31 mayo 2014

Race

Gus, to Shawn, "You're talking like a real white guy.  You know brothers don't get the benefit of the doubt."

Off and on, over the past few years, I have thought seriously about the possible implications Race will have on my children and therefore family.  So far, my musings have been by my own initiative, which is a blessing: I can think in relative peace.

So far, mostly, I am just grateful for the rather racially integrated life we live, even though fellow adopting parents at a BCS' training we attended twice a few years ago totally didn't believe us, until The Cup proved our story.

During that training, we did the following activity:  We each had a cup and there were piles of differently colored beads in the center of the table.  We began by putting in a bead for each member of our family, including our then as yet to be adopted child(ren).  The facilitator then read through a list of titles (your doctor, your pastor, your best friend, the protagonist in your favorite TV show, etc.) and we added a bead of the representative color to our cup.  At the end, we reflected on how that mix or non-mix will affect our children and what we could do to ameliorate the situation.

I have to say that had I been made to do this activity during my university years, I would have belligerently opposed the exercise and would most likely have ended up in tears.  Have I changed!  I still may end up in tears thinking about all of this, but for a different reason now.  "Thank you, children," say I.

Our current state of racial integration has come about by choice and chance, but all by God.  I think of our pediatrician, whom I chose because she is an African woman doctor.  This was a conscious choice as a result of the cup activity.  There is our church, a beautiful example of the diversity, in so many ways, of God's people.  I think of my surgeon and oncologist, gifts from God.  My children know well who Drs. W. and C. are and that they took the cancer from me.  I think of so many dear friends, other bi-racial families.  I think of being invited to participate in Black History Month activities and of being an Honorary Ethiopian at African Global Gateway.

I know that one day, unfortunately, the reality of the latter portion of Gus' statement will rear its ugly head and we will have some serious issues through which to work.  I am hoping, though, that these mixed foundation years will help.  God help us all!

28 mayo 2014

Note to self

I was already nervous... three little kids, one Me, the library:  That is a recipe for disaster, according to my definition of disaster, which is most mothers' idea of a fun outing.  But, we needed some books to practice the short a sound.  I had to go.

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What is that terrible noise?  Oh no!  Storytime!  And I knew that I had only a few minutes.

I speed-grabbed books whilst my dear children quietly played with puzzles, and then...

Le déluge!
Fleets of giant strollers!
Constant, loud parental narration!
People EVERYWHERE!

"¡Hijos!  ¡Vámonos!"  And we speed-walked to the self-service check out, where I speed-checked out our books, whilst swarms of mothers and children pushed in behind us.  Ay!  "No receipt!"

And then we were safe, in the Seaberry.

Note to self: Never, EVER, in life, go to the library during Storytime again, Amy!

(Chinita, are you rolling your eyes at me?)


26 mayo 2014

Around here

Our first harvest: a nice salad
Thank you, God, for those Dutch!
C'est incroyable, no?
More twinny cousins!

Leftover injera and wat for breakfast makes a G happy.  The twins?  Not so much.  And, yes, that is a Goliath  mask in the background.  G was insistent that he have a mustache.  "Perfect," say I.

23 mayo 2014

Tenacious D

I hacked down Apricot
This beautiful morning.  -Sigh-
However!
Powerful life springs
'Neath death.
Hope!

20 mayo 2014

Tulips, praising God

My mini-Netherlands








G, at work

Collecting eggs
Fixing (?) something

School time


I added the 30s to the number board and so I decided to let Twin Power work.  It was still quite painful for all involved.  
So... my original idea was that I was going to wait until "second grade," like the Milwaukee Immersion Schools, to teach G to read in English; but the child is ready.  He reads like a champ in Spanish and so...  Here is Lesson One, to be taught by PapA.  I have decided that I need to remain out of it, except for the planning, for the sake of his vowels.  I know that education these days is all about making connections, but I am going to compartmentalize pronunciation as much as I can.
Although a 7AM reading lesson is a better time than 7PM for G, I'm not sure that PapA is really awake.

16 mayo 2014

How do we get to God?

