Tman’s Date Night

So last night I took my eldest out on a date. We received a sparkling report card last week. We were, of course, proud of the fact that he’s in the top of his class for reading (only one other girl is with him but who’s counting). But, more importantly, his teacher commented on him being caring, taking responsibility, etc. So his effort needed a special props.

He was excited for date night. We went to McD’s (per his request) and shared some food and a McFlurry. Then we went and got him a few books as a reward. Lastly, we went to get him Valentine’s Day supplies. He helped me do the grocery shopping and got excited with me when we found food coloring after hours of looking (okay, minutes but seriously).

My favorite part was absolutely at McD’s. We just sat across from each other and had our best, uninterrupted conversation in a very long time. He is truly such a precious soul. I don’t give him enough credit, being a big brother has to be hard. He was by himself for 3 years and then in a short year and a half he became a big brother twice over. He’s handled it so well I forget there could be some stuff going on underneath.

He never said anything, in fact he asked for more siblings, but with how much he talked my ear off and laughed and used manners, I know it affects him. Anyhow, I started to feel bold and asked him if he had a girlfriend. He got this sly little smile and said no (whew!).

Me: Do any of your friends have girlfriends?
T: Yes, Andy does.
Me: What does it mean to have a girlfriend? What do they do?
T: Play together a lot
Me: Why don’t you a have a girlfriend?
T: Well, I just don’t have time, mom.

A boy after my very own heart. 🙂 My other favorite comment came in the car. Just chatting away back there and then he says, “Mom, I don’t know why but whenever I see you, I just want to snuggle you. You are just so snugglie.” Seriously.

And so is he.

I am just one of those really lucky women who has it all in life.

The Weekend

We went to Peoria, IL this weekend to visit some family. We got to stay in a hotel where the kids spent most of the time in the pool so it was a lot of fun. Not much time for words but here are some pictures!

Trysten being thrown by my dad.

Little brother’s turn.

Dailah jumping into my mom’s arms.

Kids excited about their Valentine’s Day baskets from Grandma and Grandpa.

And Dailah got into my mom’s lipstick. Can you tell?

Tagged

So I was tagged by Nicole (thanks for thinking of me, Nicole!) Here’s the game:

1. Go to the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the photo.
4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

And here is what I found:

This is Dailah about one year ago. Nothing special except that she looks so young. Can’t believe what a difference a year makes. Still has those beautiful eyes and pouty lips. She’s a heartbreaker that one!

Now I tag:

Rebekah
Julie/Tony
Matthew/Amanda
Cathy

Been Thinking

About pretty much everything. Lots going on in this head of mine. Enough to keep me up for brief moments throughout the night. Enough that I can’t even take naps! Isn’t it crazy when that kind of thing happens? When thoughts or ideas keep you up at night.

My topic of choice lately has been that of “suffering”. Specifically what causes people to enter into suffering willingly? I have friends, friends like Andrea and another good friend who is dear to my heart who have done so. I’ve been researching HIV/AIDS a lot lately. For whatever reason God is placing it on my heart so I’ve been like some sort of maniac with research. But it doesn’t leave me, it’s like some weird skunk spray that just doesn’t come off.

I’m the kind of person that spent the better part of my adoption/pregnancies praying fervently for my kids to be healthy, happy and strong. Don’t let anything happen to them because I wouldn’t be able to handle it! Don’t we all? Something like 90% of babies who are shown to have (or likely have) Downs Syndrome are aborted. 90%. That’s flippin’ crazy! So those moms/dads are on one side. Then you have the other moms/dads who are asking to adopt children with Downs Syndrome on the other. Willingly entering into the suffering. What sets them apart? What is so different about them that they make such different choices?

When I seriously look in the mirror I realize I’m the person who is constantly trying to be a little more like Jesus every day. That’s what I want to be, that’s how I want to act; yet I spend so much of my time sidestepping suffering. And how in the world is that Jesus like at all? Jesus didn’t sidestep. He died on the cross, (for us!) for goodness sakes. I think that’s the exact opposite of sidestepping.

So I’m trying to figure out if I’m really the kind of person who can enter into all the suffering. We got to see a bit of it in Ethiopia. In that small part I realize love is shown in more vibrant colors and the hand of God is bigger and brighter than any other time I’ve claimed to have seen it. And yet, my first instinct is always to run away from it!

I’m human, I get that. But these last few weeks have shown me that “their” suffering (whoever that might be) is not “theirs” at all. It’s “ours”. It’s not “their” problem they have no water. It’s ours. It’s not “their” problem that lack of life-saving AIDS medication is killing generations of people, it’s “ours”. This isn’t semantics at all!

Until we (and by “we” I mean “I”) realize that they are not the entire problem, nor are they the entire solution, there will continue to be so much suffering. When we wake up and realize our inaction is part of the problem then we’ll no longer be able to be on the sidestepping part of the equation.

I’m just kind of sick of sidestepping. I want to be a diver. I want to dive into the suffering and get all warm and cozy there. I want to hold hands with my brothers and sisters around the world and SHOW them we love them.

By no other way but entering into the suffering.

You’re Grounded!

Interesting couple days at the Klipschs…

So the boys are grounded. What does that mean for a 3-year-old and 5-year-old? Well it means they spent the afternoon in their rooms with no toys just books. They are struggling with the whole “listen to mom and dad and do what we say” thing at times. Particularly in the mornings. For whatever reason we’ve caught them a few times awake at 5:30ish just hanging out playing with each other. So until they both learn to value sleeping in until at least 6:30 they are on a strict DO NOT GO INTO EACH OTHER’S ROOM IN THE MORNING.

