Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teamwork Tuesday

Two posts for Tuesday. I will get into the swing of things sometime. . .and remember Teamwork Tuesdays. .. .

Today is Langley's day. Look at this sweetheart. He will be 5 years old in October. 5. ..that means the institution is looming for this little boy. Don't let that happen to him. He is so full of life and has so much to give to a family. . .just give him the chance and you will fall head over heels in love with Langley.

From one of our adoptive families who met him in December 2011: " I saw him today. After days of scanning faces, I walked into Bella's groupa and SAW HIM!! He is a doll. He is so cute! He looks healthy and is walking. I had a banana for Bella (which they wouldn't let me give it to her) and he took it. He bit right through the peeling. If they would have let me, I would have given it to him. Oh sweet boy...you need a mama!!!"
Friendly, emotional, affectionate boy.   Active, social, friendly.  Easy going.  Eats well independently.  Plays well with toys and likes to help others.




He has over $4000 available to help with adoption costs. 

His shirt says it all! Mama, let's go!! I am ready!!

                                                                                


Oh the memories. . ..


I stepped out in my robe to let puppy out this morning and I was greeted with a crisp breeze, overcast sky and a feeling of expectation. It was a Kenyan morning, here in Oregon. The mornings in Kenya were often cool, sometimes overcast and always filled with the promise of joy, laughter and sunshine. I am not sure if sunshine will come today. ..did I mention I am in Oregon? But I will take the memories and the warm fuzzy feeling I was met with this morning.

Oh, I have had some wonderful experiences. Enough to fill several books. So lucky to have so much joy in  my life and more than enough happy memories to carry me through some of the tougher times life can bring. I am blessed.

Feeling so reminiscent I will post an email that I sent several years ago. I love the hope in it. Even knowing how the story ends. .. I love the hope.


As the END draws nearer (June 16, 2006)


Aww.. as the end draws nearer, I see Kenya in a bit different light. . in my desperate attempt to soak up as much of the kids, the locals and everything that makes Kenya so great:


The miniature frogs that took over the orphanage after the torrential rain that came out of nowhere and surprised C and I on our walk home.
All of my "hellos" being answered with a resounding "Fine!"
The millions of different songs being broadcast so loudly out of each and every shop I walk by in Nairobi.
The one-hand command to KUJA (come here) from Laz everyday when I get back from Karen. .only so he can shake up the soda I am about to drink.
The masses of young children walking home that shout out "Hello, Mzungu! How are you? FINE!" "How are you, FINE!" and some adding "Give us money!" Aw. (mzungu basically means Whitey)
Anywhere you may be in Kenya. . there are people walking. . .to unknown destinations. . .always walking. On occasion I am blessed to see the Masai walking as well, in their bright robes, regal carriage. Ah. . .so beautiful.
On the way to Karen, being lucky enough to see a million different butterflies flitting about in every direction. . .I LOVE KENYA!!!

Sigh. . . .in 8 days. . .8 shorts days, I will again be ripped ever so coldly from this daydream that is life in Kenya. . ..ugh and be thrust into the real world of commutes and cubicles. . .blah blah blah.
I hate that I must go, but take comfort in the fact that i know i will be back again as soon as possible!
On the adoption front. . .the ALMIGHTY Father Dag returned home here late Wednesday and I had planned to give him a day to settle before pouncing. . .but early Thursday morning Fr Dag beat me to the punch and summoned me even before I had done anything to my hair. . . .in my excitement. .i went to meet him as is. .
For some unknown reason, it appears that Dag likes me! Rock on! He summoned me to discuss the volunteer program, my adoption and to welcome me home. AW! HE went so far as to tell me that I was doing GOD'S work. Oh yeah!! 

Anywho, when talking about the adoption, Father informed me that he had a Kenyan Board Member that is an attorney that has offered to assist me with my adoption pro bono. . .and fast track it somehow! I find this out late. .. he will be here in 2 weeks and I leave in one week. . . if I had known a mere three days earlier, I could have pushed my ticket back to meet him in person and start the ball rolling. as it is now. .. I will have to communicate via phone or email. . .not my strongest mode of communication, though I am convinced all is happening for a reason and will all work out! I am filled with so much hope for the future of this adoption process. .. .with Dag convinced that I am doing GOD's work. . . golden!
There are a million kids sick here today, only a slight exaggeration. With the weather turning colder, kids and volunteers alike are being struck with horrendous colds and coughs. C and I were struck as well. i am hoping that the hacking cough recedes a bit more before I must fly home.
Hmm. trying to think of what kids you all want to hear about. . .

