Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the docket

Just going over a mental list of things to teach, or forward, do or ignore:

Avoid committing haricari while teaching the new kids how to write a proper sentence. Poking one's eyes out, pulling out one's hair, and screaming incessantly are also ill advised.

Put finishing touches on the adoption Q & A session Scott and I are holding for church. If you are interested and in the area, it is being held Thursday Oct. 8, 7-9 pm at Harvest Bible Chapel ministry center. 9850 W 190th St Mokena, IL.

Pack for and attend the Together for Adoption conference in Tennessee. Project Hopeful will be hosting a booth.

I need to have some Project Hopeful shirts embroidered. Before Thursday night. Right.

We need to camp 7 more nights before October 31.

Status of dossier: only documents needed are physicals, state background check and Home study. I am responsible for the first 2. The other one is on my social worker's list. When home study is done, we will await the I171h. Fingerprinting for that will be on Oct. 17th in Michigan City, IN. There is a site in Naperville, but we have to go to another state. Go figure.

Those are the immediate things. Hey, aren't the holidays just around the corner?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Imagine making a difference

This is a letter a friend of mine was given. She is in Ethiopia right now working hard to bring her 5 year old daughter home. It is from a little girl who's only wish is for a family. It could have been written by any one of my children, not to mention any of the MILLIONS of other orphans who are waiting right now.

Dear Amanda,
Hello! How are you? I am fine. How is everything. I am _________. I am 10 years old. I am in grade 6th. I don't have any broher and sister. I live in Kidane Mehret Children home 5 years ago. but I don't have any chance for go to America. so please try to find family for me. I want go to America. Please find family for me. I don't have family for me. I want to be family and Amanda please please try to find family ok. I like your I still waiting your answer.
Bye, bye,

Dear friends, you really could be that family. I can't tell you how many times I have been told "OH, I could never do that." Guess what? Yes you could. You can. Really. It is not easy or comfortable or inexpensive. In fact, it costs a lot. And I'm not talking money. It costs you your life. What better way to spend it?

1John 3:16We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Precious delights

We are three weeks into school and things are going well. It is my 2nd year teaching at home, and there are a number of things that thrill and inspire me.

1. I love the Classical Conversations group. It is great to have support and direction with the added bonus of good friends who are also involved.
2. We can take a day off to take advantage of special events. We went to Great America for homeschool day on Thursday. The park crowd was at a minimum. We got to stay on rides for multiple turns whenever there was nobody in line. Also, one of the ride attendants told us that this was his best work day ever- not just because there was no crowd, but more so because everyone was so polite and kind. (I imagine it was because of all of the un-socialized homeschoolers)
3. Hanna has a better grasp on the English language and is more empowered to retain and participate.
4. It is evident that Biruk was receiving a quality education in Ethiopia and that he has an excellent memory.
5. Both Svetlana and Andy are excelling outside of a large classroom setting. I feel our decision to remove them from traditional school is validated.
6. Mel is a delight to teach. His eagerness and zeal for learning is almost difficult to keep up with. Additionally, after two years home, he is now emotionally available to ask for and receive affection. If my lap is available, he demands to sit in it. Not that he verbally asks, he is just adamant about climbing on. I get to teach him to read with him sitting on my lap. It thrills my heart to finally hold him so much.

I hope that whatever difficult decision you've struggled with in the past is rewarding to you today. I encourage you to step outside of what is known and comfortable and take a chance. Teach Sunday School, take a volunteer position, home-school, adopt a child, start a blog, try a new recipe, just do something.
You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Am I the only one?

In a departure from anything adoption related or spiritual, I am going to share the conversation I was party to on the way home from school today. I am sharing because I can't be the only one, and also, I must admit I was amused. I hope you will still hold me in some regard after you read this.

Brace yourselves.

The conversation began when Biruk told Hanna that it is rude for girls to fart. (you can guess what started this)
I said it was rude for anyone to fart.
Biruk wanted to know why everyone farts if it is so rude. (It has been pointed out that everyone does it sometimes. Yes, this is not our first conversation on the topic.)
We then discussed what is rude and what is not. In the bathroom is always fine, in some one's face is unacceptable, the accidental is unfortunately unavoidable, and therefore excusable.
This rapidly segued into why do they stink so bad and what color are they? Which lead to a spirited conversation about different colors and what a riot that would be.

Yes, I allowed the conversation and even participated when necessary. Believe it or not, they exhibited some good linear thinking and scientific observation. (Mostly I allowed it because I was laughing so hard. My girlfriend's husband says she and I are really 12 year old boys. I fear he may be right.)
Anyway, this is what rides home are like for me.
Please tell me I am not alone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1st day of School

It is finally the first day of school. I know, the kids are home schooled and therefore don't leave
me, but the start of school has been a needed thing. Summer has dragged on, and the kids have exhausted their need for free time.
Yes, those are uniforms that we are wearing. This year is a little different than last year. We have joined a school community called Classical Conversations. www.classicalconversations.com One day a week, we meet from 9am until 3pm. My four older children are in a class together, and Mel is in a younger class. There are tutors who introduce new material each week, and it is my responsibility to ensure that the children learn and understand. There is usually an assignment for them to turn in the next week. It is a nice balance for us. There is some extra guidance and accountability for me as well as the kids.
We all feel the first day was a success.