the new about

I am definitely a person who writes into knowing my mind. I had a teacher who “talked” into knowing his mind and I spent many a Friday evening listening to him go on and on and on, waiting for the pearl of wisdom that he would eventually drop.

Methinks that could also be said about me.  Good or bad thing?  I’m not sure.

When I began blogging, no one wrote about the challenges of adopting an older child and I blogged both to understand our experience and to provide support and information for others on the same path. When our family changed and I was blogging about grieving and putting life back together, I lost the concept of supporting anyone. I needed to write for myself and gather a community of loving souls around me.

In the past year, the wheel has again turned. I like journaling about my life, Julia’s doings and our lives together.  I like sharing reflections about mindfulness and refrigerators and gardening.  And I’ve wanted more.

And I have a terrific case of wanderlust.

So, I am reorganizing and spring cleaning this site.  My writings fall into four (or five) categories:

Travels with a Daughter.  Travel is one of my passions. When we traveled in Italy last summer, I did not see many single parents and kids. I also did not notice many kids, or adults for that matter, with disabilities.  Recently, I’ve been poking around travel websites and listening to podcasts.  Only a few talk about single parent travel, none are about traveling with kids with disabilities.

Travel is a wonderful and educational experience for typical children, and my hunch that Julia would learn and grow with travel experiences was rewarded watching her take in Italy last summer.

So, I am on a mission to teach Julia about the world—one trip at a time!

And I want to share how I plan, what I learn and where we go with families who might venture out into the world.  It will be with more careful planning, at a different pace, and fully understanding limitations and unique interests.  And there will be rewards.

Growing a Daughter.  Julia was adopted from China when she was five years old.  Although she survived life in an awful orphanage, at five, her maturity was that of a toddler.  Once home, her learning curve was steep and therapy became a way of life. School is a challenge. At 15, Julia is in Seventh Grade.  Academically, she is at least two years behind her grade peers although her reading and spelling are now on grade level.  Socially, she struggles to form relationships with adults and other kids. Julia is a gifted artist and she continues to grow that gift. Despite her many challenges—PDD-NOS (on the autism spectrum), ADHD and RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)—Julia came to our family ready to love and to imagine.  And those gifts of love and imagination have seen us through almost nine years together.

Journaling my Days. I’ve been journaling since childhood and I expect to be doing it in some form until my last days. I have a meditation practice that I teach to parents of kids with challenges in workshop form. I garden as often and as much as I can in Wisconsin. I am still working through the threads of grief six years after my husband’s death. I am very grateful for finding and chasing the joy in this unexpected life.

Pondering Quietly. Well, every so often, I have a deep thought and it is worth celebrating those times with a category of its own.