Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Lions, and tigers and bears....


OH MY...It's the Wicked Witch of the West!




Papa Bear and Baby Bear!



Get 'em, Tiger!

Mama Bear and Baby Bear!

I love my boys!




Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Learning English!

Here's a little video of my sweet boy showing off his mad English skillz.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lessons from a two year old

"A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up peson does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown -up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enought to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." Orthodoxy G.K. Chesterton

My two year old son is full of boundless energy. He simultaneously delights and exhausts me. Yet he also invites me to pay attention to the world in ways that I overlook. He opens the eyes of his blind father, who fails to notice the glimpses of God on display right in front of him.

On a more sober level, my son also invites me to ponder the junk in my heart that I would rather ignore, the anger that flares up so easily when I am annoyed by his stubborn will or his consuming curiousity, the reluctance I have to embrace him when he lashes out at me with the typical intensity of a two year old.

How have the ordinary relationships in your family served as a mirror to your soul or the world, revealing things unnoticed or ignored about yourself or God? What are your pint-sized teachers revealing to you?

How are your children raising you?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We get 'em learnin' early in our family!

I couldn't resist this photo of Brian and Jeremy both staring intently at their laptops. Grandma and Papa sent Jeremy this adorable green laptop for his birthday. It's actually very cool and has some fantastic learning tools on it!

My little techno-nerds! Love them!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baby's First Food!!!

Being a six month old means Zachy got to start eating baby food!


Here are the pictures to document his first "sweet peas" experience!


The best part of having all that good food in his tummy is that he slept for ten hours last night without waking up for a bottle--woo hoo! I'm hoping tonight will be as much a success...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Six Months Old!


My baby boy is six months old today!


Where does the time go? It's hard to believe he was three months old the first time I held him, and now he's already six months! In the last month, he has become much stronger in his neck and back, and about a week ago, we introduced him to his exersaucer, which was an awesome gift from my dear friend, Laura.


Look how he's standing on his feet! He looks so tall to me in this picture!


Zachary continues to be our sweet, smiley baby boy, and we love, love, love him so!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Word of Encouragement

Yesterday, I went out to take a walk with the boys in our double stroller. Along the way, Jeremy spotted a dog and said, "Puppy!". As we got closer, it was, indeed, a Jack Russell Terrier puppy. He was on a leash and was acting crazy and wired, as Jack Russells are prone to do.

"My son loves dogs," I told the puppy's owners, as we slowed to a stop for Jeremy to admire the pooch.

My son. My son! It rolled ever so naturally off my tongue, as if I'd been saying it for years!

"Don't let him get too close," the dog owners, said, "He's a crazy dog!"

"I understand. My father had several Jack Russells!"

"They never get better!", said one of the dog's owners.

"No! They're always crazy!", I yelled back to them, as we continued on our way.

"Thanks for saying that..." she replied, sounding somewhat disappointed.

I thought that was an odd final reply to an otherwise pleasant exchange, but as I continued walking on, I realized that she didn't actually say, "They never get better!" Instead, she must have asked me, "Do they ever get better?"

Whoops! She asked me if it ever gets better, and I told her "No!" Poor woman!

It reminded me of our first week or two home from Ethiopia, when we were more tired than we'd ever been, jet lagged, and still getting to know our children. It was a stage of life that I refer to as "the post-adoption haze". We were walking around like semi-zombies doing the best we could. When people would tell us that we looked like we were doing great, Brian would humorously reply, "We're just faking it!"

Occasionally, when someone would ask how we were doing, and our reply was "tired", their response would often be, "Well, get ready... It will be like that for the next 18 years!" Hearing that would make me want to throw up a little.

While I still don't feel as well-rested as I'd like to be, I feel much better than I did during that first jet lagged week or two, when we were muddling through "the haze".

I'm writing this for all of the adoptive families that are about to travel to Ethiopia to bring your children home (and also for my own encouragement, because we still have some really hard days): When you are home with your kids and you're tired and it's hard because you're in the haze of post-adoption and that stinkin' jet lag just won't stop, remember that you read on some blog that it does get easier!!!

