As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

If You Had a Million Dollars.....

.....what would you do with it? This is the topic that my kids were discussing at the dinner table tonight. Shana said she would use it to help starving people in Africa, Adrian said he would adopt 5 kids, Ashton said he would share it with the rest of his family, Malia said she would help poor people, Jordan said he would use it to buy a mekina (car), and Jalen said he would buy a belly. I'm not sure why, as I'm positive that he already has one; however, I guess it's possible that he didn't quite understand the conversation.

At least some of my children have their hearts in the right place.....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Little Snow Men.....

Recently, we got our first substantial snowfall of the winter. The twins were thrilled, as they had never played in the snow before.

They loved it, and could have stayed outside all day! The weather here sure is different from that in Gambela, Ethiopia, but so far, they don't seem to mind a bit!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Under Construction.....

The same week that we arrived home from Ethiopia with the boys back in November, it rained really hard. And we had water coming into our living room! That's right, obviously our roof sprung a leak (due to a flashing problem by the chimney) and we actually had buckets in our living room and basement collecting water. Well, ever since then we've been working with the insurance company to get it resolved, and today an Amish crew started the construction work. We have to re-roof over the living room, and tear out the drywall, fireplace, carpet, ceiling, etc. inside. At the same time, we are enlarging our laundry/mudroom, so we have a lot of noise and mess going on around here, from both ends of the house. The twins weren't too sure about it this morning, as they woke up to the sound of saws and hammers going crazy:

They were convinced that the men were tearing our house down!

I'll have to post pictures when the work is finished, but the house will probably be torn up for a couple of weeks. I'll be glad when this project is complete!

Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Little Bit of Random......

1. Jalen and Jordan had their first dentist appointment last week. They each had a cavity between their two front teeth, but everything else looked great! We are thankful, as some children from Ethiopia have to undergo extensive dental work.

2. Malia was being silly the other day and informed her cousin Kelli that she ate a log. Kelli asked, "What did you do that for?" And Malia answered, "For Pete's sake." (?)

3. We had our first post-adoption visit with our social worker last week. Everything went great, and I think she enjoyed interacting with the kids. Especially Malia. Malia always makes her laugh. Our social worker will come to visit us every 3 months for the first year that Jalen and Jordan are home, and then we'll have to complete a report and take pictures of the boys to send back to Ethiopia every year until they turn 18.

4. The twins love to swim, and call it "going splash-splash." Their swim-suits are also known as "splash-splashes." The other day, we went to the car-wash, and their eyes and mouths were huge as they watched the van "go splash-splash." They thought it was hilarious, and now every time we go somewhere, they wonder if we can take the van "splash-splash" again.

5. Speaking of "splash-splashing," we had a baptism at our church this past weekend. Jordan watched in awe, and then wondered if he could do it, too. He wasn't very happy that Chris's cousin got to go "splash-splash" and he didn't.

6. Shana was in a spelling bee at school last week. Whoever knew that panickiness, polyglot, slantindicular and pugilist were real words? (Or maybe I'm just showing my lack of vocabulary.)

7. Chris took one of the twins with him to pick up a pizza one night. The lady at the counter said, "Oh, it looks like you're babysitting tonight!" Chris responded with, "No, this is my son. And I have another one at home just like like him - he's a twin." The lady's mouth formed a little round "o", and she didn't have too much else to say as she tried to figure it out. :-)

8. Jalen new favorite thing to say is, "What is it?" And he asks it all the time. We'll be driving through town, where of course there is one house right after another, and he'll ask, "What is it?" I'll answer, "A house." "What is it?" "A house." "What is it?" "A house." "What is it?" "A house." And on and on and on, all the way down the street.

9. I poured milk into the twins' bowls of Rice Krispies this morning, and they both got surprised looks on their faces and put their ears down beside the bowls to listen to the snaps, crackles, and pops. They were so excited that their cereal was making noise!

10. Chris has a business trip coming up, and will be gone for several nights. It is the first trip he's taken since the twins have been home, and I'm wondering how they'll do without their beloved daddy here. We'll see.......

11. Jalen and Jordan are convinced that we have lions outside, like they did in Africa. They also think we have monkeys in our trees!

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Missing Her.....

Our twins love their birth mother so much, and it has been very evident to us that she loved them, too. We are privileged to have lots of photos of her and the boys together, and they love to look at them. She also made 3 matching necklaces; 1 for each of the boys and 1 for herself. She is wearing hers in all of the photos we have of her. The necklaces are the only personal items that Jalen and Jordan have from their life in Gambela - precious keepsakes indeed.

The twins pray for their birth mother every night, and always say she is "konjo" (beautiful). And she is. While they have attached really well to us, they miss their birth mother sometimes.

Several weeks ago, Jordan told Chris that when "A----- (the boys' birth mother) bye-bye, Jordan cry." He also said that "A----- no na," which means she didn't come back.

A few nights later, Shana came and told us that Jalen was sad, but he wouldn't say why. Chris asked him what was wrong, and he said, "A-----. A----- na," which means that he wants her to come. It just about broke my heart, but we tried to explain to him that A----- is sick and he is our little boy now. We told him that A-----loves him, that we love him, and that we love A-----, too. He wanted to see her again, so we gave him a photo of both boys kissing her on the cheeks, and he took it to bed with him. He seemed OK then, as we showered him with kisses and told him how much we love him, but it was still painful for me to watch. I'm sure these little guys love their birth mother so much, and probably do not fully understand yet that they will not be seeing her anymore. I grieve, too, knowing the pain that she must be dealing with. I, as a mother, cannot fathom having to give up my children. While adoption is a beautiful thing, it is also heartbreaking and full of loss. A-----'s love for her children was profound and sacrificial, and we pray each day that God will be with her and give her peace.

This photo was taken the week before we were reunited with our boys. This was the last time the boys saw their beautiful birth mother.

The twins with both of their mommies. We were privileged to meet A----- in August when we met our boys for the first time. They are wearing their necklaces in this photo. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

From Our Home To Yours.....

Melkam Ganna! 
("Merry Christmas" in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia)

January 7th is the day that Ethiopia celebrates Christ's birth. One year ago today, our twins were probably celebrating Christmas with their birth family. This morning, I asked Jalen and Jordan what they did on Ganna, and they responded, "Bela (eat), dance and buna (coffee)."

To celebrate, we drank Ethiopian coffee and dressed in our traditional Ethiopian clothes.


Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jalen and Jordan Singing Their Favorite Songs.....

They don't have all the words correct yet, but here they are in all their glory, singing This Little Light of Mine:

I have a feeling they could have gone on all day.......

And here they are singing Jesus Loves Me. Not sure if Jordan is trying to kiss Jalen or eat him, but here you have it:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Our Weekend In Pictures...

This past weekend, we took a little trip down to Cincinnati, where we visited the Creation Museum's Live Nativity and Christmas Town. Then, we stayed overnight in a hotel, and the twins were thrilled about swimming for the first time. They absolutely loved it!!! On Saturday, we went to the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton before heading home. Here are a few photos from our trip: