Wedded BLISS--- 26 Years Worth! :)

August 29th, 1986

my Handsome Husband!

Yea! We are married!!

we were young!
that makes us
not very old still! :)

To my high school
Thank you
the last 26 years...
to love, cherish, honor
each other
thick and thin
(you have always been thin, I have been thick several times-physically speaking of course!)
sickness and health
(thankfully for the most part we have more health than sickness at this point :))
Prosperity and Want
(hmmm...I'm not sure if that line is right but we have had both)

I don't remember the rest of our vows but I do know this:

You have 
loved me
(maybe not liked me at times :))
provided for our family
(and worked hard from the first years on going to school, working full time to take care of us)
been LOYAL to me

and made our home full of boys 
an active one!
have and continue
in our first batch of boys
our 2nd batch of kiddos

many MEN
would want to start over and embrace
a life of diapers, homework, tears, sweat, fun,
laughter, TEENAGE years
after surviving it once.

have stretched my horizons with
mountain biking, tandem biking (although that about broke our marriage up! :), road biking,
hiking and all 
stuff that I wouldn't have attempted
with our boys without you. :)

Thank you
for being long-suffering with me:

When I cooked our first dinner of a whole chicken and 
left in the bag of neck/gizzard/heart,
(and I THOUGHT I knew how to cook!)
made spaghetti night after night
or tuna fish casserole :)

when I act with my heart and not my head
(a balance of both is good :))

when I write checks b/c I don't want to use the credit card but don't check the balance

when I start a conversation with you and in the middle start a different conversation with you

when I put the mail all over

and countless other things...

believing in me
and helping me set physical goals (see above on biking)
encouraging me as a 

Marriage is about actions
not just feelings
and you have shown that over and over again!

We compliment each
other and are proof
opposites attract! :) 
(although we aren't opposites in our convictions and passions!)

My prayer is that
through you and I 
others will see a marriage that is
not always
but that is
Christ- centered
and loving
but also
lots of FUN!

I love you!


Our wedding Song:
 You're the Meaning In My Life


Not Feelin' the LOVE!

I tried to give Grace...
but by the end of the "quick" run to 
with the 2 girls and baby I was irritated.

I have thought about sharing this one aspect of adoption that has had me bothered at times
since Mother's Day
and since 
Tuesday at Wal-Mart about did me in I 
decided it was time.

Trying to choose ketchup and mustard
with the baby in the basket and the 2 girls
wandering around 
an older women walked up and starting talking to the girls
and baby..
"Oh, he's sooo cute... I bet he get's ALL the attention,
well girls, one day he won't.. blah , blah blah.
I was trying to keep on task and slightly ignore her hoping she would scurry along...

"Well, where are you from?" (talking to the girls)
by now she has my full attention.
I replied, "WE are from xyz"

Her response, "No, I mean where are they ORIGINALLY from?"
"They are from Ethiopia"

"Ohhhh...what are your names?"
4 yr old says her name but of course the lady can't understand her.
I say, "Just say Anne" to our 4 yr old.
The lady says, " NO, Anne is TOO plain, your other name is GRAND!"
(I'm like WHAT the HECK lady! That's my name too!)

And she is motioning with her arms outstretched making sweeping gestures all the while.

Then she asks our 6 yr old what her name is...
she tells her.

Then the lady says, "This is your NEW family!"

I interject and say "YES, this is our family... I'm your Mommy, right...etc. etc."

4 yr old starts to talk to lady about her Daddy being in Texas and as lady is commenting on that I am hurriedly 
pushing the basket away from her around the corner. 
Head to checkout in a hurry...here comes lady in the next checkout lane.
She says, "OH THERE YOU ARE!" 
4 yr old is giggling and being very charming. 
Baby is saying "thank you " for something and lady proceeds to make him repeat "thank you" saying
"say it... say Thank You!" 
I was like "that's just how he says it!"
and rushed out the door from whacko lady.

I had HAD IT!

Yes, I know our family looks different-- people are very 
but people can also be very insensitive.
(or maybe there social skills are lacking!)

I understand where people are coming from..
I was there
 before our family was all together
I was fascinated by trans -racial families
and wanted to know their stories 
I didn't ask personal questions of strangers
just like I wouldn't ask a family of all
the same skin color personal questions

I know I should respond with grace and even humor
because our family on display is a beautiful 
example of adoption
God's LOVE for us, His children.

So, in hindsight I should have just said,
"thank you for your interest in our sweet family but
I have to run." :)

Honestly, I have struggled with how much attention our family
(especially the girl's) get when we are out. Out of the
ordinary attention...not natural attention :)
I KNEW to be prepared for this but it's been harder than I thought it would be.

Just a few examples:

I took our 6 yr old bio son and 8 yr old Ethiopian son to the school
district office to pick up some materials.
When we got to the main gals office who is over the ESL programs I told her I had brought 2 helpers. I introduced her to our 8 yr old and she said, "OH, this is D who we have been talking about! So good to meet you!" and shook his hand. Then literally she just kept looking at him like she was looking at a museum piece. After it seemed like an eternity I said, "And this is my other helper, M!"  
Not feeling the LOVE in that situation for sure for that lady!

We went to Moab for Mother's Day with all 5 of our littles. You have to understand this was  a big deal b/c it was the first time we went anywhere on an overnight trip. We stayed a few days but thankfully didn't tent camp! :) 
Anyway, walking down the main street we were a site to see and got quite a few smiles and stares. 
I walked into a pizza restaurant with the girls. Randall and boys were following behind.
We got up to the hostess and she immediately started gushing..."Oh my gosh, they are so cute!!" On and on....of course 4 yr old LOVED the attention . I wanted to say..."Please just give us a seat."
After dinner I took girl's to bathroom...A woman came in and started commenting on 4 yr olds cute hair. I had to go too so I quickly went into the stall and told girl's to stand there and not move.  Lady is still talking to girl's. I come out and she's still talking!! She then starts to comment on 6 yr olds cute hair and touches it. Then 4 yr old jumps in needing more attention and tells lady their ages, about her brother and her life :) I'm washing hands as fast as I can go to get out of there. 

I will stop here b/c I realize  you probably have the idea...
yes, our children are cute...JUST like ALL children...
it's hard b/c as we are working with them on attachment and
NOT seeking attention all the time
they are getting
all the time from strangers
and well-meaning friends alike.

It has a term-
(can't remember what it is)
but basically it's well meaning people showering  not normal attention
to black children /families 
to show them they are not racist.
(disclaimer- this is my definition not the right one :)

I read in one of our adoption books,
that trans racial families would like to just go into the store
to buy a gallon of milk without all the fanfare! : )

I feel just like that.

What I would say to unsuspecting strangers 
just treat us like any other family with children...

just regular low key acknowledgment
and if you have a question about adoption that is appropriate
and it's not when I  am choosing mustard and ketchup
please free to ask... :)

This is a term a therapist used who is working with a friend of mine who has a bio child with RAD... no gushing over her. It's not healthy for our kiddos :)

I guess I won't talk about the hair touching and squeezing either at this moment.

You get the picture! :)

Thank you for "listening" to my heart...
in no way want to offend anyone
and I do need to work
need it too! :)

Just my Mama's heart at the moment 
(or last few months!)

Big Brother Christopher-yes they all squish in this pool! :)

2 yrs old!

Love, Tracy