Thursday, August 27, 2009

Alive and...Adjusting

How beautiful is she?! Our friend Keren took this photo last weekend. I realize I have been quite remiss in blogging these days. Life has been, shall we say, heavy these days, and its hard to trim down into blog form. Just for fun, however, I thought I would post a quote from my son from a week or two ago, followed by a bit of an update:
While watching Bed Knobs and Broomsticks, the kids were particularly taken by the dancing montage from the "Portabello Street" song. This scene features various styles of dance, at one point a group of African-Americans dancing in a swingish sort of style. At this point, Melat began clapping and bopping with the music. When Allan and I commented on this, our eldest (age 6 1/2) chimed in, "Its because they're brown," he said matter-of-factly, "She's not color-blind, you know!"
Said little one is not very little. She's 10 months+ now and weighs a hefty 22 lbs. (90th percentile in weight, 75th in height) Our pediatrician is simply in awe of her and can't fathom how a child from an orphanage has done so well for herself. Last week at her check up he said, "She must have been a favorite!" Truth is, she's a demanding little thing. Oh, she can be cute and cuddly all right, but every three hours on the dot she'd better have her food in hand. Or else.
One of the things that I've been meaning to blog about but haven't is the challenge of adjusting to this strong-willed baby girl. Its been hard not to have happy little stories full of love and bliss to post. Oh, we have grown attached to her and all, but its hard to feel unconditional fondness for a child who spends a good portion of the afternoon shrieking at you. (Like right now, she's screaming like her heart has been broken because I'm not keeping the Cheerios coming fast enough.) Its also hard to write about without sounding like a whiner among throngs of happy adoptive bloggers. Obviously, we didn't expect adopting to be a breeze. In fact, we expected more difficulty than we have. But after the early months of newness and the fawning of strangers and family alike have passed, you're still left with a new child who, out of some inborn desire to survive, thinks not only that the world revolves around her, but that it should do so at the speed she dictates. I told one friend its like having a perpetual colicky newborn...who weighs 20+ lbs and crawls really fast.
The boys are doing well with her. When people ask how they are adjusting to Melat, I tell them that the boys beat up on her now, so they must been accepting her as their little sister.
Really, she has a very sweet disposition -- with everyone but me. She is attached to me, in a master to slave sort of way, and needs to know where I am at all times. Melat loves people -- so very social -- and loves to be outdoors. She loves to swim and swing and steal her brothers' toys. I have a feeling that everything is going to turn out just fine, but for now the adjustment continues.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bare Ne-sesames

(In the words of my 4 year-old after watching The Jungle Book.)

I won't lie. This has been a very challenging summer. My husband is still without work and we're unsure of just when things will improve. We've been surviving by the grace of God and the kindness of family and friends...and some creative living. (ex. Paying for our camping trip with literally the leftover change from the adoption!) I have been learning some significant truths in a whole new way.

For example, Matthew 6:25-30, 33-34: "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?...But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)"

I've known this passage since childhood and have relied on it many a time in regards to general anxiety about the future. But, for the first time in my life, thank God, I find myself applying it in a very specific way. As I wander WalMart looking for the best deal on lunch meat -- no more organic here! -- I see the aisles and aisles of school supplies and clothes and I wonder just how we're going to buy those things in the coming month. I praise God for His mercy in the past, for the times when I never had to worry about whether or not we'd have food in the house. And I look to those promises and remind myself that if my treasure is truly laid up in heaven, if I'm seeking His Kingdom, then we're going to be just fine.


I apologize for the lack of posts lately. For one thing, our camera has died. This greatly limits the amount of cuteness I can publish. We've also been remarkably busy the past two weeks.

After surviving Allan's business trip, we spent several days just trying to get our home back together again. Allan and I also got to go out alone -- for his birthday -- for the first time since having Melat home.

Speaking of having Melat home, one of the most precious times we've had was the annual picnic last weekend for those in our area who have adopted through our adoption agency. (We borrowed a camera and took a few photos, but they all have other people's children in them and I don't feel comfortable making them public without their parent's permission. You'll just have to trust me that we were swamped with sweet and adorable little ones from Ethiopia and Guatemala!) It was such a blessing and encouragement to be surrounded by other adoptive families, even for just one afternoon. I wish we could do it more often!

