Sunday, May 26, 2013

Barbeque Meat Cheese and Sniper Tips

I started this night laughing so hard I was crying…and I can’t tell you why.  I did something purposely that CRACKED me up, but I hesitate to humiliate myself (kinda) here.  Ok, everyone might not think it’s funny. 

You needed to know this (so my sleep deprived laughing brain says).
First thing you need to know today as I sit here with my feet propped up…they may just be a tad painful.  I’m out of shape.  There, I admit it.  I chase eight kids (the teens just for the fun of it) around all day and I’m out of shape. 

Our day consists of about five miles of walking.  To save a few dollars we don’t hire a car and walk to the institution.  It’s a little over 1 mile each way and we do this two times a day.  We also tend to explore.

Once upon a time in a place far far away (California), I walked twenty miles…no soreness or painful feet…twenty miles. 

Today, my muscles aren’t sore…I didn’t get particularly sweaty (or glistening…since girls glisten…whatever…I sweat)…but my feet are KILLING me.  I must admit, I’m tired too.  You never would have guessed with the levitating goats, would you?
As we headed down to see Ben this morning, we saw the open air market was open.  We couldn’t remember the days, but apparently it’s Sunday and Wednesday (we think).  The streets were packed. 

Side note: This actually surprised us.  When we went to the main/only restaurant on Friday, the comment was made that the restaurant was so busy because it was Friday.  There were only three tables with people at them.
Even the horse drawn wagons lined the street.

We were running a little late though. 

I have heard other parents say that two hours twice a day is hard.  I didn’t get it.  We want to be with our children.  I see what they are meaning though.
In this country an area is supposed to be provided that is separate (in an orphanage for adopting parents and their new children).  This means we are limited to the same area twice a day for two hours (thus the non-changing picture background).  Then you add that everyone is keeping an eye on you.  You can’t fully act like the parent you know is needed.  The reality is that these children are sensory deprived, often neglected, and sometimes abused by older children (we just don’t know).  For two hours twice a day we have to plan…plan ways to not overstimulate our son while teaching him touch, attachment, and fulfill some of his sensory needs so he doesn’t freak out (very official sounding, don’t you think) when we walk out the gates.  All the while we have to be very aware of everyone watching.  It’s not easy.  We 100% want to be there, but sometimes Ben seems “done” at one hour, shutting down…overstimulated…touched out.

It gets better each day though.  It’s necessary time.  Today, during our first visit, Benjamin decided to melt down for the first time when we said no.  He looked tired, yelled, lashed out, kicked and hit (us and himself) and it looked like tears were going to fall.  Yup, this is a good thing.  He’s learning we don’t yell at him.  We don’t get mad.  We are the parents and good things DO happen after melt downs.  He learned we DO love him after that.  We just held onto him and distracted him until he calmed down.  When he was done, the mood he was in was SO much better.  He wanted us to hold him almost the entire time…just walk while carrying him. 
He discovered his shadow.  He’d lean back for a kiss from Mommy.  He sat on my lap and reached over for daddy’s hand. 

His favorite game...chucking the stuffed ball on the roof and letting it roll back down.

The thumb goes in his mouth occasionally for comfort.

Seeing him seek us is like nothing we’ve ever seen (and we’ve been through this before).  It’s a battle that satan hates to lose.  He wants these kids…yet God comes forth and allows us, parents, families…to reflect the worth that our Heavenly Father has placed on them…to be the first, the journeymen…to show a child they are wanted.  It’s beyond exciting and humbling.  We're beyond grateful that HE has allowed us to show Ben he is worth it all.  It doesn't make us great or good.  It makes us blessed. 


He has such a sweet smile....

Bubble time!

As we left from our first visit we ventured to the open air market.  Of course, wide eyed that I was, I forgot to take pictures.  We bought out a stall of bananas.  The boys at the institute rarely get fruit.  Thank you for the donations making it easier to do this!!!

We quickly walked back to the institute to drop the banana’s off. 

(Random animal picture of the day) Thomas said the levitating llama fell on the cat.

After that my brilliance prevailed.  We went to the grocery to attempt to buy some food to see us through the next few days.  The odd thing is though, I can’t read the language (who’d a thunk it!).
In my…ummmm…adventuresome spirit I bought what I thought to be ham or pepperoni.  Ya, it wasn’t exactly either of those.  Tonight we opened it.  It looked like cheese.  My lovely husband had already taken a bite, but handed it to me with a smile (which should have made me suspicious).  Of course, since he had suffered its fate already, he figured I needed to as well.  It tasted like barbequed meat cheese.  NO JOKE…I have NO clue what it is.  The animals liked it though.  I should know by now that my food experiments don’t work out well. 

