I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Calling all Flat Stanleys!

Do people even do Flat Stanley anymore? If you haven't heard, it's a great (home)school project. And since I'll be in NY, Brussels, Paris, and India next week (yeah, yeah, I am SO bragging), I thought it'd be a great way to get some pics for your Flat Stanley project. http://www.flatstanley.com/

So if anyone wants to send me a Flat Stanley, you'd better get it to me within the next week. You can email me and I'll send you my mailing address: recoveringnoah@yahoo.com.

Of course, NY, Brussels and Paris will all be airports - but I'm sure Charles DeGualle is sporting a mini-replica of the Eiffel Tower somewhere admist the gift shops and souvenir stands.

As for India, I can get some really good shots - hopefully. (But we're not going to the Taj this time around).

So drop me an email if you're interested! Hey! Maybe I can get the older kids at the orphanage involved. Who knows? That would be really cool, wouldn't it?

Noah's Mom

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How would YOU answer this question?

So, as most of you know, Noah is still in diapers. Well, I just got finished changing him - and he had a stinky - and Eli, who is ever so tactful, crinkled his nose and said, "Ewwww.... that's gross!" And Noah knows what's going on, and I didn't want him to feel embarrassed, so I just calmly said, "No it's not. Everyone poops." - so here's our conversation:

Eli: Ewwww.... that's gross.
Me: No it's not. Everyone poops.
Eli: Everyone?
Me: Yep, everyone.
Eli: Even God? Does God poop?
Me: Ummm.... well.... ummmm... I don't know about that one.
Eli: So is God nobody?

I just told him to wait and ask Daddy when he gets home. And hopefully he'll forget by then. But it completely caught me offguard.

Sooooooooooo.... how would you have answered that question? Does God poop?

Noah's Mom

Friday, October 26, 2007

Going to India - Part Deux

Whoo hoo. Crisis averted. The reservations are made... let the packing begin!

We'll be leaving in just under two weeks - Nov 8 and returning on Sat, Nov 17. So if any of you are in the Big D around 4:00 that day, feel free to stop by International Arrivals for Miss Nandini's Big 'Ol Texas Welcoming Party. (And, yes, A. Jayne, we should be there for Thanksgiving. Nandini likes dahl, roti's, veggie mish mash, buffalo milk, and bananas. Think you can put that on the menu? lol. Oh, and she also likes chocolate. Little sweetie takes after her mama).

Speaking of which... we will be flying via Brussels and Paris. Ooh la la. Let the Duty-Free Belgian Chocolate wish list begin right here... but just know they'll be riding in my carry-on luggage and it's a long-haul flight and Nandini and I just might get a tad bit hungry (and anything involving hazlenuts is guaranteed not to arrive to it's original destination).

So, the good news just keeps on flowing. Our church is letting us hold a garage sale next Saturday (Nov 3). That is so unbelievably nice of them. I do think they will freak out when they see how much junk we have - I am a pack rat. I assure you it is a trait that is genetically inherited. Cannot pass up a bargain and can't part with one either 'cuz you never know when you might need triplicates of something. I'm so excited, though - as is Simeon, who CANNOT wait to have a minimalistic house. Like that is EVER going to happen as long as he's married to me - which will be forever, thank you very much. But I'm not going to bust his bubble just yet. I will clean and clear and put all sorts of lovely things in the garage sale. And then I'll be gone for 10 days and he'll miss me so much that he'll wish that me and all my clutter was back........lol.

There is sooooooooo much to do before we leave. We've got mega clearing up to do and pricing for the garage sale. I have a boatload of immigration forms to fill out. I need traveler checks - and gotta do last minute shopping. I've got some serious ducks to get in a row. I am trying not to think of the fact that I'm leaving Noah and Eli for 10 days. I know Eli will miss me, but I also know that he'll be playing Sim sooooooo badly and get away with all sorts of things that I would never let him get away with. As for Noah, I've been trying to prepare him, but we have such a routine going on that I think he's going to be crushed when it gets disrupted. And that kills me.
My little Noah bear. The thought of leaving either one of them makes me want to cry.

That's what happens when you put off getting your U.S. citizenship. Only U.S. citizens can file adoption papers at a U.S. embassy. So, for our next adoption, Sim better have his papers good and ready! (Okay. There is no #4. I was just seeing if you're paying attention).

Lots and lots to do. Hope everyone has a great and blessed weekend.

Noah's Mom

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We're Going to India!

We're going to India! We're going to India! (cha cha cha).

Eli has made me put on Nandini's princess costume... and, of course, being the chocolate loving gal I am (and being 31 years older), the only thing that fits me is the hot pink feather decorated crown and the glitter/streamer decorated magic wand... but anyway, I am decked out in a crown and waving a wand and Eli is wearing his knight costume with his Spiderman mask and we are cha-cha'ing around the living room with our new favorite song... "We're Going to India. We're going to In-di-A".

Yep, we finally got our travel clearance yesterday.

We're going to India!

