Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Feast Day


No. I am not really turning this into a food blog, really.

Today is the feast day of St. Catherine of Sienna.



I love this saint! She is a Doctor of the Church, meaning her writings and wisdom are exceptional and some of the most respected. We can learn much from them, though some of us (ok, me) take a lot longer than others.

The great guys over at Godzdogz did a great little post on her, as usual. {scroll down a bit for it, it was on Friday Ap 25, worth looking} But here's a little bit from them, the part that both stays with me and makes me ponder it...turning it over and over in my brain. And it challenges me, as I fail it daily.

"The union of contemplation and action in the life of Catherine is important for our reflection on the Christian life. It demonstrates for us that prayer and action are not separate realities but are intimately woven together into the continuous activity of discipleship. In her Dialogue, she states that God told her “I ask you to love me the way I love you. I know that you cannot do this gratuitously but out of duty, this is why I place your neighbors in your path so that you may love them and so that you can do for them what you cannot do for me…

Besides all that, she was the baby out of a family of 25. Yes, 25! She was able to see Christ in those that most rejected: nursing plague victims and the destitute. She was also strong willed and opinionated and more than a bit pushy. So, for me, what's not to like? Of course, I'm partial and intrigued by those large families, even big old Italian ones from centuries ago. She was a radical in radical turbulent times, much braver and stronger than I could ever be. I look to her for sheer faith and fortitude, compassion and courage. Go check her out. She's a cool saint to know.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Things they don't tell you about the wait...


Yes.
That's what they forget to tell you.

Eat.
It's what you do, when you wait (ok, me): Stress Eat.



Yup.
We are counting down to travel.
My stress is, seemingly, high.
I have a to-do list a mile long.
I have piles to pack.

But first, apparently, I have to work my way through this.
Top to bottom.


Then I have to go buy new clothes to fit and pack them. Sigh.
It's always something.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Eyes to see



Thank Heavens, literally, for these Gladney families!
They are so generous and caring and good. They help this mom bear the wait.
They take packages.
They take pictures.
They hug our boy and hold him.
They see him with their own eyes, in person.

They let us see him through their eyes as mom and dad. Maybe he gets an inkling that there is a mom and dad who are waiting for him and twitching to go hold him too.
They stand in for us and we are so grateful.




So these are some of the new pics from the group of families who are now recovering from jet lag, and settling in to knit their new families together. We are so happy for them all: Buttercup (in pink, holding my little guy) and Farmboy (tall, Tariku in arms), the Albertsons, and the Schumachers. They have all generously helped us and we think they are awesome!!
THANK YOU!

We will pass this favor on, just let us know!!




So, while it's not the same as being there...these photos help us try to memorize his face and expressions: happy, grumpy, sleepy, all of them.
They help our hearts dream.

They are our eyes, to see.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sleep Tight

Warning: Gratuitous Mom Gush Below



What IS it about sleeping babies and kids that makes us all go "awwww?"

Why is it that having a picture of your little one asleep across the world so important to have?

I don't know.

But man, I love having a picture or two of my big baby boy sleeping like an angel.
{Tempting to make the allusion to his namesake now....but I'll let you do that!}











Awww. They're so sweet when they are sleeping!

And big thanks to all the traveling families for their generous time and pictures of our sweet boy. Photos above by the amazing Andrea.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crazy?


Crazy!

No, not our Divine Miss M, she's just goofing around!

But "they're crazy" "what? oh they've lost their minds"....this is the sort of comment we run up against, in various forms, all too often.

And this past week, with the whooping announcement of our new baby boy, waiting for us in Ethiopia, we had a little swell of this sort of phrase swept our way...usually blurted out before the person caught themselves and offered some form of tepid congratulations.

I'll admit, another child for us is a surprise to many. Especially to those not as close to us and considering our already full house and ok, our not quite as young as we used to ages (40's....but hey, that's the new 30's right????). Some people are tactful, some are truly thrilled for us, some are politely neutral, and some, a few, are downright disdainful.

You know, I touched on this a tiny bit a few posts ago, in "Why adopt...Again." But after this past week, I think it is not just an adoption thing. This sort of reaction of disdain, scoffing, or just dismay and dismissing me or us as "a little nuts" goes deeper. Even folks who are completely supportive of adoption tend to often have the reaction that perhaps we are taking this too far.

