Thursday, May 27, 2010

Student of the Day...Now with Bees!

Today, as I mentioned, was a big day for us. It was also, coincidentally, Meazi's turn to be student of the day at Pre-K. (That means that either Steven or I volunteer in her classroom). Since Melese is still a barnacle, Steven has to take off work so we can do this. We don't leave Melese with anyone. The class has been studying insects, and Meazi's amazing teacher, who heard us talking about our bees one day, asked if Steven might talk to the kids about beekeeping. So today he did.

First a Happy Referralversary morning hug...

A quick story...
Dental hygiene...
Suiting Up...
A lot of the kiddos were reluctant to try the honey, but the ones who did certainly enjoyed it...

Meazi helped...
Then we went home for lunch, and that cake I mentioned...

Unfortunately World's Best Dad was already speeding off to work, and missed the cake.
Kids are now having a nice, long, sugar induced nap.

"On May 27th, We Found Out About Us."

I can't believe that I am a person with a referralversary. One year. Really, I don't believe it. We waited, and waited, and then it happened. Our lives changed. I blathered endlessly about that day and how I felt. The posts are on the sidebar if you missed it. The short version is, I thought that it may have been the happiest day of my whole life. Now, having met them, I would have to confirm that thought; it was the happiest day of my whole life. It was also the saddest, because really if our stories are melding , and we have really become one family, well then that day was full of sadness too. Although it felt like a rainbows and unicorns kind of day for me, it wasn't. In a way it was a confirmation for my children that their losses were so devastating that they were going to need another family. They were matched with us. Thank you Jan, and Kristina, and CHSFS.

There are some good things about our adoption, so today, just for a little while, we will celebrate them.

Today I am remembering the outpouring of love from all of our friends and family, including all of you. Thank you.

Today we'll get an ice cream cake just like the one Pip and Squeak brought last year. Today we'll remember the good things.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Garden Tour...a day, and a couple of months late...

Meazi and her daddy talked about all of the things they'd like to grow in the Habesha garden this year. We hit the Home Depot and got some plants, and some seeds.

I was overcome with emotion as Meazi scattered Tef, or 'Tef-fa' as she calls it. It was obvious that she had done this before in Ethiopia.

Melese mentioned that we already had asparagus. Not for long I fear. The neighborhood cats have been feasting on the asparagus plants every morning.

I can't show you the rest of the pictures from that first planting day. Meazi stripped down, stripped Melese, and chucked his diaper over the neighbor's fence. They played in the dirt, and then in the mud after we watered everything. They had a blast, but I am afraid we got so carried away that we washed away many of our new plants. It was worth it. Daddy retrieved the diaper.

We had a preliminary honey harvest a few weeks ago...

And a gigantic one yesterday...

Meazi harvested some Chamomile. She loves Chamomile tea.

Meazi and her Tef-fa...


So sweet!

We could have planted weeds out there. It didn't matter. I was just so happy to have the two of them with us.

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, May 21, 2010

Give All To Love...

Dear Dagmawit,

This is your forever family. This family is a family full of love. This is an incredible family. If your story is anything like M&m's, well then I am so very, very sorry.

When you are uprooted and moved to the cold province of the Cheeseland we call Wisconsin, take heart...

This is a family full of love. These are incredibly smart, incredibly caring people. You are in good hands.

We celebrate you, and we celebrate them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Off to College...

Meazi asked me if she could take her nap today in her toddler bed.


By herself.

How did this happen?

She's practically eighteen.

Please press pause. It is going by too fast.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I'm a mother. I can hardly believe it. I am a mother to two beautiful children. I have a four-year old, and I have a baby. I am a mother.

Meazi came out of school last Thursday smiling. She was holding something behind her back. It was a surprise she wanted to give me on Sunday for Mother's day. She hid it in the stroller. "Don't peek!" she said.

The other day I was walking, and another mom from her school said, "So what are your plans for Mother's day?" Out of habit, I hung my head and sheepishly mumbled , "Oh, I don't know." Every year, for the past ten years, Mother's day has been awful for me, the last few years harder than the first few years. Now that the day is here, I don't really believe it. I am not convinced that I am a mother. Really? How did that happen?

