Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Geta, just today, was talking about how cold it is here. I told her that when she lived in Ethiopia, it was much warmer, but now she lives in "lovely South Bend, Indiana" where it gets very cold. She flashed that beautiful smile at me and happily said, "If you are here, Mommy, then I want to be here." I teared up as she wrapped a blanket around her and went on reading books with her sister and brother. Life is so normal for them and I know how different life is for her birth family. While I am not able to help them, I can give all my love to my kids and try to make the world just a little better.
So today as I remember all that has happened in the last year, I especially remember how small I am in this world, and how lucky I am to have the blessing that have been given me. And I truly thank God for all my friends and family who have supported me in this journey and who have so openly excepted Geta and Tamene into our lives. Together, we all have taught them about friendship, family and the gift of love. And we all have helped them know a life without fear. And for that, I am forever grateful.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I haven’t posted in a bit and it is a little different posting without any huge events of late. Geta and Tamene are hardly the new adopted children anymore, they are just two of our children. The biggest event in my life of late is the ND loss to
We celebrated the Ethiopian New Year on Friday. It gives us a great reason to enjoy and celebrate on such a tragic date for
As for other events in our life, Courtney is enjoying soccer, with her father as the assistant coach. Luckily, the head coach is excellent, so I can just hide in the shadows and put an ill timed joke whenever possible. Patrick is in football full swing and loves it. He also is getting good at guitar (acoustic thank goodness) and not getting in as much trouble, knock on wood. Emily is enjoying life and the full house and Joshua is doing well. He continues to tell me very elaborate detailed stories. He loves to have an adult give him time to express himself. It can occasionally be a long process but worth the wait. Geta is loving school, and at church, she loves seeing her friends. On the way to kids church today, she grabbed a friends hand and led her down to church. Tamene probably knows a couple hundred words, but uses mostly 10-20. Yet, he talks non-stop with the same words over and over. Actually recently, the other kids were talking on the phone to Grandma Carlson and Tamene somehow ended up with the second phone. He yipped and yapped for a good 10 minutes (no one else could get a word in edge-wise) before anyone let me know he had commandeered a phone and I put a painful end to his phone time.
Anyway, things are well but busy. The kids are growing up but we have gotten into a routine. There is still plenty of excitement, but today, I can’t report of any kids left at church or anything of that sort. Stayed tuned, if I need to, I will leave one somewhere, just for the laughs that will ensue in my future story-telling. T-6 until the next ND game. Go IRISH. Mike
Monday, September 7, 2009
Geta keeps asking for me to do cornrows in her hair. It is getting pretty long and I feel like I should be able to do it. So I spent my morning looking at YouTube videos and found one that explained what I was doing wrong. So I attempted it again tonight. I was able to braid her whole head! How about that!! To be perfectly honest, anyone who looks at it will know I am a true novice. But, hey, you have to start somewhere. Geta was thrilled and can't wait to show all her friends tomorrow. (Sorry, Amy. I bet Vivian will want cornrows next.) As she hugged me and kissed me before bed, she quietly whispered in my ear, "I knew you could do it, Mommy."
Worth every minute...
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tomorrow is Geta and Tamene's first ever tailgating experience. I will take pictures and do my best to post before the weekend is over.
Also, I thought I would leave you with a couple short videos of our kids singing some Ethiopian songs. (Geta has actually forgotten the words ) :-( But I still love to hear what she remembers.
Tonight, I remember how blest I am to have such a wonderful family. I will give them all an extra hug and extra kiss before bed! (and I will try hard to not be disappointed when Tamene greets me at 6am!)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Well, Kristen did her first ever post from her Mac, and this is my first ever post. Okay, not really but it has been a while. I feel I should reintroduce myself. My name is Mike.
This all started as she asked for my input on her post and after pausing for a second, she said, “you weren’t listening.” I know, just shocking, can you even believe she would say that? That could lead in to a post on the beauty of lowering expectations. Just kidding. Of course, I was listening and had a small part to add, but we decided I should just put it out on the blog myself. So, here we go.
I typically am not a huge fan of religious events and the whole concept of Sacraments, although very important, is an area where I tend to lien towards the Protestant viewpoint or at least have trouble with our Catholic concept of them. But this baptism was just truly a special and amazing event for me.
The St Joe Community, as well as the Healy Group, the Trinity 7th grade girls basketball team, our families, our friends, our biological kids, Bill and Barb, just everyone has totally embraced and been engaged in our adoption of our two (not really new any more) children. And St Joe baptism ceremonies are excellent to start with. But for me, this was an event where the whole community embraced our newest members of the parish. One very special moment for me was as the baptism ceremony was going on and I was just thoroughly enjoying it, I looked over and saw a fellow parishioner and friend who too also just recently adopted internationally clearly moved by the ceremony. It was just great to see someone else feeling what I was feeling and knowing there were others there with me.