But what? Taking WHAT too far, exactly? Adopting again? No, I don't the objection is to adopting or even adopting again. I think it is a number game. A sheer number bias. And that shocked resistance to more, to the larger numbers, to MORE kids is pervasive. How many of you have had people say "oh boy, you've got YOUR hands full!" And, "wow, I have two kids and that's PLENTY for me." Or, "well, don't you think you might be taking away from your other kids? You have to think about them too." Hmmmm. Or there is the cliche, "you know, I knew this person and they just adopted a baby and bam, then they got pregnant!" This is always related as a horror story. Like they somehow blew it in their planning and somehow it's a bad mistake and maybe even a twinge of rating of the kids. Oh....this makes me nuts. There is an bit of an insidious undertone in these last two.

You know, I am the first to say that "yup, two kids (or one, or three, or whatever number) CAN be a handful and boy golly, that can be plenty" from a "whew, this is a lot of work" standpoint. All kids and all families are different. There is no perfect family or perfect number. NO FAMILY SIZE IS AUTOMATICALLY BETTER THAN ANOTHER (so please don't send me nasty messages about how I am being rude or self righteous, I am SO not meaning anything like that). However, what I object to is the idea that smaller is more sensible or easier or somehow more "right." Smaller is fine. But why is it crazy or too much to have more? It's not. It's this bizarre culture we've evolved into that has woven that message into our cultural psyche. And I, we, reject it.

Instead I know, we live, the fact that for us, larger is better. It is awesome. It IS a lot of work. My hands ARE full. But in the best way, in the way I was made for. The very best gift anyone can be given is a child. Period. Not a Ferrari, not a mansion, not an island in the sun (don't get me wrong, that last one especially has a strong appeal...ahhh). It is a child. Nothing else brings that deep, core tingling, whooping joy. And for those who say "what about the other kids?" Well, the very very best gift they can be given, is a sibling. Period. One of our children has some issues that are a bit more high maintenance. And even with that, the time they take, the difficulties in interactions even with their sibs.....even so, the best gift any of them has is each other. Period.

As a Catholic (you knew I had to bring it in), this is part and parcel of it for me. It is being open to life. It is the Catholic stance (and of course so many other's) that ALL life is precious and has value, inherent distinct value. All life. The ones that God might send me through my own body and gene pool and any others that he brings to us, whether they are here or half a world away. Teeny babies or older. Babies and kids who are perfectly healthy and made like that old "Ozzie and Harriet 50's" stereotypical family framework, and babies who might have different needs or who are abandoned or who are from a different part of the world. It is a conscious letting go of the "we determine" our family, and instead letting God determine it. Which, in a weird way, is radical.

It is a tough concept for a control freak like me to get used to; and in fact took me YEARS to be willing to do it. And then, I finally did, and by that time, we were looking at adopting. Maybe that was part of it, because if you think you are in control of everything; of your body and deciding when to get pregnant and how it will work out best and feeling in charge of the whole deal...well, try stepping on to the adoption road and watch that sense of control be ripped out of your hands and placed in someone else's....meaning oh, the social workers, the caseworkers, the doctors, the FBI, the taxman, you name it...they all have input. Yikes! But the funny thing is, it was never REALLY in our hands in the first place. I think, for me, it took starting the adoption process to figure that out. And then the beauty of that stance got it's chance to unfold. And here we are, about to bring home number seven. And we are once again, still, whooping with joy.

So, I guess this is a whole long venting built up after a few days of high emotions and joy at our news. And a response to that whole "you're crazy, when ya gonna quit?" kind of response. Frankly, I think THAT knee jerk reaction is a bit crazy. Nice people say this to me. But really, the ingrained, learned perspective today, is that we are all in control of everything: our bodies, our destiny, our choices, our kids, how our families will be formed and our lives lived out. And really, this is a ruse. We don't have nearly as much control as we think, we have choice. Which is so much better, really. So, we choose being open to life, which often results in a big old family, and that's seems a bit crazy.

It's nut's, right? Yup. We are crazy, in the best way. And, well, a big mixed up family is a whole LOTTA life, every day!!! And we love it and if that's crazy, then I guess my new answer to "are you nuts?" will just have to be "you betcha!"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday: skateboards for the pope?


