Friday, December 24, 2010

T'was the night before Christmas...







Not a creature was stirring....

Little Will, Rock'n the Locs

Sorry Bubbie, I keep trying to get pictures for you, but this boy doesn't. stop. moving.

Here's the best I can do...









Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

They Wait

Anyone who has adopted, has thought of adopting or knows someone who has adopted, knows that adoption is not for the faint at heart. It is a roller coaster ride like no other with emotional highs and stomach turning lows...followed by lots of tears and second guessing. If you're one of the lucky ones this ride will only last a year or two, and even though it has drained every bit of savings you once had, you won't have to get a second mortgage on your house.

Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful, grateful, honored to have gone through this process. Besides the fact that I have two amazing and beautiful little people in my life because of adoption, I also know that I am a different, stronger, more involved person than I once was. I think about things more deeply. I hurt about things I never even thought about before. I want to be a part of change. I want to speak up when things are not right.

And that brings me to the point of this post.
.
My good friend Carrie and her husband are one of 56 American Families facing heartbreak due to U.S. policy in Nepal. These families are struggling to bring home their legally adopted children who are stuck in Nepal awaiting visas that will allow them to enter the U.S. Some families are stranded in Kathmandu -- many since August, 2010. Other parents wait anxiously in the U.S. while their adopted children remain in orphanages, knowing that every day spent in an orphanage is a developmental disaster.

click hereto read about these children waiting to come home to their families.

I simply can't imagine.

Please help these families read and sign this petition

More voices=More noise=change

Not long ago the Us was denying visas to children from Ethiopia who were HIV+ But voices multiplied and the message was finally heard. Change happened because of those voices. Please stand up for these families. For these children.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

World Aids Day

December 1st is World Aids Day. Did you know that? I wish more people did. I was fully intending on writing a very thoughtful post about how important this day is, unfortunately I am knee deep in sick kids right now so time is of the essence. I will however encourage you to read Lisa's incredible and inspiring words.



December 1st is World AIDS Day. Does it matter to us? Should it matter? Many of us have lived unaffected by HIV/AIDS, but in Ethiopia, my children’s birthplace, there may not be a single person who can say that. Every day children are orphaned by this incurable but treatable disease; they are left to raise their siblings, left on the street, left to a neighbor’s kindness,or left at the gate of an orphanage. They cry, they starve, they suffer, and many of them do not yet know that they too are infected with this virus.

What can you do?

1. Read

If you only have time to read one book, I recommend There Is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Her Country’s Children. Written by an adoptive mother, the book tells the story of one Ethiopian woman who responded to the AIDS orphan crisis with practical compassion. It is a compelling and interesting read.

If you have time for two books, get 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen. My exposure to AIDS in Africa had been limited primarily to Ethiopia, but this book features a short story about 28 different people across the continent and how AIDS has affected them. 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa will give you a quick education about HIV/AIDS in a captivating style.

2. Learn

Visit the From HIV to Home website, to find great information including our free webinar and audioconference. You can also read Family Stories about families who have adopted children living with HIV.

If you have 30 seconds, go to my HIV Fact page and get the facts.

Take three minutes to watch Truth Pandemic by Project Hopeful; make sure your knowledge about HIV/AIDS isn’t stuck in the eighties.

3. Shop

Shop with a purpose. Christmas will be here soon and this year you can purchase gifts that will benefit children with HIV/AIDS.

At From HIV to Home we have some great new earrings available for a donation of $30.



4. Care

If it all seems remote to you, take a few moments to watch my family’s video of our Ethiopian adoption. I know I don’t write about HIV/AIDS much, but our lives have been forever changed by this virus. I am so thankful to God that we learned there was nothing to fear about HIV, and I feel honored that God trusted us to adopt our children who are HIV+.

5. Adopt

Consider adopting an HIV+ child. It isn’t as hard as you think! The last four years have seen an explosion in the number of families adopting HIV+ children. When we began the process, a handful of HIV+ children had been adopted from our daughters’ orphanage. Now, the children are finding families very quickly. For more information on HIV+ adoption, contact Adoption Advocates International or one of the other agencies placing HIV+ children.

Don’t wait until December 1st to wear a red ribbon. Do something today and when World AIDS Day arrives, you will be ready to tell somebody else what it is all about. Please feel free to share this post and spread the word about World AIDS Day. My family thanks you for caring.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Truth Pandemic

I just saw this and it struck me.


