Thursday, January 31, 2008

January update

We received a great monthly update.  This is only our 4th update, but the past 3 have been a little lacking in info.  Life is so busy at the orphanage and we don't complain because the photos are always awesome.  So this month was a huge blessing in so many ways.  Gaëlle was just moved to the Toddler house with Peterson.  He, apparently, is thrilled to have her there and always seeks her out.  They both enjoyed the Christmas and New Year festivities.  

They were all given their own tangerines for Christmas, which was celebrated December 30. Gaëlle needed help peeling hers, and then bit right into it. Peterson took his apart in sections and ate them individually. He traded some wedges for some wedges from other kids, with the thought that perhaps their orange tasted just a little different than his.  Isn't that so cute?  Even though I can 
have all the tangerines I want, he's right.  Sometimes they do taste different.   

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Impossible

Kaylin and I are reading a few chapters from this book every morning.  This, after reading a biography of Amy Carmichael.  We have India on the brain.  But I digress.  During this adoption, yes, it all comes back to the adoption, I have been asking all sorts of questions.  "Why don't the officials in Haiti want to help the orphans?"  "Why does it all have to take so long?"  "Don't they care?"  

There's a blind baby boy who could have his eyesight partially restored if he could make it to the 
US to receive medical care.  This boy was abandoned... completely abandoned... left to die.  Now, there's a family anxious to adopt and anxious to facilitate medical care.  Yet, the authorities won't sign one simple letter allowing him to leave on a medical visa.  They aren't saying, "NO."  They simply aren't doing anything.  WHY???  This is just one example of the slow wheels of 
bureacracy in Haiti.  

Anyway, here's a quote from this book which jumped out at me yesterday.

"So far he feels it's impossible,"  she wrote Connie, "as most things are concerning the KIngdom, 
because it is God's plan to do the impossible for us and let us see the impossibility first.  Great!  
Look on your difficulties thus, my angel, with a sort of jubilant chuckle and say, 'Another of God's
opportunities to lead me on!'  How jolly to be absolutely at His disposal!"

So adoption is another of God's opportunities to lead me on! 

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Leaving a legacy

I am privilaged to have known both sets of grandparents.  I have fond memories of their houses, the smells, the sounds, the joy and love found there.  I know that this is a gift.  My children only have memories of 3 grandparents.  My husband never knew 1 set of grandparents.  There is nothing sweeter than the relationship between children and their grandparents.  I'm thankful that I had this.  Now, all of my grandparents are gone.

My own kids were young when they met my Grandpa Brown.  But he left quite the impression on them.  He was a storyteller extrodinaire and full of life, even into his 90's.  His memory will live on in his own family, but it will also live on amongst people I will never know or meet.

He was a huge supporter of a boys ranch in Florida.  Six years after  his death, we received photos showing a memorial they constructed for him.  A wooden bell tower with a plaque engraved with his face and some words about him.  "Brownie.  A true friend of the boys."  What a legacy. What a man.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reading buddies

Our cat has a few quirks.  She loves to be around people but do not try to touch her or hold her.  She just wants us to catch her aura, nothing more.  She threw Kaylin a treat by coming up and laying with her while Kaylin was reading.  Such joy with such little affection.  Some of our family members wonder what is the point of such a cat as this.

"Dogs come when they're called. Cats take a message and get back to you."
- Mary Bly

"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."
- Winston Churchill

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
- Anonymous

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New traditions

It's all about food.  Traditions are always about food.  Every New Year's Eve our family has "make your own subs" and "make your own ice cream sundaes."  It may just be our immediate family or it may be a big blow out gathering.  Either way, the food is the same.

Until this year...

We had waffles.  Robin was begging and pleading and whining for a waffle maker and the girls finally obliged him.  So now we had to use it.  New Year's Eve just seemed to be the right time.  So long ice cream, hello strawberries & maple syrup.

A beautiful family

Last night I saw a beautiful family.  I was at the airport and saw a black woman and white man along with 2 black teenage boys all giving each other lots of love.  It's so unusual around here to see transracial families that I have to admit, I stalked them with my eyes while we were all waiting for luggage.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963
"I Have a Dream"

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

A new month??? A new year???

II guess it's time to admit that a new year is here.  I'm not one to make resolutions but it would be nice if I would at least follow some of the goals I have for myself.  One of them was to write here... for myself and as an example for my daughter.  Not much of an example at the moment.

I'll start with a race related topic.  The media is full of Clinton (the woman) versus Obama ( the black man).  CNN even had a headline, "Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in South Carolina."  Apparently, readers reacted angrily, which provided another story for CNN.  So my question is this, "Isn't it sexist for somebody to NOT vote for somebody based on their gender?"  And, "Isn't it racist to NOT vote for somebody because of their race?"  

So why isn't it sexist to vote for somebody based on their gender?  And why isn't it racist to vote for somebody based on their race?  I know... I know... those who study racism have all these great definitions that just hurt my head to even think about.  Racism is all about power and who holds power. Those who have been marginalized and victimized can not be racist.  Well, I disagree.  If race or gender is the sole factor, it is racist or sexist.  

Obviously, those 2 factors can come into play.  A woman understands issues that are important to me better than a man, or so the arguement goes.  I've seen situations where this just doesn't hold true.  My husband is in law enforcement.  Often, woman are given files dealing with children and sexual assault.  But my husband, a man, has often been more effective and compassionate with these kids, according to the social workers.  

I believe that in politics, and in all relationships, we need to look at the person.  We have to take all of their experience, their beliefs, yes, even their actions into account.  I wasn't even alive when Martin Luther King, Jr.  gave his inspiring speech, "I have a dream".  
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Nothing more can be said.