Thursday, January 29, 2009
Then, when my mouth was full of novocaine, rubber gloves and dental implements, our dentist told this story:
“My (adopted) son from [another country] has fetal alcohol syndrome so he has a hard time understanding certain things, but he is a good kid. Because of his syndrome he won’t be going to college but was planning on going to a vocational school. I have two older biological daughters, and I put them through college and he knows that. He came to me and asked, ‘Dad? You know how you helped [so] and [so] through college? Could you help me to go to vocational school?’ And I said, ‘Son, when we adopted you it cost a great deal of money – did you know it cost the same amount to adopt you as it did for the girls to go to school?’ He didn’t realize that, you see, because it is harder for him to understand sometimes.”
Let me just say this. It is a GOOD thing my mouth was numb and full of implements at that point. Actually, I may have been speechless even if I could have spoken. I can’t believe that someone would hold that over a child’s head. I can’t believe how non-chalantly he told me this. Like it was 100% totally peachy-keen ok to tell your kid that. Or to even THINK that way! You could do it for everything! “Dad, can we order a pizza?” “No, son, I am still paying off your adoption! It cost a great deal of money!” What about a biological child with health problems? Couldn’t you say, “We spent a great deal of money on your health expenses, son, so no, I won’t be helping you with college, but your healthy siblings, well, THEY can get help with theirs.” Where would this type of thinking end? I am so sorry for the child (now a young man) who has grown up with this.
Ummmm, yeah. We are switching dentists. And it is NOT because of the drive.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
- Many U.S. Airways passengers who endured a crash landing in the Hudson River 12 days ago say they appreciate the $5,000 that the airline has offered — but some say it's not enough.
Joe Hart, a salesman from Charlotte who suffered a bloody nose and bruises, says he "would like to be made whole for the incident."
It's too soon after the accident to determine what emotional distress he has suffered, he says.
He's one of 150 passengers who were dramatically rescued Jan. 15, when the Charlotte-bound Airbus A320 jet safely ditched into the frigid river off Midtown Manhattan. A pilot on the plane told air-traffic controllers that birds struck the plane before both engines failed after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport.
After the crash, U.S. Airways sent passengers a letter of apology, a $5,000 check to assist "with immediate needs" and reimbursement for the ticket. ...
... Kreindler & Kreindler, a New York law firm that has represented plaintiffs in crashes, says it has been contacted by several passengers on the U.S. Airways flight.
The firm's lawyers are determining what injuries and emotional distress passengers may have suffered, and what parties might be liable under New York state law, says Noah Kushlefsky, a partner in the firm.
This is one of those stories that really needs no further commentary.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Still, you can't help but feel sorry for these girls. I mean, 100 to zip! They couldn't make so much as a single free throw. To say that they were outmatched would be an understatement.
The reaction to this story has been virtually unanimous: "How could any team with even a shred of human decency run up the score like that? How dare they!"
OK, here's where I'm going to rub a few people the wrong way. I would have expected nothing less from the team that won. In fact, if I had been their coach, I probably would have wondered why they couldn't win by 200 points.
Now, before you think I'm being heartless, look at what the losing coach, Jeremy Civello, had to say:
- "My girls never quit," he said. "They played as hard as they could to the very end. They played with all their hearts at 70-nothing, 80-nothing and 100-nothing. I was really proud of them. That's what I told them after the game." ...
... The Bulldogs play, Civello said, for more than the final score. They play in hope of improving skills, learning teamwork and picking up whatever life lessons athletics may bring. ...
... Against Covenant, Dallas Academy was surprised to see an obviously superior team keep the pressure on until it scored its 100th point in the fourth quarter. "I'm sure they could have won by 30 points and still had just as good a time," Civello said.
The fact is that he was embarrassed. And who can blame him? This kind of a loss -- not to mention the fact that Dallas Academy hasn't won a game in four years -- is hard to live down.
Still, we are left with the impression that Covenant coach Micah Grimes and his players are mean-spirited brutes because the team was still playing hard until the final buzzer. But isn't that exactly what we would expect of any team? Look at it from their perspective. Coach Grimes spends the entire season trying to get his players to give 100%. Do we expect him to go against everything he's been teaching them and suddenly try to get them not to play their best simply because the opposing team stinks?
When asked about the game, Grimes responded:
- "It's unfortunate we got to 100 points in the game against Dallas Academy. It just happened, and we are not happy about that.
"Please know Covenant intended no harm against them. I see this as a real learning opportunity, so we can prevent this from happening in the future."
Because we live in a politically correct society that abhors competition among kids, we must see to it that hard work doesn't pay off. We must condemn teams like Covenant because their display of superior skills might damage the self-esteem of those who aren't quite as talented. That's why Covenant has been shamed into issuing a formal apology and forfeiting the game.
What I find extremely interesting is that not one person has dared to criticize coach Civello for allowing his team to be humiliated for four quarters. He could have called an end to it at any point during the game, but he didn't, and yet no one expects him to apologize.
Again, if the whole point is to get the kids to play their best, then it shouldn't matter what the score is. Period. But if we're more worried about fragile egos and hurt feelings, then perhaps parents should be a little more discerning when it comes to their children's extracurricular activities.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Aside from the obvious regarding the state of our economy, here is how I know we are a country out of control. I ordered some clothes from a certain website for Patricia early on for another visiting family to take to Haiti. In my giddiness, I put her name on it, so when the package arrived it said "Patricia Shelton". Guess who just got her first credit card application? Patricia Shelton. From ONE order in her name.
Ok, I shall climb down from one soapbox and climb upon another. My thrift store soap box. I used to watch a child for free who had a single mom. Once when the mom came to pick up the child, she fell apart on my couch, crying about her financial situation. She clothed her child almost exclusively in Gap Kids (down to the socks and underwear). I challenged her to avoid the mall (this girl loves to shop!) I said that her going to the mall was like an alcoholic going to the bar. I challenged her to decide if her 4-year-old could have Target underwear instead of Gap underwear. And I said, have you gone to the thrift stores? She wrinkled her nose up at me. She was not interested. Well, for those of you who are, read on:
We need clothes for the kids for our trip to Haiti. Since we don't know exactly what sizes to get, we need to bring a few different things. In order to do that on a budget, I hit the thrift stores. This is my loot from Savers. Here is what I got for Patricia (ok, some of it is for when she comes home): two skirts; jean shorts; pink blouse; three sundresses; a denim jumper; and two pairs of pjs. For Philippe: two swimsuits (we get to take them to the pool at the hotel); two pairs of jean shorts; a pair of camo shorts, and a pair of slippers. I paid $33.00 for all of this. That averages out to about $2.00 per item. All items are in excellent shape, and some were brand new. Some of the brand names purchased: Old Navy; Children's Place; Osh Kosh B'Gosh; Carter's; Columbia Sportswear; Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole Reaction. The rest was Target brands.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
months since our Log In Date!
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Confused? This video guide should help:
Better yet, just read more.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I am able to get things done and get where I need to be when I need to be there, but I have to say, my brain is constantly on these kids, what to pack when we go, what it will be like to meet them, if they will be comfortable with us, etc, etc, etc. I am just a flake because I am soooo excited about the next few months. I am having to write everything down because I am being so forgetful. I never used to be forgetful, but more and more lately, I have been. Wait. What was I saying? I forgot.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Like anyone else with a healthy distrust of people who have the power to tell you what to do and the guns to make sure you do it, I don't exactly get warm, fuzzy feelings when the government imposes a new law in an effort to make this world "safer" for me and my children. There are always unintended consequences.
Such is the case with a new law set to go into effect next month. Under the guise of protecting children, this law will require the testing of all kids' clothing, toys, jewelry, etc. for lead and other toxic substances.
Sounds reasonable, right? Well, that all depends.
Blogger "Mom101" describes an e-mail she received:
- It was from a mom in Ohio who, for the first time, was able to make enough money selling handmade barrettes at her Etsy shop this year that she could afford to stay home with her small son. But thanks to the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act which passed this year and introduces such prohibitive testing and labeling regulations for kids products, she's likely to be out of business in two months.
In fact the act threatens to put so many crafters, toy artisans, retailers and small business owners out of work that the day it goes into effect, February 10, is being referred to as National Bankruptcy Day.
Like the economy isn't awesome enough already.
Think: The stay-at-home mom selling beautiful handmade rag dolls, the artist in Wisconsin who's been hand-whittling natural wood trains for thirty years, the ebay-ing grandma who knits baby booties and sells them for extra income, the adorable kids superhero cape maker at your local craft bazaar.
All gone. Only to be replaced by plastic garbage from companies who can afford to comply with the new law.
- While I sympathize with the sentiments behind it -- of course I do! I'm a mom with two small kids! -- the CPSIA is feel-good legislation at its worst. It slaps on a bunch of regulations and requirements in the broadest of manners, without thinking through the details.
And did I mention it will put me out of business? At least the Baby Friendly Beads part of Mama's Magic Studio. That or I'll be operating illegally.
Why? Because the CPSIA requires end unit testing on every product intended for use by children under 12. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to do this testing, regardless of how small the business. These tests run into the hundreds of dollars. And every piece of my jewelry is one of a kind, so would require a separate set of tests. It isn't enough to test a single prototype. Since each piece of my jewelry sells for $50 or less, the math just doesn't add up.
It isn't enough to test the components, nor is it sufficient to rely on your suppliers' certification of the safety of the materials. Apparently, according to the CPSIA, simply knitting yarn into a baby blanket or putting beads on a cord mysteriously changes the composition of said materials and requires a whole 'nother set of tests, because they might have suddenly turned toxic. There are no exemptions for small businesses and "micro" manufacturers like myself and most handcraft artisans.
- The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger -- including clothing -- be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.
"They'll all have to go to the landfill," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops. ...
... Carol Vaporis, owner of Duck Duck Goose Consignment in New Port Richey, Fla., said her store stocks barely used brand-name clothing from places such as Limited Too and Gymboree.
