Friday, December 30, 2011

When Adding Children To Your Family

One of the lighter topics in the whole adoption process that should be thought out in one of the less stressful "down times" ....yep...I know there are none of those before, during or after adding children to your family. I thought to amuse myself.

I love to take pictures of my kids, they generally tolerate it for about 15 minutes...or they have...I think we are reaching the extent of putting all 5 kids in a single photo. Getting all of them in one place, at one time with "mom appropriate" picture taking clothing is tough. Then we deal with the thought process of all 5 that says they should have a say in every pose....why don't they understand that this is their opportunity for mother brownie points? Then if you are so fortunate to press them into one shot you can run the risk that all of them may not come out alive.....siblings are tough.

Come to think of it...after a certain number of kids I think that parents should attend a circus orientation. It would fit in perfectly. Balancing a tiny line of patience, braving the scary teeth of a lion rivals getting your 10 year old son to brush his teeth, a large net is often needed for the parents to either fall into or have thrown over them as they are carted off to the funny farm, and then there is the monkey act....also known as family photos...yep think I'm running off to join the circus.....there are a couple new photos on the'll notice the brother/sister separation....I'm not quite up to Ringling Brothers standards during holiday season!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are They Still There?

As some of you know and others have wondered, the boys do have members of their biological family living in the Philippines. It is probably one of the advantages and disadvantages in adopting older kids. They do remember, they do wonder about those left behind. I would imagine most adopted children and their families wonder about the family that remains.

From day one of meeting the boys we have talked about their family members and they share their thoughts and remembrances of those times and family.

This past week-end the island of Mindanao in the Philippines was struck by a typhoon. So many deaths and missing people. Our biggest question, one that will never be answered, is are any of their biological family still alive. We were given so little information but the little we have puts the family in the destruction path.

Lucas and Eli have not asked too many questions yet. The questions will start. One of the hardest things for Mike and I to get across to them is that we don't have all the answers. I have to admit not having the answers to this one huge question bothers me.

We knew that the boys have family and it was always a possibility that "someday" the boys might choose to return and look for family members and have some of their questions answered. Having the basic knowledge of where to start gave us some feeling of contribution in helping them to get their answers. Now I don't think this is going to be a possibility. This latest disaster has thrown us down another unexpected pathway to helping Lucas and Eli reconcile their lives in the Philippines.

This Christmas season please remember all the people that are suffering around the world and say a special prayer that somehow the portion of the boys' family that were still in the Philippines were able to survive and are safe, that someday they can meet two special guys who have a lot of memories of them and remember them every day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Driving Miss Daisy

The plot: 2 sons, 1 dad together for a few hours on Saturday afternoon while the "women" folk finish Christmas shopping.

Time frame for male bonding: approximately 3 hours

The amount of time it took Eli to inform the women folk after their return of his dad's state of mind: 3 hours

The tattle: coming home from supper Eli states to his sisters (who are on either side of him) "You are driving me nuts!" This leaves the women folk momentarily speechless as this is not something that would come out of Eli without first hearing it else where. When Eli realized he'd said something before unheard out of him he said, "What? Dad say it to us today! He say you drive me nuts!"

How long until Dad fessed up to such a statement?........ We're still waiting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You Know I Don't Listen!

We finally have our Christmas decorations out and the tree decorated. The tree has actually been up for a week but Mike was out of town so we waited until today to decorate it.

On the floor next to our tree is an animated Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus that my parents bought us when the girls were little. It always sits by the tree, it always is at an angle from the tree. Can you say Christmas brings out the OCD in the Pickle Family?

Tonight I asked Eli to turn them back as they'd gotten moved around during decorating. It's one of those directional lessons that is harder for him to follow, that and the fact that I may have been obsessing just a little, it was taking several times for him to get it where it was before the tree decorating.

He finally got it placed and then turned to me and said, "Mom. You know I don't listen." and then he left the room.....the kid is a riot.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Take A Look

If you will take 1 minute and 15 seconds out of your lives to click on the hyperlink below, you will find a brief video on a footwear company by the name of Toms. For every pair of shoes they sell they give one to a child in need. The attached link shows a glimpse of their Philippine program.

Rachel sent this to us from college. She has insisted from the very first month the boys were home that she wanted to give them Toms and give back also. We procrastinated. For two years. Until I clicked the link with Lucas, Eli and one of their friends standing behind me.

Take a look and you will see the images that were very much a part of Lucas and Eli's lives. Between explaining to their "America" friends that they didn't have shoes just like "those" kids but now they do and then showing how their feet are tough because they didn't wear shoes it was truly apparent how much gratitude these two (plus others who receive) feel towards not the company or the military or the country that gives but to the individual people measuring and placing those shoes on the feet of children that may never have had anything of their own.

For those that may say, "you should give without expecting gratitude" bet. But to be an eye witness to that gratitude is humbling and even more so at this time of year. Take a look. Toms is just one of many who do wonderful humanitarian things. But they go, they do, they affect a life forever. Take a look.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Request from "The Boys"

This post will most likely be somewhat disjointed. I'm typing it but Lucas and Eli are writing it. I ordered a hardcover book of the entire blog for the boys for Christmas. They love to look back over the posts and pictures and talk about everything. In some ways it's our version of a life book. The book is a surprise for them so please don't mention it if you run across them before Christmas.

Today was a double basketball game day for us. The boys and their teammates won both games. Yeah! Losses are not good! NOT GOOD! so says the Filipino Duo.

On the way home Lucas piped up and said he wanted to write something on the computer (blog).
He said to say, " Thank you. I likes America. I remember Philippines. I learn a lot of new things here. I know lots of boys and friends....girls too." (Mom note...girls preoccupy him a lot!)

Eli wanted to say, "I'm good here. I do lots of things. I never get to do in Philippines."
They both want you to know that it is snowing in Iowa today. Since about 10:00 this morning we have accumulated 6 inches and it's still heavy. It's 1:30 p.m. (Mom note again...snow days are like child birth you forget what it's really like until your smack dab in the middle of it....then you remember!)

They wanted to show you pictures of their basketball game but like a bad parent I forgot the camera. I will try again next week. I think you will be amazed at both of their growth spurts in the last month. I didn't realize until they came to school and my coworkers were commenting on how tall they were getting. Where does the time go? I know it doesn't go swiftly on snow me.