Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Time To Go!!!!



We're are leaving for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia tomorrow morning.  Full swing of things as usual with getting kids to school and heading straight to the airport.  Lots of feelings right now.  My youngest guy is having a harder time letting go of his Mama for the first time ever--he's seven.  The other boys have only been away from us one other time...seven years ago.  I know they are in the best of hands while we're away and I thought of a few fun things to be given to them every couple of days.  But I think the fact that our friends are coming with their 5 kids to play...all week...with the Wii.....well i think that will help. :0)  I am excited to get on the plane and let go of all responsibilities for a week.  Oh, and then there's the fact that we get to meet our baby girl!!!!  YAY!!!  What a sweet thing!  I'll share her with you all when we can.  Hopefully we'll have her home the first part of January and we can do just that.  Until then, your prayers and blessings are very much appreciated.  God has the reigns!!  Love that!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Through the eyes of little "A"...........

I took pictures around the house to put in her photo book that we will bring to her.....leaving in 4 days.  Although the outside is not soo pretty now that winter is coming, this is the cleanest you'll prolly ever see the inside of my house (boys at school). :0)  Sneek peek at what she will see, inside and out, when she comes home.
the front:


the playset--
and poor yard trampled by horses.... 


back patio and deck.....


view from front......


view from back...


laundry/mud room....

 
 family room....


kitchen....


 dining room....


living room....


kids' & guest bathroom....


A's & Luke's room and new bed 
(that of which has no new bedding...yet).....

brothers' room..... 


mommy & daddy's room...... 


master bath....



and her loveable puppies--Phoebe and Smoke.




Hopefully she will recognize everything when she arrives from the picture book and have less of a shock with all of the "newness".  We are all soo excited.....today it's hard for me to breathe.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4 days to go and we meet our beauty!!!!



I have been nesting like never before!  If I could list everything I know I'd bore you, but I am gonna mention a few cause I'm amazed at myself for my accomplishments!  Ha!

 I updated baby books for 3 children...TWO years worth.
I wrote in their journals which I never get to ....BAD mommy!
I painted the dining room so I could hang up my word walls--see picture. :0)

I touched up paint in every room in the house--something I've dreaded doing for 2 years.
I organized and relabeled thousands of pictures on my computer and then printed over 800 to distribute to 4 photo albums...which I did...and then I smiled. :0)
 I organized and purged just about every closet and cupboard in the house...just about.
I washed every single stink'n piece of laundry,

OKAY......I'm done.  There's more, but I won't bore you. :0)  Now I need to pack for me, pack donations, and write each of my kids a letter.  And we all know my house won't look this good in 24 hours, let alone 4 days, so I still have some work ahead.  But in the end....after a VERY long flight.....and missing my boys at home.....and missing Thanksgiving with my family.............
THERE'S A BABY GIRL WAITING FOR ME!!!!  
So happy.  
Thank you, God.
YOU amaze me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Top Ten Things NOT To Ask


In honor of November being National Adoption Month, let's talk a little adoption semantics.  There are those things, sometimes completely well-meaning, that people say and do that make every adoptive mama cringe a little.  Here's my top 10:
  1. "Which ones are your real kids?  Oh, you know what I mean."  Well, in my case the difference between my biological kiddos and adopted kiddo is a little obvious, so I've never had this question.  But, this isn't always the case.  In general I don't believe people intend to insult or offend.  But, think of it from the kids' perspectives.  Imagine growing up, and constantly hearing questions as to your "realness" or the feeling of having to prove your place in your family.  And, don't fool yourself ... kids are always listening.  Adoptive parents already have extra battles to fight to instill a sense of confidence and security.  Don't make it harder for them by asking insensitive questions.  I assure you, Joseph is my real kid as much as my three other kids are, and I would not hesitate a millisecond to jump in front of a bullet for him.
  2. If you meet a family with more than one adopted kid, don't ask "are they real siblings."  Yes, they are real siblings!  Timothy has a real brother, and his name is Joseph.
  3. "What a blessing your family is to Joseph."  I know this is a well meaning comment.  I've heard it numerous times.  But, let me tell you, I am a blessing (and a curse) to all my children equally.  And, I believe wholeheartedly that I am receiving the greater blessing.  So, if you are tempted to say this, just turn it around.  Say: "Oh, what a blessing Joseph is to your family," because this would be more accurate.
  4. "Oh, what an awesome thing you did.  You are so amazing.  You must be a saint."  Honestly, I throw up a little in my mouth every time I hear this.  Trust me folks, this isn't false modesty.  I'm perfectly flawed and, just like most every other mama, I spend way too much time selfishly ignoring my kids and losing my patience.  If you've said this to me, no worries.  I forgive you.  Just cut it out! :)
  5. "Oh, I hope he knows how much you've done for him when he grows up."  I hate to break it to you, but generally kids don't appreciate their parents until they have kids of their own (and sometimes not even then).  Why should we expect anything different from adopted kids?
  6. Please don't generalize horror stories and apply them to every adoptive family you know.  Yes, some adopted kids grow up to be punks.  Guess what, so do a lot of biological kids.  And, yes, adoption involves money, and where money is, so is corruption.  But, don't assume, because you saw a news report on CNN about a corrupt adoption in Ethiopia, that every Ethiopian adoption is corrupt.  Unfortunately, the good stories don't make prime time but they are the majority.
  7. If you see a multiracial family in the grocery store, maintain a little bit of self composure.  I mean, if you're going to stare unceasingly, at least follow it by a smile so we don't feel the need to watch our back all the way to the car.
  8. Be sensitive about asking questions (even good questions) in front of older children.  While some kids soak it up, not all children like being in the spotlight their whole lives.  If you have a genuine desire to know more (besides unbridled curiosity), politely tell the parent you would love to know more, and do they have an email address or could you pick their brain sometime.  Most adoptive parents I know LOVE to talk about adoption (myself included), but their first priority is the protection of their children.  Right now this isn't really an issue for me, because Joseph is too young to comprehend any question or conversation I might be having.  But, in a few years brace yourself for mama bear should you get too inquisitive in front of him.
  9. Don't leave out the bio kids.  This has happened to me numerous times.  I see strangers in the store, and they ooohhh and ahhhh all over the brown baby, completely ignoring the beautiful pink babies in the same shopping cart.  I get it.  He stands out (because he's brown, but also because he's gorgeous).  But again, keep in mind the kids.  You never know if that middle child isn't crying out for just a portion of baby brother's public attention.
  10. Unless you have a really really good reason (like you are the child's Godparent), don't ask about the birth family or the reason for relinquishment.  Some parents are very sensitive on this issue, and rightfully so.  Joseph has an absolutely amazing birth father, who had a tragic story that involved nothing less than pure sacrificial love, that led him to take Joseph to the orphanage.  It undoubtedly saved my son's life.  I hope Joseph grows up with nothing but love and honor for him, and one day I hope we all get to go back and meet him again.  Not every adopted child has such a story.  But, as beautiful as his story is, it is still tragic and involves a lot of loss.  As he gets older, we can't pretend that this won't affect him, and casually discuss it while picking out bananas at Wal-Mart.  As he gets older, I hope Joseph is at peace enough with his story to want to talk about it, but I won't force him to.
Adoption is a beautiful, amazing thing, so let's talk about it.  Never, never be afraid to talk about it. Just think a little before speaking, especially if the kids are within earshot.  I've only been an adoptive mama for six months, and so I'm sure I'm missing a lot.  So I would love for other adoptive parents to chime in on this, and add to my list.




