Perfect

I saw this post on waiting and I had to copy it. It’s put so perfectly. That said, sometimes it’s still so selfishly difficult.

Our wait is beautiful. We are waiting to say hello to our future. We are waiting with hope. Waiting with dreams of what will come and visions of family.

The families of our children are waiting to say goodbye. Waiting to kiss their cheek for a final time. To smell their sweet skin and whisper in their ears. They are waiting for loss. Loss that most of us will never have to bear.

And our children will wait too. They will wait for all that is known to return to them and yet it never will. They will wait to hear the whispers of those who love them again. Whispers that will not come.

If children are not lingering in care. If the agencies we use are acting with haste and due care, then we should be at peace. A decision has not had to be made to say goodbye. There will be one more day. One more kiss. One more moment.

I wish I could go back in time and sit next to the important people in my daughters’ lives and whisper in their ears. Just one more day. Give them one more day. Take your time. I will wait here as long as you ask me to.

My (other) Babies

When we were in Minnesota our dogs got to split their time between my generous in-laws and my sister, brother and brother’s girlfriend (the last 3 live in the same house). By the time we got back late Sunday night all dogs were in my sister’s house, which is pretty big. The only hiccup is that my dogs are used to having 260 acres as their playground. When they start getting restless we just let them go wonder. Suffice it to say when the dogs and humans saw me come in the door, everyone was ready for a little more…room.

But seriously how cute are they? (My sister’s dog, Leo, the white boxer. My brother’s dog, Bentley, the golden retriever).

This Weekend

So this weekend we packed up the family and went to Minnesota. Originally we had set this date so we could make it to Julie and Tony’s “Swim for water”. It turns out we know a lot of people in Minnesota and, since we were driving 6 hours anyway, thought maybe we should try to see them all.

Our very good friends, Greg and Emily, moved just outside of the twin cities a year or so ago. They were very generous and offered us a place to stay (though truth be told I think they sincerely regretted it when they saw how much stuff we bring). I must say, the ride is a lot more fun with Zach taking half the drive time and talking to me the whole time.

Saturday we spent the morning shopping in the cutest town of Hudson, WI. Seriously, they have the most ideal downtown in the world. We loved every shop we stepped in, our only regret being we didn’t have enough disposable income to do as much damage as we would’ve liked.

The downtown-scape.

Arguably my favorite store, a local bookstore. The kids’ area was AMAZING!

The kids watching the glass blower.

When we tell them to “say cheese” this is what they look like 9 times out of 10.

For lunch we, of course, had to visit one of the many Ethiopian restaurants. Greg and Emily had never had the pleasure of trying the East African cuisine. We all loved it and the wait staff loved Tariku (how could you not, really?)

Tariku with our hosts.

Doozie with hotflawedmama.

After the extended lunch we traveled a short pace to Sara and Andy’s chiropractic clinic where we met up with several ET adoptive families (most of whom we traveled with). The clinic was the perfect place to host the get together as it had an apartment attached.

Zach throwing around Tariku and Eshetu (remember they were “the twins” at the care center).

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Zach is an amazing dad. The thing is, he transcends fatherhood and just takes on this role to every kid who meets him. Shown here demonstrating terrific magic skills. Look at the kids swarm around him.

I made sure Eshetu’s parents were looking the other way when Zach introduced Eshetu to the Klipsch way of life.

This little guy, Titus, has the great parents I’ve mentioned before. Titus came home the same time Tariku did and my has he grown!

We had the opportunity to meet this little princess for the first time! I became friends with her mommy in June when last we traveled to the cities of twins. Tirfe (pronounced tear, as in tear-the-paper, fey; tear-fey) is a beauty to behold.

As I’m sure you’ve all guessed, Dailah was a smitten kitten. Talking to her in her “mommy voice”. Basically doting on her and smothering her with kisses whenever she could.