C and I, having not learned our lesson from the last time, will again make dinner for the big boy's cottage.. .it should be super entertaining to say the least.
Not much to report from AB cottage. Since the world cup began, the kids have been literally stuck to the super tiny tv in the cottage. I have actually enjoyed hanging out with them while they watch.
well, I should go, ELIJAH just had the nerve to call me a slacker.....SHOCK!

Miss you all!


Wow, it seems that my writing style has changed quite a bit since 2006. Not all change is bad. haha

Monday, April 23, 2012

Married Life

My husband:
Yup, this is my husband. Not Magnum PI...

*refuses to call Soccer soccer, even though football is a completely different sport here in the USA. AND he gets quickly frustrated if people do not catch on that he is talking about Soccer when he says football.

*Uses my toothbrush (reportedly by accident). He furiously denies this until I physically show him his dry toothbrush and my soaking wet toothbrush. . .. over and over and over again. Each time he denies with the same fury as before. I know he is my husband and what's mine is his and all. . .but he should still keep his cooties to  himself. 

*Used to believe that WWF was real. By used to I mean less than 8 years ago. He says he knows the truth now. .. .but he is not convincing anyone. He still thinks it's real.

*Has to have his own dirty clothes hamper by his side of the bed. It is too much to expect for him to walk his dirty clothing 6 more feet to the real dirty clothes hamper. He is probably too exhausted by his furious toothbrush denials. . .

*Cannot have corn with turkey. I have not yet figured this out yet, but he is adamant that this will cause WWIII or the like. 

*Rice can only be served as part of a curry or stir fry. . .or with chili. Other than that, it has no purpose being on a plate. Ever. Don't even try it.

*Spent a week learning to play "Row, Row, Row your Boat" on Eli's play laptop. And now he wants to take his act on the road. Not kidding. (I told him I would consider being his roadie if he could perfect another tune on Eli's guitar. This is still in the works.)



*Owns 15 blue shirts. One green shirt, one brown shirt and one pink and blue shirt. He loves variety.

*Used to call me Petal. I loved this. Campaigning for its return. I prefer it to Giant Farthead and other terms of endearment you currently employ. (please Gavin?)



*Loves his son to bits and bits. He is stuck with me.  . . forever. (evil chuckle)


*May not love this blog entry.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sober Sunday

I stepped away for a minute. Well really, a day and a half and I come back to sad news.

Keegan, this lovely little boy is in a baby house that will be closing. Since he made the awful mistake of being born with Down Syndrome, he will pay the price. ..and earlier than most children would. He is one year old and will be transferred to an Adult Mental Institution. He will not be picked up when he cries. He will not be able to play with toys. He will not be encouraged to learn and grow. It is very likely that he will be sedated so that he will be "easier" to handle. This is NO LIFE for a sweet baby. Please, please please, someone bring him home! You can find his profile on RR here.



And then there is Sarah. Sarah had the misfortune of being placed in one of the most awful places I have ever heard of. .. Pleven.. NO ONE deserves the misfortune of living in Pleven. She has only 2 weeks left to find a family. After that, she may be lost forever, unadoptable. Is that the message that we want to send? That some children do not deserve to be loved? Cared for? Nurtured? NO! Someone claim her! Love her and heal the wounds inflicted at Pleven! It is the right thing to do. The only thing to do! Find more information here.

Please share this information on your facebook pages. .. on your Pinterest page. .. I KNOW that there are parents for these two lovely children. I KNOW IT! They just need to see their faces!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh I missed it but I still want to do it!

Oh yea, I am always a day late and a dollar short. Some other, far more on top of it bloggers decided to post their top 7 boys from RR on their blogs to advocate for them. I have a son in the other room napping, one in Kenya learning how to be a man, and one in heaven laughing at my antics. .. .I LOVE BOYS! I was a tomboy growing up and I claim to be my Dad's first born son. . .but he doesn't play along. Sigh.

