I Believe

So for book club we read a book called, “I Believe….(somethin, somethin, somethin).” Can’t remember it all, but it was a collection of essays that was a feature on NPR as well as a number of places. It was just people writing in talking about what they believe in. Some were funny, some inspirational (I particularly liked, “I believe in chocolate” because only a fool would disagree). So we book clubers, being the really smart, awesome women we are, decided we should write our own. We’re going to read them tonight in front of the rest of the club but I thought I’d post mine for my blog club. 🙂

I Believe in the Power of Presence

Job was a man whose suffering was intense; in a short space of time, he lost his children, his wealth, and his health. His bitter wife provided him no comfort; instead, she prodded him to “curse God and die”. Comfort arrived when three of his friends showed up: “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:13)

The Bible later goes on to say that once his friends started talking and trying to soothe him, Job became even more distressed. Sometimes words are not enough to break the ugliness of suffering.

In my times of suffering: deaths, miscarriage, adoption, and just random valleys I have found hope only in the presence of my loved ones. Those same loved ones do really nice things for me as well; clean my house, make us food, paint our house, give us clothes, make us coffee. I appreciate those things immensely but I value so much their time and their sacrifice for just being there with me.

Time is definitely one of this world’s most valuable resources. No one has enough of it and it’s constantly slipping between our fingers. There are never enough hours in the day for me to get all the things I want to get done. It is the knowledge of this that makes me believe that for someone to sit with me while I figure things out or have a good cry, they are truly sacrificing a great deal for me.

It’s common knowledge that we all have different love languages. So I was surprised when I met a special person in Ethiopia who told me that us being there meant the world to him. It wasn’t what we said, it wasn’t the donations we brought or the medications. Our presence, our time, our hand resting on his; he was so very thankful for that.

It made me realize that perhaps it is somewhat of a universal love language, this valuable thing we call time. Whether Ethiopian or American, man or woman, God or human, dog or cat; we all seem to long for someone to love us enough to be there. Love us enough to cut out just a few minutes of our precious days to show up. We don’t need comforting words or presents, we don’t even need philosophical or theological reasons for what we’re going through. Sometimes, we just simply need each other’s presence.


Zach made it back. We’re a family again and it feels great. One reminder of why I missed him? He just took Trysten grocery shopping while the other two nap so I can nap. MMM, I love him.

Dailah fell asleep…in her toddler bed. So sad, she didn’t even blink twice at the bed before she crawled in it, turned over and dismissed us out of her room to take her afternoon nap. Hilarious.

Here are some pictures just because they’re fun people.


Grocery Shopping

We went shopping last night in preparation for operation a-weekend-without-daddy. This is what we came home with.

2 bottles of wine
apple juice
pizza rolls (a box and a bag)
cream cheese
cinnamon rolls
lunch meat
movie…27 dresses
toaster strudel
hot dogs
12 pack of pop (which I don’t even really drink!)

And I call myself a personal trainer. Pfff!


So Dailah is sick. She’s had the big “D” and vomit coming out like it’s her business. This is the longest we’ve went without some sort of explosiveness…and it’s been 1 hour and 45 minutes. She’s had 2 baths since about 2 am. She’s running a slight fever but nothing too alarming. Gross. Poor thing just sits on my lap and leans her head on my shoulder. If she wasn’t so sick I’d rather enjoy it, but I feel bad for her.

Other than that, we’re doing well. I rented the very essence of a chick flick last night in 27 Dresses and enjoyed not being hounded for my poor taste in movies. 🙂

Here’s hoping a few things: 1) Dailah gets feeling better fast and 2) no one else gets it.

Single Mommin’ It

So Zach is gone this weekend to a camping trip. Thankfully he left one of his shotguns lest anyone get any ideas while he’s gone. 🙂

I normally wouldn’t mind that he’s going, in fact, I’d be downright happy for him. BUT camp starts in 2 weeks. There’s just one weekend after this where I’ll have a husband and the kids will have a father. After that, he’s gone from sunup to sundown (and beyond) every night.

We knew this going into it and for all the perks of his job, I don’t mind 3 out of the 12 months of this but it doesn’t make it any easier. So I was struggling putting on my happy face while he trucked out with some dudes this weekend. But I’m sucking it up and pulled out all of our summer toys for the kids, even reassembling a few myself (shock!).

On the plus side, he left the computer this time. 🙂 So I’m sure you’ll hear a lot from me.

On another lighter note, he’s on a local TV show in about a half hour. You’ll find him chatting with a woman, undoubtedly being charming as ever.

