Hello there. Enjoying your Monday evening, I hope. We dined out this evening, which is such a treat these days. Do you remember your bed from childhood? I remember having a simple little twin bed, and then an antique iron bed with purple lilac bedding. (Purple was my favorite color as a child.) Surely these boys will remember their awesome boxy bunks when they grow up!
And on another note, room sharing. Did you sleep solo or with a sibling? Most friends I have who shared a room growing up loved it. I never did, but think I would have liked it. Hensley and Tegegne LOVE sleeping in the same room. And who knows, maybe Fields will join them one of these days. It’s a huge room and remember the Brady Bunch? They had 3 to a room, didn’t they?
A recent article I read had this to say on the topic of sharing a bedroom with siblings:
While I’m sure my fellow baby boomers would have enjoyed their own bedrooms growing up, I suspect we learned valuable lessons about living together with others because we had to share more of our lives with other family members. If families are the first places we learn how to share with others and live in right and reconciled relationships with each other, how will that ever happen if we never have to brush up against each other—even in our own families?
Hey Cutie! Thanks! (Thanks and Jesus are two words that you say adorably well.) Thanks for our breakfast date this morning. One large banana granola pancake, one egg, and one cup of coffee at a booth in Fairway’s First Watch made for a good time with you. Fields sat in his car seat in the booth with us and didn’t make a peep!)
I love this video of you at 19 months (2 days ago) which represents a bit of our days together when Tegegne is at school.
P.S. Sorry people keep mistaking you as a boy lately. If you’re not in pink clothing, people just assume. And you are a green dino for Halloween (but maybe a fairy with wings as well because your dad got a costume from a school parent too!), and your winter coat is brown, etc, etc.
All of us in the car talking about who knows what and you, Tegegne, speak up:
T: Ababayeh, I don’t want to be chocolate anymore. I want to be vanilla like you guys and Hensley.
(I teared up right away at the sound of those words, but you didn’t know. Michael and I looked at each other. He mentioned that we should try to get you some black friends. I don’t remember exactly what he said to you then, but since then Michael has been speaking life into you. Talking with you about who you are, and why that is so special.)
We love you so much. You are becoming more aware of your surroundings, the color of your skin and how it differs from the rest of our family. You’ve mentioned several times that we should adopt another “chocolate” kid into the family. Actually the other day you mentioned that we should adopt 1,000 kids but then you laughed and said that would be too many diapers. (Remember that we were in the process of adopting 2 more Africans in to our family last year? But then God had another plan. And that other plan was your little brother, Fields, who is currently 1 month old. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t trade him for anything.)
This afternoon our dear friends, the Welches, took you and Hensley out to lunch, for ice cream, and to the park. Katie mentioned that when you were at the park a little girl asked if Hensley was your sister. You said “Yes,” and the girl replied, “No she’s not…you’re brown.” You said, “Yes, she is my sister!” I’m not sure how the rest of the discussion went, but you were obviously frustrated with the girl and you did not want Katie to talk to her.
We love you, Tegegne. We ask for God’s grace on our journey together as we have have these encounters with people and as we have important life discussions. I just read this article by Marcus Samuelsson, who was an Ethiopian kid with white Swedish parents. I plan to read White Parents, Black Children to gain more perspective on transracial adoption. I have so much I want to write, and we will all learn so much as the years go by. But for now, I want to pray for you.
We love your plan for our family, and that it included our precious son, Tegegne, as our first child. We love that he is Ethiopian. We love that you knit him together in birth mom’s womb, and that you care deeply for him. Please be with him. Speak truth to him when others ask him questions and we are not around. Give him confidence in our family and in his own skin. Show us when to embrace his culture and when to just let him be. Your love covers a multitude of sins. You do not look at us as man does. Man looks at our outward appearance, but you look at our hearts.
And on a light hearted note you said this last night…
T: Mom, will your hair ever change?
M: I don’t know, what do you mean?
T: Will it turn white, like when you’re 60?
(Highlight of my weekend: Dancing with you while the band played. And my date with your dear ‘ol dad.)
Oh sweet Fields! You are one month old. If I posted these photos in order the last would be first. You don’t like being fully exposed! Right after I bundled you up it was all good. You are the cutest little crier though. Your sweet little donkey is not doing the trick of soothing you just yet.
We love your tiny little self. It is obvious to me that you were 3 weeks early, because you still seem so new. Tegegne and Hensley love holding you. Hens holds you at least twice a day, and gets the biggest grin on her face. You are realizing you have a voice, and like to cry a bit before settling in to sleep. Your routine has been eat, wake time, then sleep. You eat for like 15-20 minutes, then stay awake for 15 (and 30 minutes if we’re lucky, ) then you sleep. Night times aren’t too bad, but we are looking forward to your first all-nighter! (You wake to eat around midnight, 4am, and 7am.)
People are amazed at your hair. I love it too! So far we’ve heard you look like Grandpa Cleve (Grandpa Ben’s dad), and maybe Uncle Eric too. Then there’s your dad. And sometimes you look like Hensley. Eventually you’ll look like Tegegne too. And a little bit like me.
Love you toot toot,
Have you indulged in the deliciousness of fall? Pumpkin pie and apple cider? Hot chocolate and smores? The pumpkin patch, hayrides, sweaters, knit socks, and snuggling up?
Tomorrow afternoon we will get together with friends to dine and enjoy fallish things. The hosts are making the most delicious Moroccan autumn soup with many tasty spices. Served with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a baguette drizzled with honey. Yum.
We have stayed sorta close to home lately. Michael’s Grandpa is not doing well, so we have been to and from the hospital. His Grandpa held Fields for the longest time two nights ago. It was precious. So glad Fields got to meet Great Grandpa Auringer, and have that special time with him. I’ve been sick, and trying to rest. Michael and the kiddos got out this morning to watch some kids from his class play soccer. Sweet sweet Baby Fields is officially 1 month old today! I must do a photo re-shoot tomorrow and post his one months. Hensley was way too involved in the photo shoot today. I cannot wait to get my A game back so I can be the busy mama of the house again.
Michael is currently painting walls in our entryway getting ready for the homes tour. It is quite amazing what a difference smooth walls make. The woodwork looks divine in contrast with the beautiful milky white walls. We are going with white walls everywhere, especially after seeing this historic home renovation in Boise.
With love and red leaves,
(Hensley 18 months, Fields 2 weeks)
A “Container Home.”
So, as you well know, Michael and I really enjoy to do design-build projects together. It started with our bungalow master bedroom getaway on Liberty Street, and more recently our kitchen and bath on Wabash. It’s not always easy in the middle of a project when the house is dusty and the kids are playing with tools, but we are so pleased with the end result that it makes it all worthwhile.
Last week I read an article on Home Contained, in a recent issue of M Magazine. It’s a home in KC that was built using 5 shipping containers integrated into the design. After reading this article, Michael and I have discussed and began to research container homes. We are quite intrigued. One of these days we may just have to build ourselves one.
(container homes, container home in KC)