Saturday, April 21, 2012

Go, Go, Jonah!

Andrew was in his first (won't be his last) church musical.
He joined the acorn choir at church and they sang the first and last song in the production of 'Go, Go, Jonah!'.  He loved practicing every Sunday and was very excited to get to sing in front of the whole church. (this is a feeling I have never had.)
Several of our friends came to see him and he thought he was a celebrity! 

Here he is. (Poor thing is so shy--we really need to work on that.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

No Shame

I've been trying to figure out how and when to tell this information. I knew I would--I just wasn't sure about the details. Recently, I watched a video that convinced me that this is the right time. If you are my friend in real life, you already know this information. Telling it to the world--even just our little part of the blog world--is harder for some reason. Maybe because I have bought into the lie that this should be kept a secret. Maybe because I have been afraid that Manno would be hurt by this. But the truth is, secrets are usually kept because of shame and Manno has already been hurt by this. So has Daniel.
I'm talking about HIV. Manno is HIV+. He did nothing wrong to contract it (it wouldn't matter if he had) and he has nothing to be ashamed of. Daniel is also part of our family because of HIV. It is a thread that is woven throughout our family.
The only way to stop the shame of HIV is to tell our story and educate others about the disease. I had a lot of questions when I first decided to adopt Manno. One of the places I found answers to my questions was through Project Hopeful. They are actively working to eradicate the shame attached to HIV and AIDS. 
I could list all the facts about HIV/AIDS here but Carolyn Tweitmeyer and her crew at Project Hopeful have already done it in a much more entertaining way.

One of the things I have learned about this disease is that it is not the contagious, death sentence that it was once believed to be. It is manageable and Manno's new brothers are not in danger of contracting it.

We have an amazing support system made up of family and friends. Manno will be loved. He might also be hated and misunderstood by those who are ignorant of the facts about HIV. This knowledge already causes me pain but we will deal with it together, as a family, and we will rely on the support of the people who love us. 

Please take a moment to watch both of the videos in this post. And please feel free to ask questions. If I don't know the answers, I will find them for you.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wow. Just wow.

I came across this picture last night while looking for pictures for my dossier. I can't believe the change in Daniel.

This was taken when he first came home: Feb, 2010.

This was last week. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hoarders for Haiti

I've started a new facebook page:

Jill and I will be listing gently-used, brand name clothing and other items for sale. These can be picked up locally or shipped directly to you. 
We will also be having garage sales on April 28th and May 19th. Jill's garage is already FULL but we are still accepting donations.  We have sorted no less than 50 bags of clothing and aren't done yet. Ellie will be selling her world-famous lemonade at the sale on May 19th. She is planning to fully fund the adoption with her the money she makes and then use any extra to help a charity. That little girl has a heart of pure gold. 

Please click on the picture above and 'like' the facebook page. I promise to reward you with more pictures of Manno. Who could resist that sweet little face? I know I couldn't. :)

And if you're 1/2 as smitten with him as I am, would you mind sharing the page after you like it? 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Day

Each year, the holidays become more fun as the boys understand more about them and remember the ones from past years. Other than the fact that one of my children who shall not be named (Andrew) got up at 1:30, 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, 6:45 and 7:00 to find his (and his brother's) baskets, it was a near-perfect day.

Not a big surprise that he quickly found it hidden behind the curtain since he had already found it earlier (MUCH earlier) in the morning.

Andrew's basket:

Daniel's basket:

A minion shirt from Despicable Me--one of Daniel's favorites

A boy after his mama's heart---peeps in the morning. Yum!

This picture will be used against him at a later moment in his life. It is what happens to little boys who wake their mother numerous times in the night for a basket of candy.

Tablets with their names on them.

After church, we went over to the Daniels' house for an Easter egg hunt and brunch. 

The kids line up inside the house according to age. Fortunately for our family, we are the beginning of the line each year. 

A quick kiss before the hunt begins.


 Daniel didn't really understand the concept of 'get as many eggs as you can before you open them'.

Andrew, on the other hand, was all about quantity.

Two at a time!

When his own basket was filled, he started loading them into Daniel's.

 Our friend, Abel, was there too. We love him. :)

Enjoying the spoils!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dyeing eggs

Today, we dyed Easter eggs. In a weird turn of events, Daniel was the one who was very patient while waiting for the eggs to get darker. We only had one egg hit the floor and no dye spilled. That's a good day at our house.

 You never know when the eyebrows might show up:

 The incredible, edible egg:

No matter what you're doing when your new favorite song starts playing, you have to stop and dance.

Andrew's eggs:

Daniel's eggs:

They couldn't wait to peel and eat one.

 A little salt and berbere for dipping. 

Not so sure about the egg:

Looking cute!

He is a champion at this: