Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh Mother where are thou?

My oldest son now seven, is in love with his sister. Now I am not just saying that he really is captured by her. When she came home he confessed to me that he didn't think she was so cute by her pictures (:) but when he saw her he thinks she is soooooo cute! He loves to feed her and a few times I have caught him wearing her in my sling ...don't worry we have really chatted about this one. I love to see the way my children have responded to there new sibling. My second was not very sure about his new baby sister. Still his role in the family has been affirmed over and over, now I just think he acts up to continue the reminders. My older guy really wants to have more siblings from Ethiopia (AS DO I:) time will tell... He tends to be overprotected of her, he will remind me "I thought no one can hold her!" or "Only you are suppose to feed her mom, remember?".
Its a very different venture for them, mom didn't grow her in her tummy, so they didn't really have a hard fact about her until the picture came. Even then...still difficult to grasp. My middle son still asks if we are going to take her back, hah! One of the things I appreciated of my oldest is he knows this baby does not replace his little brother that went on to heaven. He will not ever let me say I have three kids, no, for him its always four kids that are apart of the family. I love that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This entry is about the new found interest in by boys...POKEMON!
A few weeks ago a cousin gave my oldest son two cards, my son showed a few neighbors who in turn gave him not kidding about 115 cards. We have no idea about these cards except that its very controversial among Christians such as the ever popular Harry Potter. It really bugs me when believers do not want to participate in something because it just seems bad, instead of knowing all the facts. I would rather tell my kids the fact in an age appropriate reasoning along with scripture, than to just say God told me so, or its just bad. Blindly we let these cards reside in our home our kids spent hours "trading" with each other and looking at them, I listened in on there "trades" and they really have no idea what they mean...so I did nothing about it. I let the cards come in because of there interest in them. Our oldest has been in school for a whole two weeks now and I have been noticing something I am not liking, his obsession with the cards, at first we passed it as just new and a fascination. Yet everything that he brought home in his writing had to do with Pokemon, his birthday book written by the kids in his class all had to do with Pokemon everyone knew this was his interest. The first book he checked out at school...you guessed it POKEMON. Then brothers starting fighting over it and before you know it he ate Pokemon, slept dreaming about Pokemon and woke up thinking about Pokemon. We took them away for a Pokemon time out. We also needed to talk about the newness of this interest it spread life wildfire so we didn't even had the chance to talk.
F and I wanted to research and find out the history of the cards the game etc. Pray about it, when I prayed the same verse came into my mind..."Train up a child in the way he should go". Great no verse that says don't do Pokemon or do it, so I had to continue to pray. I had this unsettling peace about it, and I didn't like it. In my research, I knew what I would find also super charismatic Christan's saying it was from the devil....no facts. So I found it the site with the facts on what each cards means where the card game originated from etc. We learned tons of both reasons why not to do it and why its considered harmless, both have great argument supporting their agenda. I can't write about them all. Then I also found so many parents with the same complaint..over obsession and addiction to cards. I know that's strong...but its exactly what it is. We learned about many crimes committed at elementary schools because of the cards, fights, stabbing, stealing. This has not happened yet I know at our school, but I can see my sons obsession with them starting out Innocent and maybe gradually getting not so innocent. Such as sneaking behind our back to take them to school, when we already said no. Checking the books out at the Library when we told him no books allowed etc. Then like me the parents had this odd feeling about it , but could not put of finger on it. The more I researched the cards the more I realized I didn't want this to be apart of our family. (Yes a little backwards) we have both now vowed to really check things out before letting the kids do it...we were so good at it and now it just seems like we get a little more slack or comfortable because of there age.
All that to say we are done with POKEMON! We decided that our sons were very impressible and can not tell the difference between fantasy and real life just yet. We Chatted with teachers and they will happily comply...I think they don't like it either. This was hard to tell the boys, lots of tears and anger. We chatted more with our oldest and explained what idols are and that they can become anything such as Internet, TV, POKEMON :) things that take away our focus from school, family and God most of all. We both shared that we all have to shift focus sometimes when that happens and pray that God would help us meditate on Him and the things he wants us to mediate on. I just share this....only to share the daily happenings of our life here at the Tribe. We too are learning parents and I just love that I am able to share with some moms (mm) and dads (thanks CW) my concern without judgementalness (is that a word?) Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Today is day 38!

