Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the moon

Every morning we get up and get ready for school. Grace and I drop the big kids off at their school then we head through town to her school. During this time, we talk about what she wants to do that day and what she thinks she will learn. I usually then encourage her to take a nap. The past few days she has noticed something new on her way to school. I think it must be the time of year. This week on our way to school, you would have heard if you would have been a fly on the wall of our car.

Grace: Moo, mama, moo
Me: What Grace, tell me what you see
Grace: Moo, mama, moo
Me: I don't know what you are saying...show me.

At this point, I don't know what she is talking about. We are on a college campus so I know that there are not cows in her line of site. I get out of the car and open her door. She then points and grins, "Moo, mama, MOO."

I then realize that she has found the moon. It the bright cornflower blue sky, she has spotted the white hazy moon before it sets for the day. This made me think, have I taught her the moon? Did she learn this in school? Whatever the way, she is learning. She is learning the simple things and that is encouraging to this mama's heart.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Africa New Life

Thanks to a blog/adoption friend, I have been introduced to a new ministry that is happening in Rwanda. Africa New Life is an organization that is changing lives in my daughter's country.

From clean water to a theology program to sponsoring kids to providing homes for street children, this organization is really making a difference in Rwanda. Last Sunday, we had some ANL staff at our church and 38 kids were sponsored. This means that they now will get to go to school, have more dependent meals and get medicine as well as hear about Jesus.

Please take a few minutes and check them out: www.africanewlife.org.

I am excited about this new partnership that has been developed with Africa New Life and our church. I am optimistic about the future and how we can help change lives in Rwanda. What an amazing story it will be.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another first

This fall is bringing many new experiences for our little Grace. It seems that each season we go through with her becomes a collection of memories. Funny how the big kids had these same experiences but Grace's age just makes it different some how.

Tonight, the five of us loaded up in Ryan's truck and headed to the OK State football game. My bag was packed with snacks and other distractions. Happily, I only needed to use some edible distractions and a book towards the end.

Grace loved the game. At first it seemed a little loud, so she stayed close to dad. But after awhile, she opened up, and became a fan. She now has a new love for Pistol Pete and Bullet. She can make her guns as well as do O - S - U with the rest of the crowd. The big kids loved showing her how to cheer on our team and how to enjoy the game day snacks.

There are many more memories to be made in the next few months. I am looking forward to seeing what else Fall brings!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Overflowing Joy

When Kaylee was young, I counted the days until she could take ballet. She turned 3 in July and in August she took her first dance class. I loved seeing her in the little pink tights, little pink leotard and the little pink leather ballet shoes. I don't know what it is but seeing my little girl in this outfit repeatedly would bring tears to my eyes. And let's not even talk about the recitals.

When we found out we had another little girl on the way, the same excitement filled my heart. She can take ballet! I don't know what it is with me, tights, tutus and little ballet shoes. Grace turned 3 in April. And tonight she followed in her big sister's foot steps.
Tonight there were no tears, though I am sure they will come, just a feeling of pure joy. Grace has been talking about "baable" since we purchased her new little pink ballet shoes. And today was finally the day she got to wear them.

As I slipped on her tights and then her leotard, the smile on her face just got bigger. Once I placed those shoes on her feet, I could feel her excitement, it surrounded us. This little girl, who came from Kigali, who must remember something about her former life, was about to experience something else new.

We walked into the dance studio and immediately she started seeing other little girls in their leotards and ballet shoes. She giggled and pointed and looked at her own shoes. She repeatedly said "baable, baable, Gracie go to baable."

We walked back to her studio. She and her friend A grabbed each others hands and while giggling ran into their first dance class not knowing what awaited them. Grace's dimple was so deep from her wide smile. The joy was so evident, so palpable.

Grace came out of her class with the same smile as when she went in. She loved it. She even was able to show me some positions that she learned. Then when Daddy came home, oh boy, more smiles, more giggling, more dancing. From the moment Grace donned her ballet attire until saying our prayers tonight, I could feel her joy. It was so pure, so overflowing, so real. It is an evening I will never forget.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mirror Mirror

My 9 year old is becoming somewhat of a drama queen when it comes to hurting herself. It doesn't matter whether it is a light scratch or a huge gash, the tears and crying and whining are all the same. From this, it has been hard to react. I have become a bit of a "yeah, your fine" move on reaction with her because it always seems to be nothing.

Tonight after I put the 2 younger ones to bed I put Kay to bed. By this point, I was tired and ready to be childless for the evening. It has been a long 3 day weekend and I had a sick child who was sick last weekend too so I was so done. I was looking forward to sitting on the couch just me and my tv. I turned to leave her room and WHACK. Tears filled my eyes and my legs collapsed beneath me. Searing pain filled my body and I started to cry. I just ran my sweet little pinky toe into her door jam. Great.

Kaylee jumped out of her bed and came to my aid. She wrapped her arm around me then said in a voice that sounded eerily familiar...
1) squeeze it, just squeeze it and it will feel better, apply pressure
2) you're fine, what did you do, you're fine
3) see, every time I do that, I tell you it hurts and you don't believe me

At this point, I am laughing. I am laughing so hard that I am trying not to pee. I am still crying mind you and the two actions together don't make a pretty combination. My little toe is still throbbing and I am still squeezing it and the whole apply pressure thing just doesn't seem to be working. Kay continues to console me but is laughing hysterically herself. This of course draws the middle one out of bed to see what all the fuss is about.

As she re-accounts what had just happened to her little brother, I continue to laugh, cry and squeeze. I then have this conversation with myself "wow, I need to be a little more compassionate to her when she hurts herself, well, at least when she stubs her toe on the dumb door. This really, really hurts. And I don't like the way she sounds which is just a mirror of my reaction to her. Ok, lesson learned. And thank goodness I didn't pee!" Then I said out loud through tears and laughing snorts "Everyone back to bed." Then back in my head "And my toe still hurts, it may be broken."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

update

Well, it has been a week since the news of adoptions being closed in Rwanda. There have been a few families that have been able to get their dossiers completed and over there by today's date. So happy for these families and for the children that will indeed get to come home.

I have been doing a lot more research into domestic adoption. There are so many kids out in the US that need homes. Last week, the day that we learned of the closing, I went to have lunch. I sat down with the paper and the article on the front page was about foster kids aging out of the foster care program. These kids are 18 with no family, without a degree (some of the time). Some of the kids go from home to home to home to home then at the end have no real sense of family or of where they belong. This article was just what I needed to read. Such important information for my mind and my heart. I do believe that things happen for a reason, even if it is just a newspaper article that I happened to read on such a pivotal day for us.

So we will see what the next few months bring for us. I just can't wait to get my arms around that chubby little guy, wherever he may come from!