Thursday, November 20, 2008

A resilient boy...

This is a cross-post from my family blog, but since it deals a lot with adoption too, I thought I would post it in both places! _____________________

I just love my little Tadpole!


Last night we pulled out a tape measure to see how tall he is. (I wanted to know if Olivia was taller than him, since we figured out her height.
We discovered that Olivia is an inch and 1/2 TALLER than Tadpole!
(I was really focused and some concerned in my adoption to not displace Tadpole, as the second oldest and big brother to his sisters. So as I have been finding out little bits of additional information on Olivia, I have kept this concern in mind.)
When I shared that Olivia was an inch and 1/2 taller than him, Tadpole laughs and says "I am shorter thatn EVERYONE!" Grinning big, as if it was a badge of honor.
As the facts settled in a bit more with him, he started saying, this might be a little creepy. To have her taller than me. I really wanted to emphasize that an inch and 1/2 was not that much. So, I "stood" on my knees, and kneeling, "walked" up to him. Eyes slightly above his. We measured my height from my knees, and I am exactly Olivia's height. So I grinned and said, Hi Tadpole. I'm Olivia. And hugged him!
He grinned from ear to ear and laughed.
Later we talked about not being sure what grade she was really in. And that for the remainder of this school year that she would be in a special ESL class that was made up of 1st through 3rd graders. So, at the end of the year, the teacher will let us know which grade she should go into next year.
(My thoughts are that she is older than we think, older than Tadpole, perhaps...)
I told him, she may need to go into 3rd grade next fall, like you! Depending on how she does. He was very happy and excited about this prospect. Cool! , his words, to have his sister in his class!
I am actually praying that WOULD happen. What a great bonding for her, what a great way for Tadpole to feel a special connection...and what a great learning tool for the class to learn about adoption and multi-racial families.
My little man is so resilient. I love him so.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

52 INCHES...

With the new pictures I received of Olivia Mame, there is one where she is standing in front of a height chart. But it is just too hard to see and figure out the numbers. A co-worker and I got out a little magnifying glass to try to read it. It says 135 cm which translates to almost 52 inches.

Talking to several moms, and looking at some clothes size charts, it seems she is size 8. So the new clothes I bought a week or so ago should fit! Yipeeee!

I also checked her height against an age/height chart...and EITHER she is the age they say AND in the 99% percentile for her age (ie...tallest girl in history...grin...) OR she is 8 or 9 and average height for her age.

Since I have heard of many, many stories of children being older than the referral states, which I am perfectly ok with, I am guessing she is 8 or 9.

The big question will be what grade in school should so go in to? Will she end up being in the same class/grade as Tadpole, rather than a grade below, as I thought? Being in the same class, would be kind of cool! :) Quite a topic of conversation for his small class on adoption and families! :)

What is so great about school when she comes home, since I do not know what grade she should go into, is the ESL progam I am putting her in is grade 1-3 ALL in one class! All day! And the teacher is so sweet. The day I visited the class they were using an apple peeler to make pies..and it smelled so yummy!

She will let Mame learn and grow at her own pass, and with the teachers expertise, by the end of the year, she can tell me what grade she SHOULD go in academically, vs just choosing based on an age that could or could not be valid! How cool is that??!!!

Just another little piece to the puzzle. I hve her new picture on my desk, by my monitor...and love to looke at it and see her sparkling eyes and smiling face!

Monday, November 17, 2008

January is a good time to travel...

We did not pass court today.
I cried.
I had already surrendered this all to God and He knows for the benefit of ALL involved, the best timing and no plan of his can be thwarted.

I did not pass court in Ethiopia today because a piece of paper was missing from the previous orphanage Mame was at and Addis Family Services. They rescheduled the court date for a month out..sometime in Dec. I do not have that date yet..which will mean, I will travel sometime in January.
Although I am dissapointed, God knew all along the best timing. And it will be less hectic for us to go after Christmas, and less crazy for her to transition into our home after Christmas.

I will let you know my new court date when I get it. God already knows when it is, but He isn't telling. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Will she be mine tomorrow?

Dear Mame,

You probably are not even aware what is going on today. in 60 seconds, it will be tomorrow in Ethiopia.....

Will this day be our special day?

Will you be my daughter before the day is out?

I wonder if you slept any different this night? I know I will.

I wonder what you think? What you like, How you laugh, how you cry? What thoughts make you smile, what thoughts make you scared? Are you a girlie girl or tom boy and someone in between? Like to read, like to draw, like to play sports? What was your mother's name? What was your daddy like? Do you miss them? Do you remember them?

Did you have any brothers and sisters? Will you grow to love your new ones?

How different your life will be.... I wonder, will it start tomorrow? On paper, at least?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is it Monday yet?

Savouring today, BUT I cannot believe that Monday is just around the corner!! When will I hear? 10 am? Noon? Two o'clock? It feels a lot like Christmas Eve around here...

(cute little baby doll is from Bamboletta. I want to order one!)

Friday, November 14, 2008 exciting...

I received pictures of Olivia that were taken earier this week! How exciting is that...and several of them showed her doing school work!
Fun! This is the first time I have had even an inkling whether she had any formal schooling or not. I had asked, but seemed to not get answers.
I love seeing her at a table with other girls working on school. I wonder what they are writing?
Monday is our BIG day!!!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Interesting, Sad Perspective...

This was written as an analogy of what some of our children the process of becoming ours.... Eye opening.

A Different Perspective

Immense Loss; Walk a Mile in Baby’s Booties

Imagine for a moment… You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by "soul mate," for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow. The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world…the person who will be with you for the rest of your life. The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face. But IT'S NOT HIM! You are in the arms of another man.

You recoil in horror. Who is this man? Where is your beloved? You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back,...even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay. But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him?

Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone. You find it difficult to sleep.

The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact. Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it. More time passes.

One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?

You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried. The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you. You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy.

The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to "get along." You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation. Hours later, the plane touches down.

The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair. Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before. He leads you to a car and drives you to another location.

Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black. You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep.

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness. Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away.

Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait. --

Written by Cynthia Hockman-Chupp, analogy courtesy of Dr. Kali Miller

A matter of the heart.....

I read this awesome blog entry by another mom who has adopted a young "older" daughter and had some of the same experiences I have had so far, and could have with Olivia as well.

It is such an encouragement. It opened my eyes that a lot of the boisterous, over-the-top, loud behavior could be acting out from fear...and doubt. Even in my boys. Do they feel loved?

They are young, and do not know yet how to run to God to get their hearts filled. I pray I can somehow in my mothering, teach them how to do that. I know in myself, when I do not go to God to get my heart full and satisfied, I run around empty, with nothing to give and looking to others to fill me up.

So must my children..go around feeling their heart to be empty, but not understanding it, so they act out to get attention and something to help them out....

In her blog, this mom talks about filling up your childs heart with love. Maybe a hug, cuddle time, but actually asking the question, Does your heart feel filled? I tried that last night, with one of mine. He said, no it does not. So I hugged and cuddled. When we were done, he went back to reading his book, with a smile on his face.

If I could just remember, these little ones need love poured in, and most of their acting up is coming from a feeling of emptiness.

Read the whole thing here:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Pics from across the world...

I got new pictures of Olivia today. She looks bigger! I think all the clothes I got will be too small.
I went from 7, and then to 8's, but I don't know....
At least they are all stretchy ones, and Mary can inherit them if they are too small for Olivia.
Our court date is you did not know that already!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Girlie I ready for this?

Grace, one of the office managers at Hope Adopton Agency, is in Ethiopia right now visiting the orphanage where Olivia Mame is living...she sent back this little message yesterday about Mame and the other girls....
"Mekdes, Kalk and Dag, Hen and Wub, Mame are all doing great!!! They know they have families and they know they are coming.
The girls were so cute--they were whispering and giggling for a while, I finally asked what they were up to and one of them whispered "Antneneh"?? So cute!!"
Anteneh is a little boy that was adopted earlier this year by Grace. My little girl is giggling about little boys ALREADY!
Oh my! Am I ready for this? :)
My presentation at church yesterday went well. My sweet Nicholas blessed me so. When I was in Starbucks on our way to church, he wrote me a note. He gave it to me when I got back in the care and it said:
"Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should." Col 4:4

I love you mommy, I know that you will do great with your presentation, so I'm writting to comfort you, hundreds of kisses.
Nick Hancock. xxxoooxxooxo"

Isn't that precious?
7 more days until court!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Yep...ten days left until our court date. And I am getting a little nervous...

Not about passing court, it will either happen on that date, or it will be a later date. God is in control of that.

I am nervous about travel to Ethiopia.... alone...

And will miss and worry about my little ones at home, even though I know they will be well cared for.

I know God is in charge of all that too...and wrapping it in prayer is what I need to do.

Sunday is when I share in church, and I think I am ready, but nervous about that too...

....What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bare
What a priviledge to carry
everything to Him in prayer
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain (worry, stress) we bare
All because we do not carry,
EVERYTHING to God in prayer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A great project...

I am always interested in how helping those without can be personal to me and my children, rather than money in an evelope..(which I know is very needed as well!). I saw this and plan to do one with my kids.

They are "Action Packs" Packages of blankets, towels and a few other survival type options being passed out in Pakinstan by Christian brothers and sisters to those who are in need. Along with it, they put in a booklet about Jesus.

They vacuum packs are $7 fill it, ship it back and VOM then sends them in bulk over to Pakistan.

I like it...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our New First Family....

Whether or not I agree with the politics of our new first family, it is heartwarming to see this family in the White House.

As I raise a my little ones, two Causasian, one Chinese and one Ethiopian, yet, all American, I love for faces of diversity to be prominent in our culture.

My little Olivia might be thrilled to see someone who looks like her, in the White House.

And as Beth Moore suggested and God, through the apostle Paul directed, I will pray for those in authority, may they be led by God, even when they do not know it. May He bless them, direct them and draw them to himself and guide them in wisdom for our nation.

Monday, November 3, 2008

14 Days

It is 14 days until my courtdate...
I wonder if I will pass the first time? I am praying so, but I am also resting in God's care, as He knows far better than me.
Last night I had an odd mixed up dream about being in Ethiopia and getting Mame. In my dream she was first a very small, skinny, toddler girl, so small that I could carry her in a mama pouch on my front...but then, as the dream progressed, she was a baby boy, as dreams are sometimes wierd and do not make sense.
But the part of the dream that lingered was this intense feeling to protect her, to care for her, that she was mine.
We are all looking forward to her being here.
I wonder what she thinks? Going about her days, somewhat oblivious to what lies ahead. What worries her? What make her happy?
Another mom, who adopted a young girl from Mame's same orphanage, told of how her daughter shared, on the day she knew her new mom was coming to get her, she picked out her clothes (from clothes I think they all share), and fixed her hair. Ready, aware and looking forward to this day.
We so often look forward to something, holding an expectation and "fantasy" of how it will be, that is never like the reality. It can't be, as we cannot fortell the future and understand each nuance of how it will be. But, if we will embrace the life God gives us, planned and orchestrated from the hands of our loving Father, it is a rich, full, loving life, beyond what we could imagine.
Different, yes, but better. I prayer for little Mame, as she is about to embark on a new life, with a new family, that God will pour love in her heart, comfort and peace and give us all the wisdom, patience, understanding and lots of laughs to make it through the transition.
14 days...and counting.