Saturday, July 24, 2010


I just finished a book where the main character was adopted. The MC (main char) ends up meeting her "real" mother (who is a supernatural being - you know me and my books :) and finally feels the "pure" love from a mother, her mother. Okay, really? But, it didn't bother me all that much. The line about the "pure" love did get to me, but it was obvious that the writer was using adoption as a construct in the story, and the adoptive parents (always referred to as such) were portrayed in a very positive manner (thank goodness). But, it did get me thinking about our families and what our children will imagine about their birth families as they grow older.

In this book, the MC was a supernatural being herself, so she never felt completely at home with her adoptive family. Okay, fine. But, really - even when I was young I used to imagine that I was magic and my faery family would come find me one day. This isn't because I didn't love my family, or didn't feel at home. It was because I had a huge imagination. Oh, and pointy ears.

But, I knew it was imagining. Our children will have a whole different perspective - especially with the media reinforcing the idea that their "real" family might be magic (or famous, or rich, or whatever), after all. It's an old writing construct that is obviously alive and well today. I know I'll have to be aware of these kinds of stories as my kids grow up. Not because I will stray away from them, but so that we can talk about them openly - perhaps start a dialogue. (Any stories you all know of that I should be aware of? I'd love to hear them.)

Why am I thinking about all of this? Micah has a HUGE imagination. I know this. I can see it and I love it. I love watching him play and turn a baseball hat into a "football helmet" or "Spiderman mask." (His real mask is sadly missing.) I also love fostering his imagination and talking about magic (I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter, thank you), and superheros, and toys coming to life (in a good way, mind you - no Chuckie stories :).

One of his favorite subjects is Santa Claus. He is obsessed with Santa. Yesterday we had a long discussion about what color Santa is. I told him that I think he can be any color he wants to be. That he represents all the people of the world because he loves all the children of the world. I said Santa might be a mixture of all the people - maybe his skin is brown? We talked about how some skin is very dark, and some very light. I was loving having the conversation and Micah was totally into it. Then he got quiet and looked very thoughtful and said, "Mom? Why Santa not blue? Why no people blue?" Ummm..... *stumped* I love this kid.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How Old is She? And Other (Somewhat) Solved Mysteries

I have been having a hard time with the "How old is she?" question that strangers invariably ask us. I would generally give them a blank stare and then stammer, "Um... 6 months? 7?" I often received strange looks after that very confident *snort* answer.

Sweet Lia Makbe. Her referral papers said her birthday is 8.07, which would make her almost a year old. Uh, non. We had to work with the doctor to pick a new birth-date, and friends, that is not easy. I had (still have) anxiety about it - what if we pick wrong? Will she hate her birthday and blame us? Is it too close to Christmas? Ack!

In the end, we went with the doctor's advice and have chosen January 7th, 2010 for Lia's birthday. (It is also Ethiopian Christmas, so that's fun.) That makes her about 6.5 months old. She may be older, but maybe not. I mean, this was one of her referral pictures, taken in February 2010 after being in care for about a month -

Lia's Mini-Me picture. "You complete me."

She looks pretty tiny to me - and I know Ethiopian babies are tiny, but even her features look pretty new - she has changed so much! Let's do an After shot, shall we?

The only way I know it's the same baby is her cute little nose. And please, note the rolls. OH I LOVE HER ROLLS!!

So, that mystery is solved. Mystery #2 - Naps. How to get my sweet baby girl to nap? I think I've figured a bit of that out - I have to hold off the morning catnaps. This means actually leaving the house. She is so alert while we are out that she will only fall asleep if truly exhausted. So, we've been on a few field trips this week to try and change her schedule around.

Naps were not a problem in Ethiopia

Formula. Dear Lawsie. This is a tough one. We've finally ended up at soy, but I'm still not convinced she needs to be on soy formula. And, apparently there is an issue with the safety of soy products now (according to my very smart sister :).... So, yeah. It's still mostly an unsolved mystery. I'm thinking of trying one more thing, but we'll see.

In other news, Micah is just in love with Lia. He is settling in (FINALLY) and I am settling in to being a mom of two. Oh, but that's a whole other post! In the meantime, here's a cute shot from the airport. Lia is sporting a welcome-home gift from her Momo (her cutie, but non-matching headband) and I am sporting the "I just flew on a plane FOREVAH" look along with my ergo apron. Fancy, yes?

P.S. Micah wore that same outfit when he got off the plane in the same airport. Cute.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I have a lot to share. It's been a busy couple of weeks. There are so many things I don't want to forget about these first weeks home with Baby Lia.

First, I have to share that Micah is doing SO MUCH BETTER with the adjustment. I honestly think a lot of it was because we were gone for so long. He is just in love with his sister. If she's sleeping, he wants to know, "Why Mom? Why baby sleep ALL DAY?" If she's awake, he wants to kiss and hug her. It's very sweet. He has hit her on the head with a foam sword, but she didn't seem to mind. (And of course we quickly explained that you can't hit babies on the head. Nope.) So, it's good. Getting better.

Micah likes to get in Lia's crib with her and sing. Cute stuff.

Lia. Oh, sweet, sweet Lia. I think I have too many things, so I'm going to revert to The List. The List of Things I Don't Want to Forget. Here goes...

*Lia LOVES when we sing to her. My song for her is the Makbe Song. She giggles and smiles every time. Kevin's song is called, "Super Baby," and she loves this even more. Probably because she usually gets to fly during the performance. Also? There is an acoustic version that Kevin plays on his guitar. Lia loves the guitar.

*Smiles. This girl SMILES. She wakes up smiling at me from her crib - on her belly with her big eyes looking up. It's cute. Even at 5 am. (Yeah, that's her new wake-time. Lia likes to rise with the sun.)

*TEETH. Our girl is teething. Her first tooth started really coming through on the flight home (poor girl) and now she has two! Both are on the bottom. And both are driving her insane.

There they are!

*Baby-wearing. At first, I worried a lot about Lia's attachment. She was SO easy-going and I worried that she wasn't going to figure out that we were Mom & Dad. Then I put her in the ergo. And everything changed. My girl LOVES to be worn around the house. She falls asleep in the ergo (sometimes the only thing that works) and she can spend an entire day at the zoo in the ergo and barely fuss. I really think the ergo has helped our attachment..

*Naps. Oh, naps. Lia is not a napper. Yet. We're working on it. The thing is, I can see she's exhausted, but she will only cat-nap. We're trying new formula and hanging dark curtains (along with blinds) and so far, things are improving. She's happier when she naps. And of course, so am I.

*Rolls. Have I mentioned how much I love having a fat baby? I do. I love it.

*Dogs. Lia adores the dogs. She will scream at them when they walk in the room - she is hoping they will come over to see her. Sometimes they do. They're old - 8 and 9, so sometimes they can't be bothered with a baby. But sometimes....

And then this happened the other day while we were visiting our friends. Both Lia and Poppy are passed out, but they were still cuddling. I was in heaven with my babies. :)

Future member of Team Jacob?
(that was for Poppy's mom :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Frog Towel, Part Deux

Two days after Micah came home, we took him to his Aunt Chrissy's (five houses down the street) to go swimming. He loved it (still does). After he got out, she wrapped him in the Frog Towel and told us to keep it.

We continued on with Frog Towel, taking a progression of shots in said towel over his first year. I'm happy to say that Frog Towel lives on and Lia Makbe is the newest member of our family to have the honor of being photographed in the Towel. She loved it. Obviously.