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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Do Everything


Today, I asked Noah what he wanted to be when he grows up and he spelled out D-O-C-T-O-R.  I asked him what kind and he spelled out A-U-T-I-S-M. Then he spelled out C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N.  

I said, "You want to be a doctor who works with children who have autism?"  and he spelled out Y-E-S. 

Then he spelled out I G-O  T-O  C-O-L-L-E-G-E and looked at me as if it were a question. And though my heart was breaking, I said, "Of course you'll go to college! But you'll have to work really hard."

And the truth is... I don't know what will happen 8 years from now. Or 18. Or 28. Maybe he WILL go to college one day.  Maybe there will be a cure. Maybe we'll find a way to continue to tap into his potential and he'll be the first nonverbal/autistic college graduate in the world. Maybe he'll talk! I have no doubt that he'll make a mark on this world. But as his mom, I want ALL his dreams to come true. Not just the little ones, but the big ones, too. 

And while it seems daunting... And the works seems so hard...And so tiring, something else he told me gives me the motivation to keep going on...

When I asked him to give one piece of advice to parents who have a child with autism, he spelled out D-O  E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

And so we will continue to do everything we can to help his dreams come true. Even the big ones. 

Especially the big ones.


And since it's been AGES since I've posted any pictures, here are a few we took yesterday at the Dallas Zoo and Dallas Arboretum. Of course, the boys both got haircuts today, which just means I'll need to take new pictures, too!
















Monday, November 21, 2011

Naveen Update


Well, the cat's out of the bag. If you read Lori's post about the Coffee Fundraiser, then you know that we're adopting a little boy from Ind*a. And we're naming him Naveen.

I still can't give a lot of identifying information... and, boy, do I wish I could post his picture. You'll just want to reach through the computer and squeeze him up. He's adorable!  But I have to wait until we pass court to do any of that.  And right now we don't know when that'll be.

Because of the fundraiser, I had to break my vow of silence and announce Naveen's upcoming adoption on my Facebook page. I was hoping to keep it a secret until right before travel, but things happened which made us need to fundraise... and well, that's why we had to be a bit more open about things.

Anyway, I've had a lot of people email me or call me with questions. So I thought I'd answer some of them right here.

1. Why are you adopting from Ind*a again?


Well, we actually hadn't set out to adopt again so soon.  Sim wasn't even on board to adopt again, but I was secretly hoping that one day we'd be able to adopt from China. I've always been drawn to China. But then, by chance, a friend led us to Naveen's photo on a waiting child site and it was instant love. Even Sim felt it and he gave the go ahead to get more information. It all happened so quickly, but we both knew he was our son.

2. Does he have special needs?


Yes and no. We can't discuss his needs right now, but I'm not one of those people that gets real secretive about it. I just can't discuss them now because I feel we need to wait until we pass court. One reason, though, that I don't mind talking about his needs (eventually) is because I think it lets other parents, who are thinking of adopting, realize that many of these needs are so manageable and should never keep a child from having a family. Plus, I can't even begin to tell you of the supportive system I've found and the amazing friends I've found simply because our children share the same needs.However, as you've noticed with Nandi, I don't really discuss those needs once they hit school. I think, at that point, I need to be a bit more selective with what I blog about.


I will say that Naveen's needs are minor. He was born with a condition and had surgery. The surgery failed and he had to go back and have it done again. And now he's doing great. He's caught up in all areas and is doing fine. We'll need to monitor his condition, probably once a year, but it should not affect him in any way.

3. Why another boy? Don't you want another girl?

Honestly, although we'd love another little girl, I'm not sure it's in Nandini's best interest right now. She's doing so good and we think she needs to be the only "princess" in our family for the time being. We think there'd be too much competition and maybe even some jealously. It's hard to explain why we think she'll be okay with Naveen, but we just do. And, like I said, she is doing amazing right now and she can't wait to be a big sister.

4. How much longer until you travel?


Ah, the 10 million dollar question.  Well, we are following the exact same timeline that we did with Nandi. But in Nandi's case, we were already home this time 4 years ago.   Ind*a went through an adoption reform over the summer and the agency that handles initial clearance has a backlog of 550 cases. They're not taking any new dossiers until after December 31. Fortunately, though, we are in that backlog and we hope to hear something by the end of next month.  (I never thought I'd be thankful to be part of a 550 backlog!!).

After that, we'll go to court. However, it's a new court process and our judge is requiring us to fly to Ind*a TWICE.  That was a real kicker.  We understand why, but we were not prepared for this.  We have to fly for a 10 minute meeting.

No joke.

4 days RT travel. $$$ airplane tickets. For a 10 minute meeting.

But, honestly, I would travel a thousand times if that's what it took to get Naveen home.

Anyway, after the court date, Naveen should be ready to come home within 3-4 weeks. But, once you leave Ind*a on a tourist visa, you can't return for 60 days.  And there's no way we can stay for 4 weeks.

