May 28, 2010

How did that happen?

I am admittedly a pretty bad cook. As an obvious sign of love, Seth bought me cooking lessons early in our marriage. To his dismay, I didn't fulfill them and we moved. I remain a lovingly, regrettably bad cook. I have 30+ cookbooks on display. I adore looking through them. I have grand visions of becoming a gourmet chef merely by osmosis. Nevertheless, I remain a bad cook.

Unless, I'm following a tried and true easy recipe. Most of these don't come from my vast cookbook collection. They come from my friends. I have my 'granola' friend who was 'tortellini soup' until we became so close that I was actually at her house early in the morning and got to sample her homemade granola. That beat the tortellini soup. There's my 'banana jam bread' friend. She didn't have jam so the bread has double the bananas and is undoubtably the best banana bread I've ever had. My spinach quiche friend doesn't even know that is what she is known for in my kitchen. She's a good cook--she throws things together and never uses a recipe. The quiche she made one morning for my family was delectable. That was first time I ever ate fresh spinach and liked it. My kids probably wish that morning hadn't happened! I've got an applesauce friend and one of my sisters is most definitely baked ziti.

I was having a baking frenzy and realized that each time I make a recipe that someone else shared with me I think of them as I prepare and then eat it.

Reminiscing in the kitchen is a dangerous game. Add five 'helpers' to the chaos of granola, banana bread, and lasagna at various stages of baking...crazy things happen. Like tossing butter into the microwave to 'soften' and not realizing that you hit "2:00".

May 14, 2010

Adoption Angst

When I'm done tucking the girls in, Sally stalls. I think she's stalling. She usually starts asking me hard questions. If she didn't wait until I was standing at the door of the bedroom, I would think she was actually interested in my answers. Rather, I think she is grasping at straws hoping to baffle me long enough to get a few more minutes with the light on.

She finally struck "stalling gold." Her line of questioning wound itself around to, "Whose belly did I come from?"


Seems like we have talked about this before. Seems like I've been having this talk for the past five years. Rather, Ella follows up with, "Well, I grew in your belly."


I remind the girls gently that they grew in another belly far, far away. And I began to tell them their amazing stories. It seems, to me, that I've been telling Ella her story since we brought her home. Until now, nearly six years later, she hasn't been too interested. Her face was betraying her feelings and it dawned on her that she spent years without us. It seems impossible.

Though Sally was older, she hardly remembers the way things really unfolded. She can't believe that she and Josiah didn't come 'from the same belly' in Ethiopia. I tell her about the long line of mommies who have babies that didn't grow in their bellies. Starting with their own Daddy and moving down their family tree.

To me, that makes it easier, knowing that so many of your family have been adopted. They have been loved and they have become mommies and daddies too. To my five year old that made no difference. After my sweet words and good intentions her only comment was, "But I wish that I was from your belly just like the boys."

Oh, how my heart breaks.

That was only the beginning. At any random moment during the day Sally will approach me asking 'Whose belly did ____ (insert friend or relative) come from?' Of course, none of them would happen to be adopted. I feel ill equipped to deal with the onslaught of questions. My (adopted) husband is no help either. Simply stated by him, "She loves you and wants to have as much of you as possible." But he can give no great response to ease all of her insecurities and worries. If he can't, who can?

We tread very lightly around our house. In a family comprised of children who have come into our family by birth and adoption, we can easily make someone feel alienated by making the other feel too special. In an effort to keep everyone feeling loved, perhaps we've been too cautious.

I've used the "grew in my heart" line to no avail. I've told them that their stories are amazing and God brought them right into our family. It seems that they are stuck on the unknown. I have no names, stories, or pictures. Honestly, the bits and pieces we know are too much for either of the girls to handle. I have to be relatively creative in censoring their stories.

Any words of wisdom?

May 5, 2010

Girl Trip

The girls and I made a trip to Yale last weekend. We drove so that Sally could come along and stayed overnight along the way with friends that we have missed. Everyone was thrilled and it had the makings of a great girl trip.

Then we actually left the house.

I was about ready to turn around and drop someone off 20 minutes into the trip for all of the questions and pleading she was doing. But, I think Yale might have been upset had we shown up without Ella. So we decided she could stay but she had to stop asking when we would get there and whether we would eat while there and could we please have a snack?

We ate breakfast in the car, snacked for 2 hours, and then had lunch in the car at 9:30 because I was sick of hearing about it. I think that stuffed them to the point of silence.

I honestly feel bad that Yale paid for the whole thing as we had a blast visiting with our special, missed friends. Ella reaped the rewards of two days having scans by picking things from their upgraded treasure chest. I wouldn't endure 45 minutes in an enclosed space for a million dollars, so she gets all sorts of kudos from me for doing it just to get a mechanical dinosaur.

Do the results actually benefit us? I really, honestly have no idea, but having more information must be better. If it isn't a benefit to us, it certainly will benefit someone else in the future.