Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kaylees Turn

Our four nino's from South America!  About 2 years ago we started talking about adopting an older child.  We started out in Ukraine and ended up in South America.  Ukraine didnt work out for us but we were told of waiting children in Colombia.  We were told of an older girl that was available for adoption but she had three younger siblings.  In Colombia they do seperate the children if need be and Kaylee, the oldest of the four was willing to be seperated so that her siblings could stay together.  So this post will be about Kaylee, the little girl that has gone through to much in her short life and has a heart of gold!
One thing about adopting an older child and one that has taken care of her siblings is that they one, come with alot more memories of what exactly has happened to them and not always wanting to just open up about it.   And 2, they have a hard time letting go of someone else taking care of the siblings.  We were told this by many people and to prepare ourselves for this.  Well, not the case with Kaylee.  She was more than willing to let someone else take on the responsiblilty to have someone take care of her siblings.  And as for not wanting to talk to us about her past, she is so OPEN about her past that I just sit there with my jaw hanging open in amazement on how reslient this kid is!  She had her birth mother that was in and out of her life, mostly out, 2 older sisters and one older brother.  She does not know who her birth father was.  Her older sister took care of Kaylee and her older brother a lot of the time.  When her sister got sick of that, she left leaving Kaylee alone with her older brother.  Soon after her older brother decided to leave also, which left Kaylee alone.  But not for long as her mother would be having babies for Kaylee to take care of.  Kaylee was in and out of foster care and the last time was when Kaylee, a 8yr old, was taking care of her 1,2,and 3yr old siblings for quite some time.  One day the neighbors saw that the 3yr old, James, was out and about in the streets and called the authorities.  When the authorities got there they saw things that most of us cannot even imagen!  Here is this 8yr old girl living in a "room" trying to feed, keep clean, keep in line 3 little babies!  How in the world???  Needless to say the children were not in the best of condition.  She was 8 for goodness sake!!!  She remembers James screaming as they sperated Kaylee from the three little ones.  This has haunted her and has made her feel guilty beyond belief!  She thinks she should have been able to not let this happen to her family, she thinks that she didnt work hard enough, that she should have been watching James more and then this wouldnt have happened!  She has so much hate towards her birth mother and doesnt understand why she could have done this to her.  Heres the part thats hard for me not to say, Boy are you so right!  How could she do this to you, I hate her too for doing this to you!  But I dont.  I tell her the truth.  Your mom is your mom and you dont know what she went through when she was a little girl or a teenager or a young adult.  You dont know what pain she had in her life or what addictions she all had or what it was like to walk in her shoes.  She is who she is, she did what she did and unfortanatly you get stuck with all the bad memories and all the bad stuff that happened to you.  But you can make it such a happy ending if you choose to!  You have that ability to do with your life whatever you want.  You get to choose to let it run your life or not!  You have the choice.  The three little kids were put into foster care together and Kaylee was put in an orphanage.  Why, I dont know.  After 1 year the 3 little kids were put in an orphanage 3 hours away from the orphanage Kaylee was put into.  After being in the orphanage for around 6 months, she asked the director where her siblings were.  They told her that they were and from that day forward Kaylee fought every day for 21/2 years to be reunited with them.  She actually fought the Colombian government to get back to her 3 siblings!  They told her it could not be done because the siblings were in an orphanage for small kids.  They told her that it just is not done.  She would not, did not, accept it.  They were her brothers and sister and she wanted to be with them.  After 3 years of forming realationships with the other girls and caretakers in her orphanage she was still willing to leave them for her siblings!  I cant even imagine at 8,9,10 and 11yrs of age doing this!
When she finally was able to get to her brothers and sister in their orphanage, she knew that the possibilty of her being adopted was slim!  They didnt even really remember Kaylee.  They were to young when they were all sperated to remember.  But she remembered them!  With the age difference between them 11, 6, 5, and 3, she knew that they would have a better chance of being adopted without her.  She thought who would want an 11 yr old.    So she told the director that it would be okay for them to try to find a home for the 3 and she would stay behind.  After all those years and all that work!  It so reminds me of the story in the Bible about King Solomon having to know who the true mother is.  And the true mother giving up her son so he could live.  She is such a good, wonderful girl.  I love her so much and I am very proud of her!
Since I have to keep things FAIR, I will do a part two for Kaylee also.  Until next time....................

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Weekend

Well we finished up our garage sale for Dania. We were going to have it Thursday through Sunday but Thursday it was raining all day with some snow. So we had it  for 3 days.  We made $500.00!   I think that is really good considering it was a chilly Friday and Saturday. Sunday was so nice I think people just wanted to get some last minute yard work done before the snow came!!!

