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Musings on life's twists and turns


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Well friends: Nataly got engaged today ! She and her boyfriend of 5 years are in Costa Rica on holiday and he popped the question. Our girl is getting married!!!!!

So last Saturday in the Austin paper we read about Colombian orphans in town, hoping to be adopted. Hmmm...interesting.....my husband made a phone call - just to ask, that's all.   Right.   Yester

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93958605@N00/12180982133/   Nataly is doing great. She has a job in the Deli dept. at HEB. She lives with her boyfriend, a 6'4" redheaded graduate from the Univ. of Texa

Last night all of Nataly's school's bands got to march with the Austin High School band into the stadium and then sit with them while they played. Very cool! Here she is, hanging out with a couple of the band members.

ntkwithahsbandde3.jpg]

 

She came home from school yesterday and sang out, "Hello, hello". She then told me that her English teacher was teaching them through some songs, and that one song had "Hello, hello" in it. At which point I proceeded to sing to her the entire Beatles "Hello Goodbye". Yes! That was the song! I was tickled because she has never heard of the Beatles and I am waiting until her English is good enough to introduce her to them. I brought my other kids up on 60's music and it kind of took me aback when I realized that this kid has never heard of them. Now, "Hello hello" is her current favorite phrase.

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Another American rite of passage: choosing the Big Pumpkin. I told Nataly she could have only what she could carry. This one weighs 33 lbs. It came home with us.

ntkwithbigpumpkinqd0.jpg]

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All this gathering of stuffed animals for the orphanages made me want to take a photo of Nataly's bed. Every morning the first thing she does is make her bed and arrange her stuffed animals into a tidy little group. Tigger actually stays at the head of her bed and she kind of leans into him while she sleeps. But I wanted him in the photo because Nataly loves him. Then she arranges everything on her dresser. Once everything is to her satisfaction, she turns on her radio to the Spanish music station and gets ready for school.

ntkanimalsonbedzp1.jpg]

 

We had a good week. Her science teacher emailed us that she "got" the concept that they were discussing better than most of the students in class and that her conversational English has improved greatly. Yesterday's Reading homework was to read Dr Seuss's The Lorax and then answer some questions about it. The kids had seen the Spanish language tape of it the day before so Nataly understood what the tale was about. I read it to her and marvelled once again at Dr. Seuss's brilliance. Yes, there were a bunch of made-up words (trying to explain to Nataly why these words were NOT found in the dictionary was a challenge!), but the story flows almost musically and she understood it. After reading it, I asked her what the story was really about and she seemed to understand the concept of allegory. Every time she shows another sign of ability to draw conclusions, make connections, etc., I breathe a sigh of relief. She's still playing catch-up in some areas of Math. Fractions were barely taught at Ciudadela, so I've decided to start from scratch. There are some great online tutorials for kids, by the way: we've been using them and Nataly enjoys the positive reinforcement they provide.

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Looking at those sweet faces on the stuffed animals, it occurs to me that Nataly has made for herself a nest of safety, comfort and joy right in the middle. I know she must have enjoyed readying the packages and sharing the wealth with those left behind as much or more than she enjoys settling into her nest each night.

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OK. I'm going to throw this out even though I don't think anything will come of this, BUT stranger things have happened. I just received an email from Mariem, asking for my help.

 

Angela is looking for a home. She turns 15 in February so chances are mighty slim that she will find one. She's very, very bright and could have a promising future. If our circumstances had been different we would have adopted her in an instant.

 

If she can't find a home, a sponsor would be the second choice so that she could continue her studies. So I am asking all of you who read this to put out the word. As I said, stranger things have happened.

janeandangelaji1.jpg]

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OK. I'm going to throw this out even though I don't think anything will come of this, BUT stranger things have happened. I just received an email from Mariem, asking for my help.

 

Angela is looking for a home. She turns 15 in February so chances are mighty slim that she will find one. She's very, very bright and could have a promising future. If our circumstances had been different we would have adopted her in an instant.

 

If she can't find a home, a sponsor would be the second choice so that she could continue her studies. So I am asking all of you who read this to put out the word. As I said, stranger things have happened.

janeandangelaji1.jpg]

 

I'll take the waif on the right.

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OK. I'm going to throw this out even though I don't think anything will come of this, BUT stranger things have happened. I just received an email from Mariem, asking for my help.

 

Angela is looking for a home. She turns 15 in February so chances are mighty slim that she will find one. She's very, very bright and could have a promising future. If our circumstances had been different we would have adopted her in an instant.

 

If she can't find a home, a sponsor would be the second choice so that she could continue her studies. So I am asking all of you who read this to put out the word. As I said, stranger things have happened.

 

What's the difference / committment for a sponsor? Everything except the adoption? how long would she get to stay if she was sponsored? Does the sponsor provide food/shelter/clothing or just $$$?

 

Oh, and my book name should be Sparky Bourgeois. Don't ask. :D

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I don't have any answers yet. As I see it, a sponsorship would entail a bank account for her in Bogota to pay for her education and lodging when she is thrown out of the orphanage. The money could be administered by our attorney down there. She doesn't have permission to leave the country - she's still a kid. I'm going to see if maybe we can get her into the USA next summer with the Summer Miracles program , (Kidsave).

 

But as I said, this only just got sprung on me and I'm still trying to process options. You guys have been my sounding board for over a year now...

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I just found this first ever photo of Nataly: she had just been delivered to us by her host mom and we were getting to know each other over lunch! I don't think she raised her head once during that meal.

firstfewminuteswithshygirlnp0.jpg]

 

What a difference a year makes!

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