Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy New Year!

I love our group of friends, and I love that our kids get along so well :)  We had a low-key New Year's Eve get-together with a couple of them, and our kids played relatively quietly in the basement for *literally* hours (we found out later why they had been so quiet...our 3 did some serious basement clean-up the next day!  Small price to pay :)).

We got to hang out with grown-ups, play games that are NSFK, catch up on life, drink insane nutella liqueur, eat delicious snacks, and generally just have an awesome time.  I did not take many pictures, but here is what I got ;)

the kids are all, clearly, thrilled to see the ball drop

Penny injured herself at least twice that night, one time requiring a band-aid on her poor little chin!  

2 months in I'd say this year has been excellent ~ To 2014!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Update, Non-Update

(I'm not sure what's up with the font here ~ I tried to fix it and gave up on try #5.  I'll explore it more when it's not 10:45pm! :))

I've taken a long hiatus from this blog, and while part of the reason is that the kids have been keeping me pretty busy, it's mostly that there really isn't much to say!  Ethiopian adoption has been moving very slowly lately.  The USCIS introducing PAIR (see previous post) along with the general trend of international adoption slowing down has meant few referrals.  We're sitting pretty around 180 on our agency's unofficial wait-list (as in one HUNDRED eighty!).  In January we "celebrated" being 6 months DTE, and in the past 6 months I believe we have moved 3 spots on the list.  

When Michael and I originally discussed adoption and felt the calling from God, it was very, very clear that our path was to pursue international adoption (and Ethiopia specifically).  I can't explain it, exactly, but it was just so clear and things lined up one after another and it became undeniable.  It was also very clear (at that point) that foster care or domestic adoption was *not* the plan.  We have talked on and off since we were dating about maybe someday in the distant future, after our kids are grown, doing foster care, but it wasn't really something we had considered for now.  It wasn't that we didn't see the need, just at that time we didn't feel like it was our calling (and I hold to that ~ we are in the Ethiopia program for a reason, and if we had pursued foster care from the get-go we wouldn't be in Ethiopia).

When we started to understand the timeline for Ethiopia, I spent a couple of months angry and disenchanted about the whole process.  It was hard to understand why God would call us to something like orphan care and then be like, haha j/k I want you to do nothing for the next 5 years.  So we started to explore what we wanted to do.  We prayed and talked and prayed and talked, and it sortof came down to 2 choices ~ update our home study to adopt a MUCH older child (like teenager) or a child with profound special needs, or pursue foster care.  Through our church adoption support group we've heard from lots of foster families (and foster children) and both of our hearts were softened toward the need in our own city.  We both feel like it's something tangible we can do right now to fulfill what we believe is what God is calling us to do.

So, in mid-March, Michael and I will start the required training to get our foster care license.  It will take a few months, and at this point I know better than to try to put a timeline on *anything* related to this adoption journey, so I'll just say we hope to be licensed sometime between the last snow of this winter and the first snow of the next ;)

What does this mean for our adoption process?  Well, nothing!  We are able to concurrently pursue foster care and stay on the wait-list for our agency.  I am so thankful that our agency allows this (not all do ~ another reason I am so thankful we are with America World :)).

Like with adoption, we are not so naive as to believe foster care will be an easy and fun journey, but we are confident that this is the direction in which God is leading, and we are continuing to lean on Him.

As is becoming a trend, here is a song that has been the theme of my thoughts these past couple months.  Listen to it, it's great.  Also, the song is from the movie "Fireproof" which you should see if you have not ;)

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Milo was a somewhat late-talker.  He was only slightly behind average, I'm sure, but following (arguably) the two most talkative creatures ever to have walked this beautiful planet, he had me a bit concerned.  Just when we were ready to do a speech evaluation, he added a few words.  Then a few more.  Then sentences of 3 words all put together.  Then suddenly his vocabulary exploded and now he can keep up with his sisters in the "who can sing the loudest and longest in the car" competition :)

My favorite part about this sudden language explosion is the adorable way he mixes up his grammar.  The girls did the same thing, and I did a poor job documenting it, sadly.  Mostly for me, here is a (short) list of things I want to remember, because pretty soon this phase will be gone.

Improper pronoun usage is probably my favorite part of his grammatical hilariousness.
Example ~ "Can I put mine hand on yours arm?" or "I want mine going car!" (his car that goes by itself after you pull it back; took me quite a while to figure that one out this morning!)

The gym we go to has a scale right by the front door.  I have *never* weighed myself on it, but the kids love to see "how big" they are.  Milo got on the scale today, looked down, then looked up proudly and said, "I did hunjy (hundred) eight numbers!"

Monday, as we were leaving the gym, Milo (thought he) pushed the door open:
Milo: I really good to opening doors.
Me: You are really good at opening doors!  You're so strong!
Milo: Yes I mam!

He can say his "f" and "s" sounds, but not in words, and especially not at the beginning of words.  F becomes B and S becomes hard C.  Fruit Snacks = Boot Cacks

Not so much language, but I was working with him to try some shape identification.  From top to bottom, this is a shape, an "O", and an elephant (I have no idea).

And because it wouldn't be fair for this to *all* be about Milo...

I recently taught Maya how to use the library computer to look up books.  I'm not sure she actually understands it, but we were there yesterday and I peeked through the racks to see this :)

About a week ago Charlotte pulled out a puzzle that my sister had gotten her for Christmas.  She asked for help and I kept telling her I'd come in a few minutes (distracted as always by trying to do all.the.things).  After she got really insistent I put down what I was doing to go help her, only to discover that she had done the whole thing by herself and just wanted to show me.  I felt bad that I hadn't gone in sooner to see her work!