Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sweet 16!

I'm so behind in posting !!! Summer always has a way of grabbing me and leading me in other directions.

I'm easily lured to the outdoors. The warmth of the sun is to enticing!

One moment I cannot let go by this summer without writing about is my Sophia's birthday.
On July 6th she turned 16!

How and when all that growing up happened ; I cannot tell you. All I know is, she is suddenly a beautiful young woman.

The world is yours for the taking Sophia! There are so many different directions you can go.

Life can be difficult and stressful but there is so much beauty in every day. Don't miss the good things! Sometimes you have to look for them and sometimes they are right in front of you. Be careful to not overlook them.

You are beautiful and I am so proud of everything you have done and are doing!

You have no idea how loved and treasured you are. You won't realize it until you have your own children, but you fill my heart joy! (and other things , but that's all part of growing up, lol)

You are amazing! Tell yourself that everyday! You can do whatever you put your mind to... add that daily. And never forget that all of heaven is rooting for you! That , you can tell yourself 100 times a day!!!

Love you more,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life". Richard Bach

Hellos are so much fun,  goodbyes are impossible. 

Last September our family grew by one . One remarkable young man. Olivia met Jorge at Festival Ballet Providence during their Summer Intensive Program in July and he was offered a contract as a Trainee in the Company. He was 18 and adorable and needed a place to stay as he is originally from Philadelphia. He and Liv were already inseparable and , well she can usually persuade me into just about anything, so Jorge became our Plus1 (as we affectionately referred to him).

I remember meeting him for the first time after the Summer performance and praying that when he met Emmie he wouldn't back away, or feel uncomfortable. I know that sounds silly for most but if you have a child with Down syndrome or any disability, you know what I mean.

Anyway, he melted my heart when he immediately reached out to her, addressing her as "boo".. Dear God he called her boo! I loved him from that moment on. And so did she!

He blended perfectly and effortlessly into our home and our lives.

Jorge brought so much into our lives. I mean, I thought we were the ones helping him out but in all reality we benefited so much more from having him with us.

Some of the perks of having an amazingly talented dancer/choreographer/all around super person living with you.

1. Your daughter will have an amazing piece choreographed for her for Grand Prix. 

2. Your little one will be taught how to properly twerk. That was a questionable perk at first but after watching the two of them during a "lesson" I was sold. Twerk away!

3. We are all better trained in how to defend ourselves. One quick, clean shot to the throat should give you enough time to run away should you be attacked. Thank you Jorge, Emmie is the best at this but better not take it to school!

4. We were turned on to new "quality " TV shows like Love & Hip Hop. One day when everyone was out I sneaked a peek. Morbid curiosity got the best of me.

5. When the girls stress me to the point of not being able to breath, Jorge is the one to walk me through the chest pains. "Breathe Mama, breathe" ...he would say.

6. I knew he would watch out for the girls. I always wished they had a big brother.

7.Andrew finally had another boy in the house! Being the only brother with 4 sisters at home is beyond difficult.

8. Bella my "punk" finally had a soul mate. They were the same person, I swear! And he even made Sophie laugh.. no easy feat.

9.His laughter was contagious! Anyone who has heard the boy laugh knows exactly what I mean. What a freaking laugh!

10. You got Happy Birthday sung to you in Spanish. Jorge, Sophia's birthday is next!! You better call her and sing to her!!!

11. He made us happy.

The best times were just hanging out at night on those rare occasions when everyone was under one roof at the same time. No idea why, but it always led to dancing..

Sweet boy, you will always have a family and a home in Rhode Island. I know your talents will take you far. So much awaits you. There is no doubt in my mind you will find success in what you love to do. I can't wait to see where life takes you.

See you soon,
Love , Mama

To read more about Jorge the dancer you can go this blog,Setting the Barre,  Kirsten is also a dancer at Festival and wrote a beautiful post about Jorge from the dancer perspective.   Kirsten also has a link to the piece he choreographed for Olivia.

Friday, April 17, 2015

One Enchanted Evening..

