Saturday, May 28, 2011

13 Year Old Boys

I do not often have the opportunity to talk about how cool 13 year old boys are.... I think most people would agree with that statement.  Usually, they are too cool to talk to you, playing video games, texting or on their cell phones or just goofy and awkward.  Not tonight.

JT's previous boss and mentor, Peter Herrmann (who he coached college basketball with at Western KY University and UGA), was in town tonight with his wife to watch their grandson's traveling baseball team play.  We love the Herrmanns but have not seen them in 2-3 years so we were happy to hear they were town.  We headed over to the hotel where they were staying and the baseball parents were cooking out.  I did not bring swimming trunks for Tedi because I knew he would think he is a better swimmer than he is.... My intentional "forgetting" made Tedi mad and he was being ornery...demanding to leave and go home.  Well, the boys, all thirteen and fourteen years old, starting spilling out of the pool to eat burgers and chips... Tedi just stared.  He is enamored with older boys (he was the youngest of six in Ethiopia) and just watched these them.  As all the boys sat on the sidewalk 30 feet away next to the corn hole boards, I heard "Hey Tedi, come eat with us!" All the boys were motioning for him.  His eyes grew large and looked up at me.  I told him it was okay and to go on.  He ran over and they all greeted him with fist pumps and high fives.

These boys, baseball players that could have been way too cool for a four and a half year old, played wiffle ball with Tedi.  They played corn hole. They helped him fix his food.  One boy, Carter, spent the next hour and a half with Tedi.  It was heart warming for me....not only as his mother but as a person to know there really are good kids out being taught to love others regardless of their language, color, age, love others because that is what you do. 

We had a great time and are blessed to still have the Herrmann family in our lives.  Below is a picture of Tedi with Coach Herrmann as well as T playing corn hole with the older boys, or trying to at least.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Adoption and Kung Fu Panda 2

I have written before about the life lessons from the original Kung Fu Panda and the second one did not disappoint.  Interestingly enough, the focus on the second edition was Po, the panda, trying to find out who he "really was".  If you don't know, Po is a large panda bear raised by a goose who makes noodles.  He finally realizes that he is not the "actual" birth son of his father, the goose.  His mission: find out who he really is.  He asks Dad how he (Po) came to live with him (dad).  Well, the dad explains as much of the story as he knows....and Po is not completely satisfied with the story and even has flashbacks of what happened when he left his parents.  He discovers at the end of the movie that his birth parents, his panda family, really loved him and that is why they spared his life.... he returns to his dad who ask him what he learned while away, and Po explained, "I learned that YOU are my dad.".....but the real lesson throughout the movie, that the writers precipitated throughout the search for Po's birth family and heritage was this:

"The beginning of your story may not be happy but the end does not have to be unhappy. The only thing that matters is who you choose to be now."

How much does this message speak to the heart of adoption?  I admit, for some children struggling with their identity as an adopted child, the movie may need to previewed first by their parents.  However, Tedi is not quite there yet.  As an adoptive parent the movie resonated with me..... I could identify with Dad, the goose.  At what point will Tedi look at us and realize we are not brown skinned with dark curls?  When will he want to seek more information on his birth family only to find we have little more to offer than love?  Will he realize that who he chooses to be is more important than the life he had before us or even more, while with us....that choosing to be happy is inside of him? How do we, as adoptive parents, empower our children to WANT to know and seek information on the birth family without being hurt while also inspiring them to grow into independent, God loving men and women? I pray for answers to these tough questions.  I pray for support from friends and family.  I pray God strengths us as parents for each phase we will go through with Tedi and our future adoptive children. 

I highly recommend the movie....despite some of the fighting and search for family, the message from these movies are always superb, but heed the warning of previewing if you have any concerns. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Living Local....

.....or at least eating that way.  My love for local restaurants is not a secret.  Lately, I have been trying to visit local places... They are always so much more interesting, fun and you are giving back... I would rather give to a family biz than Wendy's or such  (not that I don't ever eat Wendy's but you get my point..) So below are a few of the restaurants we have enjoyed recently!!  Check them out if you are in Louisville...if not, then visit

Safier Mediterranean Deli
My med student Ashley suggested we get takeout from Safier over the weekend.  (we get take out on call....coping mechanism though normally unhealthy...not this time)   I had the chicken shawarma with a salad, a pita and garlic Greek yogurt for $6.99.  It was so great.  JT and I love Mediterranean food and this was a great find.  I did not actually visit the restaurant because I was stuck in the hospital but the food was excellent.  I highly recommend it...and my students said the staff was welcoming very great!  And the carryout wait time was only 30 minutes for eight orders...not bad!