Anyways, I have so many little boys that have just stolen my heart, taken my breath away and all that. .. .without further ado:


Meet Michael!

He looks lovely in that shade of red! The big eyes, the rosy cheeks, I wish I could see him smiling and hear his laugh when I tickle his tummy. He is currently one of the "additional children" in region 23. He was born in June of 2006 which likely means that he is headed to an institution sooner rather than later. I HATE the thought of that. He looks so bright and sweet and lovely.



Igor


BOY, Born November 26, 2004

HELP, I'VE ALREADY BEEN TRANSFERRED!
This handsome young man is another of a growing number of children who were born with arthrogryposis. He is described as very loving and affectionate and friendly!
Igor has already been transferred to an adult mental institution and will remain bedridden for the rest of his life…he needs a family like you!

Families considering Igor must be home study approved for an older, institutionalized child prior to commitment. Married couples only, large families and older parents welcome, travel required.
$1832.70 is available towards the cost of my adoption!   





ong6-15
Boy, born November 2004
Eyes of Gray
Blond hair
The nature of communicative
Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy

Beau does not make an impression of a child who lives in an orphanage from his birth. Beau is very well developed, already knows how to read by syllables and is able to spell, write and count. The child loves to learn more and will be a promising student in a future. He is kind and friendly with the children and polite with the adults. He can be left alone in a room and will play with puzzles and mosaics for hours. He also likes to draw and is interested in technologies. He is a very accurate boy and likes cleanliness and order. He goes to the bathroom by himself and never forgets to brush his teeth and comb the hair. Beau walks without help but has spastic paraparetic gait.

$77.50 is available towards the cost of my adoption!  


Brett

Boy, born September 2007

Brett is a handsome young man who was born with CP. He is very smart, he gets around on his own by crawling, but he is not able to walk. Therapy will do wonders for him! He deserves to have a family!

From a volunteer who knows him: He plays with other children. He speaks with separate words. He understands the addressed speech. The boy is curious, likes classes. He loves when his nurse reads for him, he likes making pyramids.

More photos available, married couples only.

$65.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Kolya 15H

Boy, Born July 2000
6e1n-15H
YAY, a new picture of Kolya!!! Kolya is 11 years old. He will be the oldest child ever adopted through RR (with Down syndrome), so I am praying super hard for his family to find him!!
From his advocates and friends: " Kolya – very delicate and sensitive child who catches every touch, every word or a smile. He may long to sit next to a nice man and just hold hands, enjoying the warmth.
Kolya – special in every sense of the child. He will never be like other children, but this does not negate his ability to enjoy the outside world and bring joy to others. Kolya helpful, helps nurse to collect clothes, toys, clean room. He said not much and indiscriminately, but to understand it is quite possible. He has a good memory. Kolya knows the names of geometric shapes, animals, plants, likes to listen to reading, to collect and puzzles to bother with the designers. Parents need to appreciate their strength, because they need the support of Kolya throughout life. But instead, they can count on sincere affection and love from a really good and loyal man.

$1055.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST the boy that started it all for me. .. . 

Mark 31C

8mq2-31
Boy, born October 2009

Little Mark has Down syndrome and was born with some heart issues (Atrial Septal Defects, no impairment of circulation), but surgery hasn’t been found necessary yet.
Full medical history available.


Mark is usually in good mood. He plays with toys variously, jabbers. He is active.

$3189.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!







But can I also mention: 

Maxim 15H

Boy, Born 2002
Oh, how this little boy melts my heart! Just look at his smile! He is very high functioning, and will do very well in a loving family environment. He has been blessed to grow up in a baby house and privately run home for children with special needs, and he has been LOVED. He has many advocates and volunteers who love him dearly, and have asked us to please help him find a family!
     

and
JACK!