Cinderella didn't dance as much at the ball as Emilia Faith did at her very first Father /Daughter dance.

The night was MAGICAL!!

I found the puffiest dress in the word. A pale blue.  She took my breath away.

Her shoes, unlike Cinderella's, fit her perfectly and were so comfortable that she was able to dance the night away in them and still make it home with both of them.

She was a little reluctant to sit for a photo shoot before the dance,and it showed...

But when her Prince Charming entered the scene her attitude quickly changed

And just like that , they were off.

And it's a good thing there were no spells involved with this fairy tale because Princess Emilia was out waaaay past her curfew. She arrived home sleepy, and still smiling.

 As I put her to bed,the dreams were already forming in that beautiful little head of hers, of  The One Enchanted Evening she had with her Daddy.

Monday, April 13, 2015

19 Years And Counting

19 years ago I married a guy who really had no idea what he was getting into. Thank you Peter for not running away when you realized your Princess was really the Evil Queen. (but with a good heart)

It's been a hell of a ride. We have been through things I never imagined could even happen. Highest of highs and extreme lows.

We've had dreams come true and we've watch dreams shatter.

We've picked up the pieces and moved forward so many times...

Marriage is HARD. It's frustrating and leaves you frazzled!

But, it's worth it. Because I would never want to go through this life flying solo. When good things happen it's you I want to celebrate with,and when the shit  hits the fan it's you I run to. You're my friend, my lover ,my confidant, my punching bag and all around much needed guy in my life.

You tolerate my weirdness with saint like patience.

19 years and counting.. there's no one else I'd rather tuck and roll through life with!

Happy Anniversary Peter! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Month of Wondering.. Is Today Her Birthday


What it means to most people is Spring!  April is always a much anticipated month, especially after this Winter. 

It means Easter. And a Holiday, school vacation and new life shooting up from a thawing ground. I was married in April. My anniversary used to be the most significant event the month of April brought with it.

But now, April fills me with a hidden sadness.

My Little Love was born this month.

Carina is in Russia. An orphan. Forgotten by all. Trapped there by a useless ban on Adoptions.

She was born in April. I don't know the day. So everyday, I wish her a Happy Birthday. 

I know no one will celebrate her. There will be no cake, no gifts or even an extra hug. I doubt that whoever cares for her even knows when she was born or cares to know.

But there are two woman in this world who will be thinking about Carina on the same day this month.

Me and her birth mother. 

I cannot imagine that she has forgotten the day her daughter was born. I have no idea the circumstances surrounding Carina's birth. Her mother was probably young and scared. Most likely she was advised by doctors that her child,  born with Down syndrome,  would be better off in an orphanage. Children like this don't "belong" in society as they will amount to nothing. 

Maybe she longed to keep her... maybe she never looked back. 

But she let her go. And I took Carina into my heart.

And there she will stay.. I've claimed her as mine. A spiritual adoption. One Putin has no say over. One I don't need the State to declare me fit for. No one wanted her but me, so I took her and she lives in my heart. 

This Christmas I was gifted with a new photo of my girl.

She turns 7 this month. Four long years of longing for this baby girl. 

April will never be the same for me. To most people, the ban on adoptions is all but a distant memory. Life goes on. New stories take precedence. The children get lost. Even more lost than they already were.  But to those who love them, it's like it happened yesterday. We will never be able to forget. One day Russia will reopen, and they will come home. I believe that with my whole heart. But until then April will be thirty days of wondering..  is today her birthday? 

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

Mama loves you more...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

An Update From the Frozen Tundra

I guess I don't have to explain the title of this post, if you are even somewhat coherent you know the type of winter we have been having. It has snowed and snowed and snowed...

The calming effect snow usually has on me wore off sometime after the first 100 inches softly fell over us. That feeling soon changed to panic! How could the local grocery stores possibly be able to keep enough bread, milk and eggs on the shelves!!  Rage has now replaced panic as my  current state of mind as each impending snow storm is putting my sanity to the test.


