Things No One Tells You...

There's a conspiracy--things no one tells you will happen when you have kids.

1) You will forever take showers with toys in the tub.
2) Every child will want to eat their pancakes differently--one with butter and syrup, one with just syrup but cut into little pieces, one with butter and a little sprinkle of sugar. Making pancakes here is an art form.
3) You might have to read the same book every night for a good 3 years if it's your child's favorite.
4) You don't set goals for yourself like, "I want to finish a marathon" or "I want to read the works of Shakespeare". Your goals are whittled down to "I want everyone to eat a vegetable today."
5) If math was never your thing, you will feel like a complete LOSER when you help your 3rd grader with a word problem.
6) You are utterly speechless when you park at the mall by the restaurants and your child asks "What's Hooters?"


Despite our day-to-day mundane life, there is a little voice in the back of my head that can be heard sometimes, telling me to be exceptional so that I live up to the role as "adoptive mom." Most of the time I'm just mom--the one who soothes my children, feeds them, listens to them, reads to them, is there for them. Other times I am aware that I am the second mom--the one who stepped in when the biological women could not be mom, no matter how badly they wanted to.

Mary, who has adopted 6 children (4 from Ethiopia) wrote a wonderful post on this. Although her daughter she was referring to is much older than my kids, I do understand what she feels. You can read it HERE.


Don't they look so far away? It's the angle of the table, I think. Although, in reality it might be nice to have my kids 2 body lengths away from me during meals. Less "see food", more of a buffer, a more pleasant dining experience! We had homemade waffles this morning. And OJ. I love the day after grocery shopping, when you open the refrigerator and you have so many options, so much produce, so much food to choose from. Unlike the mornings when you haven't been grocery shopping for 7 days and all you have for breakfast is the heel of a loaf of bread--that you have to toast and divide three ways--and a drop of honey that is sticking to the counter top. Mmmmm. Gotta love those creative food days.



I so love my kids' creativity. But they make it hard for me to write a caption about what they're doing. Some kind of pirate/bike helmet/snow scooping thing...


Jimminy Cricket, I love this boy. He is a miracle to me. He makes me laugh and smile and I still well up with tears of joy at times when he's talking to me. He can be so deep in concentration, explaining to me the reasons boys don't need to use toilet paper when they tinkle, and I feel so happy to have him in our family. Hard to believe he's been with us less than a year. How my life has changed!

ps--thank you Uncle Jim. we love you so much!


Bullet Points of Randomness
  • Tomorrow: Need to finish plans to teach my 5 year olds at Bible Study.
  • Feeling: Very tired - did not sleep well last night.
  • Happy Because: I think I just sealed a deal to make 150 pendants for a small gift shop.
  • Today I: Took Bun Bun in to get fixed.
  • Laundry: As up to date as it can be.
  • Something I know: Dinner for the next three nights.
  • Currently reading: A trashy mystery novel... and loving every minute of it!
  • Wanting: A nap... or a getaway with David.
  • Favorite gadget: My Dell laptop!
  • Thankful that: We're all healthy.
  • Wondering why: No one in my house can hang up a coat, put away a pair of shoes, stick hats and gloves in the bins.


Thank You, Dr. King. Because of you, I have the joy of my children. Without you, I doubt--truly--that we would be a family today.


We went to a college hockey game.

Zinabu's two most favorite things are food and noise.

He could not shove the popcorn in his mouth fast enough, and he did not shut up for 4 hours.

I need a vacation.


The Lucy Show
Here are my boys looking at Lucy (see Super Stacy in my links). Lucy has become a source of great entertainment at our home recently. Carver, especially, would like to live at Lucy's house since in every photo there is some amazing toy in the background. Never mind that Lucy is about 6 years Carver's junior--Carver has found the happiest place on earth... and it's Lucy's house. So when Stacy posted a thank you to me for the suggestion about a super-cool indoor trampoline, it sent Carver over the edge. Here's what I heard all morning,
Can we get one?
Can we get one?
Can we get one?
Can we get one?
Can we get one?
Huh, Mom, can we can we can we pleeeeeeeeeeezzz?
So watch out, Lucy. Carver wants to move in!


Just... Grief
One of the hard parts about adoption is that usually there is a tragedy in a child's life that leads to the relinquishment. We will never publicly discuss our kids' personal histories, so that means David and I do a lot of grieving together about what has happened to lead our children to us. But there was a major event in Z's life that is so unfair, so wrong, so sad--at times I am overwhelmed with the tragedy. It's a rough place for me to be, especially since some days I feel so alone in that grief. I look at his sweet little face and question how the world could go so wrong in one life. Did it lead him to us? Sure. But would it be better if the tragedy had never happened? Absolutely.


One Year Ago Today...