PLEASE NOTE! This region allows no more than 3 children at home, married couples only, parents must be less than 50 years of age. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Jack was born in October 2000. He says he would love to find a family with a brother or sister of a similar age so they can play together. He is not an aggressive boy. Although he likes insects and worms, he does not like scary movies. He is very cute, smart and charming. He is also communicative and sociable. The director of his baby house spoke enthusiastically about him. The director of his current orphanage writes very warmly about him. Before he was about to transfer to the older child orphanage, he asked a visitor "do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me. I would really like for a visitor at least, because I am all alone and I have no one." He is open and shows his emotions. His caregivers say he is responsible, obediant and kind. He likes physical education and the natural world. He also likes to sculpt. He understands that his chances of a family choosing him are slim. He has always seen parents coming for the younger children. Jack is living with HIV. Jack is a nice kid. He is active and alert, careful and smart. He is a friendly boy. He does not speak roughly to the other children. He calmly shares his toy when someone asked to ride the scooter. His teachers appreciate him for his peaceful nature – they say he behaves properly in every situation. He listens and takes the word of his educators. He is happy to talk about school, about games, how he went to the circus and rode the rides at the zoo. He is said to be similar to a "home child." He asks mature questions, and his voice breaks in tears when he asked a family why they had come for a younger child and not for him? He asked "what do I need to do for a Mom to come? Do you know where she is? Is she looking for me?" He has enough mental strength to maintain his positive outlook on the world. He is getting older, but he is still a defenseless child in need of care and family warmth. As of December 2011 he was in 4th grade. His teacher said that his intelligence is intact and he can learn well. Unfortunately his efforts are only average as he does not have anyone encouraging him to try any harder. He doesn't understand yet that the purpose of learning well now will be reflected in future achievements. He does not have any siblings. Additional photos are available. The children from the orphanage he is in are usually well developed.

$5786.10 is available towards the cost of my adoption!     

Even Chimpanzees "get it!"

So I went to the movies last night. This rarely happens. I have no social life. Well, I do but it is definitely limping along. . ..on life support. I had a lovely date with my Mom and sisters. I am SO very blessed with the family that I have.

Not sure why on our lighthearted outing we decided to watch October Baby. ..but we did. And through the tears and today's residual "wow that was so sad" I recognize the importance of that movie. . .I recommend it. HIGHLY. You can watch the trailer here.

Previews still remain my FAVORITE part of going to a movie and there seem to be a lot of really great movies to be released. One preview grabbed my heart and had me crying even before October Baby started.

My meeting with Father T went awesome. He is fully supportive of a church mission to benefit special needs adoption. He also agrees that our parish can do better to foster a community where these children and their families would be accepted, supported, applauded and loved. We will meet again to discuss concrete plans, so if anyone feels that they have something beautiful and concrete to send my way. . ..feel free! I have my ideas but I am not convinced that they are the best.

So, with a heart of joy and increased confidence in my message of adoption, I went to the movies.

And saw this:

I cannot wait to see this movie despite the fact that I will have to bring an entire box of tissues. . .

What excuse can a human have after watching this? Chimpanzees get it. Adoption matters. It is the right thing to do. What are the alternatives??




Now

Then
My husband thought I had mislabeled these pictures. Sadly. No. Ksenia was a beautiful little girl with down syndrome that was transferred to an adult mental institution at a very young age. As you can see from the NOW picture, she is NOT THRIVING. THIS IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO ADOPTION. Children suffering. It has to stop!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The not so long awaited rant. . .

Today is the DAY! Yup, talking to Father today. . .good thing I am well rested. . .4 hours.  Wowza. Thank you everyone for your support and prayers, I am sure it is going to go very well. How could it not???

On the plus side, I made an appointment to get my haircut. Yup! Bout dang time!! Forgive me Father, I think it has been 4 months since my last. . .haircut.  I resolve to avoid the near occasion of helmet head and hairbands. .. .AMEN.

So, I love the Martha Stewart Living magazine (but dislike Martha herself. Figure that one out. I am convinced that she does not come up with these ideas on her own, but steals them from her staff and in her strange man-like voice claims them as her own...). I usually only purchase 2 issues a year, Halloween and Christmas, but I love looking through her ideas and chuckling, as there was NO WAY I could/would/should attempt 90% of her ideas or recipes. It is a lesson in futility and humility but I cannot get enough.
So, imagine my surprise and delight when I read that by completing a simple survey online, I could receive a free YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Living. .. .Oh yea! So that simple survey was a not so simple pain in the butt, but I got through it. .. all for Martha Stewart and a few hours of entertainment reveling in my own shortcomings every month. ..for a year!
Now, I understand how crazy this sounds, but the 10% of things I have attempted from the Martha Stewart vault of "Good things" have turned out awesome. There.. ..my thanks to M.S.... every year I have people begging me to make "my" Cranberry Jalapeno Jam. And of course I do. I would hate to disappoint my adoring public.


