Thursday, February 26, 2009

Say hello to American culture

Dad and Hanna are getting closer. This morning he taught her an important lesson about hands.
After a warm good morning hug, he showed her his hands.
Then his fingers.
Then one finger in particular.

She inspected it,
pinched it,
held it,
and finally...

Pulled it.

Yeah, she wasn't expecting that.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Random musings

1. For those of you in the Chicago land area: Is it possible that anyone who has lived here since 1973 and owned a TV could NOT know the Empire Carpet phone number? (can you believe Scott does not know it?!)

2. If 6 inches of water and bubbles in a tub seems more fun than Biruk can imagine, what is it going to be like when we take him to Wisconsin Dells?

3. A person will ask 5 different ways how my children's parents died before accepting that I am not going to tell them. (Was it natural causes?- What mother of a 10 and 12 year old dies of natural causes?!)

4. Frosting breaks Hanna's sugar threshold. Finally something is too sweet.

5. It only took a week and a half for Hanna to love pizza. Biruk loved it right away.

6. Biruk knows his MP3 players. It needs to have a screen big enough for video capabilities. Additionally, a camera would be nice.

7. Hanna would like a cell phone. (she got the big TOO BAD on that one. Who's she going to call?)

9. When it's time for bed, who doesn't like to be tucked in and get a big kiss?

10. You are never too old to have a near tantrum when it's time to leave Chuck E. Cheese.
Jus wan moor, Mom!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm getting into the swing of things

Well, I thought Scott was going to write on here already, but he's not feeling well so I will use this chance to brag on the kids.

Can I just say that it is clear that God knows what he is doing? He has hand picked 2 more kids to bless me with and I can't get enough of them.

Let's start with Biruk. What a blessing. Right now he is on the quiet side because he is learning English. he understands A LOT and speaks some, but when he does speak is is kind words to his new brothers, encouragement to Hanna and affection to Julia. He is already leading by example and guiding Andy and Mel in ways I never imagined. He plays table games with Mel and when Mel tries to sneak one by him he doesn't get mad. He keeps Mel from cheating with such humor that both boys dissolve into giggles that thrill my heart. When Andy is frustrated while making his bed, he doesn't make fun of him, he gently comes along side and helps. I get numerous kisses and hugs throughout the day that aren't forced or unnatural. They are from his heart and I love it.

Hanna is quite the girlie-girl. She would wash her hair 5 times a day if I would let her. She loves necklaces and sparkle and color. She smiles readily and giggles a lot. At night when I kiss the girls goodnight, I peek into the room and find that Julia is sitting at the foot of the bed and they are whispering to each other. So far the language barrier is keeping them from talking too much, but I know as time goes on, this will change. Hanna loves to do her own hair and Julia's hair and my hair. She loves to dress up and has her own ideas about what she wants to wear. She delights in her dad's hugs and kisses and is happy to be with us.

I don't get the sense that anyone is hiding any fears or pretending to be "perfect". I think they were a part of this decision to find a new life, and so have looked forward to it as a new adventure. I know that they love Jesus and trust him fully. This is the foundation that is making this new family so blessed. In the coming days, weeks, and months I know we will face challenges, but with God's help, we will face them together.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meet the kids (all in one photo!!)

Well, we're back. What a trip. I am very tired. I didn't sleep more than 2 hours at a time. Our hotel was very nice, but a large rooster lived right behind the hotel. He was very dedicated to his job and began crowing long before the sun was even a thought in the sky. Sometimes he crowed every 45 seconds without fail all day. One day there was an hours long dogfight right outside. Fortunately(?) I was under the weather that night and wasn't sleeping anyway.
Biruk and Hanna are so much fun. They have a go-for-it spirit that has made their transition so far smooth. They were happy to stay in the hotel with us from Sunday on. We spent hours at Hannah's Hope every day, but left for meals and bed. They were sad to leave their friends and vise versa, but most of the kids know that they have family coming soon. Each would point proudly to their chests and say what state they were going to live in. Twin girls to New York, another child to Texas, Michigan, they were proud to be all over the map. The younger kids would run to me with arms out stretched and say, "Auntie, Auntie." It was only natural to pick them up and enjoy kisses and hugs. It was much more difficult to put them down. Not only did they really not want to be put down, I didn't want to let them go.
There is such hope and joy amidst the waiting and wanting. With so little available, there was still so much to share. Hugs, laughs, a flatish soccer ball, gum out of Dad's backpack, it was amazing to see so little go so far.
In the coming days, this blog is going to have a guest writer. Scott is eager to share some of his thoughts and feelings about our trip and about adoption and God's will. I don't know much about what he wants to write, but I do know when he couldn't sleep he would light a candle ( so the kids wouldn't wake up) and write in a journal. It should be interesting to see what he has to say.
I will be sharing pictures and video in the upcoming days, but I am still rather sleep deprived and a bit dizzy. I am going to grab a quick nap.
TTFN- ta ta for now!