Posts Tagged ‘adoptive parent’

Another Badge! YES!

January 27, 2011

One balmy afternoon as we were lounging in the villa in Cali, Colombia, our guide showed up to take the “boys” out on the town for go-cart driving and other frivolity that boys would eat up.  Our little Colombian princess had been with us for about a week at that point.  She was sitting on our guide’s lap when miniscule white bugs were discovered in her luscious black hair.  My failing eyesight had not detected them.  Maybe this is why it’s good for “older” parents to adopt… they can’t see what’s REALLY happening in their care!  I ran for my reading glasses!

My only experience with lice was in 1991 when I was substitute teaching in Fort Vermilion, Alberta.  It was a kindergarten class, that I had completely under my superb control, when the school nurse made a surprise visit to check for the little white bugs on the heads of my pupils.  Eight of the kids left the room after the inspection and I continued to scratch my head the rest of the day.  Just the thought makes my head itch!

Fast-forward to 2010 in Cali when one of MY children is bug-laden.  Immediately I ran to the little grocery store in our compound and asked for lice shampoo.  A small single-use packet was produced and purchased… and I didn’t scratch my head once while in the store.  By this time, our boys were on their way into the city and realization hit that we should all be checked for BUGS in our HAIR!  Thankfully, our sweet cook was more than willing to search through our heads AND apply the insecticide shampoo to the little princess.  Lo and behold, some of the critters had made the jump to my scalp as well!  This took me several hours to come to grips with.  I could not understand how little creatures could be living on my head AND I DIDN’T NOTICE!!!  I notice everything… well, except lice living with me.  Back to the store I went, somewhat humbled at the thought of asking for MORE lice shampoo.  The teller actually laughed….. LAUGHED!  I told him in my lame Spanish (translated back to lame English for your enjoyment) “NO, the laugh!” 

As my new daughter was having the rather nice-smelling shampoo rubbed into her head, I was on google looking up lice statistics, translating them into Spanish for the aid of my self-image.  I kept reading lines to our cook like “The term ‘head lice’ is searched globally by Google users 450,000 times in a month.”  That made me feel better because I was in good company!  “Lice are attracted to CLEAN hair which is why they are more common in girls than boys.”  “Every year, between 6 and 12 million people worldwide get head lice.”  See, how can that many people be wrong!?!  Later, our guide in Bogota explained that ALL the kids have lice and need to be treated! 

Finally it was my turn to have a thorough scalp massage (albeit with insecticide!) and sit for ten minutes while the death cream did its duty.  My older daughter was mortified that I would make a note on facebook as to our daily adventure.  She was obviously my daughter because she had also wrongly associated head lice with dirty people.  It’s not true!  I read the clean hair preference to her again.  Didn’t help.  She was horrified that her friends might find out her family had bugs on their brains.  Flabbergastedly, she asked, “Why do you want people to know about this?” In the spirit of adventure from the movie UP! I explained that on the scout sash of my life, I just earned my Lice Badge!  Just like Russell earning his Assisting the Elderly badge.  She was still not impressed!  Hey, another day…. another bit of drama!

Ironically, our little Colombiana never wants to use my hairbrush because she thinks it’s dirty because there is hair stuck in it.  Sheesh!

Once Again…. I’m Not Sure I’m Ready!

September 26, 2010

My brother and his wife went away this past weekend to celebrate their anniversary up in the cool mountains.  (Side note: it’s STILL supposed to be over 100 ALL week!)  BAH!  Anyway, we have had their boys, ages 5 and 11, for some of the weekend when they weren’t at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  The five-year-old is almost six… so he’ll be very close to the same age as his new cousin, our little Colombian princess, who will be 5 or 6.  It was a good reminder for me to have him stay here, to kick-start my “Oh yeah, I’m going to have a 5 or 6-year-old child again” thinking. 

We went to church and I was NOT prepared with a purse full of fishy crackers and gummy worms, like a good Auntie should have been.  I had gum, three colors of pens and the back of a printed piece of paper to color on.  (I did have a Nintendo DS, but I didn’t show that to him.) He managed just fine.  Before we went into the service I asked him if he had to go to the bathroom.  He said, “Well, we better, just in case.”  Good idea.  Then we stopped in the cafe and bought him some orange juice, just in case too.  I grabbed a tidy little package containing a fork, spoon, knife and napkin, just in case too. 