We had a car called to take us home from the grocery store.  The two and a half hours at “home” tend to be a crash and burn time.  At least one of us naps (this time, me). 
A sweet friend Melanie texted last night and KNEW we were exhausted.  She’s been here and experienced what we are experiencing.  It doesn’t 100% make sense.  It’s all the experiences rolled up in one.  I haven’t figured it out.  China had a bigger time change, but getting rested here has been a challenge.

The second visit to Ben today continued to go well.  He seems to shy away from touch only at first.  We are learning what overstimulates him.  Often he’s tired or hungry (we believe). 

The ball got stuck and he wanted daddy to get it.

(Below~Thomas decided to try to take a picture of Ben and I, and the weird pictures prevailed.)

Go ahead, caption it...I got nothing.

Training Ben to be a super spy.

Tired Mommy, Tired Ben
For the last two days its been neat to watch a grandmother come to the institute and pick up her grandson for a few hours.  The love is there, the ability to get him the help he needs…here…in this country…is just not there.  There is a stigma…there is no “main streaming” even minor special needs in schools.  Many parents just feel like there is not choice.  It’s uplifting to see a grandma valuing her special needs grandson.

Honestly, it reminded me of China.  In China, I know there are many woman “walking wounded”….where many are forced into abortions or to give up their child with the one child policy (or variations of that).  Here, I believe again, there are many “walking wounded” who loved/love their child, but feel there is no alternative other than to give them up. 
On a lighter note…

As you’ve probably figured out, we are kinda in a goofy tired mode right now.  On the way home my husband looked at me and said, “Here’s a sniper tip for you….”
No, I’m not repeating what tip he gave and yes, he actually gave me a sniper tip.  We have the WEIRDEST conversations.  (P.S. Don’t walk facing the sun.)

We have obviously made it home now, avoiding the drunk guy yelling from the stoop across the street on the way home, past the giggles from the shop keepers as we say the wrong word in their language,  and through the barbeque meat cheese eating doggies.
After re-reading this blog post, our verse of the day seems appropriate.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. “ 2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s finally time to rest. 

We continue to appreciate all prayers.  We ask that you please continue to pray for Benjamin’s name to be removed easily from the orphan registry.  It can be complicated, time extending, and expensive.
There are MANY important prayer requests below, but I will leave you again with our daily Skype picture of the goofballs back home.  I don’t know where they get it from.

Poor Uncle Steve (we're a little

ALL Prayer Requests

*Please pray that God continues to prepare Benjamin's heart and calms his spirit.  Giving him restfulness.  Please pray he attaches and learns to love (and learns what family is) quicker than we can fathom.  This will be scary for him.

*PLEASE pray that the master of lies hands are tied. 

*Please pray that the small town's gates are “figuratively” thrown down and God’s love floods the streets.

*Please pray our children at home (and on a senior trip) are safe...physically/emotionally/and spiritually.  Attacks on the kids happened last time we were gone on the trip to bring Jael home.  PLEASE cover them. 

*Please also pray as our children at home try to stay organized in our absence, that things go smoothly for them and time passes quickly.
*Please pray for my husband and I, for our SAFETY and that we remain WELL.  We are going somewhere VERY rural with no one that speaks English most of the time.  
*Please pray for my mom, brother, and friends as they care for our children (safety, smoothness, etc.)

* Please pray that the current trip has a speed that can only be explained as a blessing of God. 

*Please pray that our trip home with Ben is peaceful and uneventful.  Please pray that calm (beyond understanding) reigns for our sweet Benjamin and that we see what we need to do to help him.

*That ALL paperwork needed is sped (by God's Will) in country (with NO hiccups). That the registrar quickly and easily removes Benjamin from the orphan registry, making things easy.

*Please pray for comfort as we continue to mourn Jonathan.
*Please pray for us to have a connection with the head of the institution. God has given us a love for the head of the institution and the caregivers.  Also, please pray for our connection to those in the village.

*Please pray that the head of this institution shows us where Benjamin has resided these last two years...and around the institution and laying rooms.  This is a wish, but we respect their decision.

 *Please pray the trip  itself is smooth.  There are NO issues.  That every blip, every ironed out before us.

*Please pray that our lines of communication with our children are successful (Skype, Magic Jack, international texting).  We will be in a very rural region.

*Please pray that we will feel rested and adjust to the time change while here.

"About Benjamin He said:
'Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,
 for He shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.'

Deuteronomy 33:12


  1. I'm dying from cuteness overload here!! LOL!! Ben just gets CUTER every picture! My goodness he's a handsome boy! And the kids at home on Skype- oh my they are just PRECIOUS!! Kat- you are BLESSED beyond measure!! (((HUGS))) and many many prays!

  2. p.s. when we buy bananas they ask us if we are not funny! So now Tom only buys them a few each trip! LOL!!

  3. Just getting a chance to totally catch up... All I can say is TEARS, (((Hugs)))... and giggles! Don`t worry I crack myself up all the time. Hang in there... Take as much in as you can, as exausting as it is. We are SO Glad to see you there! Amen and Amen!


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