But the absolute best moment for me was when the lighting of the baptismal candles took place and Fr Ed mentioned the symbolic path this particular candle we had had taken from
Needless to say, the baptism was just spectacular. I was so proud of my newest kids, excited for their acceptance and truly felt God was there with us on our journey (and although I guess that is what baptism is about, it was amazing to truly feel it and also see so many others who felt it too.)
To conclude, say a quick prayer for Etore as well Geta and Tamene’s brothers and sisters over in
I wanted to post some pictures from the Baptism. It was a wonderful day for all of us. Many of you were there to share with us and for that we are truly grateful. For those who couldn't physically be here, your emails and cards were wonderful. Your love and support mean the world to us.
If you were at the baptism, you can skip right down to the pictures. But for those who weren't there, I thought I would give a quick summary of the service. Fr. Ed Obermiller, CSC performed the baptism. While he is a good friend of the family, he has only met Geta and Tamene once. He and Mary Nucciarone were so kind to take time the day before to do a "run through" of the baptism. Geta and Tamene were able to get into the font and understood exactly what would happen to them. So the day of the baptism, they had smiles on there faces, showed confidence in what they were doing and were histerical as they put their faces in the water. They eyes were so bright and happy. I think for Mike and I, this day was a big one. We made a commitment to their birthfather that we would teach Geta and Tamene to have a relationship with God. It is sometimes hard to see that relationship growing, but it was very evident in their baptism. They have started to accept the community that we worship with. They now know about how water cleanses us of our sins. (although Geta was a little concerned that you only get to do this once.) But the curious and trusting look that they gave Fr. Ed as he put the oil on their chest and the giggles when their faces actually came out of the water all three times and the determination Geta showed in accepting the light of Christ, knowing it was for her. She wasn't about to let her godparents take that from her. :-)
On the day we met their birthfather, we ended the visit with a prayer service. We, as adoptive parents, vowed to love our children unconditionally. Their birthfather lit a small orange candle and presented to us as a sign that God would be with us along the way. It was his prayer for his children that God help us however necessary. In order to somehow make him a part of the ceremony, we used the same candle that the birthfather gave to us to light the candles for Geta and Tamene. It was such a wonderful moment and I hope and pray that whereever he is, he has some peace. I live everyday with the guilt of his sacrafice and wonder why I am so blest. But on this particular day, I felt that unity with him one more time, even thought thousands of miles separate us. There is a very strong part of him who is now my family.
All of our kids dressed in their Ethiopian outfits (unless they are already too small). :-( It was another way to celebrate where they have come from to get to this day. All-in-all, it was a wonderful day, more than I could have ever hoped for.
I hope you enjoy the pictures (thanks to my mom!) I forgot my camera. :-)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Geta and Tamene were baptized into the Catholic faith this morning. While this is a rite I have watched many times, it took on a whole new meaning today. Usually, we baptize babies. But my kids are older and have far more life experiences. I didn't get their trust just because. I had to earn that trust. My goal was to prepare Geta and Tamene so that they weren't afraid of the sacrament. But little did I know that God had far grander plans. Geta and Tamene were not afraid. They walked into the waters of Baptism with eyes wide open and smiles bigger than life. Geta accepted her own baptismal candle with confidence. Thank goodness that Tamene's god parents were on the ball and quickly took his before he figured out what was happening. Courtney proudly accepted Geta as her God Daughter and our other kids showed such great excitement and pride for their siblings. Because we made a commitment to Geta and Tamene's birth father that we would raise them as Christians, I wanted to somehow make him a part of the baptism. During a prayer service with him in Ethiopia, he presented a candle to use when he entrusted his children into our care. So we used the same candle that he gave to us during the "entrustment" ceremony to light the baptismal candles for Geta and Tamene. While I thought I was quietly including him, it turned out to be such a concrete, tangible and communal statement in the progress toward our commitment to him. I was caught off guard by my emotions. It made us vulnerable to the entire community that celebrated with us. In that vulnerability came God's grace. That same vulnerability that our children accepted as they walked through the waters of Baptism, we accepted in testimate to our commitment to their birth father. God has blest us with wonderful family and friends and we could not be more proud. Thank you to everyone who shared this momentous occasion today.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday was more of the same as we attempted to get more weeding done before Courtney and Patrick left for Grandma's house in Chicago. But I gave everyone a break and we only weeded through lunchtime. Once Courtney and Patrick left, the younger kids all took a bike ride and had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Carlson. It was a fun way to end the weekend (until Josh fell off his bike and had to go the emergency room to get stitches!)