Eli and I have been having regular battles over his eating habits or lack there of.  (Yup, the woman that frequently eats Jelly Beans and Tortilla Chips as a meal is attempting to teach her son proper, healthy eating habits.) I don't know why this is not working. He will simply not eat much. As I often do now, I look back to my own childhood to see if this was something I did. .. and how it was handled.
As a young child, I hated peas. Actually, that might be an understatement. I abhorred peas. The sight of them. The mealy, nasty texture of them. The earthy, putrid smell of them. There was no way I was going to put them in my mouth AND swallow them. In desperation, they forced me to put the peas into my mouth (after I had sat at the table nearly an hour after everyone else had finished and left.) They could force me to put the peas in my mouth, but they could not force me to swallow them, stubborn fart that I was! I packed those peas into my cheeks and there they stayed. They could grab my chin, yell at me, threaten me and send me to bed early, but I was NOT swallowing those peas. And I didn't. I would wake up in the morning with peas still crammed in my cheeks. HOW GROSS IS THAT? As clearly evident, I was a delightful, charming little girl.

For some strange reason I still cannot stomach peas. I have given them to my son however, because that is just how mean of a Mama I am. ..but the sights and smells cause my stomach to recoil.. ...GAG.

So, nearly 8 weeks after I completed the above mentioned survey I received my first issue of Living. I had totally forgotten that I should have been waiting eagerly for this event. .. .As soon as I put Eli down for his nap, I pounced on it! Sure I should have done the laundry, the dishes... picked of Eli's toys....But I picked up this magazine. That is how badly Martha has worked for me. She actually helps me avoid being a domestic wunderkind. Eager for one recipe, one craft that I would be able to attempt I dove right in.

I read from back of the magazine. .. .I don't know why, I just find it easier and more enjoyable. A couple of pages in I cringed. After passing the ad for amazing Zit Cream (I may need to give that a second look) and instructions on the most ridiculous and inane cakes ever, I came across this: "the truth about toxins." Yup, feed my frenzy about all the death inducing chemical in my house. That's a nice relaxing way to spend my nap time. .. .and it got worse from there. Imagine my dismay when there were 4 fabulous PEA recipes. .. what a waste! I could read no further. Martha Stewart,  you are on my list. .. .

I was close to throwing the long awaited mag into the bin. . . but the zit cream saved you Martha. Your magazine was saved by zit cream. .. .how does that make YOU feel?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No words of my own. ..

I had a day. It wasn't too bad, it wasn't too great. Just another Tuesday. I had planned to vent about Martha Stewart and Hugh Grant. And boy o boy was it a good rant.. .but as I was preparing for my meeting tomorrow (yes, still preparing. This is THAT important to me!) I came across something more worthy of my time and yours. Perhaps I will postpone the Martha/Hugh rant . ..someone remind me. . .

A couple of blogger/RR friends told me to check out the Archbishop of Philly. Since I always do what I am told. . .I did. And I was blown away. Literally. I am sitting here in tears. Not the pretty, silent streams of tears. . . nope. The emotional cries of someone voicing your thoughts more eloquently than you thought possible. I want to cheer and crumple into sobs all at the same time. I think I love this man. Intensely. (Intensely is really the only way I do anything. .. unless I have eaten too many corn chips and jelly beans; which is sadly not a rare occurrence.)

I have a new hero. . . .and this post will simply be quotes from him. I will follow his train of thought tomorrow in my meeting. Brilliant.

Meet Archbishop Chaput through his amazing passion for life. .. ALL LIFE. Booo-ya!

Every child with Down syndrome, every adult with special needs — in fact, every unwanted unborn child, every person who is poor, weak, abandoned, or homeless — is an icon of God’s face and a vessel of his love. How we treat these persons — whether we revere them and welcome them or throw them away in distaste — shows what we really believe about human dignity, both as individuals and as a nation.


The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is never between some imaginary perfection or imperfection.  None of us is perfect.  No child is perfect.  The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is between love and unlove; between courage and cowardice; between trust and fear.  That’s the choice we face when it happens in our personal experience.  And that’s the choice we face as a society in deciding which human lives we will treat as valuable, and which we will not.


