Friday, November 29, 2019

Welcome to Holland

I absolutely love this photo! This photo was taken this summer when we gathered as much of The Bascom Bunch as we could for some lake time and to celebrate our oldest daughters' 27th birthday. Someone called "Group Hug" before Cassie left us to return to her life on the coast.

The back story on this photo is. When Elizabeth joined our family 12 years ago, she was not a touchy-feely kid and, we are very much a huggy, snuggly, feely family. It has taken us over a decade to break this kid in. To this day, she still will not initiate a hug or say love ya. But the smile on her face in this circle of love shows that she does like to be hugged. 

 Elizabeth is our Holland child. What may you ask is that?  (view the link at the bottom of the paragraph.) Welcome to Holland is written by Emily Perl Kingsley for parents of children with exceptionalities. It expresses what it is like for parents to prepare for a typical parenting journey and then to find themselves on a different path and having to go through the grief of their plan changing to see the beauty and embrace the parenting experience they are having with their child. Welcome to Holland
When Elizabeth was 18 months old, she contracted meningitis. This caused her to have paralysis from the waist down and contextual blindness, both of which resolved themselves. She, however, was left with profound sensorineural hearing loss. 

Fast forward six years, and Elizabeth joined The Bascom Bunch through the unexpected miracle of adoption. When she arrived, she had the equivalent language of a two-year-old. It is typical for children that are deaf to have a two-year language delay. We felt when we meet her that she appeared to be a typically developing deaf child that had lacked exposure to sign language.  For the first few years, she appeared to be developing beautifully. 

Then in her tweens, it became clear that she had cognitive processing difficulties. After seeing a neurologist and having two educational, psychological assessments performed, the results that came back were heart-wrenching. Elizabeth has scarring on her brain from the bacterial infection, and the lack of oxygen to the brain during seizures while she was ill, left her with irreversible cognitive functioning difficulties. 

Our dreams of her going to Gallaudet University and being an example of a deaf person that overcame the odds of her challenging early years were not going to become a reality.  We had to mourn our plans and goals for her and regroup. This month as our beautiful teenage daughter became an adult. I reflect on the journey that we have experienced as we had traveled with her on her self-designed life path. She tells us she wants to go to university and serve a mission like her big sisters.  So stay tuned as we work with this smiley girl that has overcome so much to assist her in making her dreams become a reality. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Mystery Christmas

A majority of my favorite memories revolve around Christmas. I love celebrating and focusing on the purpose of our Saviour's birth. My mother made Christmases magical. Before the dust had settled on the present one, she was off planning and shopping for the next one.  There are three Christmases I remember the most. The year we welcomed a new baby to our family. The Christmas, our first adopted child came home, and the year a plain white envelope mysteriously arrived on our Christmas tree and created a stir.

No one seemed to know how it arrived.  The guessing began and no one fessed up. Then the interrogating began no one was breaking. Christmas morning came and my husband insisted that it was the last item to be opened, and he gave me the honours of opening it. As I carefully opened the envelope, it contained one plain white sheet of paper. As I opened the sheet of paper I saw it contained a letter. At the top was the letterhead of the first presidency. My husband and I exchanged glances, and he slightly nodded his head. As I started to read tears came to my eyes. After waiting for over a year we had been granted permission for our adopted daughter to be sealed to us. My husband then spoke and told us that he had made plans for President Burnham, a member of our ward to perform the sealing ordinance. President Burnham was a member of the first temple presidency of the soon to be open Vancouver Temple.

Our regional area was all a buzz as we were preparing for the opening of the Vancouver temple.  The saints in our area prayed and preparing to be able to have a temple in our midst for many years before it was announced. As the temple was being built, our auntie sent weekly photos of the progress, and finally, after years, we were weeks away from the open house. Our youth were preparing a cultural performance for the prophet and temple district. Our stake choir was invited to be the choir for the cornerstone ceremony and we were preparing pieces for that, My husband and I were in that choir, so our family had been given tickets to attend a dedicatory session in the temple; and now our daughter was to be the first live ordinance to be performed in the Vancouver temple. My heart was so full.

Many of my most sacred and cherished memories have happened within the walls of temples. I remember a challenging trek from Canada to SLC as my family traveled to be sealed as a family. Serving on temple hill in LA as a missionary, being proposed to in the celestial room of the Seattle temple, having my daughter serve on Temple Square and in the visitors center in DC, seeing my daughter sealed in the Calgary temple, and escorting another daughter through the Cardston temple before she left to serve a mission in Montreal. I hope to have many more special Christmases where I celebrate the birth of my Saviour and experiences that lead my family to the temple.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Since I didn't blog this year at all I thought I'd do a recap of the year.

