Our Family

Our Family
Our Family, December 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Pictures

The actual family Christmas picture

The rejected, but closer-to-the-truth family Christmas picture
Christmas is two weeks from yesterday.  I'm working hard this year at being spiritually and emotionally ready, but that doesn't make me "gift prepared." 
Whitney and Chase each want one, specific thing.  Both have asked for reasonable, useable things, but they aren't cheap things, naturally!  Dennis and I have talked about not buying for each other and being frugal with Daniel, who won't notice, anyway.  He'll be thrilled with the used WWE X-Box 360 games that are already wrapped and under the tree.  (Don't tell!)
Sunday night is our church Children's Christmas program.  Daniel has practice Saturday morning at 10:30.  He helped me write that on our kitchen message board so we wouldn't forget.  Forgetting isn't likely as he has told me "Saturday at 10:30" once a day for about a week.  The Christmas program is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  Our church does a great job of letting the kids know that God has wired them with gifts and talents that build the church, and this is one way to use those gifts to shine a light on Jesus.  Plus, who doesn't love little girls in frilly, twirly dresses and little boys in ties and shiny shoes??? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthday Boy

It's this guy's 8th birthday on Saturday.  He's just a little excited.  He begins each morning by counting from "today" until Saturday just to make sure he knows exactly how many days it is until his birthday. 
Last year he didn't really get the concept of celebrating a birthday.  That wasn't part of his past experience.  We went to the Ethiopian restaurant here in Lincoln, had a cake, and kept the day pretty low-key. 
Since then he's been invited to several birthday parties, so he has a better understanding of how things could be done.  He went back and forth on whether or not he wanted a party.  In the end, he decided to take one friend to Omaha to The Amazing Pizza Machine.  Sort of a "mini-party." 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall

October is my favorite month of the year.  This year it has come with a little bit of this:

We jumped off the cliff into the world of team sports.  I use the cliff analogy because it's a move from which it is difficult to back away.  We did begin with a relatively small step: YMCA Micro Soccer - a 25-minute practice followed by a 25-minute game, all on the same day. 
Daniel thoroughly enjoyed his soccer team experience.  He found it strange that everyone got a medal, but I think a lot of people find that strange, so he's in good company.
Fall has also come with a little bit of this:
Hayden (dead center) is in his fourth year on the UNL drumline.  This year he is the cymbal rank leader, and boy, can I see his influence in their drill.  You kind of have to see it to understand.

And some of this:
Whitney decided to go "all in" on the homecoming dress, pictures and dinner while foregoing the drama of the dance. 


I wish I could include a picture of Chase's college planning, but that isn't quite as photograph-able, is it?  Currently he's thinking computer programming.  He's re-taking the ACT next Saturday.

It's been since May that I last posted.  I guess that's because we're motoring along busily, as most people I know, and also with a sense of "normal" that doesn't seem very blog-worthy.  Normal can be very, very good!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Re-Adoption

Yesterday Hayden, Dennis, Daniel and I went to the Lancaster County Courthouse (Nebraska; not Pennsylvania) to appear before a judge to finalize in the U.S. our adoption of Daniel.  At the same time, we officially changed his name from the Ethiopian Court-ordered "Daniel Dennis Florom" to our choice of  "Daniel Tarik Florom." Picking a middle name was a months-long process.  We settled on Tarik after considering and discarding several other options.  Tarik means History, and is a form of Tariku, which means He has a story to tell.  We thought this was appropriate since he lived the first 7 years of his life in Ethiopia.  He definitely has a story to tell.  Sometimes he's in the mood to give us large glimpses of his life in Abi Adi.  Last week he told me he could pretty much sleep wherever he wanted to as long as it wasn't in the place where they parked the cars because the guy who guards that will hit you with a baseball bat.
At other times he acts like he doesn't remember a thing.  Storytelling is on his terms.
As he grows, I hope his story will include us, a family that dearly loves him and loves getting to know him, and also Jesus who knows his story from beginning to end. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Early Spring Happenings

