Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our Pastor's Last Message for 8 months

We went to a church absolutely packed with people. Our family had to sit in 3 separate places and we didn't even have the 3 youngest kids with us. Piper's sermon was called "Consider Your Calling." The songs were extraordinary. The service was too short. I know he's making a good decision to leave even though he will be missed.

Afterward, Emma's Ethiopia team gave a presentation on their trip. We got to see our daughter in all sorts of different pictures doing all sorts of things.

We got home at 9:30. The babysitter told me that Lizzie had been asking for me.

It was a really good night.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Not What I Had Hoped

Oh, I am a bitter, bitter woman today. I endured holding my children down while they got their shots (3 apiece); I paced around the little, tiny room while Sadie reminded me that she should have been napping; I spoke Manglish for 57 minutes and finally, walked to the lab to turn in the stool samples.

One had leaked. It was Lizzie's.

The liquid was still very, very, very near to the required red line.

The specimen looked to be still very, very much intact.

But no.

The receptionist, whose express purpose in life seemed to be Condescend To Harried Mothers told me these three helpful things:

1. Specimens do not leak in equal proportions.
2. It could not be used.
2. The lids of the vials are supposed to be screwed on.

Really? Really? I have since thought of all sorts of Specimen Revenge I'd like to take. Instead, I will simply close with her picture.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stool Samples

I have been putting off "specimen collection" for about 6 weeks. Every other good adoptive parent seems to have "collected" as soon as they got off the airplane, if not before. I dutifully gave the deworming medicine while in Ethiopia. I gave the Flagyll for parasites as soon as we got home. Still, the stool sample thing nagged at me. I couldn't be sure the girls were free from parasites until someone had looked at their samples. Confirmation of this nagging feeling came from a doctor I spoke to at church who said, "There may still be cysts of parasites." Now there is a sentence that gives one pause. And makes even Subpar Adoptive Parents like me call the doctor, get an appointment and pick up a Stool Sample Collection Kit.

On Wednesday morning, as the feeling of doom threatened to permeate the day, I decided to drink a second cup of coffee and dive in, so to speak.

I read the directions which oddly told me time and again not to drink the preservative that was in the vials. The other fascinating aspect of the direction sheet was the number of languages into which the collection process was translated. Cambodian, Laotian, German, Hmong, French... Then I thought about whose language wasn't included, like the Russians. Are they particularly impervious to parasites? Or does specimen collecting come naturally to some but not to others?

All of my musings did nothing to help me do what needed to be done. Unscrew the three lids, use the integrated lid-spoon, scoop out the required amount of "specimen," check to see that the undrinkable liquid reached the red line, screw the lid back on and "shake vigorously."

I did it. And there was absolutely nothing about it that I found even remotely satisfying. There are many things I don't like to do (clean the shower curtain; vacuum the van; pry the lids off abandoned dirty sippy cups) but I am nonetheless satisfied after I have done them. Specimen collection? Still not over it.

Tomorrow I will take Lizzie and Sadie to the doctor. They will get their first round of shots and hate me. They will have their ears checked and their weight checked and their poop checked. And when they are done, I am going to Caribou. I will buy a double shot Lite White Berry Latte. I will probably drink it before I get to the door. I will congratulate myself on being so responsible. Then I will make everyone my slave for the remainder of the day.

Levi's Language

A friend inspired me to at least start thinking about next year's homeschool curriculum. I paged through a catalog, found the usual (math, science, social studies, etc.), then found the section of "electives." This section has the strange effect on me of stoking my imagination: could my kids become fluent in Latin? could they learn the names of all the countries in the world by listening to songs? what about sign language?

I decided to talk to Levi about sign language. He's usually not the first one to come to mind when I start Future of My Children Dreaming but he happened to be in the car.

"Hey Levi. Do you think you'd like to learn sign language?"

"Ummmm. What's that?"

"It's where you use your hands to talk to deaf people."

"Your hands talk?"

"No, they make signs that deaf people can understand."



At this point, the momentum that had been building as Levi contemplated Talking to the Dead, suddenly ceased. He now understood that whatever explanation was going to come next would most certainly be a disappointment. I did lamely explain the population for whom sign language is extremely important but gone was my initial enthusiasm. Levi's transcript would no longer stand out with Talking to the Dead fulfilling the language requirement.

I haven't brought it up again. For now, we'll just work on finishing this year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lizzie's Language

I appreciate the people who ask me how "things are going." There are a lot of things. They always seem to be going. One is Lizzie's language. She used have a very Amharic sounding babble. She still does; now it is sprinkled with English. I was trying to think of what this new language might be called. It is loud. It is repetitive. It echoes anything anyone else says. New English words usually get extra syllables.

I have decided to call it Manglish.

The rest of us are trying to catch up on learning it. I think Zeke is going to be the first to go bilingual. Here are the few words I know:
1. "Sadie dalala dalala da:" Sadie is awake; Sadie is smiling; Sadie is doing something cute
2. "Mama? Mama? Mama? Bizzie dalala dalala da:" Mom? Lizzie is going to do something.
3. "Bizzie side:" Lizzie is going outside.
4. "Mama buna?" Is that Mom's coffee?
5." EMMA! LEVI! ZEKE! GACE! EEI! BIZZIE laka delana nanana:" Lizzie is about to do something and you need to watch me.

Manglish. The mangling of 2 languages into one really cute, intense means of communication.