Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You can help bring my nephew home.....

My sister and her husband are in the process of adopting a special needs baby boy from China. This is their 3rd adoption in 4 years so they could use all the help they can get with the finances.

They had a marvelous idea to have a fundraiser using "squares" the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game. You can find out more information here. This is a fun way to help out a family and maybe win some cash-o-la yourself.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's been a year!

A year ago today my life was deeply changed. We got the call we had prayed and waited for. The wait seemed so long and miserable. It's amazing how life on the other side of waiting flies by.

A year ago today we got the call! We met our sweet girl through pictures. We got the call...."I'd like to tell you about a baby girl." We heard about our baby girl. The girl of our dreams, the girl we had been praying about for over a year. As I write this I cry bitter sweet tears. I am so blessed by Melia Serawit and it's insane how much I love her and how immeasurably happy she has made our family but it breaks my heart to think about her birth mother who a year ago at this time was mourning the loss of her baby, and she probably still is.

From the time we started praying about adoption and praying for our babe, we also prayed for her birth family and we still do. I don't know how the spiritual realm works but I do feel a connection to her through the greatest Father of all. I've also been amazed lately as I've read my Bible at the references to the Lord being close to the poor and the broken hearted. I trust that He's comforting Melia's birth family.

Click here to read last year's post about "the call"

Cute kids for your viewing pleasure....

They are the boys' biggest fans at the soccer games!
Addie looks like she's crying but she's really cheering:)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Addie's Antics

Running to me crying in the reptile house at the zoo...
I think something horrible must have happened, someone tried to kidnap her, she almost fell into the turtle pond....
Through sobs she says,
"I don't want other people to look at my favorite animal."
Seriously, kid. What is going on. That's crazy! Wow. I've got to deal with that insane idea before I can even get to the bigger one...An alligator cannot be your favorite animal- Mommy hates them. They are creepy and ugly and give me bad dreams.


Me: Addie, please take that pop tab out of your mouth. (One of Caleb's many collection pieces).
Addie: It's not a mouth mommy, it's a bathtub for it.
Me: Huh?

(She's not mad in this picture, she makes faces like this all the time to be funny)

Addie: Mommy where is Melia's Daddy?
Me: You mean your Daddy, too?
Addie: No, you my Mommy and dat's Melia's Daddy.
Me: Can't we both be your Mommy and Daddy?
Addie: No. Daddy's Melia's and you're mine.
Me: What about the boys? Am I their Mommy and Daddy their Daddy?
Addie: No

~She's been keeping this idea up for about a week now. She really calls Michael Melia's Daddy most of the time. Sometimes she slips up and calls him Daddy but she's pretty sure of her theory here. She's proud that Melia's her sister and the boys are her boys, but I'm solely her mommy. I feel badly for the boys who at ages 5 and 6 are parentless. More craziness from the cutie.

Although, upon further thought maybe she is thoroughly confused...Michael has been hammering it in Melia's head that his name is Daddy. She called him Michael for a few months. So maybe Addie's thinking that since he doesn't tell her 50 times a day his name 'is Daddy' like he does to Melia he's not her daddy. (Melia is now successfully calling him Daddy)

I love my nutty little girl!

Goodness and Love

So much in life is uncertain. Of course my days seem very uniform. Wake up, feed kids, drink coffee, clothe kids, direct kids, redirect kids, more coffee, more with the feeding, more with directing and redirecting... you get the idea.

But the rest of the stuff in life like jobs and health and the questions of will Addie always take a binky, will the boys remember how cranky I am with them, will we move, will we stay, how, when, and where...

I don't know about the future.... how many poopy diapers will I change tomorrow, how many fights will break out, what major mess will the girls make, how many tears there will be....
but what I am super convinced of is that

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6

When the days of little kids seem long and mornings seem longer (because I stay up too late enjoying the quiet) it's good to know that my God has good things for me each and everyday of my very blessed life.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Melkam Addis Amet

Happy Ethiopian New Year! Here's a great website that explains a bit about Enkutatash...

We spent part of the day celebrating my sweet niece, Elli's birthday. She really is one of the sweetest girls in the world. I love her so much. It's amazing to see how she already has such a servant's heart at such a young age.

We spent the evening celebrating Ethiopian New Year by taking the Ethiopian babies out to dinner at A Taste of Ethiopia. Micah and Melia loved the injera and all the attention that was given to them at the restaurant. I was so impressed by Melia's ability to pick up the food so daintily with the injera. I enjoyed the little touch of Ethiopian culture we had tonight. It made me miss Ethiopia!

Later in the night Caleb read this awesome book that was given to us from a friend....
It's a great book that explains some of the Ethiopian holidays and talks about how amazing the Ethiopian people are. I recommend it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Golfin' with Dad

Michael finally caved to Caleb's pleas and took the boys "real golfing."
Here's a couple of thoughts about the day from Michael.....