And one day you won't be quite so tired, and you'll be on a walk of your own, or at the grocery store, or at church, and you'll say "my son" or "my daughter" in passing, and you'll be amazed at how naturally it rolled off your tongue, and just how far you've come.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Little Lion Outfit Comes Full Circle

On our first trip to Ethiopia, the day we said goodbye to our little Biruk (August 6), he was dressed in this cute little outfit with a lion on the front:


On our second trip to Ethiopia, the day we took placement of the boys (August 30), he was brought to us wearing the same adorable outfit!


I noticed that a caregiver had stitched his name in Amharic onto the shirt. Of course, I'll hold onto the little outfit because I'm a sentimental gal.

Once we arrived home and fall-like weather arrived, I couldn't resist dressing him in it again and taking a photo of him here with us (taken Sept 28). The little lion outfit made the journey with him!


And I just couldn't resist showing you these sweet pics of him with Nana:



Oh, we love him so!!! He is such a sweetheart and such a joy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Visit from Grandma and Papa

A couple weeks ago, we had a wonderful visit from Grandma (Brian's b1rthm0ther) and Papa. Brian was so proud to introduce the boys to them. It's hard to tell in this picture, but Brian is holding both boys--one on each hip!


Getting acquainted:


I love Papa's proud face in this picture:



It didn't take long for the boys to warm up! This photo was taken the morning after they arrived. Jeremy and Grandma were looking at pictures of our Ethiopia trip together.


The blessing of adoption has touched three generations of our family, and it is really special to have Grandma and Papa in our lives, and also in the lives of our boys!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Three Guys


The other morning, Brian got up with the boys so that I could sleep a little longer, and when I walked downstairs, this was the scene. How cute is this?!...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Celebrating Jeremy's Second Birthday

Dear Jeremy,

I am officially the mother of a TWO year old! Even though your birthday was earlier in the week, we waited until Saturday to have a small celebration with our family. Since we were celebrating a special occassion (YOU!), we decided to dress you and your brother in your traditional Ethiopian outfits.


Can I stop here to say what a handsome little guy you are? Your smile is wonderful and it lights up a room!


It was so fun having you dressed in your traditional outfits, because in walked Nana to the party, all dressed up in HERS! I thought she looked so beautiful in the dress she bought when we were in Ethiopia!


We had cake and ice cream for your birthday, and you blew out the candle all by yourself!


You have a great sense of fun...




...and we're just crazy about you! When it came time to open presents, you thought it would be just as much fun to climb on top of the boxes as it would be to open them!


I love the way you're looking up at your Daddy in this picture:


You love him! Even though you know his name is Daddy, you usually call him "Baba", as you have since we adopted you in Ethiopia. "Ababa" is Amharic for "Daddy", and you just shorten it to Baba. Frankly, I love hearing you call him "Baba", and it won't hurt my feelings at all if you never stop. We were told by an interpreter who met us at your first doctor's appointment here that you have a 20-30 word Amharic vocabulary, and I just love hearing you speak Amharic. You are constantly asking me for "Babo" (bread, food), and saying "che-che" (sit here, or pick me up). I know these words will soon fade and you'll be speaking English before we know it, but it's sweet to hear these words you learned in Ethiopia still coming out of your mouth.


Happy birthday to my big boy! I love you so much, and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the gift that He gave me when He placed you in our family and made you my son.

May God bless you in this new year of your life!

Love,
Mama

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cousins!

My sister and I both have two boys, roughly the same ages, so we've had so much fun getting the cousins together to play! Zach and Gus chilled out doin' a little tummy time:


Then Gus got tired:


So they laid on their backs for a while:


Jeremy and Sam are buddies too.


See? Sam helped Jeremy drink his juice:


And Jeremy offered Sam his brother's paci! Such gentlemen!


I don't know if my Mom ever imagined she would have four grandsons, but it sure is a lot of fun!