And here I’ll sit. Unshowered, in my pajamas (I did get up and go to the Y today but haven’t found time to shower since, I know…oversharing) and eating chips and dip. The life of a single, stay-at-home mom has MANY MANY MANY perks, but today it’s very unglamorous and I feel quite sorry for myself for it.

To all the bonafide single mothers, I salute you!


I’m emotional today for unknown reasons. Jody’s fight for her kids is reaching a critical point and all day today I’m reminded of being in that position just a few short months ago (though hers is a bit tougher as it’s been much longer) and I know there seems to be no end to the darkness.

Then I get a card from my sister. Nothing real special about it….
Happy Mother’s Day Sis

(on inside)
great sister…
great friend…
great mom…

You really put your heart into everyone you love.

(Her message, scribbled in her Doctor’s script)
Sis, I thought this card was pretty perfect.

This may not seem out of the ordinary but it came from a gal who still hugs with just her chest up and rarely cries (basically, I got all the emotions in the family).

So it was perfect. I love her, I love Jody and right now I’m just emotional for two of my favorite gals in all the world.

‘Cuz This is Ladies Night!

Ladies Night last night. Jody and Leslie and myself went to a great restaurant downtown and stayed chatting for 3 hours. The “waterboy” kept coming up asking us what kind of lives we had that we didn’t want to go home. I commented that we had 30 kids between us (not quite, but 11 kids is A LOT for 3, young, beautiful women such as ourselves). He seemed to get REALLY scared about that.

Our post-placement report went well. Tariku forgot to mention the fact that I was the best mom but he was his normal adorable self and so we passed with flying colors. She even commented on how he seems to be bonded so well and I must admit that it’s true. We are forever impressed with his ability to love us regardless of how many times I mess up. He’s starting to give kisses and “I love yous” without any prompting and he allows himself to melt into my arms when he gets hurt or is sad. No more rigidness for this kid.

Trysten is just getting bigger and bigger right in front of my eyes. During “rest time” (the other kids’ nap time) he likes to “work” and often writes stories (I can actually read them decently as he sounds it all out and writes what he thinks, mostly leaves out vowels) and reads books. He drops words like, “obviously” and “delicious” or even “substantial”. Trysten also has natural abilities in math (which he must get from his father) and loves telling me what 5+4 equals and things like that. I am constantly enlightened and pleased with our conversations and it seems I don’t have to go too far for “adult conversation”.

Dailah is actually getting more, and more, and more verbal as well. She just started saying “I wuv oo” which would obviously melt the coldest of hearts. She also enjoys pooping on the potty and we’re told often that we could potty train her now. Too bad we’re still just too lazy. Besides, as of right now, she only tells us she has to pee after it’s happened so we’ll wait a bit longer. 🙂 She’ll be two at the end of July so we have some time, I’m not in too big of a hurry. One of my favorite things she does right now is to say “poo wee” when I’m changing her diapers. I also love how she calls Trysten “TT” and Tariku “T2”. I really do think she’ll be a comedienne as she LOVES making her brothers (or anyone else for that matter) laugh and has figured out how to make people laugh quite well. She’s a little sponge and will at least attempt any word you try to get her to say. But, above all, she is best at saying, “no”.

I realized I’ve been talking about Tariku a lot (which makes sense since we just brought him home and a lot of my readers are fellow adoptive parents hanging on every word, imagining their lives once their little ones come home) but I’d be remiss not to mention the other two who are doing very well with the whole thing as well. There was a 50/50 chance that, by adopting, we were going to screw up their lives as well and I’m happy to report that as of right now we’re all doing swimmingly and I realize a lot of that has to do with my children’s respective personalities. Whew, how blessed I am.


I just watched “A Walk to Beautiful” on WQPT. It was about women in Ethiopia and the Fistula epidemic. It was emotionally wrenching. Talking about this silent epidemic that is hitting women throughout rural Ethiopia. Go here for more information. It’s hard to wrap my head around it to be quite honest. With both of my births, I was in the hospital, got an IV, delivered within 8 hours of going into labor. There was a lot of structure and not too much surprise. I know some choose home births, etc, but after watching this program I was so very thankful for the options we take for granted in the land of the free. I just kept thinking about Tariku’s mom who probably had him on the floor of their hut with no help. Scared and laboring with many other things on her mind. So thankful it turned out okay for her (at that time, anyway). I’m just spontaneous enough to go get my doctorate in gynecology and head to the South of Ethiopia where most of these women are affected. Anyone got a couple “Gs” I can borrow to get my doctorate…oh and that whole “time” bit, if I could borrow a few years that’d be great too.