Well, you know what I love? That there is always a connection. I have found an article that will bring a smile to my kids, especially my Booboo. It's one of those quirky asides from this serious Papal visit. That's Little Man on the skateboard over there. Booboo's skateboard days are on hold for a few months, ahem....crutches. But this is fun and kind of cool...if you like art or skateboards.

It's a Papal Skateboard Contest! No, no, not for the Pope to be skating the ramps himself (although there's an image!), but for the skateboard design/art to include his coat of arms and the theme "Christ our Hope."



Now, I think this is cool. Many, if not most, skateboard artwork leans very far into that whole kind of goth death destruction too cool to care in your face kind of artwork. This is a welcome change. Fun. Go see!

Image above courtesy of Knights of Columbus.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Far Reaching


The ever fun to read and insightful Danielle Bean has a good article today here.

With the dovetailing of this week's events: Pope Benedict's visit to the U.S. and in our family microcosm of the world, our joyful news of passing court and the official additon of a new child, our household and my scattered brain has been, well, more scattered than usual! So much to pay attention to, new exciting things.

So many thoughts have been rumbling through my mind from the mundane to the ones with a wider scope. My attention has been focused mainly on the awesome ecstatic news of our new baby, but it has also been caught again and again by our Pope, glimpses on the news and web, flashes of those wonderful red shoes, following the trail of his historic visit here.

My kids ask why it's important that he's here. And I say "because we are Catholic. That's our Pope." But that means so much. It is so far reaching. "Catholic" itself, the word, means universal....far reaching indeed. And somehow, for me, this week, that jives as I reach my heart to Ethiopia, half a world away, to my little boy, waiting for me, for his new dad, for his family, in a blue crib. And somehow, that connection, that reaching seems so much more.

As I have little to no skill in distilling my rambling racing thoughts, it gives me great pleasure to find someone who does and who has put into words some of the ideas that are important, to our family, to me as a mom, and as a Catholic. I love this about blogs, the great writers are out there and think more clearly, have better ideas and then say them better than you...but you can still find that 'ping' of recognition where you connect and think "yeah! she's right, he's good!"

Here is a snip of what I mean, by Danielle Bean and her most recent article:

"Each time, I am struck by the cultural significance of what it means to my kids to be raised a Catholic today. Because we are Catholic, we are interested in goings-on hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Because we are Catholic, our mother turns on the television in the middle of the day and wipes at her eyes when a white-cloaked, red-shoed man emerges from an airplane and sets foot on American soil."

snip:

"Benedict first endeared himself to me three years ago when he admitted that he prayed not to be elected pope.
"At a certain point, I prayed to God, 'Please don't do this to me,'" he said. "Evidently, this time he didn't listen.

Benedict's vulnerable
admission of reluctance to take on responsibility made him seem delightfully more human to me. I may not be charged with shepherding the entire Catholic Church into the next generation, but I do understand fearsome responsibility: My husband and I are charged with the shepherding of eight small
souls into the Church.


Following the pope's lead, Catholic parents can accept awesome responsibility with confidence. We can do our best to teach, to love, to pray, and to be open to God's work in our families. We can let go of the ulcer-inducing consciousness of our own deficiencies."


So. Even the Pope had or has doubts. Maybe he didn't feel up to the job, or doesn't all the time. And yet, just by serving, as best he can, God surely does work through his deficiencies. He represents and serves the Church. This brings me comfort. God surely then, will work through my own deficiencies, "ulcer-inducing" and shocking in their abundance.

This is the mystery of the how or why it works. And yet it does. And it is a "fearsome responsibility" to presume to call myself Mom, and us family, for a sweet baby boy, sitting in a blue crib, across the world.

And I think it's the trying. The stepping forward in faith, even if you can't see the path or even the next steps ahead, it's the taking of that next step. It can be scary. Daunting. Ulcer-inducing. But as our Pope shows us, as he physically travels far, across the world despite his 81 years, it's the physical doing and acting out of our faith. Then God can work through us. That's Catholic. That's how it works. That's faith. That's family.

This adoption stuff can be daunting. Far travel. Far reaching. Uncertain. Long waits. Unknowns. It stretches our everything: our intellect, patience, faith, endurance, courage, and best of all, our hearts. But first we have to take that step. Again. And again.

