11 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: adoption, Caleb, Duggers, ethiopia, Ethiopian Twins, Family, Jennifer Lopez, JLo Spot, Kaleb, Kate Gosselin, Mothers, Multiple Births, orphanage, orphans, Parenting, Reality television, summer, What to Expect, What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect When You're Expecting Movie
Ok. So, I am sure this is not a news flash to anyone, but summer with 5 kids is H.A.R.D. Just sayin’..
I don’t have the hang of this yet, and I am not ashamed to admit it…..we need advice! (Any other somewhat large families out there care to lend some wisdom?!?!)
I thought I had this thing down… Last summer, honestly, was a piece of cake compared to the summer of 2012. The only thing I can figure is now those adorable 12-14 month old twins who could only crawl are now 24 months, and are R.U.N.N.I.N.G. everywhere.. YES, everywhere…..and, I might add—in 2 different directions. Every.Single.Time.(those who have seen us at the pool this summer can attest to this unfortunate fact). Relaxing at the pool?? I think not.
Okay – time for true confessions with Meredith Howard….. I have thought about buying those “leashes” for kids. Haven’t done it, but have sure thought about it…..how far I have fallen. Once a mom of one who thought parents who had their kids on a “leash” needed to be scorned. (yes, how quickly I judged!)….now to TOTALLY understanding (and even beginning to embrace) the need for them. I just don’t know how it is humanly possible for one mommy to keep up with twin toddler boys running in different directions, while keeping an eye on the other 3 (still young, I might add). When Kindred is with us, it is a no-brainer. It’s Man-to-Man Defense. He gets one twin, I get the other. Easy. But, by myself? Ugh. There HAS to be a better way…. (waiting for a response here from Kate Gosselin or the Duggers).
Anyway, as for our big announcement for the summer: The “Big Kids” and I are GARDENERS now! Yes, We have a garden!! Woo-Hoo!! (we have no idea what we’re doing, mind you..but we now call ourselves gardeners). Have you seen the movie, What About Bob? I love that movie. Maybe it’s the psychology major in me, but I love it. It reminds me of the scene where Bob is roped to the pole in the sailboat and gleefully shouts, “I’m a sailor! I’m sailing!!” That’s us…we’re GARDENERS! We’re gardening!!
Here are a few pics of the master gardeners at work this weekend…..enjoy your summer everyone (and please feel free to give me some tips on how to make it through successfully!)
08 Jun 2012 1 Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: adoption, Chris Rock, Dr. Aronson, ethiopia, Ethiopian Twins, Foster care, Heidi Murkoff, Jennifer Lopez, JLo Spot, Kaleb, orphan doctor, What to Expect Movie, What to Expect When You're Expecting
So, I have had some people say my posts are too vague (ahem….Melanie Willenborg) …. I can’t tell you exactly why they are that way at this time, but trust that we might have something up our sleeves.
Anyway, wanted to share a guest blog post I did for a friend’s blog that tells a little more of our story and background on how we got to be a family of seven. (Her blog is www.mycrazyadoption.com and Kari rocks!):
In 2010, after the Haitian Earthquake, my husband and I decided it was time to pursue our long time desire to adopt. We had talked about it for years, but decided it was time to actually DO something…not just keep talking about it. We spoke with our 3 children (at the time ages 2,4,6) about wanting to adopt. As best as they could understand, they were supportive. We began pursuing an adoption from Ethiopia. Our “plan” was to adopt a little toddler age girl. No more diapers, we thought, and no babies. Been there, done that 3 times. During the process- at my husband’s insistence- we got certified as foster parents as well. He just really believed that if there were children in the US who needed homes, we should start there. Long story short, we got a call about our sweet foster daughter- Nancy- and had to make a decision in about 5 minutes (before meeting her) if we would want to be her parents. Birth parent rights were just about terminated. This was going to be a “done deal.” We said yes, and piled our 3 kiddos into the minivan to drive an hour north to meet her. She was precious. Our 3 bio children fell in love with her immediately. I ran out and rented Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair” so I could learn to do African American hair.