Saturday, July 18, 2009
But aside from the extra time (and gas and tolls), we arrived safely. The kids were great in the car. We only stopped twice for bathroom breaks and for gas at each stop. Lisa had packed a bunch of sandwiches and snacks, so we just ate in the car to help pass time. :-) Even Tamene faired the trip like a champ. He learned all kinds of new animal sounds, sang some songs, played with his magna doodle and books and took 2 naps. He was thrilled to be able to run around once we arrived, but I thought he did awesome!
I will try to take some updated pictures this week since I have been so remiss in updating the blog. We are really looking forward to spending a relaxing week together and allowing Geta and Tamene to get to know Uncle Wally, Cam, Johanna and Jolene.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
As of today, we have no more leaky skylight. I am glad I wasn't hear to see them remove the skylight, but I am more excited that I wasn't hear when they found the ants that were living in the wall. YUCK! How does that happen? We also saw the prototype of the new "locker cubbies". They will help so much in dealing with all the "stuff" our kids "need to have". I think the clutter stresses them out as much as it does me. They know I get upset by the mess, but they never had a place to go with it. Defined space that they are in control of will help tremendously. (At least it better!)
Lisa (our nanny) is thrilled to have the added space, and thank goodness, because she also has to deal with the constant noise and interruption that all these strangers bring to our life. It is funny to hear Tamene mimic the sound of drills and hammers or hear Geta get so upset at the mess that they are making. Tomorrow Geta will see Laundry done in the basement for the first time and I can't wait to hear what she says.
They expect another 3 weeks of construction. Ugh! I am trying to be patient, but I am ready for it to be done.
We will keep you posted on the progress,
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I had fully intended to put picutures of Emily's First Communion on the blog today, but it is late and I am tired and the camera is nowhere to be found, so that will have to wait til tomorrow. She had a wonderful weekend and was so filled with joy at receiving her First Communion. Please keep Coutney in your prayers as she prepares for her Confirmation this Friday. (It has been a big week for the Morin Family!)
Love to all our friends! Your words of encouragement have been such an inspiration through this whole process.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Oh, Tamene and Geta went to the fire station today to see Grandpa. Geta loved it, but Tamene wasn't quite sure what to think. Didn't love the lights so Grandpa and Grandma wisely skipped the sirens. He had fun, but not quite ready to take the big rig out yet.
Oh, and tomorrow, Tamene turns two. Man, last year my youngest was 6, and now I have a two year old. But am loving it.
I have another thing to story to tell you, but it needs a picture so maybe tomorrow. But don't get too excited, it can't compare with my last one. Later, Mike
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Okay, so I have been meaning to post this for a while now because in my book, it is too good not to share. Don’t tell Kristen as I am not sure she would love me sharing (let’s hope she doesn’t read our blog).
Anyway, during our outings, when we are loading up in the car, we have now taken to roll call to be sure we have everyone. It actually makes for some fun. Do we need to do this? Well, read on.
So, we are at church on Saturday and we have to leave relatively soon after Mass as Kristen and I have plans (gotta like that). We, of course, stay after Mass for our typical 10-15 minutes after it ends, so we are rushing out of church. We are all walking and Geta is holding the door for me. I see all the kids but Josh, and Geta says “where’s Joshua?” I said he is ahead of us and around the corner as I thought he was, and I yell to Patrick, “Do you see Josh?” I know, nice use of quotes. You feel like you are there with me, don’t you? I, of course, get caught up in something else and never listen for Patrick’s response.
Flash ahead. I like that segway too. We are now home and I am throwing together some leftovers for dinner as we have maybe 15 minutes to get out the door and I want to have all the kids fed. I am now 5 minutes in (the anticipation builds) and the phone rings. It is Fr. Nate. “Mike, are you missing something?” It comes to me. He says, “Joshua is here with me.” I, of course, being quick witted as always, say “Can we pick him up after 10am Mass tomorrow?”
Geta tells Mommy she was trying to tell us. Maybe we missed that one.
I find comfort in the knowledge that everyone leaves one of their kids now and then, right. Isn’t that what happens on Kate plus Eight. I have never watched but I assume so. And next week, Kate plus seven. Nice tag line, who wouldn’t watch.
Don’t worry Josh is home and well and we now know how very important roll call is. I am off to count the kids. Later. Mike