Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Boys Camp Out

Nick and Caleb had their first camp out last weekend with our friend and his son. The girls and Colton hung out long enough to have smores and then we let the big boys hang out by themselves. The girls and I painted toe nails and did hair while the boys ate "lots of bad stuff" as Caleb put it (chips and hot dogs and more smores-definitely not the usual fare). They made it all night and we had pancakes for breakfast-always a hit. Nick asked Caleb what his favorite part was and he said, "dad, the whole thing was my favorite part". What more could you ask for?

Our camera broke a week or so ago, so I haven't posted since the video. Not to mention that the video took a lot of late nights to complete, so I kind of needed a break.

The kids are all adjusting so well. It is really more than we had hoped for. We've had some issues with tantrums, but that just seems so trivial. Can't complain about that and now that the girls know the consequences of their actions and know the family routine, we're having far fewer episodes. I found out last week that my most successful disciplinary action for Hermela is to restrict TV. The kids don't watch much TV anyway, but when they do, Hermela is as zoned in as Caleb. Those two are really so much alike. Hermela is partial to what we watch. They came home having watched the movie Madagascar, which we also have at home. All the kids loved to watch it and sing "I like to move it, move it". That was the request for a while, but now that they know other cartoons exist, they prefer "America TV" which means anything that they had not seen in Ethiopia. The other day, "Tom and Jerry" came on and Hermela said, "No mommy, this one Ethiopia, I no like this one" (which is fine with me, because I don't really care for it either). The current family favorite is Word World and recently Veggie Tales.

We were doing our bible lesson last week and it was about how God made us each special and how we are perfect the way we are. Hermela looked at me and rubbed her arm and said, "mommy, meh-teh-tah-beh-a (bath/shower), this one like mommy." She was telling me that she thought if she washed enough that her brown skin would turn light like mine. I told her that wouldn't happen and that God had made her with beautiful brown skin. She put her head down and said "no mommy". I explained to her that we had prayed and prayed for a little girl with brown skin and that God had sent us Hermela and Meron and we were so thankful for our beautiful little girls. After quite a long discussion, she seemed to understand and perked up. She now says, we're "leh-lah" (different) but "ishe" (it's ok). We've read several children's books ("A Mother for Choco", "Your Not My Real Mother"...) which have also seemed to help. It just makes me wonder if she was so excited to take baths because she was trying to wash her brown off.

I've said to Nick and a few friends that I really don't see them as being different from our other children. I look at them and I see my daughters. There is just no difference. These are our children as much as Caleb, Caroline and Colton. And, like I've said before, none of them are really "our" children, they are God's. He gives them to us for a time to raise for Him and we are blessed by this gift.

I feel like we've made it out of the initial "adoption fog" (kind of like the first weeks home with a new baby). Lately, I've just tried to sit back and enjoy our children and remember that even with all of the work that goes into each day and as tired as we are most nights, it is all worth it and it is an amazing opportunity to be able to raise these five little ones.

"Blessed is he whose quiver is full..Psalm 127:5." Ours is full and we are blessed!


  1. Thank you for the update on your beautiful family. It's so encouraging to read about families with their kids home! Blessings, Carissa

  2. Jessica,
    I am so happy that things are going well. I completely agree with you in every word. Hermela and Meron are exactly the same to me as all of my other nieces and nephews (All 15 of them). That is the beauty of adoption. You are truely blessed. Busy and tired, but definetly blessed.
    Aunt Debbie

  3. Jessica,
    I think we were at the Embassy the same day as you!!! I watched your adoption day video from Kristi Johnson's blog & thought you looked so familiar!!! THEN I noticed a date stamp on one of your pics!!! We were in ET the same time as you & I think we were even at the Embassy with you too :) God world is so small!!! Our little one is 14 months old & loving her 4 big brothers - you can check us out at

    I'm still giggling over this small world-ness!

    Jill Ross

  4. I just ran across your video on YouTube. Great job! You little girls absolutely adorable. I have twin girls from Ethiopia. They are almost 4. They came home from Ethiopia in July 2008.

    my email I am also on facebook.