Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Reminder

Don't forget, I am now posting daily on my blog Life on the Funny Farm. Come on over! I miss all my old followers...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Adoption Tuesday - Attachment


A difficult thing to understand.

A difficult thing to instill when its roots weren't grown in infancy.

To those not in the know, when a child has needs, and those needs are met by his caregiver, attachment takes place.

For example: Baby is hungry (need). Baby expresses that need by crying. Caregiver meets that need by feeding the baby, even if it's 2 in the morning. Attachment occurs.

But when those needs are not met, over and over and over again, attachment issues are likely to ensue.

Not surprisingly, about a tenth of adopted children will be diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and will have difficulty attaching to their adoptive parents. In fact, going beyond this, without treatment, the RAD child may have difficulty forming love-based relationships throughout his or her life.

Since I have a son with RAD, I'd like to explore this issue a bit further from time to time on this blog.

Mind if I start things off with a sappy metaphor?

The Attachment Tree...

OK, so the attachment tree.

Here's the way I see it:

The parent is the tree that the child turns to for its needs.
The leaves are emotions, and they change as the weather and the seasons change: sometimes happy, sometimes sad, or angry, or frustrated. Regardless of the leaves, though, the tree remains stable, and firmly rooted to the ground. Children with RAD have difficulty with this concept, and will mistake the parent's current emotion for his underlying feelings towards him. In other words, if the parent is angry, the child feels that the parent does not love him.

Now, remember when I mentioned those roots of attachment? Those roots are the underlying love that the parent feels for the child, and they are vital. Without the roots, the tree can't stand.

With luck, even when the tree is gone (ie, the parent has passed on), the roots still remain under ground. Not visible, but present nonetheless as the child continues to feel the love of the parent.

Unfortunately, it generally takes a good long while for the RAD child to be aware that the tree is indeed rooted to the ground. He tries to knock it down, push it over. He waits for the wind to blow it away, as so many other caregivers have gone from his life. Slowly, after many many many attempts to push the tree away, the child becomes aware that the roots hold it in place, and give permanency to its structure.

And he begins to take comfort from the tree. From time to time, since he cannot see the roots, he begins to doubt this permanency, and attempts again to knock the tree down, or to run from its embrace. He may strike it, curse it, but if the tree is strong, it will stand. Over time, the child's doubts in what he cannot see will diminish, and he will strike out against it less, and fold into it for comfort more.

(Tune in next week for more in this series)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Adoption Tuesday

As we speak, one of my very good friends is in the final stretch of her "paper pregnancy".

She is delivering.

She is delivering a little girl from being parentless.

She is delivering her child from the feeling that she is not wanted in a family.

Her "pregnancy" lasted 11 months and it involved mountains of paperwork and phone calls and sleepless nights and anguish.

Her "labor pains" began a few days ago when she and her family boarded a plane bound for China.

At the peak of the delivery, a pain that could not be eased by any medication: she had to bear witness to the suffering of another's pain, as the time came for her daughter's caretaker to let go.

But now her daughter has been bathed and swaddled, and is wrapped in her mother's embrace.

An embrace that will carry this girl through her lifetime.

Congratulations, Lori and Dart.
Happy Family Day, little Butterfly.....

Don't forget, I am now posting daily on my blog Life on the Funny Farm. Come on over!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blog Rolls

I see some of the folks who follow me are starting to add Life on the Funny Farm to their blog rolls. Thanks! Weird to see this one slipping away, but it's time. Soon I'll stop posting on this one with reminders and just post the occassional adoption-related post here.

Visit me!
(at the Funny Farm)

Add me!
(to your blog roll)

Add yourself as a follower!
(at the Funny Farm)

Let me tell you how awesomely amazing you are!
(for making the move with me)

And if you're tuning in late and are wondering what's up with the move, you can read it here.

I'm slipping in the ranks. No longer on the first page. That's OK.
I won't ask for your votes anymore.
Just follow me on Life at the Funny Farm and I'll be able to move on.....

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Farm Friday - The Funny Farm

So for a while now I've been leading a double life:

I've kept 2 blogs.

Bringing Borya Home was public, and meant to keep readers abreast of adoption-related topics, where Life on the Funny Farm was private, and intended for inside stories only those in my inner circle would find interesting in the slightest.