Plus, there are new post-placement requirements to the tun of an extra $2650.

Yep.

So that's why Lori's holding the coffee fundraiser for us. (THANK YOU, LORI!)

But regarding us travelling and when... we don't know.  We're hoping we'll get the first court date by the beginning of February, which means we can fly back at the beginning of April... because our paperwork expires mid-April and I get heart palpitations just thinking about it.

5. Do you plan on adopting again?


Right now? Nope! The adoption womb is closed for business. I think four is a good number, and, truthfully, I think this will stretch us as far as we can go. But we do joke that I'll probably get knocked up with quads when I'm about 45.  Can't you just see that happening?  Oh my gosh. And, you never know. We weren't planning on adopting number four... and look where we are now.

But, I'm pretty confident this is it. I don't think my heart can take the suspense and waiting of another adoption.  Plus, I'm driving my whole family crazy with my email stalking. I swear I check my email about every 5 minutes to see if there's an update.

If anyone has any other questions, let me know!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Did someone say Coffee?

Ok so it's Lori here--not Leslie. I have hijacked her blog to tell you about an awesome fundraiser to help their exceptional family add another wonderful little boy to the mix. Leslie is the type of person who goes above and beyond for everyone else... I mean have you seen her passion for Central America that turned her into an overnight doll maker to raise funds for beds for a poor family in Guatemala? Did you recently participate in the auction for Sarah's Covenant Homes? That was the brain child of Leslie. Those are only two examples of how Leslie goes out of her way for everyone else.  I mean all you have to do is read thru her blog and see the fantastic way she and her husband are working their tails off for their children at home and their little cutie in India. Now it's our turn to love on her family.
  India is currently going through some changes in their adoption policies. Along with changes means more money is needed to complete some of the steps. In order to raise some money ---we are doing a coffee fundraiser. What an awesome gift to give someone and to buy some for yourself. It's all fair trade and all sounds so yummy. I can't wait to order some Tanzanian Peaberry and the new Holiday Falalalala blend. Let's show Leslie and her family how awesome they are and support their adoption. Here is the link  https://justlovecoffee.com/about/beneficiary/recoveringnoah/ .

Buy some and feel free to advertise it on your blog or facebook.

Blessings !!!

Lori P.
http://americameetsindia.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 07, 2011

Popsicles & Bandaids Make Everything Better

I posted this on Facebook - sorry for the repeat if you've already seen it.....

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Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market   


Eli is sick today and Nandi doesn't feel well, so I thought I'd better see how Noah was feeling, too...

"How are you feeling Noah?"

S-I-C-K

"You feel sick?"

Y-E-S

"Where does it hurt?"

N-O-S-E

"Does anything else hurt?"

S-T-O-M-A-C-H

"I'm so sorry. Would a pospsicle make it better?"

Y-E-S

"What flavor?"

N-O-T G-R-A-P-E

"Okay, orange or cherry?"

O-R-A-N-G-E

5 minutes later...

"Do you feel better now?"

N-O

"What would make you feel better?"

B-A-N-D-A-D-E

"A bandaid would make you feel better?"

Y-E-S

"But you're not bleeding."

N-O

"But it'll make you feel better?"

Y-E-S

"What kind of Bandaid?"

S-N-O-O-P-Y

"And where do you want me to put it?"

S-T-O-M-A-C-H

"So, let me get this straight. A Snoopy Bandaid on your non-bleeding stomach will make you feel better?"

Y-E-S

So I proceed to put a Snoopy Bandaid on his stomach... and he tears it off and tries to eat it.

"Noah, why did you tell me you wanted a Bandaid if you were going to turn around and eat it?"

C-A-N-T H-E-L-P I-T.

(Lightbulb moment).

"How did it make you feel to get a bandaid?"

N-O-R-M-A-L

Noah challenges my belief system everyday. I wish every parent of a nonverbal child - especially with autism - would realize that our kids are in there. They're normal, typical children on the inside... wanting popsicles and bandaids, just like every other kid in the world.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

He's Not a Dinosaur

Me - Noah, what do you want to talk about today?

Noah -    I-N-O-T-T-A-L-K

Me - I know you can't "talk", but you know what I mean. What do you want to talk about?

Noah -  I-N-O-T-T-A-L-K

Me -  O-kay. What do you want to spell then?

Noah -  I-N-O-T-T-A-L-K

Me - Hmmm.... so you can't talk, huh?

Noah -  N-O

Me-  Okay, so tell me one thing that I need to know about you. Just one thing. And I'll leave you alone. Deal?

Noah - Y-E-S

Me-  So what's the one thing I get to know about you today?

Noah-  I-N-O-T-A-D-I-N-O-S-A-U-R

Me - Really. You're not a dinosaur?

Noah -  N-O.

Me - Good to know.

Noah - Y-E-S

Me-  Are you having a laugh?

Noah-  Y-E-S

Me - Do you think you're funny?

Noah - Y-E-S

Me- Yeah, you're pretty funny. =)