Friday, July 23, 2010


In the last 17 months since we adopted Forest I have learned more about race and racism than in my 20 plus years travelling and living all over the world. What I learned growing up in various countries was that people of different races can coexist, get along and even love each other when they're all out of their element. I attended international schools which used an American school curriculum and had English as the primary language, but most of the kids who attended these schools were from all over the world, not necessarily the United States. I learned fast as a young child the importance of openness, because everyone was from such different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

In the last year and a half, I've seen a different side of race than ever before. Some experiences have been positive, some negative. Some whites are open and supportive of our blended family; some whites have been downright racist. Some African Americans are very open to our transracial family; some think it's terrible that a white couple adopted black babies. Just like anything in life, you have all kinds of opinions and degrees of openness or narrow-mindedness. And that right there is evidence that we are all just people regardless of our backgrounds or skin color. Some people are loving, supportive and open. Some people are critical, negative and judgmental. Period.

As I've seen racial tensions flare in politics and the media recently, it again brings up the issue of how we can choose to think of ourselves as different and divided or the same and united. There is more that makes us the same in our hearts than what makes us different. I always think of the scripture in 1 Samuel 16:7 -

For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Blur

For any fans of Smallville, I'm not talking about Clark Kent here. I'm talking about the blur that becomes your life when you have a newborn. Time seems to become a big blog that has very little meaning and sleep is an ever elusive luxury. Yes, those first few newborn weeks are a blur. I'm in the fog right now.

When I had my first baby, I thought I had it so hard sitting around the house all day with a newborn baby constantly feeding and changing diapers. Of course, I couldn't have realized how easy things really were being able to sleep whenever the baby slept and pretty much letting time melt away into nothing. It was okay to get caught up in the blur because there was nothing to mark time other than the comings and goings of my husband.

But once you have other children who still wake up at the same early time every morning, you have to sort of pretend that you're alert enough to keep going. They still have their "I need a drink" and "I'm hungry" and "Mommy, she won't share with me". I'm not really complaining (ok, maybe a teensy bit), I'm just saying...that's the reality. Several people have asked me how I'm managing with 4 children 5 years and under. The truth is that the quantity of children isn't the problem. It's the lack of sleep and being in a blur while the rest of the family continues to live on their normal schedule.

One thing I am grateful for, which I didn't think I would be, is that Forest is still only 16 months old. It means that he still stays in his crib and sometimes takes 2 naps a day. And if a miracle happens and he is napping while Kiira is asleep....happy day! I lay down on the couch and try to get that elusive luxurious five minutes of sleep until someone else needs a drink, or food, or to tattle on a sibling. :-)

Oh, and Kiira is becoming cuter every day! I promise to post more pics soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We Made It Home

Yesterday while Kiira and I were at lunch with her birthmother, Sh, and her 2 sons, Kent called me to say that ICPC was done, and I could bring Kiira home!!! Of course, I wanted to jump on the very next plane, but in the end I tried to jump on the last plane of the night. As soon as I got to the gate and sat down, they made an announcement, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Atlanta airport is now closed. There is no traffic coming in or going out." Ah!!!

My first worry was that I'd end up stuck for the night at the airport or somewhere in Atlanta. I noticed a pretty bad lightening storm outside, so I hoped that maybe it was just the storm and it might pass. Thirty minutes later they reopened the airport, but by then our airplane had been rerouted to Birmingham, Alabama. In the end, there was a 3 hour delay. Yes, THREE hours in an airport late at night with a newborn baby. Not fun, but I was grateful that at least I was going home. I landed at 1am and got home around 2am, which Atlanta time is 5am. Needless to say, I slept for most of the morning.

Here are pictures of all of our kids together...all FOUR of our kids! And a few of Kiira.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Me and Kiira

What a whirlwind of a weekend we had! Now that baby Kiira is officially ours, we get to wait for the Interstate Compact (ICPC) process. This is where the legal papers have to be processed at the state level for both the sending state (Georgia) and the receiving state (Arizona). Basically, Kiira can't leave Georgia until we get permission. The process can take anywhere from a week to 2 weeks.

This means that the rest of our children are in Arizona while we wait here. In the end, we decided that Kent should go home to take care of our crew while I stay here with Kiira to wait for ICPC. He left last night, and I can't tell you how hard it was to have him leave and know that he'll be seeing my other 3 children while Kiira and I will be here on our own. On the other hand, this will be my only chance to have one-on-one time with Kiira which will make for good bonding. I know that once I get home and have all 4 children together, there won't be much alone time with Kiira. So I'm determined to make the best of this time and enjoy some good mother-daughter bonding.

Here are some more pictures of Kiira:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kiira Monique

Here are a few pictures of our sweet baby girl, Kiira Monique. She was born July 2nd at 7:46pm at 6 lbs. 6 oz. What a blessed day!

Baby's Been Born!

Baby Kiira was born early this morning. We're on our way to Georgia! Will post more after we get there.