All is not bleak, however.  Chickadee asked the Lord into her heart last month and was baptized last Sunday.  She asks to say be the one to say Table Grace again.  For a long time there, she would not pray and would not enter in to our conversations about spiritual topics.

Also, she turned 9 last weekend.  We went to the lake for the day and had dinner at her favorite sushi bar.

:: read the rest of Chickadee


why I haven't been bloggin'

Read the two posts directly below this one, then multiply that times as many days as I haven't posted, and then you have some reason why I've been so quiet. And I don't even blog the worst of it.

:: read the rest of why I haven't been bloggin'


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Why is it a Disorder?

This is an excerpt from a conversation I am having with a student about his research paper on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  What do you think?

Also, and I am just thinking out loud here, why is this a disorder?  My children (adopted from a Siberian orphanage) both carry PTSD diagnosis.  Really bad things happened to them.  Their brains responded to the stress by changing and my childrens' lives will be forever impacted by it and not in a good way.  I get that.  But why is it a disorder?  The brain behaved in a perfectly normal way.  Doesn't the word disorder mean that something is not working as it should? But in my opinion, if a person goes through trauma and is not impacted by it they have the disorder.  I guess I'd like it to be called Post-Traumatic Stress Normal Response.  Yes there is still the nightmares and the cold sweats on a trauma triggers and the weird immune system.  I guess I think that this is normal. 

Put another way, if you expose your skin to flame you get a wound, and later a scar.  If your brain is exposed to trauma it gets a wound and later a scar.  The scar is real, certainly.  And it is bad news, no doubt.  But is it a disorder?  I get fussy because it seems to me that there is a slight implication that my children -- and servicemen and women -- are not handling the stress appropriately, that their Post Traumatic Stress management is malfunctioning (disorder), yet I would say that my children are perfectly normal.  ANY child exposed to this would have some freaky after-effects.  Their Post Traumatic Stress management is spot-on, just as the scar tissue is over a burn.  Service-people that come home altered are showing their scars.  Acknowledge the scars, nuture the person, but don't tell me they are disordered.

:: read the rest of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Why is it a Disorder?


R.I.P. Holly

April 9, 1996 to July 9, 2010

:: read the rest of R.I.P. Holly



Was lost.  But she is home now.  I'll just leave her picture up because she's so pretty.

We got home at 3 am from a family reunion.  Pictures some other time.  Must nap.

:: read the rest of Parsley


hope for America

DIY Chicken Coop!

me! me! me!

Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme



older child adoption


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This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::