Judi Kloper intro

Date: 
2000-01-14

Message: 1241
From: JudiKO@...
Received: Fr Jan 14, 2000 8:19
Subject: Re:Roll Call
Hi.

Gee it's cold and wet and a bit snowy down here! (well, it was; i wrote this
two days ago!)

I'm Judi Kloper, married for an eternity it seems (more than 20, maybe it's
25? years) to Peter Owens. We live in Corvallis, home to the ferocious
Oregon State University Beavers. Peter builds agricultural buildings for
farmers as well as things like horse arenas and commercial buildings...(and
our home is constantly in a state of remodeling but I"ve learned to hire the
help and not depend on hubby!)
I worked in Special Education at a local high school till last year;
technically I am still on leave. Now I work at home coordinating an adoption
program in different parts of South India.

Since 1982 I have been teaching the adoption classes at Linn Benton Community
College, cosponsored by Mid Valley Adoptive Families and formerly cosponsored
by PLAN Adoptions. Also, after we adopted our first child in 1982, I founded
the Mid Valley Adoptive Families local "support and education" group, and we
are still going and growing. It's amazing. I coordinate the group and its
activities, and as some of you know, it's the same group of us who get
everything done...the same SMALL group of us serving a much larger group.....

I have been completing homestudies for Journeys of the Heart for the past
five years or maybe it's six....I cannot remember. The adoption programs I
coordinate are ones I helped set up for Journeys as well. My commitment to
adoption and India was born from our adoption of our children from Calcutta.
I was hooked on adoption as we waited for our first child. The rest is
history....herstory.....mystory!

We came to adoption from the pain of five miscarriages, however I had wanted
to adopt since I was a young child and read the Scholastic book, The Family
Nobody Wanted. We have five kids now, and though I would LOVE to adopt more,
I realize that besides never being able to convince my husband, I would not
be able to do the adoption work that I do if we had more kids....and I
wouldn't be able to travel as much, especially to India and other parts of
Asia.

Our children came to us in this order:
--Dana Tarun, age 8 weeks, from IMH Calcutta via PLAN, now 17 1/2.
--Chandan Gyde, age 7 years (estimated) from IMH Calcutta/PLAN, 23 yrs old now
--Rehema Matiya, age 9 yrs (estimated) from IMH Calcutta/PLAN, now 21 yrs.
--Jake Jameel, age 11 yrs now, our birthson
--Dassi Chang Yan, age 13 months at arrival, from Changzhou, China, through
Journeys of the Heart, now almost six yrs old

Dana was born three months early and weighed just over two pounds. When he
came home at two months, he was a tiny but tenacious four pound bundle. To
make a very long story short, he was diaganosed with severe quad. cerebral
palsy and a hearing loss in both ears (formerly deafness.) Well, the guy is
one incredible kid...and we are so proud of him. He's a senior in high
school and a member of National Honor Society. He has different aides to
help him throughout the day, and though life is a physical struggle for him
every day, he still manages to have a smile on his face and to charm everyone
he meets. To top all that off, he is SO HANDSOME!!!

Chandan is deaf, and we knew that when we adopted him. We figured since we
were already raising a kid who was "deaf" and learning sign language, what
was one more? We sure were naive. Chandan has been a major challenge to
parent, and we love him even as we struggle to be the kind of parents he
needs. He is mentally retarded, has obsessive compulsive disorder, possible
Tourette's Syndrome, and Ulcerative Colitis though the docs think it's now
Crohn's Disease. When Chandan is feeling good, he can be delightful. He's
an avid fisherman and we believe he was a fisherman in his past lives in
India. However, he sometimes has had aggressive and violent behaviors (over
the past five years) and for that reason has been in group foster homes and
even spent a night in jail last year as well as 11 days in a psychiatric
unit. We sure got to know lots of government agencies real well down here.

Rehema had lots of issues to deal with academically and socially and
emotionally as an older adopted child. ESL, or English as a Second
Lanuguage, proved to be difficult for her, even though within months of
arriving she was conversationally fluent. After six years of living in the
USA and many screaming rages, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit
Disorder (ADD) with no hyperactivity (her idea of recreation was crashing on
the couch with the tv on....). However, after reading a lot on older child
(and maybe ichild) I think maybe it wasn't ADD after all but some rage
disorder or whatever it was they discussed on there....We took Rehema back to
India in 94 when she was 16 and had lived here for seven years...she had a
wonderful time for three weeks traveling around the country with me and
Cathie Woodward. Two years ago, after graduation from high school, she spent
three months in south India volunteering at Karna Prayag and Guild of Service
(Madras) and also at the Guild's Home for the Handicapped. She lived with my
friends there. Mostly I think she was overwhelmed with the disrepencies in
her life here and there, and she began to realize how she didn't truly fit in
in either place, America or India. She returned to America in April of 98,
and after that the proverbial shit hit the fan....sorry for the four letter
word, but that's about the most accurate way to describe it. She moved out
hostilly in July 98, and we've been basically estranged ever since. It's too
long to get into here, but suffice it to say that she has made very poor c
hoices in her life though she was raised to know the differences between
right and wrong, moral and immoral. While she hasn't been as 'awful' as some
other kids I know, she certainly made choices that made me have to limit
contact between her and the other kids still at home. We are working on
building our relationship again, but it's tiny tiny steps. I am NOT happy
with her c hoices but have had to accept them as she is over 18. Yes, she
does things differently than I would and than I wanted for her. I think she
has lots of issues to work on, and she won't. I am NOT the mother she
fantasized about, and she never let me forget it when she was growing up. O
well......life goes on. I love her, but sometimes it's hard to feel that
love. It's buried too deep...

Jake and Dassi, they are great. Jake's in fifth grade and Dassi's in
kindergarten at the local Waldorf School. Dassi's as strong willed as Rehema
and it has scared me to no end....and I worry about her adolescence. Jake is
sweet and loving and just getting into preadolescence. That scares me as
well.

WEll, all for now. Longer than you probably wanted to read.

Later,
Judi in Corvallis, Oregon

Pound Pup Legacy