Friday, February 24, 2012

Bear gives a homily, Mouse gives him lip

We had an interesting family prayer time tonight.

Jackrabbit was gone so it was me and the kids.  We read the gospel for the day, which is what we typically do, and then I got ready to do a short discussion about it.  The gospel was Matthew 9:14-15.  But Bear piped up and said "I want to do a homily, you know, for practice in case I become a pastor."  Well, hard to say no to that, so I nodded and he stood up before us.

First off, I have to say, I've heard worse.  :)  But it was also funny, primarily because Mouse was being a cut-up that she never would have done in the church itself.  But Bear opened that door.  Well, me too.

He made two points (with much earnest hand motioning throughout).  First: the reason we fast during Lent is that we are waiting for the resurrection.  The wedding feast, he said, is like Easter.  And who fasts on Easter?  Jesus is with you then, in a new way.  So: you fast during Lent.  Then Easter comes and ... drum roll... it's like a second Mardi Gras!  (and he begins dancing in place)

As Mouse and I laugh, I say, Bear, they're going to throw you out of seminary if you try that one.  Which caused Bear to fall on the ground laughing.

Bear tried to compose himself and continue the homily's second point, about how to fast and how not to fast.  When you're fasting from chocolate, he said sagely, don't go into Chocolate World.

Mouse: Chocolate World?
Bear:  Yeah, it's a store.  (Mudpup in background: Choc-o-late!  Choc-o-late!)
Mouse: Well, there's nothing wrong with going INTO the store.
Bear: Well, true, but you want to avoid the temptation.  If you really want to avoid the chocolate, you don't want to go near things that make you want to give in.  Especially when you're older and you know there is a dark chocolate aisle there.  (Mudpup: Choc-o-late Mama!  Choc-o-late Bear!  Choc-o-late Mouse!)
Starling: Yo, Mouse.  Most parishioners don't talk back to the priest when he's doing the homily.
Mouse: I would if Bear were my pastor.
Bear: You're totally not coming to my church, Mouse.

(If you're wondering where Jaybird was, she was having a bad night.)
(They were also much more serious about intentions afterwards.  It was just a funny few moments.)

Bear usually says he wants to be a computer person of some sort.  But it was fun to see him "try this out."


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello again!

Whew, it's been a long time since I updated our family journal! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been busy to overflowing with volunteer responsibilities, plus adoption stuff (including learning Russian). I will probably remember this past six months as the straw that broke the camel's back when it comes to volunteering -- I am scaling back as much as I can, and saying no to everybody!

What's been happening in the past few months? Mostly, Alleluia Boy has just been exploding socially and verbally. He interacts with us much more than he did before -- we have little vignettes of conversations. He is stretching in every way possible...sometimes overreaching, but that's what it takes to grow up! (He likes opening the refrigerator and investigating what's inside. He'll peer in and comment on thing: "Oh!" he says. The other day, he tried taking out a full gallon of milk -- it tooj him down!) For as much trouble as he causes (we finally had to put away the radio, before he destroyed it), he sure is cute...always with a smile or a joke. His latest catch-phrase is, "Oh...nice!" Sometimes he draws out the "nice" for emphasis, which just cracks me up. The other phrase that cracks everyone up (particularly the kids) is "ketchup," which he pronounces exactly like "shut up."

Beyond that, I suppose the other notable thing is our complete lack of a winter. (Although as I write this a winter storm is SUPPOSEDLY bearing down on us.) We have had no appreciable snow accumulation, and very mild weather. This means that we've only been sledding once, and only ice skating a few times -- the outdoor rink at the lake didn't even open until mid-January, which is unheard of around here.

I'm calling it a day for now, but I hope to catch up on posting over the next few days.

Here's a sample of what I have been working on for the kids' school. I edited this video (and took the interview footage):

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The day you wait for...

Mudpuppy climbed into my lap this morning, leaned against me, and said "I love you, Mama."