Day 38 of being new mommy and daddy to Ruby....WE LOVE IT! On Monday we had our first post placement and guess what we passed :) Ruby was happy with our Social Worker and just cooed and giggled. So here you go Suzi these new pictures are for you. Suzi is my new friend, I meet online though an Ethiopian adoption group we just so happened to be in the same state and both adopting a baby girl and got them within one week of each other....the best part is that we worked with the same agency so our girls are Crib mates...well across the crib but they were at Hannah's Hope together. We meet at our agencies picnic and chatted about travel dates, and our excitement. I got to love all over her little Grace while I was in Ethiopia. Ruby misses Grace so lets hang soon!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Introducing baby Natalie

You may have thought I would have posted this a while ago?!! My little sister Sharlene who is two years younger than me ( I wont say :) had a baby on August 22. They are so proud of her I am too...I was just waiting for photos, and being lazy about writing. My BIL and sister have decided to honor guess who me! They named there sweet love Natalie after me. I am honored and touched by this, its a huge deal to be named after someone! I have had things named after me..like "Oh you pulled a Natalie!" that would be whatever fill in the blank.
I come from a strong Hispanic family and there is a bond with sisterhood ( I am sure its with many races, but my family believes its because we are Hispanic:) My sister and I have a very unique bond where we can finish each others sentences, were we can read each other faces and know exactly what we mean. We were raised in the Virgin Islands and our culture was so different than where we live today. We had no mall, no intranet, no computer, no cell phones, no IM, Text, no answering machine, okay have I just described everyone raised in the 80's?! To share a little about how different I need to explain my family dynamic a little ..bear with me...
My grandmother (she is like the Godmother in a mafia movie, she even looks like it and calls the shots!) Maria has three daughters. One Aunt "TIA" Yvonne the oldest who is hilarious and loving and sweet and WISE (due to old age :) she has a daughter Monica. Then comes my mom who has three daughters and a son. Then my Tia Cynthia, fire and Ice, Sweetheart and dangerous and who has two children one son named after my uncle Oscar married to Cynthia and a daughter named after her Cynthia. So...you see we have Nine women in the intermediate family. That may not seem a big deal to you...however these are nine HISPANIC women. We have been trained in the art or listening to 4 conversations at once, talking with our hands, stretching the truth( I promise, I don't do this anymore!),greeting each other with a kiss, and gathering in the kitchen! We can go without talking for weeks and pick up right where we left off. I compare my family to a mafia, because I promise you that if anyone were to mess with us, my Aunts more Tia Cynthia would come after you. And it doesn't stop there, we have cousins who are like sisters, and brothers, Uncles who are like dads, Tia's who are like mothers. Also we come together for each other. I cant tell you how many times my Tia's have called me after I came home with Ruby to check how I am doing. So this being said my sister and I have a super glue bond, I can't get rid of her and she can't me...plus we fear a beating from my Tia Cynthia! The other thing about my sister....I have a confession I tourchered her as a child. Yes, me Natalie, I made her life a living hell. For instance one day I pretended that I lost my voice we were about 4 and 6 and she started talking to me all of a sudden I grabbed my throat and started to whisper "I can't talk...Sharlene get help...I can't....Cough Cough and then my voice gone! Sharlene so innocent started to cry "Natalie...please please talk...Oh no...mommy..." I think this went on for a few hours my sister was moved my the miracle when I started to speak again. Then she had a cat, "Mesh" my brother and I dropped from the top story a few times to prove the point that cats fall on there feet always. Then my sisters greatest fear Gun-go-lows, a worm that looked like a millipede, my idea was to have my brother and I collected them in a cup we did it to the top and dumped them on her head. I know horrid, yet she names her daughter after me. Speechless!

