"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day


Today was Isabella and Anastasia's first day at their "two day a week" school. They were really excited! 


I can't believe how grown up they are getting to be! They really make me proud. Today, Anastasia had a candy bar and immediately divided it in half and shared with Isabella. 


Amazingly, we all were dressed and ready to go nice and early! 


After the big kids left, it was time to get down to some of Catherine's schoolwork. Catherine would probably not be old enough to attend public school, but she is certainly ready to learn! Today she wrote her numbers up to 20 all by herself! 


Of course, we always fit time in for petting our special pup, Isaac.  He is 14 years old, but he isn't doing very well.  Poor guy.


The babies learned all about playing in the rice bucket. I remember when Francesca was totally freaked out by different textures, now she is a champ! (notice Victoria throwing rice on the floor, sigh!)




Victoria has a new means of locomotion. Soon we'll be hitting the skateboard park! 


Oh yea, she is a rockstar, using those new fingers with scissors (and apparently for drawing on her face and hands with green marker too!)




Check out Victoria's legs! She is finally able to put them close together again.


Remember how wide her legs were after her casts came off?



You all may have noticed that I have turned moderation on for comments. I received a very hurtful comment from someone I know. I know everyone is not going to agree with our life and decisions, and that's ok, but slander is not ok. I am concerned because my children love to read my blog and I don't want them to be hurt.  Writing has always been a joy for me.  I really enjoy sharing things with all of you, who I think of as friends. I feel rather defeated, like I have to be careful what I write. 



59 comments:

  1. I love everything about your family and your blog...its OK to moderate sorry you got trolled bu someone you know. PEOPLE just don't think about how their comments sound and I wish everyone would say to themselves how would this sound if I said it face to face.

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  2. Oh Catherine, please don't edit yourself because of someone else's hurtful words. I know it's hard, but I, for one, appreciate your honesty and straight-talk, and love reading everything you write. If they don't agree they should keep their mouths shut! Lots of love, and please keep writing! (I do completely support the comment moderation, just don't want you to feel like you can't write honest posts, because we would all miss out!)

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  3. Francesca's fingers look amazing! Looks like your little ones are doing so well. Bummer about the negative comment - eat some chocolate and think about your beautiful children. That should help a little.

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  4. I'm sorry for the hurtful comment. Those closest to us can often be the most hurtful. Francesca's fingers look amazing, and I'm glad you are considering adopting again. I think you are doing an amazing job with your family.

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  5. I'm sorry someone hurt you. I wonder if this person doesn't want you to expand your family, because you're making us all look bad with the amazing things you do! ;) A few years ago, I used to worry that you were taking on too much. You have always been a busy, involved, very present mom. I suppose I thought, how could she possibly do MORE?

    But then I saw that your life and your family have become happier when you add more members to it! I have seen you go through the rough travel for adoptions, and the surgeries, the adjustments and the sleepless nights. Your kids are THRIVING with you. I now know that you can handle anything you decide to do. You're a wonderful person with a huge heart and so much strength- and I am proud to know you! You inspire me!

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  6. I am sad for you that someone you know had something hurtful to say. Your kids are beautiful, and your family is amazing. If you are wrong, then it is truly in all the right ways and if you adopt again I will contribute to your cause. I can see that you have so much to offer as a parent, and I know that you will find joy in, and give joy to, any child fortunate enough to join your family. You follow your heart! I don't believe that you will go wrong.

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  7. That is the reason we have moderation on too. So sorry this happened to you! :(
    The kids look awesome!

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  8. I quit my blog all together due to incredible judgement. Freedom of speech is only free when you agree with others. Keep writing! I'm in your corner rooting for you!

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  9. I am probably the world's worst blog commenter. I love to read your blog and love your family because of your blogging.ni just never seem to comment.
    We have so much in common though. Homeschooling, large family, special needs adoption, animal lover, disorganization, fast food junkie. I enjoy your honesty and transparency. And did i mention your humor?
    I am so sad that you have been hurt by a comment. We are in the same place as you. Knowing that we are ready to afopt and hoping we will get support instead of criticism.
    We are praying for you. And i would be so happy to support you in another adoption.

