Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

O Scorpion, Where Is Thy Sting?

One of my biggest fears was realized tonight. My child was stung by a scorpion. It was actually my oldest, Maija, who suddenly began screaming and howling like I've never heard her before. I was on the phone with my sister and told her something was wrong and I had to go. When I walked into the playroom, there was my husband smashing a scorpion, and Maija screaming and crying and completely freaking out.

My first thought was to watch her and make sure she didn't have an adverse reaction. I had heard the stories of my brother-in-law getting stung as a kid and going into seizures. Although I had also heard of several other in-laws getting stung and being fine. Luckily, Maija was fine other than a really sore arm and lots of tears. She laid in her bed for over an hour getting over the sting, but probably even more so the shock of having been stung by a scorpion. See, it's one of Maija's biggest fears too. I guess now that it's actually happened, we're over the irrational fears. Although, I'm going to be a LOT more alert watching for scorpions. Ugh!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Smiles

Kiira has become the smiliest baby. She will just smile and smile. It just makes all those sleepless nights SO worth it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kiira's Adoption Finalized!

I can't even express the sense of relief and completeness you feel once you've heard the judge declare that your child is officially yours in the eyes of the law.

Today we drove down to Florence, Arizona for Kiira's adoption hearing. The judge, Stephen F. McCarville, was very friendly and got the kids involved; he asked them to come up to his podium and gave them candy. He asked us if we were prepared to be Kiira's mother and father - YES! Then he officially declared that we are Kiira's father and mother in the eyes of the court and by law. It was the best feeling walking out of the courthouse knowing that we are blessed to be this sweet little girl's parents in every sense.

Of course, we had to take a picture.
(Click on pic to see larger)

Friday, September 10, 2010

You Know You're a TCK When...

A good friend I knew in high school in Hong Kong sent this to me. All I can say is, that after reading the list, I am definitely a TCK, Third Culture Kid.

You know you’re a TCK when…

- You’ve heard this ‘textbook’ definition of a TCK before: “A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kid’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background, other TCKs.”

- “Where are you from?” has more than one reasonable answer.
- You’ve said that you’re from foreign country X, and your audience has asked you which US state X is in.
- You flew before you could walk.
- You speak two languages, but can’t spell in either.
- You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.
- You have three passports.
- You have a passport but no driver’s license.
- You go into culture shock upon returning to your “home” country.
- Your life story uses the phrase “Then we moved to…” three (or four, or five…) times.
- You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
- You don’t know whether to write the date as day/month/year, month/day/year, or some variation thereof.
- The best word for something is the word you learned first, regardless of the language.
- You get confused because US money isn’t colour-coded.
- You think VISA is a document that’s stamped in your passport, not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
- You own personal appliances with 3 types of plugs, know the difference between 110 and 220 volts, 50 and 60 cycle current, and realize that a trasnsformer isn’t always enough to make your appliances work.
- You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.
- You think the Pledge of Allegiance might possibly begin with “Four-score and seven years ago….”
- Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
- You believe vehemently that football is played with a round, spotted ball.
- You consider a city 500 miles away “very close.”
- You get homesick reading National Geographic.
- You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that can support foreign alphabets.
- You think in the metric system and Celsius.
- You may have learned to think in feet and miles as well, after a few years of living (and driving) in the US. (But not Fahrenheit. You will *never* learn to think in Fahrenheit).
- You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
- Your minor is a foreign language you already speak.
- When asked a question in a certain language, you’ve absentmindedly respond in a different one.
- You miss the subtitles when you see the latest movie.
- You’ve gotten out of school because of monsoons, bomb threats, and/or popular demonstrations.
- You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
- You have frequent flyer accounts on multiple airlines.
- You constantly want to use said frequent flyer accounts to travel to new places.
- You know how to pack.
- You have the urge to move to a new country every couple of years.
- The thought of sending your [...] kids to public school scares you, while the thought of letting them fly alone doesn’t at all.
- You think that high school reunions are all but impossible.
- You have friends from 29 different countries.
- You sort your friends by continent.
- You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
- You realize what a small world it is, after all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

1st School Picture

Maija's school picture arrived today, and I had to post it. It reminds me so much of the many school pictures I had taken through the years. Very few of them turned out good, but they're all still floating around somewhere in a box (or several boxes).

We're getting excited to finalize Kiira's adoption this coming Monday. Then next weekend we will be sealed to her in the LDS Mesa Temple and have her blessed at church on Sunday. Big week! Now if I could only get over a series of bizarre illnesses (kidney infection, bronchitis, costochondritis, hernia) I've had in the last 2 weeks, everything will be perfect :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Piece O' Steel

Kent and I have been watching Tyler Perry movies lately: Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Meet the Browns, The Family That Preys, Madea Goes to Jail (actually next on our list). For anyone who hasn't heard of Tyler Perry, which is most of white America, you can read about him here and here. He's a Christian filmmaker who uses his culture, African American culture, as a backdrop for important messages of hope and faith. And he also uses humor in the form of Madea, the gun-toting, Bible quoting, grandmother figure who is always there to help the down-and-out.

Here are some of my favorite Madea quotes:

Myrtle quoting the Bible: "Peace be still." That's what he said.
Madea: Well, peace always comes with still... [takes out gun] ... 'cause I keeps me a piece o' steel.

Madea: I remember this dude made me so mad, I didn't even know how mad I was until I went to his funeral.
Helen: Why were you so mad at him?
Madea: Because he hit me. Yes he hit me... and I didn't even know how mad I was until I saw him in his casket, he's 8 feet under.
Myrtle: 6 feet, that's how they bury people, Madea, 6 feet under.
Madea: That's what I'm trying to say, I thought I was over what he did to me until I saw him at the funeral, I was so mad I BEAT HIM DOWN 2 more feet.