It used to be that when a child finished with breakfast, I would help him or her clean up and then send that child to play in their room till the others finished.  But every time I would sit back down and go for my cup of coffee, the next child would be ready to be helped.  It was making me crazy.  Up, down, up, down.

This week I have started making them all wait at the table till everyone is finished, which is better socially anyway.  But all of that time just to sit there... well, that was no good.  So, I have decided that I will read the Bible to the kids as we are inevitably waiting for la Tardona.  Ahem.

Today was Psalm 91, a favorite of mine ever since the dear Eapan Family prayed it over us.  As I was reading, G interrupted to ask what "refugio" meant.  I explained that it is where you go when you need help and then I reiterated that God is our refuge.  And then I opened the can of worms, "How do we get to God?"  Ty, who recently studied the ascension in Sunday school, said that we could just reach up into the cotton ball clouds, which is exactly what Jesus was doing in the drawing he brought home from class.  Mita said, "We will go to Him when we die."  "Yes, but how do we get to Him now, when we have trouble now?"  And Girumy said, "I know!  We could build an escalator (Thanks, Corduroy!), a really tall escalator, and then go up to Heaven on it."  Upon my hesitation, he then suggested, "Or, we could grab a bunch of balloons and float up there!"

I finally did stop their wild speculation and reminded them about praying and reading the Bible and praising God.

10 mayo 2014

Or, as Amy

If I were Belaynesh, instead of Amy, I might have begun my morning with a reassuring cup of coffee.

If I were Belaynesh, instead of Amy, I might then have gone out to work in the fields, hacking at the hard earth, dropping in Hope, every length of my foot or so.

If I were Belaynesh, instead of Amy, I might have skipped lunch because...

If I were Belaynesh, instead of Amy, I might have spent the afternoon making wat for my family.

If I were Belaynesh, instead of Amy, I might have prayed God's will over my children, wrapped in a gobi, under the same moon.

06 mayo 2014

Maths


Apricot possibilities

So, maybe the apricot trees haven't died.  I don't know and so I'm trying to temper my excitement.  Even though they are flowering now, I'm still not convinced that they'll make it.

You see, I have a dream.  Well, I have a lot of dreams, but... in regards to apricots:  I once co-taught a two-week methodology seminar for English teachers in Jonquoi, in what was Crimea.  In thanks, one of the teachers gave me some of her home-made apricot juice.  It was in a large jar and because of the chilly Spring weather, it was nice and cold.  When I got back to my seriously bare-bones room in some nearly abandoned sports' complex, I decided to taste it.  There weren't words to describe it then and still there aren't.  It was THE MOST delicious taste that I have ever experienced in life.  I drank the whole jar of pureed heaven.  My dream is to make a jar of that sweet nectar.  

*Interestingly, just after I wrote this, I decided to read a couple (from the hundredS) of the letters that I wrote to Rob while I was in Ukraine and the first one that I pulled out was from my time in Jonquoi.

"So, this "dorm" where I am staying... I wish you could see it!  Like I told you in a previous letter, there hasn't been heat here for nine years.  There is only electricity during the night, and only every other day is there water... ice water.  This morning, there was water, but I almost decided not to wash my hair.  Then I remembered the rule:  "If you have it, use it.  It will be gone before you know it."  Now, there is no shower, so I stuck my head in the sink and gave myself a brain freeze.  Oh well.  It is thawed now, and my hair is clean.  Then I took a bucket bath at the sink.  I am ready to go!"

I then went on to describe how we had dangerously heated grape juice and cookies for breakfast.

YES!!!!!!  That apricot juice was worth all of that.

And, by the way, Posh Corps?  Ha!



04 mayo 2014

You know you are a mother when...

... you hand your grown friend a banana, because that's the best snack you have to offer (Long gone are the days of pepper crackers and Boursin!); and as you do so, you begin to peel it for her.  Ay!

02 mayo 2014

Give me an...

Ever-praying church (notice the loud speaker)
To keep the mozzies off
Hanging out to dry?  So many soggy nappies!
In the air
Oh so steep for farming!
Pretty doors
Incense
Ambo!  Oo, I love Ambo!