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  10. I almost never comment, but I always read. Please do not change anything you write. You write from your heart, and you put such a positive light on some frustrating situations. You are an inspiration to many.

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  11. I just wanted to leave you a nice comment because I know how hurtful mean comments can be and YOU GUYS ROCK. Really. You inspire me and you're funny :) I love reading your blog!

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  12. Ironic. Last night I almost commented here and then didn't. After what you said about the hurtful comment I wish I would have but now I will.

    I save your blog to read last each day on my feed reader. Why? Because your blog is seriously my favorite blog! You make me smile and so do your beautiful amazing kiddos! Thank you for allowing this stranger to share just a little in your life. :)

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  13. You probably don't know us, but your blog has been in our top favorites to read! It was also one of the huge reasons why we started advocating so hard for little Oliver (an orphan in Victoria's and Francesca's same orphanage). My husband and I think your family is wonderful and we hope you keep blogging and doing what you feel led to do. Even online, I can see so much love and potential in every single child you've brought home.

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  14. I am so sorry you have to moderate your comments. I really want to encourage you to continue writing without fear. You breathe fresh air into difficult situations and live out how not to give up. I've been following your blog since you went to get Francesca and Victoria. You are obviously doing something right when you look at your family!

    If anyone can manage one more special needs kid, it will be you! God's given you a gift and you won't be at peace until you are using that gift for His glory!

    I can't wait to follow the new adventure. Thanks for sharing your lives with us.

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  15. Don't pay any mind to the vitriol.

    I follow many blogs such as this one. Not all of them are necessarily pleasant to read. Many are preachy, some outright hostile toward those who are not religious.

    Now, I recognize that you're a Christian and I respect that. However, as a non-Christian, I really appreciate the tone and atmosphere of this blog. I've never been made to feel unwelcome or that my concern for the needy is somehow misguided because it is not prompted by faith.

    So, please don't let the negative comments get to you. You seem like a wonderful person, and your ongoing concern for people in need does absolutely nothing to diminish that. I'm glad that you're still thinking about the ones left behind and how you might help them. I can't stop thinking about them either.

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  16. Your children are beautiful and doing a great job! Good thoughts your way!!

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  17. This blog is my fav. I look forward to a new post each day and I may or may not have had a form of withdrawls lately. I love your humor and candor, it's plain refreshing.
    I have been encouraged, challenged, and humbled. I have loved watching the little girls change and grow and become a part of a loving family. Thank you!

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  18. I have no idea why someone would say something hurtful about you or your family. Your blog is so refreshing! Sending you lots of love... your family rocks!
    Sarah

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  19. I'm so sorry someone was mean! :( I feel really irritated that anyone would be - good grief. You love God and love your family and love kids and love animals and want to spend your life doing good for others - I mean, what in the world, how does anyone find fault in that???
    I don't know you irl, but I wish I did. Your blog gives me such a sense of hope and inspiration. I am such an OCD person at times and you remind me with your pictures and words what really matters. I think anyone who ends up a part of your family is BLESSED and you will be blessed in loving these gifts, too! Phbtt! on whoever was rude. Shame on them! Please keep sharing, for those of us who LOVE your blog and SUPPORT your decisions.

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  20. I just love reading about your girls and seeing how far they've come. I look forward to your posts - they make me smile. :)

    Hope your older girls had a fun day at school today. My 7yo gets to attend a homeschool co-op one day and week and she loves it.

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  21. catherine we love you and your kiddies dont make whoever that was make you feel bad you rock!!!i cant wait too see your next adoption adventure..love nicole and family here have some choc and coke!!

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  22. I'm coming out of lurking to say THANK YOU! I am probably the last person one would expect to be interested in adoption and adoption blogs (32yo female, surfer, ceramic artist and organic farmer) and I am very grateful for those who choose to share the details, good, bad, scary and joyous, with a world of strangers.

