Monday, August 29, 2011


Last night, after E had wet his pants again, Ryan and I sat outside the bathroom, overhearing him say "God, what can I do?" We were both in tears, heartbroken that our little boy has good intentions. Together, we reassured him that we love him ALL the time. Our love, like God's, is unconditional and constant. Than we decided to pull out my old waterproof watch from my floor nursing days and give it to E. We set the alarm for every 2.5 hrs and when it beeps, he uses the bathroom no matter what.
Remember, Etienne used to be potty trained. This isn't about the typical little boy nuances of potty training. This is about the brokenness of the world; about children starting their lives without a family. This is about knowing in his soul that he is wanted, he is loved, he is home. Forever. This is a wound that is God's to heal.
Zeke joined Ryan and I in the hallway. Naked and with a plastic hand (his guitar), he told us, "I have a song for you."
Zeke: "Da, dada, da da!" Repeat this sound about 64times while strumming your air guitar.
Ryan: "Sing your song, buddy."
Zeke: "It's coming, this is the guitar."
Insert lots of laughter from Molly and I here.
Zeke: "I love Etienne! I love Etienne! Da,da, dada. I don't want him to pee his pants."
Guitar solo here. And some naked dancing.
This is what it looks like for God to make beauty of out ashes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

school part 2.

There is no handbook on this. I doubt our decisions daily , but I know we are right where God wants us for now. Etienne attending preschool is a day by day decision. We've adjusted our routine so that I will work 2 days/wk and on those days Etienne (when he can do it) and Zeke will attend a private preschool at a nearby church. Here is some awesomeness of the last few days.
-Zeke has now decided to be known as "Curly," and requested his name badge say that on his first day of preschool.
-Blake has been giving his brothers his skater t-shirts to wear when the miss him. Picture 52lb E and 37lb Zeke wearing skinny 35lbs (when wet) Blake's clothing. Insert visual.
-Molly has been checking with the Principal on Blake's status. He, in turn, has already cultivated a reputation for funny stories in the cafeteria. When asked, he states," Oh, you know. The one about the poo on the stairs."
- On the first day of preschool, the secretary, God love her, asked the boys if they were both adopted (?!?!? she was trying, and very sweet). Etienne replied, "Well, you are too!"

Is this a super insightful comment on God's adoption of us all or just a case of English-as-a-3rd-language confusion? I will let you be the judge...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The greatest gift I have been given in our adoption is that this pain, this struggle, has lead me to my knees in awe. Awe of my God's great love and mercy. I feel His grace as palpable as my heartbeat.
Tonight was one of the toughest nights the entourage has had since we became a family of 6. Lots of yelling. Tears. Damaged goods. We had back to school night for Molly and Blake-man is headed to kindergarten. This is the first time that my 3 boys will be separated and it is crystal clear to us all that Etienne AND Zeke are most attached to their older brother. Their little hearts are breaking out of fear that Blake won't come home, won't remember them, won't play with them.
Please pray for us tonight. Ryan and I need discernment. I need to let go of the guilt. Our Rwanda babies need assurance that Blake will come home to them every day. Blake shouldn't have so much responsibility for his brothers' happiness(Is it possible to be too attached?). Miss Molly just needs a little patience.
And please don't ever tell me that God can't give me more than I can handle because that's ridiculous. Of course He gives us too much because in that mess, He gets the most glory. When I am on my pantry floor in tears, I have nothing left to "handle" this. It's all Him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Big Love

Tonight Blake-man got a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's. As he was leaving, Etienne crumbled onto the floor, crying "I will miss him. I want him to come back to me." Not to be outdone, Zeke began yelling for Blake too. The oreo hug than followed and Molly swept in to tickle away the "pity party." My kids are the coolest. Later, I snuggled E after prayers.
"Etienne, do you know who loves you?" I whispered.
"Mommy and Daddy."
"Who else?"
"Molly and Blake." E sniffled.
Who loves you the most?"
"God. His love is biggest."

Monday, August 8, 2011

1 lonely backpack....

That is Etienne's empty backpack. It is empty because as of right now, he can't attend preschool 3 mornings a week. If you are new to the post-adoption world, you may not know that changes in routines, whether good or bad, can wreak havoc on an older adopted child. Since returning from South Dakota, my E has had a few steps back. Long story short, he is now wearing diapers all the time. To Ryan and I, our biggest frustration with this is that he doesn't seem to mind a bit. Peeing in Sam's Club? His reaction was a flat affect, indifferent to wet, smelly pants. We have been telling him that preschools only allow potty trained kids, that big boys can't stay up to watch the Royals, etc, etc.
Last night we had a breakthrough. The remainder of the entourage, including Zeke, was loading their shiny folders, new boxes of crayons and fresh supplies into backpacks. E lost it. I mean sobbing inconsolably. No one had said a word about him missing out or his need to wear diapers. He cried and cried. First thing this morning, the crying started again and he asked to call his Grandpa. E told his grandpa, through tears and sobs, that he didn't know why he peed his pants and he wants to be a big boy. Than he asked his Grandpa to pray with him, to ask God to help him. After they hung up, this is what E and I prayed.
"Please God, let me know that I am loved ALL the time. Please God, let my heart know my family is my family forever and my home is where ever my family is. Please help me remember You love me all the time."
Today we are doing pull-ups, a step up from a diaper, a step down from underpants. Today all 3 siblings are cheering him on, that he is a big boy, that he can do it, that he is always loved.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the road again...

Back from Lead, South Dakota. Here are some highlights, lowlights and moments that can only occur when your kids outnumber you:
-Upon waking up from a nap on my back at Mt Rushmore, Zeke screamed "WE ARE HERE!!
WHERE IS CURIOUS GEORGE?!?!?" (some of you will get this)

-Blake requested Etienne to continue his loud chanting while hiking in Needles
Park in order to "scare the mountain lions away."

-All 4 kids considered the hotel pool on the middle of nowhere to be a highlight of
the trip

-Molly developed a crush on a singing cowboy at a chuck wagon dinner.

-E MAYBE slept a few hours each night.

-A wild burro attempted to climb in our van.

-Every morning, in attempt to avoid annoying our (patient) extended family, the boys
were forced to participate in a silent dance party in their room until the alarm clock
read 7:45.

-We were the van driving through all the state parks with wet underwear hanging out
window (traveling=regression for E) but it did look pretty funny to see the under
pants flapping in the breeze.

-Molly has stated that she will never, ever share a bed with her siblings again.
After the last 5 days, I think she deserves this honor!