Archive for July, 2012


some photos



Pizzadillo, more commonly referred to as quesadilla (which my spell check keeps insisting on changing to Piccadilly or Pulsatilla), is Francine’s new favorite food unless there’s fruit around.  I think she ate an entire watermelon plus kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, and strawberries over the weekend.  I can’t really get her to touch veggies though and Keta snubs close to everything.  I think it’s just because she can.  She’ll watch me cook and prepare meals and randomly point to things and say “no thank you.”  Things straight out of the grocery bag are snubbed.  Even things she loves are rejected.  They enjoyed their first ice cream cones recently and neither would take even the smallest bite of the cone.  Yumma for me though!  After, Francine and I had to change clothes.  She couldn’t have eaten much considering the amount that ended up on the two of us.

Francine just discovered she can go potty unassisted and does so proudly every 17 minutes or so.  What she can’t do is turn on and off the water to rinse the copious amounts of soap she insists on using.  I’ll be needing a second job to keep us in toilet paper and liquid soap, soothing aloe if you happen to have extra and happen to not like it.  Thankfully (and sadly!) school will be starting soon, so she’ll be elsewhere for part of the day.

The girls played for over three hours with a kiddie pool, a sprinkler, two cups and straw each.  They’re so easy to please.  Francine’s most requested toy, as well as Keta’s, is a tub of rice with some scoops, measuring cups, funnels and spoons.  It’s kind of soothing to run my hands through it.  I like it when they want to “pyay rice pease.”  Good times for all.







ah better miyaria

And just like that, it’s gone.  Really?  This life threatening disease that kills many hundreds of thousands each and every year is gone with a pill ground up and unsuccessfully hidden in yogurt three days in a row.  Really?  Hmmm.

Anyway, we’re home.  Although I never would have guessed Francine was sick at all, she’s different.  She’s better.  Mama held her down and let people hurt her every few hours.  She said pease no more owies.  She said no thank you owies.  She screamed for Bibi who didn’t stop those people either.  She said bambi pease when it was done for a bit and thank you when she got a band-aid on her new owie.  She said pyay dishes pease and when the playroom door was locked she was delighted to take a bath in a tiny tub instead.  She was a perfectly happy, energetic, funny and fun to be around two year old before.  Still, somehow she’s better now, ah better.



We’re at Children’s. Francine has malaria.




The girls had their booster shots today.  Unpleasant.  After, they had blood drawn.  Made the immunizations seem like a fun and happy picnic.  Reminded me to be thankful that they are as healthy as they are.  Keta had a bandage wrapped around her elbow at the blood draw sight.  This thing had super powers.  Somehow this small wrap was able to prevent her elbow from bending, at all.  Ever tried to get a kiddo in a car seat with a defective won’t bend at all elbow?  It also defied gravity.  Keta was unable to put her arm at her side, arm stayed straight out from the shoulder to the wrist, for hours.  Removing the “bambi” (aka band-aid, bandage, wrap) helped somewhat.  It was kind of impressive to see the switch from right to left hand for meals and play though.  Fingers crossed for normal function tomorrow.

The pediatrician agrees with the age changes I’d like to make.  For support documentation he gave me some sort of ages and stages type form to fill out.  Francine is young enough it applied.  Keta, not so much.  There is a communication section.  Of course her communication isn’t that of a “normal” 45-48 month old, the girl never heard a word of English before late March.  Fine motor skills?  Sure, they work hard in orphanages in countries like DRC to promote a healthy development of fine motor skills.  Practice time is right between classical piano and Latin.  Can Keta name on sight at least three of her playmates, not including siblings?  Of course, there’s her Baby Farmer, Francine’s Baby Farmer and Milo (I guess he’s kind of a sibling though, not sure he counts).  Does she dress up like people for play, mommy, daddy, brother or sister?  These people have been absent for her entire life up until very recently.  She still doesn’t understand she is and has a sister, nor does she understand daughter although she knows I’m her mama and she’s my baby.  No matter, she’s almost four and it’ll be big fun to celebrate!