Then Dailah met Silas and they promptly began calling each other “best friend”. Sharing the vacuum cleaner and other thoughts on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

She also loved Samry, who we met for the first time. Since becoming friends with her mommy when we traveled to Ethiopia together, I’ve been holding my breath waiting for Samry to get home and then to meet her. She is striking (obviously) and was just precious.

I snapped this pic just before I was leaving. Tiffany and Dave changing their two youngest. Though most of our lives are spent wishing for stages like these to go far, far away, I’m guessing the two of them will mourn the loss when the boys refuse to hold hands anymore.

Do you know how difficult it is to take a picture of seemingly 50 kids? This is most of them. The only reason it turned out this well is because Zach was in the corner entertaining them. Have you ever seen so much beauty in one picture?

In short, Tariku thrives when other Ethiopians are around (he does all the time, but even more so). Talking to other adoptive parents is a special time for me too! Some random ones of the weekend.

What is he doing?

Ugh, makes me insanely happy and insanely jealous in one moment.

We stopped at a good little buffet (did I mention it was in a casino?) on the way home. They had unlimited ice cream. We were in love.

And mine was gone before Zach could take a picture.

Maybe my favorite of the weekend. What is it about footie pj’s and a Christmas tree that makes me want to turn them all into baby models?

Lists

I wanted to record their lists in case I somehow manage to misplace them.

Trysten:
-DS (not going to happen)
-Nerf Gun Wii game
-Adventure Journal
-Berenstein Bears (about 10 different book titles)
-Silver Surfer sleeping bag
-Wakeboard (what?!?!?!)
-Advent calenders for next year
-Super Hero toy kitchen
-1 brother and 1 sister
-Zoo Zoo pets/house
-Ben 10

Tariku:
-DS (also not going to happen)
-Green sleeping bags
-10 brothers and sisters (not likely)
-green journal
-little green sled
-green toy kitchen
-Santa Berenstein Bears book
-Super Why toys
-green bunk bed
-Indiana Jones legos
-green Power Ranger toy
-Santa toy and lights

Dailah:
-princess
-coffee maker (?)
-my own hot chocolate
-candy
-pink chair
-5 pink pens
-pink sleeping bag
-new princess underwear
-pink journal
-pink book
-bring my little sister home
-Dora toy
-pink dolly

If you notice one common denominator (other than randomness) you’ll notice siblings. Through no encouragement from me, every single one requested this. I think they feel like Zach and I feel, that we’re just not done yet. That they deserve a few more kids to play with and push down in the sled.

These many months since we started actively looking at the next adoption (coming up on a year January 5) have been some of the craziest. The ups and downs of adoption, as we say. But this adoption is so different than Tariku’s. Tariku’s came relatively easily (can you even believe I’m saying that?) with sadly, little prayer or room for patience on our part. This last year has been a year full of prayer, full of leaning on each other, full of hope. Zach and I have never been closer and I think so much of that is due to, of course prayer, but also fighting for the same thing. Building our family in this most amazing way.

Though the kids won’t be getting that checked off their list this year, we are hoping, with a little patience and a lot of God’s blessing, we can get it for them for next year.

Snow Day!

It’s supposedly been the worst blizzard in 30 years last night/today. Trysten’s school was canceled today (which is very exciting to me, I love having him home) and Zach worked from home so we had a terrific day of relaxation and coffee/cocoa.

For just 15 minutes the kids played outside. Turns out they didn’t enjoy the blizzard-y winds and such, not that I blamed them as I was cozy and warm drinking coffee and reading my book…inside.

Dailah and Tariku have been sledding for pretty much 3 days straight. Tariku gets the sled up the hill, Dailah sits in it, Tariku pushes her down then chases her and brings it back up.

I know, I know…you want to squeeze them don’t you?

Tariku writing his list to Santa-notice in particular the tongue of concentration.

And the completed list.

Every year we go outside, come inside and have hot cocoa while writing Santa. I’ve let them progress to actual coffee mugs and they love this for some reason. I personally think it’d be worth it even if they broke one.