Truth Pandemic

Thanksgiving

This was the first holiday since my mom died. I won't lie, it was a tough day. But the days leading up to it, I could feel it, I knew it was going to be difficult, so we decided to hunker down and stay close to home...

Jud did a lot of this




The kids and I did a bit of this



I cried when I saw these




and this




and this







My brother Frank surprised me and drove down to spend the day with us. I'm really glad he did! And the kids were too!
It was a bit bizarre for them to spend a holiday without heaps of family around! So poor Frank looked like this for most of his visit!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday






Oops! it's actually only Tuesday! Yeah it's been that sort of week!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grief.

I never imagined that this would be so hard. Not that I ever imagined my mom dying. But when she did, and my heart felt like it was broken into a million pieces, I thought eventually it would get better. I would grieve and then I would heal. I would find a place in my heart to hold all of my memories, and I would feel happy when those memories surfaced. But none of this seems to be happening.

I feel stuck.

I still feel sad. And angry.

I still cry everyday.

I've been trying to just keep pushing through. But I end up walking around in an emotional haze. I feel like most of the time, even when I'm smiling, I'm holding back tears.

I feel guilty when I'm happy. I wonder if that's normal.

This morning on the drive to school it was pouring rain. Suddenly the memory of driving in the rain that night in July to be by my mom's side was all I could think of. Now I can't stop thinking about it. That night. The nights leading up to it. It's paralyzing.

I remember a very wise friend who wrote about this



The Kübler-Ross grief cycle

I don't know, maybe this is all normal. But it doesn't make it suck any less.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

So they say it's my birthday...

It was overall a nice day.

Birthdays just aren't as much fun once you pass 30.

I spent the day thinking a lot about my mom. Thinking 33 years ago, she gave me life. She used to call bright and early and sing Happy Birthday... Something I probably rolled my eyes at, but today I really missed it. I missed her. The sound of her voice.

I watched my "life" video that my sister Kristin made me for my 30th birthday. I was reminded of how many lovely, wonderful people I have in my life.

Other than that the day was pretty much just another Monday. School, laundry, chase Will around all day, guitar lessons...I did refuse to go to the grocery store, because I hate the grocery store more than anything, and well, it's my birthday and I didn't want to go! So we ordered Subs and Jud brought home a chocolate cheesecake, my favorites!

The kids all made beautiful cards that made my heart smile...

I skyped for the first time with my sister...

And now I'm enjoying reading all my birthday wishes on Facebook while Jud is snuggled in next to me.

pretty good day.






Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Love

Emma is turning into quite the Daddy's girl lately. She went to the theatre with her class last week, Jud had taken the morning off so that one of us could go with her, while the other stayed home with the little munchkin. I was secretly hoping to go, but Emma really wanted Daddy to go. Sigh.


Look how sweet they look though.



Beauty.





Will just pointed to the screen and yelled, "DADDY"! Then with his little finger he pointed at Emma and with a big grin said, "mommy!" Yup, he finally says mommy only, it's what he calls Emma not me. Sigh. Oh well, we're working on it!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

We originally had big plans for the weekend.

At the last minute plans changed.

At first I was really sad about it, and the kids were totally bummed too. But then we realized this meant we had a whole weekend together with no plans! The house was clean, laundry was caught up on and we had the fridge and cupboards fully stocked! That almost never happens, so we took full advantage. We played tons of board games, legos, spent hours coloring guys, I even laid on the couch for awhile, I can't remember the last time I did that! It was cold outside, but nice. The kids played outside quite a bit. They play so well together. Listening to them making up games, running all over the place searching for things, it just makes me smile. They love each other so much.

Today we had another family in the area over that is leaving next week for their first trip to Ethiopia. They seemed like such a great family, I look forward to meeting their daughters one day!

In the end it turned out to be a perfect weekend.

How could it not be with these kids?

Alright Bubbie, so here are the pictures I promised!


Will is getting so big and soooo goofy!







Emma was just beyond excited that Halloween was finally here! Happiest dinosaur ever.





Caroline wanted to go the freaky route.



Jack and Sam had to go as something that "went together" They do everything together, they even shared one trick or treat bag!



It ended up being so nice outside, even the little dragon went along for the ride







Even in costumes they melt my heart!




Maybe things work out for the best sometimes...this was the perfect weekend!

Just what this family needed!