Monday, September 28, 2009


In our area, the days are getting much shorter, and the nights grow longer. It's been really COLD today, and windy to boot!! It's the changing seasons that us Michiganders are used to, but change is not always so welcome. Especially when fall is coming before the summer really had much of a chance to evolve fully!

The change from one season to the next always allows me to rethink things. Like the huge boxes of clothes we store from season to season, most of which have been worn more than once by more than one kid, and the majority of it was donated kindly to our family. Some of the things we take out of the boxes have obviously seen better days, and some of it we are just tired of seeing!! Time for a change.

Last year we decided to store our change-of-season-clothing in a different area of the house, to make this whole process easier to manage. Bringing 30 plastic bins out of the basement was getting tougher to handle, so this year we are storing more in the main level of the house for easier access. I will have to report more on the success of that later! I hope it was a change for the good.

As the kids grow and mature at different levels, I am rethinking our sleeping/playing arrangements. Perhaps 2 of the kids who are sharing a room now are not really the best housemates for each other, and another one of the kids may need to be more in the main level so we can help him manage parts of his life better. That Change is needed is obvious, but not always welcome. Change can be hard. Sometimes we resist change because we are comfortable with how things are, even if on a deeper level they just are not working out for the best.

So I am entering another season of change. I am trying to be sympathetic to what really needs to be changed, versus, am I just seeking something new? I think I like change, but mostly if I am the one who benefits from it. IE: It's my idea.

I have a child who resists change. Even if it's the best possible option for him, and will give him the best opportunities. I want to plead his cause, help him "see the light." I want to "make" him change. And then I sit back and ponder just how little I am really able to "make" anyone one change - especially if they just dont' want to.

I mean, I can change living arrangements, I can change bedtimes. I can change diets, and I can change alot of other outward conditions. But where I think he needs to change comes from the inside out, and that is an area I just can not touch, no matter how much I believe he needs it, and how much better his life would be if he made those changes.

So the windy, darker days ahead signal change is in the air. It's in the house, in our clothes and in our schedules. It's all around us. But sometimes the change that needs the most attention is the one inside our selves. The very core of who we are may need a makeover. And not matter how much I want it, I just can not do it for someone else. I wish I could. And I wonder what change I may be resisting in my inner most being? Are you resisting change too?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You're a Big Kid Now

Mere went to school with her pants on backwards. So typical Mere. Teacher says, "Mere, go to the bathroom and change your pants around."
Sweet, tenderhearted Mere says, "No."

Anyone who knows her teacher, Mrs. G, knows you don't say NO to her!!

Mrs. G said to Mere, "Don't tell me no. I am the boss at school."
Mere - "But I am scared."
Mrs. G - "You are a big kid now, and big kids don't get scared."
Mere - "I know I am a big kid but I still feel scared."

Mrs. G tells me later, "I'm and adult and I still feel scared sometimes!!"

In the end, Mrs. G and Miss K take Mere to the bathroom, wait while she changes her pants around and all is good.

Mere tells me how scared she was, and I think her stubborness was more about the feelings of being scared outweighing her fear of the teacher being mad!

Mrs. G won, but so did Mere. She didn't have to go to the bathroom alone.

It makes me realize how often our responses and actions are based on a deeper issue than what appears on the surface. Our fears can often trigger attitudes and reactions differently than we really want to respond.

There have been many times during this whole International Adoption process when I have been ready to throw in the towel. So much work. So much training. So many papers. So many email. So many phone calls. So much fear.

What if we spend all this money and never get our children because the country closes its doors to adoption? What if we are not approved to adopt from Ethiopia by their governing officers? What if my daughter doesn't want to go with me when it comes right down to it, and I have to face Ethiopia alone? Can I do it?

In the end, I finally have to realize I rely on a much bigger source for security than my fears!! I have the power to do what God has put on our hearts to accomplish, and there are children waiting in a foreign country for us to come get them. I am NOT going to be a prisoner of my fears.

And Mere will continuing to learn that too. Thankfully she has a teacher who loves her and will help her succeed. Kindergarten is full of fearful firsts, and Mere is conquering them, one by one. Me, too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken Dance

Anyone who does not wake up with two five year olds doing the Chicken Dance at the foot of their bed does not know how good life can be!!

I got in bed just after midnight after a day long meeting/training session for our Ethiopian adoption. It was stimulating and encouraging to see progress and movement in our homestudy situation, but 6:30 this morning came around much too soon!! I wanted to scream, "NOOOOOO!! The night can not be over yet!!" But when those adorable chubby checks are flapping arms and wiggling their tail feathers, sleep feels over rated!!

The kids are all in school. The bus drivers and teachers are helping shape our kids into the productive children they were meant to be. We are working diligently on our own home schedules, and learning responsibility for ourselves and our things. We look forward to weekend camping trips, and times with friends. We found out just how quickly a family of little ones can destroy a white table cloth with delicious chocolate, and love every little smudge on rosy cheeks. (Thank you Jon and Heather for making our kids feel so loved at your wedding!!) Life is good.

In our homestudy and international adoption experience thus far, we are wondering how we ever dared birthing 3 children without any training. And I know the state tries hard to prepare us as foster parents to take on children with multiple needs and issues, and so training is a necessity. However, the training we are getting as International Adoption Parents by far exceeds anything we have been prepared for in our lives!! So you would think we would be close to be experts any time now. Yeah, right. All we really know is that there is no right answers to every question when you are dealing with little souls.

We are excited, although tired of the paperwork, to be moving ahead in the adoption. In some ways I feel the majority of this year was wasted, and I wonder who the little children are that God has for us in Ethiopia? Maybe they are not born yet, but a desperate pregnant mother is contemplating what is ahead in her childs future, and stares at the poverty around her. Maybe the child has been taken to the orphanage, ill and balancing between this life and eternal life, trying desperatly to hold on to life long enough to get the medical attention he/she needs. Maybe there are children in a bed who dream of enough food, or maybe they are too hungry to dream. I wish I understood what their lives held and who our children are. I want to run to them, bring them home to be loved, healed and protected. I want to hold our children and begin the process of forming our extended family. I see faces of Ethiopia and pray for the children there who live with the hope of a new life ahead.

So much to think of. So many long days ahead. Regardless of the answers, I know our lives are full and will just get fuller!! Let the Chicken Dance begin!!