    It's always hard when someone you know says something hurtful, and to not say it privately says a lot about that persons character.

    A qoute that I love:
    If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner. -James Frey

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  23. Well then, we won't have to send them the application to your fan club. Save a stamp!
    The work you do is the work of angels. I am not sure how anyone could rightly criticize you. I hope you find solace in knowing that there are many out here in bloggy land that have deep respect for the work you do. The decisions you make in the process are really inconsequential to the rest of us, but make such a huge, positive impact on your children. I really, really admire your strength, sense of humor, and stamina.

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  24. I love reading all of your posts and seeing your cute kids. Don't listen to grouchy people who try to make your life miserable. Not everyone in the world is going to understand the way you live your life, just keep doing what you know God has called you to do. If you want to adopt more kids and God wants you to adopt more kids go for it. We all know you can't please everyone.

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  25. I love seeing how far your little girls have come with their physical challenges but man seeing the emotional ones are the best! Textures for Francesca and Victoria smiling all the time. Such progress! And too bad for those "uglies". They have tiny hearts and minds. :)

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  26. You just tell that mean person to s**k it girl!! You and your beautiful family do not deserve whatevee was said!! Shame on them!

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  27. I'm so sorry that you received a hurtful comment! I can't understand why people can't just be quiet if they don't have anything nice to say - or at least write in a humble and respectful way when someone might want to offer another viewpoint...I understand it must be even more hurtful because it was someone you know!

    I so enjoy reading about your family and your sweet children! Please don't change the way you write because of one negative person.

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  28. Strange how it's often people we know who hurt us the most...
    I love reading your blog and love your kids to bits!

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  29. Please don't let a few people's criticism make you stop writing. My dad always told me "Those who mind don't matter. Those who matter don't mind." There is always one negative nelly in any bunch isn't there!

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  30. Good Lord, I always read about people getting the most offensive/inappropriate comments. But honestly... who agrees on a 100% basis with other people decisions? And why do they think you need their brilliant opinion if I don't ask you for? Plus what kind of ego make these people think their life's decisions are better? Maybe yours are just different. Different and in your case challenging, is not wrong. You have all my support and admiration!

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  31. Sorry you had a hurtful comment. Hope the big girls had a good school day! I would love to hear about the Compass school and how the girls are doing with it once it gets going a bit, when you have time to write about it. Catherine looks pleased with her paper. :) Love the rice bucket idea! If you put it on top of a blanket or sheet the rice will not scatter so much. Victoria looks happy in there and her legs are amazing! Rockstar for sure with those scissors, watch out!!! :)

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  32. I love reading your blog (all the way in Adelaide South Australia) I feel sad that you have had some issues with comments - please don't stop writing your blog. Your kids are an inspiration and I love your parenting outlook! xxxx

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  33. Coming out of lurkdom to say that it's a shame that you have to moderate comments to your blog simply because someone didn't practice what their mama taught them. "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

    Your family is beautiful, Catherine, and I love reading about your adventures. I found your blog when you were over picking up your babies. If I remember correctly, it was Julia Nalle's blog that lead me here.

    God bless you and your family, and I hope you don't get any more ignorant, hurtful comments.

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  34. Hate that you feel that way, but you are right to protect your children's feelings. Just wanted to say that I have been reading your blog for over a year. I think you have one of the most amazing families. You have such an awesome spirit and are such an amazing parent. Your kids just exude joy and love. You all have huge hearts and are such amazing influences on these children and each other. I search your blog daily for an update, because it lifts my spirits, makes me laugh, and makes me strive to do more in the world. Don't let outside influences get to you. Know the difference you have made in your children's lives, and in so many of your readers.

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  35. Hope the school year is awesome and thank you for updating on the babies! I was actually going to ask how Francesca's fingers were doing! I cannot believe how amazing Victoria's hip/legs are doing! Fabulous!