These children with disabilities are not a burden; they’re a priceless gift to all of us.  They’re a doorway to the real meaning of our humanity.  Whatever suffering we endure to welcome, protect and ennoble these special children is worth it because they’re a pathway to real hope and real joy. [.....] That’s why we march.





WORDS TO LIVE BY, Thank you Archbishop Chaput for 


speaking them so beautifully! 





Ollie

       




Monday, April 16, 2012

It all came to a head today. . . . .

So, perhaps I am what you would call eccentric. . . single minded. .or focused. Um, tenacious? I am not sure that there is a term for what ails me. I know that my head appears normal enough from the outside but there is a lot that goes on inside that may not be so normal.

I am committed. Maybe overly so, to the plight of special needs orphans. Please, please, please check out this link. Failing to do so will cause you to miss out on supreme cuteness like this:

Juliette (L)


My commitment is in part due to my recent miscarriage of a down syndrome baby boy. It is in part due to my upbringing (a separate but highly entertaining story.) But it is also in part due to the fact that my husband turns a deaf ear my way on  this subject, and therefore I must speak about it twice as much (and twice as loud) in hopes that a little bit of it breaks through. . .yes, I am that person. (Isn't my husband just the luckiest man ever?)


A few weeks back, when I didn't feel like enough people were listening or cared about these children I reached out to a local priest (at 2am) via email. I brought the issues to him and outlined how I thought the parish could help. Well, I have a meeting with him on Wednesday to further discuss the possibility of a new parish mission. YIPPEE!! Right? Well, YES and no.. . see I am not sure that I have the words, the panache, the eloquence to convince him that he REALLY WANTS to support a church mission. I am the bull in the china shop. . .. .really I am so nervous that I will muck this meeting up royally. The last time I attempted something similar on World Mission Sunday, I was to speak during the homily. I lasted 2.5 minutes before slurring into the microphone, "I'ma pathhhh out now." And then I did. My fainting act did bring in 10k that weekend, but still. . .

So, that is where my head and heart are today. Totally. This does not mean that I am neglecting Eli at all, he really wouldn't allow that, but what it does mean is this:

Eli and I went to Wally World today. I never, ever go to Walmart if I can help it. Well, my distracted brain couldn't find a reason to avoid it. . . so we went. They did not have what I went there for. . .epic fail. I did pick something up for myself though. . .
Here's the back story. I never have time to get my haircut. It is ridiculous. I normally choose to wear my hair quite short, which needs upkeep that I never give it. It normally is shoulder length before I find the time to get it back under control. In the interim I simply look ridiculous. I live in headbands and helmet hair. It is lovely. If I take some time to do something with it, it can be passable. . .but really who has the time or motivation? So, I bought myself this:

If this picture is not clear enough, this is the baby sister to the Crimping iron of the 80s. It is supposed to give me lovely wavy hair in under 10 minutes. Okay, so I added the under 10 minutes part, but I thought that this would help me in the ugly grow out phase I am in.

We got home, I fed Eli lunch and I put him down for a nap. I was eager to try out this new contraption. .. so I plugged it in right away.

I ate "lunch" while I waited for it to heat up. My lunch consisted of jelly beans and corn chips.

And then I went to work on my hair. It did make it wavy/kinky pretty quickly, though the end result was frizz. Lovely frizz. I was not sure if the sugar high was clouding my judgement so I stopped the experiment with just the front of my head, threw my headband back on and returned to   preparing for my church meeting.

My husband came downstairs as I was still working and still eating corn chips.. .. .he sat down on the couch and said. "uh, you look weird. Deranged really." He laughed hysterically when I showed him the super straight hair still hanging from the back of my head. Really, I am relieved there is no photographic evidence from this experience.

I took a break from researching for my meeting to call and make a hair appointment. I would hate to muck up this meeting before I even have a chance to open my mouth.

See why I need your prayers?? PLEASE PRAY!! God can make this happen. . . .. .

So much is riding on this meeting!


Girl, born October 2011




BOY, Born November 26, 2004


Mondays, aka

Garbage truck day. Or as Eli says "Garbage can truck day."


A day of watching out the window for the hideous and noisy garbage trucks that are a source of endless fascination for my dear boy.