Five-year-olds ask the best questions!  He asked if spoons cost more than forks because they are a “dinky bit” bigger?  He asked why I didn’t pay for the utensil package.  He asked if I could hold his juice bottle because it was too cold for him to hold.  He asked how we were going to find Uncle Rick because it was dark in the sanctuary when we eventually arrived.  All valid questions.

He didn’t open his juice at all in church.  He just colored with three colors on the back of my printed page.  He didn’t stand for the “singing part” because he was “just fine sitting.” 

It all got my mind a-wandering again.  Will our girl be able to sit in church quietly?  Will our huge church be overwhelming for her?  Will I be sitting in the five-year-old class all year?  Will I remember to take her to the bathroom before we arrive? Am I too old for this?  Am I ready for this?  I’m not sure at the moment, but I’ve been known to rise to the occasion more than once in my life.  {smiles}

This is referral call week.  Bring it on!

International vs. Domestic Adoption

August 24, 2010

We have been asked many times why we are leaving our fair country to adopt in a foreign land.  “There are so many kids in the foster system that need homes!”  We’ve heard all the reasons…. and they are valid.  Our answer is, “We are doing what we are called to do.”  If the Lord guided us toward an adoption here, then that is what we would do.  But He did not, so we’re not.  There are also other reasons that we grappled with during our initial adoption inquiries.

Before we chose an agency or a country, I spoke to any adoptive parent that would stand still long enough for me to ask questions.  One such parent was a mom from our daughter’s volleyball team.  She had a young son and daughter whom they adopted…. I thought from Russia.  I’m not sure what made me think Russia?  They did look a bit Russian… brown hair, white skin…. that’s it.  I called her to ask her some questions about their international adoption of Russian kids.  She paused and said, “Uh…. our kids are from the Arizona foster system.”  Oh.  OK.  (Now where do I go??)  She asked if I would mind sharing why we would look outside AZ for a child who needed a home.  We knew each other fairly well and so I spoke my concerns openly… “We are concerned about the psychological difficulties with kids from this system and we don’t want weird relatives showing up at our door.”  Some may say I’m narrow-minded, but hey, we all have our hang-ups. Those were mine.  Her answer not only surprised me, but confirmed our international selection.  She responded, “Oh, well, we’ve had both of those things happen in the first year alone,” and she went on to explain it all to me. 

Funny thing is, last night I found myself on the other side of the weird relative equation.  On facebook we found a niece of ours who had an adoption plan made for her shortly after she was born.  She is now 19 or 20.  She is beautiful…. and looks just like one of her aunties.  My husband and I talked about whether I should contact her or not.  We decided a quick one-liner intro and request to be a friend would be appropriate.  She is “friends” with her bio-mom, sister, aunt and uncle…. all from our family.  So I figured, what’s one more weird relative??  When I went to her page this morning, I discovered that she is getting married in four days.  She is busy and in love and doesn’t need another weird relative this week.  I’ll wait a month or two.

Zaza’s Dolly

May 29, 2010

I finally finished sewing Zaza’s dolly two days ago.  I plan to let Zaza name her, but if she asks for suggestions, I might say Amelia or Eliana or Christina.  I already used the iron-on face included in the pattern, and besides, it had blue eyes.  So I found an embroidered pattern on-line.  That took one whole day.  They even embroidered the pink cheeks, but I didn’t think that would look too good. I used real make-up.

The body is made from vintage muslin that was in the quilting scraps from my grandmother.  I tea-dyed it so as not to have pasty-white skin, like mine.  I think Grandma would be happy that I made Zaza’s dolly from her stash.  For the hair, I didn’t want to use regular twisted yarn because it can unravel and become a mess.  So I searched and searched and found this beautiful black non-twisted yarn made of bamboo.  Yes, it surprised me too.  It is super soft and combs out perfectly. 

