Monday, July 26, 2010


Read a phrase today that I like: "God helped us raise the $30k needed to pay the ransom for a child of God." ( Very cool perspective.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

small town fun

Earlier today I posted on facebook that I wish I lived near a city so I could find a barber to cut Judah's hair.  Right now I'm tickled with living in rural America where I can call a complete stranger (who happens to have adopted kids from Ethiopia) and ask where she gets her kids hair cut.  Her generous reply was that her husband cuts her kids' hair and would be happy to show me how.  Nice.  Yes, I've heard Leslie was super sweet like that.  Now, I'm looking forward to getting to know her a little and learning to cut my sons hair. 

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Okay, okay, it's only been more than two months and I'm finally getting all my journal entries posted. They're done and loaded with a quick link to them on the right. If you wander over and take a look, you'll see that not all entries have pics in them. I'll get to it eventually. Unfortunately as I sit here posting my journal, I'm at a friend's house and didn't bring my external hard drive with me. Can't add pics I don't have. Nice. Maybe another day. Until then, happy reading.

She likes him

I don't think I posted this to my blog before.  But there was a time where Bethany asked me regularly if we could take Judah back to Ethiopia.  She said all kinds of interesting things to justify taking him back.  She also acted in a manner that her normal loving self.
Finally, we have turned a corner.  Just 3 days after smooshing his fingers in the door, she declared "mommy, I don't want to take Judah back to Ethiopia any more.  I like him."  Thank you Jesus.
I know my kids love Judah.  There's no doubt in my mind that they'll make a wonderful trio.  Seeing adjustment occur in a healthy manner soothes my soul.  This morning I once again watched my now 5 year old help his little brother put on his flip flops.  It wasn't long ago that I was helping the 5 year old.  I love watching the two boys interact.  They've done well for a while.  More recently I've watched Judah and Bethany run off and play together and it is SO GOOD!  Now as I watch the two little ones interact, I wonder if Scott feels left out, if he enjoys the break, or if he wants to adopt a child his age...

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(written a week or so ago...)

Sunday night we’re sitting at the supper table and Judah isn’t thrilled about the meal placed before him. That’s okay though because eventually he’ll eat it. At least that was the case two weeks ago. Tonight Judah is a little smarter, so he thinks. At one point during supper he says the magic word for #2. I rush him and his cream covered hands to my freshly bleached toilet seat. He made a mess alright, only it was with his creamy hands on the toilet seat, not the #2 he had mentioned.

Oh how my smart little child is learning quickly. This is normally Bethany’s trick – she whines that she has to poop and climbs out of her chair. My little Judah may not be fluent in this language but it didn’t take him long to pick up Bethany’s little trick.

Back to the supper table we go. Judah continues to play with his food. I’m lazy and give my attention to my laptop rather than reminding my son to use his spoon. Minutes pass before he pulls this same trick out of his hat again. Off to the bathroom we run. Our pitstop at the sink to clean the creamy hands and I hear Judah passing gas. Great, you totally are going to crap your pants because I stopped to wash your hands. We hurry on into the bathroom and place Judah on the toilet. I give him a few moments and this time he couldn’t even urinate in the toilet because he’d since filled his pull-up (yes, he did urinate on the toilet the first time).

This time I’m frustrated. I don’t want to play this game. I don’t want Judah to play this game, nor do I want him thinking that lying is acceptable. So, how do you deal with that? This isn’t an adoption issue. I wonder the same thing about teaching my babes from my buddha belly the same thing. How do you teach young children that being truthful is the only acceptable method. Though this isn’t an adoption issue, adoption issues (communication barriers and him being new to our family) do complicate it a bit. How do appropriately train and discipline him? I’m curious what training and discipline suggestions you might be willing to share for all 3 of my kiddos.