I should look at Monday with less chagrin and make it my garbage truck day as well. . ..I should throw away all the "ugh" from last week. Toss it out and start again! Let's see if this works. . . .(and how long it will take for someone to report my husband missing. ...playing! Seriously just kidding, people.)

Enjoy the start of your week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Things I never needed before. . ..

Before what?
Well, before I said "I Do" to something I couldn't have been less prepared for. Before I realized that saying "i do" would mean saying "i can't" to so many of my own wants and needs. Before my body turned into a separate entity while I was pregnant and has yet to return to something I recognize as my own. Before I opted to leave the security of my job to create a more secure upbringing for my mini me. . . .

As a not so young single woman (I married later than most) I never opened a romance book. Never. Blah. . .who needed it? Not me! Men, though a source of entertainment and free beers were not a source of romance for me. I never truly bought into the Disney fairytale scenario (which should have better prepared me for married life but really hasn't helped.) I was living a romance story all my own. . living my love of this planet. ..traveling all over and meeting fabulous people. I did not need to read about anyone's happily ever after. . .my life was it. I didn't feel like sharing it with anyone, no matter how special they were. haha. Honesty rocks. So why do I need romance now?? I miss the silly banter. . .the flirting. The butterflies you get when you know that someone is really interested in you. . .in reality life is no longer about flirting or even communicating about feelings. .. my conversations revolve around what I am making for dinner (ugh) how our finances are going, how many times Eli pooped today. .. the health of the dog. ..you know. Super riveting, stimulating and rewarding conversations. Enter Romance Novels. . .THANK YOU! (if my older sister reads this, I will totally deny, deny, deny. I teased her for far too many years about her love of romance novels.)

Chocolate cake. Decadent chocolate cake. . .Don't get me wrong. I have always been a sugar fiend, but not as an escape or a reward, I ate goodies as just part of my daily life. I have discovered the most decadent, sinfully rich and delicious chocolate cake just a 10 minute walk from my house. They serve perfect white wine at the same establishment. It is now my reward for sticking to my budget or for zipping up my pie-hole when I want to pick on my husband. . . .This doesn't happen as often as it should, so it is really a big treat when I walk in and sit down. "No, I don't need a menu, I know what I would like. .. and extra whipped cream, please"  I seriously want to rent a booth from them and move in. And stay forever. After a certain point, I will likely not be able to leave the booth on my own accord, and I might be okay with that.

Sexy shoes. . . .I loved rocking sexy shoes before. . .yes I did. I had more than one pair. Being pregnant. . .well my balance just wasn't conducive to sexy shoes. After pregnancy, it seems that my feet spread to hobbit-like proportions to handle all the excess baby weight. . .oh so lovely. My body is still not a friend to me .. . .Anywho, I gave up the idea of sexy shoes until 3 weeks ago. Until I saw them.  Sadly I really don't go anywhere worthy of said shoes. But I saw the MOTHER of all sexy shoes and I simply had to have them. AND THEY WERE ON CLEARANCE! Meant to be mine!  I needed the reminder of my before. . .. and low and behold, these shoes have magical powers. They were able to fit my Froto feet. . ..and still looked awesome! I was able to wear them without falling. .. without crippling pain and I almost felt like the before- Becki!
C'mon,isn't that one pretty shoe? I am in love...


I cannot really pinpoint how this all came about, life has been a whirlwind recently, but what I do know is this:

My bliss right now would be strapping on my super sexy shoes for no reason at all (maybe even if I a still wearing my yoga pants), grab myself a glass of wine and a LARGE slice of that dreamy chocolate cake, pick up a silly, sappy romance novel and get lost in it. Oh man! I think I know how I want to spend the rest of my day. .. well at least until Eli wakes up from his nap! I don't care if I never needed any of these things before, I am so happy that these three things have the ability to make me smile! When life gives you lemons. . .eat chocolate cake!


(I feel like this blog needs a disclaimer. Bummer. I love my husband. I do. See? I said it again . .   and I would still say "I do" but maybe not with the silly grin on my face that I had the first time.)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Love Letter

Oh Lazarus, my child, born of my heart. The son I labored through 7 years for. . . only to fail to make you mine.

