Saturday, July 28, 2012

What's a Mom to do?

Born as one of three girls, I’m convinced I’ve adapted pretty well to being a boy mom; but today, heck, it made the charts.  I mean what’s a girl to do? 

Silence, in a home marked by the ever-present low hum of children, is NOT a comforting notion.  See, for about 3 minutes my senses lapse into utopic ease.  Then fear strikes the depths of my heart because a hush does NOT indicate tranquility.  It means a palaver is brewing.

Today, around 3:30- a time my boys usually need mama to cook up fun- not one of those 5 striplings could be found in the house.  I wandered outside sure to unearth my fellas.  There they were.  All of them.

Hunter, leading the bunch as a sensible, older brother should, held the others attention with merely a magnifying glass.  (My boys are not captivated that easily by non-motorized apparatuses.)  My boys spotted me and invited me to join their fun.  The bug under their hand lens was no shock; however their answer to “what they were doing” caught my attention. 

“Mom, help us cook the squash bugs!  They’re way better cooked!  Stellar, in fact (says one 14 yr. old boy).”

“Ugh, uh, what?  Excuse me?  Better for what?” I inquired.

“Eating.  The last three weren’t too bad.  We thought we’d do another,” croaked Tiger.

And with that, 3 boys proceeded to bite down on that squash bug.  I don’t know which troubled me more the sight of medium-rare cooked squash bug’s goo erupting or the crunch of that brittle shell entering my ears.  Gross! 

Ty trying squash bug tidbits.

Squash bug in Tiger's teeth.

Hunter having a squash bug nibble.

 What’s a mom to do?  You know the adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”  I guess I’ll be munching squash bugs the next 16 years.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just For Fun

Sometime you just have to lighten it up, so just for fun:

Western life looks very different than village life (or city life) in Ethiopia. Best perspective?  Seeing this world through the eyes of my children just introduced to these nuisances. For instance, central vac seems the easiest way to clean up post meal messes. The first time I plugged her in, my three habesha gathered around trying to touch what they thought to be our newest pet. Nick, our oldest, attempted to make nice with our vacuum. He squealed, "Give her to me, mama. I feed her for you. She hungry for my food." but when he went to 'feed' the vac, the suction caught hold his hand, terrorized that poor boy, and he demanded she go back to her cage (closet) until learning to eat nicely.  He's still quite certain that is more animal than machine.  And...

My habesha discovered the original orange pushups at a local feed store (I know, right? Ice cream at a feed store. Alas.) In an attempt to eat their ice cream, each child placed their plump lips on the pushup handle, mistaking it for a straw, and sucked until blue in the face.  Loud and sloppy sucking.  I was giggling too hard to clue them in right away.  Oh, don't forget...

In the orphanages our children spent the last 2+ years of their life, they were required to tell a caregiver prior to doing anything. May I say ANYTHING again? ANYTHING! 2 am toilet visits means a child in your room yelling "toilet", a runny nose requires the ongoing announcement of snot and boogies, an itchy bottom... Well, you get the point. To that end, also remember our language is in the development stage. Soooooo.... standing in the middle of our church foyer at only 2 weeks home, Ty hollered (to insure a quick response), "Shint! Mama, SHINT!" Now, I fully understood the Amharic meaning of 'shint' as 'tee-tee', but many others standing within earshot, with his volume I promise that would be anyone in a mile radius, only understood a petit, brown-skinned boy with a snarky smile, holding himself seemed to be yelling profanities loudly at his mama in the middle of a church. I'm glad I can laugh.  And the every popular...

We play a lot of cards at our house. Our kids are all fairly competitive. The battle cry for Nick, Hewan, and Ty is, "I'm the wiener!"  Nope. Not a typo. If you can be a wiener who wants to be a winner? #can'tcorrectwhatmakesthemthem

Then there are picture worth a 1,000 words:

Boobie Fun!

Mama's Lingerie 

Urkel Pants

Suction Cup Boob Covers

Habesha Were NEVER Meant to Be Blonde 

Friday, July 13, 2012


The list of apprehensions and risks when adopting older children tends to be longer than with a baby or toddler.  We were urged by the experts to beware of sexual exposures, past abuses, physical outbursts, delays, effects of long-term malnutrition, RAD…  I think the list was long enough that we didn’t overly concern ourselves with worries about bonding.   In fact, along the way (even with our adoption of Mez) folks wondered aloud if loving a child that is not biologically ours and didn’t come to us as an infant would be possible.  Strangely enough (as you know I’m a worrier by nature), it NEVER made the list.  I suppose it was one of those things that God supernaturally abolished from my worry repertoire.  Over the years’ of preparing for each of our adopted children, we had plenty of time to bond with the “idea” of each child and long for them to finally arrive.  I did, however, consider that they might not bond immediately to us.  I prayed constantly their hearts would be open to our love.  There was NO guarantee.

In Ethiopia, the trio did the immediate bonding.  The easy bonding.  The bond based on “you took me from nowhere and alienation and made me belong,” the “finally I have something, someone to call mine,” the “you hug and cuddle and sing to me and make me feel precious for the first time in my life” and on it goes.   Even though the trio jumped in full force, it was clear we had a way to go for me to be mama, really mama.  A month later after arriving home, the bond deepened as we experienced boundaries, discipline, love, and belonging as a cumulative matter.  The children began to see that these parts abide perfectly to create a safe love (even when they don’t like it).   And somewhere in the mix, it’s shifted again.  I have realized their attachment to me continues to morph.   Instead of hovering underneath me, the children glance my way, catch my eyes, and without a word spoken ask for the stamp of safety.   Once given, they are on their way.   I’m finding boo-boos are reserved for my kisses and hugs alone.  Mama isn’t just a novelty but safety and theirs. 

Last night, I wasn’t with Hewan to put her to sleep.  (I know we broke the Purvis' rules.  Don't tell.)  I was struggling through the question:  to call or not to call when the phone rang.  “Mama, It’s me, Hewani-ye.  It’s time for me sleep.  I need your voice.  Sing me, mama.  I’m here for you sing me.  Your voice is for me, mama,” Hewan’s chirped.  I was never happier to belt out 2 verses of “Slumber My Baby” in a less than private venue.  By the end, my baby was ready to slumber, and at that moment I felt like Hewan welcomed me just a bit deeper into her heart and staked her claim clearly.  I felt tagged.  Labeled.  Owned.  You are my mama, and I am yours.  Music to my ears.   I know this is a marathon, not a sprint; but I never cease to be amazed at how quickly God is making all 9 of us 1.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pardon Me.

Pardon the silence.  My computer took a hit and crashed when we arrived home from Ethiopia.  No laptop makes updates hard.  Imagine that.

The kids are doing well.  All of them.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s been hard; but even the hard is so sweet.  It’s just right… comfortable, not easy.  We are all settling into our new norm.  Bigger van.  More laundry.  Heaps of food.  Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, and cups galore. 

I was asked this week if I ever tire.  I’m not sure.  I just know that joy washes over me when I see all of our children laughing, running, shooting goals, playing super heroes, paddling in the pool, riding bikes, helping each other with chores, and sharing stories of our times apart.  I cannot stop the tears when I think of how sweetly God rewrote all of our futures.  It’s incomprehensible. 

Super Hero Ball

Merry-Go-Round and the 5 Left Sitting

Currently, you’ll find our family cocooning on Carli Cr.  Pardon me if I seem distracted.  Building a base of security, bonding, learning routine, and enjoying the company of one another monopolizes our time.  Feel free to stop in and meet our children.  They are delightful.  All 7.