Yesterday my friend Amy sent me the two pictures in this post.

Don't M&m look different? They were just home. Right after this idyllic scene, Meazi threw a tantrum of epic proportion. I had to carry her screaming, over my shoulder, into the car. Her brother began howling as well. It was awful. We have come a long way, but still have miles to go. I am still hopeful that one day I will be the mother they deserve.

The thing that has struck me the most lately, in regard to Mother's day, is that there are women around me who have 'had my back' since we got home. I knew that certain people would be there for me for sure, but what has been a remarkable gift has been the realization that women, all around me, have been helping me, almost without my knowing it. There are several moms at Meazi's school who have done little, subtle, things that I now see as huge gifts.

These moms who have been doing small things around, and for me, are on my mind most this Mother's day. (These moms and a couple of moms in Canada but I'll get to that later). Moms around me have been helping me in ways big and small. Some moms I know well, some moms I just met in September, and some moms I don't know at all. Breast milk, door holding, medicine delivery, a side-by-side stroller pep talk, a "I'm at Costco, tell me what you need and I will bring it to you," a "Give yourself a year," a pizza brought over after the world's longest airplane ride, hand-me-downs, advice given in a way that didn't make it sound like advice.

Sometimes I feel like whenever I leave the house with my two children, a bucket of anxiety is dropped on me from my door frame as I step out. Will I lose them at the park? Will a car rear end us? Will Meazi have a tantrum? Will the car seat fail? Will Melese fall and cut his eyelid a fifth time? Do I have enough snacks? Will she listen? Will a car back into her from a driveway? All of these things run through my brain. A trip to the park is a minefield sometimes. That dog is going to bite him. That guy looks creepy. That kid just shunned her. She fell off the play structure. Sigh. Pass me a Valium.

I am constantly amazed by women with children of their own who can swoop in and also help my children when they need it. As I look around nervously making sure Melese doesn't walk in front of the swings, another mom has helped Meazi down the play fire pole. As I frantically search for a healthy snack in my cluttered diaper bag that is most times lacking diapers, a mother swoops in with apple sauce in a squeezer and whole milk in a juice box. Amazing moms everywhere. How are they doing it? How can they watch their kids and mine too? When will I ever relax? I am a helicopter mom, which I didn't want to be, and my kids get hurt anyway. It is inevitable I guess. Sigh. Pass me a Zoloft.

If I had more money, and if the kids hadn't just woken up. I would write a note to all of you moms who have helped me, in person and online. In the letter would be a generous gift card to a local coffee shop, preferably attached to an upscale nail salon. All of you would enjoy as many lattes as your body could handle, a luxurious pedicure, and a heaping dose of gratitude from me. Thank you for everything.

Now about those Canadian women.

Rana. Dear sweet Rana. This is the last one I promise. This is the last Mother's day that you will feel this way. (Rana received her referral for her son soon after we did, and is still waiting to pass court).

You too Carolyn. This is the last one. Please don't give up. Don't. Give. Up.

I'm off to peek at my surprise. Meazi says she has to give it to me soon because it needs water.

For the love of God, please don't let it be another pet. One more thing to worry about.
Sigh.Pass me a Paxil.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

World Aids Orphans Day

Tomorrow is World Aids Orphans Day

When we were in Ethiopia picking up our kidlets, I had a chance to visit AHOPE. Before I did, I had been thinking about how a woman I admire very much encouraged everyone in the adoption community to look beyond AHOPE and some of the better known places when looking for a place to support. She mentioned that AHOPE was doing well, comparatively, and that perhaps we might dig deeper and find a bigger need in another place. I am sure that she is right. HOWEVER, if AHOPE is the place that is doing well, well then...that sucks.

Toys at AHOPE.

Girls' room.

Residents. (All pictures shown with permission).

Bleak. That was my impression. Bleak. Seems like they could still use our support.

Here are some ways to help AHOPE

I would recommend a sponsorship if you can swing it. You get updates, and pictures of your sponsored child. You find out that they really like tuna on their pizza, and that they'd really like to be a doctor when they grow up.