Meeting Keza

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moon Cheese

Yesterday I showed my boys a globe. I held it out in our living room, signaled to them where the sun would be, where the moon was, pointed to Alaska, where we live. I spun it just a little and made a line to Ontario, where Grandma and Grandpa live and yet further and further and just a little more spinning and then, when we reached the complete opposite side of the globe, we were there- Rwanda. Their eyes were wide with discovery.

Much to my dismay, I realized this morning that the lesson must not have completely sunk in because Gideon is now thoroughly convinced that his baby sister lives on the moon. And that the moon is made of cheese. And that he wants Jubilee to bring him moon-cheese when we return on the airplane. The best part is, he is dead serious.

I haven't bothered to correct him. I am just going to get as many laughs out of this one as I can. It does my heart good. Moon Cheese. I love that boy.

Monday, February 22, 2010


For Valentines Day Wayne ordered me a gift, but through a series of postal mishaps it didn't arrive until today. Ironically, he isn't in town to give it to me. That didn't stop me from opening it, as I have no suspense skills whatsoever.

It's absolutely beautiful. Lovely. I immediately put it on and am pretty sure I'm never going to take it off. I keep feeling the weight of it brushing right above my heart. I keep thinking, 'There she is. She's so close. My little love of Africa.'

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In this Together

Wayne is in New Orleans for a business conference. Whenever he is away I try to do some extra-fun things with my boys to pass the time. Since we are having freakishly warm weather this February (40+ degrees and everything is melting) I decided to pack up the boys yesterday and drive to the Anchorage Zoo.

We had a lot of fun and ended the event with lunch at Arbys. When our food came we prayed. After the ‘Amen’ Gideon looked very troubled. I asked what was wrong and he told me that I hadn’t prayed right. I asked him how I should have prayed and this is what he told me: “Mommy, you forgot Jubree!" (Jubilee)
-He bows his head dramatically- ‘Dear Jesus, tank you for the food. Tank you for all the animals. Help baby fishter Jubree be safe and come to me in a big, big airplane.’

Oh, my heart. I love, love, love hearing his little voice praying for her. I love that he remembers her. We are in this together.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Going to Bed

Every night, when my day is closing it's eyes to the world, Rwanda is opening hers. I lie in my bed converting the time difference. I imagine people eating their breakfast, opening doors, breathing deep new air, walking down roads, entering another day of work. I see offices unlocking, coffee brewing, staff greeting one another in the halls. I will sleep, my mind folded up in dark hours, detached from this whole other world and its happenings. I won’t think about the possibility of the next piece of paper being signed or processed. I won’t wonder if Jubilee is awake, if she happy, if she is sad. I won’t think about the details, the possibilities, the procedures, the way things have been, the way things are. And in the morning, when Rwanda is stretching herself in a tired yawn, I will wake, my mind firing like an engine. I will think of waking, then of my children. Is Gideon up? What of Maddox? And where, where is my Jubilee?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This house is full of boys. I am up to my ears in tractors, motorcycles, bugs and boogers. While I love their rugged ways, I couldn't be more excited to have a little back up from the fairer sex. I was never a girly-girl, in fact I hated wearing dresses as a child and pinky-swore that I'd never, ever, put the color pink in my house. I thought of that this morning, as I finished covering the nursery with the final coat of semi-gloss PINK. What has happened to me? This little unknown creature has completely melted me into a big pile of girly gush. I have even gone to great lengths, combing the isles of every local store, to find the perfect first doll for my daughter. After realizing that dark-skinned dolls are next-to-none, I went on Etsy and bought this sweet little thing. Maybe she will like it. Or maybe she will be as I was and reject all forms of doll paraphernalia, but it won't matter. If I'm honest I'll admit that the pink and the ribbons and the dolls are really for me. I've metamorphosed into mother-of-girl. I'm nesting. It's fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Gideon constantly talks about his 'fishter'. (Sister) Today I heard him instructing his little brother, "Maddox, no hitting baby fishter. Baby fishter is a girl like mommy. No hitting. O.K. Maddox?" He proceeded to tell his little-wide eyed pupil how babies grow in the tummies of mommies. I, once again, sat down and explained that baby Jubilee is not growing in my tummy but in my heart and that someday soon I get to fly in a big airplane to get her. That perked their interest and they started zooming around the kitchen crashing their planes into each other.

A little later in the afternoon I found Gideon in the library looking at the pictures from his birth. I could just see the wheels in his mind grinding away. His four-year-old mind is trying to wrap around birth, beginnings, adoption. Big topics for such a little guy. I wrote a poem about his discoveries. It's still a work in progress but I thought I'd post what I have. I am calling it 'Beginnings.'