I picked up the four purples on a sale day, so the entire outfit including bloomers was $5.  Yes, $5.  You don’t need much fabric for an 18″ doll.  I didn’t follow the pattern for the apron because I wanted the fabric on the bodice to show.  So I made up an apron, complete with a pocket for her tissue… or little treasure.  I’m starting outfit #2 now out of teeny red and blue floral fabric and I plan to make it short-sleeved (for summer) with the white eyelet pinafore following the pattern.  I’ll show you later.

Yes, she needs shoes.  There is no pattern for shoes…. except for slippers to match her jammies.  That won’t do for her Sunday dress.  I had a handmade doll when I was young and she had black felt shoes with a strap and a tiny white button.  I’m going to make those…. pray for me… I’m going off 35-year-old memories!

14 Seconds of Important Information

January 19, 2010

Today was supposed to be the day I call our adoption case worker in Texas to find out what is happening with our adoption of our little Zaza.  At 9:00 am I instructed all three children to remind me at 11:00 to call Texas!  Bah!  I need to set the kitchen timer next time.  I called ten minutes late…. after frantically stopping my reading of Charlemagne and William the Conqueror, dropping the book and yelling, “What time is it?!” 

I got the Texan answering machine.  Shoot. 

Since the children were preoccupied making papier mache Medieval helmets and crowns in the backyard, I called the ortho for a consultation for Keeve.  The ortho receptionist is quite thorough in her appointment making procedures…. and while I was reciting every number, name and code word associated with our dental plan, my cell phone was ringing… and ringing… and yes, it was our case worker.  Shoot!  But the ortho consult is a go.

So again, while the children were coating their clothing, each other, the picnic table and one son’s black SLIPPERS (what in the world?) with floury/watery paste, I dialed the Texas number once more.  Nada.  I left message #2.

Working my way through my To-Do list, I put in another call for a class at our church.  While the kind lady was giving me ALL the information, my cell buzzed that there was a voice message.  I was beside myself with inquisitiveness, bailed on the kind church lady and told her we’d sign up online.  Click. 

Finally, NEWS.  Well, 14 seconds of adoption news that will affect our family for our entire lives….. (drum roll, please)… we have moved from #19 to #15 on the wait list.  Whooo HOoooo!  Progress!  What that means is: since Oct. 25th, ONLY FOUR kids from the 5-6 age group have gone home to their forever families!  ONLY FOUR!  Now before I totally hyperventilate and slam the keyboard keys right through the computer desk, we need to remember that the courts in Colombia close from Dec. 15 to Jan 15…. so it’s really four kids in two months time.  If ICBF stays at that rate (which is so unpredictable because of multiple variables…. but I digress) our name should hit the top of the list in seven months… AUGUST!  Oh, not that my timing or planning have anything AT ALL to do with this, but leaving Phoenix to pick up our Zaza for the month of August would be a dream come true! 

It’s time for me to break out the little tea party table and chair set that I have all primed to paint cutesy for Zaza’s room.  It has waited for months in the garage for news that we are #15.  Well, actually for any news….    Fifteen sounds so far away, but it means that 2010 is HER year!!!!  So excited.

What are YOU doing Sunday Afternoon?

November 4, 2009

Did you know that this coming Sunday is Orphan Sunday?  Did you know that there are 143,000,000 orphans in the world? How big of a number is 143 million?  Here, have a look:

It astonished me. 

God’s heart is turned to the orphan and so are the hearts of many other men and women doing what they can to help a child… one child at a time.  It doesn’t seem like much… 1 out of 143,000,000, but it is everything to THAT child.

There is a live concert broadcast this Sunday, Nov. 8th, 2009 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm CST including Steven Curtis Chapman, Geoff Moore, Jim Daly, Dennis Rainey and an African Children’s choir.  You can find out about it here:

Please join me in participating in Orphan Sunday and watch the broadcast.  Or better yet, there are events all across our nation that are posted on the site as well.  Then please do your part to help the orphans of the world.

God Bless, Linda

Jennie Lynne makes her appearance!

July 15, 2009

Dolly 009

This is Jennie Lynne.  She is a Doll for Zaza…. meaning: she’s for sale on the Bags for Zaza site, but she’s not a bag.  Something new.  Something different.  The perfect Christmas gift for the little lady in your life.  Initially I made her for our Zaza, but then I decided to make Zaza’s with darker skin, brown eyes and black hair.  So this fair Scandinavian beauty is up for auction to help bring Zaza home.  There are many more pictures that you can zoom in on at

Please share the news and help bring Zaza home!