The Robins flew in.. and I thought , there is hope! 

That was a few storms back. Have not seen or heard them since. I fear the worst.

Also we lost our Fancy Bear Gerbil ,Gus Gus. And because he chose to kick the bucket when there was no less than 4 feet of snow on the ground he "Laid in State" for a few days as we tried to figure out what the hell to do with him.  He was too big too flush and too good for the garbage. We decided to pack him on ice til the ground is visible (maybe by June) and give him a proper burial. So Gus Gus is wrapped in a beautiful glass jar in the snow on the deck til he can join the cat and various fish pets we have buried around the yard.

On to the humans

They're all fine and driving me crazy.

The girls are dancing, Bella is flipping and Andrew is still disgusted that we had only one boy.

We've been playing host family to Liv's friend Jorge, an up and coming dancer/choreographer from Philly, who will soon take the world by storm.  

We love him and are trying to figure out how to keep him forever. Of course his real family might have a problem with that  ;)  He's a blessing and a joy who came to us at a time when we really needed a breath of fresh air. He really deserves his own post. I  think he is expecting it, Soon... Soon Jorge!!! I promise!

And the star of the show,Emilia Faith... is still running things around here.  Her boundless energy keeps us all exhausted, her beauty astonishes us, her appetite to learn is ferocious! She dances and sings and is living the life! She's also very naughty and spends a lot of time in time out...

She is loving school and working diligently on potty training both at school and home. We are trying the tag team method. 

She is the Princess of Lippitt Elementary School. Loved by all.  And patiently tolerated by the ones she chooses to bully...   But, she is improving daily on her inappropriate contact with friends.

This has been a long and stressful winter. We have gotten through on faith, humor and Jorge..(we really love the boy)

Looking forward to spring, things that are green and warmer temps. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

We Will Never Forget Our Russian Orphans: Happy Birthday Natasha.

We are fast approaching the two year anniversary of a day I do not want remember but cannot forget. 
On Dec 26th 2013 Putin closed Russia to Americans adopting. With a stroke of his pen he broke hearts, shattered families, took hope away from orphans, and to many Russian orphans handed over a death sentence.

One of my friends Katrina Morriss can never forget that day either. Her daughter Natasha is one of those countless orphans now stuck in Russia. Here in America she has a family who desperately longs for her. The future is unknown, unsettling and scary. 

Katrina has never rested since Putin wrote into  law the dismal future of all Russian orphans. She has fought for awareness and to keep the children of Russia in the spotlight. She refuses to let them slip into the  darkness where they will be forgotten by everyone. Out of sight out of mind works for Putin but not for Katrina!

Below is a plea from Katrina. I can only ask that if you are reading this you please think about the beauties that had families, met their families and were anticipating their lives in America. And then because of one selfish, cold hearted leader, lost their dreams. Think about the moms and dads that held their sons and daughters promising to be back soon, only to be locked out forever. Please like Katrina's Facebook page. And for the love of all, remember the children. They are still there, families are still fighting for them. Please don't let them be forgotten.

Katrina's Plea:
In honor of Natasha's 9th birthday and the 2 year anniversary of the adoption ban please join together with us to get 10,000 likes on the Parents United for RussianOrphans FB page by the end of the year.
Our goal is for people around the world to come together to help the children stuck in Russian orphanages by providing information and supporting groups that help the children have better lives. We are begging the Russian government to bring about change for the better and continue to ask them to work with our government to allow the remaining pipeline children to come home. If this is not possible, we pray the children will speedily find loving homes in Russia and that the government will provide the necessary support system for them.
Natasha was only 6 years old when a loving family met her and agreed to adopt her. She has spent an extra 2 1/2 years in an orphanage because of the adoption ban and most likely will spend the rest of her life without ever knowing the love of a family if changes are not made.


The link to our blog(Katrina Morriss) and this beautifully written article by Russianjournalist and volunteer for Downside Up Julia Kolesnickenko . that has links to our documentary that will be shown in Russia on December 13th.
The link to the documentary FB page. 

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