So, what a relief. The stress is finally rolling off my shoulders. I do know that it will quickly be replaced with the realization that we have to fly to Charlotte, then New York, then to Delhi... resulting in a NINETEEN hour non-stop flight from Delhi to NY on the way back and an overnight stay in NYC and then NY to Charlotte to Dallas on the way back... but I will not think about that at this moment... b/c this moment is all about us...

Going to India. Going to India. (cha cha cha).

Anyway, we moved our flights up a week b/c our original schedule didn't allow for the embassy to be closed on Thanksgiving, so we moved it up a week. Oh wait. Oh man.

******************************************

Okay, I just returned to the computer. As I was typing up the info, I realized that the U.S. Embassy is closed on Nov 9 because of Diwali.. which is the day we planned on filing our adoption papers. So... I had to shoot another email off to the travel agent... who I know without a doubt hopes he never has to hear from me again. This is turning out to be a nightmare.

We are still going to India. I'm just not sure when. We might be able to leave on Nov 8 and just really have to book it to get everything processed. Yikes. Okay, give me a few hours and hopefully I'll be back on here cha cha'ing with our final plans.

Noah's Mom

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Catching Up

Wow. It's been a few weeks, hasn't it?

Our internet has been down and just got fixed. I have to tell you... it was such a blessing. I had no idea how completely addicted I was to the computer. The first day without DSL about killed me. I couldn't figure out what to do with myself. I just kept wondering around the house like a lost puppy. And then, by the second day, I was loving it. The internet, I have decided, is a "Family Time" drainer. Maybe it's not for you people out there with self-control, but I think I have a highly addictive personality and I find myself just surfing the net to pass time. It's disgusting. I hate it. I actually found myself wishing that the whole thing would just explode or something so that I would never have to get online again. I've really enjoyed the past week just playing with the kids and cooking and reading. It's been so great not being glued to a computer screen.. and the kids have loved it, too.

Alas, however, it came back on and although I've tried to pace myself, I spend waaaaaaaay to much time on here. I wish there was some way we could do without it, but we pay bills online and I can't drag the kids to the library every time a bill comes in. I think I just need to check my email in the morning and then turn the thing off and actually climb behind the desk and unplug it from the wall. I'm way too lazy to get back there to plug it in, so maybe that'll work.

Anyway, I've spent all morning online but for a very, very good reason....

WE'RE GOING TO INDIA!!!!

Yea!!! Nandini's passport arrived today and now we're just waiting for Texas to give us the clearance. That should be in 7-10 more days. My mom is going with me and since they set up at Canton First Monday every month, she won't be able to go until Nov 4th. However, the orphanage says not to plan on travelling until after the Diwali celebrations are over, so we're leaving on Nov 15 and coming back Nov 24th.

I am so excited!

But it's been really stressful. You'd think that hotels in New Delhi would be really cheap, but they are much more than what'd you pay for in the U.S. I am not kidding. A Motel 6 (if they had them) in New Delhi would run you around $180 or more a night. Seriously. We have never paid more than $70 a night for a hotel, but we're going to be paying $140 a night for a 2-star hotel which - according to reviews - is not that bad because there are only a few cockroaches in the room.

My mom is going to freak out.

She's never been to India before. She's a diabetic. She has asthma. Her whole immune system is messed up from chemo that she had 8 years ago. Her entire carry-on luggage is going to contain prescription medicine. She also does not like Indian food or the smell of Indian food. God help us. And I'm not being funny. Seriously. God, please help us! :-)

My dad is already having a fit over the hotels. I told him that I would be more than happy for him to pay the difference so that we could stay in a 5 star hotel at $400 or more a night. That shut him up real quick. But he is very worried. He and my mom have been together since 1965 and I don't think they've spent a night apart since I was born. It's going to be really hard for him (and for my mom).

At the same time, though, I think it'll be a great experience for my mom. I'm excited about her going with me. I really want her to see India. It's an amazing place... but such a difficult (emotional) place, too.

The first time I was in India, I was a traveler. The second time, I became a mother. Now, I'm going back AS a mother - and with the reality of how my childrens' lives would have turned out had they remained in an orphanage. This time, that reality is a part of me and I think I'll see so many things differently this time. It's going to be so hard looking at all the kids we leave behind - wondering if they will ever be adopted - wondering if they will ever know the love of a family - and wondering what will become of them when they "age out" of the orphanage. Will they become street children? Will the girls become prostitutes? (Which is a very real reality).

What happens to the children who never become part of a family?

So, I think it's just going to be very emotional. A bix 'ol mixture of giddy happiness at seeing my daughter for the very first time.... and feeling sad and guilty for tearing her away from the only people and surroundings she's ever known (and forcing her into a white family who speaks a different language and cooks foods she's never eaten and expects her to love us right away [but knows it won't happen]).

It's going to be a big ball of emotions. Wore than any PMS, I can assure you.

Aren't you glad you're not going with me? :-)

But the point is, we're getting Nandini. And I hate the computer.

There ya have it.

Noah's Mom