#3 National Adoption Month

November 3rd, 2010

Lexi & Milo

Waiting for Yeshumnesh

November is National Adoption Month.

This is your chance to ask questions.

What do you want to know about adoption – the good, the bad, the ugly?

Adoption is a personal subject and it’s easy to open mouth and insert foot (trust me, been there, done that)

Now’s your chance…ask away, post under a fake name if you want. I’ll answer what I can.

I’m pretty good at these topics: international adoption, older child adoption, waiting child adoption, attachment, how to prepare your family/friends, transracial/transcultural adoption, how to talk about your child’s story (to your child), how to answer the questions that are too personal without making people feel bad, books to read, resources.

So, what would you like to know?

Family Photo!


Question 1: How’s it going with a teenager?

Answer: Um…she’s a teenager. Seriously, she’s doing well. For her sake, I won’t go into a lot of details but considering all she’s been through, she’s adjusting well. We take a couple steps forward and then a step back, then a few more forward. She talks about her future with us (“you’re going to pay for my college, right?” “you’re going to help me buy a car, right?”) which is a good sign. She also reminds me how mean I am because I don’t let her eat school lunch every day like everyone else or get a cell phone like everyone else. We’re taking it one day at a time and picking our battles….like I said – teenager.

Question 2: Adopting out of birth order.

This is a debated subject. Some say you shouldn’t muck with birth order but I don’t agree. The birth order of the children in the home does not trump the birth order of the newest child. For example, let’s say your kids are 8 & 6 and you adopt a 3 year old. But your 3 year old is the oldest of 2. Now he’s the youngest of 3….so who’s birth order is more important?

What I do feel is important is taking your family’s personality into account. Are your kids “go with the flow” types or are they very set in their routines. Can the new child handle being the oldest, youngest, stuck in the middle? We got lucky. Milo didn’t care. He was the baby and still is the baby. Lexi cares when she’s in a crabby mood. But I think she’d have the same reaction if she were still the oldest.

I think what worked for us is there is enough of an age gap between Yeshumnesh and Lexi (they are 6 years apart) that there isn’t a power struggle to be the oldest.

Question #3 How come you didn’t adopted from America? There are so many kids here who need families too.

Fair question. There are so many different types of adoption – foster care, domestic infant adoption, international adoption, Waiting Child programs, etc, etc. Every person/couple has to look at the programs, look at their current family situations and decide what is best for everyone involved.

When we adopted, we picked an agency we trusted. Then we looked into the programs they offered (and they offered everything) but the one that fit our family the best was Ethiopia and the more we looked into it, the more “right” it felt. It’s a personal decision that each family has to make.

We were aware of the need in America but at that point in our lives we didn’t think we would be the right parents for kids/teenagers who need that amount of emotional support.

I don’t think any type of adoption is better or worse. But there are programs that are better than others. When you are deciding on adoption you need to decide what type will best fit your family and then you need to evaluate how ethically an agency runs that specific program and make your decision based on that. (and ethics is a whole other separate post.)

Clear as mud, right?

#2 Things I Say In Kindergarten….

November 2nd, 2010

(Yes, I’ve had all of these conversations)

Me: Why did you color on the chair?
Kid: You said no coloring on the table.
“When it’s bathroom break, you need to go into the bathroom and pee. Don’t just wash your hands and come out.”
“All pee goes in the toilet. Do not pee on the playground, classroom or bathroom floor.”
“Kindergarteners! Nobody gets to take anyone’s shoes from them.”
Me: Why is there underwear on the floor?
Kid: It fell out of my pocket.
Me: (long pause) Nevermind.

I’ll add more when I remember them….or you know, after I talk to my class tomorrow.

#1 – And so it begins….

November 1st, 2010


One post a day for 30 days.

Haven’t posted in a while. Well, I did a few days ago but before that…not so much.

My husband is much more ambitious than me.

We’ll see how this goes.

For the record. Last year, I won.

National Month

October 18th, 2010

November is lots of things – Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, Daylight Savings Ends, Orphan Sunday, Cookie Monster’s Birthday, Guy Fawkes Day, Pack Your Mom a Lunch Day, All Saint’s Day, Button Day, and Stay at Home Because You’re Healthy Day. There’s also a few “national” observances during the month – National Adoption Month, National Aviation Month, National Child Protection and Safety Month, National Model Railroad Month, National Children’s Book Week, Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, American Education Week, National Family Literacy Day, National Novel Writing Month, and National Blog Posting Month.

This month I will be observing the following:
National Adoption Month
Orphan Sunday
National Children’s Book Week
National Blog Posting Month
Stay Home Because You’re Healthy Day
and (perhaps) Button Day.

NaBloPoMo Post 16: Lists

November 15th, 2009

I like to make lists. Lists of things to pack, to do, to clean, to buy. Mostly, I like to make lists so I can cross things off. Makes me feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit. You should have seen some of the lists I made before we left for Ethiopia.

And when I can’t think of anything important to blog about, you get a list. So, in no particular order:

20 Things I Love

  1. etsy
  2. banana chocolate chip bread
  3. sleeping in t-shirts that are really, really old and super soft
  4. board games
  5. board games with friends
  6. kettle corn
  7. music
  8. teaching
  9. a good debate
  10. colorado
  11. striped socks
  12. autumn
  13. books
  14. m&m’s
  15. traveling
  16. a cold morning, a warm blanket and no reason to get up
  17. breakfast for dinner
  18. olympics
  19. hiring a babysitter
  20. making lists

NaBloPoMo Post 14: November 13th. One Day Viral Campaign. $10.

