Jul 13, 2012

Christmas In July

Having kids almost five years apart can be challenging, I'm learning. Remember? Still new to this mom thing. And some times I'm just slow on the uptake. But having kids five years apart AND being of two different genders is, well, like a remake of Cowboys v. Aliens. The Dino's favorite game is "How to Hack Off My Big Sister In The Shortest Amount of Time." He beats his record almost daily now.
The Princess's favorite game is "Let's See How Loud I Can Huff At EVERY. THING. My Brother Says." I stopped counting her decibel levels a year ago.
The Hero and I have been trying really hard to maintain our patience and remind them that continuing to drive their parents crazy will only end up with all of us in the loony bin.  But I hear the loony bin cooks for you three meals a day AND does the laundry. And "NO", I have no googled loony bins in our area. Maybe tomorrow.

So tonight when they had been together less than thirty minutes and their were both ready to play their individual games with one another, I called a time out. I set them both down together and announced that if they really were serious about wanting  a brother and/or a sister to come home and live with us from Ethiopia, then they were going to have to get along. We just couldn't bring another person into our family if they were not going to be nice to the family members we already have because that wouldn't be fair to anyone. I asked them both to pray over dinner and ask God to help them know and love their sibling here and their sibling(s) to come, so that we could be the family God wants us to be.

Guys...I cannot make this stuff up. They both prayed and asked for patience, love and kindness towards one another and that God would prepare their other siblings for them as well. It was all I could do to choke back the tears.

They've been asleep now for almost an hour. I can't be sure because I didn't hear the angels announce it from heaven, but I think the Lord Jesus has come back to earth. Or my children have been inhabited by aliens. All evening they have been amazing to one another. They snuggled on the couch during a movie, they have "pleased" and "thank you'd" each other almost to death and while I was cleaning dishes, I heard The Dino say "NO! I WANT to carry your shoes to your room. Because I love you!"

I write you all tonight to document this event, so that this Mommy may have a reminder in the morning when the squealing over "He-got-more-orange-juice-than-me" starts, I can remember that for an entire evening, for the first time, I remember thinking "there really is Christmas in July."

Jul 11, 2012

Going Home

When I was a teenager, preparing to leave my parents home for college,
my dad  had a joke for me.
He use to say "you know Sis. They say you can never go home again."
I'd laugh.
And wonder if he was serious.
As the oldest of three, maybe they were ready for me to leave.
To be gone, to never return.
If I really could never load up my car and spend summers on their couch,
raiding their refrigerator and forgetting that there was life outside
the cocoon they had lovingly created.

 I'm sure they took it hard when I left down that long, winding road for college.
21 miles due north.
Despite the distance, I saw them at least once a week.
And talked to them at least four times.
Sometimes all in one day.
It took a solid 20 minutes from my dorm room parking lot
to their gravel drive way.

The summer between college and law school I moved home.
My dad changed his joke.
"Sis, they say you can't go home again."
"But I have no idea who 'they' are, so feel free to come home whenever you want."

I never did move home after that summer.
I think a part of me regrets it to this day.
I mean, who doesn't love your mom making breakfast and doing your laundry?
(I wonder if she'll move back in. :)

Law school meant studying and studying meant late nights at the library.
I kept an apartment on the west side of campus,
north in the City,
almost 40 miles from my parents' front porch.
Then The Hero appeared and well, I had a new home.
Wherever he laid his head was my address.

But I never forgot Dad's reminder.
That if I ever needed a place to rest, to relax, to be who I am,
that the front door is always open.
It's one of the first things I want my children to know about The Hero and I:
The front door is always open.
You can always go home.

When I left you lovely blog readers last, we had a dilemma in our adoption planning.
One blank to fill, so that there would be less blanks in our family pictures.

I fought it.


With prayer and Italian heritage stubbornness,
I knew there was no way God was calling us back home.
The Hero and The Angel were adamant I was wrong.
The Dinosaur was unpersuasive.
Could we return to the land I loved again?
Wouldn't God place us some where else?
Why could this country, these people, that boy, those memories, why couldn't they be still.

Why couldn't they let me be still?
Why was I always called back there?

And then one day, it hit me.

Dad's words from so long ago.

Because this place, that boy, those memories, they were one thing to me:

That continent that hangs on my neck,
that stirs in my heart.

That landscape where our ministry, our business, our family rooted and grew.

The treasures we'd already received from being there once before.
(Yes. The Dino is in a dress. The Hero continues to lament my failures
 to parent while he's at the fire station.)

The culture we've come to accept as part of our own.

Those faces LoPa Art fell in love with and advocate for through Children's HopeChest
(You can STILL sponsor a child at Hands For the Needy, but you better hurry only 20 of our 210 kiddos remain.)

That place with the hurt and the anguish.

And then there's that boy.
Would we ever be able to adopt him?

With our without him through adoption, he is our life.
Our family.
Our love.

I could no longer be arrogant that the only other Ethiopian child I could love
would have to be that boy.

So yes, dear reader, our next adoption will lead us here:

to this flag,

to this place

but if nothing else, it will lead our children: HOME.

And home is always a place you can go.

Jul 3, 2012

How Do You Choose?

We have an agency.
We are home study ready.
Our finger print application can be sent off ASAP.
Only a few minor tweaks need to be made to our paper work.
And then there is one glaring blank:


For about four weeks now, we've been asked to fill in that blank.
Our family vote has been  bottle necked.

Two votes Ethiopia.
One votes India.
Mommy's vote can tie it up or give direction.

The Angel and The Hero are set that it's Ethiopia.
The Dinosaur just likes screaming "I'm an Indian."
(I have no idea why this is fun. But he loves saying it.)

So at dinner each night as we pray, we've been asking for direction.
We've received nothing but silence.

To be honest, I'm not sure He cares.
Don't get me wrong.
I know He has a plan and that He has chosen a very specific person(s) to join our clan.
But we know what the Word says.
The mandate is out there for us to receive.
And now that our eyes have been opened we know what to do.
But like all things, we have a choice.

Geography is up to us.
He is leading our every step, He's waiting on us to choose to fill in the blank.