Sunday, September 27, 2009

The blog comes to an end

Many of you have followed us through our last year and our two adoptions. At this moment one year ago today, I was sleeping in a guest house in Ethiopia. I would wake up in the morning and we would go to get Tamene. And he would be with us forever, from that day forward.

The girls have been home almost two months, and the weather outside reminds me of how far Tamene has come in that last year. I sigh to know a year from now there will be a special connection that we will have watched develop in the first year the girls are here.

Our journey to Ghana changed me. I have been called to take on new endeavors. More of that will be to come in the next few weeks and months, much of it relating to Ghana.

For now I will sign off from this blog. It will stay here a while longer in case I have more to say. But I will move back to updates on my family blog, and as Project Global Hope develops I will post more about how to find out about our work.

About 8 months ago I "saw her face" for the first time. And now When I see her face I know the love from the first moment was real love. "Her" is both of my girls. Her is the spirit of this adoption. I love the girls and I love Ghana. By the time Tamene was home 3 months we knew we would adopt again. Here we are, the girls home two months... we aren't ready to do a traditional adoption, but we met some people in Ghana that have become part of our family. We feel that we have a lot of work today in providing for the needs of our new Ghana family. So we'll continue on with our Journeys hoping to impact the lives of more orphans and other adoption journeys.

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hair, hair, hair

Angelisa and Tirzah have enough hair for an entire village of children. Angelisa has some of the thickest "straight" hair you will ever see and Tirzah has some of the thickest "textured" hair you will ever see.

Trust me when I tell you that the fine folks at Super Clips for Cheap can NOT cut these girls hair. And trust me when I tell you that the fine folks and Million Dollar Do's are making a killing off these kids hair. Don't get me wrong, I recognize their time is valuable and they should be paid appropriately... but... I am totally in support of letting the girls grow their hair as long as they want, this should result in less hair cuts and reduced costs.

That's my random thought for the day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I am not who I was... or did I find who I am?

A post of totally random thoughts, some are mine, some are from other people.

No rhyme, no reason, no story. Just stuff.

“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.”
Reggie White

Don't pray for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs.

“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.”
A man in church told me this proverb of sorts. He's wise. I am glad for his words.

Now this next quote makes me want to do an end zone dance...
Endurance is patience concentrated.
Thomas Carlyle

I believe God's worked with me a lot on patience. I always thought I wasn't very good at it, come to find out, I just have a highly concentrated amount of it. (oh yes I do!)

Heroism is endurance for one moment more.
George F. Kennan

I have looked back at my earliest blog posts
I go to them every now and again... mostly because I expect to read something new. As if someone is writing it still. Some days I wonder if I know the person who wrote that blog. Am I that person? Indeed I am. It was me before I realized the world was a lot bigger and a lot smaller than I thought it was.

If there is a statement or saying that I really hate hearing, it's the statement "You don't know what you don't know". I hate the statement. It's stupid and true at the same time. It instills anger and fear at the same time as irritation and bother. I want to know everything. And I hate that I know some of the things I do. I want to see the world through rose colored glasses some days, but I hate that I would be allowed to escape thinking about, what some people live. I live a good life, and I want to pretend everyone else has the privileges I do. But I know that pretending, or ignoring won't change anything. So I can't pretend or ignore.

I'm a mother. I AM a mother. I am A mother. I am a MOTHER. Tonight I tucked Angelisa and Tirzah in. They hugged me, they kissed me and they said night time prayers with me. Then they hugged me and kissed me again. They are my babies! I held Eden until she fell asleep in my arms tonight. And Tamene came to give me a good night kiss and informed he was the baby and wanted to be held. Naven wanted to sleep with me tonight, so I did the usual "Every one will sleep in their own bed tonight". And a hug and a kiss and off my baby went to bed.

This week I am trying to figure out how to explain Eden's age. She says she's 5 her birth certificate says she's 4. Trust me, she is 5. I don't want to explain it. Just trust me, I'm the mother and it doesn't matter how old she is. Everything is fine. And then I had to explain to a 3rd grade student that I am in fact the mother of Tirzah and Eden. Frankly based on the populations in the surrounding areas I don't understand why this child would question me, but she told me straight out I was not their mother. Tirzah and I decided next time this happens, we both say we are mother and daughter and walk away. They don't get any more info. I suspect Tirzah will be the kind of kid who makes up crazy answers when people ask ignorant questions. Not that the 3rd grader was being ignorant... just that Tirzah was pretty thoughtful about it and seemed less than impressed with the child's willingness to believe I was her mother.

Project Global Hope is in progress. I'll keep you all posted on the endeavor into the start up of a non-profit organization. I have known for many years that I would start a non-profit. I've just been waiting for God to say when.

I post a lot on facebook, so sometimes my blog misses day-to-day life. In the 7 days prior to yesterday, I was in the ER three times with the kids. Tirzah had a flu, but included ear pain, so we went to have it checked. Naven got frog in his eye... or frog juice... call it what you want, but he played with a frog and then touched his eyes and then started screaming in pain. Then Tirzah got her hand caught in the car door. I would say none of these trips REQUIRED a trip to the ER. But with Tirzah I worry that there is a language barrier enough to make something go haywire and I just want to protect her. For Naven, a little experience in natural consequences...pain from frog juice, then a horribly long and boring wait in the ER (the nurse tried to offer a movie, I politely declined on behalf of the child who should have left the frog alone), his experience was topped of with an less than friendly eye wash. Either he'll leave the frogs alone or he will wash his hands next time - or not...