After the sale today we wanted to do something fun with the kids so we decided to make some caramel apples.  First things first so we had to unwrap all the caramels and try not to eat them instead of putting them in the pan to melt!

Step two, melt the caramels.
Step three, get the apples ready for dipping.

Step four, dip.

Step five, EAT!

And we only had a couple of mishaps while having our fun.  One right before we started.

And one during step two!

All in all a really GREAT weekend!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Roc - Part 2

For the life of me I don't know how some of you find the time to blog. It seems like I have no time at all. But here it goes. I have about 1/2 hour before I leave for work so lets see what I can all fit in here. I keep telling Roc that she will need "5 Parts" instead of just 2 like Lica.
Roc started turning around at about the 4th grade. One of the first things we did when she was 9 was enrolled her in a private school, the same school I went to when I was 9. We still had to be "on" her every minute of the day and night but the different school seemed to help. Its a christian school and I remember asking our Pastor if he could work on putting the fear of God into her!!! Just to help us out some. By 6th grade she was actually becoming aware of the outcome of her actions. She was turning into the girl that I had hoped and prayed she may become. She seemed more confident and comfortable with herself. She has always been outgoing and not afraid to get involved with anything, but she was just much more at ease with herself. She knew right from wrong, good from bad, and how its nice to be nice (grandpas saying)! And believe me, this was HUGE! In the middle of 8th grade she switched back to a public school because she hated being the only 8th grader!!! I remember when I was in the 8th grade and I didn't blame her one bit and knew It was time for her start spreading her wings in a much bigger school!
Roxana is such a unique girl. She does things that either make me cry (when she was younger) or laugh till I have tears in my eyes!! She is very open with me and always has been. I find it kind of odd though that she would be this open with me at the age of 14!? Hey, not complaining here, just so happy she know she can come to me about anything. Not to say she is not your typical 14 yr old though. She came to me the other day informing me that she was going to prom. Oh, really I said, and who are you going with? Well so and so asked me. Well Roc remember you can't date until your 16, tata (dad) says 30, but I will let it fly at 16. "Oh mom, its not a date its "hanging out". Are you kidding me Roc??? Oh, I'm sorry for explaining it to you wrong, my bad. NO HANGING OUT till 16!! How dumb am I for not explaining it correctly??? She got my drift. She will just be in the homecoming parade this Friday for soccer and then spending a quite evening at home with her family. Love ya Roc, I know you are reading this before you go to school!!!
Roxana is a good kid. She gets A's and B's on her report card now. And that's with her taking some honor classes. She has many friends including the girl she grew up with who lived down the street. She knows the meaning of paying it forward and lending a helping hand. She grows her hair out for about 3 years and then gets it cut off to donate. This will be her 3rd time in doing this. Good kid!!! She is a hard worker and doesn't stop with something until it is finished. She wants to go to college to become a nurse/missionary. I hate the thought of her living in some 3rd world country, far away from me, doing this kind of work. Ken tells me that she is only 14 and she will change her mind over and over again. But I know Roc, and she has talked about this for a couple of years now. Deep down in my heart I know that one day she will indeed do this. Where does she get these crazy ideals from. I mean really, living in a 3rd world country taking care of needy orphans???? Oh, that's right, we have 6 soon to be 7 of them living here with us!!! And if you check the little button, AMAZIMA, I have posted to the right of my blog you will see a young women who is doing this kind of work. She is amazing, truly amazing. I'm joking when I say she is crazy for wanting to do this. Roc just wants to do it a little different than we did. Instead of helping 7 she wants to help 7000!!!! Leave it to Roc to up me one! I'm so Proud, Happy, Lucky, Impressed and Amazed by her! I'm so glad tata picked you!!! We love you Roc!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Roxana: Part 1

First I would like to thank you for the donations for Dania. We don’t know who you are but you will never know what it means to us and how much we truly appreciate it!!!

