Monday, October 18, 2010

Small Gathering

You might have already read about it on Becky's blog or on Tesi's blog, but I wanted to share briefly too. Last Saturday, a hand full of families met at a quiet little park in Waterloo to hang out. I had a great time meeting people who's blogs I'd read, seeing families I'd prayed for while they were in the adoption process, and seeing other beautiful Ethiopian children laugh and play with their families.

Much to my own surprise, I left my little cannon side-kick at home (yes, it was a slight bit chaotic before I left home that day) that day. So, I'm sharing with you a few pics from Tesi and Becky:

(don't miss a certain little boy who didn't think he made the picture... did you find him?)

It was a small group but as you can see all of us had a few kids to bring along. I'm looking forward to hanging out again sometime. Anyone want to plan a gathering in a few months???

Thursday, October 7, 2010

it makes me mad

I just heard the question again and it makes me mad.  The person said "why do sensible people spend lots of money and travel thousands of miles to adopt a child?  There are plenty of children in the U.S. that need adopted."
My loving and simple response is and was: then if there are plenty of children here in the U.S., then why haven't you adopted one or two or three?
There's lots of variety in this question.  But, the simple point is the same, if they're so concerned with the orphans in the foster system, why aren't they adopting them???

5 Months Home

Really, the months fly. I wonder how I'm doing remember Judah's story so I can share with him later. Am I doing a good job of giving him the appropriate amount of attention without spoiling him? Am I doing a good job of balancing his Ethiopian history and culture with his new culture of being an American? How much would he pay attention to that big shadow frame if I actually put some things in it from his past? What do I put in that frame for him? Does his mom actually get the pictures I've sent? Oh, how I'd love to send her the video clip of Judah and Scott having a tickle fight last weekend. I wish I could read his mind. What is he really thinking when he gives us that pouty look? Does he comprehend sarcasm yet? Shouldn't he be gaining more weight, even if he is super active? Am I taking care of his hair right?

We've been home 5 months and still I'm questioning my parenting. How long did I question my parenting when I brought the other two kids home from the hospital? Five months home and Judah is doing great and I'm the one with continuing issues. Isn't that nice? Here's a few things going on in our world now that we've been home for... you guessed it, 5 months:

- Continues to increase his vocabulary and work on sounds.
- He's finally tall enough to pee standing up... with the help of a step stool.
- He's learning to pray on his own. Mostly a copy of what the other kids say, but he makes sure he gets to pray each night. I can't wait until he (and the other two for that matter) really know that they're approaching the King - God who made the world and everything in it - when he prays.
- He's super good at picking up toys and being helpful when asked to do simple tasks like throw a paper in the trash (he loves to do that). Thank you to whoever taught him that!
- He loves his blankie and no one else in his bed is going to use it. Yes, my 3 kids like to sleep together and we're fine with that. He wasn't sure what to think about his new blankie the other day and promptly handed it to Bethany. She of course loved it and thinks its hers.
- He loves to help put on his own lotion. I hope he learns to do that task quickly because with cool, dry weather comes dry skin and a need for lotsa lotion for his beautiful skin.
- He loves people and greets everyone he sees in passing.
- He's not always the most comfortable in new environments where it's busy with people and activity. But other common places for him, like church, he runs around from person to person like the other two.
- Judah does not like hot chocolate. This is odd considering my other two could have it hooked up IV each morning.
- Daddy is his ultimate favorite. Nice for Ryan, not so great for momma!

And a few questions I still have even though he's been mine for 5 months:
- Do you take care of boys hair differently if its butched short versus grown out a little. Judah's hair feels brillo-pad-rough when it's short (but so does Ryan's). And a little softer, but never soft when it grows out a little. If I'm going to let it fro a bit more, do I need to comb it a certain way or put certain products in it?
- He's not circumcised (sorry son for putting that out on the internet) and so urinating is a little different for him. At least it is in my mind, but what do I know, I'm of the female variety. Teaching him to let the urine all come out before he jumps off and pats himself on the back is a chore. He still can't pee outside (we're country folks) without peeing all over his pants. So, do I need to teach him to physically wipe his penis with toilet paper to get the urine out of that foreskin area? Or is shaking it enough?
- He still gives me the blank stare occasionally. It's like he's checked out because he didn't like the situation. I grab him up and hug him ususally but I'm not sure what to be watching here.
- He still has these little pimple/white heads on his scalp. Not sure what to do about those either. I started popping them and I'm sure the doc wouldn't approve of that.
- He's only gained two pounds since we came home. Mom says it's because he's running constantly. I think it's because he poops out SO MUCH that his body hasn't utilized the nutrients. Surely that's nutrients that I still smell everytime I wipe him and flush his load.
- What is recommended for a check up for him. He's due this month for a round of shots, but should he have a health check-up? He hasn't had one since we got home. (and my dear Kerry, please feel free to give me your full opinion on this one).

I long for the day he can openly communicate his feelings. I hope that he has some memory of his time in Ethiopia to tell about. I pray that God will use this small child who came from Ethiopia to Iowa for great things! This little boy has the brightest smile and warms my heart daily. I'm so thankful that he is my son! And occasionally I just want him to shut his running mouth :)