Tuesday, April 30, 2013

About Me!

I am Corrine Jensen Ceran.
 I am a Mormon! I know it! I live it! I love it!

I am a wife.

I am the mother of nine children- four by birth, two by inheritance, and three by adoption (they are in the order I received them, not in the order of importance or the most loved).

I am a believer in Jesus Christ and in His great plan of eternal families and happiness for all of his children. I know we will be with our loved ones after this life. I know the atonement of Jesus Christ makes this possible for all of us.

I am grateful.

I am proud to be an American.

I am a birth daughter.

I am an adopted daughter.

I  am the product of the home school environment.

I am the product of the public school environment.

I am a believer that no matter what life is good!

A brief history:

I moved to West Jordan, Utah, when I was eleven years old. It was my eleventh house. :) Before that I lived in California, Oregon, and Montana. Montana still feels like my second home. My growing up years were filled with learning and growth as my parents worked hard to teach us the gospel of Jesus Christ, how to work, how to be independent and reliable adults, how to love, and how to have a great time. With those important things as a base, one other tool they taught us that has been a great asset to me throughout my life is the importance of laughing through the hard times. I will be forever grateful to them for their love, example, and experience, but most importantly the fact that they never gave up- not on the family, and not on each other, and not on any of us.

My parents did not have an easy task. They raised eleven children! That's right. I have ten marvelous brothers and sisters. Those good folks of mine also managed to have foster children from the Indian Placement Program for the last few years I was home. Meaning, being the second child of this large brood, I went without a lot of the material things of life. Would I trade any one of those precious siblings for cute clothes or my own room? No way! Not then, and certainly not now!

My growing-up family is an interesting one. My mom married my father when I was eleven years old, thus the new start in Utah. Her first husband committed suicide when I was nine. My new dad adopted my mom's seven children (adding us to the three young ones he already had) soon afterwards on February 15. My heart celebrates this day every year as it comes back around. I was then and I am even more so now, ever grateful that a kind Father in Heaven saw to it that I also had an earthly father. I am better because of this good man. To my parents' great joy, a baby girl was added to their union just over a year after they were married. She has always been one of the bonding links in our family.

I got married two weeks after I turned 19 years old. I had the most gorgeous thing on the planet up to that time eleven months later- a baby girl. I was two weeks shy of twenty. Eighteen months later I had another baby girl. Almost three years later a baby boy joined our family. Two years after that, another sweet baby boy was placed in my arms. I knew I wasn't finished having children yet, but I sure had no idea what lay in store for my future.

After fifteen years of marriage, I found myself single with four children, having found it necessary to divorce my husband, something I never believed in. Still don't. It was a trying time for my little family. Visitation being the hardest to get use to for all of us.

I met Gary Ceran a year and a half after my separation and 6 days after my divorce was final, although I had followed his story in the news eight months earlier. His story was one of forgiveness and love. I watched as the story unfolded of how he forgave the drunk driver who killed his wife, teenage son, and young daughter early Christmas Eve morning 2006. I marveled at his strength and at the strength of his two remaining children. I was overjoyed when they were all released from the hospital and were able to have a belayed Christmas celebration together. I knew that if Gary could forgive the man who took so much, I could also forgive my soon-to-be ex-husband.

Gary and I were married eight months later, so together we had six living children; but we still knew our family was not complete. We wanted that 'link' that my parents had. Three months after we were married, I was in the Mount Timpanogus LDS Temple when I had a strong impression there was a child elsewhere waiting to join our family. Adoption was a new idea for Gary, but not to me for obvious reasons.

It wasn't until two years after this incident that we had a six week free subscription to the Deseret News and read an article about a foundation called Save a Child, a group that brought children over from Ukraine to be hosted for "an American experience." I couldn't get the story out of my head. I knew it was something we were to be a part of in some way. Still, I would have never guessed!

We hosted THREE children, a sibling group from this far away part of the world, in the fall of 2010 for 2 1/2 weeks. On the last full day they were here, I knew they were ours. I was the last in the family to have this confirmation from the Holy Spirit. I found out later the whole rest of the family was fasting and praying for me to know.

For the next few months we focused on fundraising and paperwork, so we could bring the last of our babies home for good. After two trips and six weeks in Ukraine, we came home on May 31, 2011. It was a wonderful celebration! Those three dear children were sealed to us six months later on November 5 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They may now be ours for this life and for all eternity.

