to blog?

you need internet. We currently do not have that in our home. So I will be back, when this great nation of ours can figure out how to get internet to our home without us paying hundreds of dollars a month.

Or until I spend some QT at my sister’s house and can steal from her wifi.

Mehaber bound

The kids and I (Zach’s too busy during the summer to come with on our many excursions) packed up Thursday morning for the 6 hour drive to Minnesota. Our main reasoning for this trip is the Ethiopian Mehaber that will be later today. But as an added perk we get to stay/hang out with Tariku’s best friend from the orphanage (Teshome) as well as many other awesome people we’ve met throughout this adoption journey. Last night as we were hanging with Cathy’s family, Tony’s family and, of course, Teshome’s family. I was reminded again how blessed I have been by this whole adoption experience. Obviously I’ve gotten 3 amazing babes to pour love into, but I also got so many things I wasn’t expecting. Finding other women/families who love me, encourage me, challenge me and help me has been one of the purest blessings of my life. The house is asleep but for me. I’ve made myself a few cups of coffee (they are not coffee drinkers in this house, the horror!) and am catching up on some social media. I’m thinking about the people I get to meet/see today and the moments we’ll get to celebrate the culture of Ethiopia and I’m positively beside myself with anticipation. My next post, I’m sure, will feature an obscene amount of pictures but until then I’m off to read a bit before the house awakes. Love, T

New Chapter

So I mentioned in this post that we had a secret to share.

Sarah thought maybe it was my sister getting engaged, which is super exciting and I’ll write on that later, but not it.

The news is that in a few weeks we will officially be licensed foster parents.

Yikes. I almost threw up just typing that.

To back up:

After we first adopted Tariku, Zach and I started talking about how foster care will happen for us one day. We always kind of thought we’d start it when the kids were older and then we’d be able to do some older children fostering.

But after about a year home with Tomas and Binyam we both realized we still had some room in our hearts for more children. So we thought we’d go to a foster care informational meeting and see what they had to say.

We left feeling like it was definitely doable and that now sounded like a good time. They said at the meeting that we’d start the 10 week classes in a few months and then go from there.

The next day we got a phone call, “Hey we saw on your sheet that you’ve adopted before so we were hoping you would start classes tomorrow.”

The classes were every Tuesday for 3 hours each night, for 10 weeks straight. We needed babysitters and I needed a sub for one of my classes. Obviously without hesitation I responded

Sure!

And as is with most things like this, it ended up working itself out. Only one night did we have to leave early because Tariku fell off his skateboard and wanted to see a doctor (he was fine). Everything else fell into place.

The classes were long and sometimes really painfully boring. Because we had done so much education before our adoptions we knew a lot about what they were discussing.

We were disappointed to find they didn’t do any attachment talk and very little education on privacy.

We were pleased to learn more about the birth family relationship and how it pertains to the foster family.

So in the end we will be dually licensed as foster and adoptive parents for a child 0-5yrs old. Any gender. If we are fostering a child who has parental rights terminated and they are a good fit for our family we will choose to proceed with an adoption. If not, we will do our best to love ’em while we got ’em.

If we get a placement and we can see that any of our kids are struggling in the least bit we will take time off from fostering and refocus as a family. With all things, our family is our priority and we are entering this new chapter with that in mind.

Of course I’m nervous and excited and want to throw up a little bit. Undoubtedly the thing I’m most nervous about is falling in love with a child/ren and then having to release them. After the classes, though, my mind has shifted and I feel better about that.

Because the thing of it is I really do believe Zach and I are good parents. I think God gives us all these places where our strengths can meet some of the world’s greatest needs and this happens to be it for us. Parenting. We make mistakes, of course we do, but I think in some respects this is the thing I’m best at.

And so we go forward. Scared, excited, nervous, anxious, all of that. But we have each other, and our kids who are more excited than we are and we have a God who we really do believe is stringing this all together.

So for better or worse.

Onward.

where we’ve been

Binyam got fitted for a brand new foot brace. His left foot is as perfect as it’s going to get, but the right one still has a kidney bean shape. Because of that his foot is often sore at the end of the day. The orthaped doc thought this brace should help the situation until his next surgery (when he’s done growing, so we have awhile). 

Family picture. Come on, love them so much.

Until last year my parents owned a house on a lake. It was awesome. It’s been a little weird not having that to go to this summer but a few weeks ago they took the boat out on to another lake. Dailah hit her stride immediately.