Toast on Market
A Louisville favorite!  I first ate here with my best friend Sarah last year after finding out I matched at the University of Louisville for residency.  Since then, I have fallen in love.  On the weekends, it can be a two hours wait.  They have even opened a second location in New Albany, Indiana.... I had the lemon souffle pancakes with hash brown casserole, fabulous....                                                                           

The New Albanian Brewing Company
JT and I went on a date this past Friday to a new place....Again, they have two locations, both in NewAlbany, Indiana, just over the river from Louisville. One location is a pizza joint with a brewery while the one we went to was more of a "real" food type of place. Both the small plates and large plates menu looked great.... we had the fries served with seven dipping sauces.... YES you read correctly...SEVEN.... along with the goat cheese salad and wings, we were set.  I can not wait to go back and try one of the large plates....for instance, the night we were there, seared chicken with curry risotto... I mean, sounds amazing, huh?  Definitely check this out... plus they have a great beer selection!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Adoption Celebration Question

I have been doing some reading lately and wanted to get opinions of others in my adoption world.  Coming up in less than 2 months will be the day we became the Henderson Family as it is now.....some call it gotcha day, some adoption day.  I know the day changes as children get older, more children are added to the family, or you have biological children.  It is an important day in our world as parents but I do not want to highlight Tedi's loss of his birth family.  I want to be a good mom, do the right things for my son. 

Not sure what we will decide upon but I wanted to see what everyone else's thoughts on this are... 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jacqueline and Chris's Wedding

On May 7, 2011, my dear childhood friend, Jacqueline, married Chris.  I was honored to be part of the wedding and see her marry such a wonderful man.  I must was one of the best weddings I have attended, and by far the most fun.  I was quite nervous and even a bit bummed because I was coming to the rehearsal following a thirty hour hospital call.  Thankfully, the amount of fun we had kept me going on very little will see a picture below.  It was a nice weekend for JT and I to spend as couple...dancing, having fun, and loving on some dear friends.  It is one of those times that you want to pause and keep enjoying.  Enjoy the pictures below!  Congrats, Jac and Chris.  I love you more than you know!

The Rehearsal

the wedding site, Glenview Farm, owned by Jac's family

 my handsome husband, always with phone in hand

Eaven, me, Jac, Karen, Laura

Pre-Wedding Activities

 yes, this is me hiding under the covers
 Jac and Eavan, her step sister, getting their done

 Jacqueline with Andrea (who I went to high school with)
 Laura perfecting her makeup

 the entry table
 Jac's first saddle
 Jac and Laura
 Me and the beautiful bride

with Nate and Will, Chris's son

Post-Wedding Activities

 JT and I
 Laura and Rachel
 Father and Daughter

.....then my camera died.... sad times.  Stay tuned for more blogs to come very soon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 2010

This day last year I was seeing patients at the neurosurgery clinic, wearing my classic scrubs and random cardigan.  I spent the day before, Mother's Day, crying mostly...wondering when I would find out if Tedi would pass court, if I would be a mother, and a host of other issues that develop in the "waiting" part of adoption.  I got a call on my cell around mid day on Monday, May 10, 2010.  It was a Louisville, KY number.... JT was already living there and working....  When I picked up, our agency director asked if I was sitting, then explained that we, TEDI, had passed court in Ethiopia.  As I have explained, I am not a "crier"....I sat in shock for a few minutes and then asked if I could call JT myself.... He was beside himself with excitement.  We then separately spent time on the phone calling our friends and family and sharing our news.  We could not believe Tedi was "offiicially" ours. Mothers Day last year was one day late....  That night, with JT away, and my heart floating, my dad handed me red roses (and a glass of wine) and we celebrated.  What can change in a year! 

