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!!!


Amber said...

Looks like fun! You are a brave soul to camp for 2 weeks! It's great to read a new post and see pictures!

The Albertsons said...

Aw! Look at all of you! I continue to wish we lived next door :). The twins look wonderful! Shoot me an email soon about them...
I know, we're now "famous" because of Sam and continually answering questions, but if it's our calling, then I'll take it :).
love to you all...

sparkz said...

Glad for the update. I had to laugh at the famous twins. Thats cute! I can just see people driving by being like "those are the twins"! :) I love the pictures. The last one is so beautiful!

Rebecca said...

I so enjoy the updates about your family. Looks like you have had a fun summer with family, friends and firsts!

Kristy -Mom to 4 and soon to be more! said...

So sweet to see your family again...even if is in pictures! :-)

The Roberts Family said...

Hey there. LOVED this update!! Ya know, sometimes I seriously wonder why people notice me when we go to our nearby city (we drive an hour to get to WMart, etc.). Then I see us in the mirror now and then and think ... oh yeah!! .... we're kind of "obvious". Sometimes I want to blend in to the crowd .... but just now and then. Usually it gives a great opportunity to just live out our life and touch others' lives while doing so.

How I would love to meet you in person!!! Come camping in IL after we move ... 'kay? :) Blessings~ Shelly

Mindy said...

Great family photos! Sounds like you had a blast on your camping week. And what better family than you to share the experience of adoption, you very much impress me with how easy-going you seem to be with it all. I ran into someone at church who lives on your street, and you're famous there too! :) Enjoy what remains of our summer!

Anna M said...

I can only imagine the attention you get now! My twin girls are 15 years old now, but when they were little I couldn't go anywhere with them without being overwhelmed by people wanting to look at them. One time, a very sweet older lady just wouldn't leave, so I parked her and my 6 month old babies on a bench near me and I finished shopping. I got all this attention and we were all white!! : ) You really have notched up the fun a couple of levels. Just wait until people start asking you which one is smarter....... Oh, somethings STILL get my goat!

Thanks for sharing with us! Our two little ET girls should be home in about 6 months! We can't wait!


Rhea Anne said...

Your twins are adorable. I got to your page through Kristi's blog. What a beautiful family.

Juli said...

I have followed your site as you received the twins into your family the same time my friend received their little girl. Your family is beautiful and your words warming. I can read your love, care and compassion. Yours is a beautiful story - enjoy life - everyday and praise God!

Jillienne said...

Sounds like an awesome time! We just started camping and I realize that Michigan has some truly wonderful places to be. Who knew?


J, A and T said...

Wow...your pics are awesome.

Holly said...

Beautiful pictures! What fun you have been having. :)

Lori S said...

I loved the update on your family and the many pics.

atHisrighthand said...

Looks like a great trip! I think I would need to be in therapy after camping htat long! lol.. I am not much of a camper.. more of a hotel kind of girl. oh well. My parents would tell you they didn't raise me right!

Oh and yes I am still vacuum obseesed.. After all, while I am trying to keep myself busy and away from the phone.... my kids tell me they don't need to play with me all of the time.. So I guess that leaves me with the vacuum... LOL

Take care and thanks for sharing all the photos!

Faith said...

Three cheers for a new blog header!

Laurel said...

I think the "having black children" is more conspicuous than the "twin thing", but the combo really ups the appeal.

We have been conspicuous for many years ...

When our twins were born, we had 5 kids under 5 years old. So, the identical twins got a lot of attention, but we also got the "are they all yours" everywhere we went.

Then, when my eldest daughter was 16 and I had a baby ... people couldn't figure out if I was the mom or if she was the mom. I wanted to shout, "I am NOT a grandma, yet."

Our 6 oldest kids were 3 girls and 3 boys, all in 6 years. This got us a lot of attention.

Our 6 youngest kids, now, are 3 girls and 3 boys, all in 6 years. However ... 3 of them are black. We get a LOT more attention now.

The most frustrating thing is ... at church ... people that have never even taken a 2nd look at our bio. kids, are wanting to be buddy-buddy with our new kids, and still don't notice the bio. kids. This is NOT good!

Blessings to you and ALL of your kids!