 Daniel celebrated his first Easter in America.  This picture sums up his cousin's and his thoughts on waiting for the little kids to hunt for eggs.  Once egg hunting began for these two, they perked up.
 Easter, for decades, has been a huge event in my family.  On the weekend we celebrate Christ's amazing, demonstrating-the-power-of-God resurrection, the Lackey clan gets together, and we do it right.  We've gone through two generations of Easter egg-hunting kids.  Now my kids are the hiders along with their grandparents.
Years ago dad began something that he may wish he hadn't.  He organizes and writes the clues for a scavenger hunt on the property of wherever we're celebrating.  He divides the family into three teams, dividing spouses and same-family adult children. (This year my team was Tyler, Chase, and we threw in Daniel, too.) We run, as a team, around the property collecting clues, this year nine clues.  Then we sort the clues to spell out a phrase. (This year: Empty Tomb)  The team that does it first wins the biggest prize and so on in descending value.  We act like kids and love it.  I hope my parents are able to help us celebrate Easter for years to come.
This is Daniel in farmer gear.  At the end of the farm unit in kindergarten, they were asked to dress like a farmer for show & tell.  Note also his new watch which he bought with his own money.  Daniel is funny about dressing up for school. We noticed this on Book Parade day, also.  He doesn't want to be the only one dressed up.  He asked if his hat would fit in his backpack, you know, just in case.


Ahh, prom.  Whit, never one to miss a photo opportunity, dressed up a little to have some pictures with Chase.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Elvis Sighting


I went to Elvis’s funeral on Monday. Probably not really, but you never know…

I actually went to Randy Levering’s funeral.  Randy and his wife Judy have been attending our church and the Masterpiece (adults with special needs) Sunday School class.  We see them in 2nd service; Randy and Judy were both in wheel chairs.  Randy loved to dress up as Elvis.  He brought scarves that he gave to children; sometimes he even wore a wig.  He made me smile about as much as does the stretch limo with steer horns that brings this special group of people to our building each Sunday morning.  Randy knew he was dying from the first day he started attending.  But I never saw him without a smile on his face.  From the reports of those who spoke at his funeral, I think this was his usual demeanor.  They spoke of a man who pushed Judy all over town in her wheelchair.  He had a 3-wheeled bike that he put a 3-person seat on so that he, Judy and their son could ride together. 

If you attend First Free and you haven’t already, I urge you to make it a regular practice to talk to “the guys” and Judy.  They fill our Worship Center with contagious joy that we didn’t even know we were missing before they came, but now I can’t imagine life without it. 

I was convicted by James 2 this morning.  The beginning of this chapter talks about showing favoritism based on how someone is dressed—social/economic differences.  We all notice differences, but in the church, we should see them as opportunities to get a little bit of heaven here on earth.  We think the USA is a melting pot?  Wait till we get to heaven! We’ll be floored by the beautiful uniqueness we see as well as the unity.

And Elvis is waiting for us.

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Brilliant Thoughts

A few days ago I had some brilliant thoughts for a blog post.  Alas, however; I fell asleep and all is lost. 
This is Spring Break for LPS, and the weather is totally bi-polar.  We received about 6 inches of snow on Sunday, and it's supposed to be 70's on Friday.  I suppose that's the definition of spring.
We're at the nine-month home point with Daniel.  He's doing great.  This morning I told him it was "Dance While You Brush Your Teeth Tuesday."  He said, "Really?" in a less-than-convinced voice.  He's already learned to doubt a lot of what I say, so he definitely fits in with our family.  He did, however, spin in circles while he brushed.
A few weeks ago he told Dennis that he's scared to say, "I love you" to us.  I wonder if anyone else out there in adoption world can relate to that.  We keep saying it and trust that he will eventually internalize his safety in our family. 
He continues to make amazing strides in language and is doing great in school.  He's taking swimming lessons this week but says he won't go into the deep end until he's bigger.  It's always wise to know your limitations.

Adoption Timeline

  • 5/14/13 - Adoption finalized in Nebraska
  • 6/15/12 - Together in Nebraska
  • 6/5/12 - Birthparent Embassy appointment
  • 5/14/12 - Submitted to Embassy
  • 4/18/12 - Passed Court in Addis Ababa
  • 2/2/12 - Referral finalized with AGCI
  • 2/1/12 - Acceptance of Referral documents shipped to AGCI
  • 1/27/12 - Verbal acceptance of referral
  • 1/25/12 - WE GET OUR REFERRAL CALL FROM AGCI!!!
  • 1/17/12 - D. comes to Hannah's Hope
  • 9/12/11 - Notice of Favorable Determination (FDL)
  • 9/8/11 - Fingerprinting Appt. at the Department of Homeland Security in Omaha
  • 7/12/11 - Homestudy documents received from Lutheran Family Services
  • 4/19/11 - Entered contract with AGCI for an Ethiopian Adoption
  • 2/9/11 - Adoption Application sent to AGCI