Fish are our friends!

This is a story that just has to be re-told.

For weeks, anytime Felmata sees a fish (on TV, in Cartoons, in a book, in aquariums ...) he says "YUMMY!" "FISH"! Then he makes a cutting motion and pretends to be picking apart the fish to eat. One would think I would have cooked the child some fish by now. I'm embarassed to say ... I have not. I am not a fish lover. In fact, the smell of it turns my stomach. I did not eat fish as a child, I do not eat fish as an adult ... unless it's tuna from a can with mayo and lots of veggies added in. That's not the funny part of the story.

Today was a hard day for Felmata (see my last blog post). A few days ago we were at the neighbors, and he got to feed their pet fish. He thought that was fun. I thought ... Felmata needs a fish of his own. What a fun project that would be! We could care for it, love it, he could have a pet of his own.

At Meijer today we bought a very cute (if they can be cute!) Beta fish complete with his own food and "safe water" solution. You can probably see where this story is heading ... I, on the other hand, didn't follow the logical conclusion until it was almost too late.

Fast forward to lunch time.

Me: "Felmata" ... "What would you like for lunch?"
Felmata: "FISH!"
Me: "Oh, Honey! Mommy's sorry but we don't have any fish. How about some pasta?"

This is the part I should have seen coming. For the Beta's sake, if not for my own.

Felmata proceeds to run to the fish bowl, and grab for the Beta. He splashes, he stabs, he very nearly has the Beta in his hand. There is water everyone. If fish could scream, Beta would be howling.

Felmata: "FISH! YUMMMMY! FISH for LUNCH!!!"

Apparently he thought the nice pet Beta was our lunch.

How could I serve the child pasta after that?? We got our shoes on and headed to Lamberts (a seafood specialty market) and I bought the boy some perch.

He loved it. And the Beta is still alive ... for today anyway.

Back to School

Today Noah and Ella went back to school. This is always such a tough day for me as a mom. I cried sending both of them off. I thought my tears would be over after the first day of Kindergarten, then 1st grade was tough but I figured it's all day every day so of course I would get emotional. Noah's in 4th Grade this year and the pattern remains. Maybe this is just what I do? We had such a great summer, and they're both such fun, uplifting kids ... I miss them when they're gone all day. And I don't want them getting any older. And the 1st day of school is yet another reminder of how quickly time is passing me by; and so I cry. And it's OK. I'll be fine, and they'll be more than fine, but I miss them anyway.

I'm dreading the back to school routines like practicing spelling words and packing lunches and setting the alarm clock (I honestly don't think I used an alarm clock all summer long ... what a charmed life I have!). I don't like trying to find matching socks and matching gloves and setting clothes out the night before and hurrying in the mornings.

I need to remind myself of all the good things that go along with back to school. I'm glad to get back to prayers standing by the back door for safety and kindness and courage. I can hardly wait for our 3:30 snack time where we get to talk about all sorts of "issues" from the day. I love the "Love you Mom"s when we say goodbye and the playground dilemnas we talk through again and again and again and the consistent bedtimes. Oh how I love the consistent bedtimes! I love fall and picking apples and walking through crunchy leaves and sitting in a steaming hot tub in the crisp air underneath the even crisper stars with my very best friend.

So, here are a few pictures from our morning. Soon it will be lunch, and then Felmata will nap and I will work; and then it will be time for N&E to come home for the day. Tomorrow we'll do the morning all over; probably without the tears. Although my heart will still be sad, for at least a few more days. And then I'll leave summer behind and forge into fall; with all the good that comes with it.


If you're wondering how Felmata did with sending his 2 favorite people off to school today ... these pictures say it better than I could. Poor little guy!!

Thankfully he's resilient and I had the foresight to have a new box of playdough waiting for when we got home!


1 Month

It doesn't seem possible but the calendar tells me it's been a month since Felmata arrived in America. It truly feels like he's been here much longer. We've been so occupied with our new and improved family, I haven't taken the time to organize pictures or video from our time in Ethiopia.

I took a few minutes tonight to look at a few, and so many emotions came rushing back. The joyful, fun loving, exciting, loving, lover-of-all-things-new child we've been blessed with came from a very different world than we know. I should know that ... I was there ... but life takes over and I forget. Even in a short month. I sometimes forget about his birth mom who loves him. I think less and less about the poverty & hunger he's experienced for most of his life. I forget about the friends he's left behind. It's only been a month, but somehow I have to remind myself that he hasn't been mine forever. And I'm so thankful he's mine now, and will be from here on out.

This image of a market in Ethiopia

compared with this image of our day today

is a stark reminder of all that has happened in my sweet little boy's life in one short month.


Back to (a new) Reality

Vacation is officially over at our house.
We found Felmata in his bedroom late Saturday night with his (clean) pajamas waded up in the dirty clothes hamper and lying in bed in his swim suit. He was very upset that Saturday we didn't go to the pool or beach or even out on the boat. I soo wish I had the language to explain to him what "vacation" means. I'm pretty sure the poor kid thought that was our new reality ... sleeping in, late bedtimes, lots of time with family, beach, pool, bike rides, dessert every night. Oh how I wish that was true ... but alas, it's back to reality at our house.
Today was filled with lots of whining and screaming and just general crabiness. Unless we were doing something fun. I think the reality is sinking in for my sweet, new child. I think the frustrations of not being able to communicate are starting to show up a little. On the other hand ... he did GREAT at the dentist. Go figure!
Several people have commented that our "adoption story" seems too good to be true. As I read through my other posts, I guess I have painted a pretty stress free picture. But I don't regret that. Felmata has brought so much laughter and joy and hope and excitement to our family. Even today. Even amidst the other not so fun behavior.
It's not all hugs and laughter and giggles. Sometimes (actually more like lots of times) there are tantrums. And spitting, yes, I said spitting. And kicking humans and one very tolerating dog (who may have enjoyed his vacation even more than we did!).

This is not easy. And I'm sorry if I've made it sound like a cake walk. Because it's not. But it's God's plan and I'm so very glad.

I'm adding a few more vacation pictures ... cuz this is my blog and I can.



Northern Michigan is such a glorious place in August. We are having a blast with brothers & sisters and the kids are so blessed to be able to spend extended time with aunts, uncles, cousins and their opa and oma. We were worried Felmata would be confused about his new surroundings for the week, but he's having a blast too. The only trouble has been leaving the pool or beach. He cries and cries and cries, and I really can't say I blame him!