So much happened this year much of which is forgotten by now.

With dropping oil prices and a change in our provincial government we have seen a SLOW down in the gas and oil industry. Lorne found himself laid off from work in March. After much prayer and fasting her decided to recession proof himself and went back to school. I teased him much about having a mid life crisis. He has completed his care aid course and is now working at the long term care facility and the hospital here in Cardston. He is presently enrolled in the LPN program and if we moved south of Lethbridge then the government will reimburse us for his training. So we re-located to Cardston.

We have considered several times moving to a community south of Lethbridge but couldn't conceive of a way to support our selves down here. We now live a block and half from the temple and it is a daily beacon to us of the centre of our lives. Another reason we moved here is there is a large group of LDS families that are home based learners using the same philo as us.

Cassie is living in Port Coquitlam, BC with her partner. She is still in the Speech and Language Assistant program and [plans to graduate next year. She landed her first grown up job in her field work-ing with pre-school age children in the autism spectrum as a behaviour interventionist. She has also taken on all their clients that need speech and language support.  She and her partner spent a couple of weeks expiring the west coast of the USA and really enjoyed them selves.

Lani started school in Jan taking courses in early childhood education. She was enjoying the YSA scene in Edmonton when in April she went down to SLC for conference, a mission reunion and a wedding reception. She however got stuck in traffic on The Friday she arrived because Obama had come into town to visit with our church leaders and his parkade created a major traffic jam and never made it to any of her planned events except conference. That weekend she renewed an old friendship that caught fire. She and Isaiah dated through the summer, got engaged the end of July and were married a few days before Christmas in the Calgary temple.  The honeymooned in Banff and have returned to Utah for Isaiah to finish his last semester at BYU.

Karrisa has been learning to be an adult this year. She was working at a cute bistro blocks from the U of A. She toyed with lots of ideas of things she wanted to pursue and decided to move back to Victoria to attend Camosun to the a social services diploma. She is really enjoying west coast life. She presently is working at a cute cafe a few blocks from the ocean on the edge of China town and also at Sport Check. We have enjoyed her employee benefits too.

Elizabeth was sad to leave the school of the deaf. It was huge trade offs moving here. We have however landed in a wonderful supportive ward. Our young women's program is the best that we have ever been in. They are many that are enthusiastically learning ASL and are taking on interpreting duties. They are truly her friend and make a strong effort to communicate with her and include her in what us happening around her.

Hyrum is really enjoying our new community. He played foot ball this fall and has found a new love. His team did VERY well they finished second in the province in tier III. This community is very supportive of our developing youth several local businesses donated funds to supply them with lovely jackets with their achievement noted on them. This is another of the reasons that we moved here was so  our boys could participate in sports with out scheduling conflicts on Sundays. Their coaches lead the boys in prayer before games and emphasis the importance of staying physically and emotionally healthy. Hyrum has developed a new love of exercise. He has grown a lot this year and is now the tallest in the family.

Dalin has also found a new interest acting. He was in the school play this fall and had us in stitches s he played a guard at the gets of the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. He enjoyed himself so much that he is going to take acting classes this winter. He also has been taking piano and gymnastics lessons. He is growing up to be an accomplished and delightful young man.

Jesrhon is at school full time this year. Our local elementary has designed a program to met t most of his academic needs and we are very pleased with his progress. He is still a joyful wing nut.

To meet our families financial needs I reopened my day home and have three of the see test kids come for care on weekdays. So between planning a wedding and running the daycare I've been BUSY! I've also enjoyed my calling of teaching in the women's organization once a month from the general conference talks. I've loved pondering on them and leading discussions based on them that assist us in applying these inspiring words into our daily lives. That was short lived as they changed my responsibility in Dec to work with the 14-15 year old girls in the Young Women organization. I love the girls that i get to work with they are so wonderful and I feel blessed to rub shot;drew with them.

The highlight of my year was having all of my kids home for the holidays. They only thing that would of made it better would be having our newlyweds with us more. Gez they think they should go on a honeymoon or something.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Snap Shot in TIME

Recently our daughter had a Ed Pshyc and March 7th we left the meeting feeling deflated. We requested it as we felt that the school was not challenging our daughter enough. To learn from the findings that our daughter does not test well. That the change of educational setting this fall has meant that her coming into contact with many new people that she is not familiar with and holding back and not truly showing people who she is and what she is capable of.