After 2 months with us, and her calling my husband “Daddy! Daddy!” she ended up being taken away from us (that is a whole other blog post in and of itself!). We were heartbroken. BUT, in our heartache we knew this was the confirmation we needed to pursue international adoption.
In the fall of that year, an email went out from our agency entitled: “Family Needed for Twin 4 Month old Baby Boys with Possible Special Needs.” Well, crap. That was honestly my first response. But we wanted a GIRL! And just ONE at that. Ugh. But, these boys needed a home. Isn’t that why we wanted to adopt a child in the first place? To give someone a home who needed one? SO, we tentatively opened the email to learn more. The twins’ mother had died giving birth. One had survived meningitis, and the other was severely malnourished. We had their medical files reviewed by Dr. Aronson. Truthfully, she scared the pee out of us……but we still knew- no matter what may come, these were our boys.
On New Year’s Eve, 2010, we arrived home with our boys. They were so tiny- wearing newborn size clothes at 6 months old- and they could barely hold their heads up; but they were SO alert, and had the BIGGEST eyes you have ever seen! We began physical therapy, and went through the gamut of medical testing. They began thriving. There were NO signs of any tissue damage on the MRI we had done on Asher (who had meningitis). The boys were inching their way onto the growth charts….what little miracles!
In the summer of 2011, we got an email from a fellow adoptive mom who said there was a movie being filmed in Atlanta and they needed Ethiopian babies & children to be extras. Cool, we thought- what a great way to meet more Ethiopians! On a whim we sent in a pic. of the twins. Immediately 2 people called us from the casting company, and then the casting director himself called. “I am very interested in the twins,” he said, “Can you meet me downtown today at 5pm?” Well, THAT is strange we thought…but maybe that is how they treat “extras.” We had NO idea. We went downtown and he asked us to come back the next day to meet with the director, and that if all went well we would need to be back downtown the next day to “spend some time with Jennifer Lopez, so she could get to know our children, and they could become familiar with her.”
“We’re sorry,” we said,” What movie is this? You want us to hang out with who?” Seriously. That is how it happened. Told ya….BIZARRE.
You can see Sammy & Asher in theatres now making their big screen debut in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” as J-Lo’s son she adopts from Ethiopia. And that is the short (but a little more detailed) version of how our family came to become this:
05 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: adoption, American Idol, ethiopia, Ethiopian Twins, Hollywood, J-Lo, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Lopez Adoption, Jennifer Lopez Co Stars, JLo Spot, Kaleb, Kirk Jones, oprhans, Rodrigo Santoro, Sunday Mirror, UK, What to Expect When You're Expecting
Sweet story about the twins in the Sunday Mirror (UK) from this past weekend. You go, boys!!
31 May 2012 6 Comments
in Uncategorized Tags: 2 year old twins, adoption, American Idol, ethiopia, J-Lo, Jennifer Lopez, orphanage, orphans, Parenting, People Magazine, Toilet training, What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect When You're Expecting Movie
Samuel & Asher celebrated their 2nd birthday on Monday. Yep…TWIN TODDLER BOYS in the “TERRIBLE TWOS!” Can we all take a moment to say a prayer for me to have strength? (Or we can all sit in a circle and sing Kumbayah ….whatever floats your boat…we just appreciate any support and good wishes you can send our way)
The last 17 months have been a blur. My house is a wreck. We are exhausted. It is HARD WORK growing Ethiopian twin baby boys. Especially when they had as rough a start as they did. And when you already had 3 kiddos in the house ( a 3 year old, 5 year old, and 7 year old when we brought the twins home). Would we do it again? ABSOLUTELY!!!! (And hope to sooner rather than later…but shhhh! don’t tell Kindred yet)
The 2 year “Well Check” at the pediatrician this week for Sammy & Asher felt like crossing a finish line. I was waiting for someone to come running out waving a bottle of champagne for us to celebrate. We did it. Both are solidly on the charts for height and weight. Both are healthy, “normal” (whatever that means), thriving children. It is time to potty-train (oh, Dear Lord….) They truly are miracle children.
