Wednesday, December 26, 2007


For the last decade or so we have always been on the road for Christmas. This year, due to the way the schedule worked out, we were able to be home for F.G.’s and K.D.’s first Christmas in America. We went to church on Christmas Eve and then came home, built a fire, read the Christmas story, and then slept “under” the Christmas tree. It was fun to wake up in the morning and to not have to drag myself out of bed to go down and open presents. I was already there. Here are some fun shots from it all.

Monday, December 24, 2007

December Photos

Just a few photos to share. We made our annual trip "down south" to our favorite Christmas tree farm. It was a perfect day - great packing snow on the ground and a warm sun in the sky. F.G. made a little snowman which she hauled all the way back to the front. F.G. then walked up to the manger scene they had set up and set her snowman down next to the wise men. It was just the right size to fit in.

Every year CrazyMom and some of her friends get together to make sugar cookies with all of the kids. Imagine 17 kids, flour, frosting, and those dreaded sprinkles. Now that you have that picture in your head maybe you can understand why the men gathered at a different house to work on finishing a basement. Here is a shot of one of the tables.

Our kids never cease to amaze us with the things they dream up. F.G. and Little Foot were outside playing in the snow and somehow they ended up making a large snow head for Little Foot. It was all fun and games until Little Foot got a little off balance and the weight of the snow head pulled his real head backwards to the ground. He didn't put it back on after that . . .

F.G. and K.D. got the idea of dressing up one day and went all through the kids' drawers looking for clothes of the right color. K.D. is a reindeer and F.G. is a Santa worker. She tried riding K.D., but it did not go so well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


One of the ongoing themes during the Christmas season is helping those in need. In thinking about the needs that people have in the world and my almost total insulation from them, I was reminded of something that happened in our home a few months back. We were all having supper together and the conversation turned to rocks and dirt. My birth kids were making jokes about eating dirt and what it would taste like when K.D., who is five, said,

“This one, I try this one,” indicating with his hand that he had eaten some dirt before.

“You ate some dirt?” I asked.

“Yes, this one. Me so hungry, me try this one,” he said indicating again how he put the dirt in his mouth.

“Really?” I said.

“Yes, but this one no good,” he offered scrunching up his face and waving his finger back and forth in the air.

The conversation moved on and K.D. moved along with it as if nothing big had just been said. It was one of those matter-of-fact moments for him. It was just how life was.

Many young children in America put dirt in their mouths sometime in their lives out of curiosity. I assume I probably did it too when I was young. But few of us know what it is like to be hungry, truly hungry. This no-end-in-sight hunger is the sort of thing that leads a child to the point where he is willing to try anything, even dirt, to make the hungry feeling go away. And, after a brief delusional moment of hope as they place the dirt in their mouths, reality sweeps back in.

It is a sobering thought that many children across the world will be putting dirt into their mouths today trying to make the hungry feeling go away. It causes me to pause and to wonder if I am doing enough for them. I don’t know if I can ever do enough, but I realize that I can always do a little more.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

First Thanksgiving

“It is fun?” F.G. was earnestly asking CrazyMom. F.G. knew Grandma R and Grandpa R were coming and that the other kids were excited, but she could not figure out why.

“It is fun if you like to eat,” said CrazyMom.

F.G. gave up on trying to figure out what the big deal was about having a meal and decided just to wait and find out.

Well, it was a BIG meal. CrazyMom did not hold back at all. At the end of the meal she said, “So that was it. Was it fun?” F.G. agreed that it was.

K.D. did not think so, however, because of a new discovery he made at the thanksgiving table – stuffing. When he asked for his fifth serving, I gave it to him. It is hard to tell anyone no when you are not saying no to yourself. Well, for the rest of the day he walked around the house saying that his tummy hurt as he gingerly held his stomach with both hands. It was a good lesson, I suppose. At supper the next night he asked for more food and then, after a moment’s reflection, decided against it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update on Anna

Now that CrazyMom and I are in the middle of adopting again, we have a better idea of what to expect. This does not make the waiting any easier.

The first phase of adopting is bearable because YOU are doing things to make it happen. You are running here and there collecting endless notarized signatures attesting to your worthiness. If you want to make your adoption happen faster, you can run around faster, make persistent calls to dislodge papers languishing on desks, or pay more to Fed-Ex documents around.

But then you complete your dossier and send it in. It is done. There is nothing more that is in your control. All that is left to do is to wait while your paper work travels the world and sits on unknown desks. Weeks go by and you wonder, "What if it has been put on the wrong pile?" or "What if it has fallen off the pile onto the floor?"

But then a glimmer of hope comes. Our glimmer came in the form of an email from our agency.

Subject: Group Z

Hi CrazyD and CrazyMom,

I have been informed that your case was submitted to court and included in Group Z. The court date will be scheduled for early January. Once your case successfully passes court, you will be able to travel to Ethiopia approximately 4 weeks later to bring home Anna (most likely early to mid February).

Thanks and congratulations!

Just a few lines of text and yet the landscape has shifted. Our paperwork has not been lost. Something must be happening somewhere which means someday Anna will come.

May that day come quickly.