Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NEW PARENTING LESSONS VIA UGANDA

Well, my fourth round of being a new parent has started so much differently than the other 3. TJ was our first and Shannon did the work, and if you ask her, she'll tell you I was horribly unhelpful. Tyler was number 2 and he came via emergency c-section. Dude flipped around in the womb and was out in like 19 minutes from the time of our arrival at the hospital. Jake hung on for dear life and decided to accept the eviction notice while Shannon was in tears at the hospital and he was like 5 days overdue.

Now, the last two [I pray :)] have come to us via adoption at 5 years old. They speak broken Lugandan and broken English. Their accent is so cute I want to freeze them so they don't change. They are a joy to be with. Really, I can't imagine the stuff I would have missed out on if we didn't go through with this adoption thing. I think God would have a long list of stuff to tell me- all regrettable on my part. Thank you to all of you who have and continue to contribute financially and prayerfully and practically to this process. I wish you could be here to see them.

The facebook pics I have posted should tell you that all by themselves.

Here's my lessons so far:

  • Photographing my dark brown kids requires lots of creative lighting. I'm constantly changing settings on my camera to not loose facial features in the shadows. I think I need some lessons and to buy a much better flash :)
  • Raising kids that are pre-potty trained is a joy all by itself. I can't fully explain to you the sheer joy it brings me to know I don't have to teach them how to wipe a butt.
  • Speaking of potty or susu... there also is some kind of crazy laughter that goes on deep inside of me when I realize that if my daughter has to go potty, she and her brother are more than willing to drop their drawers and pee in any grassy field available. I love whoever taught my daughter to shamelessly pee in public.
  • Last toilet story: my kids are so skinny they can and do both use the toilet at the same time. Today after rest my son was pooping (caca) and she had to pee (susu) and well, she told him to move over and before we could stop, they were sharing. So nice. Yes, ofcourse I have a pic. No I'm not posting it, but it will come back when they are 16 :)
  • Black people are not all black. Some are dark dark dark black. Some are brown. Mine are mostly dark brownish I have decided.
  • They have black eyes, which do not have pupils. I think pupils are overrated.
  • How does black skin know not to be black on the bottom of hands and the bottom of feet? I bet evolution has some lame answer to that deep question. I'm just gonna blame God. It's cute though.
  • My daughter is not camera shy. She LOVES flowers. She is more girly than I expected since she has grown up in a boy dominated orphanage.
  • My son will take a LONG nap if you just help him get the sleeping part started. Rubbing his back works really good.
  • I'm really really really glad this is our second time in Uganda. Having met our children 5 months ago in a different context is reaping HUGE dividends.
  • I need to learn some Lugandan fast. I'm working hard at it. I don't want them to lose this piece of their heritage.
  • Some more phrases I have learned:
    • Wait= Linda [lean dah]
    • Let's Go= Tugende [too gen day]
    • Sit Down= Tula Wansi [toola wahnsee]
  • Shannon and I have decided that we are going to keep the following phrases in our everyday language with them in Lugandan indefintely.
    • Let's Go= Tugende
    • I love you very much= Nkwagala Nnyo
    • Thank you= Webale
    • Come Here= Jangu Wano
  • I think California should have fewer cars and more "boda boda" drivers who are waiting for me on any corner to take me places for a few shillings. Oh... and the zero rules about what or how many people you can fit on one is fun too!

  • Money spent turning clubbed feet into walking feet is a gift I'm not sure you can actually quantify in financial terms. Our orphanage fixed these village kids two feet and it opened an otherwise spiritually closed village on Lake Victoria into a fruitful missions field. What a miracle. What a joy to see two kids that 6 months ago could not walk, now be almost fully healed.
  • My kids are deathly afraid of water. We have a lot of work to do to teach them to swim.

Finally, an update on bonding. It's going GREAT!!! They now both search for our hands, actively cuddle with us, and pass out kisses. We are still praying for some more eye contact from our son, but beyond that... we are VERY VERY ENCOURAGED! Keep up the praying!

3 comments:

Vanessa,  11:38 AM  

The post potty trained thing has got to be the best part..it would be for me (speaking as someone who's been potty training her 3 yr old for 9 monthes & has a 1 yr old in diapers)..my son has a major phobia of going poop in the potty..my fear is that he will start kindergarten still not fully potty trained! Oh & your daughter going pee in public could work to your advantage but could also be embarrasing depending on the when & where..mabye not for you but for Shannon..lol. Ahh potty stories are always fun!

angela emmons 8:42 PM  

embarrasing maybe..but not in the woods.. MAJOR advantage on camp trips and hikes!

so why I really clicked to comment was to say how deeply disappointed I am that I can't be closer to give them swim lessons =(

Traci Morrow 9:46 AM  

Excellent summary! :)
I'm thoroughly enjoying your take on your family grafting as it unfolds! :)

It will get better and harder...but better. :)

We're ALL EARS and a comforting word of encouragement when you need one. (or many) Been there - done that - survived, and reaping the many many blessings as a result of saying yes to what God sometimes asks of us in the shower. :) (isnt that where your adoption story sort of unfolded? if not, sorry - i'm confused. for us - the shower was where God spoke to me about adopting two)

Now I take baths. :) (kidding)

Praying still......

TRACI :)

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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