For us, this time, we are stepping far. To Ethiopia. Stepping, flying, to our Tariku.

Go. Read. It doesn't take long. Danielle is great.

I might go shopping for some red shoes!

Photo courtesy of Knight of Columbus

Best kind of gift!

Well, we had the best kind of surprise and now we have the best kind of gift!
A new picture of our little boy, sent by the wonderful Andrea!

All three families in country right now, to pick up their dear new little ones, have generously offered to help us out. How great is that?? The amazing Albertson's took a package for us of pictures and snuggly things for our guy, Buttercup was wonderful enough to HOLD him for an HOUR and send me word he is doing well, and now Andrea has generously mailed the best pic we have yet of our sweet boy. Plus my blog buddy Shelly is taking him a new outfit and cuddles from us as well. Wow.

This photo makes me just twitchy to go and scoop him up!

I want to say how cool it is that through a blog, of all things, I have virtually met so many nice people and amazing families! And now they are involved with us in a very real, concrete, not virtual way at all. And not in a creepy way, but in a wow sort of way. They have taken time out of their own special wonderful trip, rare once in a lifetime experience, to remember us and to show caring for this little boy. It is a beautiful thing. We are terribly grateful. We are totally ready and willing to pass this favor forward, to all of you other families in process! So, my take on this whole blog thing is that yes, you have to be careful, but oh it can be so cool.

And, IMHO, Gladney families are awesome!!!

Blogging has been and might be light for a bit as we scramble to finalize crazy travel arrangements and tackle the mountain of "to do list" things.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The BEST kind of surprise!!!!!



Introducing our new son!!
Gabriel Louis Tariku


Wonderful Natalie called today with a surprise for us! We were supposed to have our court date tomorrow but they ended up having it today (somehow a date-translation thing).
And we passed!!
The Ethiopian courts approved us to love and care for and raise this little toddler - for us to be family. We are surprised and thrilled and grateful and kind of swapping between laughing and crying with joy.

{ IMHO, I think God took pity on me, I have been a edgy mess this week, and in fact had just returned from stopping in at the adoration chapel to pray and rest in His presence. And as I pulled into my driveway, Natalie called: "unknown." My heart started racing, no way, no way! and then she said "I have a happy surprise for you!" My heart missed a beat and I think I held my breath. And then she told me. And I cried. And laughed. Thanks be to God!!}

The first picture is his referral picture at about 12.5 months (though he was 14 months at referral) and now he is 15 months. And getting bigger, as you can see! But this family, and this mom, are now just twitching to go get that boy in our arms!!! God is good, all the time!! Hooray!

And yes, that's the real name, with family connections and his given name is Tariku. No nickname...yet!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Countdown: Two. Two days to Court

Two.
Two Days.
Two boys (goofing around on Christmas break).

Did I say two days? Counting down for us and the Silvestri's, Family in Flux, and the Thornegroms...and everyone else who has court this Thursday and week (but those are the ones with our family agency, Gladney).

Sigh. Two more days.....

Coming to America

The Pope is coming! The Pope is coming!

Yes, it's exciting. He is arriving today and has a very busy week. On Thursday he is saying mass in D.C. at Nationals Park. That's our court day, I'm just saying...very auspicious.

Ok, just like with Pope John Paul II, some people like him and some don't. However, we love him and he is the head of our church, the servant of servants. He is brilliant and humble and he may not have the 'rock star' status and appeal of JPII but he has a quiet integrity and beautiful writings. We are very happy to have him here in America. For catholics, this is a thrill and for others, well, he is a world figure and it's historic, regardless.

Vive Il Papa! Find out more here.
Above is a picture from World Youth Day three years ago in Cologne, Germany. My husband and two oldest boys were able to attend and it was AWESOME!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Countdown


Three, three, three...sing a song of three. How many is three?

(Ok, for you youngsters out there, I have just totally aged myself! And if you are roundabouts MY age, you will have the echo of that song in your memory and it will be a blast from the past. You're welcome.)

Anyhow, three girls, happy daughters from a trip years ago. Three days counting down. Three days for three other families too: the Silvestri Family, Family in Flux, and the Thornegroms.
THREE DAYS to COURT!!!

