About Me

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Maine, United States
Happily married for 14 years- celebrating the reality that our children are home

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FALLing into family rhythms

the great carrot harvest of 2012. we pulled them up from the garden, loaded them into the dump truck (right of sink) and then scrubbed them in lots of bubbles. Garak's bulging cheek reveals they also were sampling them during the processing.

Beth's farm market. the haystack mountain. such fun!

I'm this big, really. not pretending. are you kidding me? (Hayden says this fairly often)

we built this w/Mommy!

even Hayden puts his clothes on backwards sometimes still (for Garak it is a daily occurrence) this is rare shot where the roles were reversed

riding bikes and visiting w/grampa Proch on speakerphone

Grampa, when are you coming?

look at me! I have a big bike! [they like to show people on the phone what they are doing assuming that they can see it all]

we jumped in the leaves!!

and then threw leaves at daddy!


Garak LOVEs his pumpkin

Monday, October 29, 2012

long time ago in Muganda

1st day we met him
tonight I was cuddling Garak after books (during Hayden's last potty attempt of the night) and b4 the final tuck-in and i rocked him a minute repeating in a sing-songy way "I love Garak. he's such a nice boy"
then he (was on my lap looking up at me and grinning) came up with a different tune than I had used and sang me a sweet song right off the top of his head "Mommy is a girl. I love HIM. such a nice girly. I love HIM!"When I told him that I loved the song he replied, "I had that one long time ago in MUGANDA."
best song I've ever had sung to me before bed, hands down!

both boys refer to things that happened "long time ago in Muganda" <-- Garak
"when I was a baby in Uganda" <-- Hayden
1st day we met him
mostly they are made up and completely impossible to have happened when they were babies but very cute to hear and also very cool that they know where they came from. Isn't that such an important part of becoming who you are?

Today they met a couple from Mulawi, Africa and when the husband asked Garak where he was from, he fired back without any hesitation, "I'm from Uganda!"

Not sure why Hayden seems hesitant, but he has dramatically opposed meeting people with brown skin a few times recently (today included).  We'll see if he can express why at some point.
last week at a hayride

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

today in our family's history..1st time we were all together in America

maybe I should have some significant, deeply moving paragraph about how my heart is quivering and my throat gets tight just looking back at these, about how I sit is disbelief as I look back at that 2 month period between arrival in Uganda and arrival in Portland, Maine... instead it seems these images speak for themselves...if this moves you, please pause and give thanks for our blessings and ask that others who are trying to bring their blessings home will soon realize that dream as well
the day after we arrived in Uganda: reunited


barely holding on but our 22ish hrs of plane rides are FINALLY over

straight to the Weathervane from the airport

yay! we're in America!

celebrate with me! I'm home. my life is radically different from now on

tired but joyful with  my loving family around me

no way for him to understand the sweet significance of this image
our house. it's real! not just in the picture book Mommy brought us

our room (look at those baby faces!)

we'll never forget where we came from

Friday, August 31, 2012

worth the trip

a few weeks ago we decided to go and visit my family in upstate NY.  {disclaimer: I enjoyed seeing my sister my gramma and my aunties as well but this post is about grampa} to say that the 8hr drive through the mountains of Vermont -in the dark- in a rainstorm - was less than fun is well...an understatement to say the least.  there were a few times on that long trip to NY that we wondered aloud if it was worth it for just a couple of days of visiting to go through this long unpleasant drive.
well let's see:
in 2009 I went to Uganda on a missions trip and was given the assignment to become a mother.  my boys were newly born infants.  I didn't know at that time that they even existed but they were already waiting for me. 
after that trip I went to upstate NY and visited my grandparents. I told them that I knew that I was going to go back to Uganda to bring 2 little brown boys home.  I showed them my pictures of the orphans I HAD seen.  my grandpa (who is now 80 years old and has had a stroke) didn't say much while I was showing the photo slideshow and telling about what I had experienced. after a while he got up abruptly to leave the room.  when asked where he was going he replied, "I'm getting too sad.  I can't stay in here anymore."  his answer had stayed with me all this time.  it is an honest reaction to the sadness of so many children living in poverty without parents. 