November 13th, 2009


Every day, 4500 mothers bury their children due to contaminated water. They are forced to sustain their families with a diabolical liquid that contains both life and death. This lack of clean water is the leading cause of death in underdeveloped nations. And it just doesn’t have to be!

So as we gear up to scurry through department stores and browse endless catalogs in search of new jeans, Tonka Trucks, gadgets and dolls….we are pausing. We are pausing. And today, November 13th, we are buying water. Clean, life-saving water.

$10 will provide one person in Africa clean water for 10 years. It will literally change and possibly save someone’s life. A mother. A child. A brother. A grandfather.

We are rallying together for a cause. Clean water. One day. $10. Asking everyone to let this be their first gift. Let water, let life be their first gift of the season.

Click here to be directed to the secure donation site of the highly recognized, non-profit, charity: water. Or just click the yellow button to make a donation. All donations are tax deductible, and 100% of your donation will go to clean water solutions in West Africa.

I am only one.
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything; but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
- Edward Everett Hale -

NaBloPoMo Post #13: Clean Water for Everyone

November 12th, 2009

It’s almost here.

The day to spend $10 to change a person’s life forever.


$10 on Friday, November 13.

That’s it.

NaBloPoMo Post #10: Statistics on Orphans

November 9th, 2009

It’s late. I’ve been home for about 45 minutes since I woke up this morning. I lifted this from this blog instead of searching for all the statistics myself. But they are still important numbers that we should all be aware of.

These are the most recent and reliable statistics on the global orphan situation.

* The most recent estimate is that there are approximately 145 million orphans in the world (UNICEF 2008). For this number, an orphan is defined as a child who has lost one or both parents.

* More than 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, over 11.6 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.

* In 2007 67.5 million Children in South Asia and East Asia had lost one or both parents due to all causes.

* Included in the 2008 estimate of 145 million orphans are more than 92 million that have a surviving mother—-with whom they most likely live.
* Another 38 million have a surviving father.

* Approximately 15 million children are “double” orphans—growing up without either mother or father. That’s about ten percent of the whole 145 million.

* The UNICEF orphan numbers (145 million) are only for deceased parents. If you were to factor in single parents in general, we’d be talking a number many times higher.

* The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. Are the millions of kids abandoned in China not orphans?

* The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include many non-reporting nations (namely, Middle Eastern Islamic nations) where shame and divorce abandonment are rampant. 200,000 + orphans in Iraq, for instance, are not part of the count.

* I think we’re looking at a number quite higher than 15 million “double orphans.” We often communicate that the real number of kids that fall into our care categories is somewhere around 40 or 50 million.

* According to data released in 2003 as many as eight million boys and girls around the world live in institutional care. Some studies have found that violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care, and that children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.

* As of 2002 in Europe and Central Asia, over one million children lived in residential institutions.

* Worldwide an estimated 300 million children are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse, including the worst forms of child labour in communities, schools and institutions, during armed conflict, and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage.

* In the US there are approximately 500,000 children in foster care (Based on data submitted by states as of January 16, 2008)

* 130,000 of those children in foster care are waiting and available for adoption. Children waiting to be adopted include children with a goal of adoption and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. Children whose parental rights have been terminated, who are 16 years old and older, and who have a goal of emancipation are excluded from the “waiting” population. An individual child is included in the count for each year that he or she has these characteristics on the last day of the year.

* Approximately 51,000 children are adopted from the foster system each year.

* That leaves 79,000 children annually in the US needing an adoptive family.

* Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people “age out” of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. Several foster care alumni studies show that without a lifelong connection to a caring adult, these older youth are often left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations:

Earned a high school diploma 54%
Obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher 2%
Became a parent 84%
Were unemployed 51%
Had no health insurance 30%
Had been homeless 25%
Were receiving public assistance 30%

NaBloPoMo Post #9: Orphan Sunday.

November 8th, 2009

Today is Orphan Sunday.

What Does the Bible Say About Orphans?

The Bible is full of references to orphans, the fatherless, and adoption. God’s heart and passion for them is clear. Here are just a few references:

God Adopts
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ (Romans 8:15 KJV)

You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. (Galatians 4:5 The Message)

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (Eph 1:5 The Message)

God Commands
Make sure foreigners and orphans get their just rights. Don’t take the cloak of a widow as security for a loan. Don’t ever forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there. I command you: Do what I’m telling you. . (Deuteronomy 24:17 The Message)

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17 NASB)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 NIV)

God Promises He Knows Them
For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. (Psalm 139:13-15)

He Sees Them

But you know all about it—
the contempt, the abuse.
I dare to believe that the luckless
will get lucky someday in you.
You won’t let them down:
orphans won’t be orphans forever. (Psalm 10:14 The Message)

He Has Compassion on Them
Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless. ( Ps. 68:5-6a. The Message)

He Defends Them
You stand up for those whose fathers have died
and for those who have been beaten down.
You do it so that no one made of dust
may terrify others anymore. (Psalm 10:18 NIRV)

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5)

He Will Come to Them
I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. (John 14:18 NIV)

(HT: Jason Kovacs)

NaBloPoMo Post #2: Mondays Are Long Days

November 2nd, 2009

I have a few lists of things I want to blog about this month but tonight is not the night to tackle them. I’m tired. Really, really tired.

My hours at work changed and I now leave the house at 6:45 am. Which isn’t terrible because it’s only 15 minutes earlier but still…I really like my sleep.

And Mondays are gymnastics/dance class for Lexi.

And today was also a Children’s Team Meeting for church.

That’s way too much thinking for a Monday.

I’ll leave you with this: (It’s Lexi singing Johnny Cash’s The Devil’s Right Hand)