All prayers happily and gratefully accepted for a pass on court on Thursday. I will have that Sesame Street song playing all week, I fear!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Signs of Spring


It may be windy. It may be cold. The fields are muddy. The wind is blowing. In fact, they are forecasting snow? Tonight? Gee Whiz!

But when you see these girls, grinning and giddy. Forget bluebirds and daffodils. You know. It MUST be spring!

It's the first game of the season. And it doesn't matter if they lost. They got to play. And play.

It's Spring Soccer Season, babeeee. Get your chairs and blankets and get to the game already!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What's in a name?


So, I have a question for all you adoptive and blogger moms out there, ok you dads too.

What's in a name....really?

This is a pic from last spring, that momentous time of high school graduation. This pic is of me and MJK. MJK is our other daughter, in so many ways. She was an exchange student who lived with us for almost two years. From Korea. She became part of our family, even as she has her own family in Korea as well. We consider ourselves her American Family. You can't really have a teen girl living for years in your home, sharing a room with your preteen girl, and not live as a family. We all had to learn to live together, bridge cultural gaps and misunderstandings and customs. Bridge to each other.

Like any teen girl, she loved to shop and talk, take pictures and wanted desperately to drive! Late nights over ice cream and long discussions over the rules and beliefs of the house, hunting for the perfect dress and helping with homework....standard teen stuff. And so she grew into our family. Our family grew into her. She became our daughter in so many ways. And yet she is also more the daughter of her Korean mother and father, the granddaughter of her beloved grandmother. She is in college now, living at a Korean University. Still, we send parental advice and direction from afar. She calls us 'mum' and 'dad'. We pray for each other. We probably will not live together again, though she might come here again, as a kid does when they come home for a visit. We were, or are, her legal guardians here in the states. Yet we are connected. So we name each other "family.'

Now we are about to add another child, the seventh...eighth if you count MJK. This one, hopefully will be legally ours, adopted into our family in Ethiopia next Thursday if we pass court...and then again once we return home, officially, here in the states.

And, I, being the self-indulgent mom, want to talk about my kids on this blog. And in the fantastic fun and frenzy of excitement over the passes by the families of our agency this week I have seen the photos go up, announcing the pass and the new name of these beautiful children. And these bloggers intro these celebrations using their names. Their real names. I have not yet name my children on this blog, except in nicknames.

No, really, it's true. I didn't REALLY name my sons Buddy Bug, or Booboo. That is not on the diploma, no kidding.

But, if I pass court next week, I really want to just SHOUT to everyone that THIS is my new son.....and use his name. His real name. I don't have a good nickname yet, he hasn't grown into one with us yet. So, there's my dilemma.

So. I'm asking. I've read all the creepy reasons not to do it. I've seen so many in this blog family just go ahead and use real names. What's in a name? Should I announce his name once we get the big news? (trying NOT to jump the gun w/ thinking about all this, it's just it's been so wonderful to see and 'meet' these new kids this week, blogwise). What do you think? I know one thing for sure, his name, our SON, is true.

Happy updates.


Oh Happy Day for the Treat and Samantha/Fairy Good Baby families!

Passes on court yesterday and beautiful new children soon to join their forever families! Hooray for you guys, we are so happy for you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Balloons for joy, hope

Congratulations to the Roberts Family and Angie and Anil!!! They passed court today and are surely rejoicing tonight! Yahoo! And for the Silvestri Family, our hearts go out to you! Next week is coming soon and we will be waiting with you, and until then keep you in our prayers for comfort and hope. Treat family, and Samantha, we are praying for great news tomorrow for you too!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Praying for Court


Praying especially tonight for passes for our fellow Gladney families to pass court tomorrow!
High hopes for good news for the Roberts family, the Silvestri family, and Angie and Anil. Also, prayers continuing for the Treat family and little Samuel for a pass this Thursday!

Progress....of sorts

Well, we are making progress!

My teen son went from lying on the lacrosse field, unable to move.

To lying on our sofa, with a knee of frightening and strange proportions.

To surgery.

To this, back to school with a cast and crutches, repaired but not near healed.






And now we are here: today's much anticipated freedom from the cursed cast. Now he is in a brace! Hoorah hooray!!!

Yes, he is still immobilized and non weight bearing.
But hey, we will celebrate all little bits of progress...and scratching an itch and feeling fresh air, well that is not only major progress, but bliss!!!