Okay, Roxana......actually it started when we went to go get Lica. When searching for Licas birth parents, which we had to do in order to adopt her, we found her grandmother. What the process was back then is that you put an add, yes a add, in the newspaper for the birth parents. If they do not come forward then the child is claimed an orphan. In the process the orphanage told us where the grandmother lived. Ken traveled to where she lived and talked with her asking if she knew where we might find Licas parents. There was a little girl standing next to the grandmother holding tightly to the grandmother’s dress. She looked just like Lica so Ken asked who she was. It was Licas older sister. We thought of adopting her also along with Lica but she so attached to each other that we decided not to. While other people on the streets were trying to sell their kids to us, the grandmother never even mentioned to us in adopted both children. We knew that they had each other and could not imagine separating them. Even though they were dirt poor, they seemed well fed, content and happy. They had a roof over their heads, food, and most importantly each other. So we left it alone but never forgot. In fact in was in our minds and hearts for years. Then in 1997 Ken flew over to Romania for one of our new family members wedding. While he was there we decided to make the 3 hour ride to the grandmothers to see how they were doing. We had concerns if the grandmother was still living and if not what happened to Loradana, Licas sister. If they needed anything, or if it would be possible at this time to adopt her if she wanted or the grandmother wanted. Sadly we found out through the grandmother that the mother returned after many years to sell Loradana for a pair gold earrings to "some man in a big car". We knew what that meant so Ken proceeded to bring one of our new family members to the, lets say, bad part of town! Mircea, needless to say, did not want to go with Ken and really tried talking Ken out of this. He told us that this is not a part of town even Romanians go to. But Ken prevailed and they went looking for Loradana or someone that might know about her. In Romania it is VERY difficult to find someone, especially a Gypsy! But Ken and Mircea looked for days anyway. We never did find her and Ken came home heart broken. To this day we wonder if we should have taken her when we had the chance to. It was much harder on Ken because he saw little Loradana and remembers her face. I still believe that I could have never split her and her grandmother up. An orphan is one thing but splitting up a family I just couldn’t do unless that is what everybody thought would be the best. And at the time Loradana and the grandmother did not want to be split up.
Once Ken came home we thought about things and decided to go get another gypsy from the same orphanage that Lica was in. We wanted Lica and our new daughter to have some things in common so that is why we went for a child from the same orphanage. No one was allowed in the orphanages without special papers. We knew we could get in because every time we traveled to Romania we brought duffle bags and suitcases full of donations to Licas orphanage. I worked in a hospital at that time and received many donations of clean needles, medicine; first aid kits to you name it. We also sent cloths for both the children and the caregivers. We had a special connection with the director and the caregivers.
So Ken traveled once again to the place our Lica came from. They were so happy to see Ken and told him that "only you Ken Fritz would come for another gypsy!!!!" Funny! They had three little gypsy girls, 1yr old twins and a 2yr old. After much thought we figured that the twins would have a better chance of being adopted because they were younger and a lot of people like the ideal of twins. So we went for the 2yr old. It took us a year and many trips to bring her home, but so worth it.
When Ken first met Roc she was very lethargic and delayed but we knew this was from being institutionalized. The benefit we had was that they liked us and knew we would be back for her so they worked with her. For 1 yr while we were trying to bring her home they worked with her. After raising a child that had nothing for her first five years we knew the importance of this!
Roc is so different than Lica!! When I tell you about the "naughty" things Lica has done, she just thinks its funny and loves reading anything about herself. When I tell you about Roc, well she is pretty much a typical 14 yr old and doesn’t really appreciate me blogging about her "naughty" things!!!! But to be as honest as I can be and to let other adopted parents and future adopted parents know, that some kids can be very, very, very difficult. Roc was one of these kids! I had many nights were I would cry myself to sleep! I cant tell you everything because Roc does not want me to and that is fine with me. Other things she said I could blog about because it just may help someone out there.
Roxana was not only a handful but 10 handfuls! The kid did not sleep. And Im not just talking about the first few months, or the first year, but for about 3 years. She slept around 3 hours a day! At first the doctors told us, well if she is not tired during the day its just the kind of child she is. WHAT?!?! I should have known I was in trouble when in first grade she forged my name to go to some field trip that I told her she could not go to for a consequence of something she did the day before. The teacher called me to tell me this and sent home the signature she had done. I explained to Roc that if she is going to forge my name in the future she should at least get the spelling correct. Its Nance not Nancy!!!! Then another doctor said she had ADHD and prescribed ritalin, which lasted about 2 weeks. I hated the way it changed her personality. After doing my own research I knew that she could sit and watch a movie, sit and eat supper without any problems and sit and do projects that interested her without any problems. So off the pills we went. It was, she was hard. Never physically mean to anybody or anything just into everything! Her mind would never let her think of the consequence of anything. She would lie about the silliest things and about everything, she horded food for years and years never did any school work and lots more that she wants to keep between herself and her family. Then when she was around 8 or 9 I brought her to a psychologist for her to talk with. I told her I could leave the room or stay with her. It was just a outlet I thought she might need. Well after a couple of months she had convinced the doctor that she had OCD. She told the doctor detailed things in her life that she needed to do to get through the day. I wasn’t sure because I never saw her doing these things and Ken was absolutely sure she was lying. It brought some tension between Ken and I because I thought no way would she lie to a doctor and get medicine to help her if nothing was really wrong with her. Well before we started her on the medication I had to make sure for myself. One of the many things she said she was doing was 12 jumping jacks first thing when she woke up. It had to be right away in the morning before she even left her room. So, sneaky mom that I am, I went into Licas room, right across from Rocs room, early in the morning before anyone was awake to see what exactly Roc was doing first thing she woke! I watched her for a good 20 min before she headed upstairs to eat breakfast. Once she realized I was following her upstairs and that she was busted she tried to pretend nothing was wrong. I asked her if she wanted me to do the twelve jumping jacks with her or if she wanted to wait till after breakfast. (I know, mean mom!!!) She broke down and it came out that she knew something was wrong with her and she thought taking some kind of pill would make her better. After explaining to her that NOTHING was wrong with her and that she could have done some serious damage to her body taking medication that she did not need she calmed down. On that day I realized 2 very important things and both Roc taught me! One, Roc was Roc. No matter what she did or did not do, it was who Roc was. If I were to accept this child I would have to change me, not her! Second, If she could convince a doctor that she had OCD it would be a slim to none chance that I would ever believe what a doctor has to say about any of my kids! Not saying I wouldn’t take advice from them. I just would realize that no matter what they say, Ken and I know are kids best!!!! I don’t believe in labeling kids. That’s just my opinion and how I feel on the subject. Roc has taught me so much about myself through many a sleepless night and through many many tears. There were times when we thought there is no way we can help this kid and she is to much for us! But we never gave up on her or ourselves and Im so glad we didn’t!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lica - Part 2