I gave each of the girls an old cell phone I haven’t gotten around to donating.  They love their new phones!  I cannot recommend this.  I’ve heard a few (what’s the one after trillion?) too many times, “Mama, where’s telephone?”  I’ve had many phone calls from them and say cheese every six or seven seconds when one needs to take a photo.  Where do they pick up these things? 😉


in trouble

Francine has been in some trouble with her big sis.  They love to play with their dishes, cooking for themselves and Baby Farmer mostly but for me and Milo too.  Francine went boom on a recent meal delivery.  Actually it was more of a face plant with dishes flying out in all directions.  She doesn’t have far to fall, so she was fine.  Baby Farmer’s dinner, on the other hand, didn’t survive.  Apparently the pretend dinner flew out in all directions too, making what I can only imagine was the biggest pretend mess that Keta had ever imagined she could pretend existed.  This, however, wasn’t really the problem for Keta.  The problem came when Francine stubbornly refused to pretend to clean up the pretend disaster of Baby Farmer’s pretend dinner on the floor.  To make it worse, it turns out that Francine also pretended to eat Baby Farmer’s ice cream and I guess ate it all leaving Baby Farmer completely without.  Rude.  We’re still hearing about this days later.  They’ve had to make several pretend trips to the pretend grocery store to stock up on pretend supplies to make up for the pretend loss.

Today we’ll be working on taking turns talking and giving mama time for at least a one syllable response, mostly to preserve my sanity.  How is it possible that after such a short period they know enough English to speak without pause, every waking moment?  Every.  Waking.  Moment.  I’m amazed they’ve learned so much.  It’s fantastic!

They know enough English to tell me some things about their past and I ask questions when it seems like they’re willing to talk about it.  It’s getting fuzzy though, memories of their lives before March 28.  I feel such a deep sense of loss for them.  They lost their birth families and their homes, their language, their country and their culture, their past.  They gained some things too, but there’s so much loss.  There’s no evidence of their past.  If the information is not in the adoption paperwork I don’t have it.  I tried and tried in Lubumbashi to get some information and still try through email to get photos or something, anything, but completely without success.  If I don’t get some things from Keta and Francine now about themselves it’ll be gone, forever.

Headed back to the boat after a short hike to Rainbow Bridge


too soon

Hide and seek was one of Keta and Francine’s favorite games in the box.  I haven’t tried it here as this box is big, big enough to get lost and discover new closets and new toy caches even after a month.  Yesterday we played go around the corner and seek and then more go around the corner and seek and then some hide and seek and finally some hide and panic.  That last one was my turn to hide.  I “hid” beside the couch and gave some pretty specific hints as to my location.  It was too much for Francine.  Even though she could hear my voice telling her where to look, it was too much.  Game over.  Too soon, but we’ll try again.

Our week at Lake Powell was a huge success.  Although swimming in the lake wasn’t tops on the list for Keta and Francine they loved riding in the boats, playing on the beach and getting their toes wet.  The top deck of the house boat had a very nice kid pool complete with a built in splasher.  They loved getting some attention from new people who were all great sports and so nice to play with them.  They did great in the car for twelve long hours, sleeping a bit and talking all the rest, at the same time.  Talking, at the same time, for hours.  Sorry to the other adult in the car and thanks to the inventor of personal music players with no volume limit.

Today has been a day that I can’t be out of sight.  We’ve had to talk a few times about screaming only when something is really, really wrong.  Mama can go to the next room or walk a guest to the door while you sit here and finish your snack, for a minute, just one minute, likely less.  You’ll be able to hear me the whole time and I’ll be right back and I’m your mama forever…….. Please no screaming unless something is really, really wrong…..

I also had to take away a favorite toy today.  If mama picks it up, it’s mama’s.  If you fight over it and can’t work it out yourselves, it’s mama’s.  “Do you want me to get involved?”  “No mama.” usually follows, but this time Francine had to test it.  Now she won’t be able to cook dinner for Baby Farmer for a bit.  She was so upset it took a while for her to realize she has other toys, quite a few other toys.  Still, I think she’ll be glad to see her dishes again.

Keta’s been a wonderful little somersaulter for weeks now.  Francine just discovered she can do one too, unassisted.  She’s done little else since and if I could I’d put a video on here.  Both girls are dancing and singing and somersaulting right into one another and Milo.  Love it!

Here they are in their new skirts handmade in DR Congo by women who have physical disabilities and are now able to support themselves.  LOVE this company!  Thanks Shona Congo for the beautiful gift I was able to give my girls.