You'll be back on the fields in no time BooBoo!




This mundane post is brought to you in lieu of any adoption news, as we are still in that twilight zone of pre-court date....one more week, one more week......

Sunday, April 6, 2008

For our far-flung family....


Easter, visiting Buddy Bug, our college boy - so we could all be together (and to hear him sing the Triduum with the liturgical choir). Yes, it's late, but hey, better late than never!

Still Mom

From this.
Eldest son, age 13.

Goofy fun sweet boy.


He needed mom to help make sure he had clean clothes and that they matched.

To This.

Eldest Son, 18.
He lives away at college now.

But still calls mom to walk him through, real-time, how to iron dress shirt and slacks.....two nights in a row.

A mom's job never ends, in so many ways, even the most mundane.

Still goofy fun sweet boy...er, young man.
Love you, Buddy Bug!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Our Backyard


Ok, kidding.

But, it's still raining.
And I have spring fever in the worst way!
Meaning, I have summer fever. Because spring means rain.
But I crave hot sunshine and dry roads to run on and backyards to play in.

I want to stop waiting for our boy to come home and play with him outside.
I have too much time to type on rainy days, hence my long stream of consciousness posts (and yes I type fast and don't really edit, see below, sorry).

But rest assured, life goes on here. I have fingers gooey from marshmallow krispie bars (thank you S.P. you are wonderful, I love these!). And we spent the morning, with heroic effort by great Dad of the house, cleaning up after the dog who is terrified of stormy nights. 'Nuff said. So. Still raining. But they do say, sun tomorrow...which means of course: the girls first soccer game! Hoowah!

Why adopt? again?

Ok, people ask. Why adopt? And again?


So you can have Christmas mornings like this.

And every other day too.

Yes, it's messy.
In so many ways and levels.

But it's also glorious. In so many ways and levels.

Because even though it, adoption, is in many ways, a
wildly selfish thing to do - because we WANT another child, want to feel them in our arms and kiss them and feel their chubby arms around our necks and have them fall asleep on our chests so we can take a nap too......even so, it is a thing that we are called to do. All of us, in one way or another. To care for each other, in the ways that we can.

We are all the church, the Body of Christ and we are made to take care of each other. These little ones need us and we need them. We need each other. For different reasons maybe, but for nothing less than that. We need each other. Kids need and deserve a family . I am made to be mom and my kids are made to care for their brothers and sisters. We are made for each other. We are called to each other.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think everyone is called to adopt. But everyone is called to care. We all do that, of course, in different ways. And adoption doesn't solve the world's problems. Our adoption in Ethiopia in no way solves the problems that are there. Our adoptions here in the states didn't solve any of the problems here. But, adoption is one way to make a tiny ripple of difference.

And, adoption did bring this family together in what we believe was part of a plan that is bigger than us. Someone said once to me, "I guess it must have something to do with your beliefs." Um, yes.
Absolutely.

I believe this boy was meant to be my son. My first born, 18 years ago. {yes, he's the tall boy in yellow shirt in Christmas shot above, yes, time flies!}







I also believe this boy, my Little Man, was meant to be my son and is just as much so as the first one, above, and the four others in between them.


So, why adopt? The first time? And again? First it was because we had always talked about adoption as an option and something we knew we might pursue. Then, it was because we were finally ready to pay attention to JPII's theology of the body and being open to life, in all manner and form.

Because we couldn't let the idea of it go.....God nudged and nagged, chased us down.

Then we did. We adopted our first, a tiny little new baby girl, then another (ok, and another)......Then we realized the most important idea in the world, to us:

Love is a verb.

Love is not a warm feeling, all fluttery and gushy, except sometimes. Love is not being loved back. In no way is it a hallmark card.

Love is doing. No matter what.

{Now, you probably know all this already but I told you I am a slow learner, didn't I?}
And the cool thing is - when you do for someone...when you walk the floors w/ a crying baby that won't stop, when you hold a sick kid w/ a fever or bad dreams, when you make yourself get out of bed, again, for the fifth or sixth time that night to go soothe them, when they pee on you, when they ask you for another cup of juice, again....well, you do it. And that brings love. That is love. And there is the bond. It doesn't matter then how they came to you. You love them. They are yours and you are theirs. You are a family.

