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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Surviving -25°

We had a "cold front" swing through that dropped temperatures to about -25 degrees (that's BELOW zero) for about 3 days. Not windchill - but straight temperatures below 0. It's usually about this time of year when I wonder why we have chosen to live in Northern Minnesota. In the spring, summer and fall - I need no reminding why we live here - it's beautiful! But right now - we all have cabin fever and we are hankering for green grass and sunshine. Today - it is 28° above zero and it feels downright balmy! Schools were actually cancelled on Thursday because of the dangerous temperatures (which does wonders for the cabin fever!).

Here is a recent photo of Wesley (2 1/2 years old) ...

I mentioned in an earlier post that the boys' hair has really grown since we have been home and they each have beautiful ringlet curls forming.

Even Jayden, who LOVES playing outside, is ready for some warmer temperatures. He walked up to the windows overlooking the backyard and announced "tomorrow .... no snow .... finished!!". Unfortunately there was still snow on the ground the next day.

Jay took the kids swimming recently and we were looking forward to seeing Jayden's reaction to a big, blue pool of indoor water. Jayden seemed unfazed as Jay and Emme walked up to the edge of the pool and dove in. They surfaced and turned back to Jayden, and without any hesitation he performed a perfect dive into the water. Emme and Jay looked at each other in surprise, and Jay told me that for a brief second he thought "wow - he already knows how to swim!" Then in the next split second he realized that Jayden wasn't coming to the surface and he reached into the water and pulled a sputtering, gagging child out of the water. No - he had never swam or been in a pool before, but he confidently walked up to the edge and did exactly what he had seen Jay and Emme do.

He now asks everyday if we can go swimming. He really struggles with the word swim, pronouncing it "smoi". He can't quite get his mouth around the "sw" sound but when we repeat it very slowly, he says it exactly right. Splashing is referred to as "choffa choffa". It could be the actual Amheric word or it could be an imitation of the sound of splashing. Regardless, we understand him just fine ... and more and more, he is understanding us.

Within the first 2 weeks of January, our adoption agency announced 10 referrals and they followed that up with a few more!!! This is great news for waiting families. I was also happy to hear that the sweet little brother and sister that had arrived at the TH while we were there (a very tearful and heartbreaking arrival) have been referred to the VanDruff family. I emailed Renee the photos we took as the kids were arriving and told her the story that I briefly mentioned on my blog while we were in Ethiopia.

We are amazed at the change in fortune for these kids. 6 weeks ago they were alone in the world and terrified of their new surroundings and today, they have the love of a family that will soon arrive to bring them home. We can't wait to see those kids come home to their forever family.


Renee' said...

I still need to call you! Your email and the pictures were such a blessing, so precious to me. Thank you so much!

Diane Kafer said...

Dear Karen,Jay and family
Just want you to know that we are very happy about the new additions to your family. Tammy got the chance to meet your boys and was instaly smitten with them. Chris says he has talked to you a couple of times and looks forward to getting together with you and your family. The boys are lucky to have parents like you and Jay and you are just as lucky to have those two added to your family. Now the fun begins. Diane