May 10, 2010

For those of you waiting, I know it is tough.  As a woman without a child, the waiting was painful.  I am sure it similar for a woman with a child/children already.... Nevertheless, the wait was painful.  I can re-read my blog and journal from that time and hear the ache in my voice.  I would like to say I forget all of the aching and pains of waiting...  I do not remember them all, but trust me, the laughter and joy and fun and trials definitely overshadow the agony of the wait.  I did not believe them last year when people told my bitter, anxious heart this...  This year, though, as Tedi incessantly misbehaved and we fought to get a few pics, I realize the blessing of Tedi's life.  I can attempt to comprehend the sacrifice his Ethiopian mommy made to make ME a mom....

This year....I celebated being a mother.  We dedicated our son in a "baby dedication" (yes he was a giant compared to the babies) and we celebrated Tedi making me a mom.... and today we celebrate him LEGALLY becoming ours.

 May 8, 2011
Mother's Day

May 10, 2011
Playing golf in a Run DMC t-shirt

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy 10 Months Home!

Top 10 Tedi-isms
(in honor of 10 months home):

1)  when he says "You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'"
2) he will do it in "a lil WHILLLE" (lil while said like southern black lady from the bayou)
3) "what are you doing" said with an Indian accent
4) listening to him sing God Bless America while doing the hand motions
5) "I need a happy Neal" (ie, happy meal)
6) "That's my Jesus" (pointing to church)
7) "you be Buzz, I be Woody, you be Corkchot (porkchop the pig), you be Jessie" to whomever is here
8) "I need you in my bed" meaning I want you to lay down and cuddle with me
9) "I no like it" while shaking a cheese, ice cream or whatever he does not like.
10) "Mommy broke it.  Daddy and Tedi fix it".....this started in September but continues with ANYTHING that does not work in our house.... I am a bit annoyed but everyone else enjoys it.

and a great quote:
Me to my friends, "Watch me cross this street.  I lived in New York City."
Tedi, unprompted, "I lived in Ethiopia."

 Hanging out with his best buddy, his Daddy
Tedi doing the "Doron Lamb"
(since we are always told they look alike)

Bits of the World

"gathering up bits of the world & setting them out in an order that her children can understand"

If you have read any of my blogs or know anything about me, you know I love quotes.  They make me laugh, cry and laugh until I cry.  But most of them really make me think....about life, how I want it to be, the people in my life and the relationships I have with them.

I really got to thinking about stuff today as I shopped for Mother's Day cards....How do we live our lives, as people, so that our children or the children with whom we spend time, become better people.  The quote above really struck me after reading it tonight....reminding me of thoughts I had wandering the aisles of do we take the parts of our lives, the world and Christ love and make then applicable to a child.  I read in one of the parenting books (yes, I need help so I read), that regardless if you are a parent or not, every encounter you have with a child can leave an impression on their life, whether good or bad....only we are in control of that impression.

~I try to have fun.  Admittedly, before Tedi was here, I was bit more uptight, reserved, and, I play more.  I realize I can laugh easily at myself, with others, and at others that I love.  We are constantly laughing in our house...if you have been, you know this.  I hope that by teaching Tedi that laughter is truly the best medicine, he will grow up a bit happier and a little less serious.
"There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter & noise."

~Love.....showing love to the child, by discipline, in hugs, in kisses, in actions.... but more than that, our children must see us love those that may not always love us.  Love those that don't love us...that society tells us are not lovable...that is where the lessons really are.   Also, I can tell you that there is nothing that warms my heart more than watching others love my child....hearing my son tell my friends he loves them, watching him run into the arms of his grandparents...what does that mean... More than demonstrating your love for others to children, ( both your children and other children)...I find it important to surround your children with others who love them and will make a positive impact in their lives. 
"Everything changed the day they figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in their lives."

~Work.....some people will say that women should not work.  Let's not have that argument here... But whether you are a working couple, working dad, working mom, single working mom..... Some days I am at work caring for other people's children wondering if I am doing the right thing being at work giving my life to other children rather than my own.....  Then I realize what I learned from watching my mom and dad wake up early and trek off to work..... I learned how to work, the importance of work and what it means to do your work well...too much of this is missing in so many of the children I see on a daily basis.....all I can do is live it, for Tedi and for the kids I see in my work daily....
"Standing by the window watching his father go off to run the world."

These are just a few things...but ones I wanted to jot down and share.