Four More Days (but who’s counting?)

May 18, 2009

around the house boys 004

We are in the final stretch here at L.A.K.E. Academy, Crosby’s homeschool for exceptional children.  L.A.K.are the initials of our first three children…. (Larisa, Austin and Keeve) and our adopted daughter’s name better start with an E or it will throw off the whole acronym.  If not, oh well.  It would also fit right in with what we’ve got goin’ on with birthdays if her special day is in either August or December.  We already have Sep. , Oct. and Nov.  AND if she didn’t like pickles and loved Chinese Chicken Salad, she’s gonna be real happy here.  I probably should have put dance-off pictures into her Introduction Photo Album, so she knows what’s coming.  But that might be scary… pictures of people dancing always look strange.  No matter what her name, her likes/dislikes, her bday, WE CAN’T WAIT for her to get home.

Our family calendar is always stuffed to the gills with drama, church, hockey, scrapbooking, etc., but it is oddly blank this July and August.  School starts for Larisa on Aug. 20th, but other than that, we are WIDE open for traveling to Colombia!  My speaking trips don’t pick up again until mid-Sept. and Rick actually has enough holiday time saved for 5 weeks!  In my little mind, July and August would be PERFECT…. leaving Phoenix at the hottest time and spending time in much cooler Bogota.  Ahhhhh.  But, we will rejoice and be glad no matter God’s timing in bringing Zaza home.  Just hurry up, for Pete’s sake.  And our sake.

I pulled out the International Adoption book again to give myself a refresher on traveling.  It’s much easier the second time through as everything is highlighted.  This book has ALL the answers… and if not, it tells you where to look to find the answers.  There are several Colombian adoption stories told which make ours seem more visible somehow.  And my Colombian travel guide is my current bathroom reading book.  So much to know!

Blog buddy, Kelly, at found out their little GG (God’s Gift) is in Cali.  I’m thrilled for them.  They are also awaiting a referral, but have been assigned to a Casa Privada, private adoption home.  I would LOVE to know what region we will be going to.  There are so many unknowns at this point. 

Thankfully for Rick, I don’t know Zaza’s size or I would have filled the dresser and closet long ago.  I look at the frilly, little “birthday cake” dresses and have to refrain because we have no clue of Zaza’s size.  Oh, but when I find out…… look out!  I might even bring Grandma to help me shop!  And Larisa!  And Auntie Julie!  And cousin Whitney!  I found this darling little brown and pink bling bling t-shirt once and Larisa told me, “Don’t buy it mom.  If you do then Zaza will be chubby and it will be too small.”  So that is our family joke when we are in the girl’s department!  “Don’t!  She’ll be chubby!”  Not that it matters, but you know us…. code phrases for everything that throw us into fits of laughter.

Wacky Wednesday

April 15, 2009

Today is the first of hopefully many more Wacky Wednesdays at  At 8:00 p.m. tonight there are several items being sold…. to the first lucky person to leave a message saying “Mine!” and their name.  The prices are set and postage is included.  There will be bags and other new items never before seen on Bags for Zaza.  I haven’t even seen them, and Jennie wouldn’t send me pictures…. so I’m waiting like the rest of you.  We will still have the “normal” carrier bags for auction soon.  Never fear, we just got bogged down with life momentarily.

Thanks again, you wonderful people, for supporting our adoption of Zaza from Colombia.  It has been over 14 months since we were approved and have been awaiting our referral call.  Bags for Zaza has been a tremendous success in raising funds to bring Zaza home.  Thanks for checking it out, telling others, bidding, leaving comments and for loving us.  You’re the BEST!

Bags for Zaza … Check ’em out!

March 4, 2009


I haven’t heard a total from my sister-in-law in a few months, but my guess is the Bags For Zaza is nearing $4,500!  That is so awesome, thanks to YOU!  Our little Zaza will be home soon thanks to bidders, commenters, tellers-of-friends, etc.  There are two bags this week: one a dingle-ball hot pink number and one  zig-zag blue and brown wonder.


The auctions end on Saturday, so you have plenty of time to bid and tell your friends.  :o)