Friday, September 14, 2007


This post goes out to the my SIL! She confessed to me that she checks my blog daily to see if I have posted. I was a little embarrassed, I was under the impression that my blog would be to share my adoptive journey to families in the same journey and far away relatives. My SIL lives in my own town. So I am honored that she checks in on me here. On my silly thoughts and daily musings. Let me share a little about her, ( I may embarrass her a little, but in a good way) of course through my eyes. She is great girl who has evolved into an amazing woman! I have know her for ten years and we have had plenty of ups and downs as we tried to figure out our role in the new family. I am married to her little brother and she by natured is a Big sister. I am so proud of the woman that she is. She has four boys that she loves with her whole heart, she has a great guy on her side that she serves without regret or apprehension. She has a Big Heart, and has a wonderful way of expressing it. She is great with words, she knows exactly how to cheer me up. She is joyful and content. She is thoughtful and kind. To share a little of the thoughtfulness...
The picture above is of a "Ruby" ring she presented to me shortly after we accepted our referral of Ruby. She wanted me to have a "Ruby" while I waited for my "Ruby". The other picture is of Ruby's first doll, she found this beautiful Gerber baby 1979 (the year I was born) doll on EBay. She and the seller now have an Internet friendship because of this doll. It looks just like Ruby. When she saw Ruby's picture the day we found out about her, she fell to her knees and cried. How amazingly sweet was that?!
My greatest joy with my SIL is her precious "Brewster" her son. My nephew was born in December a few short months after Hudson passed away. I was amazed that my love for him was part of my healing for both of us.
If you read this I hope that you know how precious you are to me. How proud I am of the person you have become, and how much I treasure you sweet "A".

Monday, September 10, 2007


Let me tell you a little about Lynette Johnson . Lynette is an amazing photographer that has created an non-profit organization called Soulumination. This team of photographers take pictures of critically ill children they capture the child for who they are without the tubes without the one hundred lines running from there weak bodies. We were fortunate to have her take Hudson's pictures I treasure these picture forever. Lynette invited us to her home/studio in Fremont for a short documentary about her work called Portraits of Hope. I had not expected to walk into this studio and feel the urge to weep. We were greeted by Lynette right at the door with a tender and warm embrace. Her courtyard was full of pictures hanging on the outer wall of the children she has been fortunate to meet and sadly had to say good bye t0. Children like my sweet Hudson. We entered into her studio to see the film, Frank and I were quiet as we reflected the priceless gift this woman has. We reflected on our Hudson, and we were brought to tears. I walked out of the room to get fresh air and noticed a woman who had the same pin I was given at Christmas from Lynette, It has a picture of a child. I knew that she too had lost a soul, so I asked, "who is your angel?" she responded my angel has been an angel for 10 days. I lost control of my composure and wept with this woman who lost her sweet Brandon. A woman came beside us and I learned she is the mom to an angel also Blake. We didn't have to say much we just knew the pain, the hole in the heart that will never again be the same. We reflected on the things our children have taught us through their little lives. We hurt, we love, we heal, but together we know without much words spoken, we know the depth of what a heart can carry. We also rejoiced in the presence of some sweet girls, Channon, Charlotte, and we got to introduce Ruby, there is something so healing about seeing a family find love in another child after the loss of another. The time with Lynette was healing and will be treasured.

I also had time to reflect on the friendships that I formed through Hudson's life. The death of a child or of a love one does test the truest of friends. The friends that wept with me, continue to heal with me and were really there, are friends that stick closer than a brother. We visited with on of these special treasures after Soulumination it was just what we needed! Thanks Mattie and Tricia!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to school Night..

Back to school and yes already. The boys meet there teachers today. A is in a four day Preschool program and J is in first grade. They are excited and I am nervous my almost seven (September 9th) and will be in school all day. I know he is where he is suppose to be I don't question that I have a peace about him there, I am just going to miss him. A my monkey (4 on the 21st of September), will be in a preschool that meets at an Elementary school the preschool will assist A with his small speech delay and help him establish more awareness of his surroundings, this one makes me chuckle because A is completely fearless...no joke he walks into traffic without thought, so lets see how this lesson pans out! Its J first day of school tommrow and he got to choose what we eat tonight and gets to choose the mornings breakfast also...I know I am trying to be super mom here!

We wanted to take the kids somewhere fun before school started on Wednesday. I read in Sunset Magazine a fun place to take the kids to for a short day trip is Anderson Island, its a short 20 minute ferry ride from Steilacoom. It was a blast the boys loved the ferry ride and Ruby just enjoyed the breeze. We went to a great kept secret on Anderson Island called the Ol'Swimming hole, we had the beach to our selves and the water was wonderfully fresh. We meet a man with his granddaughter who we visited there and this gentleman invited us back to his cabin...we thought we would be seen on Kiro news the next day, but we thought we would dash for it if there was anything fishy! This guy introduced us to his wife and we sat on the porch of his cabin eating ice cream and laughing. We had a blast. Great fun, before we hit crazy ville with a "schedule."
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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!