Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Pic & Eating My Words

Well, my children have forced me to eat my words as only children can. I don't know how it happened, but we have a new pic of the girls together. I couldn't believe how much Kya had changed in just the last few months. My baby's a growin'!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The New "Birtukan"

The girls have a sweet friend named Birtukan, but this post isn't about her (sorry sweetie!), but rather it is about this thing:

This past weekend we went out of town for a few days, and this orange moose was in the parking lot/lawn area of one of the hotels in the town that we were in. We drove past it a couple of times everyday on our way to visit our friends at the campground. Makenna thought it was so cool. This is about how the conversation went:

Makenna: "Look mom a huge animal thing."

Mama: Yep, that's a moose. What color is it?

Makenna: Orange. Birtukan. Let's call him Birtukan. Is it a boy?

Mama: Yep it's a boy. But, Birtukan would still be a good name (thanking god that she didn't ask anymore about the differences between a boy and girl moose as she has done in the past! :)). And, proud that her Amharic color came immediately after her English one. Well done baby!

So, everytime we drove past this orange moose she would yell "Hi Birtukan. Eat some grass big boy." or, "goodnight Birtukan, dream about eating some grass." It was hilarious and I was suprised at the little friendship she developed with this guy over the course of 4 days. When it was time to leave she wanted to take a picture with the moose, so here is Makenna, Ron and Kya with Birtukan.

As we were getting in the truck, Makenna saw this view for the first time and yells out "Gross mom, they put poop on his butt or somesing. Wipe it off!" Ron and I cracked up and confirmed that we do not have an outdoorsy girl when she can't tell the difference between a tail and poop!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Too much cuteness

Seriously, the girls can be so darn cute when they want to be. It just seems like it's not often that they want to be! :) For some reason, when they see the camera they decide it's time to ham it up. Come on ladies, mama just wants a good picture of BOTH of you at the same time! :) Oh well..in time maybe?!?! Meanwhile, they still are adorable.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Thank you to all of you who posted such sweet comments on my last post. They mean more to me than you can know. I was really struggling to make sense of something I just won't be able to understand, and I am coming to realize that.

But, it re-inforced again the wonderful friends that I have made through this process, and just out of similarity in life circumstances (others who have adopted from ET, from our adoption agency, religion, etc). Many I have never met in real life, and some I have. But, regardless, they are special friendships to me.

One of these people is my friend Shonna. She and I took her two girls and my two girls to the zoo recently and the girls had so much fun. Not so much with the critters at the zoo, but by just being together. They are always so good together and don't ever fight-just a lot of giggling! :) Makenna loves spending time with them, and Kya tries hard to keep up with the big girls. Kya was in her stroller most of them time, so not as many of her, but she was definately there! :)And, they had a little ride park at the zoo, so they did that too and Kya went on her first ride. WOO HOO! WE had a blast spending the day with two such sweet little girls and their rockin' mom. Thanks Shonna, Birkie and Netsie for hanging with us at the zoo. :)
So, here are the photos that evidence our day together. The one I put above is one of my favorites from the day. I just happened to snap it while Birkie & Kenna were holding hands, and it was SO sweet. The rest of them will speak for themselves:

Friday, June 6, 2008


A week ago today, my mom's dad died. Yes, technically that would be my grandfather, but he does not deserve that name. He was not a grandfather, especially not mine. I don't say that in a spirit of malice, but rather truth.

I have held this in for a week, trying to find some understanding of this situation, but I can not make sense of it, so I blog. This post may not make sense, but I feel like I have to get it out of me.

This man lived within a 1/2 mile of me my entire childhood, and I have only 2 memories of him during my 30 years of life on this planet. He only spoke to 3 of his 6 children, and inflicted more pain on all of them than anyone person should be allowed to do. Both physically, through ridiculously hard labor, and mentally or emotionally.

He told my mom that when he divorced her mother, that he divorced her as well and didn't care if he ever saw her again. How can you say that to your child? But even more, how can you hold onto that hate for the next 30+years? He did.

My mom called me when she found out and was hysterical, not because she was upset, but rather because she wasn't upset. She didn't feel the loss of her father, because she lost him so many years ago. The guilt of not feeling bad sent her to a place she wasn't prepared for. But, she will finally have the closure that she has needed for a long time. It was a total shock, but there were no tears to shed for this man.

I went into his house with my aunt the night he died for the first time in my life to be with her while she got clothes for his funeral. I had the chills the minute I stepped on the property, and I have rarely felt so uncomfortable anywhere. I looked around his home, trying to figure out what his life had been, and I saw nothing that could help me understand how he had spent the years. No pictures of vacations, special occasions, family pictures, or something to mark the important events in his life. There were very few pictures of the children (and grandchildren) that he did speak to, but they were old.

The funeral was earlier this week, and was the first time I had seen him since I was about 10-12. The last time I had seen him he had shot at my dad and I with a shotgun. It was a warning shot, thank god.

A day before the funeral all of my aunts and my uncle and a few of my cousins met at the farm he had lived on, that they had grown up on, to walk around. For some of them it had been 15-20 years, if not longer, since they had been there. To see them walk around, freely with no worry about the consequenses, was something I will never forget. They found evidence of their childhood scatter around the farm, and the memories came pouring out-good and bad.

Both my brother and I showed up with our cameras, unplanned. When I saw that he had his, I asked why he had brought it, and to my amazement his reason was exactly the same as mine. This place had caused so much pain for our mom, and so many bad memories were housed there, that we just wanted to find some beautiful shots that would give her new memories. Reminders of things that were special to her when she was young, reminders of how much her children love her, even if her father didn't. So, we each went our own ways and wandered around the farm, photographing what we were struck by. After it was all done, we compared pictures and had taken at least 10-15 of the exact same photographs, each done with just a slight adjusments from our perspectives. Weird, but cathartic for both of us. There is also an old house, where my mom's grandparents lived on the property, that we walked through. I will share some of my favorite shots at the end of the post(edit--I uploaded a few, but the storm keeps knocking my internet out, so I will get more up later).

I am struggling to reconsile the events of the past week. I am angry at this person for all the pain he has caused within my family over the past 30+ years, yet I am relieved that his presence will no longer be felt in our lives. I feel sorry for him, because he was a sick man. But, at the same time I detest the purposeful hatred that filled his life. But, mostly I am sad. He was never my grandfather, but I miss the one that I did have more than I can express. The pain of missing him has not diminished over the 4 years that he has been gone. I miss him more than I can speak to. He was MY grandfather, not just biologically, but on every level. He loved my mom(who was his daughter in law), he loved me and I know he would have loved my girls. Who could ask for more?

And, this also reinforced for me that biology means nothing. This man was biologically related to me obviously, but that meant nothing. He didn't know who I was, my name, or anything else about me. Yet, I am priviledged enough to get to parent two children who are in no way biologically related to me, and I would die for them. Blood may be thicker than water, but it is not thicker than love.

So, any ideas? Where do I go from here? How do you make sense of something that doesn't? Or, do you just let it go, knowing it's not worth the energy I've already put into it?