09/25/10 - Touch a Truck

We recently went to a "Touch a Truck" event in our area - and to say the boys were in heaven would be an understatement!!! They LOVED:

climbing in the fire engine:
sitting in a bus:
sitting in the front seats of various vehicles:

pretending to mow the lawn on the riding lawnmowers:

beeping the horn/siren in the police cars:
and talking through the speaker:
There was also a small petting zoo. John loves animals and was all for visiting while Ryan chose to watch from a distance. (I'm not sure why this picture is sideways - I've tried adding it twice and it's not stored sideways in my picture files - oh well, just turn your head!)

sitting on a variety of farm equipment:

a HUGE lawnmower:
And John ended the day sitting in the cab of a semi truck!
We can't wait for next year!

09/20/10 - Seven Months

"Howdy, partner!" "There's a snake in my boot!"

How the time has flown by!
John and Ryan continue to just love life and all its adventures (and EVERYTHING is an adventure!) and charm the socks off everyone they meet.
Now lest anyone think (especially those following after us on the adoption path) life has been picture perfect since arriving home, let me assure you it has not! It is true there were really no attachment, food, sleep, or behavior issues when the boys arrived home (I realize this is not the norm and PRAISE GOD for this blessing.) and they continue to not really have any issues now, except for the normal sibling arguments, tantrums (Ryan is quickly moving out of that phase though unless he is tired), and not listening. But there have been the times John has remembered and talked about life in Ethiopia with his first family (that was the first time I thought, "I don't want to do this Lord. This conversation is too hard). He has some good memories and some sad memories. And when the sad memories come out and I know I can't fix everything and take his pain away, I don't like it. But I let him know it is okay to talk about it and it's okay to be sad (he kind of doesn't get that concept). And then there are the times he asks me if he could change his skin to white. I know from all the training and reading we did before and during and since the adoption
that it is normal for children to want to "look" like their parents. I tell him God made he and Ryan with brown skin and Mommy and Daddy with white skin. The answer I got back from that was, "I'm going to pray and ask God for white skin." (I must say the boy's always thinking!!). I told him God wasn't going to say yes to that prayer and that I love him and God loves him just they way he is but that's it's okay to want to have white skin like Mommy's. He then asked me if I wished I had brown skin. I told him I sometimes did but that I loved us just the way we are because that is how God created us. The conversation ended with John saying, "Okay, I'll have brown skin." It's come up twice since then and I know it will continue to come up. I have always know but have truly come to realize that adoption is forever - yes they boys will be ours sons for always but adoption and all the facets that go with being a multicultural and biracial family are forever as well.
And life certainly has thrown us a few curve balls. Mike started a new job in August and we have gone from being a lot under employed to just a little underemployed. But he has gone from a job where he was continually disrespected to being appreciated so that's a huge praise. While the new job is still third shift, it is the same days every week - 4 ten hour shifts which is REALLY NICE to have the almost three days off. The last job was 5 days but never the same and hardly ever two in a row off. So to have him awake for a few hours in the afternoon to go back to bed after dinner left me doing bath and bedtime on my own almost ever night, quite exhausting not to mention no us time! But now he is able to have his Bible study quiet time when he comes home from work, then go to sleep, then get up before dinner and stay awake (most nights) until leaving for work at 10pm, more time with the boys and more time with me - yeah!
And since arriving home with the boys in February, just about everything in our house has broken: Mike's car brakes and radiator, my air conditioning - three times )and if it was just me I would have sucked it up, but not with two little boys!), the washing machine, the lawn mower, two smoke detectors and the carbon monoxide detector, three different phones and the answering machine, and the upstairs bathroom sink plugged up. I think I got everything.
And how about those doctor visits: John's four months of visiting the dentist to fix his teeth (my poor baby!), molluscum of the boys faces (tiny white pimple like dots that our doctor and the dermatologist say are very common in children - I however I have never heard of them), two huge colds for both Mike and I after arriving home, a month of me blowing my nose (went to the doctor, the medicine cleared up my cough but not so much the nose), a fungal issue on my face and another part of my body I don't care to disclose and try not to think about to much in general but it is being cleared up with cream and oral medication - yes, gross! - that was accidentally diagnosed as eczema twice, Mike's allergic reaction to an antibiotic he was taking for a weird bug bite that resulted in a trip to the emergency room, and an ultrasound for me because I was having such severe stomach pains (nothing wrong, just stress). There, I think I got everything!!
And I say all of this not complaining in any way - PLEASE know that!! Life is what it is. It can be stressful and messy and surprising. It is a gift and is filled with blessings aplenty if I slow down long enough to see and appreciate them. I just want to be honest in that as great as everything has been with having the boys here there have still been things there were not great. I don't want to be seen as a picture perfect family or even a family that has it all together or even partly together!
I have learned in these months what it really means to trust God and believe in his word. When I read that in all things He works good for those who love Him I struggled with how can these certain things be worked for good. I don't have an answer yet for some of them. But I do know God used a miscarriage and an unsuccessful domestic adoption to lead us to an America World Adoption seminar and ultimately two little boys in Ethiopia - and that is GOOD!
I am thankful that my God will supply me with all I need, for each day, every day, one day at a time.

09/09/10 - John Started Preschool

John stated preschool! To say he was excited about going would be an understatement. He is so ready for the structure of preschool, more time to socialize with kids his age, and the academics, creativity, and imagination that will come with all they do.

As I drove him to the preschool which is about five minutes form our house, it really hit me that I was entrusting him to the care of the teachers. I did not expect how hard it would be to let him go, so to speak, and I spent most of the drive praying that the Lord would watch over him and his year, that his spirit would soar with all his new experiences and not be damaged in any way!! And then as I drove home and wiped a few tears from my eyes, I wondered if, as a teacher for 14 years, I had been sensitive enough to all the parents who had entrusted their children to me.

Heading for Home with another stop at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

The Indianapolis Children's Museum is five floors of fun and we had an INCREDIBLE time!!

We visited the basement area first, checked the planetarium show times (there was a show in the afternoon featuring Big Bird and Elmo and talked about the sun, moon, and stars. John was sure Elmo was right there looking at us!), and visited the train display.

Then it was off to the dinosaur display where the boys helped in a fossil dig:
Pretended they were dinosaurs, complete with costumes, and a nest and eggs:
were in the dinosaur displays - now you see us ...
now you don't ...
Now you see us:
The boys LOVED climbing in this race car and John knew it would go really fast (if we were on a race track!):

Visiting the Rock Stars Cars and Guitars display, John found the microphone in the karaoke section. We both sang along with Hannah Montana:
Taking a spin:
Ryan is playing air guitar in front of the guitar display:
Dressed up for a performance:
The Water Works area on the top floor:

The construction area on the same floor. Ryan could not get enough of playing with this wheel barrow and foam rocks:
Yep - you could really turn the handles and make it move across the floor!

This map was on the floor at the Egypt display and of course we made the boys stop and point to Ethiopia:
Talking on the phone to Barbie in the reception area of the Barbie display:
Check out the eyes - does this look like an Ethiopian Barbie or what!?
Playing dress up in the Barbie Fashion show area:
My boys do love frills:This is the area John requested we visit again before leaving. It was in the basement next to a real glass art display. These pieces are plastic and could be taken out and moved all over.
We took this picture as we left. Notice Ryan is making his dinosaur pose at the bottom:

What an incredible adventure we had over five days! We loved seeing new and old friends at the America World Reunion (which I am beyond excited to be hosting in our home town next year!) and all the stops along the way!!