Things I know a little bit about:

-- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the "Mormons"
-- Adoption
-- Marriage
-- Parenting birth children, inherited children, young adult children, adopted children
-- Suicide among family and friends
-- Blended families
-- Foster siblings
-- Abuse
-- The joys of sharing a room (once with six sisters)
-- Home school
-- Public school
-- Anxiety/depression
-- Divorce
-- Remarriage
-- Scripture study
-- Brothers and sisters as best friends
-- Teaching preschool

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Meet Caleb

Caleb is my son. I first met Caleb when he was thirteen years old. He came to my room with his dad, to bring me flowers when I was sick. The first time I saw him I fell quickly in love with his glowing eyes and easy smile. I have many children. Some came to me through birth, others through adoption. Caleb came to me through "inheritance." I married his father, and I inherited this great young man. :)  I know that I in no way take the place of his angel mother, but with all my heart I feel she and I share in our motherly love for this special individual.

There are few people I know of who have a firmer testimony of the plan of salvation than Caleb has. I have watched first hand as he has utilized his testimony and allowed it to pull him through the great difficulties of life. He knows he will see his good mother and precious brothers and sisters again. (Caleb lost 5 other siblings before the Christmas Eve accident, four of them before Caleb was born).
 Caleb was born three weeks after his 14 month old sister, Brianna, died of a brain tumor. At his baby blessing, Caleb was told he would be a comfort to those around him. Caleb brought insurmountable comfort to his mother at that time of great heartache. Nearly thirteen years later, Caleb was his father, Gary's, comfort at the hardest time of his life. Today Caleb continues to comfort others with his peaceful presence and unconditional love. He has been a great source of comfort to me through the ups and downs of my own life.

Caleb, thank you for allowing your testimony and love to be shared with the world. Your mother in heaven and your mother on earth are so very very proud of you!

This is Caleb's testimony done by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of the great plan of salvation that Heavenly Father has for each of us, His children.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Let It Go by Caleb Ceran


This is Caleb Ceran's best song yet!!!

Caleb is 19 years old.

If you love it, please share it. :) 

(Love you, Shisk!)


My Littlest Boy

This is my son "Jauco." He is my youngest child, and has a heart of gold. At his class field trip last week, Jauco made sure I always had a seat. Once he even got up and asked his friend to get up with him before instructing me to sit down.

Once a week we have a family temple night. Upon leaving the temple, Jauco insisted I borrow his coat because he knew I was cold. He shivered as I cuddled in his little coat. I think my heart was warmer than anything! :)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Phew! It's the Teacher's Fault!

I had just gotten off the bus from a field trip with one child. I was chatting with some newfound friends when I said that  I needed to go to the office to get my other son who had spent the day with the principal, due to some very bad behavior. One woman asked which teacher the second son had. I told her, to which she responded, "That's why he's in the principal's office! That teacher can't keep control!"

I was shocked, but also reassured. My son's behavior had nothing at all to do with his own choices to act disrespectful, disobedient, and obnoxious. Well, good. That just made my job as mother easier.

That awful teacher! How dare she not control this child of mine! How dare she let him rip up his homework  right in front of her! How dare she stand by and watch him crawling around the room like a small child! How dare she just ask my son to stay on task and do his work with the other students, and be expected to comply! Some teachers! And then when he wouldn't, she had the audacity to bring him to the principal's office! First time all year, too, and this is no easy child.

This is a boy who has been in this land for two short years, and he doesn't know what to do when he's had too much. He doesn't know how to respond, so he shuts down............totally. He goes to no man's land and he's almost impossible to penetrate. Then, after what seems like hours, he pops out of it, and he's my nice respectful funny amazing son again. And this teacher just doesn't know how to handle this child. Shame on her.

Wow! I do not envy teachers today. It is all on them. Children can't be blamed because they are just children. They don't have to be responsible until..............wait, until when? Oh, when they are good and ready. Well, that will be just about never! So teachers, stand back. This new generation of  ME! has just gotten totally out of control, and it's YOUR fault.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Difference II

One day I sat in a church and watched as a young girl left the meeting, presumably to use the rest room. I watched as she left. Her hair was greasy and sloppily done, her clothes were too big and quite disheveled. Her face was drawn with seeming nervousness. It was evident she was at the awkward pre-adolescence age, where a child is learning to care for themselves.

A few minutes later I watched as she re-entered the room. "What is the difference?" I wondered. "She looks just like some of the children in the Ukrainian orphanage we left not too long ago."