 In regrouping I reached out in support to a circle of friends and a sweet woman that I have been acquainted with for over 25 years whom is a teacher of the deaf. She offered many suggestions and wasn't surprised at the ED Pshyc. It is just a "snap shot in time." She said don't give it much weight you know your daughter and what she is capable of.  She is a teacher of the deaf and said that many of her SUCCESSFUL kids that have gone on to university and to do things like humanitarian work in foreign countries had reports that looked like that.

Don't give up your dreams for her. Don't lower your expectations! She gave a long list of suggestions many of which we already to help her develop.

We did however leave the meeting with some good strategies on how to create a stronger program for her. I got to thinking of all the tools and services that we could access to support her language development, herself self confidence and leadership skills. Then I got to work to learn what resources are available in our new community.

A thought came to me. I had hear about auditory brainstem transplants. (Bionic Ears) I wonder where technology is with that.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Respectfully Yours

When I was collapsing My parents household after my father's stroke I found two love letters from my father to my mother.

My parents understood the power of the written word. When they were teens and dating my father was in the navy and they wrote back and forth regularly.  We have a binder full of their love letters. Most of all the legacy they left us was we get to read their innermost thoughts to each other. They get pretty steamy some times. There is one thing that none of us doubt is the love they have for each other.
Even after they were married they would write each other cute little notes.

These were a couple I found tucked away in a drawer in the end tables in their living room.
My dad always appreciated a good pen. The good pen always came out to write said letters.

There was a time my parents separated because one one of them made a choice that threatened to end their marriage. Because of the love they had for each other and their children. They both humbled themselves one to forgive and trust again and the other to admit the mistake and pay the price to earn that trust back again.

So many couples throw in the towel to easily these days. My parents are glad that they were able to heal from this rocky time and go on to have decades of happy years together. One of them said if we had give up we would of missed out on some of the best years of our life.

That is the legacy they left us not so much the letters but the obvious love and commitment they had for each other. About a year after this rocky time they entered the SLC temple and sealed their love for time and all eternity. That gave me so much security as a child to know that my family goes on beyond this life time. I felt an increase of peace in our humble home and a security that is hard to describe. It was then that I made a commitment to myself in my tween years that there was only one place on this planet I would be married. In the house of the Lord for time and all eternity.

I hope and pray that our sons can be honourable young men like their father and grandfathers. I also pray that our beautiful daughters will find men that will be respectfully theirs for time and all eternity.

Respectfully Yours,
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Friday, May 24, 2013


I often get asked which of my kids are real. Most of the time I ignore it and then kinda toss in correct adoption language. I am however often tempted to pinch the cheeks of the child in question if they are standing by and say are you "REAL"? Do we have any kids that fake or impostors in our family?

So instead of ranting. I thought I would share with all of you correct adoption language:

We refer to children's first parents as birth or biological parents. People whom step up to the plate to parent children born to other people are real. They are either foster or adopted parents. The government signs a contract with selfless people to either temporally foster the development of a child temporally or until a child's parents are healthy and have a enough skills to appropriately support the growth of their child or other arrangements are made. The top choice for kids in care that can not return to their parents is adoption.

To adopt a child you must go through an education process and have a study of your family and home done to show that you are fit to raise a child. It is an emotional nerve wracking process.

If you are curious about a family that has homegrown and grafted kids. The appropriate way to ask is: Which of your kids joined your family biologically and which are adopted?

There are many mom's that take offence at the "real" word.  I'm their real mom. I'm the person the person that takes care of their physical and emotional needs, makes them do the necessary things to grow up to become responsible adults, cries and prays for their well being and I will be involved in their lives long after we have all left this planet. That is as REAL as it gets.

That being said their "birth mom" loved them and carried them in their bodies for 9 months to make a birth plan for them and put their needs first. That is love. That is sacrificial love. I love them and their child loves them for this. Adoption is complex but is born out of love for a child.

Now a days children often have contact with there biological parents/family. When they are grown they have the option of contacting and deciding if and what a relationship will look like with these people. These relationships may add to the quality of their lives but will not take away the real relationship they have with us.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New posts added

I added the following posts in chronological order. You may want to go back and check them out.

Dally Do gets DUNKED 20-4-13
The Glass is Half Full 13-3-13
Imagine Dragons 13-3-13
On My Own 11-3-13
Love That Girl 10-3-13
Parent Paydays 2-16-13
Calgary Open House 12-10-12