Thursday, November 12, 2015

what love sometimes looks like

November has become the month we bring more awareness to adoption.  As I scroll through my facebook feed, I see a mix of posts.  Some bring an awareness of the need, others bring focus on the blessing and privilege of being entrusted with children not born into your family, and yet others bring awareness to the hard parts.  For me, I think it is so important to not glamorize it as if it's some charitable act.  It's a heart response to the reality that sometimes children can't grow up in their first families.  It's the belief that every child should be a treasured part of a family.  It's the willingness to become part of a story that's not just "ours"; there have already been important parts of the story that came before us (first families, cultures, experiences).  It's about being open to hearing and learning from adult adoptees who have such valuable insights because I'm in unfamiliar territory.
It's complicated, but I am thankful for this family that God has entrusted us with.  I envision our family tree; it has children and other people grafted into it that I never would have imagined.  I've had the honor of meeting and knowing some of my children's first families; others I will never know this side of heaven.  They are in my heart all the same. 
All this to say, I do want to share today what love & family looks like in our home.  Mind you, these are the precious moments caught on camera.  There are sometimes tough, sometimes tender moments meant for us to walk through.  Those moments are probably treasured most because it's what being a family really is.  Hard and beautiful.
Love sometimes looks like blankets and sleeping children strewn across the living room.
Love sometimes looks like reading a book with your siblings close by.
Love sometimes looks like helping your brother with his spelling words.
Love sometimes looks like helping with a special dessert for your sister's birthday.
Love sometimes looks like celebrating the day you were born (5 years ago already!)
Love sometimes looks like sharing your new art supplies you got for your birthday with your sister.
Love sometimes looks like going from being the baby of the family to stepping into the role of big brother with grace & being willing to spend time playing (or even helping with homework!).

Love sometimes looks like being a pillow for Gus. :)
Love sometimes looks like collecting leaves in a baggie on a beautiful fall day with your sister.
Love sometimes looks like building legos while still in your pajamas with Ella in your midst.
Love sometimes looks like falling asleep on your daddy after he's been away for business.
Love sometimes looks like snuggling with your sister's pug because her presence is therapeutic.
Love sometimes looks like a well-worn bunny with only one ear left.
Love looks like skyping with your sisters that don't live here anymore, like teasing and laughing about silly family shenanigans, like imperfect moments that are memories in the making...Love is family. O'hana.

Friday, November 6, 2015

love my minions

I'm that mom that is usually scrambling at the last minute for costumes to Trick-or-Treat in, and I'm not one to spend much money on costumes, either.  For whatever reason, I had a moment of inspiration a couple weeks ahead of time this year.  Visions of minions were dancing in my head, & I decided I could put together costumes with either practical items that could be used again or things I could make relatively cheap.  The kids were on board with the idea (they may have just been in shock that I was even discussing costumes ahead of time), so I found some inexpensive yellow long-sleeved shirts online.  I was a little bummed to discover they ran big, but it ended up being a blessing because the kids could wear their coats underneath (it was windy & cold).
The girls already had denim bibs, but bibs for K'Tyo? A) They are not readily available for boys and B) I knew he would not be interested in making them part of his wardrobe.  Have I ever mentioned that I think glue guns rank right up there with duct tape?  Well, they do & I made my boy his bibs with a glue gun and two pairs of jeans he had outgrown.
And the minion goggles?  Friends, the only ones I could find were $12. A piece. Times 4 minions. Umm, no.  Hello hot glue gun AND duct tape (along with canning rings and some black elastic...thank you go*gle). 
All that to say, I think this may be one of my most favorite years ever!  And the funny thing was we did not see one other minion all night, but boy did this group get noticed by kids & adults alike.  Kendi took to waving & saying hello like she was in a parade.  K'Tyo said, "Wow, Mom, you really did good with our costumes!"  I hope he still has this deep appreciation when we pull out the pics sometime during his teenage years. ;)  Without further ado, here are my marvelous minions:
Yay for Grandma & Grandpa living right around the corner...potty break & lots of candy!