The kind of picture they show on TV when they tell you that just 25 cents a day can change the life of a child.

Sometimes I think it is hard to imagine that those are real children; that life is really like that for people around the globe. But it is - Elsa can attest to that. Those aren't just faces, those are children with thoughts and hopes and dreams; real children who need help, who need love, who need families.

I know that adoption isn't for everyone, but if you feel in your heart that it is right for you and would like information on how to start the adoption process, or if you have any questions at all about adoption, please feel free to email me at greenstan@charter.net. There are so many children out there dreaming of a family to call their own.

Everyone deserves to have someone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We Adopted...Again!

Yesterday we re-adopted Elsa!

Sound confusing?

You see, last year we adopted her legally in Ethiopia - but yesterday we readopted her under the state laws of Washington. Fortunately, our attorney was there to represent us in Spokane, so we were able to avoid the two hour drive and join them through a conference call.

The most exciting part is that Elsa officially has her new name, which is:

Elsa Lelise Christine Sorenson

We decided to give her two middle names. The first was her last name in Ethiopia and the second, Christine, is my middle name. She is thrilled with her new name - especially because when we adopted her in Ethiopia they made her name Elsa Donald Sorenson! We didn't have a choice in the matter and that is what was printed on her passport and her Ethiopian birth certificate. Needless to say, she was happy to unload that name! Ha!

 photo 9c2a7896-b255-4156-bc90-aba0645372b5_zps4aeaafe1.jpg 

** Thank you to all who emailed and sent messages in regards to yesterday's post! What a blessing it is to have such a wise online community who can relate to the issues associated with raising a handicapped child. Reading different points of views really gave me a lot to think about. Grazie!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

G-Tube Discrimination

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There are very few things that get me all worked up. Very few. And that's something I take great pride in (especially as a member of the special needs community - which seems to have a tendency to take offense and/or feel victimized) But sometimes it happens. Yesterday was one of those days.

Here's the story:

I've been trying to get more fluids in Elisabeth. This can be tricky because she can only tolerate around 6 oz every two or three hours. I usually give her two servings before the school bus comes, but she doesn't get any more until around four in the afternoon after I have picked her and the other children up from school. Long story short, I had a brilliant idea to send a measuring cup and a feeding tube with her to school and have her nurse give her some water part way through the day.


When I picked Elisabeth up from school her teacher handed me a form and told me I needed to get doctors orders to give Elisabeth water.


Doctors orders to give her water?????

Since when does a child need a doctors note to have water? Oh wait...they don't. Every other child at that school can have water any time they want. As much as they want or as little as they want. But my girl needs permission from her doctor. G-tube discrimination if I ever saw it.

Okay...now lets skip past the first ridiculous fact - which is that Elisabeth needs permission at all to have water - to the even more irritating fact: I, being a mother, don't have the authority to request water for my own child.

Let me say that one more time - I, Lisa Sorenson, mother of Elisabeth Sorenson, do not have the authority to order water for my child.

Since when does Elisabeth's doctor have more control over her life that I do? That's right, she doesn't. Because I am her mother. I know what's best for her. I am the one looking out for her. I am the one changing her diapers and making her food. I am the one that sings to her and cuddles her and takes her on bike rides along the river. I am her mother. I know what's right. And what's right is for her to have a drink of water in the middle of the day.

(Can you tell I am a little worked up over this?)

Honestly, this is as ridiculous as the time the school informed me that in the case of an emergency they would wait for an ambulance to arrive and transport Elisabeth to the ER which is directly - and I mean DIRECTLY - across the street from the school. I said, "You couldn't just carry her across?" Nope.

What has happened to common sense? If there is an emergency, pick up my child and RUN her across the street as fast as your legs will carry you. And if she needs water, by golly, give the poor child some water. I am so tired of all these silly little rules.

In all honesty, I think I might pull Elisabeth out of school. She doesn't go there to learn, she goes there to have a change of scenery and to give me a little break. But I'm not sure it's worth it. I am her mother and no one can care for her like I can. I can sense her every need, I can understand her every want. She belongs with me, under my care.

In the mean time, I refuse - I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE -  to get a doctors order for the water. I intend to show up at the school every day from here on out and give her water myself. 

Because I'm stubborn like that.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Enrichment for Elisabeth

There is no doubt about it, Elisabeth has regressed a lot in the past year or two. The smiles, the laughs, the few words, the ability to sit unsupported. As she has regressed I have noticed there isn't much she can do - especially now that she can't sit and play with her toys on the floor. Her life just seems - oh, I don't know - a little dull.

A normal child can explore the world around them, but that's not the case with Elisabeth. Her life will only be as rich as I make it ... so I need to make it wonderful. You see, I don't want Elisabeth to merely exist, I want her to enjoy, to participate, to experience

So I have recommitted myself to finding ways to enrich her life; to add color and sound and excitement where I can. (Because I admit, it is really easy to snuggle her into her beanbag chair and let her be while I do things like tend to the house and other children.) Today's post is the first in a new blog series I am creating called Enrichment for Elisabeth.

   photo dddd9d15-6a4e-4b2a-992f-26ea0662f4e7_zpscbcc99ac.jpg  
Bike rides
along the river.
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