    I am sorry to hear that someone took a pot shot at you...we get that, too...I'm sure even more so in the coming weeks/months. Keep loving on your children and let the Lord fight the battles! Your doing HIS will not the worlds will!

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  36. I've been following your blog since you were in the process of bringing your two youngest home. It has been an absolute pleasure to me to watch them thrive in your care along with the rest of your family. You're also an excellent writer and, I suspect based on your humor, no stranger to facing up to daunting challenges. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your world.

    As far as any negative hurtful comments go, please try to remember the writer is only human and may have forgotten about the log in his/her own eye before commenting on the mote in yours.

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  37. It sad that others can be hurtful of your lifestyle when you are doing amazing things with some beautiful children. I am inspired by you and your family. Have a wonderful week and hug those babies for me.

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  38. Oh wow. Victoria's legs look amazing! What a little trooper she is! And I was just told that green is the new orange... no idea what that means but likely that Francesca is chosing the perfect color for next season.

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  39. You write what you want. Those who write you nasty comments have nothing better to do then mess with others and were not true friends to begin with. Moderate the comments so the kids don't see them but don't let them get to you. Your kids are adorable and I have loved watching them grow.

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  40. I'm sorry someone that was supposed to be uplifting decided to be discouraging instead. I hope they realize and the relationship can be repaired. The only opinion you have to worry about is God's!

    Matthew 5:11
    "Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

    You know you are in God's will, you know you have a true heart, please be comforted by that :)

    I love what you write, I love reading about your children and your perspective on life. Thank you for sharing it with us!

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  41. We put a sheet under our bean box so I can just scoop the sheet up at the end and dump the beans back in. You might try it for the rice box. Although for the messy at heart, even a sheet may not help. We do have to use a king flat to even begin to contain the "accidental" spillover.

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  42. So sorry about the hurtful comment. I can imagine that it must have been very frustrating. We don't mind being moderated :)
    P.S. I love Victoria's skateboard riding and Catherine's hand writing. Very impressive.

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  43. I don't know if you have to be careful what you write but be careful what you let enter and lodge in your heart. I'm sorry someone said something hurtful, especially since it was someone you know.

    My suggestion? Everytime you think of those hurtful words, mentally turn away from them and turn your face toward Jesus and say 'Thank you that you love me, that you delight in me, that you declare me your beloved. And thank you that Your grace covers everything, every goof, every mistake, every time I said the wrong thing, every time I didn't know what I should have known, every time I didn't feel smart enough, every time I didn't feel good enough, everytime I felt misunderstood' (oops, I think I'm talking about myself now!) Well, you get the idea.

    I think sometimes when we feel hurt it's because we are afraid that there is some truth in it. Well, ok. Accept that there may be some truth in whatever was said and thank God that His grace covers it anyway. His grace makes you whole.

    I love your blog. Your unending optimism and spunk make me smile. I hope you'll continue to write just as you always have - joyfully and authentically!

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  44. I don't think I've ever left a comment before, but I have faithfully read your blog since bringing the two youngest home. I so enjoy reading about your family and love your sense of humor. Please don't feel discouraged by a "Negative Nancy":) It's so exciting to see the girls growth and it is obvious that you have a very loving and fun home.

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  45. I am sorry for the hurtful comments. It never ceases to amaze me at how cruel people can be. Please continue to share your hilarious family with us. I LOVE your blog.

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  46. I'm sorry that people feel like they need to share their nasty comments. I thoroughly enjoy your blog! I am in awe of all you do with your kids and I love, love, love your honesty and humor. Please keep up the writing. Hit "delete" on the meanie posts!! : )

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  47. I absolutely love reading your blog. It always brings a smile to my face. I've been stalking - I mean following :) your blog since you first traveled to meet your littlest cutie pies. I hope someday to be able to meet you in person.

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  48. I'm sorry someone left you a hurtful comment. I am not one for commenting frequently but I read every day. Your blog is for sure my favorite! Your kids always look like they are having so much fun and I have loved seeing the changes in Francesca and Victoria! They have come so far. In response to your post the other day I think you should definitely adopt again if it's possible. Any child would be blessed to be a part of your family. Keep on doing what you're doing!