Lazarus, you are well on your way to becoming a man. A wonderfully strong, God-trusting, humorous man. I am delighted to know you, my dear. When I met you, you were 7 years old and so packed with mischievous energy, I swear it added a bounce to your step. You were quite possibly the cutest little boy I had ever seen, which is really an incredible statement since you were in an orphanage with over 100 of the dearest, loveliest children I have ever encountered. . .but you. You grabbed my heart and did not let go.

The way you shuffled your feet as you meander on your way, never in a hurry to get anywhere. The way your high pitched cackle could be heard across the yard (and always meant trouble.) The way you always sat next to me at Church, propping your head up on your hand and your elbow resting on my knee. So proprietary. It was as if you knew you had me wrapped around your finger. My heart was yours. I had never loved anything the way that I loved you. But I was a single woman. An American. A selfish, single american. .. head over heels in love with a 7 year old boy that lived across the world from the place I called home.

I left after my "tour of duty" but could not shake my love of you. So after 6 months of prayer and discernment, I returned to Kenya to ask Fr Dag if I could adopt you. I was so terrified and so full of hope. . .when he said "of course!" I literally cried happy tears. I could watch you grow. I could love you for my entire life. . .and provide everything I possibly could. .. I could be a parent to you. I was elated.

I had no idea where this path would take us. I knew that we were family. Whatever that took, we were family. My heart was yours, 100%. No idea that we would be on an emotional roller coaster for so many years. No idea. Please let me apologize for any heartache you endured as a result. I never wanted to bring you anything but love and happiness.

We all know how it ended, Lazarus. That dream ended, though my love for you has not waivered one bit. I still love you like my own child. I still dream of hugging you everyday, of hearing your laughter pierce the room. The spirit and presence and amazing wisdom that you bring into every situation. Though I no longer get to hug you, see you, hear you, you continue to amaze and inspire me. I am so very proud of you. In so many ways. If I could be there to see you cross over into manhood, please know I would be there. . .. the proudest mama. . .it breaks my heart that you are there and I am here, but God does know what HE is doing and we must have faith in HIM.


I want you to know, my dear boy that whenever God allows it, you have a home and a family here with me. With us. I love you to the moon and back, no distance, no time will ever change that! If you choose to remain where you are, I will STILL love you as my own. Nothing will ever change that! As you take this massive step into manhood, you have my full support, my prayers and my love. I am sure if you stay true to who you are and what you believe, you will be an incredible man, that will change the world.

I love you my dear son!


SIDE NOTE:
 I had the good fortune of hosting Lazarus in my house 2 years ago. It was so enlightening and entertaining. I will share some memories so that you all can see just how awesome he really is. 

Laz LOVES om-eggs, when he requests an om-egg, it sounds like he is asking for an om-leg, which really is an omlet. He would eat an om-egg every day if we let him.
 He informed me that he eats v-e-r-y slowly when he enjoys the food that he is eating, except when he is eating oatmeal at an insanely slow pace. He assures me his speed is not because he is enjoying himself.  


He absolutely hates cheese. He cannot stress this fact enough. He hates it, unless it is on a pizza, on a hamburger, in a calzone or on pasta. Then he finds it quite enjoyable, and takes his time enjoying it (see above.)
  
 Salt. Lazarus loves salt. He would probably attempt to put it on his oatmeal if I let him. However, he believes that when he eats too much salt he can dream the future.  He has numerous examples to support this belief.  Gavin has tried to get him to predict who will win the NBA finals. . . .no joy. 

  
 He also believes that with or without salt, he can effectively communicate with dogs. He often tells me exactly what Wicket (our dog) is trying to say when we cannot get him to stop barking. Wicket and Lazarus have become great friends, it seems that speaking the same language helps....

 Now, when I read through this, it sounds like all Lazarus talks about it food. .. this is not the case, but food is an important topic of conversation every day. Lazarus informed us that when he grows up he wants to be a chef in a hotel. I think that is a fantastic goal!!  

Lazarus loves his brother Eli as well. He asked me the other day if he could bring Eli back to Nyumbani with him. I offered him Gavin as a consolation. haha. Lazarus didnt take me up on it. 
 
We had a whirlwind trip for sure, and when I asked Lazarus what the highlight of his stay was he gave the question due consideration and replied "watching my brother Eli get baptized." He is the greatest!! See why I love him so?