It worked a few days and then it didn’t at all. Tariku was in Trysten’s room (per Trysten’s request, of course) until the minute he heard my footsteps. Boy is that kid fast! He sprinted into his room like his life depended on it (and it arguably did). So at least there’s that.

Anyway, after a long talking to today where I started on some weird rampage about Adam and Eve, I think they finally understand. When we asked what should happen should they not listen again Trysten said, “Give my Leapster to someone who deserves it.”

Yep, took everything in me not to cry. But at least we’re fairly convinced they realize there are consequences to their actions.

But before that happened, I got really cute pictures of them so that in times when I’m really mad I can just come back to these.

Taken by Trysten…

Adoption Timeline

I’m reorganizing the blog can you tell? So I thought for scrapbooking sake I’ll put this in an actual post. This was Tariku’s adoption timeline. 🙂

Adoption Timeline

4/18/07 Online Registration
4/21/07 Received Application
5/11/07 Sent Application to CHSFS
7/19/07 Pre-Adoption Classes
8/3/07 Turned in Homework
9/11/07 First Homestudy
10/2/07 Final Homestudy
10/13/07 Received Dossier Documents
10/30/07 Sent in Dossier!
11/12/07 Referral for Tariku Asamu!!!
1/25/08 Fingerprints Done
2/7/08 Court Date!
2/8/08 Through Court
3/2/08 CIS In Ethiopian Embassy
3/17/08 Birth Certificate
4/3/08 Travel Date!!!!
4/11/08 Home Forever!

I Admit…

I only watched the Super Bowl so I could watch the episode of “The Office” afterwards. Well, that and the commercials (I’m a marketing person, sue me).

We did go to my in-laws for some good eats for the first half, which was a lot of fun. But then bedtimes entered the picture so I took one for the team and came home.

But I did document, oh yes I did!

Tariku getting in some quality snuggle time with auntie Leslie (he NEVER does this, he struggles slowing down a bit).

Sometimes it can’t be helped. I just want to squeeze her all the time.

Dailah and Elihu reading next to the fire.

Jake eating the cookies that my hubby made. Hands down Zach is the best cookie maker in the world. From scratch folks. There is very little that could turn me on more, let me just tell you. I don’t know what that says about me, but there you have it.

Since she doesn’t look much like me at all I can’t take a whole lot of credit for that but she did come out of my womb so that’s gotta count for something.

Unleash

My church debuted our new vision statement recently. It is,

“We will be a thriving community of Jesus followers unleashing relentless love to our broken world!”

I like it, except for whatever reason the phrase “broken world” has always rubbed me the wrong way, if I’m being honest. But I’m all about unleashing things, especially relentless love. And I happen to love exclamation points!

Anyway, it’s all very exciting and I’m thrilled our church is finally taking action. I’ve had about all I can take of talking, more action I say! To find out more about it, go here. The point of all of this is to say I was asked to be on the blogging team. So I thought I’d share with you, my faithful readers, the blogs I write for that website.

Here’s my first one. I’m working out the kinks but hey, it’s my first shot so keep that in mind. Without further ado…my thoughts on unleashing.

So when I first read the email that asked me to be part of the unleashed blogging team, I kind of giggled to myself. I thought surely they had the wrong gal. I’m still fairly new to my unleashy-ness. I’m not great at memorizing Bible verses (in fact, I’m only real confident with John 3:16, after that everything else is fuzzy). I’ve always been that person who doesn’t take myself very seriously and thinks the people who do take me seriously are somewhat delusional.

With that said, know I come into this as a kind of poser. I don’t have any different kind of handle on life than you all do. We’re all in this together and together we’ll figure out how to unleash our various talents to the unsuspecting public. We can do it, even if we only know John 3:16.

I wanted to talk to you a bit today about unleashing. One of my favorite parts of the Bible is when God asks us to be childlike in our faith. I’ve found that the times when I feel most aligned with God, the times when I feel like I feel Him the most and see His heart the most, I’ve let any preconceived notions out the window.

We adopted Tariku from Ethiopia in April 2008. There were a few people who thought we were crazy to do so for various reasons. We didn’t have a lot of money in savings accounts; we didn’t have any money in college accounts for our other children. We were only 25-years-old; we had a baby at home, etc. With those (somewhat valid) excuses I knew God was telling us that was where He wanted us; and as scared as I was of following Him, I was more scared of NOT following Him.

So my husband and I became childlike, we let go of some of our “adultness” and just followed God. In doing that, we were taken straight into the heart of God. Into Africa, amid orphans and poverty and various forms of “the least of these”. And we’ll never be the same, nor do we want to be.

Kids don’t need to see to believe. My eldest son, Trysten, wants to be a Ninja Turtle when he grows up. He’s 5 and has no doubts this will be possible if he just sets his mind to it.

I want to be like that. Instead of becoming a Ninja Turtle, I want to give the world clean water. I want to show love to the orphans and the widows. I want to be light in the darkness. I want to unleash relentless love to this world.

Some may say becoming a Ninja Turtle is more likely than any of that; but with a God like ours, I think my childlike belief that it could happen might just make it so.

Oh, and this is the picture I gave for my headshot. I think it shows my unleashy-sassy side.