But somehow things evolved and I got lazy and time passed and now here I am writing about anything and everything on an adoption blog while Funny Farm sits in a corner all lonely.

And I'm switching things.

I know I'll probably lose a lot of readers, but from now on, Funny Farm will be open to the public, and I will be posting there daily, as I've been doing here. I will still keep Bringing Borya Home open, but will probably only post there if it's an adoption-related topic.

For a good long while, I will post a link on BBH that will take you to the new post on Funny Farm, but to make it easier on yourself, consider adding Funny Farm to your blogroll, or subscribing in whatever way works for you(RSS feed, email, FB, Twitter, etc).

With your help and support, I'm sure we can build Funny Farm up to where you all have taken BBH in no time flat. I added the new blog onto TMB not so long ago, and though it started out in the 900s, it's now in the 200s and moving up every day. Will it ever get to the front page like BBH? I know with your help, it most certainly can.

Consider it a barn-raising.

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Image courtesy:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

There's Just No Stoppin' This Girl.

My sister Mary Birdsong has been at it again.

As you know, she was recently seen on the big screen in The Descendants.

Tues night she was on Raising Hope.

But she's also going to be in the upcoming (still in production) Percy Jackson 2


we just found out she got cast in a new sitcom produced by Roseann Barr! It's called Downwardly Mobile and they'll start shooting next month.

Please form an orderly line for autographs.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Amish Auction

Passed by an auction on the way home from Lancaster last w/e, and decided to have a look-see.

We saw buggies.
And wagons.
And throngs of black jackets and straw hats.
And mud.
Lots of mud.
And cuteness so sticky sweet it gave me a cavity right there on the spot.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Tip For Tuesday - March

Because it's March,
in like a lion, out like a lamb

I bring you two tips.

One for the lion-like weather:

No-sew firewood carrier made from a cloth grocery bag.

And one for the lamb-like weather that awaits us:

Keep the bugs out of your drinks with cupcake liners!

Thanks, Pinterest.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Social - Charlie and Dizzy

Next one down on my siggy line...

Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (17)
James (16)
Rosie (14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Eun Hae in South Korea
Felice in Hong Kong
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Blue, Sunny, Cindy-Lou, Annabelle, Fiona, and Sophie; Mamfy, Mali, Milky and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...

Once again, please allow me to do a repost as a way of introducing our hamsters Charlie and Dizzy....

It began innocently enough on Friday afternoon. I took the girls and James out on a few shopping errands. We had a nice dinner out at Boston Market and then went by the pet store for our last errand: buying some small goldfish for our ponds.

As luck would have it, they were out of goldfish.

As luck would also have it, we had to walk past the warm furry pets to get to the cold scaly pets.

And of course, we walked right past a cage with little black and white hamsters sitting up on their hind legs looking for all the world like prairie dogs scoping their surroundings.


We asked the nice man to take one out.

We asked the nice man to put her back so we ould talk things over.

Three of the four kids wanted one. As in each. To be kept in their rooms.

I did my best to talk them down.

I told them to forget the 3 - 5 years life expectancy the nice man mentioned. More like 2 for a hamster. They were setting themselves up for more heartbreak.

I told them they would need to clean the cages themselves. They would need to fill the food and water dishes. They would need to handle them with care. The cute little hamsters could possibly bite if they were handled too roughly or not with enough frequency or if the mood struck them.

They would have to pay for them themselves. This little prerequisite knocked one of the kids out of the running as she had just blown through about half her allowance on junk at Five Below.

But the other two, James and Julie, still had cash burning a hole in their pockets from the nice people who gave them gifts for completing their church sacraments.

So much so that Julie even decided to spring for a new cage, though our attic probably has enough critter cages to start a small zoo.

So we grabbed a cart and started loading it up. How much stuff could two pocket rodents possibly need? The cage, 2 bags of bedding (b/c James wanted blue and Julie wanted confetti), food, water bottles, wood chews, little houses, treats,hay, and an exercise ball.

There was no room left in the cart for the actual hamsters.

But somehow we managed, and we got our new pets home and settled into their new digs.