If you are an adoptive parent, you can probably relate to a lot of our fears & concerns the first few months home. It is emotional. It is a lot of guess work, a lot of tests, a LOT of bloodwork, a lot of doctors visits. It is physically, emotionally, and financially draining. It is just hard. But it is worth it. SO, a big huge “shout out” to all those mamas out there- both adoptive and biological- who work so hard to give their babies what they need. You Rock. And, if I lived closer, I would bring over a bottle of champagne so we can toast each other.
There is a line in ”What to Expect When You’re Expecting” where one of the dudes says something like, ” I may be a lackluster husband, but I am an above average father.” I love that line…..makes me cry everytime. (yes, I have seen the movie 3 times already!)
I may be dropping the ball in a whole lot of areas, but I am pretty darn good at growing baby boys. Happy Weekend, Everyone!
25 May 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: adoption, American Idol, Dr. Aronson, ethiopia, Ethiopian Twins, Fox 5 Atlanta, Heidi Murkoff, Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez, Kaleb, Melissa Fay Greene, orphan, orphanage, WAGA-TV, What to Expect, What to Expect When You're Expecting, WTE
Here is the link to the story done on Fox 5 Atlanta today. (It will air again at noon and 5pm today).
Ok..am I the only one who TOTALLY dislikes seeing themselves in a video, hearing themselves talk , etc?? please tell me I’m not… but, dear Lord, did I actually say “Anywhoo??” Yep. sure did. nice.
I need to get over myself however. Kindred and I fully realize (at least when I am not critiquing myself on TV) that this is NOT about us. This is not about our family. This is not even about Sammy and Asher. We are not Toddlers and Tiaras type of parents (no offense anyone…just not our thing.) We are crazy, sleep-deprived parents of 5 who just want to make a difference in the world. (no pressure, right? Ha!) And, apparently, we are parents who say “Anywhoo” on tv. Sweet.
I thought Tacoma did a great job with the twins’ story. We DO want to get the word out about not only the horrible orphan crisis, but also- and equally as important (if not more so)- the tragedy that befalls so many mommies in developing countries- death during childbirth. It is wrong. It is preventable. It is sad and tragic, and should not be happening as much as it does. And, shame on us if we do not try to speak up for the millions that don’t have a voice….because we have been given a brief window of opportunity to help raise awareness to these incredibly important issues.
So, that said…I just need to get over myself and suck it up. Even if I do say words like “Anywhoo.” Doesn’t matter…what DOES matter is the potential impact our story can have on those who are struggling.
23 May 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: Alex, Ben Falcone, Canada, Elizabeth Banks, ethiopia, Ethiopian Twins, Heidi Murkoff, Holly, J-Lo's adoption, Jennifer Lopez, Kaleb, orphans, Parent, Rodrigo Santoro, The JLo Spot, Today's Parent, What to Expect Movie, What to Expect When You're Expecting
The sweet people at Today’s Parent sent us a few copies so we could see what will be published (I guess it will hit Canadian stands in a week or so?), and we received them today. I feel like the character Elizabeth Banks’ plays in What to Expect When You’re Expecting…in real life! (seriously…if you haven’t seen it, you HAVE to go….if you have seen it, you will know EXACTLY what I am talking about!)
The first question they asked me:
1. ”What’s the most unexpected thing you discovered after you became a parent?” My answer?? Are you ready to be inspired? Here it is:
“How hard it was. Nobody can prepare you.” WOW. Inspirational, huh? (And, no, I can’t credit this to the reporter getting my words wrong…I am quite sure I blurted that out somewhere in the interview…. UGH.)
