Archive for September, 2009

Steve happened by Worthington, MN again today. He stopped at the Ethiopian restaurant and came home with injera and a new type of berbere. The peope who own the restaurant are always extra nice to Steve.

We had a make-shift Ethiopian meal tonight. We didn’t have much time to cook and Shega had to be at church by 7, so we improvised.

I cooked an onion with some garlic and ginger in some Ethiopian spiced butter.  I added a package frozen cooked chicken, a can of chopped tomatoes with chiles and 1/8 cup of berbere.

I chopped a potato, boiled it in the microwave and added a few carrots and green beans. I fried them with the onion and garlic on the stove. We had a little bit of lentils left from last week’s Ethiopian meal. We warmed that up too.

Thomas had two friends over for supper.

I asked Shega to set the table. She put only two forks on the table. I said, "Why do we only have two forks?"

She said, "We’re having injera! Thomas’ friends are the only ones who don’t know how to eat it!"

She was right! Injera is used to pick up the food. Then it is popped in the mouth. No utensils are necessary. Thomas’ friends were quick studies and loved the food almost as much as we do.

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It was hair day at the Heits house. Shega started swim team last week. She needs a swim cap for swim team. Last week’s pony tail didn’t go under the swim cap well.  I decided to try a quick pair of french braids for her.

We did a hot oil treatment for both girls before a bath. All of that oil made them very slippery! While I detangled Shega’s hair, Daddy got Megan out of the bath and tried to apply lotion and jammies to a very wiggly, slippery and somewhat uncooperative Megan. I heard him mutter, "Megan! You’re painful!" 

She responded, "Dad. You’re adorable!"

I guess she’s already learned this verse: 

"A soft answer turns away wrath…"  Proverbs 15:1a

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Megan wanted me to turn up the DVD player in the car as we drove home today. She was being more than a bit insistent. Here is the conversation between Shega and Megan.

Megan: MOM! TURN UP THE MOVIE!

Shega: Megan. Mom is NOT your Maid of Honor!

Megan: WHAT!?!

Shega: Mom is NOT your Maid of Honor. Do you even know what a maid of honor is? A maid of honor goes to your wedding and wears a pink dress. My maid of honor is going to wear a pink dress. Or maybe she will wear a purple dress because purple is my favorite color!

It is a little known fact  that a maid of honor’s most important job is turning the sound up on a DVD player at the insistence of the bride. I am glad that this future mother of the bride will not be wearing a purple dress waiting for the bride to tell me to TURN IT UP! 

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A nasty fungus threatens to take over the Heits household!

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I hear Emma’s alarm and her trip to the shower. Our alarm rings. We’ve been waking to the same sound our entire married life. Steve hits snooze. I get up, make coffee and go upstairs to wake Shega. She is easy in the morning. She only needs a little spray to the hair and a little lotion to her face. She gets her bag and waits outside for the bus. She eats breakfast at school.

   

Thomas and Emma grab a bite to eat together. Thomas’ bus doesn’t come until 8:00 this year.

 

Megan and I get ready to go. She rides with me to work. The trip has been quite pleasant lately. We still have summer weather, but signs of fall are everywhere. 

 

Here is the view back to our farm. The beans are turning. It won’t be long until we see combines out in the field harvesting the beans.

 

On this day, I choose to go straight south on gravel. It’s about 15 miles of gravel.  It’s a silly choice in the fall, because I have to stop for all of the corn corners. Some corners have corn on both sides. A complete stop is necessary.

 

When there’s corn on the right, a complete stop is necessary because I’m supposed to yield to the right.

 

When there’s corn on the left, the driver coming should make a complete stop. I make one anyway.


 

There’s a stop sign in the middle of nowhere. I can see very well in both directions. I consider this stop sign to be optional.

 

Megan gets excited when she sees the orange water tower that tells us we’re near our destination.

 

She happily trots up to school. It’s her day to bring lunch and she chose goldfish and apples.

