Monday, February 26, 2007

Back in the U.S.! (First 24 Hours)

Hello Family and Friends!

We are back in America and our family is all together. I wish so much that each one of you could be in our home right now to experience what we are experiencing. Unfortunately (as we know from quantum mechanics), the mere act of measuring a system alters the system. So instead of being here you get the poor substitute of an email.

I have been thinking about TobyMac's song where the lyrics are:

"Love is in the house and the house is packed
So much so I left the back door cracked"

I think this refers to a smaller family than ours because cracking the back door does not feel like quite enough right now!

We are currently enjoying what is known as the "honeymoon" stage where everyone is being so polite to everyone else. Our birth kids are doing a fantastic job of making our new kids feel right at home and there is nothing but LOTS of laughter and smiles. I catch the eye of our new kids on a regular basis and they instantly break into a smile. They are beaming and so are we. It is intoxicating. I think I need to go and crack a few more windows. . .

There are stronger gender lines drawn in Ethiopia then in America. Even before we got here, K.D. was obviously more drawn to his brothers and F.G. to her sisters. This was evident in several ways. For example, when K.D. would look at a photo album, he would say, "This is my brother!" (in Amharic) and then kiss the photos of his brothers with a loud smacking noise (say "ma!" while breathing in for the "m" sound). When the kids first met in the airport, K.D. went right up to Little Foot and grabbed his hand and would not let go. (See video below.) F.G. was a little more reserved, but all smiles. She wants to do everything right, I think, and so is a little less outgoing than K.D. at first but she seems also to be savoring everything a little more. K.D. is like a kid given free reign in a candy shop; F.G. is like a child discovering a trunk filled with precious foreign items.

I had some concerns about what it might be like introducing our new kids into our home. It was no problem at all. Our kids showed them all around and within minutes it felt like a play date. Kids were running all over and playing hard with new discoveries spaced just moments apart. Of course, the full weight of our materialism was overwhelming us. When K.D. found a matchbox car and it was evident that he had an affinity for cars, Little Foot started dumping out every car he could find. The single car that would be a treasure for a child in an orphanage now becomes just one of fifty match box cars. And the match box car is just one type of many types of toy cars that we own. And the cars are just one type of the many types of toys. Having now been in three orphanages in the last week we realize that the right amount of stuff ("icka" in Amharic) for a child in an orphanage is all of the stuff that they can hold AND play with at the same time. I don't know what the right amount of stuff is for an American child, but I think we are over the limit!

Here is an online photo album with a few photos from the last 24 hours.

There will be many adjustments for all of us to make in the days and weeks ahead -- keep praying!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

What an amazing family! The children old and new look so happy! I thought of your family while I was out running errands near your home. I can't wait to meet the new children! They look like a big bundle of joy! Congratulations on your additions! I'll be praying as I'm sure there will be bumps along the way!