Archive for September, 2007

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We had a visit from Megan’s physical therapist and early childhood teacher on Monday. They were both very pleased with how Megan is doing. They’ve decided to discontinue physical therapy. She never required any other special services, so we won’t be seeing Amber and Kim anymore. Megan was quite charming when they were here. Although she didn’t want to sing the many songs she knows, she did dig through their purses and call them by name. Megan was especially fond of saying “Amber!” loudly and with expression.

Megan loves to sing. Sometimes she sings real songs, and other times she makes them up. Here’s a partial list of her repertoire

1) ABC song, Sometimes this morphs into Baa Baa Black Sheep. Try it. After LMNOP she moves to “one for the master.”

2) Baa Baa Black Sheep, If Shega is singing, the lyrics are more recognizable. Shega has her own take on the last part of the song. She always sings: “One for the master, one for the dane, one for the little boy who lives down the drain!”

3) Hey! Hey! You! You! I don’t like your girlfriend! I know this isn’t a usual 20 month old song, but it’s a song that appears on a Disney channel commercial

4) Here’s two songs that she made up and sings often “Happy, Happy, YAY, YAY, YAY!” Those are all of the lyrics. The tune remains the same every time. The other one is: “I love you, I love you, I love, love, love you!”

5) Old McDonald. When I told her we were stopping at McDonalds after Joe’s baseball game Friday, she said, “EIEIOOOOOH!”

I think she’s a pretty smart kid!


We had parent teacher conferences for Shega this week. It sounds like she is adjusting well. I am glad we chose kindergarten for her. The full day schedule has been very good for her. She loves Mrs. VR. I think we’re off to a great start.

Hard stuff

I’m linking a post to a blog written by an adult adoptee. It talks about the discussions she had with her adoptive parent about the reasons for her relinquishment. It has me thinking about how we will frame this with our girls.

Do we frame it like this:

Your first mom loved you so much, she decided to relinquish you so you wouldn’t grow up poor and destitute with no chance for an education.

Does that set the girls up for thinking that “love = stuff”? In other words, growing up in a lovely old farmhouse in Iowa is better than growing up in her metal shack because of the “stuff”? Are the girls to think that their first mom loved them so much she wanted them to have more “stuff”?

Does this statement set the girls up for thinking that they should be careful not to love too much? Will they believe that love = leaving?

Megan was so very sick when she was brought into care at the care center.

She was hospitalized in the Addis hospital two times, and in the care center hospital several other times. Sick kids in Ethiopia don’t survive. Will she blame herself for the relinquishment if we emphasize the fact that her first mom loved her enough to bring her into care so she would survive?

Occasionally nice people will say to me, “Your girls are so lucky!” I think not. What they have been through is not “lucky”. We’re the lucky ones. We get to have these amazing kids in our lives.

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Boyden-Hull had homecoming week last week. Emma enjoyed dressing up on the dress-up days. Here is a picture of her in one of Aunt Dode’s jumpers from around 1970.


I’m glad she had a pair of runner’s tights on! That is one short skirt! She also had a chance to participate in the powder-puff football game and the freshman skit. She’s beginning to really get in the swing of high school.

Shega had an opportunity to dress up for homecoming too. She is still enjoying school. She does need her sleep though. After attending coronation and the powder puff football game on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning came around pretty early for our little miss. It was jersey day for the elementary. That means that each child could pick a favorite jersey or team shirt. Shega doesn’t really have a favorite team shirt or jersey.

Nevertheless, when I got her up in the morning I had several choices for her. Here’s a sample of our conversation:

Me: Good morning Miss Shega! It’s jersey day!

Shega: I don’t want to wearing a jersey.

Me: Ok! What would you like to wear?

Shega: I don’t want to wearing a jersey!

Me: Ok. Let me help you find something else to wear.

Shega: I don’t want to going to school.

Me: It’s a school day. You have to go to school. What do you want to wear?

Shega: I want to watching TV.

Me: You might have a chance to watch TV after school today.

Shega: I don’t want to going to school. I don’t want to wearing a jersey.

She went off to school, with no jersey, very tired and a bit grumpy! She caught up on sleep a bit this weekend. She slept 13 straight hours last night!

Daycare update

Megan is doing well back at the OC Daycare. When I dropped her off one day this week, a child threw up in the middle of the room. This led to the emergency evacuation of the other little ones. I was just amazed to see Megan line up behind the other 1 year olds for the march to the other toddler room. She fell right in line and marched off with barely a look and wave in my direction. What a kid!

Family update

What an exciting weekend we had. We got to wish Cami and her new puppy well!

She and Anna drove to pick up one of the Van Voorst pups. The pup has been well-loved and is being passed into excellent care.

We were able to visit with Uncle Ron and Aunt Lynn as well. They sent us off on our trip to Ethiopia last December with a wonderful meal. While we were in Ethiopia, they packed and headed to South Africa for their work at TLC. They hadn’t been able to meet the girls yet, so it was a special treat to see them. Here’s a picture of our send off meal in December and our visit today.

rain-forest.jpg                       sendoff-redux.jpg

Check out our Pictures

More Pictures added September 16


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Off to the doctor
I never took my first four kids to the doctor for check-ups. It seemed like we were at the doctor enough when they were sick, and it always seemed like an inconvenience to go when they were well. The girls were due for their 6 mo. check-up. I called for an appointment August first, and couldn’t get them in until last week. I wasn’t excited about the appointment at all. I had to take an afternoon off of work. Steve joined me and we had to take Shega out of school early. We drove to the pediatrician in Sioux Falls.
I was so glad we went! No…the kids weren’t sick. I didn’t find anything out. We just had a good time together! Everyone at the doctor’s office was very kind to us and to the girls. Shega grew 4 inches in height since February. She gained 4 lbs. She is in about the 80th percentile for both height and weight. Megan gained 8 pounds since February. She moved from the 10th percentile to the 50th in height and weight. Her head circumference moved from the 20th percentile to the 80th percentile. She has room for LOTS of brains!They both needed shots. Megan got one shot. Shega actually got 4 shots. She’ll tell you she was brave. I’ll never tell my part of the story! After the appointment, we asked Shega to choose where she wanted to eat. She had a hard time choosing between McDonalds and Lalibela (the Ethiopian restaurant). Finally she chose Lalibela. She loves injera and wat. She usually chooses Doro wat, eats hers then reaches over to eat mine. We usually have a little left to bring home. It amazes me to think that just 8 months after she joined our family, she can’t decide between McDonalds (What could be more American?) and her beloved injera. I’m actually quite pleased that she decided on Lalibela!

In other news…
Emma is beginning to fit in nicely at Boyden-Hull. She is making her way socially. Her classes are going well, and I can see the light come back into her eyes. It is an answer to prayer!

Paul went to Iowa City to see the Hawkeyes play. He couldn’t find anyone to travel with him, but enjoyed his alone time with the relatives.

Joe’s baseball team won two games yesterday. It was a great day for baseball and we enjoyed the weather.

Happy Birthday to Amber in Arizona! I hope you are enjoying your students.
Happy birthday to my student assistant, Johanna’s mom! I think Jo’s mom and I have lots in common. We both love our birthdays! I hope her whole week is a celebration!

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