This is for Tara! - So remember, Ken was gone for three months getting Lica.  No email and phone calls were very limited!  There was once when we went 2 weeks without talking and me not knowing what was going on.  Lets just say I was going CRAZY!  We just about lost our house because my paychecks were not enough to cover the mortgage.  I ended up driving with my dad to New York to pick Ken and Lica up because the gas money was cheaper than the airline ticket.  I swore I would never adopt again.  But I suppose like childbirth, the pain of it all fades. 
So when I first met Lica in New York she didn't trust or like anyone but Ken.  Of course she didn't, thats all she knew.  She didn't speak any language and only understood simple "commands" that she heard from the caregivers.  She walked like a baby just learning to walk even though she was almost 5.  She liked to bite and have her way.  We stopped for breakfast on our drive home and we ordered her scrambled eggs and toast.  She picked up bits and pieces and threw them on the floor.  Thats what she knew.  The only thing she liked was opa (water) and brea (bread)!  No butter, peanut butter nothing.  She was very much into her "own" world.  But she was home!  When she woke up in the morning she would just lay in bed not knowing she could get up.  She was so used to laying and doing nothing she just didn't get it.  In the orphanage they would sit all the kids on pots to go potty at around 10am and so for many many years she would not go to the bathroom when she woke up.  We even put a little potty chair in her room and let her know she could use it any time she needed.  Since she was afraid of the toilet at first this seemed to work for other times in the day.  Once her fear of the toilet was gone she became fascinated with it.  How it worked, why it worked, everything about it and would spend hours trying to figure it out.  She had to smell everything before she ate it and she didn't like human touch.  She NEVER cried, even when in pain.  Again, its all she knew.  Once when she was about 10 or 11 she had strep throat and never told us she didn't feel well.  We didn't realize it until she was throwing up all over the place with a fever of 104.  She still did not complain and wanted to go to school!    Emotions of any kind were unheard of in her world.  She slowly warmed up to the ideal of someone tickling her back and arms softly and LOVED it!  For the first couple of months we treated her as if she were a baby.  We would rock her and sing to her at night with a bottle hoping this would give her some things she had missed.  The bottle only worked for a few nights as she would look at us like we were NUTS!  She didn't want anything to do with that.  She loved the rocking and singing though. 
When she was not with us, like at school or grandmas, she would act out.  We would get calls from kindercare telling us that she had locked herself in the bathroom and was playing in the water.  She would try biting the teacher all the time.  She hated that place because I think it reminded her of the orphanage.  A group of kids all in one place.  She lasted there about 2 weeks.
We fought with the school district all 12 years she was there trying to get her what she needed.  She didn't fit into any "group".  She was tested for autism but the conclusion was she did not have that.  The University of Minnesota saw her for at least the first 4 years of her life and when she went in one of her last visits they were amazed because of her head growth.  I guess when your that age you head does not grow.  Hers did.  She was crammed with so much in her first year and learned so much it is unbelievable.  She was a baby in a 5yr old body.  She graduated with her class and I think, I know, that Ken, grandpa and myself were beyond happy.  We had worked with this girl day and night.  We would easily stay up until wee hours of the night with her trying to explain her homework to her.  I mean think of it, when doing lets say history with her we would have to explain what the word history meant before we could even start the lesson.  We had to explain words to her every word.  She was good at spelling and math.  Spelling and math is black and white.  Her world is black and white.  You can SEE math.  She has always been good with numbers and memory.  She knows everybody's birthday.  And when I say everybody I mean the cashier at the grocery store.  She always would ask people when their birthday was.  She puts names on my calender of birthdays to help me remember.  There was some names on their of people I didn't know.  I asked her who is this?  She then proceeded to tell me it was someone I had worked with years ago.  To Funny!  She knows what day your birthday will fall on and what day it was on last year and what day it will be next year.  Without even thinking!  I don't know how she does it.  The only explanation of how her mind works was giving to us by the U of M.  Most people think from A to B to C to D.  Part of Licas brain was not used the first 5 yrs of her life so it shut off.  She thinks from B to A to D to C so it takes longer for her to get the answer.  But she usually does get the answer.
One of the many things I love about Lica is her pureness.  She looks and treats everyone the same.  No one is different.  And everyone remembers her and loves her.  We cannot go anyplace without someone saying hi to her.  From teachers, to teachers aids, to cheerleaders, football players, the "nerds" from school, SN kids, valedictorian to the people she works with now.  Everyone just loves this kid!  I picked my 7yr old up from school this past week and Lica came with.  She saw the principle standing in front of the building.  She got out of the car to say hi to him and he gave her a big hug and asked her what she was up to.  How many people can say that their grade school principle would do that?  Not me.  And the thing is that this is how all the people she meets treat her. 
Lica has turned out to be one Great, Smart, Loving, Careing, Hard Working, People Loving, Animal Loving,  Jesus Loving, Hug Giver and Hug Taker young lady.  She has worked enormously hard to get to where she is today and the world is hers for the taking.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Girls Who Want A Family