I’m fairly certain all of them were particularly cute today. But this girl, was killing me. I stepped back and couldn’t believe how much she’s grown. These are 3t PJs, I swear they fit yesterday. Today? Clearly not so much.

The kids love making forts/beds. This one was for their stuffed animals.

I payed particular attention to this blanket. It’s the one we sent Tariku while he was in the care center. It’s traveled a lot of miles and it’s (and we) are no worse for the wear.

Ending the night with a little “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Tariku saw daddy’s hat and just slipped it on. A little (what was that mouse’s name?) but a lotta cute.

A very good day indeed.

Happy Hanukkah

I love this time of year for many reasons but one of them is because my good friend, Becky, always invites us over to her house to put on a traditional Hanukkah celebration. It’s grown over the years as when Trysten was the only child we’d sit around the table and she’d recite the traditional passages, etc but 2 more kids for us and 1 for them (plus many others!) that got pushed to the side a bit this year.

Have no fear, there was a lot of traditional stuff happening and we loved every minute.

Beth brought just her eldest to the celebration. Thomas might be the sweetest boy I’ve ever met.

Oliver, Trysten and Tariku. Love this picture because Oliver kind of looks like a future serial killer and Trysten just looks like a goof. A few things Trysten has learned in school this year: bunny ears and the phrase, “that’s tight” to describe things that are cool. For example, “Oliver, I like your shirt, that’s tight.”

The Menorah

The many, many kids enjoying color time (Dan, Becky’s husband, was also doing his part to celebrate Hanukkah by playing the song made famous by Adam Sandler).

Becky teaching the kids to roll some matzah balls. Trysten fell in love with the soup many years ago and asks for it a lot. Part of me wants to make it once in awhile (truth be told the entire family loves it) but the bigger part of me wants this to be something special Becky does for him.

And then of course Dailah teaches Eli the proper way to roll the dough into a ball.

The beautiful hostess. Mmmmm, that soup is making my stomach ache.

The real hostess “Baby Cates”. Dan and Becky’s little peanut, she couldn’t be cuter even if she were created on a computer program. The lucky princess gets to celebrate what her parents fondly call “Christmaskah”, all I know is it equals lots of presents!

They really do love each other a whole lot.

Coffee and Water

You like coffee? You like water? Are you feeling lucky?

Go to Jody‘s blog and get involved in this extremely fun thing we’re doing for water. Seriously already did it and though it’s Christmas and I should be thinking about who I can give some of those gifts to should I win, I’m only seeing how it would all fit in my house and in my hand. So sue me.

Do you think you could see all of those goodies in your home and in your hand?

Go here. The whole week this will be happening. For just $5. Seriously.

O Christmas Tree!

Have you been holding your breath for pictures? You should have been, because this tree takes the proverbial cake.

It’s Charlie Brown meets the Klipschs.

It’s the little tree that could.

It’s perfect because it’s us. Different, a little quirky, kind of perverse and perfect in the imperfections.

And one of my new favorite ornaments. Guess where I got it. You’re right, at the Water4Christmas etsy shop. Follow my tab on the sidebar and get something cool like that for you!

Zach’s Toy

His newest plaything-these jumping stilts (can’t remember their actual name). What you guys don’t understand is that Zach is a really amazingly, gifted professional. I used to be in marketing and all of my skills don’t hold a candle to this guy.

He bought these so that he could walk around at job fairs, and the clincher? He’s having his mom sew him an Abe Lincoln costume to fit (He works at Camp Abe Lincoln). Seriously, it will be a huge Abe Lincoln jumping around. If you were a potential camp counselor or the parent of a potential camper, wouldn’t you want to go to camp where that guy is the Director? Me too.

He’s kind of amazing. And he’s all mine.

The full view.

Point of perspective, this is Zach’s friend Devon “Sharky”. I think he’s something like 6’5″ or so. Zach makes Sharky look like a cute little toddler. So bizzare. Needless to say, I come up to about Zach’s naughty bits, much to his pleasure and my chagrin, I imagine.