Back to the booster seat he goes. It’s taken way too much time tonight but I’m gladly catching up on blogs and wishing I was still connected to the internet so I could comment. Alas, it’s beyond bed time. I take Judah upstairs where he happily brushed his teeth and headed to bed. He climbs into bed where he starts in with his 2nd trick that he picked up from his siblings. Snickering under my breath, I turn to Judah when he calls me by name. Yes, my kids do that all the time to avoid going to bed. Judah has quickly picked up on this game too. I smile at my sweet son, tell him to stay in bed, wish him a good night and walk out of the room all while getting a kick out of the many things my s on has learned in a few short weeks.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Holiday Weekend with some of our Travel Group 8

Our travel group made some great connections. That might have been due to the fact that we'd connected via the Holt yahoo group, our blogs, or just that we were pretty awesome families. Of course, we wanted to hang out again sometime so before we even left Ethiopia, Ryan was planning a gathering of midwest families. We gathered for the Independence Day weekend with two of the families who were in travel group 8 with us.
Our weekend didn't have a huge agenda. We ended up having to adjust plans due to the rain events but we still had fun. The first afternoon we hung out in the yard chit chatting while the bigger kids jumped on the trampoline and got to know each other. (Travis and Joseph belong to Shonda)

Later that afternoon, we took our city-dwelling friends to a local dairy where they got to experience all kinds of new sights, smells, etc. Some were more willing to try new things than others:

(Michelle who doesn't blog yet but has an amazing life to share)

(Betula is Michelle's daughter)

(Betula and Judah)

I didn't add a picture of a certain (ahem) family who stayed at the end of the barn so they wouldn't get splattered with green nutrients. But they did - that is, get splattered and then stand away from the cow's hind end.
After all those who were interested milked, petted, and learned about dairy cows, they headed out to check out the baby calves. Having recently been fed, they weren't hungry but the little kids tried their skills anyways:

Bethany, my quiet and shy child (yah right) plomped herself right down on a calf as if she was riding it. The calf didn't mind much until she started to pretend like it was a bucking bull and not a bull calf. After some entertainment with the baby animals, the kids were off to the hay mow:

where they ran, jumped, climbed and played all over. Ryan got some really cool pics with the light sneaking in between the boards of the barn on the back side:

From there we headed to The Shanti in the big town of Gunder. No pictures there, at least not on our camera. Maybe Michelle will send me the one that shows the population of the Gunder Metropolis and I can add it in. Needless to say by time we got there, kids were hot, hungry and mine at least were not so willing to sit long to wait. After supper we headed back home for some 4th of July entertainment (I would never admit to having illegal fireworks) of our own:

It was fun to see how much everyone's kids have changed. We've been home two months now and we've seen lots of change in the kids. It was great to see the children from Ethiopia again. It was also a blessing to meet and have our bio children all interacting.

I'm looking forward to the next time we can gather our families together. Maybe next time more of travel group 8 can make it. And hopefully some of you other midwestern families (ahem, Tesi) can make it as well. Thanks to those who were willing to travel up our way to hang out for the weekend!

Shinshicho residents partner with Holt to save children

Trying to post this to my blog... we'll see if it works

Please help us in our efforts to bring this surgery center to the children and families in Ethiopia.
Dear Ryan,

Each month, thousands of desperate families come for care offered at Holt's Shinshicho Health Clinic in Ethiopia. Many walk for miles with malnourished and sick children in their arms.

Please help us in our efforts to bring a new surgery center to the children and families in Ethiopia!  Witnessing, firsthand, the devastation that is caused when children and families are unable to receive life-saving surgeries – Holt has made a commitment to establish a surgery center at the Shinshicho clinic.

Ethiopian community leaders are offering to double every dollar you send today, up to $250,000! To receive these funds, we have to raise our portion first….so we need your help!

"So many sick people have died," says 16-year-old Meklit Gareden, a Shinshicho resident who donated 100 birr (about 7 U.S. dollars) for the construction of the surgery center. "I wanted to give what I could to help with this new project and help children survive."

Won't you join Meklit, and the community leaders of Shinshicho, in bringing this surgery center to the children and families of the Shinschicho area? They can't do it alone…

Your help today will save lives tomorrow.

With a heart full of hope for Ethiopia's children,

President and CEO

Please help us in our efforts to bring this surgery center to the children and families in Ethiopia.
Send a gift today to help the children and families of Ethiopia tomorrow.
Send a gift today to help the children and families of Ethiopia tomorrow.
Holt International Children's Services

Go to the Holt International website.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

group 8 gathering

For those who live "nearby" and travelled in group 8 with us to Ethiopia, we invited them for the weekend. Only two families could make it but we had fun. Did fireworks a night early which was good because it rained all day yesterday. I'm looking forward to hanging out with these families again. Maybe we can make this an annual event and other midwestern (aka local) families can join us.

I hope to post a real update and pics when I'm getting a real internet connection! That might be tomorrow.