Monday, July 20, 2009

Ahhhhh .. the North Shore!

On Thursday, we had a hearing with a judge who issued a "judgement and decree" to finalize our adoption of the boys and give them U.S. citizenship. This is also the moment when their names are legally and officially changed to Jayden Dagmawi and Wesley Tariku, and they will receive Minnesota birth certificates. Once the decree was signed, the judge invited us up to the bench for a photo to commemorate this event. He then explained how much he enjoys presiding over adoption hearings because he was an orphan and was adopted when he was 6 months old!

We left the courtroom and drove directly to the North Shore of Lake Superior (our suitcases were already packed and waiting in the car). Lake Superior is one of our favorite summer-time destinations ... and we were looking forward to having the boys experience it.

Over the years, the girls have become rock-hounds and can find beautiful agates along the shore. Jayden was a bit confused by our activity on the first day (because our "activity" consists of hiking and exploring beaches, and combing through rocks for hours on end to find the much-sought-after and highly prized ... Lake Superior Agate). But by Day 2, Jayden and Wesley had both figured it out and were contentedly sifting through rocks and occassionally calling out "Agate!!"

Look at this hand-full of little beauties!

After an entire morning of hiking, we fix lunch right on the beach. This log washed up on the beach and created a handy "picnic table" for lunch.

Wesley has a knack for finding teeny tiny agates and sea glass.

When we find agates this size, we quietly hide them away in our pockets to be "revealed" to everyone when we gather to leave the beach. We call these "lunkers" and we found dozens of them! If you are wondering what we do with all these rocks, we have a large rock polisher that runs almost constantly through the summer and the kids love seeing the rough, dull rocks go in ... and come out 6 weeks later all smooth and shiny, with all their beautiful colors fully revealed.

We filled this jar to the rim with "fairy tears" or sea glass - soft, tumbled, beautiful colors of white, amber, several shades of green, and the most-sought after, cobalt blue!

Jay is a master "rock-skipper" and can "roll" a rock across the surface of the water 15-20 times. Jayden was determined to master this trick, so Jay and the girls spent quite a bit of time showing him how to find the ideal shape of rock, how to hold it in your hand, how to flick your wrist, and how to aim for the surface of the water. After many, many, many tries .... success! (see below)


Bliss said...

Congrats on your readoption of the boys. Love all the pics. The North Shore is one of our favorite places on earth. Before we got Hannah we would go backpacking each year. We took her last year and she now asks all the time when are we going back to Duluth.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! What an exciting time! That looks like a great destination for our family. It would be quite a drive for us, but by next summer we will be up to it! It's great to see your happy family and where God has brought you!

Karla said...

Counting down the days!! We leave on Monday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, by the way! :) Love you - Karla

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

OMGoodness! The pictures bring tears to my eyes! The togetherness, love, closeness, hugs, memories...MAN! God is good, so very good! You guys are awesome parents! Your kids are going to look back on their childhood and have the greatest memories!
Congrats on the finalization of adoption for the boys! Can't wait till ours is finished too.
With love,

jamullins said...

Congratulations on your readoption!! I love your pics!


Anonymous said...

How funny. I am going through my blog list.. for the 1st time in a LONG time. I just landed on your blog. I actually saved it as "a family to contact". I don't remember it, but I must've been here in the past and thought that we'd have much to talk about. I had to check my email to make sure you were the same Karen I've emailed with.

The pics are great. Your family is amazing!

Too bad we aren't closer.. I'd love to get together.

Team Dragovich said...

Aaaahhh... sweet pictures and memories, for sure :) Thank you for sharing!