In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Healing Waters of Valley Swim Club

Two weeks after bringing Maci home, I called the local swim club, of which we had been on the waiting list since last year, and anxiously asked if we were going to make the cut this year.  The reply was not what I was hoping for.  We were 127th on the list and they told me there was not much of a chance that we would be doing much dipping in their pool this summer.  I hung up the phone a little teary, because I knew what that meant . . .  the pool money was going to now be used for some serious therapy. . . .for me!   Somehow, three weeks later, we got the call that our name was up.  Hallelujah!!!!!  I'm pretty sure that nobody else there, has the same deep appreciation that I do for this rented membership and it shows - we are there almost every day.  It's almost embarrassing how much we are there.  

Personally, I would add a chapter to the popular adoption attachment books, called "The Importance of Pool Memberships," because I have no doubt that it has helped Maci bond to all of us and visa versa.  It is a place where she has to trust us when she is in the big pool.  It is a place where she has a lot of needs that have to be met by me, like putting on sunscreen, getting floaties on, and peeling off and on wet bathing suits three hundred times a day to go potty.  (Sometimes, I wish she would just go in the pool, but I'm pretty sure the nearby swimmers wouldn't appreciate that). And it is a place where when she gets out of the water, she wants to be wrapped in a fluffy towel and snuggled.  All of these things have been so good for her bonding to us.  But I think what has helped the most with me bonding to her is just watching joy ooze out of her when she is playing at the pool.  Not every day has gone swimmingly (no pun intended) and more than once I have had to pick my crying kids up like footballs and escort them to the car, but for the most part, the pool is a happy, smiley place.

Maci was going off the diving board for the first time last night, and seriously . . . every - single - time - everyone in the deep end just laughed.  Her eyes would grow huge, her cheeks would be puffed, not to mention her hair would look a little like Michael Jacksons on the album cover BAD, with a few little curls hanging down in front, and her excitement was visible.  She made movements like she was going to sky off of the diving board and into the water, but she would really only go up about a quarter of an inch and then drop onto her "keeto" (the only Amharic word she still uses) into the water.  Then she would wiggle underwater for as long as possible as if she was swimming and then finally come up for air with the biggest grin on her face.  Who wouldn't fall deeply in love with a child so full of joy for the simple things in life, like jumping off the diving board?  I know we are!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goosey - Part II

What is the worst ending to a movie that you can think of?  It doesn't take me long to think of mine, and thus begins the story.

After wrapping up a semester of teaching 7th grade Geography, another teacher suggested we go and watch the much anticipated release of "Lord of the Rings."  I had never read the books or been interested in the story line, but I was very interested in sitting in a movie theater and eating Hot Tamales.  Since I had no knowledge of the books or even the fact that it was a trilogy, I was quite disgruntled at the ending.  I think I have a touch of ADD, so as the movie went on and on and on, I became anxious for it to wrap up.   However, if you remember correctly, it wrapped up with Gandolph falling into oblivion.   What in the world?  I just sat through a 4 and half hour long movie and it was going to just end with the good wizard dying and everything else unresolved?  What a disappointment.  My friend, Carol, was quick to assuage my irritation of it all and promise that Gandolph would reappear and the story would continue  to develop into deep, meaningful twists and turns.  

Well, I feel like I kinda need a Carol to tell me that right now with our "Goose" situation.  I have a hard time holding out any more hope that the southern region will ever let these kids through.  I feel like the end of this story is so anti-climactic.  In my little dream world, I thought we'd end up bringing home two Ethiopian kids and after a hard year we would look at our little family and say, "I can't imagine life without each and every child in this family."  I just didn't expect that the end of our Goose story would be life Gandolph . . .  just kinda falling into oblivion.  No decisions really made, no progress, no "no's," . . .  just sorta . . . .  nothing.  

It just wouldn't do, for the the story to end like this, with just. . . . .nothing.  So, I am writing to share a little bit about a possible part two of the story. There is a (saintly) couple that received a referral for their baby boy, literally days, before us.  He was from the same region and even the same orphanage as Goosey, but this little cutie made it out, before the iron doors of the south closed.  Even though their little guy made it out, all the Ajuuja babies have remained heavy on the hearts of this couple.  They are spearheading an effort to start a sort of sponsorship program for the Ajuuja orphans.  This has been a little tricky up to this point, because if we sponsored Goosey, then somehow we wouldn't be able to adopt him.  We didn't want to mess up any chance that he had to get adopted by us or by someone else, so we never really pushed the issue.  Now that we are pretty certain that we won't be bringing Goosey home, we feel pretty confident that this is the path we should take.  At this point, we don't totally know the details of how it is all going to work, but this other couple is on it like white on rice.  It still feels a bit like a consolation prize, but my excitement for the next movie in the trilogy is growing.  Maybe Goosey will get to go to school?  Maybe he'll get some nutritious food?  Maybe he'll learn about Jesus?  Maybe we'll get to see him every couple of years?  Maybe he'll feel just a little bit like he has a mom and dad and some siblings?   Maybe all the kids in the orphanage will get to enjoy the same benefits?  

Like I said, I don't know how this is all going to play out, but it is in the works.  The brainstorming sessions are in full gear, the scripts are being written, the directors are thinking through the scenes, and film crews are getting antsy to yell the word, "ACTION!"  Perhaps some of you may be the actors in "Goosey - Part II."