So, not to go on, but it comes up so often, especially now, when we are adopting again and our family is getting large - larger than is comfortable for the average American. People look at us sideways like we might be a little bit nuts. And maybe we are. But in the best way. And often they say "Gee, shouldn't you be done by now? Why are you adopting?" Well, because we can, fortunately. Because we want to. Because long ago we realized we needed and wanted to be open to all the kids God chose to send us.

And send them He does, no one else.

And it is a little crazy maybe.
And it is messy.
And tiring at times.




But it is glorious.


And that is the answer to why we adopt. Again.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Retail therapy

Ok, what does a gal do when she waits? She shops!

I am not so much a major shopper anymore, and frankly, I've got most of the basics and big items already. You know, after a few kids, you tend to have most of what you need. However, this wait is hard and I've got no way to bond but to dream of my new little boy and buy a few things, special for him. The only major buys I am thinking of is another rocking chair, so I can have one upstairs and down (one in bedroom and in the family room so we aren't isolated if he needs some rocking).

But on the more trivial level, I have to say I just got the coolest sling! Find it here [shameless plug].

It just came and I gave it a test drive with my very large 4 year old (a big guy and probably over the recommended weight, but hey, it worked and he loved it and I was comfy - so it's a win!). If this sling can work easily with my Little Man, then even though my new guy is not a small baby - but an older baby becoming a toddler - this should work well with him! I suspect he might need a whole lot of carrying around. I tend to carry all my newly adopted ones around for a good while, it imprints them to me and me to them I think.

Now I never did use slings with my older boys, they just were poorly designed way back then. Too cumbersome and frankly, kind of ugly. Plus, I was much younger and living in L.A. and just too "cool" to be wearing the big cumbersome pastel striped padded hot sling in the southern California sun. Young and stupid, what can I say? Now I am older and hopefully wiser, but certainly beyond caring about silly things such as that. However, even if I was a total slave to fashion (which my preteen daughter will attest, I am SO not), these slings are gorgeous and fun and beautiful or funky or whatever you like. A whole new generation of babywearing and in the nick of time, if you ask me.

So, I am excited. I want to go and get my little guy and pop him in this sling and tour around Addis and cuddle and just feel him next to me, snuggled in tight. So, a silly drivel of a post, but a fun and exciting delivery this morning for our little waiting household. We'll take what we can get these days! Not much else to post when you're waiting........

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just for fun











Brother Sandwich.

Remembering a servant of God

Today is the third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

In many realms, he was controversial, but we loved him. He was an amazing man and our spiritual father, Il Papa. He was truly a servant of God, or, as one of every pope's titles: "Servant of servants."

John Paul II loved children and youth. He was a vibrant and active young man and he started World Youth Day, bringing the world's youth together for events to confirm their faith and to send them out to the world to be "salt and light" - to live their faith and serve others so that Christ could be brought to the world, through them (us).

John Paul II served until he could do no more, even sick and suffering, on display and in the humiliation of incapacitating illness and progressive disease. He kept going. He was a great example of perseverance and fortitude and faith, and joy even in suffering.

Some might think it is a reach, but as a catholic mom, I think of him. I can look to him as a role model of perseverance in faith and joy. Even when the next step is unknown or unsure: should we adopt? what child will we be referred? when is court? will he pass? when will we travel? will I be a good mom to this small boy?

This week, as I am moody and stew as I wait (I am SO bad at waiting), I swing my mind between excitement and wonder and worried and fearful. But "be not afraid." It is in the bible (over 300 times). JPII said it in his speeches, as a father says it to his children. So. I'm trying. And on this anniversary of his death, I will remember, harder, that we are sent. We are sent out to serve. And I will try hard to 'be not afraid' and to persevere in the wait and be ready to serve, all my family, whoever God brings me and when. JPII, pray for us, pray for my little guy over in Ethiopia.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Calling all cars!


Well, we got a much begged for update today on our boy! (Good timing, I've been in a 'waiting funk' so far this week). Apparently, he is "all boy" and loves cars! Hey, we know all about that! His big brother-to-be [Little Man, 4 yrs] LOVES cars, construction trucks, monster trucks, anything with wheels.

I see a lot of car and tracks in our future (the ones you step on in the living room, hopefully not them actually racing....!).

Let's go get that boy home! Hop in!

ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!
clipart link