Friday, November 5, 2010

Adoption Shirts & Necklaces for Christmas......Buy them here!!


As most of you know, we are adopting the most beautiful 2-year-old girl in the world from Ethiopia.  We have a picture, or two and that's all we know about her looks, but we see love and tenderness, and joy, and hope in her eyes.  And her smile.....awwww!--you've never seen one like it before (except she looks an awful lot like her new brother Lukey :0)!  And her bushy eyebrows match those of our oldest and her daddy.  She will fit right in.  She is healthy, and growing and we have been told she loves to listen to music on her nannies' cell phones.  She is lovable (of course), sociable, and likes to sing spiritual songs...love that!  She is from Wolayta, but was transferred to Holt's Care Center a couple of months ago where we will meet her....in TWO WEEKS!!!  Yes, 2 weeks!!!  We have our court date November 24 and will be flying over a few days early.  We are soo excited!! And also emotional...and moody.  Okay--I am emotional and moody.  I did really well up until a couple of weeks ago.  I finally allowed myself to become emotionally attached.  I had to.  I have been reading lots about parenting internationally adopted children and I had to try to visualize how things may (or may not) be.  And then we got the updated pictures...after 5 months, so six months after her first picts were taken.  I have to say I had a melt-down.  She has grown soo much and looks much different then when we originally introduced to her via email.  I'm telling myself it's just the picture...they really weren't that great, but at least we'll have them for her Life Book.

I am sharing this tale again because I have the opportunity to post my Blog on some other websites that are advocating adoption through Christmas sales.  Check HEREHERE, and HERE to see!  And we have sooo many shirts left that I am hoping, praying for great things.  

Front Reads: I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16

For the WHOLE family!

Men's sizes MAY come in either Mocha Brown or Chocolate Brown.

LOTSA Baby and Toddler sizes too.



And Youth...


Back
AND my never-seen-before necklaces!!!!  I purchased these beauties from the Matsiko Children's Choir from Uganda.  We hosted these children a year ago and when they left our hearts were more open to adoption than ever.  I contacted the choir director and asked if we could help feed the people of Uganda by purchasing their creations, and he was so anxious to help us with our adoption as well.  Made by the men and women of Uganda.........

What you see is what I have left!
 Hurry!

 You may choose from light or dark beads.

 Each animal is hand-carved wood--can you imagine the time and hard work?.

 My last selection of bone necklaces--last two left.
sorry, only ONE left....the white bone SOLD!
All necklaces are $15.

We would love to help you do your shopping this year and all the sales would go toward our journey.  It's what we're doing for Christmas!!  Yay for adoption!!  
Shirts and necklaces for Christmas.....YES!!!  
Shop away!! 
You can order through PayPal on the right side, or email me at cholo5@wescomm.com to order by check or ask about sizing/fit.  
Thank you for your loving support this Christmas season!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

15 and struggling



just can't seem to get it together today....
everything will come together tomorrow, 
but today it's fallen 
to 
pieces. 



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

16 Days.......

A little over 2 weeks and we meet our daughter!!!  Our daughter :0).....never thought it would really happen.  After three boys and we will finally have a girl!  I've become a fan of PINK. :0)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Okay....We'll make time for Halloween.

Pumpkins carved, costumes on, parties attended, cookies made, and finally the trick-or-treating!  We made it through....even though this it is soooo hectic right now just trying to stay afloat while we get closer to our travels.  And as always.......LOTS of Pictures!! 

 do'n some bak'n with cousin Jace.

Ta-da!!



Two cuties with complete project.

 Big "Kid" party--Dic is on the right....remember Wayne's World on SNL??

 Me and my girl, Jill.



 this surprised me......this house was really creepy and Luke wanted to go to it.  He's easily spooked--look at the look on his face. :0)

 At the end of the night our "neighbor" from across the highway calls to say she has treats for the boys.  OF COURSE we'll go see Grandma Kathy!  The boys LOVE her.....so do I.

Now on to the next event......
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