Friday, July 30, 2010

Smokey Hollow

This is the view from my front door.

And this is the view from my back.

We are at no risk ourselves from the fires surrounding our community, but it certainly doesn't make for pleasant conditions either in or outside of our home. 

We are, most certainly, praying for rain.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


An amazing mom in her own right, J at Stellarparenting
gave me this award.

And my amazing friend Coco from Mommyhoodandlife recently gave me this award.

These are pretty much the rules for the awards, and I am a really lousy rule follower when it comes to things like this, so if I nominate you, please feel free to ignore the rules yourself, and just know that I really, really like your blogs and think some of my readers would enjoy them as well.

1) Post the award on your blog

2) Link to the person who sent it to you

3) Pass it on to some fellow bloggers who inspire you.
So, if you are interested in reading some blogs, adoption or otherwise, these are some of my favorites:

Both of the women who nominated me are a great place to start.  Stellarparenting is dealing with the realities of older child adoption on a daily basis.  It's tough, it's honest and it's completely anonymous which means she can share more than I can.  Go check her out.

Coco is my long time Internet Buddy.  She writes about life, parenting, addiction, adoption, and some incredible stories of a life well lived.  She will suck you into her world, and you will be better for it. 
Thanksgiving Mom also is so worth the read.  Her writing about her daughter, relinquished at birth, her complicated open adoption and her life is as beautiful and as heartfelt as she is.  I had the privilege of meeting her in person this spring during our trip to the Land Far Away and she is more gorgeous than you can imagine.   Now when I just went to her blog to nominate her for this award, I see she also nominated me again.  Honestly, it's just a giant mutual love fest.
WithlovefromSumy is a blog written by someone I am pretty sure doesn't know I exist, but the heartbreaking story of her beautiful son adopted from Russia whose mental health issues have resulted in her need to place him in a facility that can better help him will teach you so much.  You want to know what can happen when you adopt an older child?  Go read there.
Corey at Watchingthewaters is amazing.  Her honest, horrible, daily life with Reactive Attachment Disorder will open your eyes and break your heart.  She also has a fabulous network to support other moms parenting complicated kids.  Go read her. 
Jon and Patty from Xangelle are friends of mine from high school.  And their oldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer a month and a half ago just days before Patty delivered their fifth child.  For an inspiring story of faith, love, parenting, go read their blog. 
If you are considering a sibling group adoption both  Tudu and Cindy will scare the crap out of you, teach you, break your hearts and you will be a better adoptive parent for it. 
You want to be informed about some of the daily issues Native Americans face?  Go read here 
This is by no means a comprehensive list and already I am thinking of all those that I want to recommend and maybe, one day soon, I will suggest you read some more. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank God those Genes Are Not MINE!

Some pre-adoptive parents bemoan and grieve the fact that their to-be-adopted child will not look like them, or inherit their genes.  The desire to be "replicated" in a little mini-me I suppose is normal and not really a bad thing, but it is NOT something that I desired at all. 

I look at Greg and Eric who are in the midst of what are SUPPOSED to be those horrid "awkward" years and realize that somehow, someway they are completely missing that phase.  I think that they just thank God that they were not inflicted with either then genes of myself or my husband. 

This is me at fifteen. 

 After this came the big bang phase.  I will spare you the torture.   Shel at fifteen was 6 feet 4 inches tall and 155 pounds.  Because I value my marriage, I won't post those pictures.

This is my son at 15. 

This is my son at 14.

At fourteen I was chubby, had thick, huge glasses and long, stringy hair.  It's almost not fair. 

It's almost not fair because these two boys have two brothers that have inherited our genes and they are on the brink of the same awkward period that I had to go through.  Don't get me wrong, both are beautiful and loved, and will turn into beautiful and loved adults but today Tanner is 5 foot 9 inches tall at 12 years old and weighs 102 pounds soaking wet.  He turns sideways and disappears and his bony shoulder blades could cut glass.  Everyone, everywhere comments on how tall he is.  And then how thin he is.  He is his father's son.  Caden's teeth are mine, all mine, and an orthodontist's dream come true. 

Some how I do believe that adding to the family gene pool can only be a good thing.

*** please know that this is only half serious.  All my 6 kids are beautiful and loved ... I just laughed out loud when reading a thread on an adoption forum where a mom was whining about the fact that her child might not look like her.  I am thoroughly in the THANK THE LORD category when it comes to some of my kids' avoiding the more difficult aspects of my genetic pool ***

Monday, July 26, 2010

Things to Remember

I love camping.  LOVE IT.  The camp fires, the family time, the making memories.

Sort of like giving birth, there are things you forget.  Or things you are never told.  So to spare all those other mothers out there I am going to share them with you.

Camping by yourself for 8 days at a campsite where you cant have hot water or electricity is hard.  Doing that with six kids without your husband there is plain old crazy making!

It will rain.  Inevitably it will rain. 
Six kids stuck inside of a tent trailer makes for a crazy mom.
But good memories.

Kids will get dirty.  Babies will get very dirty. 

Dirt will not kill your children.  You, however, after 8 days camping and no shower, might.  Or at least try and lose the dogs in the woods.

Two year olds will quit napping, one year olds will wake up before dawn and teenagers will want to stay up until midnight.   And you will decide that Jesus Himself made the water into wine and you will support that miracle in anyway possible.

But the sun will shine and the beach will call and you will forget all the reasons why it was hard because you are making memories with your kids.

And then you will come home and have to do laundry for a week. And take a very, very long shower.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Teenager

We might have been over this before, but just to recap:

It is your turn to dry the dishes.  We both know you are perfectly capable of this simple task.

When I come into the kitchen and watch you place dripping dishes into the cupboard using the explanation "I couldn't find the drying cloth"  is not going to be acceptable.  TO ANYONE.

Getting angry AT ME when I require you to pull the wet dishes out of the assorted cupboards and actually DRY them because my expecations are "totally unreasonable" is not going to earn you bonus points.

Your future wife will one day thank me for being "so totally mean and RUINING your life".



PS  You have the art of a pout down to a science. I am sure there is a future in dramatic arts for you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

So Much More than Camp

I can't even express in words what Harambee means to us.  It's more than camp.  It's more than the activities.  It's more than the beautiful location.  It's more than 300 like minded people.   It's the totality of the experience and what that means for all of us. 

If you are a multiracial family I strongly encourage you to find this type of safe support system and invest yourself in it.  Give whatever you can because you will get back ten fold.

When words fail me, pictures sometimes speak for themselves.

And just in case you really wondered ... camping with six kids, two of whom are toddlers that are into EVERYTHING ... is a heck of a lot of work.  And I wouldn't change a moment of it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Power Of Moms

We (the collective Moms) did it.   Lisa of the Masabo Culture Company should be given huge amounts of credit for all that she did.

We didn't know it until the very last minute, but in a miracle of events, it happened.

225 tickets donated to Harambee Kids so we could go to Rihanna.  FLOOR SEATS. 

It was a night they will never, ever forget.

So to Lisa at South Okanagan Events Center and Rihanna's "people" we are forever grateful.

You can read more about how this happened here.