Monday, February 26, 2007

Weeks to Weeks, Dust to Dust

We’ve been waiting for 9 weeks.

I gave up counting for Lent.

Friday, February 16, 2007


We have been officially waiting for 8 weeks (not that I'm counting...). So we are halfway to the average waiting time of 16 weeks. That doesn't mean we'll get our referral then, necessarily, but it's the point at which I'll allow myself to expect it and start getting jumpy when the phone rings.

The last couple weeks have been pretty easy, but I'm still glad for the distraction of our special guests, all the way from Michigan, Justin and Toshia! This week went fast since to make room for them I had to remove the piles of junk which have been covering my office since before Christmas. (Hey, this room is much bigger now!) They arrive today and before we know it we'll be at 9 weeks down.

Are you enjoying my viewer map on the right side of the blog as much as I am? (Alas, no more Singapore hits since my brother is on his way home.) Identify yourselves, blog stalkers! You don't have to have a Blogger blog or Google account to leave a comment, so please say hi and share your thoughts or blog topic requests.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

You read this? You're so smart!

This isn't particularly adoption-related, but I thought it was a very interesting article and research on praising for natural ability versus praising for effort. I suggest you read the entire thing: "How Not to Talk to Your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise."

For a few decades, it’s been noted that a large percentage of all gifted students (those who score in the top 10 percent on aptitude tests) severely underestimate their own abilities. Those afflicted with this lack of perceived competence adopt lower standards for success and expect less of themselves. They underrate the importance of effort, and they overrate how much help they need from a parent.

When parents praise their children’s intelligence, they believe they are providing the solution to this problem. . . . The constant praise is meant to be an angel on the shoulder, ensuring that children do not sell their talents short.

But a growing body of research—and a new study from the trenches of the New York public-school system—strongly suggests it might be the other way around. Giving kids the label of “smart” does not prevent them from underperforming. It might actually be causing it. . . .

Dweck discovered that those who think that innate intelligence is the key to success begin to discount the importance of effort. I am smart, the kids’ reasoning goes; I don’t need to put out effort. Expending effort becomes stigmatized—it’s public proof that you can’t cut it on your natural gifts.

Thinking about the high school students here, I do see a severe tendency to give up, to think that if they're not one of the favored few labeled smart and college-bound, it hardly matters what they do. They don't have the skills to push themselves, since they don't see reason to put out the effort.

On the parenting side, it's another warning not to project ourselves onto our kids, praising them for only what they are naturally good at--or what we wish we were good at, because it boosts our egos to have a smart/athletic/beautiful/American Idol kid. Children do not exist to make adults feel good about themselves. It reminds me of this saying, which I am trying hard to remember as a particular teenager frustrates me:

It is my job to love her, not her job to love me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Save your old ¢ell phone$!

Please save your old cell phones and inkjet printer cartridges!

We are beginning to collect these items as a fundraiser for our adoption. A company will pay us for each one that can be reused and recycle those that can't. They can be any brand, working or not working. This will also help the environment since cell phones contain toxic materials. One cell phone can pollute up to 132,000 liters of drinking water!

Our goal is to raise $1000 with this fundraiser. We will need some help! Please spread the word to everyone you know. We can give you some flyers if you like. Could you put a drop box in your workplace, school, or church? We can provide a sign and box. (If you live far away from us, I could arrange for you to send the items in directly with prepaid postage rather than shipping them to me.) Let Wendy know if you have any questions.

Thank you for any donations or help you can give!

Note to clarify: Broken phones can be recycled, but I will only get money for the ones that work (can be reprogrammed to be reused). So if you live far away and have a broken phone, just find a place or person nearby that will take it--they're out there! If you're nearby, I'll take anything. Thanks.