I am still trying to help the orphans in Ghana. Thanks to a few more donations we have the oldest child in the house ready to go to school and paid for the first term. I'll be starting up a couple of fundraisers soon, so I hope to make the rest of the money. Once that is taken care of I can start helping to raise money so they can start supporting themselves through some small businesses/farming. For $50 USD you can send a Jr High student to school for one term, for $5 you can make a huge difference! Just $5 can help!. Food is the primary need, but if we don't help the children get educated, things will never change. If you want to help the orphans, or Project Global Hope, please contact me.

It's my bed time, or past it. Tomorrow is another day! Wooo hooo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday night

It's Tuesday night.

It just is.

Nothing about my day was normal... which in itself actually makes it a normal day. It's some kind of irony thing is happening with what's normal in my life and what's not. Normal is the average of the extremes though right? So the question is what sort of extreme will I encounter in any given day.

The girls haven't been here a full two months yet. So we are still adjusting. I suppose my adjustment is nothing compared to what the girls are experiencing. Each one of us is learning a whole new way.

So I've been in the ER with the kids three times in 7 days... flu-type symptoms, frog attack, and van door attack. My mom has documented the address of the ER in case she needs to reach me.

Did I mention it is Tuesday? Frankly it seems to be all I know. It's Tuesday and the Schwan's man comes on Tuesdays.

I am going to bed. Tomorrow is Wednesday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New endeavors

A small group of friends and family are working with me to set up a non-profit that will center itself in helping orphans and missions.

I will have much more detail on this soon. For now, I have set up a blog to kick off what we are calling "Project Global Hope". Soon this will be a registered non-profit. In the mean time, the needs exist and I will be using it to post updates about the situation with the orphanage in Ghana that you all have been reading about.

If you have a moment to visit the blog, you will see a list of needs from John at the orphanage. If you are interested in helping please contact me:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Real life in America

Tonight the tooth-fairy will visit the Peterson House.

An interesting phenomenon at our house... three teeth out from three children. Oddly the tooth fairy was not appropriately summonsed. Tooth under pillow required. So two teeth fell out earlier in the week. But all three teeth will finally make it to that magical place until the pillow tonight... then the tiny girl with wings will come and leave money.

I'll let you know how that all works out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Peterson Band

The boys! Having fun at the park.

Naven and Eden, playing in the water.

They started out dry and ended up soaked!


Thumbs up! We are having fun.

Who loves momma?

My babies!

The Peterson Band!

Friday, September 4, 2009

If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”

From my last post:
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

A comment on post:
I have been visiting often now, and I must say - that quotation got to me. We are readying ourselves to take this journey God has put before us and the thoughts of how to deal with those who tell us that we are wrong... that bothers me the most right now. Thanks for the thoughts!

More thoughts:
I have heard this kind of story more than once lately. The story of a person or a family, trying to do the right thing, feeling lead by God, but the critics decide to voice their opinion. I do think that people are doing this "voicing" because they want to help, but clearly they don't understand the impact of their words. They want to protect me, protect the do-er. But in the process they are losing sight of the needs of those I am trying to help. There are many of you who want to help, who feel lead to help... indeed there is always a critic. Give the critic respect, but you don't have to take their advice. If you are directed by a higher power, by The Higher Power, then a critic is only a critic. It's not their mission, it's not their calling. When the critic comes, you can ask them to pray. Ask them what God would tell them about the situation.

I wanted to throw a couple of verses out. They are random and out of context... I am open to hearing why these verses don't mean what I think. But here are some words I felt lead to :

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
So, help me understand. Is it even possible to be out of God's will in wanting to care for an orphan, a fatherless child? "Pure and faultless," is looking after orphans and widows... I think that means that caring for orphans is not only good, but required... but that's just me. You decide for yourself.

Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.' Zechariah 7:10
Is the critic oppressing the fatherless when the critic points you away from caring for an orphan. Is the critic going against this verse? It says we should NOT oppress the fatherless or the widow, should I hinder the work of someone who would care for these?

And say before the Lord your God, I have taken all the holy things out of my house and have given them to the Levite, and the man from a strange land, and him who has no father, and the widow, as you have given me orders: I have kept in mind all your orders, in nothing have I gone against them: Deuteronomy 26:13
Interesting, it appears to me God says even what is set aside for Him should be give to the orphan. - see the next verse.

When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Deuteronomy 26:12

"When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. Deuteronomy 24:21
Should the first of what is set aside for God and the last what we have belong to the orphan? I think these verses tell me, some of the first fruits and some of my last fruits do belong to the orphan.

I would ask you to challenge yourself to ask, is caring for this orphan what I want to do for me, and will God bless that (I think he will), or am I carrying out God's command and honoring what has been asked of me. Then you will be able to respond to your critic.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It stuck with me

I often come across quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson that make me think,or that I somehow find myself relating to. The other day I posted a couple of his quotes on facebook. I've gone back to this quote a couple times. I posted the quote and then my own comment below:

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I wonder if Mr. Emerson walked the talk. I don't know much about him. But I often see a lot inside of his quotes.

Courage. An interesting word. says : the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. Courage is to do it without fear? I guess if I don't have fear then it doesn't seem very courageous... so to me it is to do it in SPITE of fear or doubt.

Sometimes other people doubt me, sometimes I doubt myself. But I know all things are possible...all things.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Here is a quote... in my mind, it really doesn't have anything to do with adoption, or our girls. Though to an outsider it might appear that way. Rather to me it is about being a good citizen:

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - that is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ghana Orphanage

Thanks to all those who have been praying for or have donated money to the orphanage in Ghana.

The money was sent today. I will keep you posted.

To clarify: A small amount of money was sent immediately at the time the need was identified. Once I received the donations from those of you who were willing, I sent a lump sum to avoid additional transfer/wire fees.