Tuesday, January 29, 2008

E-man and the Billionaire

So E-man and I headed to TwinsFest this weekend. It's a 3-day festival with everything Minnesota Twins. There are lots of players, autograph sessions, games, kids' hitting clinics, auctions, and tours of the Metrodome clubhouse. We ate hotdogs, saw TC the Bear (Twins mascot), and learned how to throw a baseball!

But the highlight of the day for ME...was when Carl Pohlad, the 92 year old owner of the Twins, was being wheeled out on the field by a small golf cart. E-MAN'S FAVORITE...GOLF CARTS!! (do you see where this is going?)

Pohlad is on the Forbes 400...ranked as the 78th richest man in the world. Today he's worth about $2.9 Billion...give or take. He's got one foot in the grave and I think he's losing it...(I often feel rage when I talk about how he's trading away the best pitcher in baseball - Johan Santana!!!!).

ANYWAY...Mr. Pohlad reaches down towards E-man as we pass him on the field. He's assuming E-man wants to shake his hand. A nice gesture. But not what E-man had in mind!!! E-MAN GRABBED HIS HAND AND STARTED TO PULL HIMSELF UP!!! Saying in his 95dB voice..."Can I ride with you??" Carl is almost yanked from the golf cart. There are three women guarding Mr. Pohlad reaching for E-man like Secret Service reaching for an assassin!! I would've helped......but.....I'm just really going to miss Johan Santana!!

I Love TwinsFest!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

What are they doing??

The U.S. figure skating championships are in St. Paul this week. We were able to go Wednesday during the pairs short program. Emmanuel had never seen ice-skating before and when they took the ice to warm up, he just laughed and laughed. What are they doing? Is that ice? We had really good seats (media night) and the kids loved seeing the jumps and sparkles up close but the person who was most impressed was of course our princess Annie. Abegail had seen ice-skating once before when she went with Martu and Mackie's mom for their other daughters lesson. Speaking of Martu and Mackie, we just got word, it shouldn't be long now. We are hoping they will be home by the end of February. M&M are A&E's cousins in Liberia.

Our house is a disaster most of the time. My reputation for being a neat freak is really on the line. But we did get bunk beds so everyone now sleeps in the same room (since they did anyway) and Annie's room has become the playroom. The kids love the bunk beds.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I have a dream......

Abegail had to write a letter to Dr. King in her ESL class; She is very curious about Marin Luther King Jr. and I think it has hit her she and Annie wouldn't be in the same house without him:

Dear Dr. King,

Thank you for the world. I love you. Thank you for leting us go to the same school. Thank you for leting us go to the same bathroom. Thank you for bringing pace to the coutnry. Thank you for bringing white people and black people to the same school. How dit you feel when you were talking in front of so many people? Dit it feel good?
Your friend,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bye Bye Emmanuel Johnson

The time has come for Emmanuel Johnson Jr. and his mom Lopu to go back to Liberia. Emmanuel came here for a life saving surgery that will allow him to live pretty normally and not have a colostomy bag. Last night we said good-bye and wished them well. He has grown a lot since he's been here and can now take about six to eight steps on his own! Thanks for all your prayers for them.

As promised, photos from Annie's 2nd ballet class today.

Ethiopia's Warning to Bloggers

A family who had a referral in Ethiopia was told they were being turned away because their blog showed pictures of the children on it. Not only that, but they were also told the country didn't like that they were openly fundraising for their adoption expenses on their blog. Their quote, "if you can't afford adoption you shouldn't be adopting." It sparked an interesting conversation between Scott and I who as you would expect are for free press and open information. Our first thought, aren't they getting snotty about who gets clean water? But the problem is not just in Ethiopia. The problem is throughout adopting third world countries. Many view it as literally hitting the jackpot. It is maddening to a lot of adopting families. So many have good things to offer and can offer a better life even if they can't pay the tens of thousands of dollars adoption costs. To us that's like saying, well you have no business getting sick if you don't have health insurance. A lot of the kids are given an unrealistic view of America before coming home, telling them they'll get anything they desire. One of my fellow adoptive moms told her daughter when she came home, in America, you will have everything you need and some of what you want. As a result of this uproar you will find very few blogs now with pictures of referred children and many are going to an invitation only situation where you can only look at them if you get an invite. One waiting parent asked Ethiopia's government, "how will you know if someone is fundraising on their blog?" The reply, "oh we have people searching for blogs all the time." Hmmm, maybe that person should spend their time working on issues so every child can be placed with a family, not just those that "hit the jackpot."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fun in the Frozen Tundra!

Sue did probably the FUNNIEST Live Shot I've EVER seen her do today!!! And keep in mind, I've been critiquing her live shots for almost 10 years!