You have just learned
that you started out smaller

and smaller still
than your stuffed up bear.

Small as a crack
in a sun-soaked seed.

You look at my belly,
run your fingers along the pock

of stretch marks,
the fault lines,

displaced surface breaking
like rocks in your hand.

We look at pictures,
the aftermath of battle.

You are bloodied and puffed up,
stretched like a long vowel,

your mouth fumbling with sound,
limbs free falling through thin air,

the nurse holding a light to you eye,
retina retracting in terror,

cord coiled on your abdomen,
ready to snap it’s head, strike.

You ask me if it hurt worse
than a bee sting

you already know, the whites of your eyes
bloated and bogging in their sockets,

grip tightening around the album,
knuckles paled and clamped like a locked jaw.

All day you carry the book
as a badge on your arm.

When I enter your room that night,
after the sun has conceded to shadows,

blonde hair spills over the
photos, moonlight over trenches,

the line of your face is brazen
and unyielding:

a soldier poised
for war.


There was something in me that cared about orphans. Some small seed of compassion for lonely children. But it was muted, tucked away in the corners of a busy life. The days, hours, the thousands and thousands of stacked up minutes full of insignificant details have crowded out that drum in my heart.

Adopting is changing that. It's taking me over. My daughter is being chosen for me, but she is one of so many. I am faced with the truth of her beginnings every moment that she is in my thoughts. How could I not be changed? How will I be able to look into her brown eyes and not see her brothers and sisters?

I don't want my life to be the same. I don't want to ever lose sight of the eternal things. I want to remember the plight of the orphan day in and day out. I don't want to just care. I want to act. I want my money, my time, my prayers, my thoughts, my love to be full of intention.

I keep thinking of a quote by Sydney Smith, "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can." Sometimes I have felt paralyzed to follow the things in my heart that most make me come alive because I want to do big things, but what I have to give feels so small. It really boils down to selfishness and pride. I don't want to live that way another moment. I want to give what I can. I want to be a woman of action.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I woke with approval on my mind. Last week we got a letter from our Power of Attorney stating that we were approved and that we would receive the actual letter from the Ministers office in Rwanda very soon. That was Thursday. It's Monday morning here but Rwanda is turning in for the night. I am very anxious to have the official word. Come on, approval letter!

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing.
Psalm 68:5-6a

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Gideon turned four years old today. It's hard to believe that its only been that long. Sometimes I feel as though I have known him forever, like he has always been a part of me. I can't imagine not being his mother, not loving him with everything in me. I remember when I was pregnant with him. I felt like I was growing a stranger in my belly, yet I loved him. When finally he was born and laid in my arms he was so foreign to me, even though he was me, and was my body.

I feel that way about Jubilee now. She's a faceless vision. So close, like a word on the tip of my tongue that I just can't quite speak. Still, she has filled me with a thousand thoughts. I love her, like I loved Gideon, swimming so close to the beat of my heart.

It makes me think of God and how He loves. How much deeper and stronger and more encompassing is His love for me than my love is for my own children. He cannot separate Himself from His love for me. He can't ever just be 'God'. He is a father, and that is eternal. Loving a child is something that has no end. He loved me before me, as I love Jubilee before she exists. That love will follow me endlessly. Not because I am anything. Just because I am His.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oceans Away

You are alive. Your little lungs expand with breath every few seconds. Eyes dart under thin lids when you sleep. When you wake thoughts fill your mind.

What about now? This very moment? It's 1:35 AM in Rwanda. You must be folded up in a corner of your crib, the breath of many children suspended in the air around you. What does it sound like? Is it ever silent? Is there a child crying? A nurse rocking the infant beside you? Or is it you, feathered into the nest of her arm? I think about her holding you. She is touching you and tending you. Does she love you? Do you bend the path of her heart or are you the next baby in line with a soiled diaper or aching ear? She must love you. She must feel the weight of your soul when you are pressed against her.

All the thoughts in my day are threaded through you somehow. When Gideon's eyes light up, I wonder what will make yours dance. When I change a diaper I wonder if yours is wet, if someone has had time to check you. I see anything pink or purple and my heart sort of skips, like a rock over water. When I walk by a pharmacy I wonder about your ears. Are they infected? Do you have lice biting your scalp? Scabies? Parasites? Do you need medicine, baby? Because I have it, right here. I can hold you and rock you and kiss you and love you. I can take care of you. Yet...

You are in Rwanda, oceans away. I don't even know your name. But you exist, sweet baby girl. And I love you.