Author Archives: jenncslp

A blog repost…reminders of how Yan communicated when she had less words!


This was posted on my old blog back in 2008, but I’m reposting because it made me laugh when I reread it.  Some days are just “crazy”, but I love it! 

I’ve been trying to upload videos of Yan…but alas, I can not get them to work. So tonight you get this story from a very wild afternoon! 🙂

Did you ever have something happen and you end up sitting there saying, “This really isn’t happening to me…please make it stop”?! Today, that was me.

I had some bloodwork come back bad and the Dr. wanted me to go in again to repeat it. Yan and I went in to the Dr’s office and there were a bunch of people waiting for the same thing. I got behind this older gentleman (and well I don’t know how to say it nicely) who was apparently off his rocker. He was probably in his 60’s, had no teeth, had black shades inside his glasses and most likely had a hearing impairment because he screamed everything. (I’m not making fun of him, just trying to paint the picture).

Yan immediately went to sit down while I waited in line and started her moaning. The man in front of me startled me by turning around and screaming, “Is that YOUR kid?” Well, ya’ll know how I’ve been wanting to give it back to some people lately, so I yelled back, “Yeah, WHY?” He yelled, “I just wondered, I didn’t say it was anything bad!”.

Then I sat down to wait and of course he sat down directly across from me. He started (yelling) to ask her age, grade and where we lived. Then he would randomly get up and switch chairs. Well, Miss Yan so wants to love everybody-she got away from me and went to hug him. (It is seriously a problem that I am working on because it’s just not safe). Well, he was shocked and yelled, “What’s she doing?” (Please keep in mind that everyone is staring and trying not to laugh.) I explained that she just wanted to give him a hug and he gruffed, “Well, I guess that’s nice”. 

Then out of the blue he asks, “Are you seeing anyone?” (Note to self-the conversation went all downhill from there) I’m trying to mumble things about how I’m interested in someone (cause you know…there’s George Clooney and stuff, but of course, I never think to lie). 

Well, Yan must have sensed the shift in the conversation because she suddenly decided that she was a tiger and started to get up, walk over to the man and growl at him. So I’m mumbling about my love interests, Yan is growling to the point of not being able to speak over her…and the man yells out of the blue, “So, you think we could start seeing each other?” To which I said “Noooooo”. He said, “Why not?” I said, “I’m really not interested.”

At that point everyone in the room who were trying to ignore it, turned their heads to start laughing (which was so wrong because I was ready to lose it). I had to pin Yan in the chair because she was growling so loudly the man started yelling at her to “Calm down MONKEY”. Everytime he spoke she growled again and got louder. He finally said, “That’s ridiculous!” and got up to go yell at the nurses. OY!


An amazing reaction!


Today I went out in the garage to break down some boxes.  The baby was sleeping and Yan was watching a video.  After a while she decided to come outside with me and see what she could explore.  She found a big dump truck and a ball to play with and took them for a ride in the driveway.  I was distracted for a moment when she started badgering me to “Look, look”.  The ball had rolled into the middle of the street and she wanted it back.

Do you know what this means?

Do you understand what an AMAZING act of self-restraint and awareness it was when she didn’t run after it???

Seriously, I almost flipped my gourd with excitement!  It’s moments like that, that I must make myself soak it all in.  She’s come so far!  She’s making wiser decisions everyday and I am so proud!

So, what’s an area that your child has finally progressed in that makes you want to jump for joy?  I’ll jump with you!




My daughter, Yan, was the only child for quite some time.  However, not quite two years ago, I felt the call to adopt again but felt lead to go through our local foster to adopt program.  A couple of weeks after I became a licensed foster parent, I got a phone call.  The person on the other end asked me if I would be interested in a baby.  Though I’ve always wanted to adopt an infant, I hadn’t imagined that it would even be a possibility.  This little girl was scheduled to be released from the NICU the following week and she had no place to go.  They told me that she was medically fragile and was on oxygen.  She had drug and alcohol exposure, her lungs had stopped developing at 20 weeks and when she was born, she was given a 20% chance to live.

I was so excited that weekend, I scrambled around (nesting-yes, it even happens if you’re not physically pregnant) trying to get everything ready.  The moment I laid eyes on her, I knew.  They said it might only be a short-term placement, but I knew deep down that she was my daughter.  It took over a year and a half of fighting, and finally, about six weeks ago, I adopted her legally.  Her name is Mady and she is one bundle of personality.  She is a fighter, strong-willed, feisty and funny.  And she already ADORES her sissy.  She follows her around and stops to hug her throughout the day.

But the other day something happened that completely startled me.  I was telling Yan to do something, and she was really struggling to understand me.  There was a puzzle piece that was hidden under a bookshelf.  I was attempting to describe where it was, but she didn’t understand.  However, Mady, who just turned two last week, did understand.  She walked over, picked it up and gave it to me.  Honestly, I felt a tinge of pain.  Mady, at two, is beginning to catch onto some things that Yan, at twelve, still has trouble getting.  It hurts.

In that moment, I think a wave of fear washed over me.  I don’t want to change Yan.  I mean, I want her to learn and succeed to the best of her abilities, but I don’t want to change her.  I just felt worried about their relationship.  What happens when Mady realizes this?  Will she pick on her, or take advantage?  What can I do to help this stay or become a healthy relationship?  How do you foster a great relationship between siblings who are so different?

The only thing I am doing right now is reminding them that they are there to love each other.  They need to help and love each other.  I also find myself whispering to Mady, “You’re sissy may need your help…you can help her”.  I hope these are the right things….  Walking in faith that somehow they will grow up to love and help each other.

Diving in!


My family doesn’t look like many families.  Thus far, I’ve never found Prince Charming. Thankfully, God planted the idea of adoption in my heart and allowed me to create our little family.

In 2004, I adopted my first daughter, Yan from Hong Kong.  She is “chromosomally enhanced” (has Down Syndrome), congenital heart disease, sensory processing disorder and some anxious attachment issues.  But none of that defines her.  She is a feisty, fun and inquisitive, has the biggest heart ever, and keeps me on my toes constantly.

In 2011 I decided to take the plunge into our local foster-to-adopt program.  A couple of weeks after I was certified I received a phone call asking me if I was interested in a baby.  She was born with only a 20% chance to live as a micro premie with drug exposure.  When I met her in the hospital two days later, it was love at first sight.  I new she was mine.  However, it was a long road and there was so much drama; but finally in April of 2013, she became my daughter.  She is thriving and is a little spitfire!

After Yan came home I realized that I couldn’t do it all.  She was struggling and, above all, needed me.  She needed time to bond and learn and grow secure.  I put my career as Speech-Language Pathologist on hold and have done many different jobs from home, so that I could be with her, homeschool her and now be with Mady.  People constantly ask me how we survive.  Honestly, it’s a “God thing”.  Since He’s the one who started all this, He has been faithful to provide.

I have learned a lot along this journey, but want to learn more.  I felt like it was time that I shared and invited others to do the same.  So I will use this little platform to share our path.  The highs, the lows, and everything in between.  I’ve also wanted a way to share speech, language and learning information.  I’ve found, in my quest for an education for Yan, that the homeschool world is still lacking in the area of special needs.  I want to help fill in some of those gaps, so I will share what we do and helpful things that you might try with your kiddos who have special needs.

Please feel free to write me, I want to converse and learn from you as well!  Be Blessed!  Jenn