It's soooooo Minney-soh-tah...and cold weather is probably her LEAST favorite thing in the world.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lessons from Dr. King

Abegail came home from school and said do you know Dr. King? She preceded to tell me all the things they learned in school about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She said, "you know white people and black people couldn't go to the same school or the same bathroom." To my amazement, she had absolutely no idea that blacks have been treated so poorly in this country. I don't know why I thought she would know that. I guess I just assumed everyone knew. E-man then asked, "Am I black?" I said yes you are. I then told them why I wanted to make sure the children I adopted were black so all of us would be colorblind. We are not black or white, we are Mommy, Daddy, Abegail, Emmanuel, and Annie. Abegail says, yea. I said did you know that we've never had a black president? She said yea, but maybe that guy will be one. I said yes, he does have a chance, which sparked a conversation about Barack Obama. And she said, that lady is president. I said yes, which sparked a conversation about Liberia's president. Then Abegail says, "it doesn't matter if your black or white if you're president." I said no it doesn't. What does matter if you're president? "That you have peace in the country." Spoken from a girl who has known a country without peace where there were no black and white issues.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Party On Abegail

Abegail had a great birthday party today. Scott and I felt like we had flashed back to the eighties! All Abegail really wanted to do was skate with her friends, she is really good and E-man even picked it up a little.
Annie started ballet today. With all the excitement with the party I erased the pictures of her frontwards. I must say there is NOTHING cuter than eight 3 and 4 year olds in tutus. She LOVED it, never stopped smiling and was so proud to be a "princess."

Abegail's school holiday party

Some late holiday photos to share from my work party, the last one describes perfectly what Annie and I think about adoption!

Quotes From Abegail:
Abegail: Mommy, when will winter end?
Mommy: Laughing
Abegail: This winter lasts forever doesn't it?
Mommy: Oh yea, you betcha!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Abegail Is Eight!

Abegail said this was the first time she had ever had a cake on her birthday (or presents for that matter). I let her pick out what kind of cake she wanted and she said angel food. So I made an angel food cake and she came home and said, "oh chocolate cake!" I said no honey, its just burned. But everyone ate it anyway. It's amazing what frosting can cover up! We went to KFC (her new favorite) for supper. She is looking forward to the big party on Saturday, it's a rollerskating party. She received inline skates from all of us and was pretty excited! Happy Birthday not only to Abegail but also to Aunt Nancy.
Quotes From Abegail:
Abegail: I've decided I want to live on a farm.
Daddy: Have fun. Life is hard on a farm.
Abegail: But then we could have cows and we won't have to buy milk.
Daddy: Let me tell you about life on a farm, you get up before the sun rises, you have to milk the cows, feed the pigs, brush the horses, clean the stables, plow the fields, and then you have breakfast, then (insert long speech here).
Abegail: Well you could just go hide in the stable and sleep while everyone else works.
Mommy: HAHAHAHAHAHA. You know your daddy pretty well, don't you!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Abegail's New Do

Abegail has a big week coming up, she is turning 8! And today she asked about going to a salon, so I said absolutely you should look your best. It turned out amazing. I will never be able to get her hair to look like this. And unfortunately I wasn't able to learn a thing since I was trying to keep E-man from petting the fish and running a chair into a pregnant woman. (Scott is away this weekend working on one of his clubs in IA) It did take them an hour and a half, but should last three weeks. (yeah for me!)

Quotes from Emmanuel:
Mommy: Emmanuel sit down in your chair, you don't want to get hurt if we get in a crash.
Abegail: Yea, you will die
Mommy: That's right if you're not in your chair you could die and then you'll go to heaven and you won't know anyone there.
E-man: Yes I will, I'll know God. And Jesus and Mary.
Abegail: And St. Peter
Don't you hate when your kids outsmart you at 4!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

6 Month Point, Apparently, We're "Normal"

We had our six month visit with our social worker today. I was very anxious to see Judy because I can tell her just about anything and get a straight answer so I started;

Sue: The kids are still extremely needy is that normal?
Judy: Oh yes that's normal.
Sue: They have no patience to wait for anything,
Judy: Yes, that's normal. I bet they have no respect over property and break everything and lose everything too?
Sue: Yes they do, is that normal?
Judy: Very normal.
Sue: I kind of feel like raising one Liberian child is like raising three American ones
Judy: Normal
Sue: Abegail can seem homesick and pout
Judy: Normal
Sue: Emmanuel's behavior has no rhyme or reason to it
Judy: All normal.
Sue: I feel overwhelmed and disorganized
Judy: Yup, that's normal, and don't think you'll ever be caught up on laundry again
Sue: I get interrupted every five seconds
Judy: Laughing and nodding in agreement
Sue: So when will all this end, when will it get better?
Judy: Well, my daughter moved out at 27, that's two years ago and she moved two miles away from us
Judy: Sue, are you OK? you look a little pale? But that's normal.


Here's a tip for newly adoptive parents, don't take your kids out on New Year's Eve, well at least not to the Mall of America. It was a madhouse and keeping five of us together was brutal. After one magician act I said Scott, I'd rather be home on the couch watching a bad party on TV. He said, Amen! And we were out of there at 8:30. We did have fun going out to dinner, which is a rare thing for us to do and a good night to do it since it was all families out. And we counted down to the Liberian New Year at 7 p.m. which is much more my speed since I still had to get up the next morning for work. But the kids didn't really know what New Year's was and all they know is they got an overpriced slushy in a glass that lights up. Happy New Year!

Back To School
Abegail was ready to go back to school on Wednesday in a beautiful new outfit!