so fast forward to this most recent trip to NY to see my grandparents again; this time with the boys.
my grandpa doesn't smile as much now as I remember him doing when we were young, but he smiled a lot when we were there.  he hugged each of  my boys in a big bear hug and declared, "Grampa loves you.  Do you know that?  I love you."
was it worth the trip?
no question.  absolutely.

photo op: the 3 great grandsons

tuba head

so our boys' hair is amazing and fun and I'm just as jealous as I have been since the first time I played on the playground and saw an little African girl with her hair in braids...but let me share our family's most recent "hair story"
if you've never touched African hair in it's natural state then 1st of all you should if you get the chance.  If you've ever pet a baby sheep, it is a very similar texture.  We talk about the boys' sheep hair and they pretend to be sheep sometimes when we are oiling their hair.  We use coconut oil in their hair sometimes after bath. On those nights we wrap their hair just so it doesn't get the bed too dirty.  they LOVE when they get to wear "pirate hats" to bed.  on this particular night we put the kerchiefs on upside down and gave them sheep ears

They twist their hair as a nervous habit and for comfort.  The result looks like little horns and feels like a knotted mess.  sometimes when they wake up in the AM having twisted their hair to fall asleep there is a big "horn" somewhere.  The English language has enough homonyms to make things interesting in such cases but Hayden heard "trumpet" not "horn like a sheep has." 
Yesterday he woke up, looked in the mirror and declared to Daddy, "I am a tuba head!" [the biggest horn he could think of]
very cute stuff!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

for tomorrow

almost 1 year into having the boys at home we have so many days that seem like this is our normal life. no biggie.  we are their parents.  they are our sons.  the fact that we look nothing alike is a minor detail.  they are starting to act like us.  they use our phrases and gestures which is really fun.  we quote lines from our favorite books and videos to each other at appropriate moments throughout the day and laugh at our cleverness. 
the big people go to work and the little people go to "school" as they call it.  this is really play school/daycare but it counts to them as school.  they have backpacks full of stuffed toys and soft blankets and a change of clothes for "just in case."
our days are very structured and routine-filled and much of it feels very safe and predictable.  which of course makes us feel calm and lets us relax and anticipate what's next.  this is true so much of the time but
there are little moments when you are holding a sweet wiggly brown boy in your arms who a year ago was thin and sullen and is now strong and vibrant, quick-witted and joyful when you can barely contain the emotion.  the core of your spirit resonates to the MUSIC of REDEMPTION...
sometimes when you get a strong sense that they are grounded and content, safe and secure it just sneaks up on your heart and HITS YOU making a lump in your throat that you can't swallow.
one such time recently was when I was minding my own business getting bath time routine wrapped up for the evening.  no biggie right? we do this every night that I'm not working.  but then my sweet methodical Hayden-y boy did what he does every night in just the same way at the end of bath.
he filled up and lined up all the bottles and cups on every possible surface he had available around the tub and matter-of-factly said, "Mommy, these is for tomorrow; for cold time."
see how it sneaks up on you?
I mean what's so touching about that?  well I'll tell you:  at the beginning of each bath as the warm running water is making all the bumble-bee bubbles, Mommy takes the cups and bottles full of cold water saved from yesterday's bath and pours them over 2 delighted, wiggly, brown boys.  they squeal and splash in great anticipation of this nightly event and shout "get Hayden!!" "get Garak!!" as I laugh and grin and douse them with cold water. 
maybe you can't feel the weightiness of Hayden's confession in his simple plan for tomorrow but I heard him say:  you will be here for my tomorrows and I will be here for yours.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

At the Owl's Head Transportation Museum

this tractor is SO BIG!

this is for pushing a LOT of SNOW!!

the REAL "Mater"

we rode in a Model T today and it was VERY fun!

Mommy helping Hayden make his glider airplane

Daddy helping Garak make his glider airplane

Hayden flying his glider plane

speedy tractor coming through. they waited all day for this!

Garak getting pulled over...yikes!

I love this image. Such a cool dude.

model train inside the museum

they still have these gliders! such a fun day!

I like this blue one!

we saw a lot of functioning antique aircraft as well outside. the boys called this one "a kite and a bike"

this is the one "The Red Barron" flew in his daredevil acts (and it matches momma's hair!)

all tired out. what a GREAT DAY!