The kids were disappointed when I told them they had to wait till the next day before they could handle their new pets so they could have some time to acclimate, but they made it. And last night they took them downstairs to hold and love and cuddle. And in the process of so doing, they lost one.

Yeah. Someone was holding one of them and she got freaked out when she started climbing up her arm and then she dropped her and then she was on the sofa and then behind the sofa and then under the sofa and the kids were frantically running around searching for their new lost pet and plugging up the air conditioning vents and in general just freaking out.

Oh the joy of being a small critter in our household.

And of course I was blissfully unaware of any of this b/c I was on the road picking up one of the other kids from a party.

But they found her and returned her to her cage before I got home and all was well with the world.

I don't hold out much hope for them. Better start saving the shoeboxes now.

Meet Charlie. Julie's hamster. Got cute?

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kid-friendly, Budget-friendly, Clock-friendly Dinner

A few nights ago, I made one of my Mom's old stand-by recipes for dinner. It's a very basic, nothin' fancy recipe, but it was quick, it was cheap, it was tasty. What's not to like?

I tweaked things a bit to make a larger pan, but otherwise....


1 "family size" box of macaroni and cheese, plus about 1/2 box of elbow macs
1 1/2 c butter
1c milk
2T dried onion flakes
Dash garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1lb ground beef
small can tomato sauce
Grated cheddar cheese

Prepare the family-size box of mac and cheese (plus the 1/2 box of elbows), with the butter and milk amounts above. Add in the seasonings.

While that's cooking, brown the ground beef, then drain off the fat.

Add the beef and tomato sauce to the mac and cheese, stirring gently.

Pour into 13 x 9 pan, cover with grated cheese, and sprinkle with dried parsley.

Cover loosely with foil and warm in 350 oven for a few minutes. Or prepare in advance and cook in oven for about 1/2 hour.

Serve with a salad and some Italian bread.

Basically, this is homemade Hamburger Helper, only it's cheaper and healthier. I fed my family of 8 for about $10, give or take.

Plus, it's usually stuff you have in your kitchen already. So when it's 6:00 and the kids are all crying
"What's for dinner????"

Now you know.

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Never took a picture, but found one online that looked similar. Image courtesy:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Farm Friday - Ponies

A few pictures of my ponies.

My silly ones.

My muddy, dirty goof-balls.

My handsome boys.

Finnegan and Pippin say you should vote for me.
They say you should click on this brown button to vote for me.
Honest, that's what they said. Swear.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Surgery - check. Healing - in progress.

First came the surgery for my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
As I've already mentioned, easy peasy. Had it done about 10 or 12 years ago on my right hand.
I'm right-handed.
I had 2 kids in diapers and 1 hanging-from-the-ceiling-fans-preschooler.
I needed help. In so many ways.
(Thanks, Grammy!)

So yeah, this time? Much easier. And even so, my sister came the first w/e to lend a hand. Get it?.
(Thanks Aunt Ronnie!)
Showering, however, required some skill. I had to wear this fingertip-to-shoulder plastic glove. With that glove in place, I could shower without getting my bandages wet, cut up a chicken, or birth a calf.
Sadly, there were no laboring cows about, so I was unable to test this.

Next, the bandages came off (this past Monday).
Quite frankly, I was more than a bit nervous as the nurse cut the bandages away. What would she find?
Chicken feed?
Runaway hamster?

Mercifully, there was nothing in there that shouldn't have been. My stitches were cut off, steri-strips were applied, and I got this kick-ass splint. Pretty cool, right? I know you want one. It shoots spider-webs from the wrist part if I hold my fingers like the I Love You sign and make a pfffft sound.

Not really.

And now here I am today. Steri-strips have fallen by the wayside, as has a good deal of shriveled-up skin. Ick.

Still hurts some, but I can shower without the birthing glove, and do most things around the house. Still can't lift heavy things, open jars, pour feed from a 50 pound bag into a bin.

That's what God made kids for.

And if they gripe, I put my splint on and wrap 'em all up in sticky spider webs and they cry and say they won't complain the next time, they LOVE to help me out.

Then I wake up from my daydream and they're sitting there all cozy as can be with no sign of sticky spider webs.


It clicks the button to vote for the blog or it gets the spider web.

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