Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

The kids had a fabulous Christmas, here's a snapshot...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007 Family Video

Here it is...the 2007 Turner/Richardson family video! It's a family tradition that Sue has carried for many years now. This year certainly doesn't disappoint.

2007 was an AMAZING year! Here's to an even better 2008!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oops, we forgot to explain the stockings

I brought out three stockings for the kids and told them each to pick one. When I turned around Emmanuel was wearing them saying they were big. Uh, yea these aren't for your feet buddy, they have a much better purpose! Oh and Abegail got a new make up kit from The Petersons, that's why she is purple. No need to worry.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Emmanuel's New Look

Emmanuel had another visit with the eye doctor and we found his vision in the eye with the ptosis is getting worse. They are going to try and patch his good eye everyday for two hours for two months to see if that improves things. He will definitely need glasses at that point. The poor boy couldn't see anything on the tests. I'm not sure why we are waiting for glasses. He puts his face up to everything to see. In two months they will also start investigating the surgery for the droopy left eye lid. E-man hates wearing the patch. But we've really played up how cool it is to be a pirate!

A white Christmas
We got another dusting of snow today, just in time to cover all the dirty snow and the kids had a blast because it was perfect snowman making snow.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dear Santa; UPDATED

A fellow adoptive mother wrote my letter to Santa for me. It's perfect!
Dear Santa,

Becoming a new mother of an adopted African child has challenged me on several occasions to remain a good girl this year. Like the time when I had to remove my child kicking and screaming from a store after he had thrown his coat several times, poked holes in the meat packages with his fingers, and told me “NO” defiantly. Despite many challenges like these I do feel I have been a good girl.

My wish this year is pretty simple…

• I wish for the light switch to remain in the position I placed it, at least a couple of times a day.
• I wish to not have to wrench the flusher on the toilet out of his hands every time we enter any bathroom.
• I wish for just 10 minutes each day to elapse without hearing the bleating cry “Mommy come”.
• I wish to be able to take a shower or use the toilet without an audience.
• I wish that the term Mommy-O could be used in a fun manner and not just in the midst of shear meltdown as I would find this endearing and quite cute under the proper circumstances.
• I wish for all hand dryers to be made the same in public restrooms to eliminate the curiousity as this would be a definite time saver for me.
• I wish that I could stand and walk without having to drag my child with my body or feet. I realize this may be a tall request and so I would even be happy to simply have him stop clinging to my butt and pulling on my clothes.
• I wish for more singing and dancing and less meltdowns.
• I wish on two nights of every week to sleep in my bed and he in his all the way through the night. Even one would be okay if this is too much to ask.
• I wish for fellow adoptive mothers who have already brought their children home to be granted all of the above too as I am certain they would be oh so grateful. For those that are still in the process I wish for them to be spared the need to develop this list next year.

Mostly, I wish for him to be happy with his new home and new family.

I'm using another Mom's letter to Santa. Plagiarism is totally allowed for Moms. I don't want to waste any energy writing to Santa, I need it for getting the kids in and out of the car and trying not to tape their mouths shuts when they whine.

Dear Santa, (by Lisa)

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes: I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone. On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family. Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.

Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM...!

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa Visits Mommy's Work Party

The kids were very fascinated with Santa. Emmanuel was perplexed by his nose and said "Mommy, Santa looks small." To which I responded, I think he's been working out at the Y. You know it's not good for your health to have such a big tummy.
The kids also enjoyed a visit from Spongebob and then got to ride the rides at the Mall of America Amusement park, thanks to WCCO. I kept saying, you know how you ALWAYS say "Mommy don't go to work!!!" This is why Mommy goes to work...for the family holiday party!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Families left Behind

The AFAA house is overflowing with new kids. So many so, Cheryl is looking for a bigger property. They made the living room into the boys bedroom and the dining room now serves as a living room, school room, and place to watch TV at night with the generator.

This is Jacob and Mardia's family.
Jacob told his American family when he got home that his father is brothers with A&E's father, but they have different mothers.
So two of our favorites are half cousins with A&E.
Almost all of the these kids are leaving family members behind. Maybe not a Mom AND Dad but certainly a loving extended family who feels no choice but to have them adopted. I have thought many times about A&E's family. It is only by the grace of God that we are not in reversed situations. It is only because we were born in the land of opportunity. Our parents worked hard, made sure we had a college education and could support ourselves. We do not love our kids more than A&E's family, we are not smarter or kinder than they are. It is simply they were born in a place of desperate times and we were born in America. If the situation were reversed, they could be raising our children. It is heartbreaking to see these faces time and time again, leaving their children, not knowing what will happen to them, but knowing they will get medical care and three meals a day. Some say you become accustom to your surroundings and you don't know that you are poor. But there are two things that everyone knows, hunger and disease.

A&E's Cousins

Abegail and Emmanuel have five full cousins still at the AFAA house, I say full because we have learned that Jacob and Mardia are also cousins, their fathers are brothers, more on that in a new post. But here are pictures of the cousins taken in November Martu and Mackie, coming to South Minneapolis

Florence, Lawrence, and Helena going to Austin, Texas

Friday, December 14, 2007

Emmanuel's Christmas Program

Emmanuel's school had a Christmas program last night. They sang a lot of great songs. Emmanuel knew all the words and hand motions. He walked in line and stayed on his square and at times we could even hear just him he was so good. We told him how proud we were of him and he said, "Mommy, I'm a good singer!" Today he keeps singing for us, "you want to hear me sing?" The last picture is Eman with his fabulous (and might I add incredibly patient) teachers, Mrs. Mueller and Miss Sara. Way to go E-man!