2. “How do you put your kids to bed?” Again…are you ready for this life-shattering inspirational and motivational quote?? Here goes:
“We’re kind of in survival mode. We feel victorious if everybody has clothes on and they’re clean.” Double UGH…
Well, at least I was honest, right? They did say that my honesty was “refreshing…” Sweet.
Seriously, though….as a mom, sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself….so you don’t go nuts!
Probably my favorite question/answer has to do with the type of vehicle we drive. (People always seem fascinated by this….that is one of the first questions we usually get when people find out we have 5 kids…but we always tell them…yes, a minivan holds us all, with room for one more!)
3. What vehicle do you drive?
“A minivan, but I got one with a sunroof so that I could feel at least a little bit cool.”
(And all the moms out there said, “Preach it Sister! AMEN!!”)
19 May 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: adoption, American Idol, Entertainment Tonight, ethiopia, Ethiopian Twins, Family, grauman's chinese theater, Heidi Murkoff, Hollywood, Huffington Post, Jennifer Lopez, JLo Spot, Kirk Jones, Lions Gate Entertainment, Lionsgate, orphans, Premiere, Rodrigo Santoro, What to Expect Movie, What to Expect When You're Expecting
I am not deceived. I fully realize and embrace the fact that people who read this blog really don’t care to “hear” me talk much…..you just want the good stuff. (ESPECIALLY if you are a mommy! No time to read…just show us the pictures, right?)
SO, in honor of that…..here are more pics from the LA premiere of What to Expect When You’re Expecting…
17 May 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: American Idol, Entertainment Tonight, Ethiopian Twins, Heidi Murkoff, Huffington Post, Jennifer Lopez, JLo Spot, Kaleb, Kirk Jones, Lionsgate, Premiere, Red Carpet, Rodrigo Santoro, What to Expect, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Youtube
Well, we arrived back in Atlanta late last night/early this morning…… Our four year old is “graduating” from preschool this evening, so we wouldn’t miss it for the world…….
Honestly we are still trying to wrap our brains around everything that is happening. The movie premiere in LA was beautiful. The people were amazing. We were humbled. And….the movie itself is awesome. (You WILL cry during the adoption ceremony scene….just a warning. bring tissue. We were on set during the filming of the scene, so had already seen it. Big difference seeing it on the big screen. Let’s just say I was SOBBING….. Great job to our friend, director Kirk Jones. He made it beautiful.)
Entertainment Tonight picked us up to bring us to the premiere, and interviewed us on the way. I have to say, after just watching it, I was humbled (again). They did a beautiful job, and I think it tells the twins’ story beautifully and honorably. We couldn’t ask for more.. Here is a link if you want to check it out:
Also, Kindred wrote a beautiful article on Huffington Post about their story as well. You can see it here:
Okay, okay….I know you want some pics, huh?? Here are a few….I will do another blog post with JUST pics later this evening or tomorrow. We are just so exhausted, (and have to scramble to get ready for a preschooler’s graduation!):), that I don’t have much time right now……
04 May 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: adoption, ethiopia, Frequent-flyer program, Jennifer Lopez, Los Angeles, movie premiere, orphans, Premiere, Rodrigo Santoro, What to Expect Movie, What to Expect When You're Expecting
Well, been wanting to shout this out in bloggy world the last 24 hours, but had to make sure it was really going to happen….
We have OFFICIALLY been invited to the premiere of What to Expect When You’re Expecting!!!!!!! Seriously…it is even addressed “Dear Kindred and Meredith!” Is it TOTALLY politically incorrect if I pee in my pants right about now?!?!?!?
SO, now…we have to be in Los Angeles NEXT Monday, the 14th. Anyone know anyone who wants to donate frequent flyer miles to a needy family?? (**only partially kidding there!**) I can even offer to give you a kidney or something……
Well, we will figure it out…..and we are just so thrilled to be along for the ride…….AND, if we are allowed to take pics, I PROMISE I will post some!!
Can you BELIEVE this?!??!
Happy Friday, Everyone!!