As she sat back down on her bench, her mother smiled as she reached her arm past another child to place her loving hand gently on this girl's shoulder. "That's it," I realized. "She's been gone, and someone is happy now that she's back. THAT is the difference."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Meet "Tina"

This is my beautiful daughter, "Tina." I first saw this precious child in a photograph in Nanette Garrett's living room, where my husband, Gary, and I had come to view profiles of children we would host. I felt strongly we were to host two boys and a girl. In the photo, young Christina had her protective arms around two little boys, her brothers. These were the children we would choose to host for a 2 1/2 week "American experience."

We prayed for them daily from this time on. Gary and I looked at the picture day and night, longing for the day when they would come to our home, wondering if they would come for good, feeling deep down that they would. They became an intricate part of our lives before they ever even knew we existed.

I first met Tina when she was coming off a plane after a full days trip from Ukraine. She was eleven years old. She was small with blond hair with a red headband in it. All the other children were in heavy winter clothes. Tina wore a light jacket. She stiffened and shyly put her head down as I put my arms around her and her two little brothers.

Things are a lot different now with this precious child. It has been a joy to come to know her.  She laughs easily, plays hard, and is quite a leader among her family, church group, and friends. She likes to dance, has a beautiful voice, is learning to play the piano, and is a great cook. She excels in school and everything else she sets her mind to. She has a fabulous sense of humor and loves a good joke. She is creative and has great taste in style and hair. She wants to serve an LDS mission to a foreign land and go to college when she is older. She is a beautiful young woman inside and out. It is an honor to be her mother.

Corrine Ceran gives a welcoming hug to Sasha, Eddy and Christina, three Ukrainian sibling orphans, as they arrive at the Salt Lake International Airport Oct. 22 to stay with the Ceran family for 2 1/2 weeks through the Save a Child Foundation. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
Deseret News Picture at the airport that blessed day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Difference

As I sat at the table making Valentines, I had two totally different conversations with two of my boys. The first son, my youngest gem, was adopted from Ukraine when he was seven years old. He asked, "Who are you making those for?"
My answer was the same one my mom would've given me many years ago, "For my favorite people in the world."
His innocent little question tugged on my heart, "But WHO?"
The next son was my youngest child before our treasured additions. I gave birth to him. He walked up and asked, "Who are you making those for? "
My answer was the same, "For my favorite people in the world."
"Awesome!!" He said as he grabbed for one.

The difference between these two sons is not the gift offered. It is the same for all my children, whether they came to me through birth, inheritance, or adoption. The difference is that one son knows, and the other is longing to know.

Is it not the same way with our Father in Heaven? He has offered His Son Jesus Christ for all of us. Some people know this very well and take full advantage of the gift given, others have never heard of such an incredible gift (making our responsibility great), and others still are longing to know for themselves. But the gift itself it the same for all of His children. It is up to us to accept that precious gift.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bitter? Not today!

Trying to salvage the broken pieces of my dreams was never worked into my life's plans. But when I found myself going through a divorce, I decided one thing. I wouldn't become what I thought was the worst person on the planet to try to talk to- a bitter divorced woman. I had to come up with a plan.
This is how it went:

 - I would pray 100 times a day.

 - I would attend the temple as often as possible, but mainly when my babies were taken for visitation.

 - I would stay in the scriptures every single day.

 - I would smile, smile, smile.

 - I would make time to cry, cry, cry. (This was vital to my healing.
  I had to let
 myself feel. My dad actually had to teach me about this one. He let me know it was alright to feel what I was feeling. 

 -  I would associate only with people who were on my side for the first long while. I couldn't let anymore negativity into my life.

 -  I needed to have a lifeline and a backup lifeline. Any hour of any day or night, I had people I could call for comfort and advice.

 -  I made sure to leave my heart open to forgive completely, and be patient while I wait for it to come. I have found it comes in stages, and these stages are very vulnerable.

 -  I would serve, serve, serve.

 - I needed to choose to believe in love and in eternal families again. I prayed for a renewed testimony of marriage.
- I would read one section from my Patriarchal blessing every night before going to bed. (A Patriarchal blessing is a special personalized blessing given to an individual  by a certain holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood given the authority to do this.) My blessing is a constant reminder that the Lord is not finished with me yet. 
- I needed to teach my children respect for their parentage, no matter how my heart is hurting. They have a lot to be thankful for.

- Pray AGAIN! Oh, and again!

