Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Missions and Missing Grandparents

In the next few weeks all of our children's grandparents but one will be leaving to serve as missionaries overseas. Kent's mother and stepfather are headed to South Africa for 2 years, and my parents are going to Norway for 18 months. I'm not sure how we will survive without them, and it makes me sad to think that our children won't have contact with them for that long. Well, I guess they'll have contact, but not in person. We are proud of their commitment to serve but we will miss them terribly.

With all of the recent events Maija has been asking a lot of questions about Africa, "What does 'African' mean? Why is Forest from Africa? Why is Grandma going to Africa? I want to go to Africa...." and the best one, "Mommy, will you take me to Africa?" :-) I told her "yes" and that's a promise. One day I want our whole family to go to Africa together not only because our son is African American, but also because I want my children to see the world and to have firsthand experience with other cultures.

I guess in that way I want them to have what I did growing up. I always knew about other cultures, languages, places through personal experience living all over the world, and also through my mother who was born and raised in Finland. I can still remember hearing her speak in Finnish on the phone to friends and family. Now my kids hear me speak Spanish and French, and they hear their father speak Chinese. I hope they will understand what a beautiful place the world is and how amazing people come from every corner of the globe.

The update on Forest is that he is almost TWO MONTHS old already! I can hardly believe it! He is seriously (and I'm not just saying this) the CUTEST baby on the planet. He is all smiles these days and does the cutest little tongue twists while he flashes his big smiles. He's cooing and trying to vocalize, and he laughed today at a funny face I made. He is extremely strong - I thought Maija was a strong baby, but Forest takes the cake. He will be crawling before 6 months I guarantee it. He is all muscle. We are so lucky to have him in our family, and I am helplessly in love with him. Here are some pics:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Joy That Is Forest

Forest with Grandma - 3/26/09

What a big boy Forest is getting to be. He is 5 weeks old already which is hard to believe, and he is growing so quickly. He's already gained over 3 pounds and 4 inches, and he is so strong holding his head up without any problem and putting all his weight on his legs. He's also starting to try to roll over. I'm telling you this baby is seriously strong. Of course, Kent says, "Good! He's going to be an athlete!" :-) We know that his birth uncle is an engineer, so he may also end up following in Kent's footsteps and be an engineer. Really I don't care what he grows up to be as long as he is a good person.

Maija and Rebekah are SO cute with him. Maija tells him all day long, "Oh baby, I love you!" and Rebekah is right there at his side as soon as he starts crying; she gets upset with me if I don't make his milk fast enough, "Mama! Baby cry!!!" It's also been fun to see Forest start to respond to the girls. He loves to watch them while they run around the room or jump up and down on the bed. He is a very observant baby and will just stare at your face and examine the world around him. In case you haven't noticed I am so in love with this baby and so grateful for him.

I often think about the courage it took for his birth mother to choose to bring him to the world and then to make the ultimate sacrifice and place him for adoption. She could've made very different choices, but because of her wanting what is best for him, we are blessed to have Forest in our family and he has the opportunity to live his life and become whoever he chooses to become. I watched this video tonight and thought of the miracles that brought Forest into our lives -