More precisely, "Ah loh oo, Mama."

It was the first time he initiated that and strung together all the words.  Awww.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mudpuppy tells a joke

This struck me as a milestone today.

So Mudpup (Alleluia Boy, whatever) is standing in front of everyone seated in the living room.  With a big smile, he sings, "Rain, rain, go away, [Mudpup], go away!"  People smiled back, and he continued "Rain rain, go away, Ju Ju, go away!"  Everyone really cracked up then (although Jaybird had mixed feelings about it).  So he continued, "Rain rain, go away, Ben Ben, go away!" 

Yes, it's two year old humor.

He's also repeating (the memorized) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? book, verbatim, about 90% of the way through.  He's enjoying that, do the reading "himself".

Adoption news

...this was a post from last week on the Adopting Alex blog.

When the going gets tough, the tough start praying!

Well, everyone, we received some frustrating news. The adoption authority in Alex's home country has told us the dossier may be submitted March 29th. That's over six weeks later than we expected! And with extended approval time, and waiting for a travel date time, that puts traveling to meet Alex and adopt him well into ... May.

  • All together: AUGGGGHHHHH!
  • And as our kids reacted, sputtering: "That's not fair!" (We have expected early March all along.) Yes, kids, you get that point better than those fun-loving bureaucrats. We realize adopting is a privilege and not a right. But when literally everything is done, approved, translated, and collecting dust in a tray, waiting three months to travel is a bitter pill to swallow.

This far-out dossier date was unexpected on everyone's part. Because the adoption authority just reorganized, they instituted some new rules around ceasing to fast-track many special needs adoptions. We're getting caught in that delay through no fault of ours, no fault of our facilitators, and certainly no fault of Alex's. Remember--the government doesn't even formally know we hope to adopt him, due to the way they handle international adoptions. They just know we want to adopt a child his age with his special need.

Alex's country being what it is, this could "change back" to a fast-tracking process. That is our best hope for getting the date moved up. Honestly, we're ready to go. Alex is no doubt ready to have a better life: a family that loves him, therapy for his CP, an opportunity to learn. And he needs out of the institution--he's not hanging out at the Club Med. This date is just one more hurdle.

After a difficult few hours, we realized there is really nothing we can do to change this situation but pray. The situation feels like we need prayer and fasting (Mt 17:21). Jerry is fasting from sweets. I am going to be fasting from Diet Coke for nine days (those of you who know me know I'm dead serious now, because I'm completely addicted). If you feel led to fast for smooth and quick sailing for Alex's adoption, please do. You can tell us, or not, but we do appreciate it regardless.

Also, we are encouraging people to do nine days of prayer with us (our Catholic friends know this is called a novena, nothing "magical" about it, just a set period of intense intentional prayer). We're going to be praying a short prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph, who, as the foster father of Jesus, has a special love for those in need of fathers. You should feel free to pray for Alex's quick and smooth adoption process as you wish--if you pray in another fashion you prefer, please add Alex to your prayers for nine days with us all. But if you want to join us:

St. Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ! To you do I raise my heart and hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death, and the special favor I now implore, that Alex is kept safe and well, and that his adoption move forward quickly.
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
V. O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His name,
R. Hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us, and move quickly this adoption of your small friend, Alex.
The novena and fasting will start for us Thursday, February 9th. Please consider joining us in some fashion. We will post reminder updates on the facebook page for Alex (feel free to "like" the page and follow that way). We trust God has our back in this, but Jesus did say "Ask and you shall receive"--which means he wants us to ask for great things! We will accept God's response in any case, but we are compelled to ask for a much sooner travel date, against all bureaucratic desires. By the way, we know: moving out the travel date by three months doesn't seem like too long, but when you are a child who cannot walk living in a mental institution, and when you are prospective parents not knowing how your son is really doing, and when there is no need for it--three months is too long to wait.

Thank you, everyone. We believe Alex will thank you, too.