 

Then I travel the last few blocks to my work. It’s a pretty walk across the green to my building.

   

 

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Grown in my Heart is sponsoring a blog carnival. It’s a great theme for adoption bloggers. Perhaps some of you would like to participate. I have enjoyed reading the contributions so far. Go to their site and check it out.

Here’s my list:

No one told me how easy it easy it would be to enthusiastically agree when people tell me how  beautiful my girls are. Experiencing the joy in the physical beauty of adopted children is different than looking at my bio babies and children and thinking about which parent they resemble.

No one told me that bonding is a two-way process and that sometimes I would pray that God would give me the love I need to give my adopted children. (He has and has given abundantly!)

No one told me that it would be so much fun to experience a different kind of "firsts" with an adopted older child. Although I missed her first smile, her first steps and her first words, I got to experience her first swim, her first boat ride, her first trip to the fair and so on.

No one told me that the parenting techniques I had used successfully with our first four children wouldn’t work well with adopted kids. Sometimes these techniques that seemed to shape our first four kids well would be damaging for our adopted kids.

No one told me that I would find it important and necessary to take care of my Ethiopian adopted girls’ hair well. I didn’t feel the same way about Emma’s hair. I fancied myself too busy to care about something as insignificant as hair. I was wrong.

No one told me how deeply I would grieve for the woman who gave birth to my daughters. I didn’t know I would question God in His providential wisdom in allowing us to "take a child from her mother while she prays".

No one told me how vigilant I would become about personal and even societal racial slights (some real and I’m sure some imagined.) Social and racial justice issues suddenly seem so big, so real and so hateful.

No one told me that our social group would expand and change to include many wonderful adoptive families. We have appreciated and grown through the the education and fellowship of the adoptive families we have met through  Katelyn’s Fund.  

Are you thinking about adoption? Join us at the next Katelyn’s Fund support meeting.

Go to Grown in my Heart and add your blog to the No one Told Me Carnival.

 

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Megan hates to have her hair messed with. She has a very sensitive head. I always give her both tylenol and ibuprofen before we begin and I try to put as much product as I can in her hair, but she is typically a wreck by the time hair day is done.

I hate hurting her when I comb out and braid her hair. Although I try extra hard to be patient, occasionally I am not as patient as I would like.

Last week, we had three "hair days" in a row. We removed the cornrows on Thursday, On Friday, we removed the box braids, and on Saturday, we did a new style. Megan cried hard each day. I was patient and sympathetic…..(most of the time). However, there was one time when I said, "I’m going to ask Bob to cut your hair!"

Bob is a friend. He shaves his head. Megan is fascinated with his bald head. She always asks him if she can "touch your bald head." He swoops her onto his shoulders and lets her rub his head to her heart’s content.

Well, after three hair days, I was very ready to get Megan a haircut. I made an appointment with a stylist who has experience cutting African American hair.

We talked up the haircut and tried to get Megan excited for several days in a row. Finally, it was haircut day.

Megan was very nervous as we drove up the the salon. As we walked in she said, "Is Bob going to cut my hair!?!?!"

In the end, we only had a tiny bit cut off. The stylist was very nice and gave me lots of hints. We’re going to keep trying for another six months. If things don’t get better for my little lady, I just might take her to Bob next time!

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As Shega was getting ready for school one day this week, I saw her put a dollar bill into her bag. I wondered what it was for:

Me: Shega. What is the dollar for?

Shega: It’s for Sage. He really likes money. (Sage is one of her class mates. )

Me: I really like money too. You should like money too. You have to save that dollar.

Shega: Why do I have to save? I don’t have to pay for college.

Me: Why don’t you have to pay for college?

Shega: REMEMBER! Grandma always gives me those college slips for my birthday!!!

I hope those savings bonds appreciate nicely over the next twelve years, Grandma!

