Thursday, August 21, 2008

BIG decisions/little decisions

OK, so we are still TOTALLY praying about our big decision (see previous post), but let me tell you about a little decision we made.

We decided it would be fun and cute to have dread locks put into Jambo's hair. Hey, I am a busy mom, and dreads look so maintenance free and kinda fun. So, after growing his hair out for 4 months, Tuesday was the day. He sat for over an hour, as they twisted and gelled, and with relatively little crankiness. Then, $44 later, the stylist let me know we would have to bring him in to retwist about every 2 weeks, at about $30-40 dollars a pop. Um, I don't spend that much on ANYONE in our family. So, we leave the salon and his head looks like it has little rabbit turds all over it. I am thinking it will look much better later, once we get home and it is really dry. I went to work that evening and shared with an African American friend my experience, and she then informed me that dreads are actually very expensive and time consuming to maintain well (what???). And she said it all without even mentioning what an ignorant person I can be sometimes. Well, at least it was going to look cute for a couple of weeks. And me, being known to stretch as much as possible, figured I could stretch him needing to get retwisted for at least a month. So, once it surely got cute, we could enjoy the things for a bit. Um, not so much. The rabbit turds remained and Farmboy and I both agreed this was just a little lesson we learned. I was told we would have to cut the dreads out once we were sick of them (in this case, almost immediately), so was all prepared for that in a few weeks. So this morning, I gave the twins a bath, poured water on his hair, and -- POOF -- the dreads were gone. TWO DAYS. That is how long he had the "do". Ridiculous. I didn't even get a good picture before they were gone! I just shaved his head down to a number 2 on our clippers and he looks marvelous, with no more rabbit turds.

Lesson learned. But, hey, I did get my eyebrows waxed during his "dreading" and the woman did a fabulous job.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My children's mother died yesterday.

Maybe you're not like me. Maybe your stomach didn't tighten up when you read that. Maybe you had a different initial thought. Aww... No. What? Oh.... You may have already come to a complete grasp of the dark reality of the life of the adopted. Amidst the frenzy of all the, well, frenzy, I think I may have missed this. ALL the grief. tragedy. injustice. This time it wasn't 143 million or billions of this or that or a pandemic. This time it was simple enough. Adada, the biological mother of our twins just died. We met her 100 days ago. She definitely looked tired. old. beaten up. I think she was 40. She made the trek via cab to Addis Ababa to complete the greatest gesture of love I think a mother could ever make, and with grace. I still wonder how she did it. IT. Give your kids to someone else so they could have a chance at a better life. And IT. Sit in a room and not scream out in anger at the cold harsh reality and injustice of a sick widow from Africa, staring over the table at a couple of clean cut punks with nice clothes, fair complexions, and only quietly tear up while handing them off. Beyond that, she was grateful.

The reason Jambo & Kume were an answer to OUR prayer is because their Dad DIED. Jambo told me the other night: "He's up there. He close eyes." That's what I heard. Their mother "was sick and unable to care for them". I ripped through that sentence on the referral bio in about 2 seconds. That means a little more to me now.

So we just got "the call" from Natalie. One on the home phone, another on the cell. We are not waiting for a referral. We are not, not, not . But . . . Jambo and Kume have a sister, almost 2 years old. Today an orphan. Soon to be in Gladney's care. Would we consider??? This is something we can't do. We can't have 6 kids. Not yet. We can't do a 2 year old. We can't afford $22,000 more. We're still adjusting. We're not ready yet. We are already stretched and exhausted. We can't consider this. We can't NOT consider this. This was not our plan.

We don't know.

GOD has a plan here. We don't think it's us, but we are not able to thwart the plans of the great CREATOR, nor would we want to. Is it us?

We don't know.

Here's our request. We hope you would pray for the right family to be lifted up, to be open. This was not our plan. God knows. But He just wants us to lift this child up and trust HIM. Trust in how He will set this child into her family. And be open if His plans are not our plans.

We don't know.

by Farmboy (glancing around and wondering how we would fit a high chair around the table...)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

our CONSPICUOUS family

So we just returned from a couple weeks of camping and it is becoming very apparent that our adopted kids are human magnets! People are CONSTANTLY approaching us about the twins and we had many, many conversations about adoption. I am sure that most families with an adopted child of another race get a great deal of attention, too, but I do believe the attention our family has gotten in the past couple of months has been well beyond the norm. My bet is because of their fascination with the twin factor. I saw several other families at the campground that had an apparent adopted child or two, but these children were not "famous" at the campground. The twin thing appears to peak lots of curiosity, so has moved these 2 to a different level of attention. Friends we were camping with informed us that campers on other loops of the campground were saying hi to our kids and calling them by name. Each time the twins would fly by on their bike, campers would hoot out "HI!" Huh??? Who were all these new friends? Maybe we should be more attentive? Um, nah. Also, when I would meet new people, they would basically say, "Oh, you are the twins parents." I think we have lost our own identity for a time, and are now appendages of our twins. It is fun, sometimes a little exhausting, but also an awesome responsibility to share what we feel the heart of God is for adoption.

I guess God thinks we are up for the challenge.

Some pictures of our summer happenings:

The twins LOVE coffee (just like their dad, with lots of cream).

I didn't think I had the energy or time to teach Jambo how to ride a bike. CJ did!

My creative husband helped the boys "create" the Holland pier. They didn't win first prize this year, but Farmboy is insistent that was because they joined the fun late and ran out of time. Otherwise...

At Muskegon State Park, I had the chance to read the superb book, Someone Knows My Name. Now this is camping at the beach.

Here is our Calvin College offspring. After talking about tuition costs, not sure any of us will be able to afford sending them to our Alma Mater. Better start finding some lawnmowing jobs, kids.

The Calvin College gang: Believe it or not, sometimes we almost fool ourselves into thinking we look "just" about the same as we did back in college (about 20 years ago).

And for our next camping trip to the Conference Grounds:

Jambo and Kume -- uh, sidewalk chalk is actually for, well, the sidewalk. Kume also wrote several "elaborate" T's, the first letter of her (oh, so secret) name.

Sweet Farmboy and Zgirl, staying in the shade, because, believe it or not, in Michigan, some weeks there is actually full, hot sun all day long. We were blessed with a couple of those weeks, and our poor sun-starved bodies can only take so much.

Action and the twins on the wagon ride. So fun to see the twins thrill over all their new experiences. Don't buy that you will miss all the "firsts" if you adopt older. There are MANY, just different.

Enjoying the Michigan surf with some popcorn.


I absolutely love sunsets. I do believe God is totally showing off for us at these times. He is awesome!!!