They were both ecstatic about the chance to go. I found a par 3 golf course that cost $5 for me and $4 each for the boys. I thought it was only 9 holes, but it was actually 18! What a deal! Well, we only made it through 5 holes in an hour and a half, and the boys and I had had enough. At that point Nathan was so frustrated that he was walking back to previous holes on the mostly un-inhabited golf course and taking the flags out and laying them on the green. He was taking his frustrations with golf out on the course! As we walked off the course, after some counseling from me, the boys were in better spirits. (to be fair, Caleb really enjoyed the whole experience and kept his frustration under control). I asked the boys, "did you guys enjoy your time, even though it was really hard?" Nathan quickly responded, "It's not hard for me." Caleb agreed, "It's not hard for me, just frustrating." They both said they would like to go again...maybe next time we'll get through 8 holes!
Both the boys have some perfectionist tendencies. Sometimes Nathan's emotional and perfectionist tendencies collide and form a big storm. It doesn't happen too often but when it does -- watch out!
Michael took some cute videos but I'm not sure how to upload them on blogger.
This was a summer highlight...

The boys called 911 and hung up. When I say the's how it went "Nathan you want to call 911." "Ok."

Minutes later I look out the front window and see police officers getting out of their car and the boys running up to the house. They were freaked out. The police saw the rage in my eyes and for some reason they literally played the "good cop" role. It went something like this...
"Oh, boys, you'll never do that again right? Great! Now do you want to see the police car? I'll let you turn the lights on."
Really cop-per you're encouraging this behavior? The boys were so freaked out and felt horrible about the whole thing so it was good that he was nice, I of course played the bad cop role and after I took the pictures sent them straight to bed.
The cops were so nice. They really were excited about hanging out with the boys. It was super cute. As the cop was showing them the car I heard him say, "sorry the car's dirty, we were just in a dirty part of town." I wanted to to discuss the fact that he was apologizing to my 6 year old about the car being dirty and I was really wondering about the dirty part of town. Like so many times in my daily life, I'm too shocked by what is happening to ask questions.

Happy Birthday Adeline....

Yup... Late again, but only by a month.

Addie was so excited about turning 3. Ever since Addie saw Melia's ladybug cake she's been asking for a blue birdy cake for her b-day. I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish that task so one day I took my little errand runner, Nathan, with me and went to the crazy craft store in our neighborhood. We found a real looking blue bird and some little cute birds. And the birdy cake was created with a little help from all the kids...

Addie has really come out of her shell this past year. She was a very calm, quiet baby for the first two years of her life. The past year she has really become a silly, sometimes feisty little girl. I think much of her feistiness began when she was ousted from the baby role in the family and became a big sister. After a good four months of being a big sister she finally embraced the role and her and Melia are getting along quite well. She loves her little sissy and has now embraced the role of being a little mama, which mostly means taking good care of her sister but there are also those times of rule enforcement going on too (I think mainly just to keep me on my toes). She's an awesome big sister.

She's also quite the little sister. She provides lots of entertainment for Caleb. She is often doing little crazy things, that can go unnoticed with all the activity we have going on over here. But sometimes I'll catch Caleb laughing and he'll say "mom, look at Addie, she's crazy." And yup, sure enough she'll be lip synching, making crazy faces to some song, or dancing like a crazy person really the list could go on and on. Nathan has taken her on as an apprentice. He likes things in order and he has decided to take her under his wing and I often hear him giving her lessons on something or another. A few weeks ago her and Michael were the first ones awake and she randomly looked at him and said "I love my boys." He made sure she was indeed referring to her brothers and she confirmed. She has since been calling them her boys.

Grammy found the cutest tea set!

I made her a little baby sling for her dolls.

Snuggling with Bubba.

Happy Birthday Nathan.....

yeah, so I'm really late but he still deserves a post :)

My sweet boy turned 5 at the end of June.

I can't believe he's this old. I mean really he was just a baby. At least he still lets me cuddle and smooch on him all the time.

Nathan is such an amazing child. He really is. He's sensitive, has an awesome sense of humor, is smart and is so loving. He tells me many times a day that he loves me. He's a great boy. I'm so blessed that I get to be his momma (which is what he still calls me).
Nathan loves Camp Dearborn so we went the night before his birthday and some of the extended fam was able to come, too. It was fun to have my mom's sister in town and have her and my gram come celebrate with us. Nathan got to spend his whole birthday playing and the big camp-D. Paddle boating, mancala-ing, beach going, putt-putting, the works! We had a great time.

Driving the paddle boat.

Playing mancala while a storm rolled in.

3 Months!

It's been 3 months since I last posted. Which means that I have very few details about those months. If I don't post something right away it's totally gone. I have very few brain cells left... anyway, I digress..... I made it through my classes this summer! It was great for me to be out of the house for a bit and even better for Michael to be with the kids. He did a great job playing Mr. Mom, but gladly turned the job back over to me once my classes were done. But really, very soon after Melia came home he started coaching soccer and was gone a lot. She didn't have the chance to bond with him that much and this summer was wonderful for their relationship!
Anyway, we made it through our crazy summer and next week will begin our crazy fall :) I'm going to do a few catch up posts of our summer highlights.