Here’s a little factoid about me, I was originally born in a town called Pleasantville. Seriously. And they have an amazing pizza place. Hadn’t been for many years but I was able to take my kids there a few weeks back and it was just so cool. Something about those moments of full circle that I love.

Love going to my parents’ house. Because they are so good about doting on my kids that I get to put my feet up and just revel in their joy without thinking about how many loads of laundry I’ll have to do when they’re done.

The kids and I headed to my parents house for a week of camps. The 4 boys had wrestling camp (which Trysten and Tariku loved, the other two felt “eh” about it).

That same week we also took the kids to an old school ice cream shoppe. Felt like we were going back 50 years (in a good way). Delicious soft serve ice cream. Tomas hates ice cream so he got a slushie instead which insisted was the best ever.

The same week of wrestling camp was art camp. These 4 got to participate in that. It was really, really cool.

Dailah made this self portrait.

Tomas’s (if you look closely you’ll see he made himself into a hot air balloon with his head being the balloon. Love it.

Trysten chose to make a comic strip instead. It’s pretty rad.

And because Trysten chose it, so did Tariku. Another rad comic strip.

We got to dog sit one of my friends’ dogs. It was a small dog. We are used to only big dogs. She was really cute, especially when we decided to put her in a costume.

Lots of baseball games. Abe came with us to the last one, which he loved. (Pic by Dailah)

The kids’ team. They didn’t have a real winning season but they learned a lot and had such good kids/coaches. Couldn’t ask for anything more.

The boys with 2 of their coaches (dad and grandpa).

While the kids were at camp (more on that later) I got to have long lunches with friends. I am so, so blessed by these relationships.

The hubby of my friend Chrissy got promoted to Lt that week so we went to a party store and decorated the crap out of their house. Totally fun.

 Oh, did I leave a cliffhanger last time? Ok, I promise next blog. πŸ™‚

y’all

life is good.

My sister said to me the other day, “So…you just gonna blog once a month now or what?”

It’s never my intention, obviously, I love this little space. Where I get to write about whatever I want and connect in whatever small way I do with all of you.

But life has been good. It’s been busy. Not in the way that we’re 400 places in a day or constantly on the move but in the, “I haven’t taken a hike and caught helpless frogs for a couple hours, let’s go do that” kind of way.

Which is definitely my favorite kind of way to be “busy”.

The 3 bigs are currently playing Monopoly, Dailah and Bean are playing Barbies and cars respectively and I’m watching with a quiet grin. Thinking about how much I wanted to share all this with someone, with you.

I was thinking today on the way back home from Des Moines about all of the growth people see in their lifetime. I was comparing myself 10 years ago, 5 years ago, even 2 years ago to myself now and I couldn’t believe how different I am now. I remembered how I thought I knew everything then, that I had it figured out and how now I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface of all I want to know. I have days where I don’t want to go to bed because I want to stay up learning, and living and loving. Are there enough moments in the day for all of that? Sometimes it feels like there most definitely aren’t.

I was thinking about how I have some amazing friends in my life. I used to be one who just wanted the most amount of friends. Not so I could look around and say, “Wow, look at how awesome I am with all of these friends” but rather so that I could tell each one a little something but never have just 1 that knew everything about me. It felt safer that way. But I do now. I have friends who know everything about me and holy sh*t they still love me, that’s a pretty amazing. I’m sure you all figured this out before me, but life is much fuller when you have these kinds of relationships.

Of all my sweet babies Tariku still struggles the most. More on this later but I think constantly about him and how much I wish things were different for him. That I wish brokenness and poverty and suffering weren’t part of the picture for anyone in the world.

I’m reading a book called, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, How we can learn to fulfill our potential”. Long title, interesting read so far. Now, I don’t care much about “success” or not the general definition we Americans usually refer to it by but this book interests me a lot because it talks about a fixed mindset compared to a growth mindset. It’s got me thinking about what we tell ourselves. The lies and truths about who we are, who we think we are and who we talk ourselves into being. We start young, if my kids are any indication, and various people throughout our lives can affect the way we see all of that. It’s made me even more aware of the power of words, how a subtle difference between “wow, you’re really good at that!” or “my goodness, you worked really hard at that!” can change the way we view success. Good stuff. Still have some unpacking to do with that.

My hair: have some really good thoughts on my hair. It’s all feminist rant right now so I’ll save that for when I have a slightly clearer head. πŸ˜‰

Next weekend we are Mehaber bound. Very excited to see some good friends and sad to hear some aren’t able to make it. Let me know if you’ll be there and we’ll figure out a way to meet!

Exciting news coming. More on that later too. πŸ™‚