Right now I'm still trying to coerce our 4 year-old into using the potty, with very little success. Just this afternoon he had an accident on the couch, while I was rocking Melat to sleep, waking her up with his announcement of said accident. So, I had a wet couch, a wet boy, and a screaming baby. Good times. Not being motivated by any form of reward -- including preschool -- he just plain doesn't care. He also doesn't mind being wet or sitting in his...well, you know...whether in a diaper, a swim-diaper (now that's nasty!) or underwear. I've tried training diapers that make it uncomfortable to be wet -- like being in a wet regular diaper isn't uncomfortable enough! -- and, in my less than stellar moments, reminding him that he is the ONLY 4 year-old we know that still wears baby diapers. Our pediatrician half-jokingly mentioned putting him in pink pull-ups, something my husband seriously considered, but I just don't know how we could afford the therapy bills when he's a teenager. Preschool starts in just over a month and I'm just not sure what to try next. If he weren't so dang indifferent to it all, I'd worry that there might be some sort of physical issue here, but he is literally untroubled by accidents. I'm all for not pushing them if they aren't ready, but at 4?? He will go in the toilet and recognizes when he needs to poop, at least -- though that doesn't mean he won't just go in his diaper or underwear -- but will only pee in the toilet if he's on there for another reason. Any advice??

Friday, July 17, 2009


Melat isn't the only one who's toothless these days!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spouseless in Seattle

Well, boo. Hubby left before sunrise for a 4-day conference in Denver. Together with his brother he will be signing sample copies of their book coming out this September. They will also be meeting with publishers regarding a new book series. In the meantime, I'll be having my first go at parenting three kids alone for four days. We're filling our schedule to the brim with grandparent visits, playdates, and whatnot in order to make time fly by that much faster...and keep boredom to a minimum.
Having Hubby gone means less laundry and more of the bed. It also means that I don't have to cook, per se, because my boys would happily subsist on peanut butter and jelly for all eternity and I'm content with a sandwich or salad. See how I'm looking for the positives here?? So, yeah. Talk to me in a couple days and see how positive I'm feeling!

Now where'd I put those Kleenex??

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back in the High Life Again

For some strange reason I decided to reactivate my Facebook account today. I took it down over a year ago because...well, to be honest, I'm insecure. I got tired of reading about everyone's social exploits. It sort of felt like being in junior high again, riding the bus and overhearing other girls making plans with each other and then having to hear all about what they did the following morning. When your days are spent keeping siblings from killing each other and appeasing a demanding baby the last thing you want to read about is some event to which you weren't invited. And Facebook just lays it all out right in front of you.

So, given my bad attitude, why did I rejoin? Mostly just to be able to reconnect with old friends. And to stay connected with current friends. So I'll be around...but I'll be keeping it simple.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Short of It

Ha! I posted new photos of myself on the blog, then I went and chopped my hair off. Those who have known me a while know that I'm no stranger to short hair. For most of the last 12 years I've had a sort of pixie cut -- in contrast to the first 18 years of my life in which my hair was down to the middle of my back. A year ago I started growing it out, but kids and acne have made it more work than I like, so for that yearly occasion on which I got a year older, I got it cut off again. The gal who cuts my hair talked me out of chopping it all off, though I did have my husband's permission to do so. (He met me when my hair was at its shortest and holds a certain fondness for it at that length.) It is, however, nice and short again. I don't have photos yet -- and I'm not one to take a picture of myself just because -- so those of you in say, Virginia, Maryland, or Wisconsin, will have to wait a bit, but I will try to get something up soon...because I know the status of my hair is your top concern these days!

Your second-most important interest, I'm sure, is my children. Specifically, photos of my children. So let me just satisfy your curiosity with some from our weekend, during which we enjoyed the many outdoor opportunities the great state of Washington has to offer.
On Saturday we got together with my parents and my brother, his wife, and my nephew at a park on the beach, to celebrate that occasion which I alluded to above but shall not mention. Sunday we headed up towards Mt Rainier and spent a few hours playing in the river. (Both of these activities are an hour away, but in opposite directions. Its the best of both worlds, as Hannah would say. And I think its a very good reason for people in Virginia, Maryland, or Wisconsin, for example, to move out here.)
The Beach
My nutty Nugga

This child could live in the ocean, if given the chance.My adorable nephew, CyprianNothing but boysMelat meets the ocean. Well, technically the Puget Sound, but salt water none the less.

The River

Thankfully Melat loves the out-of-doors!My Handsome HubbyI'm happy as long as I have something to chew on! (No teeth yet!)One of my little dam builders, pausing to pose.Crocs are the BEST kid shoe ever!A lovely view!