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  49. I'm sorry someone was hurtful. I think this may be the first time I've commented on your blog, but I wanted to let you know that I check in a few times a week. You inspire me and I've become rather attached to your girls. I hope they have a great school year!

    Amanda

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  50. Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while and I just wanted to say that I love it! I'm so sorry you got a nasty comment. There are plenty of us in the interwebs who think you're great :) I don't know if you're still thinking of adopting again, but I wanted to bring to your attention a newly listed little guy on Reece's Rainbow: http://reecesrainbow.org/44058/hollis He is younger than Victoria and as you can see in the picture, his lips and fingers are blue, so he really needs to get home and have heart surgery asap. Even if you think that he's not you're son, may be someone else will see his picture and think about adopting him.
    Keep blogging, you're one of my favorites!

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    1. Oops, never mind Hollis has a family: http://reecesrainbow.org/38247/sponsorwetherington
      Good luck with your decision making process!

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  51. I know this is very random and has nothing to do with the above post..but it seems your 'story' had an impact on me..for the past 2 nights i dreamt of you and the babies and I really bonded with Victoria..whereas that sounds totally psycho I'm glad that you rescued them and it's unbelievable how much they have developed.
    Can Francesca actually talk? I think Victoria can't for the moment being? I'm just curious ..and you're doing a great job, don't let the nasty comments get you down. I normally just read and dont comment and when I read your entry about considering another adoption i was first confused and not sure about the thing, but when I read on..it was a lovely post and even though I live far away and we will never need, your post touched me and I wish you and your family all the best.
    x

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  52. Just delurking to say that I think you are awesome. I love reading your posts and the humor that is infused into them is great! :)

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  53. Hi. I love your blog and so hope you adopt again. You are an awesome inspiring person! I have 11 kids and click on several blogs randomly throughout the day when I want to sit for a moment. Just delurking KY

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  54. Others have posted some pretty strong support for you, all 53 of their remarks true! Your love for your family and desire to help others trancends the boundries of the internet, reaching to people all over the world to inspire them in a multitude of ways. Your life lived speaks for itself, and I wish I was half as successful as you are at remembering what is truely important. As another said, try not to allow the ugliness to get to you. You are doing so much good.

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  55. Hi, I'm a lurker! We adopted our daughter from Russia at 7 1/2 when we were 24 & 27, and it's been a hard, but worthwhile road. I love reading your blog. I love hearing that all the unconventional parenting methods are normal. I received some very hurtful comments about our adoption, but you just need to follow your heart. Our daughter was passed over by 3 different Russian families for her neuro issues. her younger bio sibling was adopted by a Russian family, and they left our daughter in the orphanage. I feel that she was absolutely meant to be our daughter. We are still very young, and people constantly ask us when we are going to have "our own." I've started telling people that I only want to adopt, and never have a "belly baby." People get very insistant that I will change my mind. It's all about what is right for your family. Love your blog! Julia

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  56. Why is there always a party pooper to ruin all the fun?! I'm sorry you had to turn on moderation but I totally understand as well. You're making the right choice for YOUR family AND for a child in need. I really, really, really do not understand why anyone would discourage someone like this when a child's life is at stake. Shame on them! And more power to you!

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  57. De-lurking to thank you for your marvelous blog. You have a gift for expressing the real pain that hits your family at times, and the heartbreak you've witnessed in the orphanage, without melodrama or guilt-enducement. That makes you such a powerful voice for orphans and also for kids with visible differences. Thankyou.
    I just wanted to tell you that, don't feel like you have to mod and post my comment if it's a hassle!

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  58. I just found your blog, you rock. I read Victoria's story and I look at her then and now pictures and I am just in awe. You really saved her life and what a great life. All the kids are wonderful:) Keep doing what you do.

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Sorry, I have to moderate comments because of spam!