These two girls who are now 3 and 11 are looking for a home, a family.  Please help get the word out for these two beauties!!!  The older girl, Sabine is very close to her younger sister Daphka.  Time could run out for Sabine because of her age and they may split the girls up to give Daphka a better chance at being adopted.  You can get more information from Mindy at A Love Beyond Borders.

Please keep these girls in your prayers!!!


Gender: Girl
Age: 2
Gender: Girl
Age: 10
Country: Haiti
Description: These two beautiful little girls are living in Haiti and waiting for their forever family. We know it will be difficult to place two children, especially so different in age. But we do believe the right family is out there. They are currently in the process of having all of their medical testing completed. Those results will be available soon. We have more pictures of these little ones for interested families.
Each trip to Haiti always leaves me with at least one experience that changes me forever. On my most recent trip it was meeting these two children. These little girls are sisters. I spoke at length with the older of the two girls, with the help of a translator, to see if she really understood what being adopted means. I wanted to be sure that she understood and wanted this for herself because of her age. She assured me that she did want to be adopted, and her biggest concern was making sure that her little sister was safe and well cared for. She has made the decision to be adopted, not out of a dream for a better future for herself, but out of the love of wanting to be with her little sister. She shared how she helped to get her sister dressed to come to the orphanage the day we met her. I don't think she understood my tears, but she certainly understood my promise to her to do all I could do to find her and her sister their forever family. These little girls have been raised in a Christian family, and therefore we are seeking a family that will continue taking them to church and celebrate their beliefs.
For more information, please contact:
A Love Beyond Borders
2022 Hudson Street Suite 100-B
Denver, CO 80207
Phone: 303-333-1572
Email: haiti@bbinternationaladoption.com

About Me

I married my high school sweetheart 26 years ago. Ken and I and have ten of the greatest kids from different parts of the world. We are hoping to bring a few more kiddos home! Throughout the years in our adoption journeys it has made us want to bring some kind of hope to these kids. This blog will hopefully allow us the opportunity to advocate for some of the orphans in the world. Join us in our journeys and the day to day happenings in raising 10 kids.....and counting.