Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Like Brother, Like Sister...Not!

Ever since we met these two amazing kids, we noticed that they had very different personalities. Of course she is older and he is younger. And she is a girl and he is a boy. I know that these things alone can show many differences.

I just laughed today when I saw what they had created with rubber bands and geo boards. Can you tell who our ordered child is and who is our fun loving, free-thinker? What a tangible example of their differences.

As I was looking at their geo boards I noticed that Little Buddy was looking at Sunshine's board and in his head he decided that hers was better and he wanted to change his to look like hers. I reassured him that I liked his very much. He was not deterred. So I pointed out to Sunshine, that although her design was nice, she could also make shapes and different designs with the rubber bands. They both started over and created something new.

My hope and prayer for Little Buddy is that we can show him that God made him special, just the way he is. I want him to know and believe that his best will look different than Sunshine's best and that is just the way it should be. I know some other siblings at my house that often feel as if they are in the shadow of an older sibling.

God sees each of these dear ones differently...just like He sees me. Such a good reminder for myself and for my children to strive to be who God has designed us to be and not what the world or our family has designed us to be.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Sweet Momma

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Face Changed Forever!!!

When we met Sunshine in Ethiopia we noticed that her two front teeth were quite loose. I told her not to wiggle them because I was not ready for them to come out. I had just met her and wanted to get to know her with those adorable baby teeth.

This past week she watched her brother lose his tooth. At our house, when you lose a tooth, you get candy under your pillow. I know, the dentist loves us!=) She watched her brother get a big Butterfinger bar and that was all the motivation needed.

She told me that her friends in Ethiopia pulled out her two bottom teeth because she was afraid to. But she wanted to be the one to pull this one out.

She was very nervous, but I talked her through it. The moment it came out she screamed and ran up to show Pumpkin. "Look, out!" Cheers all around! Such a brave girl!

Sweet Momma

Monday, February 15, 2010

My First Attempt at Ethiopian Hair

This is the very happy face of my sweet little Sunshine girl. When we met in Ethiopia, her hair was quite short. I told her that we would let it grow and not cut it. This made her very happy.

While we have been waiting for it to grow I have purchased many different hair products, trying to find the one or two that works best on her and Little Buddy's hair. I have a little box filled with beads, clips and elastics, waiting for the hair to grow. Her hair is absolutely beautiful and has looked adorable in headbands up till now.

I have been impatient waiting to try a "style" on her hair. Last night I took 30 minutes, and this is the result. There are some wonderful videos on I can't wait to try more of the styles demonstrated when her hair is longer.

I completed the section of hair and sent her upstairs to take a look in the mirror. I heard her squeal with delight and say "I have to go thank Mommy!" She ran down the stairs with hugs and kisses for me. I am so thankful for her patience as I try my hands at Ethiopian hair. It thrills my heart to see her so happy!
Sweet Momma

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day Dedication

Today was an incredibly special day for our family. Our church family has embraced our adoption in an amazing way and today they joined us in dedicating Sunshine and Little Buddy to God.

Our dear friends, the Averills, who adopted two boys from Ethiopia about five months ago, also joined the dedication. When each of our children was born we brought them before our congregation and committed to raising them in a home that honors God. The pastors, staff and congregation would then also commit to praying for our child and helping us in this process. We know that dedicating a child to the Lord does not save them, it is merely a promise before God to purpose each day to serve Him through our parenting and our lives.

Our pastor was willing to allow a special dedication for our two families of adopted children. He addressed how in the Bible God sees those who have accepted Christ as adopted - and as having the rights and privileges as any other child. He asked us if we would promise to accept these children as our own and raise, love and discipline them in the same way that we have done with our biological children. He then asked the congregation if they would be willing to support us. They all stood to show their support. Sweet Pea looked at me and said, "Wow!" I agree.

The dedication ended with prayer and applause. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Would you also commit to praying for our family? Thank you in advance for the blessings that God will give because of your prayers.
Sweet Momma

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Face Changed Forever

I know that I am being dramatic here, but the loss of the first baby tooth on top is a big deal. Gone are the little kid days. Permanent teeth are to come. Their face changes forever.

Pumpkin is seven and has held onto these baby teeth for a long time, but it still pulled at my heart when he lost that tooth this week. He was so proud of himself when he pulled it out. I think he has been a little motivated since he noticed that his new little sister, who is five, has two loose teeth on top. He couldn't let her lose hers first.

We can already see the permanent tooth pushing its way into place. I can't seem to get used to all the growing up.
Sweet Momma

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Home Two Months!

Sunshine and Little Buddy, or is it Princess Sunshine and Spider Buddy?

This week marks two months since we brought Sunshine and Little Buddy into our home. I am so amazed at how well things are going and overwhelmed at the same time by how far I have to go before I will feel back to normal. Maybe this is my new normal.=)

Sunshine is an amazing little girl! She is super smart and doesn't miss a thing. She takes great effort to order her world in such a way that best suits her. She has been the more challenging child of the two. Even saying that, she is not crazy challenging, she is just older and more emotional in the way she deals with life. She is very passionate about life! We often hear her say things like, "I LOVE THAT!" or "Sooo CUTE!"

This past month, as she and her brother continue to learn English, I have heard many stories of life in Ethiopia. The more they share, I realize that life there is even more different from here than I realized from our short visit. Cultural differences are not truly felt while staying in a nice hotel or guest house.

I also realized this past week that they do not see life in our house as permanent. Why should they? We know that they will live here forever and will grow up in our family, but they don't. Recently they asked me - can we could go back to Ethiopia now? They call the guest house that we stayed in for a week "the little house." That is where they always ask to go. I assume it is because it is the nicest place that they ever stayed in Ethiopia, yet they were still in Ethiopia. The food was familiar, the people spoke their language and looked like them.

I have a hard time answering these questions. I know how their hearts must ache for their home, their family, and their friends. Please pray that God will give Stand-Up Dad and I wisdom as we try to help these little ones transition into life in America away from everything that they know.

Little Buddy is such a wonderful little guy. He is very "three," and we are all loving the fun he brings to our home. He has much more self control than many three year olds I know and yet he is very impulsive. I am amazed at how helpful and obedient he is. He loves to help with any chore that his older brother is doing. He absolutely loves having a mommy and daddy. He is snuggly and very affectionate.

They are both very affectionate! They hug anyone who shows interest in them. I am not sure if this means that they are not bonding with us or that they are just very friendly. I do think the bonding is going well, but I have never done this before and I'm only going on the information I have read in books. I will be sure to ask our social worker about it this week as we have our first post adoption appointment.

Our whole family is definitely still in transition. This month we began just living life as we came down from the high of bringing them home and getting through Christmas. I would say that Sweet Pea and Pumpkin are struggling the most with the transition. It is such a big change to share a room with a new brother or sister and learn how to readjust to life as an older sibling. Please pray for them as God stretches them through this experience.

Stand-Up Dad and I are fairly worn out. I don't know how to describe how we are doing. A friend described it as, "A tornado has just gone through your house and you are trying to put everything back in its place." That seems about right. This process is something that I knew we would experience, but I didn't know what it would feel like. It's kind of like childbirth. Your friends can tell you what it will be like, but it is not the same as experiencing it.

As I share all of this I want you to know that we are so thankful for your prayers and appreciate your friendship more than you know! We know that BIG life things, like adoption, take time to adjust to. So we move forward in faith that the God that called us to bring these precious kiddos into our family will continue to be faithful through this part of the process.
Sweet Momma