I cannot believe it. It has been a year since we received the referral for Zinabu. Indulge me while I reminisce. After a horrible year with one adoption agency, we decided to abandon ship and start all over. Of course it was all worth it, but at the time I was up to my eyeballs in paperwork and fees and redoing paperwork. I had cried more tears than I cared to cry, and I was not very hopeful. All of December was spent finishing our dossier (international paperwork), and when January 10th rolled around, I emailed Lindsey at CHSFS to find out if all the last pieces of paper had arrived. She assured me we were officially waiting and we could sit back and wait (again).

So on January 12 I was helping in Lily's kindergarten classroom, and I took a couple minutes to call our home answering machine and check our messages. There was a call.... from Lindsey.... asking me to call her back.... she had some news for us....

All rational thought left my body, and for the life of me I could not function. I borrowed a friend's cell phone, called Lindsey, and she told me she had a referral for a 3 year old boy named Zinabu. At this point in the story, please imagine me blubbering, shaking, snotty nosed, and not making much sense. After I hung up with Lindsey, I had to call David. But I couldn't remember his phone number. I was so excited and befuddled I truly couldn't remember. So I had to call my mom and say, "I can't tell you why but I need David's work number."

And the rest is history. How blessed we are.


Deep Thoughts With Zinabu
This is what I was told today, word for word:

Mom, I wish I had more brothers. Five brothers. And there would be only boys in the family. And no girls. Only brothers and Ababa (that's what he calls David) and me--lots of boys. And we would eat tacos.



Best Place to Grocery Shop

Once in a great while I get to go to WholePaycheckWholeFoods and do our food shopping. I love it for many reasons, but mostly because you feel like this

even though you're spending a lot of this

and doing a chore that is the equivalent of this


How Do You Vote?

I get rrreeeeeaaaaallllyyyy tired of elections coming down to 2 issues: pro-life/pro-choice and taxes. There's a whole lot more that makes the world go round (in my opinion), so I was excited to find THIS site. It lets you know where each candidate stands on helping the world's poor. Given the affluence of our society, I want to vote for a candidate that will look at the rest of the planet and say, "What can we do to help?" Not to mention the poverty in our own borders.

I feel much better today. Still can't eat but at least I have my energy back and feel like a human being. Now, about that laundry...


So my plans for yesterday (see previous post) were thrown by the wayside when mid-afternoon I started feeling weak, shaky, tired, and like my insides were being ripped out by wild pigs. The porcelain throne became my buddy, and instead of playing Monopoly with Carver, I was actually begging God for an early death. Thankfully David came to the rescue and let me be out of commission on the couch all day and he took care of the kids. Today was a little better--still really achy with chills--until I tried to eat a late afternoon snack. And then it was flashbacks of yesterday. Right now we have more snow with French Toast for supper. The first day back at school was a success, with all of us (including sick mommy) got up and out the door on time and without tears. Hooray. And Heather, if you must know, there's laundry up to our ears and unmade beds and no groceries in the fridge. But my kids are all dressed. That counts for something, right?


Boo Hoo!
Today is the last day of our winter break. School starts tomorrow. Busy schedules start tomorrow. Getting up way too early starts tomorrow. I have had such a lovely time with my kids. As hard as it is at times to have 3 people 9 and under talking at me all at once, we have had the most relaxing 2 weeks. We tried to do something fun each day, even if it was just go to the library or playground, but we wanted to make sure we were actually using vacation time for a fun vacation. The Nature and Science museum in Denver was the biggest hit with Zinabu. Seeing dinosaur bones topped every other activity. It's really snowing outside right now--another storm the "weather-powers-that-be" failed to predict--so after church I plan to read with hot chocolate and play loads of Go Fish, Candyland, Guess Who, Monopoly, and whatever else the kids want to do.


This and That
Happy 2008 to everyone. I am especially excited for all the families from our adoption agency that just got a referral for a child in Ethiopia. It's buzzin' at CHSFS!

Last night for New Year's Eve we had two families over for pizza and fun. There were 10 children and 6 adults. It was... interesting. I was in bed promptly at 10:00 pm and pretty darn glad about it too. Today David and I actually had time alone together and we went to a movie. A great movie, but get me in a dark room in a comfortable chair and I was afraid I would fall asleep.

I am indulging in some great Christmas presents. My fabulous hubby got me a gift certificate to Supper Solutions--which is a nice name for "I hate to cook and am too darn lazy to really think about it so I go to a store where I can create 12 meals and take them home and freeze them." Unromantic, you say? HA! You don't know me very well then. This is quite possibly the greatest gift ever. I do love to bake. I am a pretty good bread maker (from scratch, no bread machine!!!) but the whole cooking thing just rubs me wrong. Making a meal for 5 people night after night after night?

Things I'd rather be doing instead of cooking:
Making jewelry
Digging ditches
Oral surgery
Stuck in an elevator
Throwing a tantrum
Yearly physical

You get the idea. I'll be making my meals sometime in the next week and I'll let you know how it goes. Oh yeah--the kids. They're great. Loving vacation and other than normal sibling petty bickering we're having a blast.