"We really provide a service to the community to help people get clothes for their children they otherwise couldn't afford," she said.
Families have been bringing more clothes to consignment stores, where they get a chunk of the proceeds, to earn a little cash this winter, she said. She plans to contact her congressional representatives and senators to ask them to amend the law but says there's not enough awareness about the repercussions of the law to force anything to change.
I do know this will affect us. Dawn has already spent many hours making kids' knitted hats, bibs, blankets, and purses, and was getting ready to open her own Etsy online shop.
** UPDATE **
The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a clarification yesterday regarding this new law. It states:
- The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children's products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children's products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children's products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.
- While CPSC expects every company to comply fully with the new laws resellers should pay special attention to certain product categories. Among these are recalled children's products, particularly cribs and play yards; children's products that may contain lead, such as children's jewelry and painted wooden or metal toys; flimsily made toys that are easily breakable into small parts; toys that lack the required age warnings; and dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened and could present a choking hazard for young children.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Adopting has changed me, but adopting from Haiti has really changed me. What a constant reminder to be thankful when your children are from a destitute country.
Thank you, Lord, that this little girl, Venecia, got some nutrition and that she is doing better. Thank you that our son, Philippe, was brought into the orphanage in March and is no longer suffering from malnutrition. Thank you for the ABUNDANCE we have in this country, even in the midst of economic crisis. THANK you for the opportunity to meet our kids and THANK YOU for the privilege of thanking you.
I have never gotten on the prosperity gospel wagon. Nope. Not me. Doesn't jive for me. The picture below of Venecia contradicts it. The pain I have in my body contradicts it. The loss that I have seen good Christian people suffer contradicts it.
Our pastor, John Piper, has quite a strong thing to say about prosperity gospel in this video. It is three minutes long but he says so much in that time. It is powerful and eye opening. It may offend. I don't apologize. I believe that he is totally, 100% right on. Thank you, Lord, that we live in a country where we can share our beliefs.
If you are unclear as to what "prosperity gospel" is, here is one example. Listen through, if you will, and then listen through again, imagining that you live in Haiti. Or the countryside of China. Or what about all the people, some of my friends, who were recently laid off. Did they not have the right vision for themselves? And the reason I have pain is because I do not stand against it?
Sunday, January 04, 2009
January 1, 2009LOVE YOU, MIRACLE MAMA!
Saturday, January 03, 2009
With three adoptions, we did Christmas on a budget this year, and baked cookies! It was a long, fun day as we worked together to bake 23 dozen!
We found these plastic boxes, that look like Chinese to-go containers, at Michael's for a buck each (thanks to Tanya for this tip!)
We hosted the family for dinner so my folks could relax and enjoy the day a bit more! Here is how we fit everyone in the Shelton cottage...
Here is the entire Wilson family with the exception of my sister's 23-year-old daughter who had just returned from a three month trip to Africa, and the Shelton kids.
FRANCES LORAINE (REEVES) SHELTON
Loraine Shelton, age 84, left this world unexpectedly to set sail for her heavenly home, December 26, 2008. Loraine was the faithful wife of the late Pastor L. R. Shelton, Jr. for over 60 years before his passing over 5 years ago. She has since been residing with two of her children in Cold Spring, Minnesota. She was born in McComb, Mississippi to James Z Reeves and Carrie Fae Bailey. She and Lee Roy were married on August 22, 1942. During their married life they lived in New Orleans, LA; Litchfield, MN; and Pensacola, FL. They displayed what true love was all about as they exampled the love they had for each other to those that lived around them. Loraine was probably the least selfish person that I have ever known. She placed her husband and children ahead of herself in life. She indeed was the "wind beneath the wings" of my father. Her support of him and his ministry never wavered. If giving is more blessed than receiving, as Jesus Christ said it was, then my mother experienced much blessing in her life.Loraine was preceded in death by her parents, James Zack Reeves and Carrie Fae Bailey Reeves and her husband Lee Roy Shelton, Jr. She will be lovingly missed by her sister Margaret Bostick and husband Harry; her three children, Sharon Frolek and husband, Alan, Lee Roy Shelton, III and wife, Marsha, and Zechariah Shelton and wife, Janis. Loraine was blessed with four grandchildren, Lee Roy Shelton, IV and wife, Dawn, Christy Washburn and husband, Paul, Kimberlee Shelton, and Sharla Shelton and step-grandchildren Jack and Dustin Campbell. She lived to see and enjoy four great-grandchildren, Leroy, Jacob, Audrey, Lydia Washburn and four step-great-grandchildren Taylor, Allison, Colton and Samantha Campbell. Loraine passed away before ever seeing her adopted great-grandchildren Olivia, Patricia and Philippe Shelton. A 10:30 am Memorial Service is planned for Friday, January 2nd at the Mount Zion Bible Church 2603 W. Wright St. in Pensacola, Florida. Interment will be at the Bayview Cemetery.Bayview Fisher-Pou Chapel is in charge of arrangements.