Monday, September 21, 2015

Calais Rose

In many ways, it feels like Cali has been in our family forever.  In others, it feels like just yesterday we were seeing her cute face for the first time.  We are so proud of how well Cali is doing.   She has the most darling group of friends that love her and look out for her.  Kaytlin, Kara, Anna, Lily, Karolina, Abby, Candice (and many others)-- we LOVE you!  We are so glad Cali has you in her life!  

Cali's giggle lights up her whole face.  It is so much fun to see her comfortable in our home and with our family.  She loves to tease and be funny and has a special relationship with her dad.  (:  She has the softest voice and sweetest disposition (most of the time (; anyway) but has plenty of spice in her too.  She likes drawing, keeping in touch with her friends in China, books about princesses, being with her friends, shopping, listening to music, spicy food, singing and boys.  (Though she might not admit the latter to just anyone.)  She's a pretty typical teenager in most ways, which is incredible considering the trials life has offered her thus far.

One of Cali's hardest trials is school.  Because Cali didn't receive a great deal of formal education in China, she is struggling not only with language issues and all that entails, but also a lack of understanding of the basics in many subjects.  She is smart and works to keep on top of her grades, but is at a major disadvantage compared to that of her peers.  We've learned that schools don't always know the best and most effective way to help kids like her and we are constantly trying to be her advocate so that she can receive the best education possible.  Not gonna lie, that's kind of exhausting.  We've found that some teachers "get it" and some just don't.  We've found in talking to other adoptive parents that it is pretty universally one of the hardest aspects of older child adoption.

Cali recently had an appointment at Shriner's that showed her scoliosis is getting worse.  This is both painful and problematic.  We're weighing the pros/cons of surgery soon vs. waiting and will likely be able to make a better decision at her next appointment.    Jeremy said that actually seeing her spine on x-ray kind of took his breath away.  It's amazing that she lives with what she does without complaining a lot.   She's a tough girl and such an example of triumphing through hard things.  We love you, angel Cali!  

Kaytlin and Cali at youth conference.

A sure way to Cali's heart-- pick her up some noodles and milk from the Chinese market.

Jeremy took Cali and Graci to a special Chinese performance in SLC-- they loved it! 

Daddy date to Lagoon

Best friends


  1. I'm sorry to hear about Cali's scoliosis getting worse. Have you looked into exercises to treat it, at least to keep it from getting worse? I cancelled my daughter's spinal fusion surgery 4 days before it was going to happen. Long story short, I found some information online that made me doubt the surgeon and I was very, very right even though the surgeon said that what I was doing wouldn't help. Two years later at Shriner's with another surgeon, I was told that I was right, the evidence was lack of progression of the scoliosis, and the advice was to keep doing what I was doing. The Shriner's surgeon and a third doctor at another place, not related to orthopedics, but still knowledgable, both said the same thing, "Most patients won't see results through exercise, but most are diligent like I was in making my daughter do them."

    One of the methods I adapted for my daughter can be found here:

    The other is working with rubber resistance bands (the third doctor even gave me advice as to with ones to get) and our physical therapist that we had helped devise a program for using them.

    If you are interested, you'd have to adapt the exercises since Cali can't stand up, but it may be very possible.

    Meanwhile, I'll be praying that you find a way to spare her having need surgery for this.

  2. I love sweet Cali! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful things about her. She showed me some of her drawings and they are phenomenal! And, I remember her sculpture. This girl has a real talent in creating beautiful pieces of art.

  3. It's so fun to get Cali to giggle; it's the cutest thing! You forgot to mention her talent for arm wrestling! :) Love you, Cali!

  4. On another topic...I have been enjoying the MESophi Youtube channel, but can't seem to comment...the videos are so great!

    In case you were looking for a sign for adoption... He is musical, currently attends a school for the blind in China, speaks some English, and is 13. He seems driven and enjoys running.
    No pressure at all, know it's a huge commitment, I just thought he might be a good fit, especially given your access to a great education for blind children and his musicality and potential comradery with Conner.


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