Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

We love hearing from everyone!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vulernable to Sexual Abuse....not an easy read

I read an article a few days ago that was so disturbing that I can't seem to shake it from my mind. It was published in the Irish Times, Lack of sex education leaves disable vulnerable to abuse.

The article touches on the importance of sex education for all persons with intellectual disabilities but the most disturbing statistic in the article is that: "80 per cent of women with intellectual disabilities and 60 per cent of men are sexually molested or raped." I nearly stopped breathing when I read this.

Having worked in the area of criminal justice for almost a decade, I happen to have some knowledge about sexual abuse in general and here's another zinger for you ~ 80% 0r 85% of abusers are NOT strangers! They're people that know your child and unfortunately they can even be your own family.

For those of us that live in the United States we have a wonderful system of tracking sex offenders. The law requires them to register with the local law enforcement agency and we can readily access that information by either going to our local precinct or by logging on to the Division of Criminal Justice Services website (here in NY ~ every State has their own site). But what the government neglects to tell you is that there are literally thousands of sex offenders who are NOT registered and they have no idea where they are. They just don't fulfill their obligation to register every year or if they do ~ they move and don't notify anyone and the State loses track of them. What a surprise!!! A criminal not abiding by the law! Who would have thought.... Last I knew, there were about 2,000 sex offenders unaccounted for in New York.

This registration system was put into place to protect society from unsuspecting sex offenders who were preying on children. It's a great law but the facts are the facts ~ sexual abuse is more often perpetrated by a known person not an unsuspecting sex offender roaming your streets.

How can we protect our children from those around us ~ I can't answer that for you. Danny and I can hopefully keep Nathan safe by keeping him with us. Then, when he gets older we'll educate him about what's right and what's wrong and discuss the tactics used by "groomers" ~ even as it pertains to those around us. Until this conversation ~ he'll be in our care. Scary isn't it?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dr. Seuss Decor (Part IV) Who is that I hear???

I'm sure you've guessed our next reveal in Nathan's almost completed Dr. Seuss bedroom ~ but just in case you haven't ~ here he is! The most challenging and time consuming of all the characters ~ Horton from Horton hears a Who!

This is the very beginning ~ step one.
Step two ~ I began adding the body color. As I mentioned in a previous post, Danny had to mix Horton's body color because we couldn't find anything remotely close to it at the art store.
The color matched awesome. Horton needed a couple of coats.Step three was to begin adding the rest of the other colors and details.
This was my inspiration ~ it's from Nathan's Dr. Seuss sheets.

The final product! Not bad for a girl with no artistic abilities!

This picture doesn't do Horton's size justice. He's huge!!! Next week, I'm going to show you a recap of the four paintings so you'll be able to really see how big they are and why they've taken me so long!
I am a quart of the way through finishing another painting but because of summer vacations and school beginning next week, I'm a little behind. I had a similar struggle when painting Horton ~ it's so much work that I just need to take a break from it. The last thing I want is to do a sloppy job. So instead, I take a break and get back into it when I'm refreshed. I'm on a break right now but it won't be long. I hope!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Surf's Up! Watch Out!!! (Maine Part II)

On Saturday, I was determined to take Nathan to play on the beach in Maine and the weather was great! We took the time to get ready and just as we were about to go it turned dark and looked a storm was going to blow in. We'd been expecting it but I wanted to go anyway. In case it cleared up. I'm not a fan of the ocean so going in didn't matter to me ~ I just wanted Nathan to play in the sand and maybe put his feet in.

As you'll see from this video there was no sand playing or swimming because there was no beach! Hurricane Bill sent some pretty amazing waves to Maine and with the rising tide only the crazy ventured out. Not us! It was pretty cool to see and we stayed very far away just in case. As most of you probably know, a seven year old girl from New York lost her life yesterday in Arcadia National Park in Maine, watching the waves. She wasn't in the water but standing on the rocks in the park. My prayers go out to her family and to the other 20 individuals swept away by that massive wave.

We hung out and watched the waves roll in for a little while and then went back to our camp ground and swam in the heated pool. Nathan had a great time and that's all that really matters.