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We had a busy week. I owe my employer some time this weekend. I had a reason to leave work for part of the day each day this week.

Monday: Hey! It was Labor Day and I was the only one in the family working! I had to leave early that day just to feel a part of the holiday.

Tuesday: Megan had a haircut. I picked her up before her nap to get her to her appointment on time. I’ll have to say more about that topic later.

Wednesday: We invited ten students over for an Ethiopian meal. I had to leave work early in order to beat them to my house. College students eat early!

Thursday: I had my tooth pulled in the morning. I didn’t realize that teeth are attached to the brain. It is out! I am glad. I think my brain is back in place.

Friday: Hey! It was Friday….lighten up!

I am so thankful for a flexible work schedule.

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Emma rushed out of the house today. She said, "I don’t know why the bus always leaves without me!"

Hmmmmm! There’s a mystery!

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Shega has been invited to one particular classmates house several times in the past two weeks. Lindsay calls on the phone and asks if Shega can come over. I always tell Shega that Lindsay’s mom needs to call me.

Shega has insisted that Lindsay’s mom speaks only Spanish, so she can’t call me.

Finally, I gave in. Lindsay called and I drove Shega to town. We found Lindsay’s house and both she and her mom came to the door. I asked if they were planning on Shega playing for awhile. Lindsay translated and her mom nodded.

I said, "Is it ok if I pick her up at six?"

Lindsay translated and then her mom said, "No. Siete."

I had to go through my Sesame Street Spanish counting to know that she meant seven.

I picked her up at seven. Shega and Lindsay had a great time. We’ll have to figure out how to invite her back to our house sometime soon.

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Megan was watching the rotating pictures on the computer screen saver this morning. She got really excited to see herself when she was around a year old. She jumped up and down and called everyone over to see the screen.

Megan said, "Why did you dress me in a pink dress when I was a boy?"

Emma: You were never a boy.

Megan: YES! I had to wear a pink dress when I was a boy.

Emma: You were always a girl.

Megan: I WAS A BOY!! How come everybody doesn’t like me anymore!

 

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We called Joe and Kendra this week. It had been so long since we had talked to them and we were missing them so we placed the international call and caught them eating potato soup for supper.  It was great to hear their voices.

It sounds like things are continuing to go well. Kendra is settling into a new school routine that has her seeing kids for reading help in her own room. She sounds very comfortable in her new role.

Joe’s sweetcorn in growing well in the school garden. They planted watermelon recently too. They’re hoping for some Christmas crops. Corn on the cob would make a great Christmas dinner.

We sent them a small package with new socks. I often think of them when I slip on my nice, soft socks.

Their sink is on the outside of their house and equipped with a washboard. Everything is washed by hand and hung on the line. I love some things hung on the line. Sheets, and jeans work great on the line. Socks….well….I’ll bet their socks are getting mighty stiff.

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My class is reading Jerry Sittser’s "The Will of God as a Way of Life". It’s a great book for freshmen. The book is about finding God’s will for our lives. It’s a good book for me too. I seem to find something new each time I read it. 

Today, I was re-reading chapter 3. In this chapter Sittser talks about how to decide which things to pursue and do in life.

He quotes Thomas Merton, a monk and Christian writer.

Sittser says, "Thomas Merton lamented this idolatry of busyness, which in his mind destroys our capacity fo live contented and contempatlive lives. Ironically, our very productivity keeps us from hearing the voice of God and doing the will of God."

Here’s Merton as quoted on pg. 47 of Sittser:

How many there are who are in a worse state still: they never even get as far as contemplation because they are attached to activities and enterprises that seem to be important. Blinded by their desire for ceaseless motion, for a constant sense of achievement, famished with a crude hunger for results, for visible and tangible success, they work themselves into a state in which they cannot believe that they are pleasing God unless they are busy with a dozen jobs at the same time.

Wow! That’s convicting. I need to stop basing my own self-worth on how much I get done and teach my kids to do the same.

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