I am a work in progress. I know that. Being what I want to be is not happening over night. I still have triggers that can put me into a downward cycle for days, but I am trusting my Savior Jesus Christ to take my best efforts and make me into far more than my puny young heart could've ever dreamed.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Housewife Versus a Career

 I am in no way downplaying anyone else's chosen career, but I would like to share some sentiments based on a journal entry I wrote on February 26, 2013.

I heard from my dear child today, "I could never be a housewife. It's good for you and all, but I am having a career."

A "career" verses a "housewife?" First of all, what in the world is a "housewife?" It sounds like something you'd wipe your feet on as you walk in the front door. Or something that belongs in the same family as the dish-rag. Whatever it is, it has little or nothing to do with how I spent my day today.

I woke up at 6:20 AM, got up on the 2nd or third alarm at 6:27 AM. Woke the children so we could all gather around the piano to sing "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus." We then read scriptures while eating wheat squares, Raisin Bran, and Corn Flakes with dried strawberries. This was actually after we knelt together in prayer. Gary asked me to pray this morning. It was nothing but a gratitude prayer- gratitude for my good husband, for each one of my dear children and grandchildren, for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, and so many more things, but mostly that we could be alive during the greatest time in all the history of the world. :)

I then read my scriptures, had couple scripture with Gary (after kissing each head before they walked it out the door), then took a thirty minute cuddle nap with Gary. We had both been up 'til midnight last night getting some internet posts written up for my sister's company. We got up. Gary continued writing the posts while I cleaned up the house to get it ready for preschool. I taught preschool for two hours. I then ate and talked to Gary and Rebecca. Rebecca then took me on a walk/run to start my training for a marathon (yup, life's goal).

After lunch I went visiting teaching. I then taught piano lessons to two of my children before going to a track meeting for "Jay" and "Tine." I came home and rallied the troops to clean a very bombed looking kitchen. I then taught another piano lesson. Michael, Tine, and Sir Al all had productive piano lessons. Caleb helped Gar downstairs, while I listened to "Jauco" read.

Finally it was time for evening prayer, and we put the children to bed.

This was all in-between talking to Sarah on the phone, texting Dad, chatting with children, complimenting Gary's work on the basement, making him food, and laying out a dream preschool room.

A housewife? Who would want to be a housewife? Yuck! But a homemaker? That's what I want to be! A teacher? Definitely! A friend? Oh, yeah! What a great life! I have the career of all careers!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Journey of Light by Caleb Ceran. Caleb is just starting out his music career. Please support him by reposting this beautiful song.

What Kind of Mom Were You?

One day I was busy in the kitchen having a conversation with myself and my former self. What kind of mom were you? I was the type of mom who let my children play with knives. Play with knives!!? Yes, I did. Do you care to explain? Sure.

When my children were small, all our sharp knives were stored in a top cupboard in the kitchen. I did this because I didn't want the little ones getting into them and playing with them when I wasn't around. But when it came time to cook dinner, do crafts, or make a snack, out came the knives. The children would pull up a chair and start chopping the cucumbers and the carrots. I was there to give guidance when needed, but mostly I let them do it their way. Why? Because they could.

Do you know what else my little ones did? They got dirty. Awfully dirty! When they'd go out to play, I'd say, "Go get dirty!"  I could tell how much fun they had while playing by the mess on their clothes.

When the rain came, it was time to put away the umbrellas. Umbrellas were for dress up. We'd put on our shoes and go jumping. Jumping in the puddles that were formed just for us. We'd have contests to see who could get the wettest.

We got plenty of stares, glares, and distasteful comments. Others just didn't understand.

But our days were not all fun and games. Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. There were many things my children GOT to do, like grow a garden, practice the piano, go to church, mow the lawn, and do Sunday Circuits. You see,  I believe in children being privileged to grow and develop.
And homework? Oh sure, if that's what you want to call it. See, learning is another one of those privileges. It's fun and exciting. So if my children were reading a book and they became frustrated, it was time to put it down. They could go back to it when they were calm and were ready for some fun.

Some of my children have grown, and others are still in the process. One day I got a call from my daughter who is on her way to the  Philippine Islands to teach people the gospel. "Mom!" she exclaimed, "They don't have toilet paper, and they have earthquakes and typhoons!!"

"If you're trying to scare me, it's not going to work," I lied.
 "Scare you?!?!? Mom! This is exciting!"

All from playing with knives!