Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Birthday E-Man & Annie!

We held a birthday party for the "twins" Saturday and had a wonderful time! We played with water balloons, busted open two pinatas, rode around in the Cadillacs, had cake, and each of the kids got new bicycles!! Annie and E-man rode around and around w/ their training wheels...while Abegail, with a little help, was riding her bike WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS!!! I've never heard of that before. This was her first time on a bike, too. These kids never cease to impress.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Party Preps

It's a Princess/Car theme for tomorrow's birthday party for Annie (7/1) and E-man (7/8), who I will now refer to as "the twins." Everyone is very excited. We have the cakes done, in case you can't tell, Annie's is a butterfly. A year ago tomorrow we were leaving for Liberia, or trying to rather, we didn't actually get there until a year ago Tuesday.
Quotes from Abegail:
A: Mommy, did you get that thing?
M: What thing?
A: Oh, I forgot, my brain was sleeping.
Conversations from Annie and E-man:
E-man to Annie: You don't even know how to play soccer
Annie to E-man: Well, you can't even do ballet!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

E-Man's Goals

Perhaps it's my fatherly pride, but each week I simply feel the need to tell you all how many goals E-Man scored. He's just so proud of himself at the end of the game that it's hard not to be equally as proud.

To help you all understand how these games go, we FINALLY got some video of his game. Unfortunately our video camera is broken - so we had to take these videos with our regular camera so the quality isn't the best. But I'll think you'll still get the idea.

By the way...he scored 7 goals today!! Here are numbers 5 and 6:

It's pretty typical. The yellow team kicks off...E-Man steals the ball...goes the wrong way for just enough time to get everyone to follow him...then he turns around and runs away from everyone...scoring yet another goal.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Abegail Goes To Camp

I have been talking to Abegail about going to camp since March. She at first wanted to know why anyone would go out into the woods to walk around or have fun. Finally I convinced her to go to the YMCA camp and as the day got closer she said, how about if I just don't go the first day. I said you are going. Monday I picked up a very excited girl, who HAD A FABULOUS TIME! Mommy, I want to go next week too. Mommy, can I go to the horse camp?

Abegail plays soccer too! Abegail had a great game Sunday, scoring three goals! Love that sibling rivalry! Her team hasn't lost a game yet.

Other News;
Abegail and Emmanuel's last three cousins coming to the U.S. have made it to NYC. Helena, Florence, and Lawrence are going to Texas. They were suppose to come home in March but immigration did not come through, they have had a tough time even getting out this time, but we were able to get confirmation that they have made it to NY! Welcome home guys, we'll talk soon.
Quotes From Annie:
Annie missed her brother and sister this week so I took her to the park and we had a little peanut butter and jelly picnic. I said, are we having fun? Annie said, "yea, we always have fun!"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Medals Day

Today was the medals day at E-man's soccer. Next week is the last week and we are all so sad. It's been so awesome to have an hour each week where E-man is proud of himself, he's cheered on, and he's not naughty. Today he scored five goals (Scott insisted I write that, they don't pass much at this level) and after each one he ran to Scott to get a high five with a huge grin on his face. You can see some of his attempts running down the field in a few of these photos.
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Surgery Set

Emmanuel's eye surgery is set for August 15th. He will have the muscles tightened in the eye that has the ptosis, the droopy left eye lid. No word if he'll dress himself and wear his church tie, his winter boots, and his summer shorts on that day!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness

"I am Black," Jane Lazarre's son tells her. "I have a Jewish mother, but I am not 'biracial.' That term is meaningless to me." She understands, she says--but he tells her, gently, that he doesn't think so, that she can't understand this completely because she is white. "Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness" is Jane Lazarre's memoir of coming to terms with this painful truth, of learning to look into the nature of whiteness in a way that passionately informs the connections between herself and her family. A moving account of life in a biracial family, this book is a powerful meditation on motherhood and racism in America, the story of an education into the realities of African American culture.

This is a book that has been recommended to us. When I went to adopt children I thought won't it be great that we will all be colorblind and it won't matter what color everyone is. Problem is, I didn't get it. Through E-man's school we are learning we have to draw attention to their skin color and associate with black people and black role models so that when they grow up they don't have an identity crisis. E-man's teacher put it very well. What if you were in an African country with almost all black people and saw another white person? You would immediately identify with that person. That is very true and we even felt that when we were in Liberia. Apparently E-man is loving being in a school with kids who have "skin like mine." I think we were ignoring the fact they were black. We were raising them as white children, because that's all we know. But I guess that would be like ignoring the fact that someone is religious or a good reader. So now we are aware. A&E are black and we will try and celebrate that and their Stay tuned, we're still learning.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

More Updates: Jacob and Mardia

Remember Jacob and Mardia, two of our favorites from the AFAA house. They've been home since November with a wonderful family in NY. Here are some photos of them from the past few months.
E-man had another great soccer game today. Abegail has recovered from leaving Mr. Suzuki although she cried all the way home from school. Today she and a friend played on the playground at their school because that's where E-man's soccer game is. They said, "at least we get to see our school even if we don't get to see our teacher."

SOCCER UPDATE: Sue is so modest. Me? Not so much. E-man scored 8 GOALS in his game Saturday. Yes...8!!!! I'm pretty proud of the young man. :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bye Bye Mr. Suzuki

You can not even talk to Abegail about school ending or being a second grader. Her last day is tomorrow and she is so sad. She is having a sleep over with one of her friends to soften the blow tomorrow. We too are very sad about leaving Mr. Suzuki. We could not have asked for a better teacher for Abegail's first year in school. (Oh and he is not teaching kindergarten next year, staying with first grade) All the parents I talk with feel the same way. What a gift he has. We are so grateful for him. Oh and we did go through "what to get him on the last day." Again Abegail really wanted to get him shoes, "Mommy, he runs a lot." We settled on an outdoor clock and thermometer. Abegail got a certificate for perfect attendance!

-I want to update some of the things I've talked about on the blog. Remember Scott's best man's son who underwent surgery for a brain tumor? He is doing very well, he is half way through chemotherapy and by all accounts has been a trooper through everything. The family got a Make a Wish trip to Disney World and is doing well too.
-At one point I talked about a Minnesota boy who needed a kidney transplant. Two weeks ago he got it and is doing well. Turns out the sister of a boy who died of cancer was a match. The two families met at the Ronald McDonald House. Mary, the donor, turned 21 last week.
-Scott's Mom is on her second week of radiation and doing well. She has 8 treatments down, 26 to go! She is also a trooper
-My girlfriend, Sophia, who's wedding I was in, in December is expecting a baby Girl! She is due in mid October. All is well so far!