Also, please pray for my friend Andrea whose son (waiting for her in Ethiopia) is VERY sick. Please, please pray that God pulls one of those miracles He alone is capable and heals him. If that’s not in the cards, please pray for the little guy to be without pain. Oh God, sometimes the brokeness of this world is just too hard.

I am a pretty happy person but sometimes even I find it hard to see the good in situations. So no funnies here, my apologies.

Tri-lingual at 3?

One month home…that’s just hard to believe. Tariku has done so remarkably well, I literally couldn’t have written a better beginning to this story of ours.

Did you know this kid can speak English? He hit some sort of turning point this morning and now says complete sentences and phrases. It’s quite remarkable. 4 years of French only got me to remember how to say fish, yes please, my name is and I need chocolate and wine. He’s a genius, I KNEW it. But truly, I am just so proud of him.

Had a wonderful Mother’s day that started with the opening of a gift certificate for a 90 minute massage (Tarah why don’t you live closer?) I LOVE massages but it’s something I never buy myself so I was greatly pleased with that present. I think Zach’s just thankful he won’t get asked for a back rub for a few days now.

Had a very productive day today. After training a few clients, we went to get the car estimated finally (only a few months after the accident) then went to Hy Vee to stock up on milk, bread and peanut butter. After all this accomplishing I talked myself into buying fried chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies and…OREO FLUFF!!!!!!!!!

I was first introduced to oreo fluff by the Klipschs. They could purchase 4lbs of it and hammer it down in a single night. Turns out Tariku could keep pace with that as he was quite comfortable stuffing his mouth with it as well. I was particularly proud of Dailah, as she was just as proficient with the fried chicken as she was with the fluff. Love a girl who knows her way around a chicken bone.

Wednesday morning brings our social worker for our first post placement report. In that time I need to restock the pantry, clean, do some laundry, do something cool with Tariku’s hair and teach him to say, “My mommy’s so great she should teach all other mommy’s how to be so good!” Truth be told I’m most nervous about completing the cleaning.

May 30th….Sex and the City movie….who’s in?

Happy Mom’s Day

What a great day. Woke up to go to church. Had a great service while there. Then went off to brunch with the in-laws and a few family friends. Came home to get in a good nap (mmmm, naps) and am now bonding with the hubs while the kiddos are tucked tight in their beds. I love being a mom.

Weird today that I have such mixed emotions, emotions I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. I’m thinking A LOT of Tariku’s mommy. I have this picture in my head of her, though I have no idea what she looks like, never met her, have no idea how she smiles or cries. But with as much love for life as Tariku has, I picture he had to have gotten it from his mom. In the Ethiopian culture the child rearing falls to the mother and so I can’t help but imagine he was taught to love life and laugh often from his mommy.

I’m just wishing that she got to see him today. I’m wishing she got to get a mother’s day hug from him and I wish she got to see him dance in the car today. Today, more than any of my 5 mother’s days, I have some DEEP gratitude for being a mom. Not only a mom to Trysten and Dailah, but a mom to Tariku who I did nothing to deserve but was blessed with anyway.

Sometimes I imagine Tariku’s mommy and myself meeting in heaven. There won’t be any translators, it will be the two of us sipping Ethiopian coffee laughing at all the funny things Tariku did in life. We’ll be holding hands and sitting in a comfortable presence that mothers often do because we already know the secret to a happy life. We’ll watch Tariku playing with all of his brothers and sisters and I won’t need to say thank you because she’ll be able to see I was thankful every day of my life with the way I raised him. She’ll see my thankfullness in the man he became. We’ll just sit, bonded in our mothering of the same boy that God blessed us both with.

I really can’t wait for that day to happen, especially on a day like today. I am so thankful to her for doing such an amazing job in Tariku’s first few years and for raising him to be such a delightful little boy. Though I have the reins now, the reins still look and smell like her and I’ll do my best to keep it that way. What a delightful mothers day gift I was given.

Other than those incredibly joyous feelings 🙂 I have deep gratitude for my mommy who also raised me quite well if I must say so myself. The mom who I’m quickly becoming like and haven’t tried stopping it more than once or twice. Interestingly I was also thinking about all the things I had promised myself I would never do to my kids that she once did to us and I’ve absolutely done every single one. That’s when you know you have a great mom, I think. So thanks for being the best example and a truly loving, beautiful, fun-loving person.

So Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there who is lucky enough to call themselves by that name. May we wear our mom badge’s (but not jeans) proudly today!